pest

04/15/2013 - 10:25

The invasive kudzu bug has the potential to be a major agricultural pest, causing significant damage to economically important soybean crops. Conventional wisdom has held that the insect pests will be limited to areas in the southern United States, but new research from North Carolina State University shows that they may be able to expand into other parts of the country.

 

10/05/2012 - 06:37

Populations of the same plant species produce specific defenses that are effective against the predominant local pest community. Variation in the local pest community can therefore maintain genetic variation in plants across large geographical scales. Ecologists from the University of Zurich used controlled experiments coupled with observations on natural plant populations and their pests to demonstrate how genetic variation in plant defenses is maintained. The results could be used to develop customized seeds that are more resistant to the local pest community.

07/25/2012 - 17:05

A University of California, Davis, discovery that male navel orangeworms respond more readily to artificial or "deceitful" female sex pheromones than to natural sex pheromones could lead to a better mating disruption approach, resulting in a reduced larval infestation of California's multibillion almond, pistachio and walnut crops.

07/12/2012 - 11:34

A team of scientists from the University of Greenwich’s Natural Resources Institute (NRI), working with colleagues in the UK and Tanzania, has made a discovery that could provide a new means to control insect crop pests around the globe. The research team discovered that some African armyworms carry a small bacterium called Wolbachia which makes them more vulnerable to a natural virus which can be used as a biopesticide.

04/28/2012 - 21:28

University of Georgia researcher John Ruberson is looking for natural enemies of the kudzu bug in an effort to fight the pest's spread across the Southern states. A tiny Asian wasp may be the best option. The kudzu bug was first spotted in Georgia in the fall of 2009. It feeds on kudzu, soybeans and other legumes and has become a nuisance to homeowners and a threat to international trade as an agricultural contaminant.

11/28/2011 - 10:44

For a pest that isn’t quite the size of a comma on a keyboard, the two-spotted spider mite can do a disproportionate amount of damage. These web-spinners extract the nutrients they need from leaves of more than a thousand different plant species, including bioenergy feedstocks and food staples. The cost of chemically controlling spider mites to counteract reduced harvest yields hovers around $1 billion annually, reflecting their significant economic impact.