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insects

La Cucaracha

27 Jul 2022

“Crazy bug!” That’s what the Spanish "cucaracha" means. Why crazy? Because when these darkness-loving bugs are surprised by a light being turned on, they scamper away in a wild, crazy, zig-zag...

When Drinking Tea, You Get a Mouthful of Bug DNA

5 Jul 2022

There are bugs in your cup of tea. Not whole bugs (hopefully not). But the essence of a hundred species of insects can be found in that tea bag you buy from the store. Even if you have been sipping...

Is "Spanish Fly" really an aphrodisiac?

3 Dec 2021

The extract contains cantharidin,  a substance that supposedly increases sexual desire. Not only does it not do that, it may eliminate all desire permanently. When ingested, cantharidin can kill....

A Plant That Eats Bugs

28 Aug 2020

The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant well known for its ability to lure insects (and arachnids) into its “capture organ.” Once they enter there is no escape. The organ shuts tight and the...

Bees vs Wasps: A Case of Mistaken Identity

9 Aug 2018

As a trained entomologist (insect biologist) I am innately irked when one of my beloved insects is mis-named in public, but especially so when a beneficial one is maligned by association with a...

Is it true that some candies are coloured with insect extract?

20 Mar 2017

Yes some candies and other foods can be coloured with cochineal extract which is an approved food additive. Hernan Cortez was the first European to learn about this colourant when he became...

Critter Cuisine

20 Mar 2017

We hear a lot about food these days. Whether it is about healthy choices, food security and feeding the planet, environmental impacts of food production or the science of GMO biotechnologies,...

There ain’t no cure for the summertime buzz!

20 Mar 2017

There’s a buzz in the air these days, a loud one. I’m sure you’ve heard it but it could have easily been mistaken for a malfunctioning drone plane stuck in the trees. The sounds of summer are...

Ants in Our Homes

20 Mar 2017

There are various insecticides that will eliminate ants. Chlorpyrifos is probably the most effective and is available in a number of commercial versions containing 0.5% of the active ingredient. It...

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