Do You Know the Harlequin Bug’s Favorite Color?

harlequin bug

By Josh Lancette Ever wondered what a harlequin bug’s favorite color is? Some researchers from Virginia Tech and the USDA-Agricultural Research Service now have an answer. To help improve trapping of the harlequin bug (Murgantia histrionica), a pest of crops in the genus Brassica (such as cauliflower, broccoli, turnips, mustard, and cabbage) and a member […]

Search Continues for Methods to Control Fungus-Farming Beetle in SoCal Trees

polyphagous shot hole borer side view

By Meredith Swett Walker A spate of tree deaths in California has arborists, park managers, and home owners alarmed. Keen-eyed tree caretakers might notice a cluster of tiny holes in the bark of affected trees—almost as if the tree had been shot with a Lilliputian shotgun. But the culprit is not a tiny tree hitman […]

Odorant Receptor Gene in Codling Moth Also Affects Egg Production

codling moth adult

A funny thing happened on the way to testing the CpomOR1 odorant receptor. Researchers at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service conducted an experiment on codling moth (Cydia pomonella) using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing method to study the role played by a specific gene known as CpomOR1. The gene is highly expressed, or “switched on,” in the antennae […]

The Potential U.S. Economic Cost of a New Sweetgum-Killing Pest

sweetgum inscriber larvae

It’s never too early to work toward preventing the arrival of a potentially destructive invasive species. That’s why researchers at the University of Florida have developed a model to estimate the possible financial cost to the American forestry sector of a newly discovered beetle in China, should it arrive on U.S. shores. The beetle, first […]

Line Trapping: A Promising Method for More Accurate Pest Monitoring

pheromone line-trapping

It’s easy to think of a pheromone trap as a lure, putting out a scent and waiting for insects to come rolling in. But insects aren’t sharks; they don’t sense the proverbial blood in the water from great distances. They move much more randomly, and pheromone plumes don’t broadcast all that far—a couple dozen meters, […]