The Weekly Buzz: Mosquito-borne Virus Outbreaks, Ant Treadmills, Beetle Hitchhikers and more

The Weekly Buzz is a roundup of stories in the bug and pest industry. This week discusses theories for relatively-recent outbreaks of mosquito-borne viruses, ants running on a treadmill, how beetles use rear-ends to hitchhike and more.

ant on stalk

Mosquito-borne virus outbreak

A variety of mosquito-borne viruses have presented themselves throughout North and South America in the past few decades. Some of these are more widely-known (Zika and West Nile), while some haven’t really broken into the news cycle (Eastern equine encephalitis). While there could be many factors for this relatively-recent outbreak, scientists from Brazil and Argentina have a few theories. Read more

Ants on a treadmill

To better understand desert ants’ homing behavior, scientists specially designed an “ant treadmill” to study the insects’ fancy footwork. With this specially designed treadmill, scientists were able to study the ants’ direction and speed. Read more

Predictions based on wasp behavior

According to studies, it’s believed that a wasp’s behavior can be predicted up to six weeks before it actually hatches, because a wasp offspring’s personality may reflect that of the queen. These findings and behaviors could help discover how certain wasp nests behave. Read more

Magnetic properties of cockroaches

According to a new discovery, it’s been found that living cockroaches have very different magnetic properties than that off dead cockroaches. This discovery could have meaning in the technological word, perhaps helping design better sensors for things such as microrobot navigation. Read more

Beetle hitchhikers

As researchers were surveying insects in Costa Rica, a colony of army ants marching across the forest looked completely normal, until viewed from the side. That’s when scientists noticed there was a little “extra junk in the trunk.” A species of beetle unknown to science was using the ant’s rear end to hitch a ride. Read more