Video: Penn State researchers find new solution to combat age-old bedbug problem

A team of Penn State scientists has developed a potential game-changer in the war against bedbugs — a naturally derived, fungal-based pesticide that uses the bugs’ own natural tendencies to humankind’s advantage.

Penn State's Great Insect Fair offers a view of the 'unseen'

Although insects are all around us, we tend to pay attention primarily to the ones that sting, bite, eat our garden plants or invade our homes. But there is much more about the world of insects and other arthropods that goes unnoticed. Giving the public a glimpse into this fascinating world is the goal of Penn State's Great Insect Fair, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Snider Ag Arena on the University Park campus.

Graduate training program in pollinator ecology gets a boost with USDA grant

A grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will enhance an innovative Penn State graduate training program in entomology and ecology aimed at helping to solve the multifaceted problem of pollinator decline.

Penn State researchers take aim at invasive, 'pernicious' spotted lanternfly

As populations of the invasive spotted lanternfly explode — and the state-imposed quarantine area in southeastern Pennsylvania expands — researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are looking for solutions to help stop the insect's spread and save agricultural crops from serious damage.

Researchers aim to develop best practices for organic beekeeping industry

A nearly $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will support Penn State researchers in determining best management practices for organic beekeeping by comparing organic and chemical-free to conventional management systems. The funding comes from the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Land-grant ag research and education highlighted during visit by USDA Secretary

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue paid a visit to Penn State's University Park campus on 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.

Infected 'zombie ants' face no discrimination from nest mates

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.

$2.1 million enables creation of decision-support tools for pollinator health

The Center for Pollinator Research at Penn State, in collaboration with researchers at the University of California, Davis; the University of Minnesota; and Dickinson College will receive more than $2 million from the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research and the United States Department of Agriculture to translate basic research into online decision support tools to help beekeepers and land managers maintain and expand populations of managed and wild bees.

Penn State-developed plant disease app recognized by Google

A mobile app designed by Penn State researchers to help farmers and others diagnose crop diseases has earned recognition from one of the world's tech giants. PlantVillage, developed by a team led by David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, was the subject of a keynote video presented at Google's TensorFlow Development Summit 2018, held March 30 in Mountain View, California.

Penn State Extension, ag officials look to slow spread of spotted lanternfly

Grape growers, orchardists, nursery operators, homeowners and others in southeastern Pennsylvania are bracing for the spring emergence of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect from Asia that appeared for the first time in the United States in Berks County nearly four years ago. Penn State Extension educators and College of Agricultural Sciences researchers are working with state and federal agriculture officials to stop the pest's spread.

Pennsylvania bear mange epidemic focus of Penn State and Game Commission project

Pennsylvania's black bear population is experiencing a mange epidemic, and a Penn State research team will work with the state Game Commission to gain a better understanding of the disease and develop strategies to manage it.

Wasp warriors: Entomologists on samurai mission to slay stink bugs

Hillary Peterson is every brown marmorated stink bug's worst nightmare. The Penn State doctoral degree student does not intend to rest professionally until she and other entomologists devise a way to reduce burgeoning populations of the invasive insect, originally from Asia, which are damaging crops and aggravating people. The goal of their research is to develop biological controls to interfere with the pest's reproduction.

Climate change forced zombie ant fungi to adapt

Zombie ants clamp on to aerial vegetation and hang for months spewing the spores of their parasitic fungi, but researchers noticed that they do not always clamp on to the same part of the plant. Now the researchers know that the choice of leaves or twigs is related to climate and that climate change forced the fungi to adapt to local conditions.

Penn State scientists spotlight spotted lanternfly research on Capitol Hill

As the emergence of the spotted lanternfly continues to threaten portions of Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry, two researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences who are studying the invasive insects joined colleagues from more than 20 universities on Capitol Hill today (June 6) to show members of Congress and their staffs the importance of funding agricultural research.

Lanternfly's penchant for -- and potential to harm -- grapevines focus of study

The spotted lanternfly is starting to sour the grape and wine industries in southeastern Pennsylvania, and research underway in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences aims to spoil the invasive pest's party.

Gluttonous grubs: Insecticide efficacy in turfgrass is focus of study

Research underway at the Joseph Valentine Turfgrass Research Center on the University Park campus is focusing on the effectiveness of a neonicotinoid insecticide — imidacloprid — in controlling grub populations.

Penn State helps to assemble expert task force to combat spotted lanternfly

Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences helped to assemble a multistate, interdisciplinary task force of more than 80 university, regulatory and agricultural industry representatives to fight the looming threat presented by the spotted lanternfly.

Plant virus alters competition between aphid species

In the world of plant-feeding insects, who shows up first to the party determines the overall success of the gathering; yet viruses can disrupt these intricate relationships, according to researchers at Penn State.

Fruit research and extension projects receive funding from industry groups

The State Horticultural Association of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Apple Program recently awarded nearly $233,000 in funding to support new and ongoing fruit research and extension projects in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The grants will support projects aimed at enhancing pest management, production efficiency and fruit quality.

Citizens play a vital role in spotted lanternfly management efforts

Citizens are important allies in the fight against the spotted lanternfly, a war that is being waged in 13 counties -- Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill.

Gates Foundation grant to support research on satellite crop surveillance

A research team in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Led by David Hughes, associate professor of entomology and biology, the group will study the potential role of satellites in diagnosing crop pest and disease problems on African smallholder farms.

Anopheles mosquitoes could spread Mayaro virus in U.S., other diverse regions

Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles are well known as primary vectors of malaria. But a new study suggests that Anopheles species, including some found in the United States, also are capable of carrying and transmitting an emerging pathogen, Mayaro virus, which has caused outbreaks of disease in South America and the Caribbean.

Penn State earns 'Bee Campus USA' certification

Penn State has become the 55th educational institution in the nation to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strength of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators.

Cellular protein a target for Zika control

A cellular protein that interacts with invading viruses appears to help enable the infection process of the Zika virus, according to an international team of researchers who suggest this protein could be a key target in developing new therapies to prevent or treat Zika virus infection.

Entomology students' global research to be supported by inaugural Guyton Award

Two students in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are the recipients of the Guyton Award, a global learning scholarship established recently by Bill Guyton, an agricultural economist and internationally recognized expert in sustainable development.

Bee dispersal ability may influence conservation measures

The abilities of various bee species to disperse influences the pattern of their population's genetic structure, which, in turn, can constrain how they respond to environmental change, as reported by an international team of researchers.

Material that shields beetle from being burned by its own weapons, holds promise

Carabid beetles produce caustic chemicals they spray to defend themselves against predators, and the compound that protects their bodies from these toxic substances shows promise for use in bioengineering or biomedical applications, according to Penn State researchers.

Unique workshop for teachers highlights connection between plants, pollinators

The “Authentic Plant Pollinator Landscape Research for Educators” workshop, co-hosted by Penn State's colleges of Education and Agricultural Sciences, is slated for June 24-28 at the University Park campus.

Introducing Beescape: A new online tool and community to support bees

Beescape.org provides a tool for beekeepers, gardeners, growers and land managers to assess the quality of their landscapes for supporting managed honey bees and wild bees. It was developed through a partnership led by Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, Center for Pollinator Research and Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences.

Spotted lanternflies found to be flyers, not gliders

The spotted lanternfly is not a strong or frequent flyer, weaknesses that may hinder its ability to travel long distances by air, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.