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Pest Profile – Luna Moth

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The luna moth (Actias luna) is one of my favorite moths and arguably one of the most beautiful moths out there. This moth is so popular that it appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 1987. The Luna moth was one of the first recorded moths from North America in its family Saturniidae. They get […]

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Pest Profile: Fungus Gnats

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As colder weather approaches, some outdoor plants are now getting chilly and need to be brought inside. Although moving plants indoors is great for keeping them alive, this can bring in some unwanted house guests, specifically fungus gnats. The fungus gnat is a small fly that enjoys eating fungus and decaying organic matter that often […]

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Pest Profile: Silverfish

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Silverfish are in the order Zygentoma. This soft-bodied insect is a voracious feeder on items high in starch, glue, and cellulose. For example, they are common in libraries and museums where paper books and labels are abundant. However, they can also be found outdoors in cool shaded places, such as under leaf litter, under rocks, […]

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Pest Profile: Dragonflies

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As the weather warms up, we start to see more insects – some are a nuisance, while others are beneficial. Among said insects, dragonflies are considered beneficial. Dragonflies are in the order Odonata, which translates to “the toothed one.” This is because they are predatory insects that feed on other insects. They are known for […]

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Pest Profile: Ensign Wasp

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The ensign wasp is an example of a parasitoid wasp species. A parasite is defined as an organism that lives in or on an organism of another species (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense. In the case of the ensign wasp, it is a parasite of the not-so-loveable household cockroaches, […]

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Pest Profile: Rainbow Scarabs

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Although the rainbow scarab (Phanaeus vindex) has a colorful, attractive exterior, its habitat is… less than attractive. Commonly referred to as dung beetles, they can often be found rolling around in dung. Despite their affinity for excrement, they have an interesting history as objects of worship in Ancient Egypt and have been made into spectacular […]

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Pest Profile: Cat Fleas

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Fleas (Order: Siphonaptera) are small, dark, wingless insects that are flattened from side to side. These insects are usually found buried in the hair, close to the skin of mammals. When infestations are large, adult fleas may be found in carpeting and around pet resting areas. Fleas have four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and […]

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Pest Profile: Indianmeal Moth

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The Indianmeal moth is commonly referred to as a stored product pest. This pest is in the insect order Lepidoptera. Like most other stored product pests, it is the larval immature stage that causes damage to food products. Their larva is often confused with pest beetle larvae that will do similar damage to stored food […]

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Pest Profile: Lovebugs

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Hearing the word “lovebug” may evoke the season of love and red hearts, but these critters don’t live up to their name. They are not exactly loveable, and many people find them detestable. The lovebug Plecia nearctica is a fly species that is particularly a nuisance to motorists when traveling through the southern United States. […]

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Pest Profile: Red Paper Wasp

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Pest Profile: Red Paper Wasp (Polistes carolina)(Insecta: Hymenoptera: Vespidae) Kristen Stevens, BCE Paper wasps are in the family Vespidae. The red paper wasp Polistes carolina is distributed throughout the eastern and south central United States. It is an elongate, slender wasp that is usually brownish-red with yellow markings. Paper wasps build their nests from saliva […]

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Pest Profile: Birds

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Kristen Stevens, BCE We don’t often think of birds as pests, and, indeed, most of them are not. However, there are some birds that can pose public health and damage concerns in addition to being a nuisance. They carry all number of different food-borne illnesses such as salmonellosis, histoplasmosis, campylobacteriosis and some others. Some birds […]

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Pest Profile: Termites

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Spp. Reticulitermes virginicus and Reticulitermes hageni Subterranean termites are one of the most common species of termites in the United States. They belong to the order Isoptera and are a small to medium insect. They live in colonies and have a caste system in which each individual within the colony has a specific role. The […]

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Argentine Ants

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Identification Argentine ants are very small, dark, slender ants. These ants are usually found in large colonies which they can form in loose leaf litter, wall voids, cracks in concrete, and under stones or other debris resting on the ground. Habits Like the tawny crazy ant, argentine ants are an invasive species of ant from […]

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Pest Profile- The Cuckoo Wasp: A Beautiful Parasite (Chrysididae: Chrysis spp.)

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Upon hearing the word “wasp,” many tremble in fear and imagine an angry creature chasing after them. However, this is not the case with the cuckoo wasp. These solitary wasps are brightly colored and found in metallic green, blue or purple hues. Their bodies are full of small pits which give them an almost glittery […]

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Pest Profile: Mosquitos – A Look into the Life of our Backyard Predator

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As summer approaches and beach trips are in the near future, are you or your loved ones nervous about swimming in the ocean because of sharks? According to the Bill Gates Foundation, you need to worry more about stepping into your own backyard! Accountable for over 700,000 deaths worldwide every year, mosquitoes are considered the […]

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Pest Profile: Boxelder Bugs

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Boxelder bugs (scientific name Boisea trivattata) are named after one of their primary homes, the boxelder tree. They are known to occasionally enter structures during the winter to stay out of the harsh cold. Although a nuisance pest, they are actually native to the United States. They are specifically found in the western and eastern United […]

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Pest Profile: Carpenter Ants

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Not everything that lives in wood is a termite, and not everything that bores through wood is eating the wood. Consider the carpenter ant. There are many species of carpenter ants, but the most common house-infesting species is the black carpenter ant. It is uniformly black with yellowish hairs on the abdomen. Carpenter ants are […]

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