Category: Ask an Entomologist

Insect Genitalia: an Entomological Obsession

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy some of the randomness that shows up in my Inbox because I’m an entomologist. Today’s example: “Subject: Genetalia vials I have been using small genitalia vials (10mm x […]

Cheese, Maggots, and Misinformation

Sigh. Why is it that whenever insects and food go together, people immediately go for the shock value? Boing Boing recently ran a post titled “Maggot Cheese that tries to Eat Your Eyes.” “Casu marzu […]

Cochineal: it’s a bug AND a feature!

So much misinformation is being published right now about Cochineal, I thought a post that explains what it is, how it’s made, why it’s relatively harmless, and why I support labeling but oppose a ban, […]

Things that aren’t bees (#2)

Yesterday, I discussed a common group of flies that mimic bees and wasps. Here’s a more challenging mimic. This one is also a fly, but a pretty convincing fake bumble bee! In fact, there is […]

Things that aren’t bees (#1)

I get a lot of “what is that?!” questions, and I thought it would be fun to have a series of things that look like bees and wasps, but are not bees or wasps. There […]

Wheel Bugs

I have been getting a lot of questions about Wheel Bugs this fall, for some reason. They are fairly big, and pretty unusual looking.  Their most characteristic feature is a round, cog-looking wheel on their […]

How to inspect your hotel room for bed bugs

Here’s how a professional Entomologist searches her hotel room.

ACMA Statement on Misters

The AMCA (American Mosquito Control Association) has weighed in on mosquito misting systems. These systems are installed near (or on) a home, and dispense clouds of pesticides (or ‘natural’ oils like garlic and eucalyptus). The […]