Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hi, my name is Elijah Hall and I am in the Insect Ecology online class. I am a full time student and also work full time aside from that. I am currently in the Missouri Air National Guard, after separating from active duty my wife and I moved to Council Bluffs Iowa where she attends the School of Dentistry at Creighton. I go to UNL as a full time student and also work as a heavy equipment operator at a dredging and excavating company. I also have a small farm that I hope to one day become a full time farmer and drastically expand. The reason I am interested in insect ecology is because I believe it has and will help me with my understanding of insects in the farming world.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

With the current Zika scare, it's important to remember a few things:

"Zika Mosquitoes" are not permanent water mosquitoes.  They do not utilize swamps, wetlands or vernal pools.  There are two species referred to loosely as "Zika Mosquito" -  Aedes aegypti which came to the Americas with the slave trade, also known as the Yellow Fever Mosquito, and Aedes albopictus which arrived in the United States with the shipment of tires, and is also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito.  Both of these species are tree-hole mosquitoes in their native range, and because they utilize such tiny and transient pockets of water, have adapted very well to our urban landscapes. 

The first step in any Integrated Pest Management regimen is to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between the pest and the habitat.  There is no chance of pest outbreak without the presence of suitable habitat and ample food, and an outbreak is the insect's natural response to the extra provisions.

If you live within the current Zika mosquito range, they are likely breeding in your yard - it's as simple as that.  The tricycle seat where water gathers after a rain, the little folds in your tarps, wheel barrels, buckets, garden tools, watering pails, rain gutters, used tires, tire swings.  The water collecting trays under your potted plants are a favorite - turn those things over. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hello! I am Tugce Karacoban from Turkey. I am new master's degree student at Entomology Department and my specific interest is Bee's diseases. Before interesting with bee, I was working at the surgery and orthopedic animal hospital as a veterinary medicine after my undergraduate education. When I had a chance to get a master's degree in the USA , I , immediately, had decided to change my field of study. Because bees are more important for our world and I really would like to learn most of things about them and I want to focus on their diseases. So, being in here is perfect and I am so glad to change my field.

The Minds of Insects

Hello everyone, Tyler Stading here. I am a biology and psychology double major at UNL!

It may seem odd that someone with a psychology focus would be interested in insects. But you might be interested to know just how intertwined the two are. For instance, one of psychology’s most famous sexuality researchers Alfred Kinsey began his scientific career as an entomologist studying hymenopterans, specifically gall wasps. He was notorious for his methodical nature and meticulous attention to detail, which made his work in psychology all the better!

Some arthropods, such as arachnids, have helped psychologists more directly. For instance, researcher Peter Witt better used common garden spiders to better understand the effects of psychoactive drugs on behavior. By giving spiders appropriate doses of drugs such as LSD, marijuana, speed, sedatives, and even caffeine, Witt could later observe how the drugs affected the spider’s web construction the next morning.

Insects can also help us better understand something as complex as memory! In particular, the eusocial honey bee demonstrates complex learning and communication with its unique waggle dance that helps communicate flower position to other bees. This learning behavior is extremely impressive, especially when you consider that bees have about 100,000 x’s fewer neurons than humans (9.6 105 vs 8.6 1010).

More than anything though insects are fascinating, they are one of the most diverse and successful animal clades on the planet! Whether they’re a pet, a pest, or ending up on your dinner plate, everyone has a reason to be interested in these amazing and ubiquitous animals!

Entomology Career Podcast

Here is a great podcast from entomologist and curator of the Field Museum in Chicago Corrie Moreau about career paths in Entomology. Check it out!!

Also, a thank you to all the students who have been contributing blogs! We love hearing about your interests and experiences.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Mosquito Control

Hello, I am Austin Stacey a senior biology major. I plan on pursuing dental after undergrad but I will have a semester gap before I attend dental school. I will be living in Florida during next semester and I have taken interest in mosquito control, since it is a huge problem in Florida. I know there are bug control agencies and even government departments that spray for mosquitos and is required in your taxes in certain counties. I hope to get a seasonal job for mosquito control and spraying to control the pests. Many agencies hire people and with me having a biology degree it will certainly help to get that position. My job if i get it would be to travel to many neighborhoods in a county and spray pesticides to limit mosquito growth. This will help protect plants, trees, and limit mosquito bites that could cause zika or other infections. This class has taught me about pest control and how insects survive in different environments. I hope this class has helped prepare me for pest control.