Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer is here....and so are cicadas!

Cicada adult and exuviaeHave you been hearing loud noises in trees when you go outside lately? Male cicadas are well known for their "song".  They rest on trees and produce a whining sound that is attractive to females (cicada females, that is...). The sound is produced by two vibrating membranes on the side of the cicada abdomen.  Fortunately, for those who do not enjoy the "music", female cicadas do not "sing".

Cicadas are fairly large insects with some growing over 1 1/2 inches. Color can vary depending upon the species, but many are browns and greens.  All cicadas have bulging eyes and, on adults, wings that are held roof-like over the body.  The wings are semi-transparent with thick veins.

Cicadas have a 2-5 year life cycle, the majority of which is spent underground.  After mating, females insert egg clusters into branches of trees using their saw-like ovipositor (egg laying structure).  Eggs hatch after about 6 weeks and small nymphs drop to the ground where they burrow into the soil. Nymphs feed on the sap of tree roots with their piercing-sucking mouthparts.  After nymphs have fully developed, they emerge from the ground at night and climb up nearby objects like tree trunks, plants, fences, etc.  Adult cicadas emerge from the last nymphal stage, leaving behind the exuviae (cast skin/ exoskeleton).  Adults can live 5-6 weeks.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Mid-year check on bug webinar series watching

Have you been tuning in the first Friday of each month to the All Bugs Good and Bad webinar series? If you have no idea what I'm writing about or you possibly missed one or more along the way, FEAR NOT....we've got you covered!

American dog tickEach webinar has been taped for your viewing convenience (yes, you can watch in your PJs at home if you want).  All you have to do is click on the link of the webinar you want to view below and then click the green circle with the white arrow button next to "watch recording" in the upper right corner of the webpage that pulls up.

Webinars that have been completed so far in 2017:

Don't Let Tramp Ants Take Over Your Home

Protect Your Veggie Harvest From Hungry Insects

Mosquitoes and Insect Borne Diseases


Aphids, Scales and, Whiteflies

We also have more webinars scheduled for the rest of the year beginning August 4th with me talking about various flies.  Webinars are the first Friday of each month at 2 PM Eastern time (that's 1 PM here in Texas).

The rest of 2017's schedule:

Drain flies, house flies, and fungus gnats- August 4th

Meet our native pollinators- September 1st

New invasive ants to know about- October 6th

Pantry pests, carpet beetles, and clothes moths- November 3rd

Don't let bed bugs hamper your vacation plans- December 1st (this one is my hubby speaking!).

The 2017 Webinars are brought to you by the Ant Pests and Urban IPM eXtension Communities of Practice; and by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the University of Georgia ExtensionTexas A&M AgriLife Extension and Clemson Cooperative Extension.  Series Coordinators: Dani Carroll and Kathy Flanders, Auburn University.  Marketing: Amanda Tedrow, University of Georgia Extension.  Webinar Text Chat Moderators: Tim Davis, University of Georgia Extension, and Vicky Bertagnolli-Heller, Clemson Cooperative Extension.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Austin’s 10th Annual BugFest

Event: Austin’s 10th Annual BugFest
When: Saturday, June 10th at 4-8:00 PM
Where: At in.gredients 2610 Manor Rd, Austin, Texas 78722


What: Open to the public and free for kids, BugFest is your chance to learn about insects as food for people, pets and livestock. Taste food made with insects, see Chef Josh Jones, Co-Founder of Salt & Time and Chef PV do bug cooking demonstrations, enjoy SPUN ice cream, kids activity tables hosted by ATX urban farm, Green Gate Farm and GirlsEmpowerment Network. Hear the Austin premier of BugFest theme song by Fragile Rock, an emo puppet band kicking off their NPR, “Tiny Desk Concert Series”

Activities: 4-8pm:
Live Music by puppet emo-rock band Fragile Rock • Bug Cooking Demos by Chef Josh Jones, Co-Founder of Salt & Time and Chef PV of “Buggin’ Out” kids’ video education series • Table-to-Farm demos by GrubTubs • Ento Raffle • Enjoy SPUN cricket crunch ice cream

SPUN Ice Cream • Aketta, Austin’s own cricket farm & maker of cricket snacks • Sway Water • Green Gate Farm, ATX urban farm • Girls Empowerment Network • GrubTubs FullFridge, an ATX meal delivery startup • Slow Food AustinDelysia Chocolatier • Kids activities table with Little Herds P.E.A.S., partners for education agriculture and sustainability • Ento Raffle 

Mercado Mio, gourmet Oaxaca crickets products & imports • Aketta, ATX cricket farm & maker of cricket snacks • Entomo Farms, North America’s largest Edible Insect farm • Delysia Chocolatier • Chirps, cricket chips • Rocky Mountain Micro Ranch, Denver based edible Insects farm • Slow Food • P.E.A.S. • GrubTubs • Lithic Nutrition, cricket protein bars • SeedsOf Action #BugsEndHunger Awareness Campaign • SPUN Ice Cream 

4:15- 8:00 pm Kids Activity Tables & Bug Tasting table & Ento Raffle
4:55 pm Bug Cooking Demos by Chef Josh Jones, Co-Founder of Salt & Time, SPUN Ice Cream and Chef PV 
of “Buggin’ Out” kids’ video education series
5:00-8:00 pm Live music – Fragile Rock, an emo puppet band

9:00-10:45pm Film Screening - Stick around afterwards, in.gredients will be staying open late to host a screening of the documentary film "Bugs On The Menu." Entry is free for anybody with a BugFest ticket!

Connect With Us on Social
Facebook Event Page
Twitter hashtag: #ATXBugFest, @LittleHerds

About Us

Little Herds educates and empowers local and global communities to use insects for food and feed. Locally, Little Herds has hosted over 100 insect education events, feeding over 10,000 people. Internationally, Little Herds is partnering with Farms for Orphans and Entomo Farms to build cricket farms in orphanages in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the U.S., Little Herds is working on GrubTubs, a Black Soldier Fly Larvae Up-cycling Pilot Project in Austin, Texas. Austin’s BugFest is fundraising for #BugsEndHunger Awareness Campaign –– founded by Little Herds and Seeds Of Action–– to build an “Open Source Farming Insects Guide”, an education tool for small and family insect farms. •