ARS scientists found that methyl benzoate can repel, and even kill, other insects and pests, including the spotted wing drosophila fly.
For the Love of Coffee
Coffee production in Puerto Rico, with an estimated annual value of $100 million, is under significant threat from the invasive coffee berry borer. Native to Africa, this tiny beetle enters and lays eggs in coffee cherries. Its larvae feed on coffee cherries, resulting in crop damage and economic losses for coffee growers.
ARS scientists with the Mycology and Nematology Genetic Diversity and Biology Laboratory in Beltsville, MD, and university researchers in Puerto Rico studied local Puerto Rican fungal strains as possible biological control agents for managing coffee berry borer in an environmentally sustainable manner. Fungi were good candidates, since they could kill these unwanted pests and thereby reduce crop damage. Scientists discovered that two fungal strains, applied individually and as a mixture, were equally or more effective than the commercial fungal strain in suppressing coffee berry borer infestations in Puerto Rico. The local strains also generally persisted longer in the environment than the commercial strain. These findings provided ARS scientists and university researchers with a better understanding of control options for coffee berry borer populations and will help growers reduce losses.
Explore Other Discoveries
Food Additive Takes on Duty as a Pesticide
Herbicide Beefs Up Effective Biofumigant
Combining the biofumigant with an herbicide seems to curb infestations of purple nutsedge as well as reduce nematodes and the tomato wilt bacterium.
Hopping Against Climate Change
Often viewed as pests, grasshoppers may have a larger environmental role to play.
New Sugarcane Sweetens the Deal
A new variety of sugarcane has high fiber content, excellent regrowth ability, high stalk population, cold tolerance, disease resistance, and excellent biomass yield.
Saving A Favorite Superfood
ARS scientists are combatting pests and diseases affecting avocado production in the U.S.
The Potato Industry’s New Stud
ARS scientists created a new potato variety with greater yields and better processing qualities, especially for making chips and fries.
The Buzz Around Bee Genomics
Researchers with the ARS Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics, and Physiology Research Unit have identified a region of the honey bee genome linked to reduced colony defensiveness.
Wasp Could Fight Emerald Ash Borer
In the search for natural enemies of the emerald ash borer, one promising candidate is a tiny 5-7 millimeter-long parasitic wasp that lays its eggs on EAB larvae.