Identifying the species of blow flies that colonize a corpse is a critical step in forensic entomology investigations, but it typically requires rearing collected fly larvae to adults first. However, a new "real time" method for conducting mass spectrometry could allow maggot specimens to be analyzed and identified in a matter of minutes—even up to six species at a time from the same sample.
A food-grade gum substance shows promise as a new tool for managing the invasive spotted-wing drosophila. The flies don't get stuck, but the scent interferes with their reproductive behavior, and the gum can last up to three weeks in the field.
When fly larvae are collected from a corpse at a crime scene, they still need to eat so they can be raised to adulthood and identified to species. A new study says a simple can of tuna could be an easy and cost-effective solution for keeping the larvae alive until a forensic entomologist can conduct analysis.
Sudden cold waves may be lethal to overwintering larvae of two parasitoid wasp species used for biological control of emerald ash borer, while the borer larvae appear to more easily weather the extreme cold.
An experiment with four-sided nest boxes for alfalfa leafcutting bees showed small variations in environmental conditions from one nest-cavity location to another make a big difference in the bees' nesting preferences and number of offspring.
A new study shows how stress to soybean crops caused by the soybean aphid can be detected remotely by drone-based multispectral imagery.
Invasive spotted lanternfly threatens numerous crops and trees in North America. A new paper may help pest managers control it.
Dense thickets of invasive Japanese barberry significantly reduce the diversity and numbers of insects and arthropods in forests, according to new research. The ripple effects can extend upward throughout local ecosystems, even affecting human health via an increased presence of Lyme disease.
After swarms of the South American locust Schistocerca cancellata reappeared in 2015 for the first time in 60 years, a study on what drives their swarm behavior finds the insects' population density acts as a trigger for a slew of biological and behavioral changes at the individual level.
The rise in popularity of mandarin oranges has outpaced knowledge of how integrated pest management (IPM) for them might differ from that of larger oranges. New research combines field study with years of data from citrus groves and shows that mandarins stand up surprisingly well to insect pests.
Tracking the movements of the diminutive pests is a challenge, but a new study shows that DNA analysis of psyllid gut contents can reveal what plants psyllids have fed on, thereby pinpointing the non-crop "whistle stops" psyllids make before infesting crop fields.
Carrot weevil (Listronotus oregonensis) is a pest of carrots as well as parsley and celery. A new profile in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management gathers a variety of IPM methods for fending off carrot weevil and highlights where research is needed to better understand its biology and behavior.
Yellowjackets are nuisance predators of honey bees, preying on them and pillaging their honey. But bees fight back, and healthy hives are rarely at risk. Learn more about yellowjackets, their interactions with bees, and what sets yellowjackets apart from hornets and other fellow wasps.
The mosquito species Toxorhynchites rutilus is harmless to humans but is a voracious predator of other mosquitoes. Researchers in Houston, Texas, are hoping the "mosquito assassin" could be put into action as a tool for controlling mosquitoes that carry human pathogens—if they can find an efficient way to raise the predator mosquitoes in the lab.
Yellow mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) have long been produced as fish bait and pet food, but their use as animal feed and even food for people is growing. Researchers are working to fine-tune methods to improve the quantity and quality of mass-reared mealworms.
Hunting cicadas and lugging them back to a nest is hard work for a cicada-killer wasp. But sometimes all that hard work goes to waste, when a fellow wasp swoops in and lays her egg on the other wasp's prey. And that's if the cicada isn't stolen by a bird first.