Could Repellents Be Useful in Protecting Crops From Spotted-Wing Drosophila?

spotted-wing drosophila on leaf

By Edward Ricciuti Cornell University scientists are tuning up the entomological version of psych war tactics that, instead of killing insect pests outright, manipulate their behavior so they avoid crops they might otherwise damage. Repellents that modify the behavior of insects might not stand alone as deterrents, but they could be deployed more extensively in […]

Could Catnip or Chrysanthemum Bring Cows Relief From Biting Flies?

horn flies

By Meredith Swett Walker We generally don’t associate cows with pleasant aromas, but in the future you may catch a whiff of mint, lemongrass, or chrysanthemum when visiting a barn or feedlot. It turns out that extracts and oils from these and other plants show promise as repellents and insecticides for use on cows. In […]

Researchers Develop Improved Lab-Testing System for Mosquito Repellents

A&K bioassay system mosquito repellent testing

By Edward Ricciuti Among the processes by which researchers gauge the effectiveness of a mosquito repellent is one that depends on convincing a volunteer to shove an arm treated with the compound into a box and let the little bloodsuckers have a go at it. The system works well enough but, like all such assays, […]

Study Compares “Natural” Mosquito Repellents to DEET

By Josh Lancette Every summer while preparing for long weekends at our family cabin in the north woods of Minnesota, we’d face the same dilemmas. What food should we bring? Is SPF 50 sunscreen enough protection? And, most importantly, which mosquito repellent should we buy? If we picked the wrong kind, we’d be opening ourselves […]