- Author: Maria Murrietta
- Contributor: Dr. David Headrick
Next time you're on Higuera St. in downtown SLO, look up.
Cal Poly entomology professor, Dr. David Headrick, is taking biological control to new heights!
Here's his story:
An invasive whitefly pest is attacking our giant fig trees in downtown SLO. I got a call to help out, so we started a proof of concept experiment to release microscopic stingless parasitoid wasps that lay eggs in whiteflies. Then, their young hatch out and eat them. If these wasps do the job, we can release lots more to get control. First step is to try them out in cages on the trees. I hope this raises some awareness. I like elevating people's knowledge about biological control. It's uplifting. Raising to the occasion. (Btw, can't lie, it's totally cool being in a bucket up in a tree.)
A big thank you to Dr. Headrick for keeping us informed and entertained. We'll be checking in with him again soon so stay tuned for updates! Also thank you to Crystal Kirkland for helping with photos and keeping track of all the findings.
To see more photos of his downtown adventure, check out our Facebook page - SLO MGs