Tick Tock: Fat Reserves in Blacklegged Ticks Provide a Life-Expectancy Clock

ixodes scapularis

The winter of 2011-2012 was a mild one in the New York City area, and the following summer saw the lowest population density of nymphal blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) in the region since the Vector Ecology Laboratory at Fordham University had begun measuring it in 1987. And the ticks that were collected did not survive […]

Ticks: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Dab Their Animal Hosts With Insecticide

host-targeted bait box

An emerging tool in the fight against tick-borne disease, host-targeted bait boxes employ a sneaky trick: turning some of ticks’ favorite carriers —small mammals like mice and chipmunks —against them. And a new study in Journal of Medical Entomology shows an improved design has made such bait boxes an increasingly viable addition to integrated tick […]

A Chance Encounter: The Case of a Western Conifer-Seed Bug Biting a Human

western conifer-seed bug

Bed bugs, mosquitoes, ticks—and the western conifer-seed bug? Well, if you’re making a list of insects that have been recorded having bitten a human at least once, ever, then yes. But the western conifer-seed bug is almost certainly not our next great insect menace. In a brief report published last week in the Journal of […]

Setting a Baseline: A Clearer View of Mosquito Resistance to Insecticides

Culex pipiens

By Andrew Porterfield Mosquito control professionals have made significant gains toward managing malaria worldwide, as well as defending against West Nile virus, chikungunya, dengue, St. Louis encephalitis, and, more recently, Zika. However, mosquito resistance to existing insecticides also has been making gains. According to the World Health Organization, 60 countries have reported some mosquito resistance […]

Counting Horn Flies: No Easy Task, Whether In Person or In a Photo

horn fly

By Ed Ricciuti If your job is counting horn flies, a twitch of a cow’s hide can go a long way toward ruining your day. OK, perhaps that is a stretch, but it accurately describes a problem facing pest control managers who must manage a blood-sucking parasite that costs the cattle industry $1 billion a […]