Development of a Novel Approach for Monitoring the Samurai Wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), an Effective Parasitoid of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stal)

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2017: $14,813.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2019
Grant Recipient: Virginia Tech
Region: Southern
State: Virginia
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Chris Bergh
Virginia Tech


  • Agronomic: soybeans
  • Fruits: apples, peaches, pears
  • Vegetables: beans, peppers, sweet corn, tomatoes


  • Pest Management: biological control, integrated pest management


    The Problem Addressed and the Solution Pursued

    The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is a polyphagous invasive pest from Asia that has had significant impacts on specialty crop production in the USA. Insecticide applications can protect affected crops from BMSB feeding injury but are not considered a long-term solution. As in its native Asian range, biological control of BMSB in wild and cultivated habitats may represent the ultimate resolution to this problem, although native natural enemies in the USA have not reduced BMSB populations adequately. Recently, adventive populations of Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), an effective egg Asian parasitoid of BMSB, were discovered in several locations in the USA, including Frederick County, VA. Consequently, determining the distribution and spread of T. japonicus, and its impact on BMSB populations, have become main research priorities. However, for several important reasons, current methods for T. japonicus surveillance, involving the production and deployment of BMSB sentinel egg masses and/or surveys for wild egg masses, are not efficient for use over larger geographic areas. The development of optimized sampling tools and protocols for T. japonicus surveillance and monitoring is paramount to all future efforts aimed at long-term sustainable management of BMSB. The goal of this project was therefore to develop and use an efficient, effective, and standardized protocol to address questions about where and when T. japonicus is present in the landscape.

    Project objectives:

    1. Examine and compare the effectiveness and efficiency of sentinel BMSB eggs and yellow sticky traps for sampling T. japonicus
    2. Determine the effect of habitat type on T. japonicus detections
    3. Determine the seasonality of T. japonicus detections
    4. Examine the effect of BMSB host tree species on T. japonicus detections
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.