In a quiet field of abandoned blueberries and shrubby brush in south Georgia, Cera Jones released hundreds of tiny parasitic wasps into the thicket and watched them fly away, following their natural instinct to search for a host to incubate their predatory progeny.

Jones manages the University of Georgia Small Fruit Entomology Lab under the direction of Associate Professor Ash Sial. This spring, the lab was one of a handful of select institutions in the nation to receive a permit for raising and releasing Ganaspis brasiliensis, a parasitoid wasp of the most destructive insect pest in the small fruit industry, the spotted wing drosophila (SWD), or Drosophila suzukii.

Trending Videos