Pennies for Parasitoids: Savings Add Up When Rearing Wasps on Alternate Hosts

Telenomus remus on Spodoptera frugiperda eggs

By Edward Ricciuti Getting more bang for the buck out of mass production is the Holy Grail for manufacturers, whether they are making automobiles, appliances, or natural enemies that can be used as biological control agents against pest insects.  Sometimes, as research in Brazil suggests, the most cost-effective method requires a little tweaking of what […]

Sustainable Entomology: How Insect Scientists Can Protect Our Planet

biological control insect rearing

By Ryan C. Gott, Ph.D. “Living in the now” is passé. We have shifted focus onto benefiting our collective future. This mindset is often manifested in the term “sustainability,” broadly defined as taking thoughtful care in what we do today to avoid negatively impacting future generations. Sustainability is entwined with the environment. Our lives are […]

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 […]

Scientists Use Insects to Control an Invasive Weed

The release of tiny insects to combat an invasive weed is paying off, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Scientists from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service released arundo gall wasps (Tetramesa romana) and arundo scale insects (Rhizaspidiotus donacis) several years ago as part of a biocontrol program to kill a […]