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Bug-E-Day

A slightly irregular posting on insects and mites that cross our paths.

  • Carpenter Bee

    Often seen on exposed wood and some types of siding, this bee makes a long hole in wood to provision with pollen and lay eggs.
       

    Carpenter Bee Photo Credit: Johnny N. Dell, Bugwood.org

    Read more about carpenter bees.
  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

    This not so little bug finds its way into houses starting in mid-September. It's a good time to check caulking and weather-stripping to keep them out.
       

    Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Photo Credit: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about brown marmorated stink bugs.
  • Fall Webworm

    This caterpillar lives as a happy family in a webbed shelter at the ends of branches in the late summer and early fall. Some years it makes quite a show along our fields and highways.
       

    Fall Webworm Photo Source: John A. Weidhass, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about fall webworms.
  • European Hornet

    All the big insects seem to get all the attention and this one is not left out. It chews bark and makes nests in hollow trees, but rarely stings.
       

    European Hornet Photo Source: John A. Weidhass, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about European hornets.
  • Catalpa Sphinx

    Yes, it's a pest of catalpa trees, but its renowned for its ability to catch fish. Those with these trees in their yards often have people with fishing poles stopping by to pluck off a few "worms."
       

    Catalpa Sphinx The Catalpa Sphinx in all stages: a, an egg mass; b, young caterpillars feeding in company; c, larva, one-third grown; and d, a single segment from above; e, f, h, varieties of the larva; j, the pupa; k, the adult moth; l, an egg much enlarged.

    Read more about catalpa sphinx.
  • Corn Earworm

    This cannibalistic member of the moth group makes its presence known as we shuck the first ears of this season's sweet corn. It also may hold the record for being the pest on the most crops as it dines on tomato, cotton, and soybeans among others.
       

    Corn Earworm Photo Source: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, bugwood.org

    Read more about corn earworms on vegetables.

    Read more about corn earworm management in soybeans.

  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

    Once again, this new pest makes its presence known, this time on fruit and vegetable crops.
       

    Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Photo Source: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about brown marmorated stink bugs.
  • Locust Leafminer

    Most noticed along our highways as the culprit that causes the leaves to turn brown on many black locust trees, this insect also feeds on apple and soybean leaves.
       

    Locust Leafminer Image Source: Kathy Bourne

    Read more about locust leafminers.
  • Colorado Potato Beetle

    A beetle that hopped east from potato-patch to potato-patch to become our biggest pest of potatoes in home and commercial vegetable gardens.
       

    Colorado Potato Beetle Photo Credit: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, bugwood.org

    Read more about colorado potato beetles.
  • Bagworm

    Homespun and natural, the bag that this caterpillar carries all of the time protects it from the elements. They start feeding now, but the damage becomes most noticeable in late summer.
       

    Bagworm Photo Credit: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about bagworms.
  • Spruce Mite

    One of the most common pests of conifers often gets overlooked or it's damage is blamed on something else.
       

    Spruce Mite Photo Source: Eric Day

    Read more about spruce mites.
  • Periodical Cicada

    Most every year, somewhere in Virginia, this cicada emerges, followed by lots of noise, dead twigs, and usually news reporters.
       

    Periodical Cicada Photo Source: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about periodical cicadas.
  • Eastern Tent Caterpillar

    Wild black cherry and choke cherry trees often have webbing at the bases of branches at this time of year caused by a native insect called the Eastern Tent Caterpillar. Unrelated to Gypsy Moths, it becomes noticeable a we drive down the highway.
       

    Eastern Tent Caterpillar Photo Source: Eric Day

    Read more about eastern tent caterpillars.
  • Termites

    Leaves and flowers are not the only things that emerge in April; termites also come out and swarm inside houses at this time of year.
       

    Termites Photo Source: Eric Day

    Read more about termite treatment options.
    Read more about signs of termite infestation.
    Read more about termite biology and behavior.
  • Emerald Ash Borer

    Now is a good time to think about protecting those valuable ash trees from the ravages of this beetle. Signs of this insect include increased woodpecker activity and dead branches at the top of the tree.
       

    Emerald Ash Borer Photo Source: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about emerald ash borers.
  • Ticks

    Just when we want to go outside, these little pests get active. There are some easy ways to prevent these little guys from hitching a ride on us.
       

    Tick Photo Source: Eric Day

    Read more about ticks.
  • Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

    It bugged us last summer in the garden, it bugged us last fall when it started coming indoors, now it's active again in the house as it tries to get outside.

        Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

    Read more about stink bugs.

  • Cigarette Beetle

    Once the scourge of tobacco shops, this little beetle feeds on a wide variety of stored foods. Hint: it often feeds on dried spices.
       

    Cigarette Beetle Photo Credit: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

    Read more about cigarette beetles.
  • Earwigs

    Soon the unusual insects with the pinchers on the end of their bodies will show up on our doorsteps. The folklore about them invading ears is false but they can still aggravate us a little bit.
       

    Earwigs Photo Credit: Eric Day

    Read more about earwigs.
  • Boxelder Bug

    First they were climbing on the outside walls in the fall, now they are wandering around inside and causing concern. Not to worry, they don't feed on anything inside, just a nuisance.
       

    Boxelder Bug Photo Credit: John A. Weidhass, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about boxelder bugs.
  • Indian Meal Moth

    Nothing adds to winter worries like a few worms in store food. The insect feeds on virtually any dried food, including dog food, bird seed, candy, flour, dried mixes, cereal, and dried flowers.
       

    Indianmeal Moth Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about Indian Meal moths.
  • Drugstore Beetle

    Noted by its ability to eat virtually any dried food, this insect picked up its name from feeding on dried botanical products once carried in drug stores in the 1800's.
       

    Drugstore Beetle Photo Credit: Pest and Diseases Image Library, Bugwood.org

    Read more about drugstore beetles.
  • Fire Ants

    These little pests have established themselves in parts of Tidewater Virginia and are pests as stingers and builders of mounds that damage mowing and farming equipment.
       

    Fire Ant Photo Source: Eric Day

    Read more about fire ants.
  • Millipedes

    In this case the creepy-crawlies have lots of legs. Millipedes wander into houses and structures this time of year. Just like the stink bugs they are telling us to check the weather-stripping on windows and doors.
       

    Millipede Photo Source: Eric Day

    Read more about millipedes.
  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    This insect has been dormant all summer and is getting ready to crank back up its feeding. This pest is still running amuck in Virginia.
       

    Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Photo Credit: Eric R. Day, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

    Read more about hemlock woolly adelgids.
  • Lady Beetle

    These home invading lady beetles found their way to homes in Virginia all by themselves starting in 1993, unless you have heard one of the many urban legends about this critter.
       

    Lady Beetle Photo Source: Eric Day

    Read more about lady beetles.
  • Twig Pruner

    Lots of things will make small branches fall out of trees, wind and squirrels being two common culprits. Sometimes it's a pair of beetles that cause this conspicuous damage.
       

    Twig Pruner Photo Source: Clemson University - USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series, Bugwood.org

    Read more about twig pruners.


Insect Identification and Diagnosis Request

For the identification of insects and mites, contact a local Virginia Cooperative Extension office, or find information about offices in your state.