Protecting Coffee Crops: Beetles and Bugs

THE coffee-berry borer is a pesky beetle. It is thought to destroy $500m-worth of unpicked coffee beans a year, thus diminishing the incomes of some 20m farmers. The borer spends most of its life as a larva, buried inside a coffee berry, feeding on the beans within. To do so, it has to defy the toxic effects of caffeine. This is a substance which, though pleasing to people, is fatal to insects—except, for reasons hitherto unknown, to the coffee-berry borer. But those reasons are unknown no longer. Read the rest at The Economist.

How to Kill Insects with Visible Light

This article was originally posted on RealClearScience.

Zzzzzzap! Ahhh, the gratifying sound of another insect biting the dust on a humid summer night. The hauntingly seductive blue glow of the bug zapper attracts thousands of unsuspecting insects to their untimely demise. Phototactic creepy-crawlies simply cannot resist moving toward the light, and when they arrive, a 2,000-volt wire mesh awaits them. Continue reading