The menacing horsefly

    Listen

    Viscous, biting and really big, the horsefly is one of the nastiest pests of summer. Mike McGrath will try and help a homeowner cope with an invasion of these bird-sized biters. Plus: we’ll delve into the wild, dangerous and often mysterious world of plants with author, Michael Largo of The Big Bad Book of Botany; and an expert on plant use during the civil war.


    Question of the Week:

    “Is there any way to reduce the number of horseflies around the outside of our house? The only thing that seems to help is a contraption called “The Horse Pal”. It’s an interesting device that really does attract horseflies and ends up killing quite a few. But even with a Horse Pal we still seem to have an endless supply of them. We don’t have any livestock, but our neighbors about 1/4 mile away do have a few cows and horses. We live on 10 acres—mostly wooded with a stream. The horseflies are particularly vicious when we’re in the pool. I appreciate any ideas you may come up with, and I really do love your show.”

    — Eric in Wrightstown, PA

    Learn how to cope with horseflies »


    Highlights from show for August 30, 2014:

    Guests Michael Largo and Robert Hicks

    Mike delves into the big, bad world of plants with Michael Largo, author of The Big, Bad Book of Botany. Largo takes us from unwanted plants like stinging nettle that actually have great medicinal properties to the hidden origins of broccoli. Also, in this segment Mike speaks with Robert Hicks director and supervisor of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library at the home of the oldest professional society in the United States, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Hicks is doing a presentation Plants, Poultices, and Poisons in the Civil War on Wednesday September 3rd at 5:30pm at the College of Physicians. Hicks talks to Mike about how the civil war was not only fought on the battlefield, but with plants. Over 200 medicinal plants were used to help men combat everything from constipation to infection.


    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.