Insects

Getting the kids outdoors might be as easy as heading into the backyard or down the block to the neighborhood park. But once you’re outside, keeping kids engaged for an hour or two can be challenging. For a list of cheap and simple outdoor activities kids can do anywhere, we turned to Angel Santos Burres,…

Read More....

If you think fireflies’ flashes are simply random, pretty bursts of light, think again. “They’re not just putting on a fantastic light show for our enjoyment,” says Sara Lewis, a professor of biology at Tufts University and the author of Silent Sparks: The Wondrous World of Fireflies. “Those are the silent love songs of the…

Read More....

Ticks are arguably the nastiest, most pernicious, most maddening outdoor threat we face here in the Northeast. I hate them, these vectors of disease, who crave adherence to my flesh, to inflate with my blood. So nasty. In early spring, adult ticks resurface after laying low through the winter. They are larger and easier to…

Read More....

They’re baaaaaack… Deer ticks. Scourge of the Northeast. Micro-demons of disease. All-around nasty bloodsuckers. I hate them. So I’m always on the watch for a tick defense that can stop them before they sink their gnarly little mouth bits into my flesh. Now I’ve written extensively about the risks of tick bites (see What It’s Like to Get Lyme Disease….

Read More....

Black fly season, which runs from about Memorial Day to mid-June in the North Country, scares off a lot of people. And who could blame folks for not wanting to be surrounded by swarms of blood-sucking bugs? But this is also prime time for viewing alpine flowers and other harbingers of summer, so Nicky Pizzo,…

Read More....

The best defense against tick-borne disease is a good offense. Here’s how to avoid ticks in the first place. 1. Treat Your Shoes and Clothes with Permethrin Ticks die quickly when they come into contact with this powerful toxin. You can apply it yourself with over-the-counter sprays and washin treatments (be sure to closely follow application…

Read More....

There’s a moment of horror when you discover a tick has sunk its bloodsucking bits into you, followed by the immediate need to get it out. Pronto. Here’s how. Anatomy of a Bite How did it come to this? Your role as a food source began when a tick found purchase on your skin or…

Read More....

I had my first bout with Lyme disease about a decade ago. This summer I went another round with the unpleasant tick-borne illness. The two experiences highlight several important things everybody should understand about Lyme. How you get Lyme disease First a quick backgrounder. Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium (Borrelia burgdorferi) that is…

Read More....

A dead tick can’t bite you—and the single-best way to terminate them in the field is to treat your shoes and clothing with permethrin, which will kill ticks rapidly on contact. (Once you’re back home, you can also crisp ticks to death with a quick spin in the dryer.) A variety of permethrin-based products are available…

Read More....

The eastern hemlock can grow to more than 150 feet tall and live more than 500 years, but the tree’s future is threatened by a tiny bug. The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is an invasive species that was accidentally imported on nursery stock from Japan. First reported in the eastern United States near Richmond, Va.,…

Read More....