Texas Leafcutting Ant: A Southern Pest That Could Move North

texas leafcutting ant

By Josh Lancette While the term “leafcutting ants” might bring to mind colorful shots in nature documentaries of highways of ants carrying green leaves through tropical forests, the reality of these ants isn’t always so picturesque. For example, the Texas leafcutting ant (Atta texana), is a major pest of pine plantations in Texas and Louisiana […]

Study Finds Native North American Mosquito Can Transmit Zika

Aedes vexans

By Josh Lancette A new study from researchers at the University of North Dakota found that Aedes vexans, a mosquito species indigenous to North America, has the capability to transmit Zika. This is the first native North American mosquito species shown to be able to transmit the virus. The results are published today in the […]

Study Finds Many Bt Corn Growers Aren’t Planting Refuge Crops

european corn borer

By Josh Lancette A new study from North Carolina found that corn growers in the state are not planting as much refuge crop as needed, potentially leading to increased insect resistance to Bt corn. Published in March in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management, the study also found that current methods for extension professionals to […]

Study Finds Bees Can Have Their Wildflowers and Almonds, Too

wildflowers by almond orchard

By Josh Lancette New research published this week in the journal Environmental Entomology shows that planting wildflowers next to almond orchards does not cause fewer honey bees to visit the orchard. This finding is important because it shows wildflower plantings can help keep bee populations healthy while also not harming almond crops. “Establishing flowering field-edge […]

Study Finds Sweeteners Lead Fire Ants to a Bitter End

red imported fire ant headshot

By Josh Lancette Researchers from China have discovered that some sweeteners can be lethal to the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), a devastating pest found South America, the United States, Australia, Asia, and on many Caribbean islands. In a test, ants that were fed erythritol, aspartame, and saccharin had a mortality rate higher than […]