Dear Fans and Friends,
First of all, we, the Ask an Entomologist team would like to thank you for submitting your question. Many have asked questions throughout the years, and your continued interests in insects is greatly appreciated.
The Situation and Unexpected Hiatus
We – Joe, Joanie, and Nancy would like to apologize for leaving your question(s) unanswered despite our mission and name. The truth is, Ask an Entomologist just became too much for us! We never imagined that our project would grow to the point that we were receiving hundreds of emails and messages across our platforms every week. Coupled with the surprising influx of new visitors, the three of us had major life transitions. Joe left industry to start a PhD. Joanie transitioned from her Master’s degree to a PhD. And Nancy decided to start her own entomology focused tourism business. These new endeavors left us with very little extra time to spend with our families and hobbies let alone a science communication project. Ask an Entomologist is a way for people to interact with scientists, and any career will involve difficult, stressful, and time-consuming transitions.
This past month we decided to not only be honest with ourselves – but to you as well. As scientists, our goal has always been to expand our community into yours, and we’d like to address you as part of our community about how we can keep answering your questions.
The first thing we have decided is that we loved producing content centered around what you’d like to know. Blog posts, videos, interviews, art, etc. However, with emails upon emails we found that we could not create the content we loved because we were busy furiously answering emails to the best of our ability. Our goal when starting this project was to offer something *new* to the science communication community. A place where questions about insect biology would be addressed in a clear and engaging manner by actual scientists that is freely open to the public. While this aspect of the project was new, to continue answering questions, we need to make some changes.
Questions about identification or help with pest control is something that can be handled better by people with the infrastructure to respond to hundreds of emails a week with qualified specialists. Therefore, we will be only answering questions unique to insect biology, physiology, or ecology.
We have a new schedule where starting May 5th, expect to see three new posts a month! In May we we will reintroduce oursevelves, revive our social media platforms (facebook / twitter), and start our new buggy content in June. We have had lengthy conversations about how to continue Ask an Entomologist without falling down the same pitfalls so we can continue creating the content you love, and still have time to finish our PhDs, run our businesses, and engage in our hobbies. So a win for everyone!
But … my question was never answered…
Do not fear, if you submitted a question about ID requests or pest control services we recommend the following resources.
When submitting your image of your insect to any of the following resources, please include the following information
Where you found the insect / arthropod (Country / State)
A high resolution image
If a facebook group, please follow all the rules instituted by that group
BugGuide: (just for North American insects) www.bugguide.net
Bug ID Blog: http://www.whatsthatbug.com
The Entomology FB Group: https://web.facebook.com/groups/TheEntomologyGroup
Spider and Bug Questions With the Bug Girl: https://web.facebook.com/groups/1626262754255734
Moth and Moth Watching: https://web.facebook.com/groups/137219092972521
Ants, Bees, Wasps: https://web.facebook.com/groups/HymenopteristsForum88
We are prohibited from giving any pest control advice. We are not professionally trained doctors or certified pest control experts therefore we cannot legally give advice about pests. Not only does pest biology vary between states, but the laws do as well. Our community is international, and these all complicate things to a point where we cannot be qualified to answer any questions about pest control.
We highly suggest you read this post by Joe about some basic pest control tips. These will help you identify problems so when you reach out to an expert you will be prepared and have all the necessary samples and information for them.
This article by Nancy will help you assess your risk and your situation as a whole.
When you’re ready, we suggest you follow these links to find your local resources. Generally, universities have extension agents who can also help you.
Find Your Local Resources: (United States) http://npic.orst.edu/mlr.html
General Question About Insects:
We are still happy to accept general questions about insects related to their biology, ecology, physiology, taxonomy, etc. These are the kinds of questions we set out to answer and these are what we will now be focusing on it. If you submitted a question of this nature, please RESEND your question with “General Question: – your question” as the Subject! Please give us any other further relevant details / photos / locations
WE have missed many media requests because they often get lost within the swaths of identification requests. If you have a media request, please fill out THIS form.
We want to answer your questions, because we know you like to learn about bugs. We love teaching people about bugs. We’re finally getting to a point where we can keep making stuff which educates, entertains, and engages you about the wonderful world of bugs!
To do this, we’ve had to simplify our systems and be honest with what we’re capable of. We’ve updated our schedule and we’re returning making the stuff you want us to create. We are excited to return from our unexpected hiatus and continue into the future with you.
Thank you so much for being here and supporting us through this journey.
The Ask an Entomologist Team
Joe, Joanie, & Nancy