Search This Blog

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nature Study Monday: Insect Pests

Tarapoto is in the Rupa-Rupa (never fear, I hadn't before heard that word either until I googled 'high jungle' which is what it means here in Peru). Here in the high jungle tropics we have lots and lots of bugs! We have pretty bugs and ugly bugs. There are harmless ones and scary ones. We have bugs that flitter, scurry, buzz, bite and burrow. There are bugs inside the house and out (thankfully, mostly out). Matter of fact, when it comes to bugs, you name it, we've probably got it. :)

We've had LOTS of fun discovering the wide variety of bugs in our area simply by looking around, you can't miss them. There are so many, that I often (weekly?) see a kind of bug I've never seen before! Seriously.

Most of the bugs that live inside our house I consider pests. Ants, centipedes, mosquitoes, flies, weevils, cockroaches and woodboring beetles are all particularly pesky pests. Non-scary looking spiders are the one exception... they have a job to do, you know. Scary spiders are those with bulky limbs or that are hairy or larger than I feel is reasonable; obviously, scary is a relative term.

Though I try to control these pests with natural products, we do have to fumigate semi-regularly to ward off complete infestation, like that we are experiencing currently since we have yet to fumigate our new house for the first time!

However, while we wait to get in touch with the bug busters, we've taken the opportunity to look and study some of our houseguests. The most annoying of which at the moment is the woodboring beetle. It eats wood. It destroys wood furniture and as I've just discovered, it will eat books too!


This of course will not do.

The only thing we have in common is that of devouring books. However, as a responsible person, I like to leave the book in as close to the original state as possible, you know, thinking of he that reads after me. I found one cursed creature that had made it halfway through 'Science in a Supermarket' and I found the corpse of one who'd died after having eaten through 'Getting Started with Latin' twice! No wonder. Urgh.

Since we caught the one red handed, we made a study of him before we killed him. Yep. I killed him. I let him starve to death on the observation plate. He was stuck on his back and could not get up. I don't even feel bad about it. So there.

Some observations:
Looks like a baby termite.
He has a brown beak.
They have antennae-like mouth parts.
Cream colored.
Six legs.
3-4mm long.
Sometimes you can hear them chomping the wood inside the bookshelf. Yuck.
They tunnel through the wood leaving behind little round sawdust bits (poop?).
The tunnels don't appear on the outside, but you have only touch the wood to feel it cave in under your fingertips.

Now to sketch him. :)
Oh yeah.

Might you have insect pests around that you could study before you eliminate them?

Link up:
Feel free to link up your nature study posts here in the comments!
Please snag a button and include it and this link in your post if you don't mind... that way more people can find us and join us here. :)


Max Cowman said...

Hmmm, though looking at a larger view can give you the creeps, I do think that looking at insects is interesting, primarily because they have a peculiar diet. As for that woodboring beetles, I suggest you find a way to control the growth of their population before they get out of hand. The best way to go through that is to hire professional pest control experts to get rid of them.

Laurke said...

ewww!!!  "and I didn't even feel bad.  So there."  hahahaha!

Jimmielanley said...

Hilarious! Died from Latin! You are such a perfect homeschool mom!

TL Glaser said...

You mean I shouldn't have sucked up that dead palmetto bug into the vacuum cleaner????? 

amyinperu said...

you sure did get a lot, oma!
no scratching! i'm glad you're all better now! :)

Jdtuttle75 said...

Amy,  it was  a LATIN  Book  hahah ..that s why the bug ate the book. LOL and I will agree there are lots of bugs there and they all like to eat on my legs.. over 230 bug bites.... but they are all heald up now..

amyinperu said...

yes, yes it does.
i just discovered one of his relations has been through 'The Family Book of Verse' too.

Brandy @ Afterthoughts said...

I think this brings new meaning to the term "book worm." ;)

amyinperu said...

seriously, Lanaya!
the book was on the shelf for two weeks without moving (kids didn't do latin while i was gone) and it ate right through it. so annoying. i'm putting the book rescue plan into effect today :)

me too. nature study and living here (land of bugs of unusual size) has taken the edge off my creepycrawly aversion.
i'm still not okay with them being on my person though.

Lanaya said...

Wow!  A little scary that they can eat through wood and books that way!  I'm getting more used to bugs now that I'm trying to enjoy nature instead of be scared or grossed out by it.  Insects can be SO interesting!  They're tiny, but when you look at them closely, it's like a whole new world of color and distinct parts.  Very interesting.  

Lucile Lynch said...

Well, I found a solution for the wood boring beetles you're talking about. First of all, I suggest that you replace all your wood furniture with wood that has been air dried because this kind of wood doesn't moist too much compared to other kinds. But, if you want a more practical way, I suggest that you improve your house's ventilation, and if possible, install some dehumidifiers to control moisture.

John Philips said...

I agree Lucile, if you have ventilation you must improve it more, and if you don't have one, start to build it,  It will not only deal with the wood boring beetle but the other's too. 

Ventilation fans

Selena Slough said...


Staring at insects is
something I will not see myself doing! I agree with Max, you should do
something to control the infestation of woodboring beetles. If you don’t know
any remedies or ways to prevent the infestation, consider hiring the services
of a reliable pest control company to do it for you. Act now or suffer the
consequences later.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Blog Archive