Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - March 23, 2011

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic:


Questions about the brown marmorated stink bug have been consistent since the earlier announcement concerning the first reported discovery in Iowa.  See the Horticulture & Home Pest News from March 3, 2011.  So far, only one additional potential discovery has been reported, again in connection with a business that ships materials from the East Coast.  Three specimens were tentatively identified from digital images and are awaiting confirmation.  Please continue to be alert to the possibility of transported specimens and let us know if any stink bugs are found that match the photos published last month.


Indian meal moth samples continue to arrive.  The only remedy for stored food pest infestations is to locate and eliminate infested items.  Spraying and washing does not solve the problem.  You have to search and find where the caterpillars are living and eliminate them.  See our web site for more information.   


Carpet beetles continue to be sent in by people concerned they are bed bugs.  I am not certain why carpet beetles are being commonly found in bedrooms - I suspect we are all looking at any insect much more closely now!  Carpet beetles feed on items of animal origin - wool, leather, etc, but most are probably feeding on dead insects like lady beetles in the walls.


We received our first sample of a termite swarmer on 3/9/10.  Swarmers are winged queen and king termites leave an established colony.  Their presence indoors indicates a termite inspection is needed by a professional.  For a short article and picture please see Horticulture and Home Pest News from March 25, 2009.



Termite swarmer.  Note the black body and long, silvery wings that extend beyond the abdomen.Termite swarmer. Note the black body and long, silvery wings that extend beyond the abdomen.


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