Browse Ants, Termites, Lice and Other Pests Stories

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Cool spring temperatures have increased the incidence of the Asian Bush Mosquito, Aedes japonicus, which thrives in cool temperatures, however the species is not typically an aggressive of a biter, so its populations are not as noticeable. CAES News
Mosquito Control
Whether it was Punxsutawney Phil or the Old Farmer’s Almanac, somebody got it right because, after a relatively mild winter, it’s been a cool spring across the Southeast. Even as summer approaches, these cool temperatures have provided some relief on both the air conditioning bill and the mosquito front.
(L to R)Dan Suiter, Orkin Professor of Urban Entomology and UGA Extension; entomologist Freeman Elliott, recently retired Orkin president and member of the CAES Advisory Council; Nick Place, CAES dean and director; Kris Braman, head of CAES Department of Entomology. (Photo by Lavi Astacio) CAES News
Orkin Partnership
Dan Suiter, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension entomologist and well-known expert in addressing the needs of pest control operators, has been named the Orkin Professor of Urban Entomology at UGA. Orkin, an industry leader in pest control services and protection, has created the endowment to help strengthen the entomology program in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
All mosquitoes require standing water for their larval and pupal stages to develop. As a result, any standing water that can be eliminated now is one less site where pest populations can develop when temperatures warm in the coming weeks. CAES News
Mosquito Season Prep
As January transitions to February, few of us are thinking about mosquitoes and the multitude of problems they can cause when spring arrives. But with January rain totals well above normal across the Southeast, it is a good time to take inventory of where standing water is holding and what can be done to eliminate it.
Abnormally dry conditions this summer have kept Georgia's mosquito populations mercifully low, but that's no reason for Georgians to let down their guard, especially this season. CAES News
Mosquito Season Ongoing
Cooler weather may be upon us, but as we open windows and head outside, it is important to remember that we are still in mosquito season. Recent rains have filled all of the containers, cracks and crevices that can hold water around our homes and neighborhoods. While working around my yard, I have found mosquito larvae in the bird bath, a garbage can lid and in the rim of a recycling container.
Fire ant mounds seen on the surface of our lawns and fields are just a small portion of the ant colony where soil has been excavated to the surface. These colonies are unsightly and occasionally dangerous. CAES News
Fire Ant Management
There are many things you come to expect living in the Southern U.S. You can count on sweetened ice tea being available at every restaurant, there will always be festivals named after fruits and vegetables, and the weather after Easter will never make any sense. You can also count on fire ant mounds appearing in late spring. 
Jena Johnson, a research professional in the Department of Entomology, has been interested in photography since graduate school, when she first experimented with a 35mm camera. Over the years, she’s honed her skills in both research and photography, now documenting a variety of insects with a macro lens. (Photo by Peter Frey) CAES News
Mosquito Metamorphosis
Jena Johnson, a lab manager in the Department of Entomology in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, captures what she observes working with mosquitoes and other insects in the lab of entomology professor Michael Strand. She finds scientific and artistic meaning in her photos, which offer a glimpse at both intriguing behavioral phenomena and unexpected natural beauty.
The tiny Asian longhorned tick (left) compared to the common Lonestar tick. CAES News
Asian Longhorned Tick
As of Sept. 21, an invasive and dangerous pest, the Asian longhorned tick, has been confirmed in north Georgia. Experts are warning livestock producers and the public to be on the lookout, as the ticks can kill an animal by attaching to a host by the hundreds.
Like many other mosquito species, the larvae of Culex pipiens, commonly referred to as the common house mosquito, require certain vitamins to grow. These nutrients are extremely unstable in aquatic environments, and UGA researchers have found that gut microbes have to produce these components continuously in order for organisms like mosquito larvae to develop. CAES News
Mosquito Microbiota
To most people, mosquitoes are a nuisance. To University of Georgia entomologist Michael Strand, learning about their development processes could lead to new approaches in mosquito control.
Common seasonal pests like (clockwise from top right) fire ants, houseflies, brown marmorated stink bugs and mosquitos (shown in standing water as larvae) can be controlled with simple tips from UGA Cooperative Extension. CAES News
Summer Pests
As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent, I see a lot of insects. People leave jars of them on my desk, send me photos or call me out to their gardens to identify them and give control recommendations.
A supergene is a collection of neighboring genes located on a chromosome that are inherited together due to close genetic linkage. Studying these unique genes is important to understanding the potential causes for differences among the social structure of fire ants, specifically for controlling the species and building upon the existing knowledge base. CAES News
Fire ant supergene
A unique study conducted by University of Georgia entomologists led to the discovery of a distinctive supergene in fire ant colonies that determines whether young queen ants will leave their birth colony to start their own new colony or if they will join one with multiple queens. Researchers also found that ants were more aggressive toward queens who don’t possess the supergene, causing colony workers to kill them. This critical finding opens the door to new pest control methods that may be more efficient in eradicating problematic fire ant colonies.