Parasites are one of the 3 Ps of biological control: predators, parasites and pathogens. Parasites are creatures that feed on other animals, while they are alive, which serves as the storyline for many a horror movie. It is no wonder parasites have a perception problem when it comes to how they are viewed by the public.

The largest collective group of parasites arguably are wasp and fly species. Ask any kid if those creatures are “good” or “bad,” and there will be little hesitation to say “bad,” showing that our misunderstandings start at a young age.

Jeff Burbrink is an educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. He can be reached at 574-533-0554 or

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