Extension Educator; Director, Insect Identification Lab
News Articles Featuring Michael Skvarla
Apr 29, 2022
No evidence that brown paper bags will ward off wasps
Facebook posts claim that hanging a brown paper bag in an area prone to wasp nests will keep them at bay. But experts say there is no scientific proof that this method will reliably ward off the stinging insects, and recommend calling pest control for help relocating nests from spots that pose a risk to humans.
Jul 06, 2021
What to Do about Gypsy Moths Devouring Your Trees
Here’s how to cope with these destructive and invasive caterpillars.
Jun 20, 2021
Penn State Cicada Expert Says Brood X Should Emerge in Philly This Weekend
The cicadas are coming! The cicadas are coming!
Jun 02, 2021
How to stay safe from 5 common but dangerous bugs this summer
The warm weather has brought an invasion of crawling and flying critters into the crevices and corners of homes and gardens, leaving many people wondering which bugs may cause the most headaches this summer.
May 17, 2021
As Brood X cicadas emerge, Northeast Pa. awaits their arrival
May 17—Here they come. Periodical cicadas belonging to what is known as Brood X have started emerging after 17 years underground across a broad swath of their 15-state range, raising the prospect the scary-looking but harmless insects will appear in Northeast Pennsylvania in the coming weeks or possibly days.
Aug 14, 2020
What happened to our butterflies this summer?
Many butterfly watchers across Pennsylvania, even those with pollinator or butterfly gardens or fields packed with butterfly-attracting wildflowers, have reported a noticeable decline in the big showy butterflies like monarchs and swallowtails, this summer.
Jul 29, 2020
Cicadas abuzz around Western Pennsylvania as summer progresses
The annual cicadas are buzzing in Western Pennsylvania, as the large insects emerge from underground for the hottest months of summer.
Jul 15, 2020
Fact check: Paper bags and other decoy nests do not deter wasps
The claim: Paper bags resembling wasp hives can deter the insect. For those seeking to enjoy a wasp-free summer, a July 5 Facebook post advises to look no further than a crumpled paper bag.
Jun 19, 2020
Murder hornets maybe not the deadly threat we thought
Asian giant hornets, which picked up the name “murder hornets” when they made headlines across the U.S. earlier this year, are probably less imposing that previously reported, according to a Penn State expert in insects.
May 27, 2020
TikTok Videos Reveal Tiny Bugs Living In Strawberries
Viral TikTok videos dubbed the ''Strawberry Challenge’’ have some consumers squirming. Tik-tokkers have been submerging strawberries into a bowl of saltwater. Thirty minutes later, tiny bugs can be seen crawling out from inside the fruit.