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Friday, January 13, 2017

Wasp vs Caterpillar - Mother Nature's Pest Control at Work

I was planting transplants last summer when I noticed some movement on the ground by my knee.    I saw some type of flying insect struggling with a caterpillar.  It looks like it was trying to fly away while holding on to the caterpillar.    It appeared to be some type of wasp.   Caterpillars are very destructive to plants, especially small plants as they can eat half the transplant which will kill or stunt the plant.

These insect predators are one of the reasons why I grow naturally and don't utilize insecticides.    Mother nature and a healthy ecosystem is better at controlling pests than spraying.    Even insecticides approved for organic use will also kill ladybugs and other predatory bugs.    I choose to skip spraying.   Spending money on improving the health of the soil is a much better way.  Healthy plants can fend off insect attacks.   I have noticed that the weak and stunted plants are what draws aphids, not the healthy one.

Here are some pictures of the wasp, with the first being a close up.   I have no idea what type of wasp it is, but it had killed the caterpillar and was hauling it away to eat it or feed to young.