Boxelder Bug, Boisea trivittatus

Those pesky black and red bugs all over the place! Boxelder bugs are very noticeable in the fall when they congregate before overwintering in buildings. As long as they remain cold, they are inactive, but when warmed a furnace or sunshine, they become active and may crawl into the rooms. To learn more about this nuisance pest, read this article…

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Praying Mantids

The praying mantids are a group of insects with very characteristic front legs designed to capture and hold prey. The common name comes from the way the legs are held upright when hunting, but they don’t really have any religious affiliations. To learn more about these fascinating predators, read this article…

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European Pine Sawfly, Neodiprion sertifer

If you’ve noticed masses or writhing, dark green “caterpillars” on your pine trees this spring, you likely have an infestation of European pine sawfly. This insect lives in large colonies, feeding on last year’s needles until they finish their development, then pupate in the soil or leaf litter. To learn more about this pest, read this article…

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Common Columbine Pests: Columbine Leafminer and Columbine Sawfly

If you have columbines in your garden, you likely have seen squiggly white trails or blotches on the leaves or had the entire leaf devoured at one time. These are significant as cosmetic problems, but generally have little impact on the plant’s health. Learn more about the life cycle of the two insects that cause these problems and how to deal with them in this article…

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Goldenrod Gall Fly, Eurosta solidagnis

You’ve probably seen spherical swellings on goldenrod stems at one time or another, but do you know what caused those? A type of small fly with patterned wings is responsible for the most common gall on goldenrods. To learn more about the goldenrod gall fly and how it creates those golf ball-sized growths, read this article…

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Silver spotted skipper, Epargyreus clarus

Skippers are a group of small butterflies with quick, darting flights. The silver spotted skipper is one of the largest skippers. This chocolate-colored butterfly is easily identified by the conspicuous white or silver spot on the underside of its hind wing that gives it the common name. Read about this common, but often overlooked butterfly, in this article…

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Black swallowtail, Papilio polyxenes

If you’ve seen a large, mostly black butterfly lately, chances are it was a black swallowtail, a very common butterfly of eastern North America.  The colorful caterpillars feed on many herb garden plants while the adults nectar at a variety of flowers. To learn more about this species and how to encourage it in your garden, read this article…

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Beetles (Coleoptera)

The beetles are the most numerous group of insects, with both pest and beneficial species.  Regardless of whether they are plant feeders, scavengers, or predators, the adults all have the first pairs of wings hardened into sheaths that cover the abdomen. To learn about some of the most common types of beetle, read this article…

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Create a Butterfly Garden

Colorful butterflies can add a lot to a garden. With just a little extra planning and proper plant selection you can encourage these pretty creatures to visit, and maybe even get caterpillars to grow in your yard. Learn how to create a butterfly garden that will be attractive to many different types of butterflies in this article…

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Got Pumpkin Pie? Thank a Bee!

Pumpkins are a staple for Halloween decor, and in pies for Thanksgiving and other winter holidays.  There are many native bees that pollinate pumpkins and other squashes that are being researched as the domesticated honeybee continues to decline. To learn more about the USDA research, read this article…

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