The Weekly Buzz is a roundup of stories in the bug and pest industry. This week includes a new addition to the endangered species list, bed bug activity figures, a new theory behind “fairy circles” and more.
The new endangered rusty patched bumblebee
Due to a dramatic population decline over the past 20 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service placed the rusty patched bumblebee on the endangered species list. This insect used to be abundant across 28 states, but today can only be found scattered among 13. The rusty patched bumblebee has become the first bee of any type in t he U.S. to be placed on this list. Read more.
Don't let the bed bugs bite
Bed bugs are still a hot issue, according to a researcher at the University of Kentucky. In fact, more than 70% of urban residents say they've seen bed bugs in their home, office or hotel. Read more.
Do termites cause "fairy circles?"
There’s a new theory behind the formation of “fairy circles” in Namibia. Though the debate is ongoing, some scientists believe termite colonies and plants might be the cause. More experiments with termite mounds, soil moisture and local plants are needed. Read more.
Can ant behavior help inspire the formation of robots?
Through studies, scientists have revealed how insects successfully walk backwards w hen carrying heavy loads of food -- by using the sun’s position and visual memory. Could learning their behavior inspire the formation of robot systems? Possibly.
Mosquitoes and the dengue virus
Dengue is a disease that affects nearly 400 million people annually worldwide. Now, researchers at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have successfully engineered mosquitoes – which generally carry pathogens that cause the disease – to resist infection from the dengue virus. Read more.