Figs are pollinated by wasps - not bees, so other crops may be, too.
Parasitoid ("parasitic") wasps are among the most important beneficial garden insects in organic garden pest control. They control insect pests at low population densities, before they get out of hand.
Most are tiny, gnat-sized insects that lay their eggs in aphids or the eggs of garden insect pests. If you see puffed-up, brown aphid "mummies" on the leaves of your vegetables, they contain a parasitoid wasp larva that will grow and emerge in a few days to attack more aphids. Each female lays eggs in up to 100 insect pests.
Parasitoids patrol the undersides of leaves and flowers, attracted by chemicals given off by insect eggs or feeding insects. Larger parasitoids attack the nymphs of cucumber beetles and squash bugs, as well as caterpillar pests.
Parasitoid wasps are the first insects to die when you use pesticides in the garden. Even the inert carrier oils in pesticides are lethal to these tiny but powerful garden allies, so if you want to attract them to your garden, avoid chemicals.
Adult parasitoid wasps feed on nectar. Abundant, tiny flowers are the key to attracting and sustaining populations of these beneficial garden allies. Alyssum, achillea (yarrow), and flowering herbs like thyme, oregano, dill, fennel, and cilantro that has been allowed to bolt, are all good choices for attracting beneficial insects to organic gardens.
There are nearly 300 types of wasps worldwide. The most common of these include: * Fig wasps - agaonidae * Cuckoo wasps - Chrysididae * Sand wasps (Cicada killer wasp) - Crabronidae * Gall wasps - Cynipidae * Velvet ants - (mutillidae * Fairyflies - Mymaridae * Spider wasps - Pompilidae * Digger wasps - Sphecidae * Flower wasps - Tiphiidae * Honets - Vaspidae * Paper wasps * Pollen wasps * Yellowjackets
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