Study Finds Sweeteners Lead Fire Ants to a Bitter End

red imported fire ant headshot

By Josh Lancette Researchers from China have discovered that some sweeteners can be lethal to the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), a devastating pest found South America, the United States, Australia, Asia, and on many Caribbean islands. In a test, ants that were fed erythritol, aspartame, and saccharin had a mortality rate higher than […]

The Mechanism Matters: How Leaf Removal Kills a Common Grape Pest

pinot gris grapes

By Meredith Swett Walker Humans have been growing grapes for 6,000 to 8,000 years, and along the way we have learned some tricks. The refreshing citrus and mineral notes in your glass of chilled pinot grigio are a product of that accumulated knowledge. In pursuit of the ideal grape, we have learned how to reduce […]

Collection of 1.25 Million Weevils and Planthoppers Donated to Arizona State University

O'Brien insect collection

One of the largest private insect collections in the world is changing hands, and along with it will go an endowment for continued study of the insects it contains. Yesterday, Arizona State University announced that the massive private entomological collection of Charlie and Lois O’Brien, including more than 1 million weevil specimens and 250,000 planthoppers, […]

Unwanted Webs: Integrated Pest Management for Fall Webworms

fall webworms

By Meredith Swett Walker In late summer and fall, extension agents and pest control professionals across North America get a version of this call: “It looks like a gang of hyperactive spiders have set up a commune in my pecan/Bradford pear/cottonwood tree. There are webs everywhere! How do I get rid of them?” More curious […]

Eat This, Not That: Why Mantids Eat Everything But the Gut of Some Caterpillar Prey

mantid with monarch caterpillar

By Leslie Mertz When a Chinese mantid (Tenodera sinensis) grabs a nice, plump monarch caterpillar (Danaus plexippus), it not only “bites into the fleshy bits” but also eventually gnaws deeply enough to rip through the lining of the gut, the contents of which are propelled out of the still-alive larva as it writhes, describes biologist […]