On the mid-life crisis project list for this year, I have something that includes making tiny models of robotic insects - things that look like insects, but on close inspection turn out to be mechanical. This is emphatically not steampunk - no cogs or lacquered brass - but rather things that appear as if they really do come from the far future where biomechanics and electronics have merged to form self-replicating, autonomous critters that clearly fill evolutionary niches. How do I do this? [more inside]
I'm being bitten once or twice a night when I sleep by something that is not a bedbug. I can't find it, and no amount of washing my bedclothes helps. Advice please. [more inside]
For a project I'm doing, I'd like an illustrated book with lots of information on the physical world of the Bible - particularly animals, plants, and insects. I can look up what's mentioned in the Bible on Wikipedia, but I want more than that. I want to be able to page through an illustrated work (color) - bonus points if there are commentaries from scholars - and to learn a lot about all of the creatures mentioned without having to turn to my computer for complete information. More below. [more inside]
I have ants in my kitchen. Anyone have any suggestions on how to discourage them? [more inside]
So I'm trying to find the biggest historical accounts of animal and insect swarms/herds in history. I've been googling by species but decade and by general terms like swarm, infestation, herd, stampede and so far I've only found a few of the more recent ones. So a) if you know any, please tell me more about them and b) what's the best way to find these historical accounts? Even if they're just one or two lines. [more inside]
There are a bunch of weird little insects in my office. That photo isn't to scale - I'd say they're maybe an eighth of an inch/3 mm long, really tiny, and they like to congregate in little groups underneath various things on my desk. What are they? What do I do about them? [more inside]
My garden suffered greatly this year from attacks from insects- what can I do next spring to avoid this happening again? [more inside]
My belongings are going to be boxed and stored in a family member's extra bedroom for several months. I know how to wrap everything so that it won't chip or shatter, but should I be doing more? [more inside]
Please help me understand if this is a bedbug. [more inside]
Can you help me identify these flat white bugs on my bananas? Google gives me a wide range of food pests, but nothing that looks like these critters. [more inside]
I bought standing planter boxes for my wife and she hasn't touched them yet because there are always 3-4 of these pests (hornets?) on the wood. She would like to plant strawberries and other edibles so we obviously don't want to use chemicals. Any advice on how to repel these buggers? Photo of bug
A friend of mine came over in a panic this morning because she found two strange little bugs in her bed. She captured one and we have photos. What is this insect?
Last year, we had carpenter ants, and we asked them to leave. This year, the ants are back. I'm prepared to bring in professionals to explain matters to them more forcefully. However, I'm almost more scared of the solution than the problem. Talk to me about safety issues with poisons used to chase the bastards out. [more inside]
Please tell me your best bug repellent product/strategy for dealing with gnats? And mosquitos, but more generally small flying swarm insects. [more inside]
I found a weird looking bug in the bathroom that didn't kick the bucket when I nailed him with a magazine. What is this hardy creature? Link to pics inside. [more inside]
I'm moving in on Saturday. I've lived in dorms or apartments since leaving for college. It's a brand-new townhouse, built last year, owner has never moved in and we'll be the first renters. What sort of new-house things should I know? Bonus: How do I make sure the local flying dinosaur cockroaches don't move in too? I've always had a trash chute!
Circumstances that be, our apartment has bed bugs. They appeared under our mattress and the landlord is bringing in exterminators. Though we are moving out and had given notice for the end of the month, I'm worried the landlord will try to ride us out and fumigate after we leave. So, if the landlord holds out on fumigation until after we leave... I've come to terms with trashing every piece of furniture, mattress, ikea thing, couch, and anything that can't be put into the dryer high for an hour. But what about my electronics? Should I just write-off everything, bag 'em, and put into a storage unit for a year? [more inside]
There are a couple bushes in our front yard that are attracting an insane amount of flies. How do I destroy them, and make my front yard livable again? [more inside]
On my deck, right out my back door, is a small square bench that until recently had a flower pot sitting on it. The flower pot was recently tossed (about a week ago) and last evening, I noticed there were quite a few bees? wasps? in that area of of the deck. Today, it became clear they have MOVED IN. [more inside]
I live in the midwest, and for the last three years by mid-summer there is a small horde of winged insects stalking our backdoor. They look like a cross between a bee, a wasp, and the angel of death from the Adventures of Baron von Munchausen. They have red wings, red legs, and a distinct black and white striped abdomen. These suckers are freaking huge, maybe 2" long or longer. [more inside]
Please help me identify this bug: black, 1 cm long, head maybe 2 mm wide tapering down to a very thin tail, antenna-less, no visible legs (appears to slither), moves quickly (and therefore tough to kill), found almost exclusively in the bathroom. [more inside]
I spotted this insect while weeding today. Is it a termite, and if so, what do I do and do you have any idea what is it likely to cost? [more inside]
My friend saw a small black bug in her apartment maybe 1/4-inch long. It was long rather than round and moved fairly slowly and low to the ground. She said it didn't look like a roach (lacked the long antenna, high speed, flat body), beetle (didn't have the segmented structure or mandibles), termite, silverfish or house centipede. What could it have been? No photo, unfortunately.
So, I found a mummified, perfectly preserved butterfly on my window sill. Its beautiful and I want to preserve it and look at it and may be show it off to people. See if I can make a brooch or something out of it and give it as a gift to people close to me. But I cant do any of this as the butterfly is quite fragile. How can I preserve this butterfly forever ... or if that's not possible, a very long time? [more inside]
I'm trying to remember as many notable instances of bugs in books (and film and other media) as possible--help me compile a creepy-crawly compendium, please? [more inside]
I've got a BIG MOTH in my house. It flew in via a space between my screen and window in my kitchen. It flew into my house somewhere--I can't find him now. ANY Ideas on luring it back through the hole? [more inside]
Freaking out that I might have bedbugs. (Gross) pictures inside. [more inside]
Just moved to New York City to a clean, small apartment. I've been here a month and in the past few days have found several, small, brown bugs. My first thought, roaches! But these guys are really, really slow and come out in the daylight a lot. I've had roaches before and you can't catch them with your hands, these guys I can just swoop down and snag. [more inside]
How can I make sure I don't see a single ant in my condo unit this year? [more inside]
Found a little critter in the bedlinens at the Airbnb place where I'm staying. Entomologists of Mefi, tell me whether to freak out or not. (Please excuse any typos resulting from being on German keyboard.) [more inside]
Previously I asked about bugs in our rented townhome - specifically about drains. The drain issue ended... but now we're getting all different kinds of insects in our home again. Roaches in various colors and sizes, nasty ass camel crickets, slugs, lovebugs, stinkbugs, etc. [more inside]
Is there a database of insect scientific names and their taxonomy available somewhere for free? For example Streptocerus speciosus - Family: Lucanidae - Order: Coleoptera. I'm hoping to avoid downloading wikipedia and crawling through it.
My son is almost 10, and I'm trying to help him develop a love of reading. His requests were mysteries, fictional, and if they could feature anthropomorphic bugs, all the better. In my searching, I did come across Bug Muldoon, which he has devoured. I'd love to find more books that he might enjoy. He said that bugs weren't necessary, but he did very much enjoy them. He recently read all the Encyclopedia Brown novels, and I'm not sure where to go next for him. Are there other authors or series I should be looking at?
We moved into a new apartment a month and a half ago, and bought a used (like new) couch from an acquaintance two weeks ago. About a week ago, I started noticing a few (total of 3 or 4) of these on the floor in my bedroom. Today I saw one on the couch, and one on the living room floor. Any idea what they are? We've seen a few enormous cockroaches and a few small flies, but we're not itchy or rashy or anything. We're located in Philadelphia.
I have sort of a bozo question about insects and physics. Why is it that when I shoo a wingless insect from, say, my arm, said insects falls the human equivalent of many storeys to the ground and doesn't die? Physics was never my forte, but this seems to defy some basic law, does it not?
My brother and I explored an old mine and found these moths with white spiky protrusions lining the walls. At first I thought they were some kind of extending water-gathering device (they are covered in condensed drops), but then I realized that these moths were all dead. The place was a veritable mautholeum. The stuff now appears to me to be some kind of fungus — could it be the dreaded Cordyceps in our back yard? Or is it something less exotic?
Whenever I get insect bites, they swell up a lot - more so than they seem to for most people. It seems to me that over the past few years, the reactions are getting progressively worse. Is this actually possible? [more inside]
What techniques can I employ to help deal with crippling anxiety and bug-phobic behaviors until I can afford regular therapy appointments? Ugly details inside - apologies for the length. [more inside]
I have a serious mosquito problem in my house, there are literally 10 or so in every room almost all the time. Every night before I go to bed I have to lay there and spray each one as it flies by me, it takes about 5 minutes and the spray smell lingers for ages. In the morning they are in the bathroom where the door has been shut and no windows are open, I have no idea where they are getting in. I leave my back door open a crack for my dog at night and I have a mozzie zapper in the laundry where the door is. It doesn't seem to be helping. I also have those plug in mozzie repellers but also not helping and very expensive. I don't have a pool or pond and don't know of any neighbours that do. Please help, this is really getting me down, not only the killing of them but the 30 or so bites I have right now. I am in southern Australia where it's hot now, but not humid.
I'm looking for instances of animal or insect migration that occur annually within a limited geographical area in Africa. The more concentrated the accumulation of one species in a relatively small area, the better. Thanks! [more inside]
Help me find a Stephen Jay Gould (I think) essay. [more inside]
Recomend me and advise me on how to safely eat exotic and bizarre foods in South East asia [more inside]
Looking for songs that contain references to insects. [more inside]
Do you have any recommendations for the tough job of removing spider poop from vinyl siding? [more inside]
Calling all Mefi Entomologists! On a trip in the Peruvian Amazon (Manu National Park), I broke a small log that was suspended over a shallow creek. Apparently, it held an insect nest, because ten seconds later everyone in our group was jumping around and batting at these tiny flying insects which buzzed straight into our hair and got tangled up. They didn't sting, but our guide described them as "haircutter bees" and said they would bite through strands of hair. They were smaller than honeybees and all black, I believe. Anyone have any idea what this insect was or a Latin name?
Can you help us identify this interesting little garden insect? [more inside]