Bug of the Month - June 2020

Bug of the Month is a student–run monthly post which highlights the diversity of insects found in Pennsylvania.

Penn State Extension educator offers advice on insecticide use for lanternflies

As summer progresses — and spotted lanternflies make themselves at home just about anywhere, including on residential properties — frustrated homeowners might find themselves wrestling with the idea of using insecticides to vanquish the insect interlopers.

Pollinator project supports biodiversity at Penn State Orchard Road solar array

An innovative project is creating a buzz around Penn State’s University Park campus, especially among the many species of pollinators that call Centre County home.

TikTok Videos Reveal Tiny Bugs Living In Strawberries

Viral TikTok videos dubbed the ''Strawberry Challenge’’ have some consumers squirming.

How to build a spotted lanternfly circle trap

The spotted lanternfly (SLF) is an invasive insect that feeds on grapevines and trees. There are a variety of options for SLF management, but one way to kill a lot of SLF without using insecticides is to trap them. The immature lanternflies (called nymphs) are often blown out of the canopy of the trees where they are feeding. Nymphs then walk to the trunk of trees and climb back up to start feeding again. We can take advantage of this predictable behavior of the nymphs by using traps to catch them as they climb up trees.

First ASEV Invasive Pest Webinar Focuses on the Spotted Lanternfly

In introducing the speaker for the first ASEV webinar on invasive pests on June 3, moderator Michelle Moyer, a board member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and associate professor of viticulture and extension specialist at Washington State University, commented that grape growers on the East Coast are very concerned about the problems presented by the spotted lanternfly (SLF) and that those on the West Coast should be. She then introduced the webinar presenter, Heather Leach, extension associate in entomology at Penn State’s College of Agriculture Sciences, who focuses specifically on the SLF.

Late planting robs slugs of buffet this year

If there was one good thing about farmers delaying planting this year, it created less of a buffet for pesky slugs to feed on emerging corn and soybeans.

Check it out: Resource can aid citizens in stopping spread of spotted lanternfly

A printable checklist developed by Penn State Extension and the state Department of Agriculture can help citizens tick all the boxes when it comes to preventing the spread of the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is threatening the agricultural, timber and ornamental industries.

Penn State Extension webinars focus on bee biology, ecology and management

An eight-part webinar series developed by Penn State Extension aims to teach people all about bees, discussing topics as diverse as colony survival, queen bee rearing and transforming one’s garden into a pollinator-friendly habitat.

Christina Grozinger named scholar-in-residence at Sustainability Institute

Christina Grozinger, distinguished professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, has been named scholar-in-residence at the Sustainability Institute.

Department Statement

In light of the recent disturbing events, the Department of Entomology at Penn State is compelled to voice its solidarity and support of the Black community.

Spotted Lanternfly in Forest Ecosystems: Spring 2020 Briefing

Join us for an informative webinar about the Spotted Lanternfly and ways to manage the spread of this invasive insect.

May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month

With the prospect of quarantine measures slowly being lifted across the state in the coming weeks, many Pennsylvanians are relishing the prospect of getting outside and enjoying warming spring weather.

Malaria risk is highest in early evening

Wide-scale use of insecticide-treated bed nets has led to substantial declines in global incidence of malaria in recent years. As a result, mosquitoes have been shifting their biting times to earlier in the evening and later in the morning.

''Murder Hornets'' Not Likely In Pennsylvania For Years, Expert Says

People have been buzzing about an insect nicknamed the ‘’Murder Hornet’’ over the last few days.

Those ‘murder hornets’? They’re not here. But here’s what to do IF you see 1.

Michael Skvarla says the emails have been coming in fast and furious with questions about a newly infamous type of wasp, and they all have “murder hornet” in the subject line.

Spotted lanternflies don't care about social distancing; here's why that's bad for Lancaster County

As an ecologist, David Bowne has been aware of the destructive spotted lanternfly since it first arrived in Pennsylvania six years ago, but back then, Elizabethtown College was free from the invasive insect.

Penn State Extension to host a weekly pollinator webinar series beginning June 3rd

Learn about the bees in your neighborhood and how to support them by attending this summer’s free pollinator webinar series moderated by Tom Butzler and Dr. Margarita Lopez-Uribe from Penn State Extension. Webinars will cover a broad range of topics including drivers for bee declines, introductions to bee biology and diversity, and a discussion of what we can do as citizens to support local pollinator communities. The first seminar, ‘Pollinator Health Challenges: A bee’s perspective’, will feature Dr. Margarita Lopez-Uribe on Wednesday, June 3rd at 3:00 PM (ET).

Lab successfully grows spotted lanternfly, opening door to new research

In summertime, you can’t walk down the street without squishing a lanternfly.

Tips can help manage spotted lanternfly

Even before the recent news of the season’s first confirmed spotted lanternfly hatches in the Philadelphia region, homeowners in many parts of Pennsylvania were gearing up for their annual battle with the destructive pest.

Invading spotted lanternfly eggs are hatching in Pennsylvania

Eggs of the invasive spotted lanternfly have started hatching in Pennsylvania.

They’re back — first spotted lanternfly hatch of the year located

The first hatches of the spotted lanternfly have been detected in West Philadelphia, but an expert on the pest said there’s still time to stop them.

Spotted lanternfly season has begun; 2020 could see ‘significant populations’

The first spotted lanternflies of 2020 have hatched in Pennsylvania, kicking off a season where we could see large populations of the bug.

Asian Giant Hornets

Asian giant hornets, which are sometimes called sparrow wasps and murder hornets, are a potentially invasive wasp from eastern Asia. A colony was found on Vancouver Island in 2019 and destroyed.

Malaria risk is highest in early evening, study finds

Wide-scale use of insecticide-treated bed nets has led to substantial declines in global incidences of malaria in recent years. As a result, mosquitos have been shifting their biting times to earlier in the evening and later in the morning. In a new study, an international team of researchers has found that mosquitoes are most likely to transmit malaria in the early evening, when people are exposed, then at midnight, when people are protected by bed nets, or in the morning. The findings may have implications for malaria prevention initiatives.

Study reveals important flowering plants for city-dwelling honey bees

Trees, shrubs and woody vines are among the top food sources for honey bees in urban environments, according to an international team of researchers. By using honey bees housed in rooftop apiaries in Philadelphia, the researchers identified the plant species from which the honey bees collected most of their food, and tracked how these food resources changed from spring to fall.

First hatches reported: Spotted lanternfly expert provides tips for management

Even before the recent news of the season’s first confirmed spotted lanternfly hatches in the Philadelphia region, homeowners in many parts of Pennsylvania were gearing up for their annual battle with the destructive pest.

Invasion of the Invasives

The spotted lanternfly is a landscape-level invasive pest, feeding on more than 70 plant species.

Gene-editing protocol for whitefly pest opens door to control

Whiteflies are among the most important agricultural pests in the world, yet they have been difficult to genetically manipulate and control, in part, because of their small size. An international team of researchers has overcome this roadblock by developing a CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing protocol that could lead to novel control methods for this devastating pest.

Extension educators offer tips on managing spring spotted-lanternfly egg hatch

An early spring brings warmth, daffodils and outside play. It also signals — to the chagrin of many property owners across Pennsylvania and beyond — the next generation of spotted lanternflies.