Almond wasp: what it is, symptoms and treatment

If you have almond trees in your garden, or have a plantation of them, pests are something you don’t want to come near. More specifically one of them the almond wasp. Do you know her? Do you know how lethal it can be?

Discover below all the characteristics of this pest as well as the symptoms and solutions that can be given to control it. Shall we start?

How is the almond wasp

almond insect Fuente_Minuta Agropecuaria

Source_Agricultural Minute

The first thing you should know about the almond wasp is that, a few years ago, it did not exist in Spain. In fact, the first time it was located was in 2010 in Albacete. And with the passage of time it has been distributed throughout the country.

Its scientific name is Eurytoma amygdali Enderlein, and it is a hymenopteran. It is a wasp but with a completely black body. They measure about four and six mm in the case of males, and between seven or eight in females. In addition, they have a very short life, but they can do a lot of damage in that short period of time.

During that time, it is capable of consuming not only the outside of the almond tree, but also the inside. In fact, it lays its eggs in the fruits so that, when they hatch, the larvae can break the shell of the almond and thus feed on what is inside. Speaking of the eggs, you should know that they measure between 0.3 and 0.4 mm, smooth in appearance and white in color. What is inside are caterpillar larvae that can measure about ten mm. They are grayish white in color and have no legs.

Almond Wasp Life Cycle

The life cycle of this pest is more or less one year, or even two if we talk about a temperate climate. Before we had told you about the wasp larva, how it comes out, pierces the almond and feeds on its pulp. This occurs during summer and winter, in such a way that, when winter ends, the caterpillars become pupae, and by spring-summer they will be adults.

It is at that moment when they leave the almond and begin to look for their partner and lay eggs so that the cycle begins.

The females are capable of laying between fifty and one hundred eggs, normally one or two eggs per kernel, and these they only take ten or twenty days to come out.

What symptoms does the wasp cause from the almond tree to the tree?

almond tree

If you have almond trees and you are worried that this pest could make its own, know that there are several symptoms to take into account:

  • Empty almonds: not only that they are empty, but also that they are smaller than normal, that they have a brown color… In fact, since they do not fall from the tree, it is common for them to turn black during the winter. But if in spring you see that it also has a hole, there is no doubt that there is a danger of these wasps there.
  • A nivel visual: that is, that you see many wasps around the tree, or by the fruits. Because that can make you understand that something is wrong (and if you also see them closely and identify them as an almond wasp, you will no longer have any doubts).

The biggest symptom is going to be the almonds. In fact, when they are collected, it is advisable to check each and every one of them to see if they have some kind of hole or white spot to discard immediately because it most likely has a larva. In fact, can be opened to search for it. They must be burned so that it does not reach its adult stage and thus minimize the plague.

what does this pest do

Larva Source_Phytoma


As we told you before, The almond wasp is capable of feeding and killing the tree both inside and out. But the normal thing is that it only affects the fruits. Now, it implies the loss of the harvest.

This can suppose a great economic loss to those who dedicate themselves to the cultivation of the almond tree. In the case of a garden, the appearance of this pest can leave you without almonds for your own consumption. But you also face a bigger problem: having wasps at home. With children or even pets it becomes a danger.

In general, the almond tree would be fine, because it would not affect your health, although it can cause problems and make it start to give less almonds or have more weaknesses against other pests.

What to do against this plague

If you have confirmed that you have an almond wasp, it is time to get down to work, and it must be done as soon as possible so that it does not damage the tree itself.

There are several measures you can take. Among them, the following:

  • Eliminate infected fruits. This is not easy but it could be done to prevent these larvae from reaching the end and can cause the pest to be present for a long time. The best thing with them is that you burn them. Bearing in mind that almonds can be harvested at the end of summer or early autumn, detecting them in time will reduce the pest itself.
  • Use chemical treatments. The problem is that these are only effective on the adult plague, it does not affect the larvae, hence it is almost used as a prevention. There are several treatments, many of them recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. You will only have to take a look to know which ones would be the most effective.
  • Set traps. These will allow you to catch the almond wasps and thus be able to get rid of them so that they do not lay eggs in the trees. These can be bought, but also made at home and will help you eliminate the plague. They are based on applying insecticides or contact treatments that would kill that wasp in seconds.

Now that you have more information about the almond wasp, you can be more aware that it does not approach your almond tree. Especially since it is very dangerous for your health.

Almond wasp: what it is, symptoms and treatment

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