Fallen Fruit Breeds Invasive Flies

spotted-wing drosophila closeup

By Andrew Porterfield The spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) made its way from Asia to Hawaii benignly enough: Its Hawaii arrival was discovered in 1980 but didn’t trigger aggressive attempts to eradicate it. The fruit fly’s 2008 North American arrival in Santa Cruz, California, however, ushered in a far more destructive era for the fly—it’s now […]

Listening to Larvae: How Acoustics Can Measure Efficacy of Palm Weevil Management

red palm weevil larva

By Andrew Porterfield The red palm weevil (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus) is a common pest of palm trees in subtropical regions of the globe (and, for a brief time, in the United States). Working unseen and deep inside the palm trunk, the weevil larvae tunnel and feed, eventually killing the palm. Working around the weevil’s penchant for […]

How Salt, a Coffee Filter, and a Microscope Could Aid in Managing Spotted-Wing Drosophila

filter method for finding spotted-wing drosophila

By Andrew Porterfield The red-eyed, spotted fly first appeared in the United States in strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry crops in Santa Cruz County, California, in 2008. Then the Southeast Asian invader Drosophila suzukii began showing up in crops in other areas of coastal California, eventually making its way to the far Pacific Northwest and then […]

Building a Better Light Trap: Study Finds Specific Light Waves Attract Anopheline Mosquitoes

mosquito light trap

By Andrew Porterfield For more than 50 years, the light trap—an incandescent light source attached to an insect collector—has been the standard for sampling potentially disease-carrying mosquitos. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other insect control agencies and organizations worldwide have used the light-bulb trap apparatus to attract and count a wide […]

Common Corn Pest Presents Major Challenge to Bt Crops

fall armyworm

By Andrew Porterfield The fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) is a major corn pest in South America, known to devour corn crops from Argentina to the Southeastern United States. Farmers have typically battled the worm’s infestation with chemical insecticides, but they have been met (unsurprisingly) with resistant insects. Transgenic corn raised to express Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) […]