Latest News

March 21, 2018

Investment from Penn State alumnus and leading philanthropist Charles H. “Skip” Smith will enable The Arboretum at Penn State to fulfill its longstanding vision for a garden that will attract and sustain native pollinator species of birds and insects. Smith, whose founding gift launched construction of the Arboretum in 2010, has made a series of gifts totaling $4.5 million to support construction of a new and enhanced Pollinators’ Garden in the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. The gifts — together with commitments from other donors — complete the project’s initial fundraising goal of $5.3 million and will allow construction to begin.

March 21, 2018

Carpenter ants appear to have a hard time figuring out when one of their own is infected with a parasite that will eventually make it kill itself. Researchers from Pennsylvania State University published their findings February 23 in PLoS One.

March 21, 2018

Add another invader to the list of destructive insects that have infiltrated Pennsylvania: The spotted lanternfly has joined the ranks of emerald ash borers and brown marmorated stink bugs.

March 21, 2018

Working with mushroom growers and residents in southern Chester County, Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is ramping up ongoing research efforts to alleviate mushroom phorid fly infestations in southeastern Pennsylvania.

March 21, 2018

Some apple orchards in Pennsylvania were surrounded by benevolent ghosts last year: a length of specially treated netting draped over a shepherd’s hook. Each successfully drew in and then killed hundreds of brown marmorated stink bugs.

March 21, 2018

Growers who use mating disruption for oriental fruit moths now have a lure that effectively monitors the pests, according to new research.

March 15, 2018

Carpenter ants don’t attack or isolate their nest mates infected with a specialized parasitic fungus, and instead continue to share the colony’s food resources until the infected ants leave the nest for the last time to die, according to a new study.

March 15, 2018

Areas that have had harsh winter weather are most likely looking forward to the summer months that are filled with sunshine and warmth. But with sunny, warm weather comes bugs, ticks included.

March 15, 2018

Insects that aren't native to Pennsylvania have invaded the state's forests, farm fields and homes and new ones appear every few years.

March 14, 2018

Carpenter ants infected with a specialized parasitic fungus are not subjected to aggression or isolation from their nest mates, and they continue to share in the colony's food resources until they leave the nest for the last time to die, according to a study led by Penn State researchers.

March 12, 2018

A good way to describe ramps, it has been said, is to note what they are not. Ramps are not leeks, nor are they scallions or shallots. Ramps look like scallions, but they're smaller and have one or two broad, flat leaves.

March 5, 2018

When Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., started at his job as Insect Identifier and Extension Educator at Penn State University in 2017, it wasn’t long before he had a mystery on his hands.

February 28, 2018

Mushrooms have always been a risky dinner menu option: Sure, plenty of them are delicious, but some are deadly. Ants stumbling on the wrong type of fungus can meet an even grimmer fate: These organisms can take control of the insects, forcing them to kill themselves. And scientists have just identified another 15 fungi with this gruesome talent.

February 28, 2018

Mary Kay Malinoski has seen plenty of harmful insects swarm into Maryland during her long career, from the tree-eating gypsy moth, which invaded in the 1980s, to the malodorous brown marmorated stink bug, which arrived in 2006.

February 21, 2018

Let's peek into the science labs this week to see what gardening researchers have discovered lately that affects how we garden:

February 8, 2018

Wasps have a bad reputation for their sharp stingers, but a new species of wasp appears to take inflicting pain to a whole new level. Scientists believe the parasitic wasp grows up in another animal's body and then, once it reaches adulthood, saws its way through the host's body to freedom, according to a recent paper published in Biodiversity Data Journal.

January 26, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue paid a visit to Penn State's University Park campus today (Jan. 24) as part of a tour through Pennsylvania to unveil the Department of Agriculture's legislative principles as Congress prepares to enact a new five-year farm bill.

January 25, 2018

As Congress prepares to enact a new five-year farm bill, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue paid a visit to Penn State's University Park campus Jan. 24 as part of a tour through Pennsylvania to unveil the Department of Agriculture's legislative principles. Perdue met with College of Agricultural Sciences faculty, students and administrators and visited research facilities.

January 16, 2018

Rhea County native Megan Wilkerson is nearing the completion of her work in the graduate studies program at Penn State University, but the time she has spent in the program has included much more than classroom work and library study.