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NC State News

The Bad Bugs of Summer

When mosquitoes land, they will probe the skin, puncturing it with their needle-like mouthparts.

Summertime is more than just lemonade and trips to the beach. It’s itchy mosquito bites, checking yourself for ticks, keeping an eye out for black widows and shooing carpenter bees away from your deck. In other words, it’s the busy season for many-legged pests of all kinds. What can you do to protect yourself? And why are these critters driving us crazy?

Top left: Carpenter Bee, top right: mosquito, bottom-left: black widow, bottom-right: tick

We had those same questions, and have been talking with the faculty and staff of NC State’s entomology department to get answers. So far, we’ve written about mosquitoes, ticks, carpenter bees and black widows – and we’ll be writing profiles of other pests as the summer goes along.

In addition to basic information on why these pests act the way they do – and how we can limit our interaction with them – we’ve uncovered some fascinating facts. Did you know that: A female tick will sometimes feed until it has increased in weight 100-fold? Not all black widows are black? Carpenter bees don’t have queens or hives? Some people really are more attractive to mosquitoes?

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