Releasing millions of sterile insects to interfere with a wild pest population won't work if irradiating the insects also hinders their flight capacity. A new study shows this may be the case with navel orangeworm moths (Amyelois transitella), and further fine-tuning will be necessary to build a successful sterile insect technique operation to manage the pest.
In search of a simple, cost-effective way to maintain laboratory mosquito colonies, biologists at a mosquito control district in Florida have turned to food-grade frozen animal blood found at specialty grocery stores. They share the success of their new method for other cash-strapped mosquito-management operations in the open-access Journal of Insect Science.
Researchers studying hydrocarbons in insect cuticles typically avoid specimens preserved in ethanol, for fear the solvent may interfere with chemical analysis. A new study, however, finds ethanol has little effect—at least in the case of one wasp species tested—and opens the possibility that ethanol-preserved insects can indeed be used for the analysis of cuticular chemical compounds.
Research on the rate at which mosquitoes land on people in field tests and lab tests finds that common arm-in-cage test results differ significantly from those found in large-room or field tests. The findings point the way toward making tests of mosquito repellents more aligned with real-world conditions.