Research predicts stability of mosquito-borne disease prevention

More than half of the people in the world, including in the United States, live alongside Aedes aegypti — the mosquito that transmits dengue, Zika and other often deadly viruses. Dengue virus, alone, infects nearly 400 million people worldwide each year. To reduce transmission of dengue to humans, scientists have introduced Wolbachia bacteria to A. aegypti mosquitoes. Now a team of international researchers has found that Wolbachia’s ability to block virus transmission may be maintained by natural selection, alleviating concern that this benefit could diminish over time.

Ten Entomologists Honored as Fellows of the Entomological Society of America

The Governing Board of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) has elected 10 new Fellows of the Society for 2019. Election as a Fellow of ESA acknowledges outstanding contributions to entomology in research, teaching, extension and outreach, administration, or the military.

How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs for Good, According to Experts Who Study Them

Follow these steps to banish bed bugs from your home and prevent an infestation in the first place.

Survey aims to help citizens protect themselves from vector-borne illnesses

Penn State Extension has established a new vector-borne disease team that focuses on diseases transmitted by ticks and mosquitos. To ensure that its efforts address community needs, the team is launching a survey, the results of which will allow extension educators to deliver responsive programming to educate the public on vector-borne diseases, how to prevent them, and how people can protect themselves.

Spotted lanternfly a real pest

Pennsylvania agriculture communities need residents to help stamp out an invasive species responsible for decimating fruit crops in eastern and central counties, a Penn State University spokesman said.

Government leaders to take the pulse of industry, public at Ag Progress Days

Elected officials and leaders of government agencies will use the opportunity afforded by Penn State's Ag Progress Days, set for Aug.13-15, to inform — and get feedback from — the public and industry stakeholders about agricultural programs and policy priorities at the state and federal levels.

Spotted lanternfly could become a problem here

Spotted lantern flies are not a problem in Tioga County, and the state Department of Agriculture would like to make sure they don’t become one.

Parasitic deer flies are more widespread than we thought

Deer keds – flat-bodied flies with grabbing forelegs and deciduous wings that are parasites on deer – are more widely distributed across the U.S., and Pennsylvania, than previously known.

Our view: Pa. must contain spotted lanternfly

Experts and Gov. Tom Wolf toured an area near Harrisburg on Tuesday to inspect the harm wreaked by the colorful, menacing spotted lanternfly. As they did, at least one researcher was already looking hundreds of miles past that damage to the potentially dire implications for Erie County.

Over 100 educators attend the 2019 Penn State Pollinator In-service Meeting

Penn State Extension and the Center for Pollinator Research hosted a two-day in-service meeting in July 2019 to train Extension Educators and Master Gardeners on the latest information about pollinator diversity, health, and management.

Yard and Garden Area at Ag Progress Days expands offerings

Creating pollinator-friendly landscapes again will be the focus of the Yard and Garden Area at Ag Progress Days, Aug. 13-15, but many other activities will be going on there, as well.

Investigating the Zombie Ant's "Death Grip"

Researchers dissected the jaws of ants infected with the Ophiocordyceps fungus to determine how the fungus hijacks the ants' behavior. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Cross-pollination between educators and researchers at the 2019 APPL-RED workshop

The 2019 Authentic Plant Pollinator Landscape Research for Educators (APPL-RED) Workshop at Penn State attracted thirteen K-12 educators from across Pennsylvania and beyond (one educator is currently teaching in the Spangdahlem region in Germany). The workshop allowed educators to work closely with members of Penn State’s Center for Science and the Schools and Center for Pollinator Research.

Student travels to Washington to share passion for international agriculture

Sulav Paudel, a doctoral candidate in entomology and in international agriculture and development in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, traveled to Washington, D.C., in June to participate in two conferences aimed at advancing international agriculture and rural development.

Food for thought: Using an evidence-based approach to manage honey bees in light of wild bee declines

Honey bees are critical for crop pollination in the United States. The US is the first global producer of almonds and blueberries, and both of these crops require large numbers of managed honey bee colonies to maximize yields.

Governor Wolf Joins Front Lines in Battle Against Spotted Lanternfly

Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding were in Harrisburg to view the treatment being conducted across the Commonwealth concerning Spotted Lanternflies. They were joined by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA), Penn State University, and USDA at a Harrisburg site populated with Spotted Lanternflies.

State Officials Warn Residents to be Aware of Spotted Lanternfly

Pennsylvania is facing a bug problem. It’s the first state to be inhabited by the Spotted Lanternfly, and the little bug is causing a big issue. It may seem harmless, but the the insect is causing damage to Pennsylvania’s trees and crops, which is negatively affecting the agriculture industry, and quality of life for residents

PlantVillage gives undergraduate a chance to help feed the world via technology

Coming from the small town of Limeport, near Allentown, a young Annalyse Kehs may not have thought much about international agriculture or feeding the world. But thanks to a project called PlantVillage, the Penn State rising senior not only is helping to address world hunger but is relishing the opportunity to travel to destinations such as Kenya and Rome to interact with farmers, researchers and policymakers.

Winter chill won’t affect mosquitoes, ticks

Did this winter’s cold weather lessen the numbers of disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks?

Ottar Bjørnstad Elected as an Ecological Society of America 2019 Fellow

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce its 2019 Fellows. The Society’s fellowship program recognizes the many ways in which its members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and management and policy.

Beescape is ‘just the beginning’ for beekeepers and researchers alike

Researchers at Penn State and around the country have come together to create a website that will offer an inside look into the lives of nature’s pollinators.

Feel the buzz: Penn State to bring pollinator garden that will last ‘forever' to the Arboretum

After years of planning and research by Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research, a large pollinator garden is set to break ground at the Arboretum in the fall 2019.

Pa. Lyme disease cases appear to hit plateau, but that shouldn’t change your outdoors routine

There’s good news about Lyme disease, Pennsylvanians. After a couple of years of leading the nation in “confirmed and probable” cases of the tick-borne disease, the experts expect the number of cases to level off.

New Law Would Help Bees—but Could Leave Other Pollinators out in the Cold

Amid the continuing decline of pollinators worldwide, U.S. lawmakers recently revived a perennially struggling bill that aims to save these helpful species. However, pollinator loss is more complicated than many headlines suggest. And curbing it, some scientists say, requires more than just stricter pesticide regulation—a major focus of the bill.

Humans can't manage this invasive fly—but a mind-controlling fungi might

If Youtube footage is to be believed, people have taken up arms against infestations of invasive spotted lanternflies by blasting the bugs with everything from pressure washers to rock salt, dish soap and even propane torches.

Patterns of Pesticide Use, Exposure, and Toxicity Jointly Determine Impacts on Honeybees and Other Pollinators

Pollinators such as honeybees, wild bees, and pollen wasps contribute to one-third of the world’s food-crop production. However, the health and abundance of pollinators has declined in recent decades due to a range of factors that include pests, pathogens, pesticides, and poor nutrition. Farmers use pesticides to treat pests that would otherwise damage our food. Patterns, or “domains,” of pesticide use and pesticide effects on pollinators are linked in a complex system through a third domain, pollinator pesticide exposure. This framework can provide insights into options for reducing risks to pollinators while also improving pest management strategies for crops, as illustrated through the example of apple production.

After a wet spring, Pa. DEP monitors for West Nile virus. Will this summer be bad?

Last year was one of the worst on record for West Nile virus in Pennsylvania. The number of cases jumped to 130, from 20 in 2017, and eight people died.

Climate warming could increase malaria risk in cooler regions

Malaria parasites develop faster in mosquitoes at lower temperatures than previously thought, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Exeter. The findings suggest that even slight climate warming could increase malaria risk to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people — including travelers — in areas that are currently too cold for malaria parasites to complete their development.

2019 Dutch Gold Undergraduate Scholarship supports research and education in bee health

To help catalyze research and education in bee health, Dutch Gold Honey, based in Lancaster County, PA, endowed an Undergraduate Scholarship in Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences in 2010. This yearly award pairs students in the College of Agricultural Sciences with faculty mentors from the Penn State Center for Pollinator Research. The 2019 Dutch Gold Scholarship has been awarded to two students, Jacklyn Kiner and Matthew Poorman, whose projects seek to improve methods for bee management and public learning about bees.

Spotted lanternfly expert at Penn State offers advice on using tree bands

It is quickly becoming a summertime ritual, albeit not a fun one, for homeowners living in southeastern Pennsylvania: trying to get rid of the swarms of spotted lanternflies that have taken up residence on their properties.