Insect Issues Making The News In September

Insect Issues Making The News In September

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Spotted Lanternfly

This past month there have been several news items covering entomology. Here’s a list of the stories, which range from trying to control spotted lantern fly in Pennsylvania to calling researchers relying on mud daubers to go where they can’t in a search for an invasive spider.

Call For Grant Proposals On Pollinators

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After records show that 2015 and 2016 honey production levels worsened over 2014, the National Honey Board and Project Apis m. are teaming up to find ways to reverse the continuing decline. The two organizations are seeking solutions for a more sustainable industry.

To that end, The National Honey Board is making $400,000 available in grant funds. The criteria? “Priority will be given to projects that focus on honey bee health and productivity that provide practical and tangible solutions to the beekeeping industry. Research outside the U.S. is possible, as are multiple year proposals. The goal of this research is to help U.S. producers maintain colony health, honey and crop production,” the American Bee Journal states.

Mud Daubers Are Being Recruited To Monitor Invasive Spider’s Reach

The University of Florida’s Institute of Food And Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is turning to an unusual ally in its quest to track the reach of the Joro spider, a colorful invasive from Asia: black and yellow dirt daubers, also known as mud daubers.

Mud daubers, harmless to humans, hunt spiders, and tuck them away in their mud nests for their young. UF/IFAS is hoping that homeowners in Northeastern Georgia will report and allow access to mud daubers on their properties so they can track how far afield this new invasive has gone.

The thinking is that, since they collect up to 25 spiders a day, mud daubers will be much more effective in collecting the Joro spider than human researchers will be in spotting them in the wild.

Pennsylvania Is Trying To Stop Spotted Lanternfly From Spreading

Since the spotted lanternfly was discovers in Berks County, PA, in the fall of 2014, the pest has spread to 40 municipalities, the Morning Call reports. And Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture is doing its best to stop its march through the state.

The Asian insect doesn’t attack crops directly, but leaves a honeydew residue behind that fosters fungal infestations. Stone fruit and grapes are key crops affected by the pest.

Pennsylvania has combatted the spotted lanternfly in a number of ways, from quarantines to tree banding. One especially effective method is to remove all but a handful of its host tree, another invasive, ailanthus. The few remaining tree attract the areas lanternflies, and are treated with insecticides, the Morning Call reports.

Ventura County, CA, Is Added To The Light Brown Apple Moth Quarantine

Ventura County is the 22nd California county to be placed under quarantine by the USDA for Light Brown Apple Moth.