The bugs are back!

9:06 AM, Jun 7, 2011   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Now that warmer, summer-like weather is here, so are many of the bugs that both aggravate and enlighten us.

Living in Minnesota, two of the most familiar critters are the lightning bug, and of course, the mosquito.

Many might agree we live in the land of 10,000 mosquitos -- that population continues to thrive -- but fire flies are becoming less common.  Jeffrey Hahn, an Entomologist with the University of Minnesota, says it has to do with the spread of urban landscape.

"Habitat loss, if there are not wetlands for them to reproduce in you will not have fireflies."

Mosquitos are still here in large numbers and they find us because we emit heat, carbon dioxide and a specific chemical odor.

"Repellents are the best protection for mosquitos," says Hahn.

Minnesota is also home to stranger bugs like carpenter and leopard moths and butterflies, Dobson flies, Book Lice and Cockroaches.

The Diving Beetle is a bug that can be over 2 to 3 inches long, and is able to both swim and fly. It has pinchers and preys on small fish and frogs. The diving beetle lives near water and if it bites you, it definitely will leave a mark.

The Dobson fly is another bug that can be well over 2 inches long, and looks very intimidating with its fang-like structures. Dobson flies don't bother people but the males will fight violently with other males over a female mate.

The last huge Minnesota bug is the giant silk moth which is literally bigger than a bird. The huge moths start out as a 3 to 4 inch caterpillar that looks like something out of the Amazon jungle.

Some of these bugs can actually help forecast the weather. Next time you see a yellowjacket nest in a tree know that it can tell you about the type of weather.  As Jeff Hahn says, "the warmer the Spring and Summer the bigger the nest."


(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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