Find the Local Bugs in Middle Tennessee on TheBugMan.us

Whether you’re a (rare) Tennessee native or you’re new to the area trying to become Nashville’s next big star, we’ve got a great resource for you: our website.Isn’t it interesting how bugs in one part of the U.S. are different from bugs in another part of the country?

If you’re a northerner visiting Florida for a sunny vacation, you may discover roaches bigger than you’ve ever seen! Termites are terrible and dangerous in Tennessee, but they may not be so threatening in Nebraska.

Whether you’re a (rare) Tennessee native or you’re new to the area trying to become Nashville’s next big star, we’ve got a great resource for you: our website.

If you’re ever curious about bugs, please leave a comment on our blog, on Facebook, or send us a tweet to@TheBugManTN.

Dog-Day Cicada vs. Periodical Cicada in Tennessee

The Bug Man brings clarity in this year of cicada confusion by tackling the issue of periodical cicadas versus dog-day cicadas.As Tennesseans gear up for football season (Go Blue Raiders!), the days are getting cooler and the brisk air of autumn is gradually blowing in. The familiar sound of cicadas singing in unison signals that the day is ending and night is about to fall.

How peaceful…

Hold up! Hold on! Wait…

Here ends the serenity and begins the confusion.

Cicadas? I thought they were locusts. Didn’t we just get rid of the cicadas? Don’t I hear some bug singing every summer? What is going on?

Many Middle Tennesseans are still reeling from the 2011 cicada invasion. Memories of bug attacks and mass open cicada graves are still burned into our minds.

Suddenly that peaceful twilight scene described above is full of fear and annoyance.

Here’s the deal. What we went through earlier this summer was a rare occurrence. A once-in-every-thirteen-years occurrence. Those periodical cicadas had black bodies and red eyes. They came out by the millions to terrorize innocent humans. Please read our blog entitled The 13-Year Cicadas Set to Invade Middle Tennessee for more info on what happened.

What we’re experiencing right now is “normal.” It happens every year. These cicadas have green bodies and black eyes. Their population is much smaller. And you most likely will not see them swarming around all over the place.

You or someone you know may have called these bugs locusts. However, they are not. Locusts are a type of grasshopper. Cicadas are leafhoppers/froghoppers. Maybe we should just call them hoppers. That way everybody wins. 🙂

Demystifying Red Velvet Ants: The Buzz on the Fuzz

Some call them red velvet ants. Some call them cow killers. Most don’t call them what they really are: wasps.

Have you seen a fuzzy red bug that looks like an ant walking around lately? Check out our blog for the buzz on the fuzz! There’s a great buzz in Middle Tennessee over a pretty little bug called by a variety of names.

Red velvet ants

If you’ve seen a fuzzy red thing walking around on the sidewalk or in your yard lately, it’s probably a female red velvet ant. When left alone, they aren’t looking to threaten humans. However, when picked up and toyed with, a threat may emerge.

When most people see something fuzzy, they think, “Aww, cute! I want to touch it.” However, when it comes to velvet ants, it is not recommended that you pick them up, because they may sting you. And, if something can be called a cow killer, it’s sting hurts…a lot!

Velvet ants are wasps that cannot actually fly. They feed on the cocoons of ground-nesting bees. Essentially, the mama velvet ant bores a hole in the cocoon of bees nesting underground and lays her eggs inside the cocoon. Then, when the velvet ant eggs hatch, they prey on the eggs in the cocoon.

Interesting, huh? Wasps killing bees in a dynamic, underground battle.

In an even more interesting twist, velvet ants often prey on cicada killers. A cicada killer is a large wasp that preys on cicadas. Female cicada killers capture cicadas, sting them, and then place them in holes they’ve borrowed into the ground. As their young hatch, they feed on the burrowed cicada.

That shifts our food chain paradigm to wasps killing bees and/or other wasps who kill cicadas.

Is your head swirling yet? Or is that just the buzz of all of these insects swarming around in your yard preying on each other? 🙂

If you’ve got a question, please post a comment. As always, you can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheBugManTN.

Tips for Reducing Mosquitoes

Here are a few tips to help ward off the mosquitoes in your area.

To aid in the effort to keep your home bite-free, check for mosquito motels around your property. It doesn’t take long to scope out your property to look for potential mosquito hangouts.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another!

That short, yet succinct statement is true right now in Middle Tennessee. Especially in the area of cicadas vs.mosquitoes.

Since they only come around every 13 years, it seems like cicadas would be the biggest news in the bug world. However, due to a lot of rain and hot weather in April, those pesky pests called mosquitoes are making a quite a big bite in the pest popularity contest. Literally!

To fight the bite, The Bug Man offers a mosquito management program during the summer months that is intended to help reduce the breeding and resting areas of mosquitoes around your property. Call (615.217.7284) or email (service@thebugman.us) our office for more information.

To aid in the effort to keep your home bite-free, check for mosquito motels around your property. It doesn’t take long to scope out your property to look for potential mosquito hangouts. Here are a few tips to help ward off the mosquitoes in your area.

  • Dispose of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, plastic sheeting, or any water-holding containers.
  • Clean debris from rain gutters to allow proper drainage.
  • Fill in or drain low places (puddles, ruts) in yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water can flow properly.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water.
  • Check around outdoor faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once per week and store indoors when not in use.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is cared for while away from the home.
  • Fill in tree holes and stumps that hold water with sand or cement
  • Change the water in bird baths, plant pots, and drip trays at least once per week.
  • Keep the grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house where adult mosquitoes may rest.
  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing.
  • Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
  • Stock ornamental pools with top feeding predacious minnows.
  • Check window and door screens on the home.  Be sure they are in good condition to seal out mosquitoes.
  • Wear light colored clothing, plus long sleeve shirts and long pants for extra protection.
  • Use repellants on skin and clothing while outdoors.

Cicadas in Tennessee 2011

We’re using Llama Font to deliver bad news about the 2011 Cicadas in Tennessee…

Here at The Bug Man, we’re big fans of humor. It’s great to laugh! Because, honestly, some things are quite funny. If laughter is the best medicine, then we’ve got an entire medicine cabinet full of it!

While browsing Twitter today, we stumbled upon a funny little web page called Llama Font. It genuinely cracked us up to think about Tina the llama from the movie Napoleon Dynamite bending to make llama letters.

The creators of Llama Font suggested that their llama letters should be used to deliver bad news…

Bad News About the 2011 Cicadas in Tennessee

Though the news you just read is tragic, don’t be dismayed. Rather, take relief in knowing this good news…

Good News About The Bug Man

If you found this page on Google and really want legit info about cicadas, please read our previous blog post The 13-Year Cicada Set to Invade Middle Tennessee.

Have any questions about cicadas (or any other pest)? Please post a comment. Maybe we’ll answer your questions in Llama Font!

Just kidding. We won’t answer in Llama Font. 🙂

The 13-Year Cicadas Set to Invade Middle Tennessee

The cicadas are coming! You may have heard rumors that the dreaded 13-year cicadas are emerging this year in Tennessee. It’s true. They are coming between April and June.

The cicadas are coming!

You may have heard rumors that the dreaded 13-year cicadas are emerging this year in Tennessee. It’s true. They are coming between April and June. It is predicted that they will appear when the ground temperature reaches 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Several have been spotted in the area already. In no time, there will be thousands of them!

What exactly are the 13-year cicadas? And why are they coming out this year? Don’t they come out every year? What makes this year special? What’s the difference between a 13-year and a 17-year cicada? What’s the difference between a cicada and a locust?

CicadasCicadas are known for their beady little eyes. Contrary to popular myth, they are not blind. They can see just fine. However, fine eyesight does not prevent them from flying onto humans occasionally.

There are several different types of cicadas. You’re probably familiar with the annual cicadas that come out every summer, typically called dog-day cicadas. The rarer 13- and 17-year cicadas are growing underground all the time, feeding on nutrients in trees, but only come out after they’ve fully grown (after 13 or 17 years). The difference between a 13-year and a 17-year cicada is that one species simply takes four years longer to mature than the other.

When the 13-year cicadas appear and make a loud racket, it’s called an emergence. After maturing and growing into adulthood underground for 13 years–they are ready to emerge above ground and begin mating. The loud sound that you hear comes from the males. It’s their mating call. The females hear the mating call, find the males, mate and then lay their eggs in tree branches. Check out this informational page from The Tennessean for more details.

The reason the cicada emergence is so loud is because millions of cicada babies grew into adulthood underground together for 13 years. Then those millions appear above ground singing together in a shrieking chorus, ready to mate and create millions more babies. It’s an ongoing cycle.

The 13-year cicadas sing loudest during the hottest parts of day. They do sing at night, but not as frequently or as loudly. If you hear singing at night, it’s most likely a cricket, katydid or frog.

At The Bug Man, we don’t treat for cicadas because treating them with pesticides has proved ineffective. Other than producing a loud and annoying noise, cicadas are not harmful to humans. They don’t attack or sting. They don’t destroy the wood in houses. Cicadas in a Tree

However, if you have young trees growing in your yard, it’s recommended that you cover them with bird netting or cheese cloth, or to delay pruning until the cicadas have left because female cicadas cut and pierce the branches of young trees, making the trees weak.

Also, if you were planning on any outdoor painting project this summer, perhaps you should reschedule to another time because flying cicadas might ruin your paint job.

Although cicadas are often called locusts, they are not synonymous. Locusts are short-horned grasshoppers. Cicadas are an entirely different, plant-sucking creature.

The 13-year cicadas are a mysterious thing. Many people don’t understand this phenomenon and will respond in fear. If this blog was helpful and informative to you, please forward it along to your friends and family. Hopefully knowing more about cicadas will help you endure their courtship choruses.