Diversity statement shows Department of Entomology's commitment to inclusivity

September 25, 2019

The Department of Entomology in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences has released its first diversity statement, which articulates the department’s goal to “cultivate a community of people who have diverse ways of thinking, views, values and perspectives and who represent the composition of our society.”

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

September 23, 2019

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.

Penn State's Great Insect Fair imagines a world without bugs

September 19, 2019

Appreciating insects' role in agriculture and the environment will be the focus of Penn State's 2019 Great Insect Fair, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 28 at the Snider Agricultural Arena on the University Park campus.

How Maine Companies, Conservationists Are Helping Native Pollinators Thrive

September 19, 2019

You may have heard it said that just about every third bite of food you take was made possible by a bee. Bees are required in the production of everything from apples to zucchini, and even important cattle feeds such as alfalfa require bees for pollination.

A fruitful new partnership for farmers and pollinators

September 19, 2019

No bees, no berries. For Bruce Hall, that’s the bottom line. “In our industry, we have a flower, and we want it to become a berry,” explained Hall, an agronomist for Jasper Wyman & Son. Better known as “Wyman’s of Maine,” purveyors of wild blueberries and other frozen fruits.

This Bee-Focused Gen Ed That Could Save The World

September 19, 2019

The oft-memed slogan “save the bees” has been all the buzz for several years now, but who is actually making an effort to save one of the planet’s most important insects?

PSU expert explains why there are so many dragonflies

September 19, 2019

Dr. Rudolf Schilder, assistant professor of entomology at Penn State, took some time to explain why Somerset County residents are seeing so many dragonflies this month. He studies dragonfly flight and factors that impact their flight performance, usually in a laboratory.

How a Childhood Project Inspired a Life-Long Career

September 19, 2019

Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., is an extension educator and the director of the Insect Identification Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University. While a Pennsylvania native, he graduated with his B.S. from Purdue University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, all in entomology. His graduate studies and experience at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland, give him a broad background that comes in handy when a particularly unique specimen is submitted for identification.

Vineyards Facing An Insect Invasion May Turn To Aliens For Help

September 19, 2019

Walking around a park near Allentown, Pa., I didn't even notice the bugs at first. Then Heather Leach arrived. She's an insect expert from Penn State University.

Philadelphia Police: Please Stop Calling 911 Over Spotted Lanternfly Sightings

September 19, 2019

Philadelphia police have issued a public service announcement: Please do not contact authorities if you see a Spotted Lanternfly. Instead, the department said on Twitter that the insects are not a police issue and Philly should welcome “our new insect overlords.”

Spotted Lanternfly Research: There now are answers to some questions

September 11, 2019

When the new invasive species known as the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was first identified in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014, only a few facts were known about the insect: it is a plant hopper native to China, India, Japan and Vietnam, and the one-inch-long insect prefers to feed on the sap of grapevines, apple and stone fruit trees, hardwood trees including maple, as well as more than 70 additional species. Because of its fondness for grapevines, the spotted lanternfly (SLF) immediately became a concern for the grape and wine industry in Pennsylvania and neighboring states.

Backyard warriors ready for lanternfly egg-laying season — but experts say check the facts first

September 11, 2019

The tail-end of summer means the moth-like spotted lanternfly will begin laying its eggs in a few weeks. Many Pennsylvania and New Jersey residents aren’t taking the threat of the invasive species lightly, and are increasingly going out of their way to kill the critters and their larvae.

Penn State, Lightsource BP break ground on largest solar project in Pennsylvania

September 9, 2019

Solar farms will provide energy and pollinator habitat

Penn State entomologists join project to track historical parasite populations

September 6, 2019

Supported by a $4.3 million grant from the National Science Foundation, a multi-institutional project will draw on Penn State entomological expertise and collections to document and digitize the historical population dynamics of arthropod parasites, such as ticks, lice and mosquitoes.

Are We Safe From the Real World Parasite that Inspired ‘The Last Of Us’?

September 5, 2019

When it comes to horror, there’s nothing more terrifying than the plausible. As much as we love cowering from supernatural scares, when we leave the cinema, we do so knowing that vampires aren’t really going to hurt us. That a vengeful spirit probably isn’t lurking behind the counter at our local Starbucks.

What are those nests in the trees along Interstate 83?

September 5, 2019

As you've been driving around York County, especially along Interstate 83, you might have noticed thick webs in some of the trees.

As spotted lanternfly control ramps up, Penn State, researchers find possible biopesticide

September 5, 2019

Penn State is requiring all employees who travel in and out of any of the 14 counties included in the invasive spotted lanternfly “quarantine zone” for work to receive training and carry spotted lanternfly kits.

There's fungus among us, and it might kill off the spotted lanternfly in Pa.

September 5, 2019

As Pennsylvania continues to lose ground in the war against the spotted lanternfly, a new hope is on the horizon.

Everyone Plays a Role in the Fight Against Spotted Lanternfly

September 5, 2019

We write in reply to a letter in the Aug. 24 issue of Lancaster Farming from Travis Martin, who asked about our collaborative efforts to contain and manage spotted lanternfly infestations.

Penn State asks visitors to help 'stop the spread' of spotted lanternfly

September 4, 2019

This is the time of year when thousands of students, families and football fans are coming to University Park, and Penn State officials want to make sure those visitors are not transporting the spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect that is threatening the northeastern U.S., especially southeastern Pennsylvania.

Half a billion dead honey bees in Brazil show what happens when you roll back pesticide regulations

August 30, 2019

Insecticides kill insects. It should be no surprise, then, that in Brazil, which has seen a 27% increase in pesticide sales since last year, roughly 500 million honey bees were found dead in piles across four states in early spring. The country’s pesticide use has grown by 770% between 1990 to 2016, as reported by Bloomberg.

Graphene film promising for blocking mosquitoes

August 30, 2019

Health officials are touting a new protection against bloodsucking insects amid reports of a rare mosquito-borne disease that has infected four people in Massachusetts, killing one woman.

Philadelphia has a mysterious critter found nowhere else. Meet the volunteers tracking it.

August 30, 2019

Her other options exhausted, Sonia Jung reached for the self-closing forceps. Neither the reed of grass, the cotton swab, nor the nylon foam had been enough to lure one of Philadelphia’s most secretive animals.

What Do Bed Bug Bites Look Like? Here’s Exactly How to Spot the Symptoms

August 30, 2019

Waking up with a fresh set of itchy bug bites can bring on its own set of worries. What, exactly, was biting you in the middle of the night? Was it a spider? Mosquito? Or—possibly the worst case scenario — could it have been bed bugs?

Green and spiky creature found at Pennsylvania state park isn’t an alien. It’s a hickory horned devil

August 30, 2019

Marten Edwards knows just what to say when friends come to him and admit that they think they’ve seen an alien.

Penn State scientists may have discovered way to control invasive spotted lanternfly

August 30, 2019

A pest that sparked quarantines across the region and struck terror into the hearts of fruit farmers, timber exporters, and homeowners may have met its match.

ESA Names Winners of 2019 Professional and Student Awards

August 29, 2019

The Entomological Society of America congratulates the winners of its 2019 awards. The awards recognize scientists, educators, and students who have distinguished themselves through their contributions to entomology.

Penn State employees traveling in lanternfly quarantine zone must take training

August 28, 2019

Stopping the spread of the spotted lanternfly, one of the most destructive pests to hit the U.S. in years, is a priority for Pennsylvania.

Research predicts stability of mosquito-borne disease prevention

August 27, 2019

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

August 26, 2019

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.