Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stink Bug Protection

This fall, Facebook has been filled with comments about Brown Marmorated Stink Bug infestations throughout NJ and surrounding states. These little imported scumbags like to invade homes to seek warmth, slipping in through even the tiniest cracks. Yesterday I witnessed an epic battle between a spider and a stink bug on our porch. The spider won. This spider is for sale to the highest bidder as stink bug protection for your home.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Moth Light Brings All The Bugs to the Yard

Some people simply see moths as a pest that they want to keep away from their wool or as a visitor to their porch light. While most moths are not very colorful like their butterfly cousins, they are beautiful in their own way and are very interesting critters. In an effort to learn more about the moths in my yard, I invested a few bucks and created a somewhat portable moth light. Its only requirement is a power outlet and a place to hang the sheet. The idea is that the light attracts moths and other insects to a white sheet for easy viewing. Here are the materials I used:

  • 2 work lights with clamps. I happened to have these already, but they
    are about $5-7 at the hardware store
  • Black light bulbs – I got these CFL ones at Wal-mart (sorry Wal-mart haters, but no place else had them). If you could find a bigger bulb, you may not need two bulbs.
  • An old tripod – a new one would work too. I use this as a stand for
    the lights, so many things could serve this purpose.
  • A white sheet – 100% cotton is preferred because it glows best with
    the black light

IMG_4755 I set this up in our little condo “backyard” in Auust by stringing a rope between a fence and the house. I turned it on just as it was getting dark and waited a while. Even after 15 minutes, small micromoths started to come. Within 30 minutes, moths started to show up and some other insects too. Here is a taste  of what was seen. Thanks to Seabrooke Leckie for help with most of the IDs. Have you tried this yourself? I was amazed how easy it was.

5156 - Nomophila nearctica - Lucerne Moth -025156 - Nomophila nearctica - Lucerne Moth


9666 - Spodoptera frugiperda - Fall Armyworm Female - 02

9666 - Spodoptera frugiperda - Fall Armyworm (Female)


9669 - Spodoptera ornithogalli - Yellow-striped Armyworm PROBABLY9669 - Spodoptera ornithogalli - Yellow-striped Armyworm PROBABLY


 5552 – Galasa nigrinodis – Boxwood Leaftier Moth - 01 5552 – Galasa nigrinodis – Boxwood Leaftier Moth


Myodocha serripes - Long-necked Seed BugMyodocha serripes - Long-necked Seed Bug

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big news!

In case you haven't heard, I've been asked to be one of the beat writers over at 10,000 Birds! I'll be covering topics mostly around NJ and butterflies, not necessarily mutually exclusive topics. I'm humbled to be part of the great company of writers that Mike, Corey, and Charlie have assembled. Look for my first post this Thursday.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Like a butterfly stretching its wings for the first time after coming out of its chrysalis... or a baby bird cracking through its egg shell... ok, enough with that... Anyway, it's good to be back with my first blog post in MANY months. So what the heck have I been doing all this time? I've been spending most of the time with our son Julian who just turned one a few weeks ago. I also started a new job back in May which has been keeping me very busy. In between that I did a bit of birding and even a bit of "mothing." I'll have some posts about both of those things in the coming days. I'll also be reviving some old topics, commenting on some recent developments in the birding world, and maybe even have a few surprises very soon (no, not a second kid yet). For now, I leave you with a picture of little Jules from his "Very Hungry Caterpillar" themed birthday party.