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Category: Research News

Recent entomological research from ESA journals and ESA members

Brown widow spider - Latrodectus geometricus

Do Chestnut, Lemon, or Peppermint Scents Repel Spiders?

In a study on three commonly cited natural spider repellents, both chestnut and peppermint oil showed apparent repellent effects on two species of spider but not on a third. Meanwhile, lemon oil did not have a significant effect on any of the three species included in the study.

blacklegged tick

Why the Variety of Tick Hosts in Your Back Yard Might Be a Good Thing

A new study in Connecticut finds that residential habitats harbor a greater diversity of animal hosts for blacklegged ticks, many of which don't transmit the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi to ticks as well as white-footed mice do, thereby leading to lower levels of the pathogen's presence in residential areas compared to woodland habitats.

Spondylis buprestoides

Domestic Sea Trade Aids Wood-Boring Beetles’ Range Expansion

A study by entomologists in Italy found that the abundance of bark- and wood-boring beetles outside their native range but still within the same country is correlated with levels of trade at nearby sea ports, suggesting domestic sea transportation plays a role in insects' intra-country range expansion.

Anopheles gambiae

Fertilizer Runoff is a Boon to Mosquito Growth

A new study shows that fertilizer present in water where mosquitoes breed can boost growth of bacteria, algae, and fungi, which mosquito larvae feed on, resulting in accelerated larval development and greater survival rates to adulthood.

tettigades cicada

Cicadas Race to Catch Up With Their Evolving Endosymbionts

In cicadas, a world of microbes has evolved to provide them nutrients. Researchers at the University of Montana have discovered that a cicada bacterial endosymbiont, Hodgkinia cicadicola, has split into at least two dozen lineages within cicada cells, in an apparent case of nonadaptive evolution.