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Sounds of Summer Nights
If you have been out at night recently, you may have heard some loud and unfamiliar sounds. Crickets may be familiar but, the other insects you hear calling from the treetops are cicadas and katydids.
They make their "music" in different ways. Katydids rub their front wings together. Cicadas generate vibrations in their mid-section which are amplified in their large, mostly hollow abdomen.
THINGS TO DO:
* Take a walk at night. Listen for the repetitive sound of Common Katydids; listen for cicadas - a continuous buzz that rises and falls.
* Calculate the temperature using a "cricket thermometer". You can use crickets to measure the air temperature - count the number of chirps in 14 seconds and add 40 to determine the approximate temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.
Insects play an important role in nature and many are beneficial to humans. But, sometimes an insect gets moved to a new place by humans and causes problems. That is the case with the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle from Asia that kills ash trees.
Scientists recently discovered Emerald Ash Borers in Georgia, and they tell us that these insects can travel from place to place hidden in firewood. Campers can help prevent them from spreading by using only local firewood - Burn it Where You Buy It! Never move firewood from one location to another.
THINGS TO DO: Email the Chief Naturalist to request your FREE Emerald Ash Borer tattoos. Use them to tell your friends and family about these bad bugs.