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Agriculture Ministry Not to Introduce Anti-Asian Stink Bug Wasps

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, March 6
Georgia’s Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture is not going to introduce Samurai wasp, a biological enemy of the dangerous agricultural pest — the Asian stink bug (brown marmorated stink bug), which devastated nearly the whole nut harvest in the western regions of the country last year.

Several days ago, Georgian media reported that the ministry was considering using wasps for the Asian stink bugs elimination.

The media reported that representatives of the National Food Agency and employees of Agricultural Research Center were studying the natural enemy issue with European colleagues.

Zurab Lipartia, the Deputy Head of the National Food Agency, explained that the decision on release of the natural enemy of Asian stink bugs would be made after some researches.

The Samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), is an egg parasitoid of the brown marmorated stink bugs. Trissolcus japonicus will oviposit her eggs inside the eggs of the brown marmorated stink bug, and the wasp larva develops inside the stink bug egg.

However, on March 5, Levan Ujmajuridze, the Director of the Research Center of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, stated at present it is not expected to use the wasps to fight brown marmorated bugs.

He explained that instead, the ministry plans to carry out some additional measures to eliminate the pest, which became very active from spring.

Ujmajuridze said that under the decision of the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture, the bio laboratory will be arranged in the Center for Soil and Food Diagnostics of village Anasieuli, Ozurgeti municipality, where scientists will study biological enemies of Asian stink bugs.

“The Agricultural Research Center actively cooperates with both Georgian and foreign scientists. The Center is ready to hear opinions and suggestions of each scholar and scientist regarding elimination of Asian stink bugs,” he added.

The Director of the Research Center also noted that the representatives of the Georgian Agricultural Research Center visited Switzerland, in particular, the International Center for Agriculture and Biochemistry (CABI) in Delemont, where scientific researches were conducted on various biological enemies of Asian stink bugs.

Asian Stink Bugs were first reported in Georgia in 2015. In 2016, the bugs destroyed a significant amount of hazelnut harvest in West Georgia, however, the largest amount of the pest struck Georgian regions last year.

Georgian Government’s Strategy against Brown Marmorated Bugs 2018 includes four main directions: information campaign, implementation of the monitoring system, stink bug control measures and scientific research works.