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Ken Holscher, Entomology, (515) 294-1101
Marlin Rice, Entomology, (515) 294-1101
Bridget Bailey, News Service, (515) 294-6881


AMES, Iowa --They fly, they crawl, they bite and sting. The bugs of summer are quickly approaching.

Iowans should expect to see a wide variety of insect pests during the late spring and summer months. Mosquitoes, ticks and moths, such as cutworms and European corn borers, are some of the most common, say Iowa State University entomologists.

Deer ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, are typically found in grassy, brushy or woody areas. May and early June are usually when most people encounter ticks.

Mosquitoes normally emerge near bodies of water as temperature increases during the warmer summer months, and are more abundant in rainy seasons.

Cutworms and European corn borers generally appear in the spring months and are a threat to Iowa crops. Marlin Rice, Iowa State professor of entomology, said farmers should expect to see the European corn borers in the next three weeks. He also said to watch out for bean leaf beetles because they have been more prevalent this year.

While insects generally appear during specific months, weather is the deciding factor in their abundance, said Ken Holscher, ISU extension entomologist. He said long-term weather patterns may have an effect on insect populations, however, short-term weather patterns are what dictate a seasons insect populations.

For more information about insect pests and related diseases found in Iowa, visit, and visit for pest pictures.

Contact these Iowa State University entomology experts for specific information about pests and pest related disease commonly found throughout Iowa:
  • Biting pests, (ticks, spiders, etc.), livestock pests, stored grain pests --
    Ken Holscher, associate professor of entomology, (515) 294-1101;
  • House pests, fruit and vegetable pests, tree and shrub (landscaping) pests --
    Donald Lewis, professor of entomology, (515) 294-1101;
  • Field crop pests --
    Marlin Rice, professor of entomology, (515) 294-1101;
  • Public health/medically important pests, Lyme disease, mosquitoes, ticks --
    Wayne Rowley, professor of entomology, (515) 294-1573;


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