So I live in upstate NY. In the last few years I’ve noticed a huge increase in insects, as well as plant species that are invasive and taking over quickly. I’m interested in the cycle of certain insects. For example, last year I didn’t see a single centipede. This summer, there were so many in my driveway and around my house, they literally covered the siding, walkway and porch. Why have they parked here now, despite never being seen in my yard before? They piggyback too…weird. Also the bamboo, the rock “snot” and the red bugs that cluster together in huge swarms. The babies are tiny red dots, the adult black and red. And tent worms! In 2005 they hatched in the mountains and ate every living green thing. We had zero green leaves all summer. You had to use an umbrella when running from house to car, wipers while driving, and I’ll never forget the sound of them popping when driving. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. Now they’re slowly returning.
Two of the bugs I think you’re talking about (Eastern Boxelder Bug https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/53227-Boisea-trivittata, and Fall Webworm Moth https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/127133-Hyphantria-cunea) are native to NY and just have periods where you’ll see a lot all at once.
Welcome to the forum.
I see you have an iNat account, but haven’t posted any observations yet. I suggest you take photos of the creatures and plants you are curious about, and get them identified on iNat. Then you will have more idea of which species are native or invasive, and how prevalent they are.
Here are the images. You’re definitely right about the red bugs. It’s just weird that I’ve never seen them prior to this summer, and now they’re everywhere near my work. What attracts them?
Oh my goodness, if I had more time I would live on this site. My curiosity is never satisfied when it comes to learning about life around me. I need to start carrying my phone around more, because I’ve definitely been seeing more unfamiliar species than normal. And it’s amazing how there’s such a difference in insect life in the mile between my house and my job!
I’m also in New York state (Brooklyn), and I have spent time upstate (mostly Adirondacks). Your photos are perfect for uploading as an observation for identification!
P.S. I know what they are. I’m encouraging you to use iNat for identifications, not the forum!
P.P.S. Note that you can Obscure a location to keep it private.
I just made an account for both, yesterday. So I’m still unfamiliar with how all of this works. I will browse around and try and familiarize myself with all of the features. I’m going to enjoy this group!
Welcome to iNaturalist! :-)
It’s hard to figure out how all this works, let alone understand community culture, just by clicking around.
Welcome to the forum!
We’ve noticed that becoming familiar with a new organism can give the semblance that it is proliferating. For example, when people notice Red-tailed Hawks on light poles for the first time, they become overwhelmed with just how common they can be! So maybe perception is part of it. Cyclical nature of some organisms’ reproductive cycles could be another factor
I live on Long Island and since I started using inat back in May I have definitely been noticing a lot of species that I never have before. I think part of it is because I had just never bothered to look closely before, and I was amazed at how much diversity there was! Inat has really opened my eyes to just how many species we share our environment with that go unnoticed a lot of the time. Now I see them everywhere!
Another reason might be that a lot of species, especially insects, look so similar to the untrained eye that I never realized they were different. For example, in my basement live a lot of cellar spiders and I used to think they were all one species, when in fact they were multiple. Its so cool to use inat to learn more about what lives around you!
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