The tiny Trichogramma (tri-cho-gram’-ma) are the best known of all egg parasites. They attack over 200 species of pest insects and have been successfully used against most caterpillars in all kinds of habitats throughout the world.
Life Cycle: The Trichogramma lays their eggs inside the eggs of lepidopterous pests (its host). One to fifty eggs will be deposited, depending on the size of the egg to be parasitized. When the Trichogramma eggs hatch into larvae inside the pest egg, they immediately feed upon the immature pests killing them before they are able to hatch.
The Trichogramma completes its development inside the pest egg and emerges as an adult. Then the cycle begins again. Trichogramma, as an egg parasite, is immediately effective in its action, since it kills the individual pests before they can damage a plant. But its effectiveness goes beyond this initial control. By suppressing the hatching of large numbers of lepidopterous pests, other naturally occurring beneficial insects will now be able to effectively control any surviving or migrating pest worms.
Directions: These tiny egg parasites are packaged one card-square to a cup. Each card-square has a colony of approximately 4,000 moth eggs glued onto it. Inside these moth eggs, the Trichogramma will be developing and feeding on the moth egg. Uncap the container and place in the crotch of the tree, or carefully remove the square and hang on a branch with a string or tape to keep away from ants. Attach the tape to the smooth side of the square, try not to touch the side with the eggs glued on to it. Try to place in an area that will be protected from rain.
Recommendations: The best time of day for release is afternoon to evening, when outside temperatures are from 70 to 80 degrees. This will allow the Trichogramma to adjust to their new surroundings in the warmer evening hours. Moisture is critical to the success of all beneficial insects. Keep moisture levels up in your garden to provide dew water for these beneficial workers.