Information About Insects

Information About Insects

Managing Mealybugs Outside: Tips For Outdoor Mealybug Control

By Laura Miller

The leaves on your outside plants are covered with black speckles and spots. Upon closer inspection you find tufts of cottony material and segmented waxy bugs. Congratulations, you've discovered mealybugs in the garden. Learn how to control them here.

Killing Slugs With Beer: How To Make A Beer Slug Trap

By Laura Miller

During the day, slugs like to hide under mulches and in worm holes, so hand picking these intruders is difficult. Perhaps, you've heard of killing slugs with beer and wonder if this alternative method for non-chemical control is effective. Click here to find out.

What Bug Is This – Basic Tips On Identifying Garden Pests

By Teo Spengler

Experts have estimated that there are up to 30 million species of insects living on the planet. With so many, it’s no wonder identifying garden pests is not always an easy task. To learn a few methods of identifying garden pests, click here.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs: Can Bed Bugs Live Outdoors

By Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

While bed bugs are a serious concern when found indoors, many may be surprised to find that bed bugs may also be able to survive out in the garden. While not as common, bed bugs from garden areas can hitch a ride indoors. Learn more in this article.

Indoor Thrips Control – Getting Rid Of Thrips On Houseplants

By Raffaele Di Lallo, Author and founder of Ohio Tropics houseplant care blog

Thrips indoors are not as common as thrips on outdoor plants, but they do occur and it is important to take care of them before the damage becomes too difficult to deal with. It is best to identify them early in order to have the best chance in getting rid of them. Learn more here.

Gardening Down South: How To Manage Pests In Southern Regions

By Susan Albert, Freelance Garden Writer

Managing pests in the south requires vigilance and recognizing good bugs from bad bugs. By keeping an eye on your plants and vegetables, you can catch problems before they become a full-blown infestation. Click here for tips on how to manage pests in southern regions.

What Are Blister Mites: Recognizing Blister Mite Damage

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

For home fruit growers, blister mite damage is usually cosmetic, but problems for commercial fruit growers can be significant. Click on the following article for more information and learn how to control blister mites in your garden.

Lesion Nematode Information: What Are Root Lesion Nematodes

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Many types of nematodes are beneficial for gardeners, helping to process and decompose plant matter for healthy plant growth. Unfortunately, root lesion nematodes are anything but helpful. Learn how to prevent lesion nematodes in this article.

Stunt Nematode Control: How To Prevent Stunt Nematodes

By Teo Spengler

You may never have heard of stunt nematodes, but that doesn’t mean that these microscopic worms aren’t affecting you. If you’re looking for a description of stunt nematode symptoms, plus a few tips on stunt nematode control, then this article can help.

Are All Nematodes Bad – A Guide To Harmful Nematodes

By Mary Ellen Ellis

One square foot of soil in your garden probably has one million of nematode worms. As a gardener, it is important to know which nematodes are bad for plants and cause damage. Most are not only harmless but actually helpful. Learn which are bad in this article.

Hessian Fly Pests – Learn How To Kill Hessian Flies

By Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

When adding new crops, it is important that growers familiarize themselves with any possible or preventable issues that may be common. This is especially true with grain crops and their susceptibility to hessian fly infestations. Click here for info on hessian fly management.

Biting Midge Info: How To Stop No-See-Um Insects

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Have you ever had the sensation something is biting you but when you look, nothing is apparent? This may be the result of no-see-ums. What are no-see-ums? Click this article for important biting midge info, including tips on controlling no-see-um pests.

Garden Roach Control – Learn How To Kill Cockroaches In Your Garden

By Amy Grant

You are just as likely to find roaches in the garden as indoors. Outdoor roach problems can soon become indoor roach problems, which means that garden roach control should be a priority. Learn how to kill cockroaches in the garden with info from this article.

Pin Nematode Treatment: How To Stop Pin Nematodes

By Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Troublesome pests like pin nematodes may be difficult to detect without prior suspicion of their presence. Awareness of pin nematode symptoms may help in determining whether or not this may be an issue in the home garden. Learn more about the pests in this article.

Root Aphid Info: Learn About Killing Root Aphids

By Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Though aphids are most commonly found the leaves and stems, another type of aphid can be found below the soil surface. These root aphids attack the root system of plants and can cause quite a bit of trouble for growers. Learn about root aphid treatment in this article.

Pink Rust Mite Damage – Learn How To Kill Pink Citrus Rust Mites

By Teo Spengler

Although pink citrus rust mite pests may be a pretty color, there is nothing cute about these destructive insects. Anyone growing citrus in a home orchard should be able to recognize pink citrus mite damage. If you need more information, this article will help.

Shore Fly Control – Learn How To Get Rid Of Shore Flies

By Teo Spengler

While they feed on algae rather than the crops, growers and gardeners battle shore flies aggressively. If you want to know more about shore fly damage, click here. We’ll give you information on shore fly control and tips on how to get rid of shore flies.

Inchworm Information: Are Inchworms Bad For Plants

By Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Various types of inchworms are found in and near the home garden. These pests are responsible for damage in both vegetable gardens and home orchards. By knowing the signs to look for, gardeners are better able to defend against future damage. Learn more here.

Bugs In The Garden: The Most Common Garden Pests To Look Out For

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

There are probably hundreds of insects that plague our gardens daily, but the most common plant pests seem to do the most damage. Once you recognize these bugs, you can start taking steps to protect your plants with effective control. This article will get you started.

Spanworm Control: Tips For Getting Rid Of Spanworms In Gardens

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Large, irregular rips and tears in the foliage? You may be seeing spanworm damage. “What are spanworms and how do I go about getting rid of spanworms before they strike again?” Learn more about spanworms, their sneaky habits, and spanworm control here.

What Are Fireworms: Tips On Fireworm Control In Gardens

By Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)

Starting and maintaining a garden is exciting and rewarding but can also be frustrating when fireworm pests wreak havoc on plantings. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of infestation is the first step to a healthy growing space. Learn more here.

Yellowjacket Control Guide: How To Manage Yellowjacket Pests In Gardens

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

True scavengers that love meat and sweet food, yellowjackets are a real nuisance at outdoor get-togethers. They become even meaner when colonies are large and food is scarce. So, how to manage yellowjacket pests? Click this article for helpful tips.

Cucurbit Nematode Control – How To Manage Nematodes In Cucurbit Plants

By Mary Ellen Ellis

Melons, squash, cucumbers, and other members of the cucurbit family are susceptible to infestation with nematodes. Cucurbits with nematodes may suffer varying degrees of crop loss, and management strategies are important for control. This article can help with that.

What Is Armored Scale: Identifying Armored Scale Insects On Plants

By Kristi Waterworth

Armored scale insects are hiding under your nose right now and you probably don't even know it. These master mimics are everywhere, but you can learn how to detect and eliminate them from your plants in this article. Click here to learn more.

What Is Soft Scale – How To Recognize Soft Scale Insects

By Kristi Waterworth

Lumps, bumps and weird cottony fluff on your plants are more than just some strange coincidence, they?re probably soft scale insects! Don?t worry, we have the answers to your burning soft scale questions. Click this article to learn more.

What Are Spindle Galls – Tips On Spindle Gall Treatment

By Kristi Waterworth

It's amazing how many tiny things can live on a tree, without anyone really ever noticing. Such is the case of the Eriophyid mite, the cause of spindle galls on your tree leaves. Take a look at this article for more information about them and how they affect your plants.

Scorpion Control In Gardens: Learn What To Do About Garden Scorpions

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Most scorpion stings to adults are not life threatening but the pain is enough for you to consider scorpion control to prevent pets and children from getting hurt by these arthropods. Learn ways to rid the garden and other areas of scorpions in this article.

What Are Witchetty Grubs: Learn About Witchetty Grubs In Gardens

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Inside the roots of plants in the Acacia family, fat white grubs can be harvested that are called witchetty grubs. What are witchetty grubs? Click here for some interesting witchetty grub information and some thoughts on how to prevent their injurious activity in your plants.

What Are Coccid Scales – Learn About Coccid Scale Control On Plants

By Darcy Larum, Landscape Designer

Diaspididae scale is commonly known as hard scale and is a more host specific insect. Coccid scale is commonly known as soft scale and is more widespread. As it is the more common scale, this article will discuss soft scale on plants and coccid scale control.

Spider Mite Tree Damage: Control Of Spider Mites In Trees

By Jackie Carroll

It's surprising that such tiny creatures as spider mites can have such a big impact on trees. Even the largest tree can sustain serious damage. Find out what to do about spider mites in trees with the information found in this article.

Billbug Lawn Treatment – Tips On Controlling Billbugs In Lawns

By Jackie Carroll

Billbugs are destructive insects that can ruin a lawn. The grubs begin feeding in the grass stems, gradually working their way down to the roots, killing the grass blade by blade. Find out about billbug lawn treatment in this article.

Twig Girdler Control: Learn How To Manage Twig Girdler Damage

By Teo Spengler

The common names of bugs can give useful information about the type of damage they might do to your plants. Twig girdler beetles are a great example. As the names suggests, these insect pests chew the bark around small branches. Learn how to control them here.

Kermes Scale Lifecycle: Tips On Treating Kermes Scale Insect Pests

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

What are kermes scale pests? Kermes scale are aggressive sap-sucking pests that can cause significant damage in oak trees. Treating kermes scale on plants is attained by a variety of methods. Learn about kermes scale control in this article.

Cicada Bugs In Trees: Preventing Cicada Damage To Trees

By Jackie Carroll

Cicada bugs emerge every 13 or 17 years to terrorize trees and the people who care for them. Are your trees at risk? Cicadas can damage trees, but not in the ways you might think. Learn how to minimize cicada damage to trees in this article.

Fire Ant Control In Gardens: Tips For Controlling Fire Ants Safely

By Jackie Carroll

Between medical costs, property damage, and the cost of insecticides to treat for fire ants, these tiny insects cost Americans more than 6 billion dollars each year. Find out how to control fire ants in this article. Click here for more information.

Greenfly Information: Greenfly Aphid Control In The Garden

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Greenflies are simply another name for aphids - tiny pests that wreak havoc in gardens and farms around the world. This article contains information on their damage and what you can do to rid them of your garden. Click here to learn more.

What Are Scout Beetles: Japanese Beetle Facts And Information

By Amy Grant

The first Japanese beetles to appear become scouts for others, notifying the rest of the adults by marking territory for them to follow. These advance scout beetles basically run reconnaissance on your garden. Find out how to control them here.

Controlling Tortrix Moths – Learn About Tortrix Moth Damage In Gardens

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Tortrix moth caterpillars are small, green caterpillars that roll themselves snugly in plant leaves and feed inside the rolled leaves. The pests affect a variety of ornamental and edible plants, both outdoors and indoors. Click here for more information.

Capsid Bug Treatment – Managing Capsid Bugs In Gardens

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Capsid insects feed on plant sap and damage is most common on plant tips in woody or herbaceous plants. Early capsid control is essential to preserving the foliage and fruit of your trees and shrubs. This article will help with that.

What Are Blister Beetles: Is Blister Beetle A Pest Or Beneficial

By Jackie Carroll

When you kill a blister beetle by crushing it against your skin, a poison in the beetle's body causes a painful blister. The blisters are only the beginning of the many problems that these insects cause. In this article, you'll learn about blister beetle control.

Planthopper Insect Pests: How To Get Rid Of Planthoppers

By Jackie Carroll

Named for their skill at jumping short distances, planthoppers can destroy plants when their populations are high. They also transmit pathogenic microorganisms that cause plant diseases. Find out about planthopper control in this article.

Deterring Bees With Plants: Learn How To Repel Bees And Wasps

By Teo Spengler

Bees and flowers are combo linked by nature and there is very little you can do to separate the two of them. Flowering plants rely on bees to do the necessary pollen transfer to help them reproduce. If you are still thinking about deterring bees with plants by finding flowers bees don't like, read on.

What Is A Golden Nematode: Learn About Golden Nematode Control

By Teo Spengler

If you?ve never read any golden nematode information, you might not know about golden nematodes in gardens. Golden nematodes are among the world's most damaging pests of potato plants and other plants in the nightshade family. Learn more here.

What Are Boxelder Bugs And What Do Boxelder Bugs Look Like

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

What are boxelder bugs? Boxelder bugs are major nuisances around the house but, fortunately, boxelder bugs in gardens are relatively harmless. Click this article to learn more about boxelder bugs, including a few tips for boxelder bug control.

Chinch Bugs In Lawns: Learn About Chinch Bug Control

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

What are chinch bugs? These insect pests are known to plague turf grass across North America. There is a species for almost every climate and their activities cause irreparable damage to lawns. Click this article to learn more.

Katydid Facts: Managing Katydids In The Garden

By Teo Spengler

Generally, katydids in the garden nibble leaves but do not do serious garden damage. You'll need to get a few more katydid facts to determine whether to try to get rid of them. This article provides more information about katydids.

Fig Beetle Facts – Control Of Fig Beetles In The Garden

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Also known as figeater beetles or green June beetles, fig beetles are large, metallic green beetles that dine on corn, flower petals, nectar and soft-skinned fruits. Figeater beetles can cause extensive injury in home lawns and gardens. Learn about their control here.

Rosemary Beetle Control: How To Kill Rosemary Beetles

By Amy Grant

Depending upon where you are reading this, you may already be familiar with rosemary beetle pests. If you live for fresh herbs in your cooking, you'll want to know about managing rosemary beetles. This article will help.

DIY Wasp Trap Info: Do Homemade Wasp Traps Work

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Homemade wasp trap instructions abound on the internet or you can also purchase ready-made versions. These easy-to-assemble traps simply catch the wasps and drown them. Learn how to make a homemade wasp trap in this article.

Preventing Ticks: How To Get Rid Of Tick Naturally In The Landscape

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Ticks are nasty little pests that feed on the blood of vertebrates - including you and your pets. If you?re anxious to learn about preventing ticks or you want to know how to get rid of ticks, this article has more information.

Ant Hills In Grass: How To Control Ants In Lawns

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Controlling ants in the lawn becomes important where their hill building causes root damage to grass and unsightly mounds. Knowing how to control ants in lawns begins with some information that you can find in this article. Click here to learn more.

Sweat Bees In Gardens – Tips For Sweat Bee Control

By Jackie Carroll

Sweat bees are often seen flying around the garden with a heavy load of pollen on their back legs. Don't let the fear of sweat bee stings keep you out of your garden. Find out how to control sweat bees and avoid stings in this article.

What Are Bark Beetles: Information About Bark Beetles On Trees

By Kristi Waterworth

There are few things that can match a forest fire for sheer destructive force on trees - with exception to the bark beetle, which can eat its way through stands of trees. You should keep an eye on new holes in your trees? surfaces. This article will help.

Black Vine Weevil Control: Getting Rid Of Black Vine Weevils

By Kristi Waterworth

Gardening is all fun and games until the insects show up to spoil your landscape. Find out how to manage a common beetle pest, the black vine weevil, in this informative article. Click here to learn more these insects and their control.

Darkling Beetle Facts – Tips On Getting Rid Of Darkling Beetles

By Jackie Carroll

Darkling beetles get their name from their habit of hiding during the day and coming out to feed at night. This article will help you identify and control these pesky insects. Click here to get more information about darkling beetles.

Cicada Bugs In The Garden – Periodic Cicada Emergence And Control

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

If you live in the eastern or southern parts of the United States, there?s little doubt that you?re familiar with the. So do cicadas damage plants? Experts offer mixed opinions on the subject. Read this article to learn more.

Skeletonized Plant Leaves: Causes For Skeletonization Of Leaves

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Leaf problems abound in the home landscape but nothing is more puzzling than the causes of skeletonization. The reasons for skeletonizing leaves may stem from insect or disease and occasionally chemical injury. Click this article for more info.

What Are Leaf Footed Bugs: Learn About Leaf Footed Bug Damage

By Kristi Waterworth

Although many of the bugs in the garden can be easily distinguished as friend or foe, the leaf footed bug is not among them. These sometimes problematic insects require careful observation so you can clearly say if they're harming your garden plants. Learn more here.

Snail/Slug Egg Treatment: What Do Slug And Snail Eggs Look Like

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Snails and slugs are a gardener?s worst enemies. Their feeding habits can decimate the vegetable garden and ornamental plants. Prevent future generations by identifying eggs of slugs or snails. What do slug and snail eggs look like? Read this article to learn more.

How Do Aphids Help Ants: Controlling Aphids And Ants On Plants

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Ants herd and care for aphids in order to keep a much loved food in constant supply. Aphids and ants on plants are as interdependent as peanut butter and jelly. Learn more about this relationship in this article.

Slugs Eating Potted Plants: Protecting Container Plants From Slugs

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Slugs are capable of wreaking havoc in the garden, and even potted plants aren't safe. Slugs eating potted plants are easily spotted by the silvery trail they leave behind, and by the round, chewed holes in the foliage. Learn more here.

What Are Armyworms: Information On Armyworm Control

By Kristi Waterworth

Armyworms in gardens are no fun, but if you keep a close eye on the activity among the veggies, you'll quickly have them under control. The information in this article will help, so click here to learn more.

What Are Leafrollers: Leafroller Damage And Control

By Kristi Waterworth

Leafroller insects can cause significant damage to garden plants. The following article will help with controlling these pests and minimize further problems. Read here to get additional information.

What Are Sap Beetles: How To Control Sap Beetles

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Sap beetles are dangerous pests of commercial and home fruit crops. This article has some tips on how to control sap beetles and prevent their destructive eating habits from destroying your fruit.

What Are Psyllids: Tips On Getting Rid Of Psyllids

By Kristi Waterworth

Before you spray for psyllids, read this article so you better understand the difference between harmless psyllids and the psyllid pests that pose a real threat to your plants. Click here to learn more.

Sawfly Insect Control: How To Get Rid Of Sawflies

By Jackie Carroll

Sightings of adult sawflies are rare, but you may occasionally see them near flowers and flower buds where their offspring cause damage to the foliage. Read here for more sawfly information.

Leafhopper Damage On Plants: How To Kill Leafhoppers

By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

Leafhopper damage on plants can be extensive, so learning how to kill leafhoppers in the garden and ridding lawns of leafhopper pests is important. This article can help with that.

Codling Moth Protection – Tips For Controlling Codling Moths

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Codling moths are common pests of apples, pears and other fruits. These small unassuming moths are dangerous to commercial crops and can cause extensive fruit damage. Learn how to treat for them here.

Bark Lice Webbing – Information About Bark Lice In Trees

By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

You've probably noticed bark lice webbing at one time or another in your trees. While unsightly, this often leads homeowners asking "Do bark lice insects damage trees?" To find out, read this article.

Types Of Mites In Garden: Common Mites That Affect Plants

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

If you are seeing signs of curled, yellow leaves, tiny webs or just sickly plants, you might have a nearly invisible foe. Mites are hard to see with the naked eye, but this article has information that will help.

Webworm Treatment: Tips For Controlling Webworms

By Amy Grant

Many people wonder what to do about webworms. When controlling fall webworms, it's useful to analyze what exactly they are. This article on fall webworm control will help with that.

Wireworm Control: How To Get Rid Of Wireworm Pests

By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

Wireworms can be very destructive and difficult to control. While not as common in the home garden, learning more their control is your best line of defense. Get more information in this article.

Cup Moth Info – Learn About Gardening With Cup Moths

By Jackie Carroll

Cup moths are Australian insects that feed on eucalyptus foliage. Voracious feeders, a severe infestation can defoliate a tree in no time. Learn more about these pests and their control in this article.

Sow Bug Control – How To Get Rid Of Sow Bugs

By Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Sow bug control in the garden is a tricky process, as the bugs like moisture and gardens cannot exist without water. Good cultural practices can help reduce sow bugs in the garden, and this article will help.

Fungus Gnat Control – Fungus Gnats In Houseplant Soil

By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

Fungus gnats are not a common houseplant pest, but when these little fly like creatures invade your houseplant?s soil, they can become a serious nuisance. Read this article to learn how to get rid of fungus gnats.

Steps To Eliminate Spittlebugs – How To Control Spittlebug

By Stan V. Griep, American Rose Society Consulting Master Rosarian, Rocky Mountain District

Never heard of spittlebugs? You are not alone. Most probably have seen the nest they make and wondered if someone spit on their plant. Find out more about these pests in the article that follows.

Learn About Leaf Cutter Bees

By Stan V. Griep, American Rose Society Consulting Master Rosarian, Rocky Mountain District

Do you ever see half moon shaped notches that appear to have been cut out of the leaves on your rosebushes or shrubs? If so, your garden may have been visited by the leaf cutter bee. Learn more here.

June Bug Facts And How To Kill June Bugs

By Heather Rhoades

June bugs can cause damage to many landscape plants and be a pest to the home gardener. June bug insects can be controlled though with a few steps found in the following article.

How To Rid Plants Of Leaf Miners

By Heather Rhoades

Leaf miner damage is unsightly and, if left untreated, can end up causing serious damage to a plant. Taking steps to rid plants of leaf miners will improve their overall health. Learn how to kill leaf miners in this article.

How To Get Rid Of Cutworms – Dealing With Cutworm Damage

By Teo Spengler

If cutworms are attacking your seedlings, you’ll want to know how to get rid of cutworms. Control of cutworms is possible with a little know-how. For more information on how to kill cutworm pests in the garden, this article can help.

Controlling Thrips – How To Get Rid Of Thrips

By Kathee Mierzejewski

Thrips are little slender insects that feed on prized garden plants, causing devastation when found in large numbers. Use the information in this article to control thrips pests in the garden.

Identifying And Controlling Root Weevil

By Heather Rhoades

Root weevils are a plant pest both indoors and outdoors. Identifying and controlling root weevil in your garden and houseplants can keep your plants from suffering unnecessary damage. This article will help.

Facts About Slugs And How To Kill Garden Slugs

By Heather Rhoades

Slugs are one of the most damaging pests in the garden. Understanding a few facts about slugs can help you kill garden slugs in your garden before they wreak havoc on your plants. This article will help.

Organic Snail Control: How To Control Garden Snails

By Heather Rhoades

Garden snails are kissing cousins to the nefarious slug that also terrorizes gardens. Tips on how to control garden snails can be found in the following article, so read here for additional information.

Small Holes On Leaves – What Are Flea Beetles?

By Heather Rhoades

You may have noticed some small holes on the leaves of your plants and are wondering what kind of pest caused these holes. Flea beetles are the culprit, and this article can help.

Spider Mite Detection And Spider Mite Natural Control

By Heather Rhoades

Being able to effectively kill spider mites starts with good spider mite detection. Once you have them, controlling spider mites naturally is the best course of action. Learn more in this article.

Mealybugs: White Residue On Plant’s Leaves

By Heather Rhoades

Houseplants are susceptible to pests, and one of those pests is mealybugs. Mealybugs will commonly leave a white residue on plant leaves that resembles cotton. Learn more in this article.

Keeping Ants Off Flowering Vines, Vegetables and Flowers

By Heather Rhoades

Nothing can ruin the beauty of a lovely flower vine faster than a parade of little black ants crawling all over the blossoms, and the same goes for your other flowers and vegetables. Learn more in this article.

Removing Earwigs From The Garden

By Heather Rhoades

Earwigs are one of those garden pests that look very frightening, but are rather harmless. They can, however, be quite damaging to in the garden. Learn how to fix earwig problems in this article.


10 Weird and Fun Facts about Insects

by Unbelievable Facts Apr 9, 2019, 6:23 pm Comments Off on 10 Weird and Fun Facts about Insects

If you are one of those people who loved being outdoors as a child, then you know what fun it is to chase a butterfly, to try and catch dragonflies, or to just look at ants moving in line carrying their food. While our childhood is now gone, the world of insects still remains as awesome as it was then. Every day we encounter hundreds of these insects and dismiss them away as unimportant. But investing a bit more time will reveal what busy and interesting lives these insects lead and the facts related to them. Keep reading to find out 10 weird and fun facts about insects.

1. Dung beetles can navigate only when the Milky Way or clusters of bright stars are visible and are the only insect known to orient itself by use of the galaxy.

Image credits: Bernard DUPONT/Flickr

Dung beetles are tiny beetles that feed mainly on excrement (dung). When they sniff out a steaming pile of fresh feces, the dung beetles gather around it. The males painstakingly create balls out of the dung and then roll them away from the mound sometimes taking along a female that he had picked up. Then the pair bury the dung which later serves as food for their offspring. The most noticeable aspect of this whole process is that the dung beetle always rolls away the dung ball from the feces mound in a straight line despite all obstacles.

Also, dung beetles can navigate in a straight line even at night and is the only known insect to do so. Scientists have found that dung beetles find their way according to the Milky Way. They also use the lights from star clusters to direct their way. In a single night, a dung beetle can bury dung 250 times heavier than itself. (1, 2)

2. Bees don’t buzz during an eclipse. Bees remain active and noisy right up to the last moments before totality. As totality hits, the bees all go silent in unison.

Image credits: Pixabay

On the eve of the Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017, ecologist Candace Galen of the University of Missouri conducted an experiment. She, along with a team of researchers and a few hundred elementary school students, decided to find out how honey bees respond during a solar eclipse. Earlier that day, they suspended tiny microphones among flowers to record the buzzing of the bees throughout the eclipse.

During the eclipse, the team found out that the bees continue to buzz up to the last moment before totality. Totality is that stage of a total solar eclipse when the Moon completely blocks all direct sunlight. The team observed that as soon as totality hit, the bees abruptly went silent. Even moments before totality, the bees were actively flying and nosily buzzing around, but they all stopped in unison as totality hit. Professor Galen made the observation that during the eclipse as it gradually got darker, the buzzes lasted longer. This suggests that as the total eclipse was approaching, the bees were taking longer flights and flying more slowly. (source)

3. The blue wings of the morpho dragonfly are surprisingly alive. Scientists found a respiratory system in these wings, the first time this has been seen in any insect.

Image credits: Greg Lasley/Inaturalist.Org via Sciencenews

When insects are born, their wings are alive. As they morph into adults, the cells of wings begin to dry. Only the veins remain alive. The dried-out zones either become clear or are covered in colored patches bordered by the network of veins. Only these veins have a life-support system including nerves, respiratory tubes, etc. The rest of the wing is dried up and dead as a person’s toenail clippings. But entomologist Guillermo Ferreira of Kiel University, Germany was in for a great shock when he saw the scanning-electron-microscope image of the morpho dragonfly’s wings. He saw that the striking blue wings are fully alive.

The morpho dragonfly is the only insect whose wings have been found to be alive. Ferreira found out that the wings had an unusual, tracheal, respiratory system. According to him, the blue color of their wings is probably due to the live wings. The blue pigment is actually not present on the morpho dragonfly wings. The wings look blue due to a living layer of structure that plays tricks with light. (source)

4. The adolescents of the planthopper bug are the first living things discovered to have evolved mechanical gears. They’re located in its legs and enable it to jump at an acceleration of 400 g in 2 ms.

The first person to invent a mechanical gear was a Greek mechanic who built it sometime around 300 BCE. As it turns out, nature had already experimented in this field through a hopping insect, Issus coleoptratus, also known as the “planthopper bug.” It is also the first living creature ever discovered that has an actual gear system in its body. The juveniles of this species have an intricate system of functioning gears in their back legs.

The juvenile Planthopper bugs jump by locking their legs into a leap-ready position. The minuscule pair of gears at the top of their legs interlock their teeth like a zipper. The appendages rotate at the same instant, and, within a blink of an eye, the bug skyrockets away accelerating at the speed of 400 g. The creature is less than one-tenth of an inch long, and, at its top speed, it can reach more than eight miles-per-hour! (1, 2)

5. The ears of the katydid are located on their legs and are quite similar to human ears, complete with the entomological versions of eardrums, ossicles, and cochleas.

The ear is visible as an oval-shaped structure on the front leg of this katydid. Image credits: Andreas Kay/Flickr

Katydids, also known as “bush crickets,” are golden-faced, nocturnal insects with a miniature unicorn horn on their heads. They are noted for their mating calls which are sung in an ultrasound frequency range. Katydids can hear sounds in the frequency ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 hertz. They hear sounds through their two, human-like ears, one on each front leg located just below their knees.

The ears of katydids are less than a millimeter long and quite similar to human ears. Human ears are divided into three main parts: the eardrum, the ossicles, and the cochlea. Katydids have a similar auditory system. They have eardrums which vibrate when a sound wave hits them. The ossicle is a fluid-filled vesicle which transmits the vibrations. The vesicle also acts like a simplified cochlea complete with sensory-hair cells that transmit the vibrations to the brain. (1, 2)

6. A fly called Goniurellia tridens has “ant-mimicking” wings. Those “ants” on its wings aren’t real ants, but markings. When threatened, the fly flashes its wings to give the appearance of ants walking back and forth. The predator gets confused, and the fly flies off.

Image credits: Peter Roosenschoon/Ziyatong via Twitter

Next time you see a fruit fly buzzing around, do not dismiss it. The reason being the fruit fly buzzing around you might be Goniurellia tridens. The Goniurellia tridens is known for the amazing markings on its otherwise transparent wings. Each of its wings has an ant-like insect pattern. The ant markings are perfect with a head, two antennae, six legs, a thorax, and a tapered abdomen.

Anyone looking at the Goniurellia tridens might mistake it for three insects – a fly and two ants – instead of just one. The fly flashes its wings when threatened. It gives the appearance of ants walking back and forth. This confuses the predator and buys the fly enough time to fly off. (1, 2)

7. An Australian moth, Uraba lugens, wears its previous heads as a hat during its caterpillar stage and is known as the “Mad Hatterpillar.”

These visible black caps are actually previous heads. Image credits: Donald Hobern/Flickr, Tony D./bowerbird.org.au

Hats have been used by people since time unknown, and hence they have a lot of history. In nature, there exists a species of caterpillar who wears hats but in a different style. Instead of using foreign material to make hats, the caterpillar keeps a part of its own head as a hat every time it molts. This caterpillar is known as the “gum-leaf skeletonizer,” and more colloquially as the “Mad Hatterpillar.”

The Mad Hatterpillar grows like all other caterpillars by shedding its hard, outer shell. Each time it sheds the shell, it keeps a part of it that once enclosed its head. So, after each molt, the stack of head shells grows eventually becoming a tall, tapered tower. It often uses its head-shell hat as a defense against predators. (source)

8. Cockroaches’ exoskeletons allow them to withstand weights up to 900 times their body weight. Also, they can compress their bodies between 40 and 60% while traversing through tiny spaces.

Image credits: Pixabay

The humble cockroach is well known throughout the world for its ability to make almost all human beings scream out in panic and fear. Usually, when we spot one, we either scurry away in disgust or charge towards it with the intention of smashing it. But not all blows are successful. The cockroaches often manage to survive our blow due to their speed and also due to their insanely strong exoskeleton. According to a paper published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” in small crevices, cockroaches can withstand weights up to 300 times their body weight. In normal situations, they can withstand 900 times their own body weight. That’s why cockroaches often run away unharmed even after being hit by an object.

Scientists also found that cockroaches can navigate through extremely small, confined spaces by compressing their body. While traveling through tiny crevices, their flexible body can compress between 40 and 60%. Their strong exoskeleton protects the soft body inside it allowing the cockroaches to emerge from tiny crevices unscathed. (source)

9. The Oriental hornet, Vespa orientalis, turns solar energy into electricity.

Image credits: KPFC/Wikipedia

Vespa orientalis, or the Oriental hornet, is just like all other hornets except for one special feature. It has the amazing capability to turn solar energy into electricity inside their exoskeleton. The Oriental hornets are most active during the afternoon. They harvest solar energy through their shell. The yellow and brown stripes on their abdomens absorb sun rays. Then, the yellow pigment transforms the solar energy into electricity within the hornet’s body. Scientists are planning to duplicate the hornet’s body structure to harness the power of solar energy.

The oriental hornet not only has the capability to harness solar energy, but it also has a well-developed system to keep its body cool in the sun. Inside the body of the hornet, there exists an interesting heat pump system similar to air conditioners and refrigerators. (1, 2)

10. The veined wing of the clanger cicada can shred bacteria to pieces. Scientists have discovered that their wings have antibacterial “nanopillars” that pull bacterial membranes apart.

Image source: cicadamania.com, Discover Magazine/Youtube

Cicadas are locust-like insects. Scientists have discovered that their wings are natural antibiotics. It is one of the first natural surfaces discovered which can kill bacteria solely through its physical structure. The wings of clanger cicada are covered by “nanopillars” that are like blunt spikes. These nanopillars are on a similar size scale to bacteria.

It is often thought that the nanopillars kill the bacteria by puncturing it, but that’s not what happens. When a bacteria comes in contact with the cicada wings, its cellular membrane sticks to the surface of the nanopillars. The membrane further stretches into the crevices between the nanopillars, and this causes great strain. In the end, the membrane ruptures killing the bacteria. The process is similar to stretching an elastic sheet to such an extent that it becomes thinner and eventually begins to tear. (1, 2)


Watch the video: Facts about Insects for Kids. Classroom Learning Video