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 […]

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. […]

Horn Fly Biocontrol: In Search of Faster Fungus

cattle with horn flies

By Ed Ricciuti Soon after silkworm eggs were smuggled out of China in the 12th Century, northern Italy and France emerged as centers of silk production, an industry almost brought to a standstill in the early 1800s by a mysterious disease that killed the caterpillars on which it depended. Bacteriologist Augustino Bassi determined the disease […]

Entomopathogenic Fungi Can Help to Control Filth Flies

By Josh Lancette Researchers at the University of Florida found that a commercial formulation of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum was effective at reducing house fly and stable fly egg-laying and inhibiting house fly development. Formulations of another fungus called Beauveria bassiana were also found to be effective, albeit less so. Stable flies and house […]

Entomologist Uses Fungus to Manage Bark Beetles

As Arizona and other western states face ongoing drought conditions, the region’s pine forests are becoming more vulnerable to bark beetles, which attack and kill stressed trees, increasing wildfire danger. Dr. Rich Hofstetter, an entomologist at Northern Arizona University, is working with a fungus that kills the beetles. “We have isolated particular strains and are […]