Mythical Origins of Insects

People love a good myth. These narratives contribute bright symbolism of interactions between higher powers, people, and nature. They assist in many relevant functions as well as further adding colorful stories. One valuable role of myths is to illustrate some angle of life.

Several myths describe the beginnings, morphology, and conduct of various insects. Here are just a few:

The origin of mosquitoes is revealed by The Tlingit Indians of North America.  The narration tells of a blood sucking carnivorous giant who dines on humans. This giant is eventually avenged after his horrific death by coming back to feed on humans in the appearance of blood sucking mosquitoes.

An Algonquin tale of North America justifies why bees, wasps, and hornets have stingers. This myth grants that the god Wakonda bestowed stingers to bees because the bees were industrious, but required a defense. Since wasps and hornets are linked to bees, The Great Spirit willingly endowed them with stinging weapons as well.

Ant actions are revealed in an African myth that reminds us of the everlasting punishments of Atlas, Prometheus, and Sisyphus of classical mythology. An infinite punishment of bearing a burden is handed down to ants by deception in the African myth. Accordingly, we see the outcome today in ants repeatedly transporting things in their everyday routine.

Atlas

And on an absolutely universal spectrum, the composition of our galaxy, The Milky Way, is translated in an insect myth of the Cochiti. This myth tells of an Eleodes Beetle that was in charge of depositing stars in the sky. The stars were dropped due to his ego and recklessness, thus forming the Milky Way. The beetle was so distraught at what he had done, that even today, the beetle hides his face in the dirt when approached – will lower its head, raise its abdomen, and emit a disagreeable odor probably for defense. This simple insect myth explains not only insect behavior, but also the start of our own galaxy.

Beetle

Who are your favorite mythological characters?

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Carpenter Bees Are Making a Buzz in Atlanta

 

Carpenter bee

Last week it was the stink bug, this week it’s the carpenter bee!  We told you that the weird temperatures were going to bring out these pests…and here they are!

It’s officially spring which means that carpenter bees are out in Atlanta and other southeastern areas.  There is a good chance that you are seeing these large black bees along with the large black tunnels that they create in wood around your home.  Those are carpenter bees that have been living in those holes and tunnels throughout the winter and are emerging in the spring time to find places for new nests, which can mean new holes and tunnels in your wood.  Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees but differ slightly in appearance.  The upper surface of the carpenter bee’s abdomen is bare and a shiny black color; while bumble bees have a hairy abdomen and yellow markings.

Carpenter bees drill through wood to build nests where they stay all winter and throughout the spring until they find a new nest or emerge to mate.  Although male bees tend to be aggressive, often hovering around people who are near their nests, they are mostly harmless since they do not have stingers.  On the other hand, females can inflict a painful sting but rarely do unless they are being handled.

Carpenter bee tunnel

You may find piles of wood underneath the hole where the bee has drilled their nest.  Carpenter bees prefer to make their nests in bare, untreated or weathered wood.  Wood that is painted or pressure-treated is much less susceptible to a carpenter bees nesting.  Common areas for nesting include window trim, facia board, siding, wooden shakes, decks and outdoor furniture.

The best control for carpenter bees is to treat or paint all exposed wood surfaces.  If you are using a spray, it is best to spray at night, while wearing protective clothing, when bees are less active to reduce your risk of being stung.  Each hole should be treated individually if the bees are inside the holes.  If they are not in the hole, seal or paint the hole so the bees cannot return.

As with most infestations, it is best to call a professional exterminator to ensure that the issue is taken care of quickly and thoroughly. Call Northwest Exterminating if you are seeing carpenter bees or other pests around your home.