Larval mites, known as “chiggers,” from the family Trombiculidae are vectors of the bacteria that causes scrub typhus. The infection has been implicated as a common cause of acute encephalitis syndrome in India, where public health professionals are looking to better understand the variety of mite species present on rodents and their rates of infection.
Solitary bees face different—and less well-understood—challenges from pesticide exposure than their colony-dwelling honey bee cousins. A pair of entomologists encourage colleagues to dedicate more research to these important pollinators.
Insects have evolved a variety of mechanisms to try to overcome the effects of insecticides—including, in some cases, help from the bacteria and other microbes living in insects' guts. A growing number of studies indicate a link between symbiotic microbes and insecticide resistance in a diverse range of insects.
Researchers in Argentina compared mathematical models of head lice transmission with analysis of infestations in school children and found that head lice infestations across a classroom likely require at least one severely infested child serving as a "superspreader."
A study of lone star ticks in the forested Missouri Ozarks found that nymphs and adults were more abundant in valleys and on north-facing hills than in other areas. Meanwhile, nymphs appeared less often in the areas of greater temperature variability, while adults were less prevalent with increased elevation.
To estimate the catch rate of traps for invasive spotted-wing drosophila fruit flies in tart cherry orchards, researchers at Michigan State University first marked thousands of flies with fluorescent dust and released them. Then they counted the recaptured flies under ultraviolet light.
A study in Brazil finds that a common fungicide can impair the oxygen consumption and silk production of silkworms if applied to their preferred food source, mulberry leaves.
Despite its large size, often bold coloration, and ostentatious defensive behaviors, the eastern lubber grasshopper is harmless to humans and is only rarely a pest of concern to plants.
Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique scratch-off cards offer a low-tech (and low-budget) option for evaluation of participant knowledge and learning in entomology extension programs.
A new study of 40 years' worth of data from the mid-Atlantic region of the United States finds that widespread adoption of insect-resistant Bt corn has reduced pest damage and the need for insecticide applications in offsite, non-Bt crops such as pepper, green beans, and sweet corn, as well.
After a 100-year flood struck south central Oklahoma in 2015, a study of the insects, arthropods, and other invertebrates in the area revealed striking declines of most invertebrates in the local ecosystem, a result that researchers say illustrates the hidden impacts of natural disasters.
To manage pest infestations in greenhouses, banker plants draw in different insect species that don’t feed on the main crop but do serve as hosts for predator insects that will also attack the pest on the main crop—a useful (and green) tool for integrated pest management.
A recent study at the University of Florida found that termites baited with an insecticide known as a chitin synthesis inhibitor will still follow their natural compulsion to return to their central nest to molt, an important factor in the efficacy of such baits.
The allium leafminer damages crops such as onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks through larval feeding and adult egg-laying in plant tissue. Native to Europe, the invasive species was first discovered in North America in December 2015 in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
A study in Quebec highlights the value of reporting tick bites and submitting tick specimens to public health agencies. Such "passive surveillance" outpaces field collection of ticks in identifying areas of emerging risk for Lyme disease.
When Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., joined Penn State University's entomology extension program in 2017, it wasn't long before he had a mystery on his hands: A wasp specimen from an infestation of a residence that appeared to be of a genus not previously known to invade homes in North America.
A wide variety of insects (such as mosquitoes, shown here) are raised in the laboratory. A new review of research on lab-reared insects shows that they evolve rapidly as they progress through generations raised in artificial environments.