Browse Invasive Species Stories

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Common seasonal pests like (clockwise from top right) fire ants, houseflies, brown marmorated stink bugs and mosquitos (shown in standing water as larvae) can be controlled with simple tips from UGA Cooperative Extension. CAES News
Summer Pests
As a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent, I see a lot of insects. People leave jars of them on my desk, send me photos or call me out to their gardens to identify them and give control recommendations.
Blubaugh Lab manager Katherine Hagan and master’s student Allison Stawara scout squash for various beneficial and pest insects as part of a living mulch study at the Durham Horticulture Research Farm in Watkinsville, Georgia. CAES News
Organic Pest Control
The hot, humid climate in the Southeast lends itself to nearly year-round insect, weed and disease pressure, and growing is especially tough if you’re an organic farmer.
In the sculptured resin bee (left), females have a pointed abdomen, while the males have a blunt edge. Both males and females have a striated abdomen with raised bands. The thorax and abdomen of the carpenter bee (right) are connected, bald and smooth. CAES News
Sculptured Resin Bees
University of Georgia entomologists are seeking citizen help to document the presence of the sculptured resin bee — also known as the giant resin bee — an invasive bee that could threaten the native carpenter bee population.
Critical pesticide application training for pest control professionals and producers will go online for 2020. CAES News
Pesticide trainings stay virtual
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Georgia Department of Agriculture are partnering to offer the Using Pesticides Wisely training program in a virtual format again this year.
A supergene is a collection of neighboring genes located on a chromosome that are inherited together due to close genetic linkage. Studying these unique genes is important to understanding the potential causes for differences among the social structure of fire ants, specifically for controlling the species and building upon the existing knowledge base. CAES News
Fire ant supergene
A unique study conducted by University of Georgia entomologists led to the discovery of a distinctive supergene in fire ant colonies that determines whether young queen ants will leave their birth colony to start their own new colony or if they will join one with multiple queens. Researchers also found that ants were more aggressive toward queens who don’t possess the supergene, causing colony workers to kill them. This critical finding opens the door to new pest control methods that may be more efficient in eradicating problematic fire ant colonies. 
Michael Toews, entomology professor and co-director of UGA's Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, and his graduate student team of Apurba Barman (foreground), Lauren Perez (background, left) and Sarah Hobby inspect sorghum plants near Tifton for signs of invasive sugarcane aphids. CAES News
Unwelcome Visitors
Earlier this year, Chuck Bargeron learned how to catch a Burmese python.
A large snail species that is native to South America, island apple snails mature in 60 to 80 days and can live in water and on land for more than three years. A single adult snail can produce up to 2,000 eggs every two weeks. CAES News
Island Apple Snails
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agent Jessica Warren is doing her part to knock down populations of invasive snails in Camden County.
A Joro spider found in Hoschton, Georgia in 2018. CAES News
Joro Spiders
If northeast Georgia yards seem a little extra spooky this Halloween season, there’s a good reason. They may have a little extra help from a new neighbor who is really into those cobweb decorations. 
The Asian longhorned tick, an invasive tick species recently identified in several Eastern U.S. states, has been documented as far south as North Carolina. CAES News
Tick Smart
Georgia is already home to 22 species of ticks, but there may be another tiny bloodsucker hiding in the woods on your next hike.
Kudzu bugs overwintering in bark. CAES News
Kudzu Bug
A tiny wasp — known as “Paratelenomus saccharalis” — is cutting down kudzu bug populations and Georgia soybean farmers’ need to treat for the pest, according to Michael Toews, a University of Georgia entomologist based on the UGA Tifton campus.