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.

5 mind-blowing bugs that are active in winter

For those who don’t like bugs, winter is a great time to spend time outdoors. The usual biting insects are gone, and even ticks are less active. While insects have many clever ways of surviving winter, there are nonetheless a small number that stay active. These mind-blowing winter bugs are a real source of excitement for nature nerds like me, …

How to detect spongy moths in your yard

Invasive species are a problem in natural areas just about anywhere on Earth. Some, like spongy moths (Lymantria dispar), can damage plants on your property and be a major nuisance. If you live in the Northeastern U.S., you might have problems with this plant. But how do you detect spongy moths? In this Outdoor Tips post, I’ll guide you through …

What’s the difference between butterflies and moths?

Butterflies and moths are active, fascinating insects that you’ll find all over the world. With over 160,000 species, these bugs in the order Lepidoptera are a fixture in outdoor spaces. Although most people will be quick to tell you that there is a difference between butterflies and moths, scientists tend to disagree. In reality, when we get down to trying …

Why do bugs die on their backs?

People often uses phrases like “going belly up” to describe dead or dying things. The idea of dead animals with legs sticking up in the air seems especially iconic for insects. For instance, exterminator companies’ logos will often feature a dead bug on its back with its feet high in the air. Furthermore, “dead bugs” are a popular abdominal exercise. …

Are wasps more aggressive in the Fall?

By the time Fall comes around, people are too ready to leave the mosquitoes behind and enjoy the cooler weather. Too often on my own Fall picnics, I’ve been about to enjoy a candied apple or cup of cider when the wasps show up. They aggressively harass my friends and I until, begrudgingly, we head inside and mumble about how …

14 wild cicada facts

In many parts of the world, the familiar drone of insects is a welcome sign of summer. While crickets serenade us by night, cicadas are among the loudest and most active daytime singers of the bug world. These big, loud, and surprisingly stealthy insects are more often heard than seen, and have a truly alien appearance. In this Wildlife Spotlight …

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 …