Insects and Animals

Finding Scorpions Indoors

Q: Our ranch-style house is built on a slab, primarily one level. In an average year, we may find two or three scorpions indoors. But since the beginning of September we’ve started finding them almost daily, in all parts of...

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Italian Parsley Plant With Black And Green Caterpillars

Q: I found several black and green striped caterpillars on my Italian parsley plant. A: They are swallowtail butterfly caterpillars, sometimes called parsley worms. The butterflies laid their eggs on your plant back in July. Unless you desperately depend on...

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Why Are Cabbage Worms On My Collards?

Q: I know I have cabbage worms on my new collards. Did I plant them too early or too late?  A: Cabbage worms seem to attack cabbage, kale, and broccoli plants anytime you plant them, spring, summer, or fall. I’m...

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Pellets Dropping On Roof From Overhanging Tree – What Is It From?

Q: I think I have an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars in a large tree whose branches hang high over my covered porch. The dropping pellets sound like it is raining on the roof all day long.  A: You certainly...

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Copperhead Identification Test

I’m often called upon to determine whether a snake is venomous or not. Many times, the question is “Is this a copperhead?” To help you brush up on your herpetological skills, I thought this copperhead identification test might be interesting....

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Gypsy Moths – Not in Georgia

Q: I think I have an infestation of gypsy moth caterpillars in a large tree whose branches hang high over my covered porch. Dropping pellets sound like it is raining all day long on the roof. A: You certainly have...

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Armadillo – Where Found in Georgia

When I received a photo of a newly planted bed of mondo grass that had been plowed up overnight, I immediately thought “armadillo!”. But the damage was done in Dunwoody…not a part of the state where folks have complained about...

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Flower Bed – Armadillo Damage

Q: I planted some dwarf mondo grass 2 months ago. After about 3 weeks I found it completely uprooted. I replanted it and 3 weeks later it happened again. It doesn’t appear that any of the roots or leaves are...

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Butterfly Weed – Seed Pod

Q: This just appeared on my butterfly weed plant. Are these seeds? A: Yes, it’s just the seedpod full of seed. Each seed has a silky tail that will be caught in the wind and thus will be distributed around...

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Insects On Figs – How To Deter Them Without Killing

Q: I have a fig tree that is covered with little juicy nubs where figs used to be. Every time one gets ripe, large black wasps with white marks descend and devour it before I get a chance to pick...

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Owl Nest Box – Will The Owls Scare Away The Bluebirds?

Q: I recently read an article about putting owl nest boxes in the back yard. Will having owls in my yard scare away the bluebirds that regularly nest there? A: I’m guessing the article described building and installing nest boxes...

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Webs With Little Worms – What Makes It?

Q: What makes the webs that have little worms in them on trees right now? A: You’re seeing the distinctive webs of fall webworm. They begin to appear in early July on pecan, oak, and other landscape trees. This caterpillar...

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Where Are The 17-Year Cicadas?

Q: What happened to the 17-year cicadas? Are they a no-show? A: We don’t have many of the 17-year or 13-year cicadas around here. But we do have lots of dog-day cicadas, which are a different species entirely. I’m hearing...

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Oak Sawfly – Identification

Q: On my oak tree there are many branches that have no leaves at all. There are also healthy branches. There are also leaves that are turning almost translucent. A: You’re seeing damage from oak sawfly larvae. These caterpillar-like creatures...

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Dantana Caterpillar – Feeding on Oak Leaves

Q: My pin oak in my front yard has caterpillars eating the leaves. Should I be worried? A: It is a hungry gathering of contracted dantana caterpillars, Datana contracta. The orange-striped oak worm, Anisota senatoria, is a very similar caterpillar....

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Staghorn Fern – Do Deer Eat This Fern?

Q: We have a very large staghorn fern in Jacksonville that we’ll be taking to an area where there are deer. Do deer eat this fern?  A: I can’t be 100% positive about staghorn ferns but most ferns are deer...

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How To Get Rid Of Wasps

Q: I found a wasp nest growing between the pane and screen of my kitchen window. I feel I should eliminate them as there are children in the house next door. How would you recommend I do this?  A: There...

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Crapemyrtle – Will Honeybees Be Affected By Insecticide

Q: Will honeybees be affected if I apply a systemic insecticide to my crapemyrtle to control aphids?  A: Crapemyrtle flowers don’t contain nectar, so the effect on bees is minimal. However, other pollinators visit crapemyrtle flowers to feed on pollen....

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