Scientists Track Mosquitoes that Transmit Zika and Dengue by County


By Harvey Black As mosquito-borne diseases that were once rare or unseen in the United States are making their presence known in the country, a team of researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Colorado State University is calling for greater efforts to systematically map the presence of the vectors carrying these […]

New Trap Proves Effective Against the Mosquito that Transmits Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya


By Harvey Black As concern and controversy swirl about the Zika virus, Argentinian researchers have developed a new trap that can be used to effectively monitor and control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the primary transmitter of Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The trap is described in the Journal of Medical Entomology. The […]

Good News for the Western Bumble Bee, Bombus occidentalis


By Harvey Black Bombus occidentalis used to be the most common bumble bee species in the Pacific Northwest, but in the mid 1990s it became one of the rarest. The reason or reasons for the species decline remain unsolved, but one possibility points to a fungal pathogen known as Nosema bombi. Whatever the causes were […]

Higher Temperatures Impair Efficacy of Permethrin Insecticide


By Harvey Black The effectiveness of an important mosquito-fighting insecticide may be a casualty of global climate change, according to a recent study in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Two researchers from Montana State University, graduate student Shavonn Whiten and Dr. Robert Peterson, have shown that permethrin becomes less effective at killing the yellowfever mosquito […]

Aedes japonicus Mosquitoes Found in Western Canada


By Harvey Black Earlier this year, researchers discovered that Aedes japonicus mosquitoes in southwestern Virginia were capable of carrying La Crosse encephalitis, the leading cause of arboviral encephalitis in children. Now some Canadian entomologists have reported the first appearance of this invasive, disease-carrying mosquito in western Canada. Members of the species were found in a […]

New Flea Genus and Species Found in 20-million-year-old Amber


By Harvey Black Dr. George Poinar, Jr., an entomologist from Oregon State University, has found a fossilized flea the like of which he has never seen. Its basic characteristics are so strange, he says, that it deserves its own genus. And in fact, the name of the genus he has applied to the insect, Atopopsyllus, […]

Irradiation Can Be an Alternative to Fumigation


By Harvey Black USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist Peter Follett has been working for nearly 20 years to develop and expand the use of ionizing radiation to control insects that infest a range of agricultural commodities so that Hawaii can safely send these products to the U.S. mainland and export them to foreign countries. Hawaii […]

IPM Strategies to Fight the Colorado Potato Beetle


By Harvey Black As the effectiveness of the primary chemical weapon against the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) starts to wane, new ways to manage this pest are needed where potatoes are intensively grown, according to an article in the the Journal of Integrated Pest Management. The beetle is a major problem in areas such […]

Black Soldier Flies as Recyclers of Waste and Possible Livestock Feed


By Harvey Black If black soldier fly larvae could enter competitive eating contests, they would excel, especially when it comes to eating nasty stuff that we don’t want around or wouldn’t think of eating ourselves. Then, after the larvae had eaten, they could be recycled as feed for livestock, although the U.S. Food and Drug […]

Predatory Wasp and Giant Walkingstick Among Top New Species for 2015


By Harvey Black A nasty wasp and a giant walkingstick have been named to the annual Top 10 New Species for 2015. The list is compiled by taxonomic specialists under the auspices of the International Institute of Species Exploration of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry of the State University of New York. The […]