Catnip compound curbs Asian lady beetles.
Article Type: Brief article
Subject: Beetles (Research)
Pub Date: 02/01/2010
Publication: Name: Agricultural Research Publisher: U.S. Government Printing Office Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Agricultural industry; Biotechnology industry; Business Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2010 U.S. Government Printing Office ISSN: 0002-161X
Issue: Date: Feb, 2010 Source Volume: 58 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Code: 90ASI Asia
Accession Number: 242015830
Full Text: At certain times of the year, the multicolored Asian lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis, comes inside--sometimes in large swarms--to escape the cold. It's an unwelcome guest because when it feels threatened, it releases a nontoxic yellow liquid that smells foul and produces stains. But in one study, researchers found that almost all adult male and female lady beetles turned away or otherwise tried to avoid the catnip compound nepetalactone--a substance that also shows promise for repelling some cockroaches, flies, termites, and mosquitoes.

These findings could lead to a combined "push-pull" control method, which would use repellents to discourage lady beetles from entering buildings and traps to lure and capture the insects so that they can be released elsewhere. This would allow humans to continue to benefit from the beetle's efficient predation of aphids, scales, and other soft-bodied arthropods that damage plants. Eric W. Riddick, Biological Control of Pests Research Unit, Stoneville, MS 38776-0067; (662) 686-3646, eric.riddick@ars.usda.gov. Kamal R. Chauhan, Invasive Insect Biocontrol and Behavior Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705; (301) 504-5166, kamal. chauhan@ars.usda.gov.

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