There’s a New Bug in Town

Typing this is my “tax break.”–No, not the kind the IRS gives you, but the physical break you take after working on your taxes for three hours.  My brain is fried as this post will show.


2016 tax receipts. Tape, stapler, and three hole punch at hand.

Guess I won’t feel too sorry for myself because I remember visiting my neighbors in their Bed and Breakfast last year when they were working on their taxes. Their mounds of receipts took up two rooms and covered everything!  Oh, I felt sorry for them.

Now to the point of this post:

Most of us are familiar with mealy bugs, aphids, grasshoppers and those terrible suckers, the sharpshooters who possess mouths that pierce and suck.


Above: A broad-headed sharpshooter photo courtesy of Creative Commons

A new pest recently targeted my Joe Pye Weed seeds. Grr!  Who knew anything would eat un-germinated Joe Pye Weed seeds?

I’ve tried to look this pest up in the EPA’s on-line Bug Book but didn’t see a photo of it.

While similar to the snout-nosed agave weevil in color, my pest is a bit more like a mealy bug in structure.


The evil snout-nosed agave weevil.  U-G-L-Y, huh?  I never want to be reincarnated into one of these! (Photo credit:  Creative Commons)

A description of mealy bugs from states, “The females are covered with a white, cottony or mealy wax secretion and look like tiny cotton balls on plants, taking away a plant’s aesthetic value. They’ve got an oval body outline, and functional legs allow them to be mobile in their immature stage. Some mealybugs are more ornate than others, having filaments around the edge of their bodies or even tails.”

Well, my pest has functional legs.  Pretty sure it’s female, and it has a whip-like tail. Unlike the mealy bug, it eats dirt. The tail whips wildly as the bug hops up and down in anticipation of food. (Kinda’ scary!)  It is also partial to carrot roots so I’ll have to watch them if I plant any this year.

After much research, I’ve learned this munching culprit is a Joe Pye Weed-specific Canis herbis malum devoura with a more common name of the Black-Snouted Pye Weed Weasel.

And I actually found a mug shot of this pest in a line-up of America’s Most Unwanted pests.  This one comes in at number 11.  There are many varieties of this pest, so no, they don’t all look alike.  Some may attack plant roots and leaves depending upon whether they’re in the immature or mature stage.  (Watch out, you may have one of these in YOUR garden.)

Without further ado, here’s a photo of a Joe Pye Weed Canis herbis malum devoura.

Front and profile photo of a Canis herbis malum devoura.  Very destructive!

In the event you find one like it eating your seeds and plants, cayenne pepper seems to be an adequate deterrent.

Unfortunately, I found the same Black-Snouted Pye Weed Weasel lying on top of my tax receipts.  I hope it doesn’t eat them because the IRS won’t understand.  And now to go plant more Joe Pye Weed seeds….


2 thoughts on “There’s a New Bug in Town

  1. Gorgeous dog. Awful weevil. Don’t think we have that one here in Australia but have plenty of own versions of nasties. Our dogs are also destructive to plants. Rip herbage off shrubs in their attempts to get at possums that are out of their reach. Must try the cayenne pepper idea. Hope neither of your plant eaters like tax receipts!

    Liked by 1 person

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