Bugs Overtake Burning Man Festival Site

Bugs swarm the site of the upcoming Burning Man festival


The fest, which started in 1990 at Black Rock Desert, attracts tens of thousands of loyal attendees each year for the music, art and massive sculptures that are burned at the end of the event. (AP)

The Burning Man techno-fest looks like it’s headed for a real buzz kill.

Black Rock City, the location in the Nevada desert where the annual festival will be held later this month, is overrun by thousands of flying, biting, crawling bugs, according to festival organizers.

“They’re everywhere. They bite. They crawl all over you. They get up and in you,” the organizer, John Curley, wrote on the festival’s official blog.

Curley said the bugs got into a woman’s t-shirt and settled in her bra, while others went through a welding mask.

“What’s going on? We don’t know. We don’t know how the little critters survive in the heat and the sun. All we know is that if you pick up some wood, you’re likely to uncover hundreds or thousands of the things,” Curley wrote.

Earlier this week, reports of the bugs first started surfacing on Twitter, with photos of swarms of bugs covering tires and carpets.

Organizers believe that that spring and summer rains hatched the bugs, once lying dormant in the desert.

According to Gizmodo, the bugs are called Nysius, or seed bugs.  They spoke to entomologist Karl Magnacca who thinks there are actually two other species here along with Nysius, one of which is probably in the family Miridae. And according the report, these guys also release a terrible smell too.

Besides the insects, the party on the dried up lake bed —known as the playa —already comes with its own set of discomforts as partygoers kick up the dusty ground which quickly turns into thick soupy mud. While Burners say that’s part of the attraction, the bugs are a real bummer for fest organizers.

But it does not appear that they pose any kind of health risk to the more than 70,000 people that will be showing up Aug. 30 through Sept. 7.

Nevada Department of Agriculture state entomologist Jeff Knight said that the problem may be resolved before the fest kicks off. “A lot of these things last only a week or two,” Knight told USA Today.

Burning Man organizers say they’re talking with health officials and that they’ve received no information on why Burners should be concerned about the bugs.

Also, images of bats have been circulating on social media.  Department of Wildlife officials said that bats would likely be attracted to the large number of insects and bugs at the location.

from:     http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2015/08/20/bugs-swarm-site-upcoming-burning-man-festival/

Fewer Aphids Found in Organically Farmed Fields

Fewer Aphids in Organic Crop Fields, Study Finds

ScienceDaily (July 13, 2011) — Farmers who spray insecticides against aphids as a preventative measure only achieve a short-term effect with this method. In the long term, their fields will end up with even more aphids than untreated fields. This has been reported by researchers at the Biocenter of the University of Würzburg in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

What’s the status of the biodiversity in differently managed triticale fields? This is what the biologists at the Department of Animal Ecology & Tropical Biology wanted to find out. Triticale is a cross between wheat and rye. The cultivation of this crop is on the rise across the globe, because it delivers good yields even in poor soil conditions.

When comparing conventionally managed crop fields, which were either sprayed with insecticides or were left untreated, Jochen Krauss, Iris Gallenberger and Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter made a discovery, which should catch the attention of every farmer: “According to our results, the preventative application of insecticides against aphids does not produce any advantages even though it consumes a lot of time and money,” Jochen Krauss sums up.

to read more, go to:    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110713101944.htm