As we enter the holiday season, we give thanks and take time to reflect on the past year’s trials and tribulations.  What is that insect you saw in the garden and what does it eat?  Here is your golden opportunity to build-up your gardening knowledge for 2018 – let it be the year you master all your garden woes!  Check-out these fantastic new gardening guides by USU Extension Insect Diagnostician, Ryan Davis and team.  They will answer all the mysteries of life – in your garden that is.  Like, did you know…

  • The Masked Hunter (a type of assassin bug) has developed the strange habit of covering itself in dust and debris as camouflage during its immature stage? They often appear as walking piles of dust and fluff.

    masked hunter bug in immature stage

    Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

  • The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug releases a compound when stressed that is often described as having a cilantro aroma and/or flavor? That’s right, we said flavor — Oregon wine makers were concerned that BMSB were affecting the flavor of their wine so researchers from Oregon State University set out to study how these invasive insects affect the flavor of pinot noirs. Apparently, people either hated it or loved it — which isn’t surprising since the preference for cilantro also seems to evoke this response.

    brown marmorated stink bug in Utah on corn crop

    Vegetable IPM Advisory 8-10-2017

  • Paper Wasps are not as aggressive as yellowjackets or hornets? The adults feed on nectar, meaning they aren’t that wasp buzzing around your burger, but rather are out visiting and pollinating your flowers. The young are fed chewed up soft bodied insects (like caterpillars) by their parents so they could even be considered beneficial.  Depending on if you’re allergic or not, you may want to consider keeping these around in your landscape–just make sure you know where they’ve built their nest so you don’t accidentally disturb them.
paper wasp on nest

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

For even more tidbits of trivia check out the complete “Pest Identification Guides” online.