Prairie dogs in the western U.S. can carry the bacterium that causes bubonic plague, and their fleas play a primary role in spreading it among prairie dogs and to other animals. A group of scientists say insect-pathogenic fungi that target those fleas could be a useful tool in interrupting that transmission route.
Sometimes, an invasive species is a good thing. The discovery of a species of lacewing, Chrysoperla zastrowi, established in arid regions of the U.S. and Central America offers potential for biological control of aphids, mites, and other crop pests in those locales.
In Nepal, the gall-inducing eupatorium gall fly (Procecidochares utilis) is deployed as a biological control agent against the invasive weed Ageratina adenophora. A new study by researchers at Tribhuvan University and the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Integrated Pest Management shows size and abundance of galls induced by the fly are influenced by elevation, knowledge that can help in fine-tuning P. utilis-based biocontrol efforts.
In a new special collection on trap and cover crops in integrated pest management, experts review the latest research on various habitat-management methods and their applications in both deterring pest populations and fostering natural enemies of crop pests.
The fall armyworm's impact on maize earns plenty of attention, but it is in fact polyphagous. Sorghum, a key cereal crop in Africa, is also vulnerable to the pest's damage, and researchers are working on biocontrol and other integrated pest management methods in hopes of containing the fall armyworm's impact around the world.