USDA-ARS is unveiling the battle of the bugs. It's pitting Habrohra-con hebetor, a beneficial parasitic wasp, against destructive moths.

H. hebetor attacks the larvae of the Indianmeal moth, the most destructive insect in stored commodities. Many insect pests have developed Bt resistance and are developing resistance to current pesticides. This creates the need for another alternative.

Although the wasp is commercially available for pest management, it would be more economical to produce if artificial diets were available. Researchers at ARS' Grain Marketing and Production Research Center, Manhattan, KS, are working to develop such a diet.