Here is my list:
- Assassin Bug
- Deer Tick
- Stink Bug
Here is a quick summary of my "top five" outdoor insect pests, and the earlier articles where you can read more.
The Assassin Bug
The Assassin bug is aptly named, since other insects find it a fearsome predator.
It is considered a beneficial insect since it kills a number of other insect pests.
However, my "How The Helpful Assassin Bug Can Also Spread Harmful Disease" article points out that it can indeed carry some diseases. In the warmer regions of the Americas, the "kissing bug" includes humans among its potential victims. It can spread Chagas disease, also known as Trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness.
Deer Ticks Spread Lyme Disease
The Deer Tick gets a lot of press every year due to Lyme Disease.
Since they are found in woodlands rather than in gardens, the main trick is avoiding them.
Whether hiking, camping or canoeing in forests infested by "blacklegged ticks", primary defenses include tucking your pant legs into your boots, having snug-fitting cuffs on your long sleeves, and dousing yourself with a DEET-based repellant. Checking for hitchhikers the size of a poppy-seed is an important daily ritual.
Lyme disease usually starts with a target-shaped rash. Prompt medical attention is important; so is explaining where and when you might have become infected.
My articles, "How Deer Ticks Spread Lyme Disease" and "Defeating Lyme Disease Transmitted By Deer Ticks" provide more information.
The Schizophrenic Earwig
The Earwig has two personalities, at least as far as whether it is a pest or a beneficial insect.
At best, it helps to mulch your compost and to control aphids as well as some other insect pests.
When they move indoors, they become more of a problem. In Suite 101, "The Earwig: A Best Friend To The Garden Or A Health Hazard?" explains how to deal with indoor earwigs.
My Environmental Graffiti article, "The Secret Life of the Earwig" gives some more background about this fascinating insect.
The mosquito gets into headline news as the carrier of West Nile Virus. This virus kills birds, and is a nasty disease for people also.
DEET insecticide, along with long sleeves and trousers are the final human defenses. Governments and individuals should limit the breeding opportunities for these insects.
Both of my articles, "Californian Mosquitos Killing Off Crows With West Nile Virus" and "The West Nile Virus Triangle: Mosquitos, Crows and People" used the disease angle to get at what people should do to protect themselves.
I have been amazed that my Stink Bug articles sometimes received more attention than those I wrote about bedbugs (wait for another Blog of Writing post for bedbugs!).
Most of that attention was from the Eastern United States, where the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug is an invasive species. As an outdoor insect pest, it is mainly an agricultural problem. It moves indoors in the autumn, and that is when people begin to really notice them.
My Stink Bug articles are "Stink Bugs or Shield Bug, Please Eliminate This Insect Pest!" and "The Stink Bug Inside and Out".
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug", pictured above, is the one causing the "stink" in the USA.
By the way, "marmorated" means that it looks like a slab of marble.
What annoying outdoor insect pests did I miss? Please write me a comment! Thanks.