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Category: Research News

Recent entomological research from ESA journals and ESA members

Haemaphysalis longicornis

Invasive Tick Persists in New Jersey

Officials in New Jersey report that the invasive tick Haemaphysalis longicornis has successfully overwintered and was found once again on a rural property in mid-April 2018, after an infestation was reported there in 2017, the first such appearance of the species within North American borders.

eastern larch beetle

Eastern Larch Beetle Outbreak Just Keeps Going When Winter’s Not So Cold

The current outbreak of eastern larch beetle in northern Minnesota is going into its 18th year, and researchers have found that at least some eastern larch beetles are able to reach maturity without requiring an overwintering period. In short, warmer winters mean eastern larch beetle is killing trees faster than it can be managed.

chigger mite

Mites Emerge as Key Vector in Encephalitis Outbreaks in India

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.

Bactrocera dorsalis

Gut Microbes Can Help Insects Beat Pesticides

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.

lone star tick - Amblyomma americanum

Landscape Terrain Provides New Angle for Measuring Tick Abundance

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.

Male SWD marked blue

Study Shines a (Fluorescent) Light on Invasive Fruit Fly Trapping

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.

Pepper with European corn borer larva

Bt Corn Adoption Benefits Other Crops, Too

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.

Flood at University of Oklahoma Biological Station

After a Flood, How Do Insects and Other Invertebrates Recover?

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.

banker plants for aphid control

Got Aphids? Call in the Reinforcements With Banker Plants

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.