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Spring Break for Cicadas – an Event NOT to be Missed

April 7, 2021

Spring break seems to mark a rite of passage into full-blown adulthood for some college-age students. Many feel compelled to experience it at least once…

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Why Insects Don’t Have Wheels

March 3, 2021

The other day I found myself pondering one of life’s biggest entomological questions. Pondering is not an uncommon activity for me. A large part of…

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Cute as a Bug? Where Are the Metrics?

February 1, 2021

When we see a newborn baby, we sometimes use the phrase “cute as a bug’s ear,” or even more commonly, “cute as a bug in…

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Avoiding Winter-time ‘Bah Humbug’ Surprises

January 4, 2021

I don’t often get questions about new insect outbreaks in the home at this time of year, but when I do it is often near…

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Repletes and Food Storage by Insects

December 4, 2020

Food consumption is on Americans’ minds right now with recent Thanksgiving Day feasts under our belt (literally if not figuratively), and Christmas dinners, Hanukah celebrations,…

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Insidious flower bug – the size of the fight

November 2, 2020

As the smallest of six brothers, I was often patted on the top of my head by my grandfather, who would say, “It ain’t the…

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The Cricket Offensive

October 1, 2020

The heat of summer is almost in the rearview mirror, bringing thoughts of apples, pumpkins, football and …. crickets. It hit me just now when…

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The Buzz is Worse Than the Bite – Usually

September 3, 2020

The whole country was abuzz a few months ago when reports of Asian giant hornets hit the media. The news story was evidently a good…

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Why Beetles Require a Thick Skin

August 5, 2020

One of our greatest social fears is to appear in public at a party wearing the identical dress or shirt or outfit that another person…

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A Cockroach in the Kitchen is NOT the End of the World

July 6, 2020

I don’t spend a lot of time pondering what might cause the end of our world as we know it, be it an asteroid colliding…

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Bipedal vs. Hexapedal Wonders

June 3, 2020

After my children progressed from the stage where they argued with friends about whose dad was biggest or whose dad could beat up whose dad,…

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Sit, Stay and Don’t Shake Paws

May 4, 2020

A lot has happened since my last column. Our sense of normality has been drastically altered. We are staying home more, and when we do…

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What has a fly with a flu to do with you?

April 1, 2020

Viruses are at the top of nearly everyone’s list of concerns right now, and understandably so. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc within our medical community and…

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Did you hear the one about the huge camel spider? Well …

March 3, 2020

On several occasions photos of huge camel spiders, the size of a human’s calf, have exploded across the internet, accompanied by alarming stories describing how…

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Snow fleas: Winter Insect Insanity

February 4, 2020

An entomological rule of thumb is that insects are active in the spring, summer, and fall, but not the winter. It is what we always…

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You see a tree. Insects see a welcome mat.

January 7, 2020

Leaf-footed pine bugs can be inadvertently carried into a home on Christmas trees. Boxelder bugs brought into a home on firewood. If you are convinced…

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Insect Biology and the Necessary Hedge Words

December 6, 2019

When teaching about insects, biologists almost never say “always” or “never.” The words “almost always,” usually,” “most often,” “generally,” “ordinarily,” and “normally” can save a…

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Uninvited Stink Bugs in the Home – Dispatch Satisfaction

November 5, 2019

Some time ago I wrote a Spineless Wonders column about the invasion of stink bugs – specifically, the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). I…

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Plague of Locusts – or Whatever They Are Called

October 3, 2019

Dear Dr. Tim, What’s up with all the locusts, or whatever you call the “hoppy” insects that are all over our neighborhood. Is this the…

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Hover Fly vs. Homeowner – Conflict Mediation

September 5, 2019

As an entomologist, I find that it often falls on me to serve as a sort of de facto mediator in ongoing or potential insect/human…

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