Eucharitidae - Biological Control

Biological Control

Eucharitids are candidates for biological control because each Eucharitid Subfamily targets a specific variety of ant genera. On the other hand, some Eucharitids, including the Kapala genus, are classified as pests for several different resons. First, a few days after oviposition occurs the leaves dry up where each egg was located. Second, it has been reported that tealeaves with such marks do not have as strong of a flavor as tea leaves without these marks. Third, not all Eucharitids have a significant effect on the size of their host’s colony.

Orasema are sometimes used as means of biological control for many ants, including the fire ant and little fire ant. This is because pesticides can cause damage to the environment, and they do not always work on fire ants. In addition, there are at least two Eucharitid species groups that are specialized parasites of these ants. In a journal, Heraty stated, “Leaving aside the philosophical problems associated with introducing any organism for biological control, I believe that species of Orasema do have potential as biological control agents and deserve more study.”

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