Bugs posts are all about the endless and alien world of terrestrial invertebrates. This micro-wildlife includes insects, arachnids like spiders and scorpions, snails and slugs, centipedes, and more.

Why do bugs bite?

Almost every time I pick up a bug to show someone, they ask me the same question. “Does it bite”? Bug bites are certainly one of the most realistic downsides of spending time outdoors. For example, dangers like bear attacks and snake bites are far less common than people think. However, mosquitoes and other insects can be a real annoyance …

Are ticks active in the Fall?

While spending time outdoors has many benefits, biting bugs are always an unwelcome reality. While mosquitoes and other biting insects are most active in summer, we tend to imagine that we’re safe from pesky bites in the Fall and Winter. But what about things like ticks? I often hear people explain that the first frost kills ticks off, leaving us …

Why do bugs like light?

Many interesting bugs are night-flying or nocturnal, becoming active after dusk. If you’ve ever left a porch light on or had a campfire in the summer, you also know that nighttime bugs are attracted to light. Expressions like “like a moth to the flame” show that people have seen this happen for a long time. But why do bugs like …

What are galls?

In late Summer and Fall, you may find strange shapes on the stems of plants or tree leaves. These odd growths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and sometimes even colors. Upon closer inspection, what you might think are fungi or insect pupa appear to be somehow part of the plant itself. You’re looking at galls! These bizarre plant …

What are springtails?

My friend Steve recently sent me a video of some mystery animals from his home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When he walked outside on a spring day after some rain showers, he spotted a weird, blue-gray puddle on the pavement. It didn’t shine like water. He thought maybe it was an oil stain or paint mark. It seemed almost granular, and… …

Are mosquitoes attracted to colors?

Summer is a fantastic time to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature. Unfortunately, in many parts of the world, it’s also when mosquitoes are most active. This means getting snacked-on while you’re trying to enjoy being outside, and itchy bites later on. Because of all that unpleasantness, people will go to great lengths to avoid mosquitoes. Beyond bug sprays …

How do bugs stick to walls?

Bugs, and invertebrates in general, have all sorts of superpowers. Marvel’s Spider-Man is a great example of our cultural appreciation for invertebrates’ incredible abilities. Among other things, your friendly neighborhood super-hero can climb walls, stick to ceilings, and scale buildings by sticking to glass windows. Although Peter Parker wows us in theaters, we’re less happy to watch a cockroach skitter …

How long do butterflies live?

One of the most pleasant parts of spring and summer is the arrival of butterflies. These colorful, lively, harmless insects tend to delight people and symbolize natural beauty. Like the sound of birdsong, butterflies put people at ease and give us a sense of peace in the outdoors. Many people who garden for wildlife are specifically interested in butterflies. Beyond …

How to garden for wildlife

No matter where you live, it’s possible to find an array of wildlife right around your home. Your yard or garden can attract a wealth of fascinating critters for you and your family to enjoy.