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Category: Pests & Disease

I found worms with a spike for a tail on my tomatoes. What are they?

Between April and November, you might notice spike-tailed green worms (Figure 1) feasting on your tomato plants’ leaves and fruit. These voracious creatures ravaging your garden are caterpillars called tobacco or tomato hornworms. The caterpillars… Read More

Do wasps have any benefits at all?

Actually, yes! They may not make honey like pollinating bees do, but we still need them. Even though you might tend to think of wasps as pesky stinging insects, they do provide ecological benefits. Similar… Read More

Fresh spring leaves: A delectable treat

Throughout early spring, leaf buds on deciduous trees open up into fresh, green leaves. Our recently bare and bland landscapes are green again. We aren’t the only ones who are excited about this, though. Leaf-eating insects are too. Early… Read More

Crash Course in Taxonomy, or, What Those Odd Latin Terms for Bugs Mean

Perhaps you’ve noticed that our Bug Week writings often contain Latin terms for bugs. For example, if we mention the common bed bug we’ll probably reference its scientific name, Cimex lectularius. Or when we talk about grasshoppers… Read More

What are these little bugs in my house that look like they roll into a ball?

The pillbug, Armadillidium vulgare (Latreille), is an isopod, a type of non-insect arthropod also known as a terrestrial crustacean. It is sometimes called a roly-poly due to its ability to roll into ball when threatened… Read More

Why is this tree leaking?

If you see sap coming out of a tree it could be caused by many different things. Damage to a tree trunk or limb can cause sap to leak out. This is natural wound protection… Read More