Pest Eggs and an Easter Surprise

House fly sitting on chicken eggTo celebrate Easter I thought an exploration of ant, fly and wasp eggs would make an interesting blog.

Most pests are prolific breeders, making it a constant battle to keep the population in check. Of all pests flies are one of the greatest egg-layers. A female can lay 400-600 eggs in decaying matter or faeces, which is precisely why they are so much of a pest in zoo’s – there’s a lot of poo in a zoo.

Rentokil recently ran a fly killing trial at Edinburgh Zoo which was reported in New Scientist. The aim was to rid the chimpanzees of irritating houseflies. Parasitic wasps were introduced to their enclosure which infested and destroyed fly pupae. When the pupae is gone, the wasps die out too. The tiny 2mm wasps are largely unnoticed by visitors and present no threat to humans, unlike larger social wasps which can sting and generally be a nuisance, particularly at a picnic.

Parasitic Wasps

Hornworm invaded by Braconid wasp

This incredible picture is of a hornworm invaded by a Braconid wasp. The wasp injects the egg into the caterpillar. The larvae hatch and spins a cocoon on the back of the host.

I recently blogged about what happens inside a wasps nest and pondered if wasp larvae could be the new caviar? The queen wasp will be laying her eggs from now right through to the end of the season.

Ant Eggs

Ant and egg on the move

The ant season has also started. Ants are very good at protecting their eggs and if they sense the nest is under threat they will move the eggs to a safe place. Once the colony has established itself, the queen ant will lay eggs continuously. Ant eggs are tiny at approximately 0.5 mm in diameter and are kidney shaped. They have a smooth sticky surface which enables them to bond together in a mass which aids adult ants to move them about more quickly, in case of emergencies for example; it is easier and quicker to carry many eggs in one go rather than having to pick each individual egg.

What’s Inside the Egg?

And finally, this is not a pest egg but a chicken egg –  it’s a great video by  and I though I would share it with you.  There’s a surprise inside the egg – can you guess what it is? Happy Easter!

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