Skip to content

Category: Research News

Recent entomological research from ESA journals and ESA members

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s an Ecological Field Study!

In a recent study in Germany, targeted delivery of insecticides by unmanned aerial vehicles was effective against oak processionary moths. Researchers say such drones are suitable for aerial spraying during field studies and may open new doors for "precision forestry."

Culex pipiens

West Nile Virus: Reflections on 20 Years in Pursuit of an Elusive Foe

The body of knowledge built since the arrival of West Nile virus in the Americas in 1999 is now powering efforts to minimize its impact and prepare for the invasion of other mosquito-borne diseases. A new special collection in the Journal of Medical Entomology takes stock of lessons learned and progress made over the past 20 years of West Nile virus research, surveillance, and control.

Japanese beetle traps

For Less Bee Bycatch, Leave Geraniol Out of Japanese Beetle Traps

New research shows traps with eugenol and phenethyl propionate—and leaving out geraniol—remain effective in catching Japanese beetles but significantly reduce bycatch of native bees. Plus, entirely green, brown, black, or red traps are least attractive to native bees.

pecan nut casebearer - Acrobasis nuxvorella

Pecan Nut Casebearer: New Guide Provides IPM Options

Pecan is one of the few plants native to North America that is now an important horticultural crop. One of its most significant pests, however, is the pecan nut casebearer. A new guide in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management profiles the pecan nut casebearer and outlines management methods for it.

millet field

Millet Production Is On the Rise, and So Are the Pests That Eat It

Millet is a staple crop in Africa and Asia and increasingly common elsewhere, as demand for whole-grain products continues to rise. At least 150 insect species are known to feed on millet, and a new profile in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management highlights the biology and management options for several of the most significant ones.

Japanese barberry

Impact of Invasive Japanese Barberry Cascades Through Local Food Webs

Dense thickets of invasive Japanese barberry significantly reduce the diversity and numbers of insects and arthropods in forests, according to new research. The ripple effects can extend upward throughout local ecosystems, even affecting human health via an increased presence of Lyme disease.

Japanese beetle on hemp

IPM in Hemp: Managing Pests in a “New” Crop

With hemp recently legalized for commercial production in the United States, growers are in need of integrated pest management (IPM) guidance. A new profile in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management offers a current synopsis of existing research on insect and arthropod pests of hemp and notes where future research is needed.

Schistocerca cancellata locust - gregarious phase

Swarm Shift: How Locusts Switch Phases When Numbers Swell

After swarms of the South American locust Schistocerca cancellata reappeared in 2015 for the first time in 60 years, a study on what drives their swarm behavior finds the insects' population density acts as a trigger for a slew of biological and behavioral changes at the individual level.

blacklegged tick - Ixodes scapularis

Soil Ecology: Critical But Understudied in the Fight Against Ticks

In many tick species, more than three-quarters of their lives are spent off-host in the soil or among the leaf litter. A research team at Cornell University highlights an important opportunity for tick researchers and soil ecologists to collaborate to better understand what happens when the ticks aren't in contact with hosts.

tracking tagged mice

Bad Roommates: Study Tracks Mice to Nests, Finds Ticks Aplenty

In the first field study of its kind, researchers confirmed Peromyscus mouse nests as understudied habitats for ticks, including blacklegged ticks and American dog ticks. Researchers are hoping to better understand the role of mouse-tick interactions within nests in the spread of tick-borne disease.

Mexican fruit fly - Anastrepha ludens

For Mass-Rearing Sterile Fruit Flies, Fewer Males Means More Efficient Mating

Sometimes, less is more. Case in point: the mass-rearing program that produces millions of sterile Mexican fruit flies (Anastrepha ludens) for managing wild populations. Scientists refining the effort find that a lower ratio of males to females in mating cages leads to higher fecundity and fertility in the females—and higher cost-effectiveness for the operation.

Heriades bee on Erigeron speciosus

Wildflower Strips Bring Farmers Extra Money While Helping Native Bees

Planting strips of wildflowers next to crops is a boon for native bees, but few farms adopt the practice. A new study, however, shows farmers can turn an immediate profit by selling wildflower seeds retail, while the long-term benefits of increased pollination and crop yields materialize over time.

western conifer-seed bug - Leptoglossus occidentalis

Not a Kissing Bug: Invasive Western Conifer-Seed Bug Causes Undue Alarm

As the western conifer-seed bug has arrived in South America, its resemblance to kissing bugs has caused a stir, as members of the public have readily mistaken the two. Researchers in Chile recommend accessible identification keys and educational materials to better inform both health professionals and the public.