Monarch butterflies were hibernating in record low numbers in Mexico over the winter, but Cornell Ecologist Anurag Agrawal tells host Steve Curwood that he thinks the numbers breeding in Texas suggest the butterfly making a recovery. Read more
Old-fashioned fly swatters may be the most foolproof housefly killer, but for dairy farms, insecticides are the practical choice. Flies spread disease and a host of pathogens that cost farms hundreds of millions of dollars in annual losses.
Unfortunately, with the repeated use of the same insecticides, flies develop resistance through genetic mutations that make these products less effective. Read more
Better understanding of mosquito seminal fluid proteins – transferred from males to females during mating – may hold keys to controlling the Asian tiger mosquito, the world’s fastest-spreading invasive species, found in the U.S. and elsewhere. This mosquito is an important vector for dengue and chikungunya fevers as well as dog heartworm. Read more
Most farmers fight a constant battle against damaging insects. In a plant science version of “keep your friends close but your enemies closer,” Cornell researchers are working with a common potato pest to see if they can activate the natural defenses of potato plants by managing the bugs, rather than eradicating them. The researchers aim to harness the plants’ physiological responses to environmental stress—such as infestation—as a sustainable pest control strategy that increases yields and reduces insect damage at the same time. Read more