Ensign wasps…they’re the good guys (actually, girls)

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Have you seen an insect in your house that kind-of looks like a fly, but not exactly?  It will be black in color, but the stunning and key feature is the abdomen; it comes off the top of the abdomen and looks similar to a triangular flag. I know of many people who have asked me about this “weird house fly” and when I tell them they shouldn’t squish they look at me like I’m crazy.  These “weird house flies” are ensign wasps and they help to manage… Read More →

Did you know?…..the insect version

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A bed bug can take up to six times it’s body weight in blood during a feeding session Monarch butterflies were named after King William, Prince of Orange (see the connection….) who later was named King of England Fleas can jump up to 200 times their body length The heaviest insect is the Giant Weta from New Zealand You can buy art created by a stag beetle on ebay….no joke! Have a great weekend!

Harvestmen, Daddy-longlegs or that weird, pulsing blob on the front porch

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I received a wonderful photo this past week and was thrilled when I was told that I could use it on my blog- thanks Jackie!  The photo is the inspiration of today’s post. Harvestmen, also sometimes called Daddy-longlegs, are arachnids but are NOT spiders.  Harvestmen are actually in their own order, Opiliones, whereas spiders are in the order Araneae.  Harvestmen have one basic body section (spiders have two), two eyes, and eight legs.  They live in moist habitats and usually are found under rocks or logs. The two… Read More →

Summer is here….and so are cicadas!

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Have you been hearing loud noises in trees when you go outside lately? Male cicadas are well known for their “song”.  They rest on trees and produce a whining sound that is attractive to females (cicada females, that is…). The sound is produced by two vibrating membranes on the side of the cicada abdomen.  Fortunately, for those who do not enjoy the “music”, female cicadas do not “sing”. Cicadas are fairly large insects with some growing over 1 1/2 inches. Color can vary depending upon the species, but… Read More →

Mid-year check on bug webinar series watching

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Have you been tuning in the first Friday of each month to the All Bugs Good and Bad webinar series? If you have no idea what I’m writing about or you possibly missed one or more along the way, FEAR NOT….we’ve got you covered! Each webinar has been taped for your viewing convenience (yes, you can watch in your PJs at home if you want).  All you have to do is click on the link of the webinar you want to view below and then click the green… Read More →

Austin’s 10th Annual BugFest

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Event: Austin’s 10th Annual BugFest When: Saturday, June 10th at 4-8:00 PM Where: At in.gredients 2610 Manor Rd, Austin, Texas 78722 Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/10th-annual-austin-bug-eating-festival-tickets-34667068134 What: Open to the public and free for kids, BugFest is your chance to learn about insects as food for people, pets and livestock. Taste food made with insects, see Chef Josh Jones, Co-Founder of Salt & Time and Chef PV do bug cooking demonstrations, enjoy SPUN ice cream, kids activity tables hosted by ATX urban farm, Green Gate Farm and GirlsEmpowerment Network. Hear the Austin premier of BugFest… Read More →

Walnut caterpillars

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An outbreak of walnut caterpillars has recently been reported in Fort Bend county.  These caterpillars can be found on pecan, walnut, and hickory as well as oak, willow and various woody shrubs. Walnut caterpillars have chewing mouthparts and can defoliate trees. Walnut caterpillars live together in a group after hatching out of the eggs. As they grow, they are reddish-brown and become covered with long, white hairs. Larger larvae are covered in white hair and can grow up to 2 inches long. The way damage appears depends upon… Read More →

Stink bugs- have you seen me?

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Yesterday as I was perusing the demo garden outside the office for insects (it’s how I take a break…) when I came across a plethora of stink bugs.  There were adults. There were nymphs. There were even eggs!  I took photos and planned on using them for some future endeavor at the time unknown to me when….. ….today seems to be the time for the photos.  I received an email this morning asking what the bug was that I had discovered in such high numbers yesterday.  I am… Read More →

Spittlebugs

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I’m sure that you’ve seen spittlebugs somewhere recently.  They seem to be everywhere this spring.  When I was little, I remember walking through the fields by our house and the plants would be covered with spittlebugs.  My mom would tell me that it was frog spit and if I touched it I would get warts.  So how do you test a hypothesis?  You experiment. This led me to the aforementioned fields covered with “spit”.  Imagine my delight and surprise when I discovered an insect buried in the middle… Read More →

2017 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar Series: Ticks

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When: Friday, May 5th, 1:00PM CDT Where: online https://extension.zoom.us/j/332261879 In this webinar, Dr. Thomas Mather, Professor, University of Rhode Island,  (aka “the tick guy”) will talk about an important arachnid, ticks.  Ticks that you do and don’t see as well as how to protect yourself, your family, and your pets will be discussed.  Moderated by Ellen Huckabay and Bethany O’Rear, Regional Extension Agents, Alabama Extension. Click here to login as a guest and participate in the live event.   Note: on May 5th, the link to the live webinar opens… Read More →