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Termites swarm when they are looking for new places to begin colonies. Left uncontrolled, these pests can cause extensive damage to houses and other buildings. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Blake Layton)
June 4, 2015 - Filed Under: Insects, Household Insects, Termites, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University entomologist John Guyton actually wears them on special occasions in a tie, and some people collect them for science experiments, but homeowners typically want nothing to do with termites.

Termites are estimated to cause $40 billion in damage to wooden structures every year. In the U.S., that figure is $2 billion to $3 billion, and several million dollars are lost to termites each year in Mississippi.

The biggest reason people have trouble controlling fire ants is that they only treat individual fire ant mounds. Individual mound treatments can be useful situationally, but need to be supplemented with broadcast treatments that will control all fire ants in all areas. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
May 15, 2015 - Filed Under: Agriculture, Insects-Crop Pests, Insects-Forage Pests, Insects, Fire Ants, Insects-Pests

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- People have many misconceptions on how to eliminate fire ant mounds and prevent them from coming back, and these erroneous beliefs hinder efforts to keep the harmful pest from spreading.

Crape myrtle bark scale were found in Mississippi in March. This invasive insect, photographed in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on March 15, 2015, attacks beautiful and normally low-maintenance crape myrtles. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman)
April 2, 2015 - Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Insects-Ornamental Plants, Insects-Pests, Landscape Architecture, Trees

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. -- A new insect pest found in Mississippi on March 15 could take away the crape myrtle’s status as a beautiful and low-maintenance landscape tree.

Crape myrtle bark scale, or CMBS, is an invasive insect that came to the United States from China. It was first found in Texas in 2004 and has since spread east to Shreveport and Houma, Louisiana; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Germantown, Tennessee. Ocean Springs joined this list when the insect was found on the coast in Jackson County.

Indian mealworm caterpillars are stored-food pests commonly found in cornmeal and flour. Cooks can avoid heavy infestations of these pests by including the kitchen pantry in the spring-cleaning routine. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Jonathan Parrish)
March 3, 2015 - Filed Under: Family, Insects, Household Insects, Insects-Pests

RAYMOND, Miss. -- The kitchen pantry is a prime target for pests looking for an easy meal, but a little spring-cleaning can stop them in their tracks.

“It’s a good idea for cooks to empty the pantry at least once a year and check items that have gotten pushed to the back of the cabinet,” said Natasha Haynes, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent and host of “The Food Factor.” “Throw out any expired food or food that has been open for several months.”

Haynes recommended storing any opened food items in airtight glass or plastic containers.

High protein insects can be cultivated for human consumption and added to a variety of foods, such as this peanut brittle studded with black soldier fly larvae. (Photo by MSU Ag Communications/Kat Lawrence)
December 5, 2014 - Filed Under: Insects, Insects-Pests

MISSISSIPPI STATE -- The peanut brittle at John and Peggy Guyton’s house looks like it might be made from a special family recipe, but they are not keeping their unique ingredient a secret: insects.

In fact, the Guytons used black soldier fly larvae to provide additional protein to peanut brittle whipped up in the microwave in a matter of minutes. Peggy also bakes banana nut bread with crickets and has several recipes featuring mealworms.

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Entomology; extension insect identification; fire ants; termites; insect pests in the home, lawn and