Fossilized Tick Provides Evidence that Lyme Disease is Millions of Years Older than Humans


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. each year. The stealthy, often misdiagnosed disease was discovered nearly 40 years ago in a town called Lyme, Connecticut, which is how it got its name. However, newly discovered fossilized ticks show that the bacteria […]

Zinc-hardened Drill Bits Allow Parasitic Fig Wasps to Bore Holes to Lay Eggs


One of the main goals in the life of a female insect is to find the best place to lay her eggs. For one particular fig wasp (Apocryta westwoodi grandi), this involves boring through a tough, unripened fig with her immensely long ovipositor in order to find the larvae of other insects that are already […]

How to Keep Honey Bees from Nesting in your Home


By Derek Roach Mid-March until the beginning of July is considered to be the typical bee-swarming season in the United States. During this season, honey bees begin to collect pollen to feed on and to store for the upcoming winter season. At this point, the population of the hive is abundant due to the queen […]

Tiny, Black Lady Beetles Released Against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Maine


The Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is a small, aphid-like insect that is covered with white, waxy wool-like material. This insect, which came from Japan in the 1950s, causes deterioration of infested trees, including loss of needles, crown thinning, and tree death. Over the coming weeks, entomologists at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry […]

This Memorial Day, We Salute the Military Entomologists


Historically, more soldiers have died from insects than from bombs or bullets. In the early 1800s, tens of thousands of French soldiers died from yellow fever — which is vectored by mosquitoes — while trying to put down a rebellion in Haiti. “A man cannot work hard here without risking his life and it is […]

Two Thrips for Possible Biological Control of Brazilian Peppertree


The invasive Brazilian peppertree has supplanted critical habitat for many organisms. In Florida, the peppertree has infested nearly 700,000 acres and has been particularly abundant in the Everglades. In general, the trees take over space where native plants should be. Animals such as white-tailed deer, the Florida panther, and migratory birds that depend on native […]

Videos Show Lake Flies Swarming in Wisconsin


A number of media outlets have reported huge swarms of lake flies on Wisconsin’s Lake Winnebago. Cynthia Mueller, a naturalist at High Cliff State Park, told USA Today that she hasn’t seen these kinds of numbers in years. This video, which shows an incredibly large number of flies above and around the water, seems to […]

New Praying Mantis from Rwanda Hunts like a Tiger


Scientists have discovered a new species of praying mantis in Rwanda’s mountainous Nyungwe National Park, and have described it in the journal ZooKeys. Like all praying mantises, the new species is a vicious hunter. The wingless females are adapted for catching prey close to the ground and in undergrowth — similar to the hunting practices […]

Researchers Use Flight Mills to Determine how Invasive Beetle Came to California


The goldspotted oak borer (Agrilus auroguttatus Schaeffer) is an invasive, wood-boring jewel beetle from southern Arizona that has caused considerable damage to native oak species in southern California. However, scientists have been unsure about how it spread from Arizona to California — was it accidentally transported by humans, or did it get there on its […]

Baltimore CBP Agents Stop Invasive Chinese Moth at Seaport


In December, 2013 we reported that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) intercepted an ant from Italy while inspecting a shipment of ceramic tiles in Baltimore. Now the U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed that the same CBP office recently made a first-in-the-nation pest discovery when they intercepted a moth, Nemapogon gersimovi, while inspecting […]