You’ve Got Ants: New 10-Minute Test Kit Detects Red Imported Fire Ants

red imported fire ant

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is an invasive species from South America that is damaging to agriculture and wildlife and known for its painful, venomous sting. That venom, however, is now a promising tool for entomological researchers in fighting back against S. invicta and limiting its spread. Throughout the southeastern United States, shipments […]

A New Psyllid Pest on Ornamental Trees in California

By Surendra K. Dara If California and Florida compete (or collaborate, to be politically correct) for anything of agricultural importance other than strawberries and oranges, it would be the influx of invasive pests. Being major ports of entries for international trade and travel on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, and having ideal environmental conditions — […]

Researchers Raise Maggots on Chicken Blood to Save Darwin’s Finches

By Meredith Swett Walker In 1676, the great scientist Isaac Newton (of gravity fame) wrote a letter to another scientific titan, Robert Hooke (who had coined the biological term “cell”), in which he humbly stated, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Even in using that line he was […]

Tree-killing Hemlock Woolly Adelgids Hitch Rides on Birds

By Meredith Swett Walker At first glance, you might not think these little bits of fluff could pose much of a threat. But, like Star Trek’s troublesome tribbles, hemlock woolly adelgids (Adelges tsugae) can quickly multiply and wreak havoc. When these tiny sap-sucking insects were introduced to the forests of the Northeastern United States, they […]

Destructive Beet Flea Beetle Intercepted in Baltimore

A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) entomologist confirmed Wednesday that agriculture specialists from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Port of Baltimore made a first-in-nation pest discovery when they intercepted a live insect known as Chaetocnema breviuscula (Chrysomelidae), a beet flea beetle, while inspecting ceramic tile from Italy. This jumping beetle chews […]