UK scientists identify important biological marker to control insect pests

by Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A University of Kentucky research team led by entomologist Subba Reddy Palli discovered a protein that plays a critical role in the effectiveness of RNA interference in beetles. This finding could improve the efficiency of this pest control technology and help manage resistance.

RNA interference, RNAi, is a process where RNA molecules constrain gene expression. It is very efficient in insects belonging to the order Coleoptera, which includes a variety of major pests such as the corn rootworm, Colorado potato beetle, pine weevil, powderpost beetle, Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer. However, it has varying levels of efficiency in other insects. Continue reading

APHIS adds all of Minnehaha County, areas in Lincoln County, and areas in Turner County in South Dakota to the regulated areas for the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of Minnehaha County in South Dakota and areas north of Highway 18 in Lincoln County and north of Highway 18 and east of Highway 19 in Turner County in South Dakota to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the expansion of EAB in these areas.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from the quarantined area. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined areas is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

New Resources Available for Tawny Crazy Ant Management

A working group focusing on the tawny crazy ant is developing materials to help people identify and manage this pest.

First funded in 2015, the Tawny Crazy Ant Working Group used a 2017 IPM Enhancement grant to create videos, conference booth materials and booklets with information about the ant. Continue reading

WILD SPOTTER™ – A New National Effort to Increase Citizen Science Capacity to Map Invasive Species in America’s Wild Places.

In partnership with Wildlife Forever, USDA Forest Service, and other organizations across the United States,  the University of Georgia – Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health has launched a nationwide citizen science volunteer capacity-building program called Wild Spotter.  Designed to help locate and map aquatic and terrestrial invasive species in Wilderness Areas, Wild & Scenic Rivers, and other wild places across the 193 million-acre National Forest System, this new program engages and empowers the public, local communities, states, tribes, and many other groups to help the Forest Service confront the threats from harmful exotic plants, animals, and pathogens that invade America’s beautiful and economically important wild places.  The Wild Spotter program provides the tools these volunteers need to help locate, quantify, map, and report invasive species infestations in a simple and effective manner, while raising public awareness about invasive species and promoting collaborations across the landscape.

Register for a webinar on Wild Spotter: Mapping Invasives in America’s Wild Places on Jul 26, 2018 3:00 PM EDT at:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8187228954700337155 Continue reading

Ph.D. positions in urban ecology

POSITION #1

Ph.D. Position:  Landscaping plant choice and long-term invasion patterns (starting January 2019)

Overview:  The Residential Landscape Ecology (RLE) Lab of Dr. Basil Iannone in the School of Forest Resources and Conservation at the University of Florida is looking for a creative and motivated Ph.D. student.  Position includes four-years of competitive stipend, tuition waiver, and benefits.  The student would also be affiliated with the Sustainable Human and Ecological Development Group and the Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. Continue reading

APHIS Establishes a Host List for European Cherry Fruit Fly (Rhagoletis cerasi) and Conditions for Interstate Movement of Regulated Articles in Quarantined Areas

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has developed a host list for European cherry fruit fly (ECFF, Rhagoletis cerasi), and established conditions for the interstate movement of regulated articles from core areas quarantined for ECFF. These conditions include a systems approach to allow the interstate movement of cherry fruit from areas in a half-mile radius of quarantine ECFF detections without methyl bromide fumigation.

This action is required because the current fruit fly host list in the domestic quarantine regulations for fruit flies in 7 CFR 301.32 does not include ECFF hosts. The list is needed to identify ECFF hosts and to prevent the spread of this pest within the United States. Previous APHIS actions related to ECFF did not specify conditions for interstate movement of ECFF hosts from a quarantined area. This action specifies that, with the exception described below, all host articles must be moved in accordance with the conditions for interstate movement of host articles in 7 CFR 301.32-4 and 301.32-5. Continue reading

New tick species discovered in North Carolina

Recent tick surveys sent to the US Department of Agriculture identified a longhorned tick on an opossum in Polk County, North Carolina. The longhorned tick is an exotic species from Asia that is a serious pest of livestock.

The tick was initially identified in New Jersey in 2017, but further research into other reported ticks that may have been misidentified have revealed that the first recorded case of this tick was on a white-tailed deer in August 2010 in West Virginia. Before its introduction in North Carolina, the tick had been positively identified in Arkansas, New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia. Continue reading