Yard and Garden
photo of several insect guide books
One of the things I have learned over the years is that if people know you are an entomologist, they often have questions about insects. And why not? After all, insects seem to be everywhere.
photo of an American pokeweed plant
Q. We have this plant or weed in our back yard. I can't identify it by looking on line, and was hoping that you can tell us what it is - and whether or not it is a weed that will destroy other plants or take over the lawn - see attached photo(s). -T.S., Munster, Ind.
photo of butterfly milkweed flowers
The Perennial Plant Association has named butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), as its 2017 Perennial Plant of the Year. With much focus on pollinator habitat these days, butterfly milkweed is a terrific selection. Butterfly milkweed flowers play host to a wide range of butterflies, and milkweed foliage is the food source for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Bees, wasps and other insects are also frequent visitors.
Poinsettia plant
Keep holiday poinsettias and other plants near a bright window. Water as top of soil becomes dry.
photo of a Charles Dickens book, a kettle and a brass cricket
The Christmas season is not a time when live insects are out and about. At least that's true in northern climes where the temperatures drop and the snow falls during that time of year. Of course, as is the case with most of nature, there are exceptions.
picture of an adult bed bug
A visit to Washington, D.C., is always an experience. I mean, with the Capitol building, the White House, the monuments, the museums, the Mall, the traffic, and people from all corners of the world, the seat of the U.S. government is one happenin' place.
HOME (Indoor plants and activities) Check houseplant leaves for brown, dry edges, which indicates too little relative humidity in the house. Increase humidity by running a humidifier, grouping plants or using pebble trays.

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