Insects

Carolyn Kaster / AP

Bed bugs are equal opportunity infesters. They don’t discriminate who they’ll bite based on any socioeconomic or demographic factors. With students returning home from college and tenants moving to new apartments, bed bug incidents in Pittsburgh are likely to increase.

Have You Seen This Bad Bug?

Mar 1, 2018
Lawrence Barringer / Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org

In the summer of 2014, a Pennsylvania game commission officer named Frank Strathmeyer spotted a bug he’d never seen before in Berks County. It was about an inch long, with dark spots and red hind wings. He called it in to the state.

 

“And lo and behold it became our first discovery of spotted lanternfly in the northern hemisphere,” says Strathmeyer. “Not just in Pennsylvania, but in all of North America.”

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to fight the spread of the spotted lanternfly in Pennsylvania.

The invasive species was first spotted in District Township in 2014. It has since spread to 12 counties and threatens the state's $18 billion grape, orchard and logging industries.

In an announcement Wednesday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says "decisive action" was needed to stop the insect from spreading to neighboring states.

zeevveez / Flickr

Gnats!

The Philadelphia police department and other agencies in the suburbs were kept busy with calls reporting swarms of gnats which, experts say, are actually flying ants.

The reports Monday are a result of the insects mating, a one-day, once-a-year occurrence.

The swarms were reported in Philadelphia and up the Lehigh Valley into Bethlehem, as well as Bucks and Montgomery counties and other areas. Similar clouds of insects were reported in Michigan and Connecticut.

Volmar Beche / flickr

An elderly woman in Pittsburgh’s East End has contracted West Nile Virus, the first reported case in Allegheny County since 2015.

Allegheny County Health Department officials said, while the disease can’t be spread through human contact, infected mosquito activity is higher this summer than in the previous six years.

Is It Just Me, Or Are There A Lot Of Dragonflies This Summer?

Sep 7, 2016
Vicki DeLoach / Flickr

To help us tell stories about how weather and climate change are affecting our region, The Allegheny Front has partnered with iSeeChange—an online climate and weather journal where people can post observations or questions about what’s going on around them.

This summer, I had my own question: Why am I seeing so many dragonflies in Pittsburgh? In fact, recently when I was in the middle of the city, sitting in traffic, two were mating on my car windshield. I don’t remember seeing anything like it before.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

The cicadas are back after 17 years underground, and cicada mania is in full swing.

After 17 Years, Cicadas Are Ready To Bust Out In Pennsylvania

May 19, 2016
griecheo / Instagram

 

They’re almost here. Actually, the insects are already here.