It’s always fun to learn new things about where you live and there’s always something new to learn about the world around you. For example, did you know that Alberta is home to over 20,000 different species of bugs and insects? The variations in ecosystems across our province provide a diverse habitat for so many critters during the heat of an Alberta summer that it almost makes sense there are so many kinds of bugs and insects. Here are a few local insects you might be surprised to learn live right alongside us!
If you’ve had a picnic somewhere in Alberta, you’ve likely encountered a yellowjacket or a wasp, but did you know that our province is also home to blackjackets? Found in forested areas, Blackjackets make their homes in abandoned rodent dens, dead trees, crevices in rocks and in human structures. They get their name based on the black and thin white stripe pattern on their bodies and they live off a diet of flies, spiders, caterpillars and other insects. Their colonies are smaller, around 150, and they’re active May through September.
Aptly named, the Ambush Bug is a small yellow and brown bug that hides in amongst flowers and ambushes pollinating insects. They get away with it by camouflaging themselves in the petals and lying in wait for an unsuspecting insect to come along before pouncing. To consume their prey, the Ambush Bug will pin them down, inject their digestive juices and then make a meal out of them. There are only two species of Ambush Bugs in Alberta and they can take down pollinating prey as big as bumblebees and even butterflies.
Black Witch Moth
A rare sight in Alberta, the Black Witch is a spectacular moth with a wingspan between 11 cm and 15 cm with a beautifully distinct gray, brown and white swirling pattern across its wings. Their habitat is widespread across the United States, from more tropical climates to the southern parts of America, but these moths can travel as far as Anchorage, Alaska in their short summer lifespans. The way these Black Witch moths fly can sometimes have them mistaken for bats! They enjoy fermented fruit and are nocturnal insects with an affection for light.
Our province is home to so many different kinds of critters that it would take a lifetime to learn about them all. From the prairies to the mountains, there is such a variety of habitats for insects, bugs and animals to flourish. What are some of your favourite Alberta species?
Dealing with pests in your home or office? Give us a call at 403.262.1666 and we’ll be happy to help you devise a pest protection plan!