Natural Compound Deters Lone Star Tick Larvae

lone start tick adult female

A naturally occurring botanical compound found in anise, fennel, vanilla, and cranberries is effective in deterring the larval stage of the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), a major human and livestock pest, according to research by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

Entomologists Urged to Beware the “Dark Side” of Light Traps

light trap

The Old Reliable for generations of entomologists, the light trap remains perhaps the best catchall collecting device to sample large numbers and species of insects, but it also may mask infestations of some insect-borne illnesses and even expose humans to disease vectors. So suggests a paper published today in the Journal of Medical Entomology, catchily titled “The Dark Side of Light Traps.”

Another Tick Species’ Saliva Found to Have Antitumor Properties

camel tick

Millions of years of evolution have made ticks highly specialized bloodsuckers. In fact, researchers who have studied tick saliva have found a range of compounds that fight back host defenses like clotting and tissue repair and allow ticks to feed for extended periods. In another context, though, those same chemical properties could be seen in […]

The Story of the Little Fire Ant, and Why Modern Medicine Can Learn From Indigenous Cultures

Wasmannia auropunctata

By John P. Roche, Ph.D. Lesions of the cornea that cause white discolorations of the eye, called leukomas or corneal opacities, have been discovered for decades in humans, domestic animals, and wild animals. Sometimes called West Indian punctate keratopathy, Florida spots, or Rice’s keratopathy, this condition was a mystery to the medical community. But a […]

Three-Quarters of U.S. Has Suitable Climate for Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti estimated range - CDC

Three-quarters of counties in the contiguous United States present suitable environmental conditions for at least part of the year for either Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes to survive if introduced, according to researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The two mosquito species can transmit viruses that cause Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. The […]