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insects

Editor's note: This story was updated on July 25 to include additional information about the length of time a tick must be attached to transmit Lyme disease bacteria.

So you've found a tick, and it's sucking your blood.

After an initial wave of revulsion, you carefully remove it with a pair of tweezers. Now you're probably wondering: What's the chance I have Lyme disease?

Gordon / flickr creative commons

Federal regulatory requirements mandate* that all public media outlets occasionally devote significant airtime to the health and welfare of bees.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

More and more ticks in Connecticut are testing positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. It’s a trend the head of the state’s tick-testing lab doesn’t see abating.

Viburnum dentatum (Arrowwood viburnum) foliage with viburnum leaf beetle larvae
Plant Image Library (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Nature abhors a vacuum. For years, viburnums have been carefree shrubs. They flower consistently each year, some with fragrant blooms, and produce colorful berries in fall for beauty and for the birds. Viburnums have few pests or problems, until now.

Asian tiger mosquito
coniferconifer (Flickr) / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s Council on Environmental Quality reported a rise in the population of a mosquito that may carry tropical diseases. The number of Asian tiger mosquitoes collected in 2017 in the state more than doubled from the previous year.

billandkent / Creative Commons

Mosquito season has begun -- and state officials say they’re on the lookout for two viruses that can get people sick: West Nile and eastern equine encephalitis. Meanwhile, another mosquito-borne illness, the Zika-virus, is yet to be acquired in the state.

Mr.checker / Creative Commons

Fruit flies. You may have seen one or two dancing above your fruit bowl. But what about under a microscope?

Believe it or not these seemingly insignificant insects have had a long and (dare we say) fruitful history in advancing scientific research.

This hour, First in Fly author Dr. Stephanie Mohr joins us to explain why.

Later, we also take a deeper look into the realm of so-called “true flies” with London-based "fly girl" Dr. Erica McAlister

Scott Bauer / Wikimedia Commons

With warmer weather also comes the potential for insect and tick-borne illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diseases transmitted by fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes have tripled in just 13 years.

Lyme disease was once unheard of in western Pennsylvania, where Barbara Thorne, now an entomologist at the University of Maryland, spent time as a kid.

Thorne knew that if black-legged ticks are infected with bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, they can transmit Lyme to people and, that if untreated, symptoms can range from fever, fatigue and a rash, to serious damage to the joints, heart and nervous system.

Gordon / flickr creative commons

Federal regulatory requirements mandate* that all public media outlets occasionally devote significant air time to the health and welfare of bees.

Zhao / flickr

There are an estimated 10 quintillion insects living on the planet right now-- That's 1.4 billion insects for each human. If they decided to take over, there's nothing we could do to stop them. Fortunately, they seem relatively content to share their planet with us.

Michael Hunter / Wikimedia Commons

The Emerald Ash Borer, the Asian longhorn beetle, now the Southern Pine Beetle. This hour, we learn about the newest in a series of pests and diseases decimating species of trees in New England.

Wikimedia Commons

What started as one scientist's hunch turned into a decade of research, which now claims a positive link between an invasive shrub called Japanese barberry and deer ticks.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Pine forests in New England could soon be at the mercy of an incredibly destructive insect. The southern pine beetle is making its way north. And a new study says climate change could speed up its migration.

Wikimedia Commons

West Nile Virus is “rapidly expanding” in Connecticut, according to state officials, who said infected mosquitoes have been found in 20 towns.

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