Monthly Speaker Presentation

What’s bugging you?: Identifying insect “pests” by the signs they leave behind

Wednesday, Sept 28, 2022 • 7-8 pm

featuring Sara Tanis, Program Director, Horticulture and Sustainable Landscaping, Kalamazoo Valley Community College

First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St, downtown Kalamazoo

Integrated pest management (IPM) is key to the management and health of many urban and rural ecosystems. Scouting for insect pests, one of the key components of IPM, can be tricky because adult and immature life stages are often cryptic and difficult to identify. For example, phloem- and wood-boring larva are rarely seen because they live under tree bark. They do, however, leave behind gallery patterns and exit holes that are unique to their family, genus, and sometimes species. Other insects (e.g., four-lined plant bug, Poecilocapsus lineatus) feed on leaves in unique patterns which can give ecological caretakers insight into the types and species of insects inhabiting gardens and natural areas. In this session, Dr. Tanis will teach you how to look for and interpret the clues that many insects leave behind.

Dr. Sara Tanis is a forest entomologist whose research focuses on how trees native to North America interact with exotic insect species like Emerald Ash Borer. Dr. Tanis received her Horticulture and Forestry degrees from Michigan State University where she also spent several years conducting post-doctoral woodborer research. She is currently developing several skills-based degree programs in Sustainable Horticulture at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Sara also serves as a professor for a Western Michigan University study abroad course in Ireland and Northern Ireland that focuses on EcoHealth (the connections between human health and nature). In her spare time, Sara enjoys gardening, urban farming, Irish dance, and helping retired greyhounds find their forever homes.    

wandering insect tunnels on tree trunk
womon in hard hat beside black hanging insect trap

This presentation is an in-person event at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park St. The event will not be streamed simultaneously or recorded for later viewing. FUMC is located in downtown Kalamazoo near Bronson Park. Parking is free; lot entry is off Academy Street.  View Map