Hello, I have a friend (yes, true!) who was telling me that she gets bitten from lots of insects yet her husband doesn’t have this problem so why do some people get bitten and others don’t?
Hi! When my husband and I are outdoors or in the general realm of bugs, they always go after HIM and not me. I don’t really mind this trend, but I have seen him be CHASED (unprovoked) by mosquitos, flesh flies, regular flies, spiders, wasps, and bees. I can be right there with him yet go unbothered. Why might this be?
Guys…we get this so much. Like, so much. It’s one of the most common questions we get asked.
When I went to Ecuador with Nancy, about a decade ago now (!), I did not wear insect repellent the entire trip because I wanted to catch a botfly. Botflies are vectored by mosquitoes, and I didn’t wear insect repellent because I wanted one so bad. Everyone else was bitten constantly by mosquitoes, so I thought my chances were really good.
I got bitten by exactly two mosquitoes. The entire time, two mosquitoes.
Why do some people get bitten by mosquitoes, and others get passed by?
We wanted to give y’all some more details about what’s going on behind the scenes.
We are three scientists who answer your questions for free, and we’ve got a lot going on behind the scenes. Joe and Joanie are at the part of their PhD programs where we’re searching for jobs. In order to do that, we need to write a new resume for each position as well as a unique cover letter. That’s the equivalent of several blog posts per week, on top of doing research. Needless to say, we’re not really in a position to do much writing at the moment.
Nancy runs a successful tourism business doing insect-based ecotours, and business has picked up in recent months because pandemic restrictions have lifted all across the world.
Needless to say, we’re all still dedicated to AaE, and we’re doing what we can, but things are really busy for all of us.
There are some big changes which will be happening, but we don’t know what form the new process will take. Please be patient while we figure all of this out.
In the meantime, we’ve got a pretty big announcement: We’re adding a new writer!
They’ll introduce themselves soon, so stay tuned to meet the newest member of our fantastic team!
Last Friday I was tasked with collecting some fire ant decapitating flies (Pseudacteon curvatus). Lucky for me, the season for collecting these flies hasn’t completely ended. Also, to my surprise, there are still a lot of visible fire ant mounds just about everywhere in College Station, Texas. Friday was a little chilly and overcast, but I had a feeling Saturday would be a good day. Indeed, Saturday was great. I didn’t have to go far on my hunt.
Here I’m sporting a new shirt that has our Ask an Entomologist logo. It is very soft and comfortable. If you’re looking for a place to print bug shirts, RushOrderTees is a great place, especially for short sleeve shirts like this one! I’m wearing a women’s medium and the color is light blue.
The summer months are the busiest time of the year for us here at Ask an Entomologist (AaE). We receive hundreds of emails asking all kinds of questions. Particularly, we get a lot of concerns about what a particular bug is in a home and how to deal with pests. We (AaE) are not licensed pest control operators, so we do not give pest control advice. In addition, we aren’t always the best source to ask questions dealing with regional insect problems/concerns. Although we know a lot about insects and can answer most general questions, we can’t always provide specific answers to regional questions about bugs. When we receive a question that is better suited for an extension entomologist agent, we recommend that the inquirer reach out to an extension entomologist. Sometimes their reply is, “what is an extension entomologist?” and/or “How do I reach an entomology extension agent?”
This month, we got a pair of questions where people were asking about weird bees.
I was taking pictures of bees in my garden and I saw one that looked like it had a ball of cotton in its mouth. The white stuff was about the size of the bee’s head. Know anything about that type of thing? I can email pics if needed. Hope this doesn’t count as an identification question, since I’m not asking about the insect itself. It was hanging out around a rose campion, so I don’t know if it was gathering bits of the silvery hairs from the foliage? It seemed more interested in the foliage than the flowers.
Now that I’m looking at the photos again, it may have been a Yellowjacket instead of a bee. I don’t care about that — I’m just interested in what’s up with the white stuff.
-Curious about Bees, via email
Judges 14:8-10 8 Some time later, when he went back to marry her, he turned aside to look at the lion’s carcass, and in it he saw a swarm of bees and some honey. 9 He scooped out the honey with his hands and ate as he went along. When he rejoined his parents, he gave them some, and they too ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the lion’s carcass.
This verse is from bible, from the book of Judges. I googled about a bee that actually converts dead body to honey. Can you throw some light on this? I am interested to learn about this. Thank you for your response.
-Solomon, via email
We love weird bugs, so let’s just get into it. Straight-up.
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