Fruit Flies: The Red Eye Guys

Fruit flies are small, but not microscopic, have short life cycles and can reproduce rapidly in tiny spaces with limited resources. These characteristics make fruit flies the model organism for genetic research, but are the very reason why fruit flies are such a nuisance when they appear in our homes.

Identification and Biology

Fruit flies are 1/8 inch long and typically have red eyes. They are one of the smallest and most common flies in houses, restaurants and grocery stores – anywhere food ripens, rots and ferments. Fruit flies begin as eggs before they hatch into legless larvae or maggots. The maggots enter a pupal stage so they can develop into mature, winged adult flies. They are active year round indoors, but their life cycle will slow considerably at cooler temperatures. Under optimal conditions in the summer, they can complete their life cycle in 7-10 days.

Fruit fly

The fruit fly has red eyes, two wings, and dark stripes on the abdomen. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

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The January 2017 Issue of the NEBLINE is on-line!

4-h-clover-college-2016-wired-for-wind-06-crop-2The first issue of 2017 is now posted on-line! Visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/nebline and click on the link to the January 2017 NEBLINE- it is free!

Here are some of the articles featured in this issue:

  • 2016 Extension Highlights
  • Makeover Your Leftovers, Part 2
  • Private & Commercial Pesticide Applicator Certification Training
  • Successful Farmer Series Workshops
  • Upcoming Green Industry Conferences (Great Plains Growers Conference January 12-14 | Nebraska Turfgrass Conference January 10-12 | Nebraska Great Plains Conference January 23-25)
  • Extension’s 2017 Master Gardener Trainings, Two Sites Available
  • January Garden Guide: Things to do this month
  • Those Pesky Fruit Flies (Homemade Trap Directions)
  • Helping Backyard Wildlife Survive Winter
  • Heart of 4-H Award Winner: Diane Ossenkop
  • It’s Time to Re-Enroll in 4-H!
  • Watch Chicks Hatch on 4-H EGG Cam!
  • Meet 2016-2017 4-H Teen Council
  • Overnight Lock-In for 4th & 5th Graders Friday, January 20 – Saturday, January 21
  • 4-H Horse Incentive Program Begins January 1
  • Livestock Identification Requirements for 2017
  • 4-H Crocheting Workshop, Feb 4 | Pillow Sewing Workshop Feb 11
  • 4-H Achievement Celebration February 16
  • earth wellness festival Needs Volunteers
  • Upcoming Learning Child Trainings
  • Two New Nutrition Staff: Nicole Busboom & Brie Frickenstein
  • Happy Trails Marty Cruickshank
  • Staff and Team Awards

The NEBLINE Newsletter

If you don’t live in Lancaster County, Nebraska, please make sure to check out your local extension office too. Your extension office has resources for you, your family and community. To find your local office, visit http://lancaster.unl.edu/office/locate.shtml (nationwide listing).

Have a great day!!

Soni

Responsive. Innovative. Trusted.
Nebraska Extension provides research-based information to help you make informed decisions any time, any place, anywhere –

Indian Meal Moths at Home? Check the Bird Food

Pantry pests are the name given to insects, usually beetles and moths, which tend to infest stored food products. Many food-processing plants and supermarkets struggle with controlling these types of pests, but they can also become problems at home. One of the most commonly reported pantry pests in the United States is the Indian meal moth.

Indian meal moth adults are ½ inch long with a wingspan of 3/4 inch. They can be distinguished from other moths by their two-toned markings on their wings, which are whitish-gray closest to the head, and reddish-brown with a copper luster on the end of the forewings.

Indian meal moth close up

Indian meal moth. Photo by Jim Kalisch, UNL Department of Entomology.

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It’s Cold Out There!

Many of us are waking up this morning to ice, snow and dangerous wind chills. Taking preventative steps is your best defense when dealing with extreme cold weather. Prepare your home and vehicles in advance of weather emergencies. Keep abreast of changing weather and road conditions. Practice safety during these times of bitter cold and you’ll reduce your risk for weather-related health problems or injury.

If you absolutely have to venture outdoors, make sure you are dressed for extreme cold weather conditions.

How to dress in the cold

Learn to recognize the symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires immediate emergency medical assistance. Check on neighbors, family and friends who may be susceptible to the cold. Learn more: Continue reading

Taking the Best Pest Photo with your Phone

I get a lot of requests to identify specimens from photos. Emailing a photo of a pest sample rather than finding a container, catching it and bringing it into our office can save considerable time for our clients in the community. If you are able to send me a good photo accompanied by some details of the situation, it can save me considerable time too.

A good photo is one preferably in focus, one which includes some identifying characters of the pest. This can be as simple as the overall shape or as detailed as the presence or absence of wings, hairs, pits, segments or clubs on a specific body part. With spider identification, it is helpful to count the number of eyes and note the eye arrangement on the cephalothorax in order to positively identify the family.

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Overwintering Pests – Cluster Flies, Lady Beetles, Boxelder Bugs,Western Conifer Seed Bugs

Boxelder bugs aggregating on the windows.

Boxelder bugs aggregating on the south side of the house and trying to get inside around the windows. Photo by Jody Green, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County.

Some pests are considered seasonal or occasional pests and their grand entrance into your house in the fall may go unnoticed, but they are not accidental. Overwintering pests require a protective place to spend the adult stage of their life without freezing to death. They normally require a winter habitat between 40-50°F for hibernation. In the fall, large populations congregate on the warm, sunny side of the structure, usually the southwestern facing exterior wall and begin moving upward to find a gaps that leads inside.

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Happy Thanksgiving From Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County!

“For the golden corn
and the apples on the tree,
For the golden butter
and honey for our tea;
For fruits and nuts and
berries, that grow
beside the way
For birds and bees and
flowers, we give thanks
every day”
–author unknown

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family from all of us here at Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County! Today, we recycled the fall decorations from our office by placing them into the Cherry Creek Pollinator Habitat. It will be fun to watch the wildlife on the live camera as they check out the pumpkins, squash […]

via Happy Thanksgiving! — The Buzz at Cherry Creek