New research shows that late-stage Anopheles gambiae larvae will eat eggs and first-instar larvae of their own species, calling into question the common view that females of the mosquito species avoid laying eggs in water where other larvae are already present.
The return of the screwworm to Florida in 2016 was a surprise, but entomologists with the USDA and local, state, and international partners were prepared to respond. A new, in-depth report in the Journal of Medical Entomology shares a detailed account of their work re-eradicating the pest via the sterile insect technique—plus new lessons learned along the way.
Officials in New Jersey report that the invasive tick Haemaphysalis longicornis has successfully overwintered and was found once again on a rural property in mid-April 2018, after an infestation was reported there in 2017, the first such appearance of the species within North American borders.
Researchers in Argentina compared mathematical models of head lice transmission with analysis of infestations in school children and found that head lice infestations across a classroom likely require at least one severely infested child serving as a "superspreader."
A study of lone star ticks in the forested Missouri Ozarks found that nymphs and adults were more abundant in valleys and on north-facing hills than in other areas. Meanwhile, nymphs appeared less often in the areas of greater temperature variability, while adults were less prevalent with increased elevation.
A study in Quebec highlights the value of reporting tick bites and submitting tick specimens to public health agencies. Such "passive surveillance" outpaces field collection of ticks in identifying areas of emerging risk for Lyme disease.
When Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., joined Penn State University's entomology extension program in 2017, it wasn't long before he had a mystery on his hands: A wasp specimen from an infestation of a residence that appeared to be of a genus not previously known to invade homes in North America.
A scanning electron micrograph shows an engorged female Ixodes angustus tick with a male I. angustus attached to its underside in typical feeding mode—a case of hyperparasitism presumed uncommon in the species.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito typically prefers humid climates, but it has gained a foothold in the arid southwestern U.S. by using manmade containers for breeding sites—in particular, flower pots and the saucers underneath them.
In 2017, specimens of an "unusual-looking" tick were discovered in New Jersey and determined to be a species, Haemaphysalis longicornis, native to Asia. No established population of the species has ever been previously documented in the United States.
Travelers' luggage is an attractive harbor for bed bugs, which then hitch a ride to new locations. In the search for effective bed bug repellents, researchers at Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and Bedoukian Research, Inc., have found that DEET as well as several naturally derived compounds could protect luggage from attracting stowaway bed bugs.
Evaluation of the collapsible passive trap for mosquitoes shows performs as well as other commonly used traps but in a lighter, easier-to-carry design, making it an attractive option for mosquito monitoring in remote areas.
A new review of 30 years' worth of research concludes that, while lone star ticks are guilty of transmitting bacteria that cause several human illnesses, Lyme disease is not one of them.
Researchers at New Mexico State University have found that bed bugs are capable of hosting the pathogen that causes Chagas disease for up to 97 days, and the pathogen can persist even through the bed bug's molting process.
A new study in the Journal of Medical Entomology offers the best look yet at the Haller's organ, a small sensory pit on the forelegs of ticks that they use to detect heat and chemical odors emitted by potential hosts.
A new study in Connecticut finds that residential habitats harbor a greater diversity of animal hosts for blacklegged ticks, many of which don't transmit the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi to ticks as well as white-footed mice do, thereby leading to lower levels of the pathogen's presence in residential areas compared to woodland habitats.