It looks like the Emerald Ash Borer has won. Since 2012, the tiny invasive green beetle has spread to dozens of towns, posing a deadly risk to ash trees and resulting in six counties falling under wood quarantines. Now, with winter just around the corner, the state has announced it will modify those rules to make it easier for consumers to transport firewood around the state.
The Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect first detected in the state in 2012, has now spread to 39 Connecticut towns. That's up from just five towns two years ago. The most recent addition? Bridgeport.
Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 12:17 pm
When President Obama announced last week that he was creating a federal task force to investigate the nation's vanishing bee colonies, the moment provided newly minted Press Secretary Josh Earnest an opportunity to crack one of his first jokes on the job.
"When I walked out here today, I knew I was going to be handling a range of sensitive issues," he told reporters. "I didn't know I was going to be talking about the birds and the bees."
Last June, Connecticut played host to an emergence of periodical 17-year cicadas. For many, promises of bug swarms covering neighborhoods never came to pass.
For others, in places like Meriden and North Branford, millions of cicadas did take over, lining roads, trees, and mailboxes. One year later, I met up with an entomologist to see what those bugs have left behind.
Climate change is linked to more floods, hotter and drier weather, and melting sea ice, but it could also affect infectious diseases like Lyme disease and West Nile Virus. The problem is we don't know how.
For people with really bad arthritis the idea of intentionally suffering bee stings is an easier sell than it is with the rest of humankind. Sometimes my knees hurt so bad, a bee sting would be a welcomed distraction. I mean, it couldn’t make things any worse and there’s something intuitive about the idea that our body’s natural response to the venom might actually counteract other problems. So, this hour, we talk about apitherapy.
First, we explore the world of long-haul bee truckers. The nation’s farm depends on these peripatetic pollinators who cross the country and travel up and down the coasts. It’s a lot like other kinds of trucking and then it’s totally different.
Because I realize that a show about the Eastern Hemlock doesn't sound that sexy. In fact, we've done tree shows in the past after which I have said, "Let's not do any more tree shows." But we think we've got something here.
First of all, this our third show working with Bob Sullivan, a writer who, in the past, has been able to make just about any topic exciting. Second, this is a story with a villain, a cottony, crawling, feeding life form called the wooly adelgid. You want something you can hate without the tiniest tremor of remorse? We're going to give it to you.
Third, this little villain is striking right at a major player in the natural cycles that can either slow or accelerate climate change. Fourth, we're going to be talking about the souls of trees. Trust us.
A live hemlock woolly adelgid in the spring. This winter's extreme cold has reduced population numbers statewide, but there is evidence that bugs in the northwest corner of the state are becoming more cold-weather resistant.
Credit Carole Cheah / Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
Scientists say this winter's extreme cold is having a limited impact on the state's invasive bugs, and it may even be making one insect stronger. It's called the hemlock woolly adelgid, and it was first identified in Connecticut in 1985.
Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm
While many of us may prefer to never again see temperatures drop below zero like they did earlier this week across the country, the deep freeze is putting warm smiles on the faces of many entomologists.
That's because it may have been cold enough in some areas to freeze and kill some damaging invasive species of insects, including the tree-killing emerald ash borer.
The bug, dubbed magicicada septendecula, was found in North Branford. It's smaller than Connecticut's other 17-year cicada species, magicicada septendecim, which gained fame this summer for its emergence (or lack of emergence) around the state.
For most of us, yellow jackets are a nuisance and for some people, they’re fatal. But for Norman Patterson, they’re more of an obsession.
“As a child, I remember finding a wild honey bee hive in the woods and I was fascinated by it," said Patterson. "That’s really what got me into honey bees, which eventually got me into collecting hornets and yellow jackets for medical labs.”
We often don't feel a tick on us because they secrete chemicals that numb us to their presence. While they can stay on us for up to one week, the threat of infection is low if we remove them within 36 hours.
Lyme disease gets its name from the Connecticut town, and it’s always been a problem here...but it’s spreading, as far North as Maine and south down to Virginia. Dr. Paul Mead of the CDC says that due in part to the “reforestation” of the Northeast.
One of the world's most beautiful endangered species, butterflies are as lucrative as gorillas, pandas, and rhinos on the black market. In this cutthroat $200 million business, no one was more successful—or posed a greater ecological danger—than Yoshi Kojima. Jessica Speart’s Winged Obsession covers the pursuit of the world’s most notorious butterfly smuggler. Speart is our guest.
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, which runs the state’s mosquito trapping and testing program, is reporting record numbers of mosquitoes this year. Chief Entomologist Dr. Theodore Andreadis says it’s a direct result of the heavy rains.
Every 17 years, the east coast plays host to one of nature's biggest -- and loudest -- parties. The guests are millions of periodical cicadas, red-eyed bugs who burrow their way out of the ground to mate, and sometimes, they do it with a light switch.
John the Baptist, we are told, subsisted on locusts and honey. I used to think that John the Baptist's would be a great name for a chain of fast food edible insect restaurants, if that trend ever took off.
Come to find out, there's some disagreement, especially online, about whether he really ate locusts or whether that's a reference to the fruit of the locust tree. Maybe people just don't like to think about John the Baptist eating bugs.
We've talked on WNPR's Morning Edition about the Emerald Ash Borer, the tiny green Asian beetle that feeds exclusively on the ash tree and has decimated millions of ash trees in over a dozen states. It has been recently discovered in several towns in Connecticut.
Superstorm Sandy has thrown a wrench in the effort to contain the Emerald Ash Borer. Joining us by phone is Chris Martin, Director of Forestry for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The makeup of butterfly populations in the Northeast has changed dramatically in the last two decades, according to a new study. That's because global warming is driving butterflies to cooler climates farther north.
Mosquitoes are one of those things that we learn to deal with. We put the bug spray on, light the citronella candle, and try to keep the itching to a minimum. But for some people, those skeeters are deadly.
Yesterday, the Dallas, Texas region saw its 11th death of the year from the West Nile Virus. More than 200 people have been infected by the disease. And here in Connecticut, officials announced the first case of West Nile last week. The Agricultural Experiment Station has found mosquitoes carrying the virus in dozens of towns across Connecticut.
Two invasive insects that attack and kill trees have infested areas of Massachusetts and New York in recent years. Connecticut is putting a plan in place that specifies the role of different state agencies --- if these insects were to be found in Connecticut. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.
The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect from Asia that has killed more than 50 million ash trees in the U.S. in the past decade. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is setting more than 60,000 traps in 48 states, including Connecticut, to look for the beetle.