Christmas Tree Pests and Weeds

Pine and fir trees, grown purposely for use as Christmas trees, are vulnerable to a wide variety of pests, weeds and diseases. Many of the conifer species cultivated face infestations and death from such pests as the balsam woolly adelgid and other adelgids. Aphids are another common insect pest. Christmas trees are also vulnerable to fungal pathogens and their resultant illnesses such as root rot, and, in the U.S. state of California, sudden oak death. Douglas-fir trees… Continue reading Christmas Tree Pests and Weeds

Why the Difference Between Rats and Mice Matters

Besides the fact that rats and mice look different, there are quite a few other differences between them. Your rodent control efforts will be most successful when you understand each of these pests fully. Knowing things like their behavior, food preferences, and habitats will help aid your control efforts. What works to control mice will not necessarily work to control… Continue reading Why the Difference Between Rats and Mice Matters

How a Wasp Turns Cockroaches into Zombies

A special chemical blend injected into the brains of cockroaches makes them pawns in the jewel wasp’s control—and perfect live food for its offspring Adapted from Venomous: How Earth’s Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry, by Christie Wilcox, by arrangement with Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC (US), Bungeishunju Ltd. (Japan). Copyright © 2016 by Christie Wilcox. I… Continue reading How a Wasp Turns Cockroaches into Zombies

There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’

The first time Mike the Hog-a-Nator noticed the ants, they were piled outside his cardiologist’s office. This was two summers ago, in Pearland, a suburb of Houston. There was a forbidding, fibrous heap of dead ants on either side of the building’s double doors, each a couple of feet long. And there were also legions… Continue reading There’s a Reason They Call Them ‘Crazy Ants’

A Buggy Thanksgiving: Insects Come to the Table

Mealworms, wax worms and crickets may not be obvious choices for Turkey Day, but at a special event this week, bug aficionados can taste new, insect-y twists on Thanksgiving staples such as pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce. The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans is cooking up insect-filled Thanksgiving treats at their cafe,… Continue reading A Buggy Thanksgiving: Insects Come to the Table

Black Widow Spiders

Characteristics: Size: These venomous spiders are usually a 1/2 inch in length, with a shiny black body, long thin legs and large oval abdomen. Females typically exhibit a red “hourglass” pattern on the underside of the abdomen, but this is not always the case. Color: Usually shiny black but may also be various shades of brown or… Continue reading Black Widow Spiders

Another Reason to Be Spooked on Halloween

Great Article! “They’re creepy and they’re kooky, mysterious and spooky, they’re all together ooky.” They’re…spiders, bats and bed bugs? During Halloween, forget the typical haunted house! For most homeowners, just the thought of a spider building a web in the kitchen, a bat flying around in the attic, or bed bugs nesting between the sheets… Continue reading Another Reason to Be Spooked on Halloween