To paraphrase Marvin the Martian, a cartoon character whose attempts to conquer Earth were always foiled by Bugs Bunny, “Zap first and ask questions later.” The little alien with the big Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator ray-gun was so jumpy that he zapped anything that moved. In the end, though, he never hit anything which could remotely be considered a threat. [Read more…] about Kill Your Bug Zapper And Do The World A Favor
I observed it through binoculars, so as not to scare it off, then slowly crept closer.
I watched as the butterfly unfurled its proboscis, a tube that functions like a straw, and inserted it into the flower. Then the fritillary sucked up nectar by rhythmically contracting muscles in its head. Sugars in the nectar provide energy for flight, defense, reproduction, and the butterfly’s other daily activities. [Read more…] about Butterflies Sip Sweet Nectar
As you swat away blackflies this summer, look closely; it may be that not all those flies are flies. Some of them might be tiny sweat bees, members of the Halictidae family, which gets its common name because some species will lick sweat from human skin. [Read more…] about Sweat Bees: Diminutive and Diverse
From the afternoon into the early evening in mid to late summer, a silence often develops as the heat of the day peaks and then starts to cool; as birds cease to sing and amphibians lose their urge to call.
In the stillness between periods when leaves rustle from light summer breezes, the sound of a grinding or twisting-scraping can be heard coming from a fallen softwood log or a dead standing evergreen. [Read more…] about The Northeastern Pine Sawyer Beetle
You’ve probably seen these little fourteen-legged chimeras at some point, though you may not have paid them any mind since you were a kid.
Part shrimp, part kangaroo, and part armadillo, the ubiquitous pill bug (Armadillidium vulgare) is a harmless, if sometimes annoying, critter which scuttles about at night feeding on dead vegetation.
Also known as potato bugs or roly-polys, these are the guys that pull themselves into a tight little ball for protection when disturbed. [Read more…] about Pill Bugs: A Primer
Since the Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) was first detected in Washington state in December of 2019, it has been hard to miss the eye-catching headlines about this species.
With so much news out there, we want to make it easy for you and break down the facts about this much-buzzed-about species: [Read more…] about Asian Giant Hornet – Fact vs Fiction
DEC’s Forest Health team has seen some success in tackling southern pine beetle (SPB) and restoring the pine barrens on Long Island.
If you live on Long Island or in the Hudson Valley, keep your eyes out for signs of southern pine beetle, which are active and flying now. [Read more…] about Be On The Lookout For Signs of Southern Pine Beetle
The old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” has been a great comfort to me over the years, since I figure that means the road to heaven is paved with bad thoughts, which are usually easy to come by.
Since ancient times, we have built all manner of roads, highways, byways, boulevards, terraces, turnpikes, tow-paths, and bike paths. But given the astonishing pace at which our native pollinator populations are dwindling, it’s a critical time to blaze a new kind of road. A pathway, to be specific. [Read more…] about Pollinator Pathways Stamp Out Neatness
Probably everyone has a sound they associate with high summer. For me, nothing says “holy cow, it’s hot” like the drone of cicadas, their song is a miniature buzz saw that cuts across a hot afternoon, undulating a bit and then dropping off near the end of its arc.
Cicadas are stout, ancient-looking bugs with bulgy eyes and clear wings. While the largest species is about three inches long and has a seven-inch wingspan, the ones in our neck of the woods range from 1 to 2.5 inches in length with a wingspan of three inches or so. [Read more…] about The Natural Sounds of NY Summer: Cicadas
Prior to the start of black fly season in the Adirondacks, and continuing for several weeks after the swarms of those tiny, biting demons have faded, there is another insect onslaught.
Shortly after the soil has thawed in spring, ants begin to invade the living space of humans, especially kitchens and dining areas where bits of food are readily available. [Read more…] about Why We Have Ants Inside In Spring