Vampire Moths Suck the Blood of Vertebrates, Including Humans

By Kevin Fitzgerald Vampirism — piercing or cutting animal skin to suck or lap up blood — is known throughout the animal kingdom. Mosquitoes come to mind, plus ticks, mites, vampire bats, and the vampire finch of the Galapagos Islands. But … vampire moths? Yes indeed, there are moths that feed on the blood of […]

Study Compares “Natural” Mosquito Repellents to DEET

By Josh Lancette Every summer while preparing for long weekends at our family cabin in the north woods of Minnesota, we’d face the same dilemmas. What food should we bring? Is SPF 50 sunscreen enough protection? And, most importantly, which mosquito repellent should we buy? If we picked the wrong kind, we’d be opening ourselves […]

New Technique May Help Farmers Identify the European Corn Borer

By Ed Ricciuti Farmers who need to control the destructive European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) may soon be able to distinguish it from look-alike species by simply scanning an image of its wing into a computer and pecking a few keys. A technique developed by Polish scientists marks the first time that measurements of key […]

Male Mosquitoes Lured to Traps by Sounds of Female Wing-beats

By Ed Ricciuti Like mariners lured on to the rocks by the siren songs of legend, male mosquitoes have been found to zero in on inexpensive traps that broadcast sound that is similar in frequency to the sound that is produced by the wing-beats of female mosquitoes — a discovery that may lead to better […]

Natural Born Stink Bug Killer Found in Washington State

Since 2007, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been directing studies of a tiny Asian wasp called Trissolcus japonicus. These wasps are parasitoids of the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), which has caused millions of dollars in damage to fruit orchards since it was discovered in the U.S. less than two decades ago. Researchers […]