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Invasive Asian Crickets May Well Live in Your House

They could be squeezing out native bugs: researcher

(Newser) - Asian camel crickets are now so common in the US, they may even be beating out their native cousins. Hundreds or thousands of the striped creatures may very well be sharing your house, a study from North Carolina State finds; indeed, 90% of scientists responding to a census found them... More »

How Hungry Maggots Spurred Rapid Evolution

Male crickets new to Kauai, Oahu have altered their wings in just 20 generations

(Newser) - Two sets of male crickets on neighboring Hawaiian islands have been able to avoid attracting deadly parasitic flies by simply shutting up. The crickets likely arrived from Oceania in the late 1990s, and the flies came from North America around the same time. When the crickets tried to lure nearby... More »

Wild Discovery: Insects With Female Penises

Tiny creatures have sex for 40 to 70 hours

(Newser) - For the first time, scientists have discovered animals whose genitalia seem to be swapped: The female has a penis-like structure while the male has an organ akin to a vagina, LiveScience reports. The animals in question are four species of flea-sized insects from the genus Neotrogla, found in Brazilian caves.... More »

Fruit Flies Move Like Fighter Jets

Speed of evasive turns amazes researchers

(Newser) - Swatting a fruit fly is as tricky as trying to catch a tiny fighter jet with an expert pilot at the controls, researchers say. High-speed cameras captured the insects avoiding threats by executing supercharged, banked turns much like fighter planes, reports the Los Angeles Times . The flies beat their wings... More »

India's Famine Solution: We'll Eat Bugs

FAO discusses farming insects for food

(Newser) - Hopefully people in India like munching on crickets and other, um, delicacies. As the country's Food and Agriculture Organization warns a global famine will strike in 50 years, scientists are experimenting with an interesting source of alternative protein: bugs. "We are now doing a lot of work on... More »

Crazy Ants Have Secret Weapon in Insect War

Can produce antidote to fire ant poison: study

(Newser) - When we first introduced you to crazy ants , we mentioned they might pose a threat to fire ants. As fire ants aren't the friendliest of insects, that probably didn't sound so terrible. Except that now, crazy ants are indeed driving away fire ants via a remarkable built-in antidote... More »

New York's New Pest: Cold-Weather Roaches

Hardy Asian species found in US for first time

(Newser) - Sharp-eyed New Yorkers may spot a new winter sight this year: cockroaches scurrying around outside. Periplaneta japonica, a hardy Asian roach that can withstand harsh winter cold, has been found in the city for the first time. Scientists believe the roaches—which have never been spotted in the US before—... More »

Insects Caught in the Act —in 165M-Year-Old Fossil

Offers rare look at froghoppers' mating evolution

(Newser) - Meet the world's longest-lasting couple: Two insects who've been doing the deed for 165 million years. Yep, Chinese scientists have uncovered an ancient fossil of the love birds, er, froghoppers—the oldest instance of insects caught in the act in rock form, Popular Science reports. "This one... More »

Mutant Bugs' Task: Destroy Own Species

Fruit flies implanted with gene to halt population

(Newser) - How do you get rid of a population of bugs destroying your crops? Scientists are trying out a controversial method: spreading a gene that prevents females from reproducing. Males can live with the lab-inserted gene, but females die in the larval stage—which doesn't leave a lot of options... More »

Biologists Discover Gears in Insect's Legs

It's the only animal known to have them

(Newser) - We're pretty sure the ancient Greek mechanics who invented the gear weren't copying the Issus coleoptratus, but if they'd had an electron microscope, they could have. In a paper published this week in Science, a pair of biologists reveal that young specimens of these relatively common bugs... More »

Invasive 'Stowaway' Ants Far Worse Than We Knew

Invasive species are establishing colonies around the world

(Newser) - "Stowaway ants" are making their way around the world in higher numbers than previously thought—and some of them are rather nasty, according to Spanish scientists. Most of the insects are transported in ships and planes amid plants, wood, fruit, and soil, and about 85% of the introduced species... More »

What Makes You Tasty to Mosquitoes?

Pregnancy, blood type, even the clothes on your back

(Newser) - Whether you're one of those people who gets eaten alive by mosquitoes depends on some pretty tangible factors, and Smithsonian Magazine runs down the reasons that make an estimated 20% of us especially delectable to those buzzing little bloodsuckers. Without ado:
  • How much booze you drink: Turns out beer
... More »

The Next Insect Invader: Crazy Ants

New species may drive off fire ants, destroy electronics

(Newser) - Rat-sized snails , red-eyed cicadas , and now ... crazy ants. That is the latest insect invasion to hit the US, with billions marching in from South America and setting up colonies in the South, the Christian Science Monitor reports. "The entire Gulf Coast is going to be inundated in a... More »

UN's Hunger RX: Let the World Eat Bugs

Though 'consumer disgust' could get in the way

(Newser) - The UN has a simple way to address world hunger: We should all eat more insects, it says in a new report . "Insects are everywhere and they reproduce quickly, and they have high growth and feed conversion rates and a low environmental footprint," the report says, per the... More »

Meet Tofu's Enemy: Kudzu Bugs

New research shows they could spread to soybean farms across the US

(Newser) - Kudzu plants have been choking the Southeast for years, so at first blush it would seem that the 2009 arrival of the kudzu-eating kudzu bug from Asia would be a blessing. No so much. It turns out the bugs favor a second crop as well: soybeans. And on the heels... More »

Balkan Folk Remedy Beats Bedbugs

Bean leaves make effective traps, researchers find

(Newser) - Scientists looking for new ways to combat bedbug infestations have found that Eastern European housewives hit on a pretty good strategy centuries ago. Researchers found that leaving kidney bean leaves near beds and burning them the next day, as was long done in Bulgaria and Serbia, is remarkably effective because... More »

USDA: Time for 'Sea Change' in Fighting Pests

Officials release list of top 15 threats

(Newser) - Pests are causing billions of dollars of agricultural damage—the Asian citrus psyllid alone has cost Florida growers $4.5 billion—and it's time for a "sea change" in how we deal with them. Today, the USDA is releasing its list of the top 15 pest threats, USA ... More »

Freezing Temps Wipe Out ... Entire Flea Circus

300 fleas in Germany meet tragic end

(Newser) - It's a pint-sized tragedy in Germany, where freezing temperatures have claimed their latest victim: An entire flea circus. As the AP reports, flea circus director Robert Birk opened his transport box Wednesday morning, only to find all 300 fleas dead. The mass die-off left Birk scrambling to keep a... More »

Giant Mosquitoes May Strike Florida

'Gallinippers' are mean and bite hard, experts say

(Newser) - As if deadly sinkholes and Burmese pythons weren't enough, now Florida may find itself contending with another summer of giant mosquitoes that pack a ferocious bite, LiveScience reports. Dubbed gallinippers, the quarter-sized mosquitoes hatch after a flood or rainstorm, and saw a bumper crop after Tropical Storm Debby struck... More »

Your Christmas Tree: Home to 25K Bugs?

The good news is, they'll end up dead

(Newser) - Santa may be sneaking down your chimney, but he's not the only one making his way into your home. An avalanche of bugs is likely riding the Christmas Tree Express straight into your living room, reports the AFP . It spoke to a scientist who cited research that has found... More »

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