Braconid wasps are beneficial parasitic wasps within the larger superfamily of Ichneumoidae. They are very small - up to 6 mm or 1/4 inch long. Larval forms can be very effective parasites of garden pests, including various aphids, and caterpillar forms of many moths and butterflies.
Adults require the nectar of small flowering plants, as well as moisture and protection from the elements. These requirements are covered in more detail in our general information on beneficial wasps.
Two groups of braconids are especially useful, and available commercially: various Aphidius species, which prey on aphids, and Cotesia, used against armyworms, cabbage worms, cutworms, earworms, loopers, hornworms, and webworms, among others.
Note that parasitic wasps are easily killed by insecticides, though they typically work well when used together with other biological controls.
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