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) […]

Beauveria Endophytes Can Curb Grasshopper Pests

Beauveria bassiana effect on insects

By Andrew Porterfield Grasshopper species, including Dichroplus maculipennis, are common insect pests. They have been known to cause widespread damage to crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat, by devouring the leaves and stems of targeted plants. The only means of controlling D. maculipennis so far is with chemical pesticides, which can have environmental consequences. […]

Well-Fed, Older Asian Longhorned Beetles Fly Farther, May Require New Quarantine Zones

Asian longhorned beetle

By Andrew Porterfield The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) has been an invasive pest in North America since 1996, when it arrived from China and Korea, probably through infested wood-packing material. Today, it’s been detected in the northeast United States, Canada, and Europe and at nearly every port in the U.S. Since its arrival, the […]

Setting a Baseline: A Clearer View of Mosquito Resistance to Insecticides

Culex pipiens

By Andrew Porterfield Mosquito control professionals have made significant gains toward managing malaria worldwide, as well as defending against West Nile virus, chikungunya, dengue, St. Louis encephalitis, and, more recently, Zika. However, mosquito resistance to existing insecticides also has been making gains. According to the World Health Organization, 60 countries have reported some mosquito resistance […]

Sulfoxaflor Found to Be Less Harmful to Beneficial Predators of Soybean Aphids

By Andrew Porterfield A new study from the University of Minnesota has found that the selective insecticide sulfoxaflor is just as effective at controlling soybean aphids (Aphis glycines) as broad-spectrum insecticides, without causing significant harm to some beneficial predators of the aphid. The new study by Anh Tran, Tavvs Alves, and Robert Koch, published in […]