I got my first delivery from a new CSA and was super-excited about the kale. Until I realized that the kale was buggy--very buggy. How buggy should kale be? [more inside]
I want to dress up an insect, but am having trouble finding a suitable hat. [more inside]
My lemon tree is under attack. Leave are mysteriously nibbled, and I'm scared. [more inside]
When were chocolate-covered bugs invented? What and where were the first chocolate covered bugs? [more inside]
Some insects live short lives and don't eat or even have mouths. How do they breed? Wouldn't you run out of insects eventually if there's no input into the system of insect breeding as a whole? If I built and set free autonomous robots programmed to "breed" by assembling new robots out of each other, and they built other robots without picking up any spare parts or materials, wouldn't I eventually run out of functioning robots? What am I missing that this is so confusing? There has to be a logical answer to this.
I live in North California. Moved into a new neighborhood house a month ago. Since moving in, I haven't really been able to use the backyard because of what I believe I've identified as 50-75 hovering paper wasps! I have a 2-year-old, so I'd like to get rid of them so that we can enjoy our backyard again. [more inside]
My driveway has a magnolia tree and I have a new car. I'm resigning myself to more frequent washing but would like to do a regular quick job rather than a huge undertaking. What are your car washing / sap / driveway tree maintenance / bird dropping hacks? [more inside]
I came across this weird bug feeding on a lilac bush while walking my dog this evening. I have never seen anything remotely like it. [more inside]
During warm weather, when I'm wearing shorts inside, I get the constant sensation that there are very small insects flying into my legs. I rarely am able to see anything concrete. I don't do drugs. I do have hairy legs. I do also have indoor/outdoor cats and they show signs of having flees occasionally, but I thought flees only jump up onto things. What else might it be?
Leaving the Arenal region of Costa Rica to return to Toronto today. We're staying in a lush, insecty area and there's tiny ants and spiders all over everything. Pretty positive they'll be plenty in our packed bags. [more inside]
After reading about the benefits of using insects as a food supply, I'm wondering why insect farming isn't used in the post apocalyptic fiction I've read (or maybe it is, and I have a bad memory). It seems like insect farming would work really well depending on the scenario! Recommend me some stories.
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?