You may have noticed an increase in the mosquito population in areas that have flooded, such as Houston and Nashville, thanks to hurricane Harvey. Weather affects the numbers of mosquitoes – they like standing water and heat. Since mosquitoes are cold-blooded, their temperature is about the same as their environment.
Every year, August 20 is World Mosquito Day. On August 20, 1897, Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor, made the connection between mosquitoes and malaria. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for that discovery. Now, World Mosquito day is used to educate people about the dangers of mosquitoes.
Believe it or not, some cockroaches are essential to flower pollination. Of the 4,500 known species, only 1 percent live in cities. The other 99 percent live in the wilderness of many ecosystems from the Saudi Arabian deserts to the rain forests of Brazil. According to National Geographic, a new study found that Moluchia brevipennis, a species of cockroach native to the scrub lands of Chile, eats pollen and might even pollinate plants.
Bug spray is almost a necessity if you want to be outside and protect yourself against insect-borne diseases such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme disease, dengue fever, malaria and other diseases commonly carried by insect. There are some pros and cons of insect repellents, especially the synthetic types. However, it has been shown that synthetic insect repellents work much longer than the “green” or plant-based insect repellents.
Ticks are arachnids – related to spiders – and have eight legs. Though they are often referred to as insects, they are not. A tick goes through four stages of growth: egg, larval, nymphal and adult. They're found in brush, high grass and weeds and leaves. When you get ticks on you it's because you brushed against them. They do not fly, jump or drop from trees. And, for a tick to survive, it has to eat blood, and it's not fussy.
Worldwide, there are over 2,500 species. The United States has over 150 species of mosquito. And, you'll find 60 of the in North Carolina. However, of those only 10 to 15 mosquito species are bad, according to North Carolina State University.
June bugs might seem useless to you – and they are definitely a hazard to your lawn, trees, vegetable garden and ornamental landscaping. However, they do have their place in the food chain: Birds like the larvae and the grubs make great fishing bait.
While your first thought is to squish or otherwise kill any bugs you see around the house, in the house or in your flower beds, you should hold that thought for a minute. Or three. Most bugs are not dangerous to humans, and many are beneficial to plants. According to Colleen Golden, a senior horticulturist at Atlanta Botanical Gardens, up to 90 percent of the bugs you find around your home are beneficial.
While many insects are beneficial to the environment, some are just complete pests, especially if you are trying to enjoy some outdoor time with family and friends. A backyard pest could ruin an otherwise perfect outdoor gathering.
Spring is the time for flowers, nice weather, working on your landscaping and bugs, including termites. The most common termites are subterranean, and are difficult to find. Look for mud tubes and wings for signs of termites. Mud tubes are generally found on the foundation. Since the termites don't walk on the ground, this is how they get from their den to their food source – your house.