Cicada killer wasps emerging in Central Texas

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Over the past week I’ve been getting questions on large wasps that people are seeing emerging from the ground.  They want to know what they are and be reassured that they are not the Asian giant hornet.  These wasps are known as cicada killers and are aptly named.  Cicada killers are large wasps, reaching around 1.5 inches.  They have a rusty colored head and thorax with a black and yellow patterned abdomen.  The wings are also rusty in color, but transparent. Cicada killer wasps are solitary, but multiple… Read More →

“Murder” ?! Hornet Sensationalism

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What headline can draw people away from their thoughts dwelling on the current state of the world and Coronavirus? That would be MURDER HORNETS! I cannot think of a more sensationalized headline, so kudos to whomever came up with that attention grabber. This headline is popping up everywhere from social media outlets, television, newspapers, and others. Quite frankly, it makes me cringe each time I see it. Let’s begin with the terminology “murder” hornet. The definition of murder is “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by… Read More →

Emerald Ash Borer- FREE webinar!!

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2019 All Bugs Good and Bad Webinar on Emerald Ash Borer When: Friday, March 1 1:00 pm Central time To Join: https://auburn.zoom.us/j/615766171.   The Emerald Ash Borer  is responsible for millions of dead ash trees in North America causing homeowners, cities, and nurseries many millions of dollars and heartache. Come learn where this exotic pest came from, its life cycle, and management plans being implemented.   This webinar is presented by Lynne Womack, Georgia Forestry Commission. Note: on March 1,  the link to the live webinar opens about 15 minutes before the webinar. If… Read More →

Amazing beetle tattoo

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So those of you who really know me, are aware that I have beetle tattoos all over my back.  Well, I have been outdone.  This tattoo is amazing and to be honest, makes me a bit jealous…..

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

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I know what you are thinking….spiders?!  At Christmas?! Spiders are for Halloween.  Well, not in all parts of the world.  There are stories in Eastern Europe, usually from the Ukraine, that tell of a Christmas spider and people will include a spider ornament on their Christmas tree. There is more than one story out there, so you can choose your favorite. Version One: A poor but hardworking widow once lived in a small hut with her children. One summer day, a pine cone fell on the earthen floor… Read More →

2018 Holiday Gift Wish List

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It’s that time of year again!  Do you have an arthropod lover in your family?  If so, then here are some great gift ideas! First up is an art piece that I find utterly charming.  The artist is Paul Sumner and you can find his work here. I think that he calls his pieces beetles, but I think they look more like cockroaches (big shock why I love them….).  I found this one particularly unique because it is made from a can of Black Flag insecticide.  What can be… Read More →

Rain and imported fire ants

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So last time I posted about rain and mosquitoes.  I thought I needed to follow up that post with one on rain and imported fire ants, especially since it’s still raining. I’ve been getting a fair number of inquiries about imported fire ants as of late.  There are usually two categories of questions that I’ve been fielding: 1. What happens to fire ants when it floods? 2. How do I control all the fire ants that are popping up? I have covered both of these topics before and… Read More →

Rain and mosquitoes

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With all of the rain that we have received lately and more on the way, it’s understandable for people to be concerned about mosquitoes.  I’m not going to rehash everything here in this post, but I will direct you to past posts on mosquito topics. I do want to let people know of floodwater mosquitoes which are different from our normal culprits.  I usually get the statement of the “huge mosquito” or a “mosquito that REALLY hurts when it bites” or a “mosquito that tried to carry them… Read More →

Fall Armyworms

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I have been getting questions on armyworms and consulting with other entomologists, they have been as well.  So, instead of me recreating the wheel, I am going to link you to a publication written by Dr. Allen Knutson. Also, if you want to learn how to prepare your home to keep unwanted guest- in this case insects, not relatives- from entering your house, check out this month’s All Bugs Good and Bad webinar provided by Janet Hurley.

Texas cave scorpion

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Most people in Central Texas are well aware of striped bark scorpions as they can be found in the landscape and sometimes will venture indoors.  We have another scorpion that can be found in the area, the Texas cave scorpion. Scorpions are arachnids with eight legs and two body regions.   Scorpions have two pincers or claws, called pedipalps, which help them hold their prey as they eat.  They also have a long tail with a stinger on the tip that can be used for defense or to paralyze their prey. … Read More →