Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pediobius foveolatus

Would you pay $100 for some dried up bean beetle larvae?

We did!  Here we are attaching the bags to the bean plants (and showing off a really bad farmer's tan).




  After two years in a row of losing most of our bean crop to Mexican bean beetles, we decided it was time to take a chance on some organic snake oil.  It arrived today via next day air: Pediobius foveolatus, a tiny wasp that lays its eggs inside the bean beetle larvae. 

2 comments:

Justin Leonard said...

So, have you had any luck?

Eric & Melissa Brown said...

Here's an update/report: it's 3 months later now and we've had multiple plantings of beans go down to Mexican bean beetles about as quickly as ever (i.e. basically without getting a picking first.) However, we have definitely seen the mummified bean beetle larvae on the undersides of leaves, so the pediobius definitely seem to have been multiplying and doing their parasitizing. Finally now near the end of the season it looks like the most recent planting may actually give us some good pickings (without getting ruined by the MBBs), but we've had nicer plantings in the fall after bad summers before, so it's doubtful if pediobius deserves credit. Pediobius definitely hasn't convinced us of its worth, especially not considering the big price tag, but we might try one more year. One untested hope is that we can reduce the number of larvae that survive to adulthood and set the stage for major troubles the following.