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Cool Bugs

Bug of the Day: Southern Chinch Bug

The southern chinch bug, Blissus insularis, is a tiny bug with a big appetite. Though it will attack many plant species, this bug especially loves to feed on St. Augustinegrass, which happens to be the most popular turfgrass species in Florida. The southern chinch bug is a true bug, a member of the insect order Hemiptera. It’s a native species and feeds on plant sap, using its piercing/sucking mouthparts like a straw. (St.


Bug Word of the Day: Vector

Pathogens are disease-causing agents; they can be bacteria, viruses, or protozoa, among other things. In order for a pathogen to survive and reproduce, it needs two things: a vector and a host. “Vector” is a noun that refers to any organism that carries a pathogen and is capable of transmitting it to other organisms. That’s pretty simple. However, “vector” is also used as a verb, meaning “to transmit.” So the dual uses of the


Why do I always find these silver bugs crawling inside of cardboard boxes?

The silver critters that you find in boxes are called silverfish (Figure 1). They are a primitive type of insect that lack wings and are ametabolous (meaning they do not go through metamorphosis). Silverfish prefer places that have little airflow, which is why cardboard boxes are adequate hiding places. You might also have found some silverfish individuals in your bathroom. Silverfish thrive in high humidity areas, so when you