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Insect Website Title


FAQs

  1. How do I get rid of mosquitos?
  2. How do I get rid of boxelder bugs?
  3. I have sowbugs in my strawberries, how do I get rid of them?
  4. Is the Klamathweed beetle a pest?
  5. How do I get rid of ladybugs in my house?
  6. I have green caterpillars on my columbine in Ontario, how do I get rid of them?
  7. Is a ladybug really a bug?
  8. Where can I buy ladybugs?
  9. What insects will you probably find on your cat or dog?
  10. What is the top speed of a tiger beetle?
  11. What is another name for "no-see-ums"?
  12. What insect can shed and grow back it's legs when attacked?
  13. Which insect can look over it's shoulder?
  14. What is the growth produced by a plant around the egg of an insect called?
  15. How many spots does a ladybug have?
  16. What flying insect lives only a day or two?
  17. Which butterfly migrates to Mexico?
  18. What are the larvae of a fly called?
  19. Which insect licks it's eggs to keep them free from infection?
  20. Where can I get information about raising beneficial insects?

 


1. How do I get rid of mosquitos ?

1. Outside -
a. Keep any areas of water accumulation drained. If you can't, then encourage dragonflies, frogs, fish, bats, hummingbird and toads.
b. Also, you may want to try Bt israeliensis (Bti). Dunks or granular form can be spread wherever mosquitos breed; around ponds, lakes, drainage ditches, pastures, sewage, animal waste lagoons, roof gutters, etc. The granular can be broadcast at 2.5 to 10 pounds/acre. The dunks kill mosquitos and their larvae for about 30 days when placed in standing water. You may want to attach a string to keep them from floating away. Use dunks 1/100 square feet of infested water. Bti does not hurt people, pets, fish or plants. Try your local hardware store (they may use a trade name). It costs about 6 dunks for $9. Granular costs about $3 per pound. Try Arbico (1-800-827-2847) if you can't find it locally.
c. Chemical sprays are also available but they may cost more, they are dangerous and must be carefully handled to avoid harming humans, pets or fish and the results are more temporary.
2. Inside -
a. Fly paper may be used safely indoors but is unsightly and can be annoying if you or your pets touch it.
b. Be sure you have tight screens on your windows and door with no holes.
c. Electronic devices have not been scientifically proven effective but who knows what may eventually found to work!
d. Insect repellants are available which may help when applied to the skin but that isn't usually practical in a house.
e. Use a fly swatter for an occasional mosquito but if all else fails you may resort to fogging the house with pyrethrin spray which is relatively safe. Put all food stuffs away or cover them if you spray. Also cover fish tanks. Leave the house until the spray settles unless you just spray the individual mosquito. Be sure and follow label directions carefully.
3.The following is an E-mail message which relates to the above problem: I am forwarding this article from the Iowa State Web Site. "This is consistant with a number of "threads" on several lists regarding the usefullness of bug zappers for mosquito control. There was substantial consensus on their ineffectiveness in controlling or even attracting mosquitoes and other biting flies.
This consensus is documented in the article below. I've left the http: address for the iowa web site in case you wish to explore their site further. You can also connect to other entomological sites through this one. Colorado State U. has an excellent summary of available sites, lists, newsgroups, etc.There may be some use in using them to attract moths or other night
flying pests species during their peak flight periods only. And I have laboriously eliminated a difficult yellowjacket nest by hanging a zapper near the nest opening late at night and turning it on the next evening as the yellowjackets returned to the nest. As they flew in they veered into the zapper, but were not immediately grilled. They buzzed around until eventually they crossed two wires, then came an extennnnnnnnndeeedd sizzling that was most distressing and worse then mere gnats. Nevertheless it did substantially weaken the nest. The trap was not as effective in the following morning as wasps were leaving. My guess it that the dark of night gave the trap light prominance which it did not have during sunlight hours. In the morning I had to supplement with an insect net.
All very interesting, but not data and not science. Just a for-what-it's-worth. It satisfied my curiousity and solved the nest problem where 3 cans of pesticide had failed (another's just "slightly" excessive effort).See article excerpts below.

Sharon J. Collman OR Sharon J. Collman
c/o Center For Urban Horticulture Box 354115 13720 23rd Ave. NE ,University of Washington Seattle, WA. 98125-3322
Seattle, WA 98195-4115 Phone: 206-543-8616 206-364-6966 Fax: 206-685-2692 EMail: collmans@wsu.edu
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 96 22:18:38 -700
From: Sharon J. Collman <collmans@wsu.edu>
To: collmans@wsu.edu
Subject: http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/hn1996/6-14-1996/bugzapper.html
>
> Bug Zappers are Harmful, Not Helpful
>
> Insect electrocuter light traps, also known "bug zappers" have been extensively marketed for the past several years with claims they can provide relief from the annoyance of biting mosquitoes and other pests in your back yard. Their effectiveness has been widely doubted and a few studies have shown they are very poor at killing mosquito females (the sex that bites).
> Now comes another study indicating black light traps are not only useless for mosquito, they are potentially harmful to the environment (and not just to the sensitive ears of neighbors trying to sleep next door). Results of a survey of insects caught in an electrocuter black light trap in Newark, Delaware indicate that nearly all of the insects caught are either harmless or beneficial. Pests, and especially biting pests, do not end up in the traps.
> According to an article by Timothy Frick and Douglas Tallamy of the
> University of Delaware published in Entomological News [107(2): 77-82]
> only 31 insects out of 13,789 trapped and counted (0.22%) in a suburban setting over the course of an entire summer were biting flies. "Biting flies" includes both female mosquitoes and biting gnats.
> The largest number of insects (6,670 = 48.4%) were harmless, nonbiting aquatic insects from nearby rivers and streams. These insects, of course, are a vital part of the aquatic food chain and are valuable "fish food." Another important group unfortunately caught in the traps were predators and parasites, that is, biological control organisms such as ground beetles and parasitic wasps that help keep insect pest populations naturally low. Predators and parasites accounted for 13.5% of the insects caught (1,868).
> So how good are bug zappers? This study would indicate they are worst than worthless because of the large number of harmless and beneficial insects they kill. Extrapolations calculated by the authors indicate that 4 million bug zappers (4 years worth of approximated sales in the U.S.) operating for 40 nights each summer, would destroy in excess of 71 billion nontarget insects each year. And the number of mosquitoes would still be the same as before. It is clear you should save your money!
>
> This article originally appeared in the June 14, 1996 issue, p. 97.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Prepared by Donald Lewis, Department of Entomology
> Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. [Horticulture and Home Pest News] [Integrated Pest Management]
> Last updated 6/25/96 by John VanDyk
> http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/hn1996/6-14-1996/bugzapper.html

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2. How do I get rid of boxelder bugs?

The boxelder bug is a nuisance type bug. Once they build up over a period of years they can be all over the ground, lawn, house, etc. They especially like boxelder trees so if you can get rid of that tree that will help. The females lay their eggs in the early Spring so their nymphs are growing to adults by Summer. Warmer temperatures accelerate growth and drought will cause them to look for alternate food sources so they migrate allot looking for food. Below you will find some information that may prove helpful. You may need to go to the hardware store or nursery for chemical sprays or call an exterminator; both sources will provide appropriate remedies for extreme cases!

Bug, Eastern Boxelder (Leptocoris trivittatus)  Order: Hemiptera; Family: Rhopalidae

Description: 10 to 15 mm long. Grey brown to black with red stripes on the thorax and thin diagonal red lines on the upper part of the wings. Pointed head with large eyes and two long antenna.

Life Cycle: In the Spring, adults lay eggs in bark crevices and leaves. Nymphs are bright red which adds black as it grows to adult.

Hosts/Damage: Adults and nymphs suck juices from boxelder tree leaves, maples, ash and deciduous fruit trees. Nymphs concentrate on the new, tender growth. Usually does little damage to trees but causes blemishes and deformities in fruit. Can be a major nuisance if they get into buildings by causing stains and unpleasant odor. The boxelder bug can bite.

Controls:
Cultural - Hand picking (when crushed they emit a strong, unpleasant odor). Vacuum and dispose in sealed garbage bags if close to electrical power.
Biological - Parasitic nematodes.
Chemical - Spray pyrethrums or insecticidal soap solutions on trees periodically. Various other sprays and baits are available at your nursery or hardware store. Follow label instructions carefully to avoid injury to your plant, yourself, your pets or the environment.

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3. How do I get rid of sowbugs in my strawberries?

Keep fruits off the ground by using sawdust or other dry composts around and under your strawberries. Water early so area dries out by afternoon. Drape plastic or other covers above strawberries with sides open for ventilation at night (at least) to keep dew off of strawberries. Grow strawberries in ground that drains well (maybe use raised beds). Lay down old boards or flat rocks near strawberries so sowbugs can hide under them and uncover and scoop up sowbugs daily and put them in compost pile where they can do some good or mash them. Normally sowbugs are beneficial by eating decayed matter!

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4. Is the Klamathweed beetle a pest?

Order: Coleoptera  Family: (Leaf Beetles) Chrysomelidae
"Chrysolina quadrigemina" and "C. hyperici"

If you check your local University Extension service they should have a bulletin on the subject. It was introduced to control the Klamathweed in Southern Oregon and Northern California which was not only crowding out desirable range plants needed for cattle but was also poisonous to the cattle. The beetle has effectively suppressed the weed.

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5. How do I get rid of ladybugs in my house?

Welcome to the unique group of homeowners who suffer from ladybug invasions. It seems that every year the ladybugs (and sometimes other insects) find a home or garage, etc. which is not sealed well and enter through various cracks to find a haven for the winter for hibernation. The only sure cure is sealing up entry points because trying to kill them is somewhere between difficult and impossible and their residue is smelly. While they are in your house, you can sweep or vacuum them up and put them outside or put them in a box with a bunch of crumpled up newspapers or rags and put them in your garage. When Spring comes they will find their way outside where they will eat up lots of aphids which are much less desirable than ladybugs and repay your kind efforts. Insecticides are useless because the little critters die in the walls and other hiding places!

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6. I have green caterpillars on my columbine in Ontario, how do I get rid of them?

You probably have European skippers (butterflies) laying eggs on your columbine which hatch into velvety green caterpillars (grow to about 3/4" or 19 mm long with black heads). They were introduced into North America around 1910 in the Ontario area. The butterfly is tawny orange with a dark border which is generally hatched in June - August time period and the adult eats nectar and lays eggs for the next generation. The eggs overwinter. I suggest you use Bt in the Spring when the eggs hatch. The young caterpillars are most susceptible to Bt when rapidly growing. If you can wash the butterfly eggs off the columbine leaves that will work too!

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7. Is a ladybug really a bug?

No! A ladybug is really a lady beetle. Bugs are in the insect Order Hemiptera whereas lady beetles are in the insect Order Coleoptera and the family Coccinellidae. There is a large variety in North America of about 400 species.

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8. Where can I buy ladybugs?

There are many places where you can buy ladybugs. Here is one:

Ladybug Farms, %Jerry Bachman, P.O. Box 186, CA 95660-0186

Phone: 916-348-1917   E-mail: ladybugfarms@webtv.net

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9. What insects will you probably find on your cat or dog?

Fleas.

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10. What is the top speed of a tiger beetle?

1-1/2 miles per hour (2.6 kilometers per hour).

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11. What is another name for "no-see-ums"?

Biting midge.

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12. What insect can shed and grow back it's legs when attacked?

Stick insect.

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13. Which insect can look over it's shoulder?

Praying mantids.

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14. What is the growth produced by a plant around the egg of an insect called?

A gall.

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15. How many spots does a ladybug have?

0 - 24 depending on the species and it's variability.

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16. What flying insect lives only a day or two?

Mayfly.

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17. Which butterfly migrates to Mexico?

Monarch butterfly.

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18. What are the larvae of a fly called?

Maggots.

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19. Which insect licks it's eggs to keep them free from infection?

Earwig.

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20. Where can I get information about raising beneficial insects?

  • People or businesses that sell beneficial insects sometimes are helpful.
  • Insect zoos where they raise insects for public viewing.
  • Researchers such as the USDA Agricultural Research Service who have a site on the internet.
  • The internet has many useful sites:

www.tesser.com/minibeast (Young Entomology Society)

www.amazon.com (Amazon Bookstore lists 13 books)

Do a search on "beneficial insect rearing".

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Revised: May 09, 1998.

Disclaimer:

The help provided by the author of this site is the best scientific based information, about which he is aware, but gardening is not an exact science due to the many unpredictable elements involved so the results can not be guaranteed. E-mail feedback is therefor invited to keep the author aware of successes and failures. Also let me know if you are the author of anything that appears to be illegally incorporated in violation of your copyrights.