Zebra's stripes fascinate people, and have led many of us to ask how these stripes evolved? Recent research has shown that pressure from biting flies may have selected for this trait. At close distances, the stripes prevent flies from landing and biting, thus interfering with the spread of deadly disease causing agents. This insight may be used to develop preventative clothing to protect commercial and hobby horses from horse flies and other insects.
Innovation comes in many forms. Habitat for humanity is combining a novel delivery system for both public education and mosquito treatments. Very cool!
Research investigating the efficacy of "bug bombs" against cockroaches found that these common over the counter products were not effective; however, insecticidal baits were able to kill populations of cockroaches. Whereas baits take more effort to apply properly compared to bug bombs, the over all effect leads to much better results.
Recent reports suggest insect populations are decling globally; however, not all insects are being affected the same. Urban and medical pests such as cockroaches, bed bugs, flies, and others may be poised to increase due to factors such as global warming and increased urbanization.
Novel ways to interfere with vector-borne disease transmission are needed to overcome obstacles like insecticide resistance and work in conjunction with current tools to achieve better results. New research suggests there may be a way to prevent female mosquitoes from biting people and subsequently decreasing exposure to disease causing agents.
Over a decade ago, researchers used molecular tools to determine that termites and cockroaches were in the same group. Now, the naming system has been updated, and termites are officially cockroaches.
Bug Lessons Blog
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