Dear Bugman,
I have been gardening or helping to tend to the garden since I was just a wee fella.Most of my life was spent gardening in Ohio.Shorter growing season,not a whole lot of bugs.Cold winters killed alot of the buggers I guess.
we move to Georgia about four years ago.whole new ballgame you might say.Since moving here I have discovered at least forty new insects I never knew.Some of these things can eat entire plants in a night.Well maybe not that bad but close.
I have searched high and low to figure the latest one out.You may be my last hope.So far they have wiped out my potatoes and have since migrated to the tomatos.They are less than a quarter inch in length, soft fat bodies,red except for the head and underbelly,looks like about six or eight legs,black spots.The head is much smaller than the body.Oh and they’re really juicy when you pick them off.
I wish I knew how to send a picture on this stupid thing but I don’t.Any help or pictures for me to look at would be appreciated.
Thanks Doc.
Frank Kovach

Dear Frank,
You have Colorado Potato Beetles, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. The grubs are as you describe and the adults are striped black and yellow. Both adults and grubs feed on potatoes and related plants including tomatoes. This is an example about how a relatively unimportant insect can change its role as the environment changes. this beetle was once native to the Rockies, living on nightshade and other wild members of the potato family Solanacea. When settlers began togrow potatoes, the new food gave the beetles a fresh start. they prospered and spread, till they now exist in practically all of the 48 continental states. Here are some photos and more information can be found on this site:
http://creatures.ifas.ufl.edu/veg/leaf/potato_beetles.htm

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Dear Bugman,
I have been gardening or helping to tend to the garden since I was just a wee fella.Most of my life was spent gardening in Ohio.Shorter growing season,not a whole lot of bugs.Cold winters killed alot of the buggers I guess.
we move to Georgia about four years ago.whole new ballgame you might say.Since moving here I have discovered at least forty new insects I never knew.Some of these things can eat entire plants in a night.Well maybe not that bad but close.
I have searched high and low to figure the latest one out.You may be my last hope.So far they have wiped out my potatoes and have since migrated to the tomatos.They are less than a quarter inch in length, soft fat bodies,red except for the head and underbelly,looks like about six or eight legs,black spots.The head is much smaller than the body.Oh and they’re really juicy when you pick them off.
I wish I knew how to send a picture on this stupid thing but I don’t.Any help or pic
tures for me to look at would be appreciated.
Thanks Doc.
Frank Kovach

Dear Frank,
You have Colorado Potato Beetles, Leptinotarsa decemlineata. The grubs are as you describe and the adults are striped black and yellow. Both adults and grubs feed on potatoes and related plants including tomatoes. This is an example about how a relatively unimportant insect can change its role as the environment changes. this beetle was once native to the Rockies, living on nightshade and other wild members of the potato family Solanacea. When settlers began togrow potatoes, the new food gave the beetles a fresh start. they prospered and spread, till they now exist in practically all of the 48 continental states. Here are some photos and more information can be found on this site:
http://creatures.ifas
.ufl.edu/veg/leaf/potato_beetles.htm

I have heard of these vinegar runes that when they bite you everything tastes like vinegar for a month do they exist?

Vinegaroons, or whip scorpions, are venomless arachnids that release an acetic acid substance when molested. This is the same type of acid as vinegar, hence the name. They do not bite, so please quit spreading this silly vicious rumor about a harmless, though somewhat frightening looking relative of spiders and scorpions.


Mr. Marlos,
I’ve got another one for you!
I had been sitting diligently at my computer, waiting for the last few seconds of an ebay auction in order to snipe the competition, when I caught this creature making his way into a closet. The room was dark, and against my beige carpet, I actually thought it was a silverfish (it’s legs and tail blended in). Had I known, I wouldn’t’ve stepped on it, wearing only socks!
When the little bastard zipped across the carpet, I knew it was time for the bug glass. This is the sixth scorpion I’ve caught in 3 summers, and the smallest, so far. I’d say the dark part of the body is about 3/4 of an inch long.
Do you have any idea how much of a zinger these things wield? Sooner or later one of them is going to get me!
—Chris

Hey Chris,
Directly from the pages of Hogue:
"None of our indigenous scorpions is considered dangerous, although any may inflict a wound that is temporarily painful. However, there is a potentially lethal species (Dentruroides exilicauda) in southern Arizona and portions of the neighboring states. In Arizona, during a twenty year period, C. exilicauda has been responsible for the majority of the deaths due to venomous creatures, many more than rattlesnakes and all other types put together. The species has turned up in recent years in parts of Orange County, it has been particularly common in Irvine, where it poses a health hazard.
The stings of our scorpions usually cause only a local reaction similar to that of a bee sting, consisting of pain and a burning sensation, with swelling that lasts from a few minutes to over an hour. First-aid treatment involves immersing the affected area in ice water or applying an ice pack. If symptoms persist, a physician should be consulted."
p. 358

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I live in the midwest and recently relandscaped a good portion of my lawn and had bluegrass sod laid. ok so it was a very warm dry winter then 2 days after sod was laid the spring rains started and just keep coming. Problem is 2 monthes later the rains still come 1 or 2 times a week. there are lots of mushrooms growing in the new sod but that dosen’t bother me i know it will dry up soon. the problem is the sodded area seems to be infested with small dark colored flying bugs larger than gnats but smaller than the average house fly.the sod is still deep green but im worried that this could be a damaging infestation! what kind of insecticide should be used ? can you tell me what kind of bug this could be? thanks in advance!
Robert Bouchard

Dear Robert,
Many nonbiting gnats including Root Gnats (Family Sciaridae) and March Flies (Family Bibionidae) spend their maggot form eating decaying plant material such as compost, peat and spaghnum. They are scavengers who often live among the roots of grasses. There was probably a substrate of manure and compost laid beneath your sod, and that is where the flies are breeding. They will not damage your lawn as they do not feed on the living grass.

I live in the midwest and recently relandscaped a good portion of my lawn and had bluegrass sod laid. ok so it was a very warm dry winter then 2 days after sod was laid the spring rains started and just keep coming. Problem is 2 monthes later the rains still come 1 or 2 times a week. there are lots of mushrooms growing in the new sod but that dosen’t bother me i know it will dry up soon. the problem is the sodded area seems to be infested with small dark colored flying bugs larger than gnats but smaller than the average house fly.the sod is still deep green but im worried that this could be a damaging infestation! what kind of insecticide should be used ? can you tell me what kind of bug this could be? thanks in advance!
Robert Bouchard

Dear Robert,
Many nonbiting gnats including Root Gnats (Family Sciaridae) and March Flies (Family Bibionidae) spend their maggot form eating decaying plant material such as compost, peat and spaghnum. They are scavengers who often live among the roots of grasses. There was probably a substrate of manure and compost laid beneath your sod, and that is where the flies are breeding. They will not damage your lawn as they do not feed on the living grass.