June 23, 2010

Boxelder Bugs vs. Lady bugs

This blog is for Beth who asked me if it's possible that Ladybugs eat Boxelder Bugs and if that would explain why when she see's lots of Ladybugs she doesn't see as many Boxelder Bugs.

Well Beth- that's a great question and I'm going to answer it but first, I want to tell you about Boxelder Bugs (I'm just "evil" that way)!!!

Scientific Name and Nomenclature: Order Hemiptera, Family Rhopalidae, Boxelder Bug, Boisea trivittata (Say)

An adult and nymph on a tree leaf (Note the link where I found this picture has several other good pictures of Boxelders and other insects if you are interested in looking at "bug" pictures).

Pest Status: Boxelder bugs are often considered a "nuisance" pest since they enter homes and/or buildings (particularlly stone ones) in search of winter hibernation areas. They can be vacummed up to be removed from buildings. Remember that I have said before that if you use the vacumme method you MUST remove the bag from teh vacumme and throw it out immediately. Insects can survive in harsh conditions and your vacumme bag with lint, food, and air is a very nice home for them where they can reproduce.

Host Plants (places where they can be found): Boxelder,

Caddo (Florida) Maple, Silver Maple (sometimes)

The life stages of the Boxelder bug

Overwinter as adults. Emerge in midspring, mate, and lay eggs. In the spring adults and nymphs will feed on seeds and maple trees. This first generation of nymphs may feed on dead insects including their siblings. These nymphs will emerge as adults in early summer.

In the summer and fall, the adults and numphs will suck sap from new tree (usually boxelder) growth and may feed on weeds and other plants. This type of plant feeding is usually non-damaging but when they feed on stawberries it can be very damaging. The second generation will occur in late summer and will have adult emergence in October. This generation is the one that will overwinter ater the first frost.

Whew!! Now I will answer the question

Photo Credit

Yes, I think it's possible. Coccinellidae (Ladybug Family) beetles will feed on ANY arthropod that they can handle. So if there are lots of adults and nymphs around during the first or second generation of nymphs then it is likely that they will feed on them and consequently reduce the population. You can increase the number of ladybugs in your yard by making sure that you have plants that produce pollen, nectar, and honey dew for the adult insect to feed on. Another aspect to think about is what other beneficials (such as song birds, rodents, and/or other insects) do you have in your area.

References Used:

Cranshaw, W. 2004. Garden Insects of North America: the Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs. Princeton University Press, Prenceton, New Jersey. Pgs. 230 and 544.

Pedigo, L.P., Rice, M. E. 2006. Entomology and Pest Management, 5th Ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Pg. 319.

Salsbury, G.A., White, S.C. 2000. Insects in Kansas. Kansas Department of Agriculture. Pg 100.

June 22, 2010

We have arrived

So this is the second part of moving up. I realize that I didn't take pictures of my new home until after I had unpacked but TRUST me it is much more spacious than my old tiny apartment!!!

My new living room has plenty of room for me to dance on!!! I'm planning on getting a couch to take the place of the lawn chairs but I'm in no hurry.

The new kitchen has lots of room for me to store kitchen equipment (new and old) and I have plenty of space in which I can work in for food prep.

I had to develop a "lock" in order to keep Woudin out of my cabinets. Normally, I wouldn't care but the cabinets are open all the way around the bottom and I have china and other dishes to the left of the sink so a "lock" had to be devised!!!!

My new bathroom, which has room for all of my bathroom stuff so I don't have to store it in another room.

I decided that after my tiny apartment I would move into the living room and make it my bedroom. This way I could fit everything I want in my bedroom and still have room to breath and exercise on the floor.

This is the sitting room part of my bedroom. I have always wanted my library attached to my bedroom. Unfortunately, I can't quite do that here but I do have books spread out everywhere which makes me happy!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed the tour of my new home and maybe you will get invited out to a party at my place............ you never know!!!!

Packing and Moving Up

I realized that I took a TON of photos so I have decided to do this in parts:

For this first section you can see the tiny parts of the old apartment.

This is about half of my living room, well maybe 3/4 of my living room. Not much room to dance in (sigh)!

Here is the kitchen; this isn't really a fair picture but I can promise you that the stove and sink were immediately to the right of the edge of the above picture. I had NO counter space and this really cramped my cooking style- I like to have a dedicated space to work in next to the stove and oven. I, also, like to have cabinet space to store food and cooking supplies but there wasn't much of that so I had to get rid of a lot of my cooking supplies. I guess this means that as I can afford to purchase items for my kitchen that I will be helping the economy!

This was my bedroom. I will never figure out how I managed to get all of this stuff packed into this tiny, tiny, tiny "studio" apartment with a wall. Many of my friends thought that my apartment really wasn't a one bedroom because it was so small!!!!

This is what my closet looked like without Woudin looming on the top shelf.

And finally, I dedicate the below song to my "sister" you know who you are!!! Thanks for helping me out when I need it and for loving me unconditionally!!!

June 17, 2010

Moving with pets

In the spirit of sharing and getting myself pumped up for improving my blogging habits now that I don't have to blog for a grade..... I have taken many photos this month and now I have to figure out how to space them out so I don't overwhelm everybody.

For this segment of photos, I thought I would share some of the antics of my crazy felines while I was packing to get them, me, and my stuff ready to go to my new home!!!

I'm not sure if Woudin is guarding the boxes or making sure that I know when it's time to go he is supposed to go with me.

Woudin LOVES anything (this includes their carrier, laundry basket, empty boxes, etc.) that he can curl himself up in order to sleep or hide.

Believe it or not, Tzani is somewhere in this picture.

Can you find her?

I'll give you a hint...... look for her eyes. Do you see them?

She is lying to the left of the box and to the right of the plastic wrap. Did you find her?

Isn't she cute?

So here is my old closet where I stored an amazing amount of "stuff."

Not only does Woudin like places to hide in; he also loves to be as high as he can be. I'm guessing here he's thinking, "She found me now what's she going to do?"

Aren't they cute? Of course, I'm not biased or anything. Nope I'm not! :)

June 3, 2010

My apologies

I just wanted to apologize for my long hiatus from my blog.

As many of you know I had been fighting some weird illness which required me to donate lots of blood for the doctor to say that I'm allergic to something but no allergy test was performed.

In addition, I had been working on a MS bypass directly to a Ph.D. which was finally approved by the Entomology department and then the graduate school.

To keep things interesting, May, also, involved a move out into the country, my car motor dying (leaving me stranded outside of Ellsworth) right as I was getting ready to move, and yet another death in my family (I will miss your smiling face, Uncle Gary).


I'm hoping things calm down so I can get back to blogging. I finally published the three parter from April and I hope you all enjoy it.