Skip to main content Skip to navigation
WSU News insects

Beetles and a cup of joe: Insects boost fair trade coffee sales

By Rebecca Phillips, University Communications science writer

PULLMAN, Wash. – When java giants like Starbucks seek out the finest fair trade coffee beans in Guatemala, insects can make all the difference. » More …

Rock Doc: Plants respond to sounds of insects eating leaves

By E. Kirsten Peters, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

peters-e-k-2010-80PULLMAN, Wash. – Plants are not as dumb as they look.

At least to me, plants have never seemed like the brightest bulb in the box. They stand around, looking green, hoping for a sunny day but not able to walk, talk or turn on the TV. However, due to a recent university press release, I’ve got to rethink my attitudes about vegetation. » More …

Collman helped start program 40 years ago

Collman

 

Entomologist Sharon Collman looks at the bugs she found under a rock near
the WSU Snohomish County Extension office during a recent bug hunt. (Photo
by Mark Mulligan, Everett Herald)

 

 

By Andrea Brown, Everett Herald
 
EVERETT, Wash. – Sharon Collman isn’t afraid of bugs. She’s afraid of not having enough bugs.

The good, the bad and some really ugly ones end up pinned on display boards at her WSU Snohomish County Extension office in Everett.

Read the complete article from the Everett Herald at http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20130918/LIVING03/709189946

Creepy crawlers, stingers do good at the farm

hornet nest

 

Student Alex Bruce photographs a football-sized bald faced hornet nest that hangs from a pear tree. (Photos by Linda Weiford, WSU News)

 

 

PULLMAN, Wash. – No insect drew more gasps than the parasitoid wasp during a field trip of undergraduate entomology students at Washington State University’s organic farm. But it wasn’t the wasp’s sting that made some step away with their eyes wide. It was the insect’s bizarre attack on an aphid on the underside of a just-picked kale leaf.

 

Jaeckel

WSU organic farm manager Brad Jaeckel.

Reminiscent of … » More …

Replacing chemical fumigation of fruit with low pressure

PULLMAN – Fruit consumers and growers will be delighted if Shaojin Wang, a WSU assistant research professor of biological systems engineering, can achieve his research goal. Wang is pursuing a method that could replace the chemical fumigation of apples and cherries grown in Washington with simple low-pressure treatments.

Low-pressure storage technology changes the normal composition of air, creating an environment inhospitable to pests that would otherwise attack the crop. While pests are controlled, fruit is kept fresh without over-ripening or senescing.

Wang is working on a technically effective and environmentally sound process to disinfest cherries and apples using low-pressure methods.

More … » More …

This time, you get to bite the bug

Mealworm tacos and cricket chili are among the delicacies that students in Washington State University entomology Professor Richard Zack‘s “Insects and People” class will dish up Friday, Nov. 4.From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Cascade Room of the Compton Union Building, Zack’s students will sample and serve a variety of foods that have insects as a primary ingredient. Friday’s menu also includes breads and cookies sweetened with a common bug byproduct – honey.The session, which is free and open to the public, follows his lecture on the nutritional value of insects and the cultures worldwide that depend on insects as a dietary staple.”Around … » More …

Virgin Palouse Prairie serves as insect refuge

PULLMAN — A 30-plus-acre slope near here may be one of the last, best chances to understand the insect world of the pre-agriculture Palouse Prairie, according to Richard Zack, Washington State University entomology professor .He and graduate student Jessica Thompson of Chico, Calif., are conducting research on the plot this summer to determine how the insect population — especially the moth population — there differs from the insect population in surrounding agricultural areas.“The question is: Does it still maintain an insect fauna that probably would have been common throughout the area before we started farming here? The insects aren’t necessarily rare everywhere, but they are … » More …