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Possible Cutworm Found in Texas Garden

A reader residing in South Texas was looking for a good place to plant her garden, and she found several caterpillars in the soil. She is wondering what type of creature they may be, and if they will harm or help her vegetable garden. She has included a good photograph, which gives us an idea of how big the caterpillar is and its color.Ideally, all caterpillars would stay on the plant that they like most to eat, as food source is often the biggest clue as to a caterpillar’s species. When trying to identify a caterpillar without a known food source, a good first step is to look for identifying characteristics. These include things like hair, legs, special spots or markings, body and/or head shape, unusual colors, and horns or other protrusions. For example, the caterpillar for the Continue reading [...]

Innocent Apricot Tree is Attacked by Apple Maggots

We received a note from a woman who is having issues with her apricot tree. Specifically, her tree is growing a lot of fruit, but the fruit is replete with worms. She would like to enjoy her fruit, so she is wondering what type of worm it is and what she can do about them. She was unable to share a picture, but we imagine it looks something like this: Continue reading [...]

Fat Black Caterpillar is a White-line Sphinx Caterpillar

Today, we are going to address a question given to us by a female reader who would like to know if the animal in the fantastic photograph below is a worm. The answer is, “No, the animal in the photograph is not a worm.” Continue reading [...]

Want to Get Rid of Them? Just Make Them Uncomfortable.

We received a rather brief inquiry from a reader, with no accompanying picture. The question is: “How do you get rid of them in your home or yard?”Amazingly enough we can answer this question even though we don’t know what critter she’s asking about. In almost every case, our advice to people seeking to remove creepy-crawly-critters is going to include these two steps:Physically remove said critters from the area where you do not want them Make that area in hospitable to that creature (often by removing the critters’ food source)Generally, it really is that simple. If our reader doesn’t want to see so many earthworms, then she can try to provide better drainage in her yard so they won’t want to come to the surface if it rains. If she sees too many carpet beetle Continue reading [...]

Black Worms Dropping from Australian Ceiling are Shrouded in Mystery

A reader from Australia requested assistance in identifying some worms he’s found in his bathroom. He says that they are 3 mm – 4 mm (0.11” – 0.15”) long, black, and drop from the bathroom ceiling on threads. Once they land, they walk end over end. It is summer in Australia and he says that the temperature is around 40 ? (~104?). He would like to know what they are because they are freaking him out. Continue reading [...]

Waxworms Need to be Happy, but Not Too Happy

Today, we will address a question from a reader in Germany. She raises waxworms to use as bait when trout fishing. She’s having no problem keeping them alive. The issue is that the wax worms start to spin silk for cocoons before she has a chance to go fishing! Once the worms start their journey to moth, they’re no longer useful as trout bait. She wonders if we can give her some advice as to how to persuade these little guys not to continue on to their next life stage. Continue reading [...]