UV Light Best for Luring Cigarette and Drugstore Beetles

cigarette beetle

By Edward Ricciuti Their common names—cigarette beetle and drugstore beetle—only hint at the amazingly eclectic and destructive diet of two related insects, which can wreak havoc on products stored in home pantries, warehouses, businesses, and even museums and libraries. New research by scientists at Hamamatsu University and Okayama University in Japan documents that LED ultraviolet […]

Researchers Develop Improved Lab-Testing System for Mosquito Repellents

A&K bioassay system mosquito repellent testing

By Edward Ricciuti Among the processes by which researchers gauge the effectiveness of a mosquito repellent is one that depends on convincing a volunteer to shove an arm treated with the compound into a box and let the little bloodsuckers have a go at it. The system works well enough but, like all such assays, […]

Unique Relationship Between Joshua Tree and Moth Documented for First Time

yucca moth oviposition

By Edward Ricciuti Rubbing elbows with UFO buffs snooping about the perimeter of nearby Area 51, scientists have set up shop in the Nevada desert near the town of Rachel, “UFO Capital of the World,” seeking to solve a mystery surrounding life right here on Earth: How did it become so incredibly diverse? Camped out […]

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 […]

Counting Horn Flies: No Easy Task, Whether In Person or In a Photo

horn fly

By Ed Ricciuti If your job is counting horn flies, a twitch of a cow’s hide can go a long way toward ruining your day. OK, perhaps that is a stretch, but it accurately describes a problem facing pest control managers who must manage a blood-sucking parasite that costs the cattle industry $1 billion a […]