Water-Resistant Bait Could Deliver Much-Needed Improvement in Pest Ant Control

Red imported fire ants

The red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) and the little fire ant (Wasmannia auropunctata) are just two species of invasive ants that have thrived since their introduction to the U.S. The former has spread through much of the southeastern United States, while the latter has become widespread on the Big Island of Hawaii. In both […]

Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle or Oriental Flower Beetle? New Genetic Test Gives Faster Answer

coconut rhinoceros beetle

Just more than three years ago, the coconut rhinoceros beetle (Oryctes rhinoceros) arrived in Hawaii, on the island of Oahu. The invasive species is native to Southeast Asia and has not yet become widespread on Oahu, and insect scientists there are working to keep it that way, as the beetle is a damaging pest of […]

Wild Plants Might Not Work as Refuges for Stem Borers in African Bt Crops

Eldana saccharina stem borer

By Josh Lancette When using Bt crops, a constant concern is preventing insect pests from becoming resistant. According to a paper published in the Journal of Economic Entomology that contains new analysis of previous studies, a common tactic to prevent resistance in Africa might not be working as hoped. Bt crops are plants that have […]

Area-Wide Management a Must for Asian Citrus Psyllid


The Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) carries a bacterial pathogen that causes citrus greening disease (huanglongbing), which is destroying trees in many countries and states, including Florida. It’s been estimated that this insect-disease combination has cost Florida’s citrus industry $1.3 billion in losses. The situation has become so bad that some citrus growers have abandoned […]

The First Journal Article on Insecticide Resistance was Published 100 Years Ago this Month


By Richard Levine One hundred years ago this month, an entomologist at the Washington Agricultural Experiment Station named A. L. Melander published an article in the Journal of Economic Entomology called “Can Insects Become Resistant to Sprays?” It is widely regarded as the first ever published article on arthropod resistance to insecticides. “Melander’s 1914 paper […]

Ozone Can Reduce Pesticide Residue Levels in Honey Bee Hives


In 2011, a USDA-ARS entomologist named Rosalind James published research on using ozone to control pests in honey bee hives in the Journal of Economic Entomology. Besides killing insect pests like the greater wax moth, which infests and destroys honeycomb, she found that ozone could be used to kill fungus and bacteria that harm honey […]

Wasps Used to Combat Citrus Greening Disease are Unlikely to Threaten Non-target Insects


In August 2008 the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri), an invasive insect known to spread citrus greening disease (huanglongbing), which can be lethal to citrus trees, was detected in southern California. After initial treatments with insecticides were determined to be costly and unsustainable, a decision was made to instead try biological control by using insect […]

Beneficial Insects and Nematodes are not Harmed by Genetically-modified, Insect-resistant Plants


A large body of literature has shown that genetically-modified plants that produce proteins from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to protect themselves from insect pests have little to no effect on a wide range of nontarget insects. However, concerns about Bt crops still exist. Now two new studies using more exacting methods show that Bt […]

The Invasive Turkestan Cockroach is Displacing the Oriental Cockroach in the Southwestern U.S.


The Turkestan cockroach, Blatta lateralis (Walker), has become an important invasive species throughout the southwestern United States and has been reported in the southern United States. It is rapidly replacing the oriental cockroach, Blatta orientalis (L.), in urban areas of the southwestern United States as the most important peri-domestic species. In 1978, the Turkestan cockroach […]

Cold-tolerant Cockroach from Asia has been Found in New York


With winter’s arrival comes the kind of news that may give New Yorkers the creeps. A species of cockroach never found in the United States before has been positively identified in Manhattan. Unlike the roaches that New York residents have known and hated for years, this variety can survive not just indoors where it’s warm, […]