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Insects

The Butterfly Dilemma

I am sure that you have heard by now  --  “the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has found that adding the monarch butterfly to the list of threatened and endangered species is warranted but precluded by work on higher-priority listing actions. With this decision, the monarch becomes a  candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act…(U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Press Release, Dec. 2020)”  Essentially that means that as the number 8 candidate on the list, data on the monarch butterfly will be periodically reviewed until it either reaches the top of the list, recovers or becomes extinct. With the numbers of both Eastern and Western Monarchs dramatically plummeting across the entire North American continent, many question the ruling.

What's Bugging You Today?

Neither an insect nor a “true bug,” this fierce-looking arachnid is a common visitor to the garden. Black and yellow garden spiders (also known as Corn Spiders or Zipper Spiders) and their impressive orb webs (up to two feet in diameter), …

What's Bugging You Today?

By Sandra Nelson   My butterfly weed has been taken over by bright orange bugs. At first glance, I thought they were lady bugs attacking aphids–  about the right size and shape  —  but before long I knew something else was at work. Almost overnight they had changed into slender insects with long black legs …

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson   Wasps, as a family, have gotten a bad rap over the years. They have been branded as destructive and aggressive, working together in mobs intent on harming every human within the reach of their seemingly enormous stingers.     While some wasps, especially social ones, are nuisance insects, a large number …

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson   One of the more unusual species of the insect world, scale insects are both fascinating  and frustrating.     Ranging in size from microscopic dots when hatched up to a half of an inch as adults, all of the 8,000 described scale varieties share some common characteristics. As juveniles, scale …

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson   Throughout my childhood, this was the defining (and to be perfectly honest, somewhat creepy) sound of summer to me… …the raucous calls of hundreds of emerging cicadas.   But the noise wasn’t the whole story  —  the crunchy abandoned shells scattered all over the place repelled me; I couldn’t wait …

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson   I honestly thought that they had passed me by.  Then, this happened and I knew that my time was coming….Japanese beetles had arrived.     Accidentally introduced in 1916, the Japanese beetle has become one of the challenging of the insect pests to eradicate from the home landscape. Currently found …

What's Bugging You Today?

  By Sandra Nelson     Technically not a spider or an insect, the spider mite is a member of the arachnid family. (In case you’ve forgotten your grade school science, arachnids are invertebrates with exoskeletons, segmented bodies and at least three pairs of jointed legs.)  World wide there are literally thousands of varieties of …