Insects

Hort Day
12:16 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

How Many Spiders Do You Swallow in Your Sleep?

Wolf spiders are one of the largest and most commonly seen spiders in Iowa.
Roadsidepictures Flickr

The answer is: probably zero. ISU entomologist Donald Lewis says fears and myths about spiders are overblown.

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Horticulture
3:10 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Dragonfly Swarms a Marker of Good Water Quality

Wikimedia Commons

There have been reports of dragonfly swarms in certain parts of the state this summer. 

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Environment
2:44 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Toxic Pesticide That Affects Honeybees Found in Iowa Waterways

Wikimedia Commons

A U. S. Geological Survey study has found widespread concentrations of a toxic pesticide in waterways in Iowa and throughout the upper Midwest.

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Horticulture Day
4:51 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Millions of Mayflies Emerge in Northeast Iowa

On July 20 the National Weather Service picked up what registers as “light-moderate rain” on their radar. It was actually huge swarms of mayflies emanating from the Mississippi River.
National Weather Service/NOAA

This week, thick clouds of millions of mayflies emanated from the Mississippi River in Northeast Iowa.

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Horticulture Day
2:02 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

The Polar Vortex & Emerald Ash Borer: Tough on Iowa Trees

A section of tree showing the serpentine galleries of the emerald ash borer larvae.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

It continues to be a tough year for trees in Iowa. The Polar Vortex left its mark on many trees and shrubs, and now a tenth county has been added to the list of counties in Iowa where the Emerald Ash Borer has been discovered. That county is Johnson County, and an adult female Emerald Ash Borer was found in Iowa City.

Also, listeners have their plant and garden questions answered by Jeff Iles, Professor and Chair of the Horticulture Department at Iowa State University, and Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist.

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News Buzz
3:33 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Repel Bugs, Gnat-urally

Bug Soother

This spring, Freda Sojka says there's only one way to describe her business: busy. 

She's the brains behind the bug repellent "Bug Soother," that has become overwhelmingly popular over the last few years in Iowa. She says she discovered the recipe for the repellent by accident. “My grandson was at my house, and I didn’t want to put anything on him with DEET in it. I threw a few things together, and it worked.”

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Horticulture
11:42 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Are They Bothering You or Biting You?

dapawprint (Flickr)

They float, swarm, harass and irritate, and they can even take down a chicken or a turkey. The gnats are back. But when we complain about “gnats,” Iowa State University Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis says, sometimes we might be misplacing blame. 

"Saying you are annoyed by a gnat is like saying you were passed on the interstate by a vehicle… It’s a two mile wide term. Ask yourself – are the bugs bothering you or are they biting you?”

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
5:05 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Treated Seeds May Contribute to Honeybee Losses

Cherokee, Iowa farmer Nathan Anderson wears beekeeping gear to protect himself when he opens or closes the pollen traps on the hives on his farm. He’s allowed researchers to place three pairs of hives on his fields.
Amy Mayer/IPR

Nathan Anderson stops his red pick-up truck alongside a cornfield on his farm near Cherokee, Iowa. The young farmer pulls on a heavy brown hoodie, thick long, sturdy yellow gloves and a beekeeper’s hat with a screened veil. He approaches a pair of hives sitting on the edge of a field recently planted with corn.

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Horticulture Day
11:47 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The Cicadas are Coming!

Seventeen Year Periodical Cicada
Dendroica curulea

They've been waiting in the ground for 17 years, but the wait is almost over.  In just a few short weeks, a large brood of 17 year cicadas will emerge in 46 counties in Iowa.  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Iowa State University Entomologist Donald Lewis about what to expect and how these remarkable and long-lived insects survive.

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Horticulture Day
12:08 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Plant a Tree!

Small Boy, Big Trees
Bianca de Blok

It's Arbor Day and in Iowa the Emerald Ash Borer has a lot of people thinking about diversifying the trees in their landscape.  On this "Horticulture Day" edition of Talk of Iowa Charity Nebbe talks with DNR District Forester Mark Vitosh about the work being done at Iowa's State Forest Nursery and how to pick the right tree to plant in your landscape.

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Talk of Iowa
2:19 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

The Death of Iowa's Honeybees

Honeybee on flower.
Cory Barnes

This past winter was particularly harsh on Iowa's honeybees.  Experts estimate that 65-70 percent of Iowa's honeybee colonies didn't survive.  Iowa State University Extension entomologist Donald Lewis talks with host Charity Nebbe about the plight of honeybees as well as pesticides that may pose a further risk to the state's pollinators.

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News
5:30 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Day of Insects

The emerald ash borer exhibit at the Day of Insects event.
Rickk Fredericksen Iowa Public Radio

It sounds like the title of a horror movie, but the people who attended the “Day of Insects” have an appreciation for the six-legged creatures that we share our lives with. One specimen in particular, caught the attention of Iowa Public Radio’s Rick Fredericksen.

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Agriculture and Harvest Public Media
3:38 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Harsh winter kills Iowa honeybees

Honeybees may be among the many victims of this winter's extended stretches of extreme cold. The State Department of Agriculture's Apiarist, Andrew Joseph says annual winter losses among U.S. beekeepers run about 30 percent. Iowa's losses are likely to be 60 to 65 percent. He says bees that are in good shape can survive a very harsh winter, but those that have been weakened by pesticides or parasites are not likely to survive until spring.

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Talk of Iowa
4:20 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Backyard Ecosystems

Carsten Tolkmit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

Join Talk of Iowa for a talk with Douglas Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. He says “We need to change the way we interact with nature; it should not be segregated,” and that living with nature can be very rewarding. Tallamy says that Americans use plants that are mostly from Asia as decorations.  The result is a reduced biodiversity in the places we live, work, and farm.  Hear from Tallamy  about how we can connect habitats by reinstalling native plants.

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Horticulture Day
1:57 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

A Sure Sign of Spring!

Emerald Ash Borer
Phil Nixon University of Illinois

Horticulture day returns to its weekly schedule, a sure sign of spring!  Host Charity Nebbe talks with Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis about the likely impact of colder than usual temperatures on Iowa's insect population.  The answer:  "not much."  Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron talks about the timely tasks that need doing in your garden.

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Horticulture Day
11:13 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Farm Practices Threaten Bee Colonies

Amy Toth is one of several ISU faculty members working to understand the decline of pollinating insects
Bob Elbert

Gardeners and growers depend on the free labor of pollinators to produce fruits and vegetables. One of our most important pollinators, the honey bee, is in trouble world wide. This hour, new research gives us an insight as to why.

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News
5:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Champion Ash Trees Threatened

The record black ash is 114' tall with a circumference of 9'.
Univ. of Iowa Arborist Andrew Dahl

Two enormous ash trees are record holders on the front line of the Emerald Ash Borer in eastern Iowa: the state's largest known white ash, in Fort Madison, and the biggest black ash in the nation, south of McGregor. Medical treatment may be on the way for the national champion black ash. 

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News
12:05 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Ash Tree Removal=$3,000,000,000+

The Emerald Ash Borer threatens millions of ash trees in Iowa.
USFS Region 5

A little green bug could end up costing Iowa billions of dollars in the coming years, as the state comes to terms with an Asian beetle sweeping across the Midwest.

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Talk of Iowa
4:04 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Horticulture Day: Stinkbugs and Beetles

brown marmorated stink bug
e_monk / flickr

Join Host Charity Nebbe for a talk about insects with Donald Lewis, Iowa State University Extension Entomologist.  He and Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron answer your lawn and garden questions.

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Talk of Iowa
2:15 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Horticulture Day: Future of the Monarch

Maeve Clark

A flock of monarch butterflies gathering together for the migration south can be a truly magical sight, but it's a sight that has become less and less common in Iowa. This hour, host Charity Nebbe finds out what has happened to those beautiful flocks on Monarch Butterflies. We talk about the pressures that have resulted in the smallest population of Monarchs ever recorded.

Today's guests include: Iowa State University Extension entomologist, Donald Lewis, and Iowa State University Extension horticulturist, Richard Jauron.

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Talk of Iowa
2:40 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Horticulture Day: Emerald Ash Borer

USFS Region 5 Flickr

The Emerald Ash Borer is in Iowa and a number of communities have already started cutting town ash trees in an effort to get ahead of the invasion.   Host Charity Nebbe, Mark Shour of ISU Extension Pest Management and horticulturist Richard Jauron discuss options for ash tree o

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Talk of Iowa
4:00 pm
Fri August 23, 2013

Horticulture Day: Insect Sounds

Robert - Mathesont / flickr

Many of the sounds of summer are the sounds of insects.   Join host Charity Nebbe for a talk with ISU Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis for a discussion about what insects are actually doing with that noise. ISU Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron will also be here to answer your lawn and garden questions.

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Talk of Iowa
11:32 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Horticulture Day: Emerald Ash Borer

Roger Sanderson / flickr

The Emerald Ash Borer was discovered in Burlington this week.  For Horticulture Day, Forester Mark Vitosh will be here to talk about the Emerald Ash Borer and Community Tree Inventories.  Horticulturist Linda Naeve will also be here and she and Mark will answer your questions.

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River to River
4:04 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Invasive Species: Air and Water

Emerald Ash Borer in firewood
U.S. Forestry Service Region 5

The Emerald Ash Borer is spreading through Iowa.  It has now been found in Burlington.  Hear how the insect spreads and what is being done about it.  New rules are in effect for boaters on Iowa's waterways aimed at preventing the spread of invasive plants and animals.

Also, in the second half of the program, we talk about a Cuban baseball player that defected to the U.S. while in Des Moines.  And we wrap up the hour with a discussion about the weather and how Iowa's crops are reacting.

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Talk of Iowa
3:39 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

Horticulture Day: Beetle Invasion

Iowa State university Extension

The annual Japanese Beetle invasion is here.  Join host Charity Nebbe and Entomologist Donald Lewis to hear where the beetles came from, how long we’ll have to put up with them this year, and how you can combat them.  Horticulturist Richard Jauron will also be here and he and Donald will answer your questions. 

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Talk of Iowa
11:30 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Horticulture Day: Insect Mothers

Bill Bumgarner / flickr

On Sunday many mothers will be recognized with flowers, cards and attention from their loved ones, but there is a whole classification of mothers who really get very little respect.  Today on Talk of Iowa it’s Horticulture Day.  Host Charity Nebbe speaks with entomologist Donald Lewis, who will give some overdue recognition to the mothers in the insect world. He and Richard Jauron will also answer your questions.

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Talk of Iowa
11:35 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Horticulture Day: Insect Edition!

imarsman / flickr

We sing songs about the itsy-bitsy spider, wish we could be a fly on the wall, and we root for Spiderman. Entomologist Donald Lewis joins this edition of Talk of Iowa.  We talk about insects in literature, pop culture and in our every day lives. He and horticulturist Richard Jauron will also answer your questions.

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Talk of Iowa
2:32 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Horticulture Day

Tony Buser / flickr

We’ve just come through another blizzard, but there are spring-like temperatures in the forecast.  If you’re going to start your own seeds, you’d better get going!   We’ll talk about starting seeds and the earliest insects to emerge when the weather warms up with ISU Extension Entomologist Donald Lewis and ISU Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron.

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Talk of Iowa
11:27 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Budding Biologist: Science Books For Kids

Tim Pierce Flickr

Have you ever been snuggled up with a kid, reading a cute book and run across a glaring factual error? It was just that experience that inspired  two moms to create scientifically accurate books for kids. Charity Nebbe talks with the women behind the “Budding Biologist” series, and about fact checking books for kids.

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Talk of Iowa
11:11 am
Fri November 16, 2012

An Entomologist Thanksgiving

Max Westby Flickr

This time of year many of us take time to think about the things we are thankful for. Entomologist Donald Lewis is no different.Charity Nebbe celebrates an entomologists Thanksgiving with Donald Lewis and Horticulturist Richard Jauron. Lewis talks about why we should all be thankful for the insects we share our planet with.

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