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.
The khapra beetle does outsize damage to stored grains and is a top target at ports and border crossings. Researchers in Canada have found the threshold temperature that will kill the beetle at all life stages, even diapause.
Researchers in China say a protein bait derived from leftover brewer's yeast attracted more spotted-wing drosophila flies than existing attractants in a lab test.
Researchers in Pakistan evaluated the factors that influence venom production in scorpions, with the aim to maximize venom extraction for research and medical uses.
Research in Singapore on katydid florivory could have applications in agriculture or even weed control.
A new study in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America examines how two ant species swim and concludes that bigger is indeed better when it comes to which of them swims fastest.
A 17-year study that monitored for resistance among cat fleas to the insecticide imidacloprid finds no evidence of decreased susceptibility. The study involved researchers in 10 countries, who tested more than 1,800 cat flea egg samples.
Existing baits for yellowjackets require fresh meat as an attractant, but a new study finds that hydrogel makes an adequate substitute, absorbing insecticide and giving a tactile resemblance to meat to effectively bait yellowjackets in the same manner.