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.
A new study digs into the pros and cons of two different methods for testing potential bed bug repellents: a harborage test and a barrier test. Repellency results can differ when bed bugs are searching for shelter versus when they are searching for a bloodmeal.
A researcher in Australia sets out to evaluate the various methods for monitoring wild bees and finds that the sweep net outpaces other methods in both the number of bees and number of species collected.