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emerald ash borer

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Cities around North Texas are planning for a beetle epidemic that experts say will destroy the population of ash trees.

Called the emerald ash borer, they are tiny beetles capable of killing thousands of trees in a single city. The emerald ash borer has already found its way to Fort Worth, and now other cities are preparing for the inevitable.

“As the eggs hatch and they become larvae, the insect, as it becomes mature, exits and creates a little D-shaped exit hole,” says Angie Kralik, Urban Forester for the City of Plano.

Within two years, the tree is dead. Kralik says within 15 years, all ash trees left untreated will be gone.

“Definitely distressing, because when I look at them right now and I see them healthy and fine, I know that I’m looking at something that is not going to be here a lot longer,” she says.

So she’s assessing the health of all ash trees on public property – around 1,400. Starting next week, compromised ones on city medians will begin coming down.

“It’s about $1,000 a tree, so we’re going to be incorporating that into our budgets,” she says.

A necessity for public safety, she says. Fort Worth, which had a confirmed case of emerald ash borer last month, is also conducting a survey of its ash trees and weighing the cost to remove them eventually or treat them. Denton is taking proactive measures as well. Kralik says there is a treatment option – but it would means a commitment of $100 per tree every other year for 15 to 20 years. She says homeowners should start with an evaluation by a certified arborist.

“If you have an ash tree on your property, and you love it and you want to keep it, by all means, get the injections for it and save it,” she says.

Kralik says they are already making plans to replant those trees with a different kind. They’ve stopped planting ash trees in the city altogether.

As for stopping emerald ash borer from spreading, the Texas Department of Agriculture is seeking an emergency quarantine to prohibit certain wood and wood products from being removed from Tarrant County. Firewood is one way it can spread.

(Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Ashley May, USA TODAYPublished 7:51 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018 | Updated 3:53 p.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a tick that is spreading widely across the USA.

Nine states reported finding the Asian longhorned tick, which carries a variety of pathogens. The CDC said late last week it is investigating how the tick could affect the USA.

“The full public health and agricultural impact of this tick discovery and spread is unknown. … We are concerned that this tick, which can cause massive infestations on animals, on people and in the environment, is spreading in the United States,” Ben Beard, deputy director of the CDC’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, said in a statement. 

Asian longhorned ticks are somewhat unusual in that a single female tick can reproduce up to 2,000 eggs without mating. Hundreds to thousands of ticks can be found on a single person or animal. 

New Jersey was the first state to report an Asian longhorned tick, first on a dog in 2013 and more recently in August 2017 on a sheep. Since then, eight other states have reported finding the tick on animals, people and in environmental samples: Arkansas, Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Health officials do not know whether the longhorned tick is capable of transmitting Lyme disease, but in Asia, it spread other serious diseases such as SFTS virus and the pathogen that causes Japanese spotted fever, along with many diseases in animals.

In New Zealand and Australia, the Asian longhorned tick can hurt livestock, reducing production in dairy cattle by 25 percent, according to the CDC. The tick causes blood loss and death in calves.

Unfed ticks can live nearly a year.

To prevent tick bites, the CDC recommends using Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellents, avoiding wooded areas and examining yourself and pets when coming indoors. 

By Anya Rath | on February 19, 2016 at 9:00 AM, updated February 19, 2016 at 9:08 AM GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Spring heralds the start of the season of love – and a few romantic rejections along the way.As the weather warms up this weekend — in the heart of skunk mating season — you might smell what happens when a female skunk wards off a potential suitor.

“If a male comes around and they’re not interested, (females) can give off an odor from their anal glands to let the males know,” said Lori Lomoro, wildlife program coordinator for Blandford Nature Center.

But not to worry — the scent won’t linger in the air for long.

“They’ll be on the move,” Lomoro said.

Though skunks are active year-round, when the weather warms up, they are more likely to be out of their dens rummaging for food and potential mates, Lomoro said.

The skunk mating season begins in February and lasts through March. The babies will be born toward the end of May and June.

Skunks are most active at dawn and dusk and can be found in any environment, with the exception of heavily-wooded areas, Lomoro said.

Female skunks travel up to a mile and a half in a day, while males can travel up to seven miles.

Lomoro said the odor the females emit isn’t a full spray. That is reserved for more threatening situations because skunks tend to be frugal with the sprays.

“They only have 15 mL of fluid — five or six uses,” Lomoro said. “It takes them over a week to build that up again.”

If your dog gets sprayed in a run-in with a skunk, Lomoro said not to even bother with the tomato juice: Use a mixture of one quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4th cup of baking soda and a teaspoon of liquid soap.

If clothing gets sprayed, Lomoro advises to toss it in the trash.

Full Article Here:  http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/02/can_you_smell_the_love_tonight.html

January 19, 2016 by Entomology Today

 

 

Book lice like the one shown here are a common component of the home fauna, but they are so small that they are rarely noticed. Photo by Matt Bertone.

The first study to evaluate the biodiversity of arthropods in U.S. homes has found that humans share their houses with more than 500 different kinds of arthropods such as insects, spiders, mites, and centipedes.

“This was exploratory work to help us get an understanding of which arthropods are found in our homes,” said Matt Bertone, an entomologist at North Carolina State University and lead author of a paper in the journal PeerJ that describes the work. “Nobody had done an exhaustive inventory like this one, and we found that our homes host far more biodiversity than most people would expect.”

Under an initiative called the “Arthropods of Our Homes,” the researchers visited 50 free-standing houses within 30 miles of Raleigh, North Carolina between May and October of 2012. Going room by room, they collected all of the arthropods they could find, both living and dead.

They identified 579 different arthropod morphospecies — animal types that are easily separable by morphological differences — from 304 different families. Individual homes had, on average, about 100 morphospecies (between 32 and 211) and between 24 and 128 distinct families. The most commonly collected groups of arthropods in the homes were flies, spiders, beetles, ants, and book lice.

Silverfish (shown here: Ctenolepisma longicaudata) are ancient insects that are frequent inhabitants of houses and buildings, where they scavenge a variety of materials for food. Photo by Matt Bertone.

“While we collected a remarkable diversity of these creatures, we don’t want people to get the impression that all of these species are actually living in everyone’s homes,” Bertone said. “Many of the arthropods we found had clearly wandered in from outdoors, been brought in on cut flowers, or were otherwise accidentally introduced. Because they’re not equipped to live in our homes, they usually die pretty quickly.”

For example, researchers found gall midges (Cecidomyiidae) in all 50 homes. But these millimeter-long flies feed on outdoor plants and can’t survive indoors.

“The vast majority of the arthropods we found in homes were not pest species,” Bertone said. “They were either peaceful cohabitants — like the cobweb spiders (Theridiidae) found in 65 percent of all rooms sampled — or accidental visitors, like midges and leafhoppers (Cicadellidae).”

One of the findings that surprised the researchers was that only five of the 554 rooms did not contain any arthropod specimens at all.

One of the most common groups of predators in homes are spiders, and few are more common than cellar spiders. Here a spider in the genus Pholcus feeds on an ant it has captured. Photo by Matt Bertone.

“We think our homes are sterile environments, but they’re not,” Bertone said. “We share our space with many different species, most of which are benign. The fact that you don’t know they’re there only highlights how little we interact with them.”

The research will likely open the door to new lines of scientific inquiry.

“This is only a first glimpse into the species that live in our homes, and more work needs to be done to flesh this picture out,” said co-author Michelle Trautwein. “But these insights give us the opportunity to delve down into some exciting scientific questions. Now that we have a better idea of which species are most common in homes, we can focus on studying them. Do they provide important services that we don’t know about in the ecosystems of our homes? Do [they] host microbial organisms that affect our health, for good or bad? And we can also begin to explore their traits to see if they share evolutionary characteristics that have made them better suited to live with humans.”

“We also plan to assess how a home’s structure, its outdoor environment, and the behavior of its human residents influence the biodiversity of arthropods in the home,” Bertone said.

Click here to read the entire article.

In this issue of the Insects Limited publication, ‘Fumigants & Pheromones’, the technical director explains a few differences in mating disruption products regarding the effects of using traps to capture webbing clothes moths.  See the article here.

Fumigants and Pheromones Issue 109

Clothes Moth Pheromone Trap $52.95 – $99.95 5.00 out of 5 Select options

Research Triangle Park, NC- Environmental Science, a division of Bayer CorpScience LP, has received a letter of acceptance from the EPA to add additional label claims to the Temprid SC product label.  Temprid’s improvements include control for brown marmorated stink bugs.

Webbing Clothes Moth larvae can damage wool, silk, animal mounts, oriental rugs, furniture, museum objects and more.  Clothes moths will breed in dark, out of the way places that are undisturbed.

Pheromone traps are a great tool to be used as an integrated approach to pest control.  Pheromones are chemicals an organism produces—in this case a sex attractant—to affect the behavior of other members of the same species.  The sex pheromone attracts male moths into the trap where they get stuck on the sticky sides.  Because the pheromone specifically attracts clothes moths, it won’t attract other moth species.

Place traps in closets and other clothes-storage areas. Trapping not only enables you to detect the presence of clothes moths but provides some control, because trapped males can’t mate. However, if you trap moths, you should also take other measures, such as dry cleaning or laundering, to protect clothes exposed to moths.  Sanitation, inspection, and removal of infested material are all very important parts of an integrated approach. In order to ensure the highest efficiency, it is recommended that the lures be replaced every 60 days. 

Order your Webbing Cloths Moth Traps today!

 

Question: “We have a lot of wasps in our structure in the Fall and in the Spring. We can’t locate any nests at all. Where are they coming from?!!!!”

Answer: This is a common problem, especially in cooler climates where wasps and other insects must overwinter. In these cooler climates, the wasp society starts to break apart in the Fall. The workers stop caring for young, the queen stops laying eggs, and a large number of new queens and fertile males are then produced from the final batch of larvae in the nest. The male and female mate, and the male dies. The newly inseminated females are the future queens of next years nests. These females will start foraging for a place to spend the winter. It may take several days for her to find a suitable place. During this time she will buzz around surfaces, cracks and crevices in search of a suitable place to overwinter. Once she finds a suitable place, she will move in and wait out the winter.

During this time, wasps may “awaken” on warmer days and work their way into the building (instead of out). As a result, they often end up inside structural spaces where people may encounter them.

So, what can you do? Well, exclusion would be best. If you can build them out, it will prevent the problem for years to come. In commercial and residential structures, treating the exterior as mentioned above may provide some relief. If you can make surface applications in non-living areas such as attics, you may get results if the wasp forages across these surfaces. In commercial structures, a surface treatment may be accomplished to the walls above a suspended ceiling for instance.

Check out our Wasp page here for more information on wasp control and wasp control products