Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Just stay away
There are many critters to avoid this time of year. They may wonder lost into your back yard, becoming very close to you and your family. If you encounter any of these, the best thing to do is to stay back and call your local pest control company for help.
The Mojave green rattlesnake can grow up to seven feet long. They have a diamond shaped pattern on their backs and a distinguished rattle that sounds the alarm when you have entered their territory. Their bites are venomous and they are considered one of the most deadly snakes in the US.
The Tarantula Hawk is actually a form of wasps that feeds on larger insects as the name suggests. They will actually paralyze a tarantula, lay its eggs inside of the spider, and then the wasp’s babies will eat the spider from the inside out. Their stings are not fatal; however they can cause excruciating pain.
Poisonous spiders are also bugs to just stay away from. Brown recluse and black widows are two spiders specifically whose bites are non-fatal, but will lead to dangerous health concerns and sickness if left untreated. Both like to hide out in your garage and tool shed so be on the lookout before you just reach in and grab.
For more information on dangerous household pests, please click here
Giant Centipede? No thanks!
They are large, they bite and they can enter your home through any small space. The giant centipede can measure up to eight inches long, and carry a very painful venomous bite.
These centipedes have large fangs which are capable of sinking into any soft tissue. They are also dangerous because they have the ability to move their bodies erratically. These two coupled together make them especially hard to catch if you find one in your home.
While they are certainly creepy to watch, and hard to get rid of, the actual threat of the centipede is minimal. They have very powerful venom to subdue their prey when they are hunting. The venom is said to be as powerful as a rattlesnake’s venom. However, the amount of venom they actually use is so minimal, the worst thing a human will feel is pain and discomfort. There are no recorded deaths from a centipede bite.
Some say that it is misleading to describe this critters attack as biting. Rather they pinch and then use their claws to inject the venom. They love to feast on spiders and other household pests. It is very rare to find one of the eight inches long size, typically they only reach an inch or two.
For more information on centipedes, please click here
Predicting the future of ants
Many many years ago, when all that was around was wildflowers and forests, there was a very different form of ants. But as time went on and the environment changed, so did the ants. Originally all queen ants had wings, now there are isolated colonies that have lost their wings.
Is evolution of insects predictable based on history alone? One scientist set out to test this theory. The ants which started out as a single population were separated into five main groups. As a way of dealing with climate changes, the queens in all of the groups lost their wings. While the ability to fly may give the queen more of an advantage to conquer more territory, the risk was too high and her need for wings was no longer valid. Genetic changes began to occur with each set of offspring until the ants became wingless.
All five separate colonies had the same results which suggest evolution is in fact predictable when it comes to environmental changes. But what happens if the climate changes even more? That question will be answered over time and additional testing.
For more information on ants, please click here
All animals, including humans, use vibrations to sense their surroundings. More than just sounds, insects in particular use fine hairs to “hear” what is going on around them using vibrations.
A cricket for instance will rub together tooth like body parts near their wings to make a noise to attract its mate. Males are particular to making the noise vibration to communicate. They use muscles in their abdomen as well as thorax to shake which in turn causes a vibration that can be picked up by another insect up to a meter away. They use different vibrations to communicate with males than they do with females. One could assume this is similar to a mating call.
Insects and crickets in particular are very social creatures. They act in social behaviors and grouping. Just like humans, once a group lives together for a while, their behaviors start to match. While their vocabulary may be limited they are for sure communicating. The females tend to listen more than the males and also seem to create more vibrations. Makes you wonder if they are just using more words than their male counterparts. It is said that each species of crickets has its own frequency similar to a dialect used in the same language.
For more information on crickets and how they communicate please click here
Built in compass
Have you ever wondered what helps to guide bugs of the night? How are they able to fly with such accuracy in the pitch black conditions? Researchers say it is because they have more than just an internal compass. Flying insects also have the equal to turbulence sensors that help guide them in the right direction.
Insects actually get carried by the wind more than they fly through it, which makes sense considering their size and low weight. But because they aren’t resisting the air flow like most animals that fly, they get a higher rate of turbulence from side to side. So which do they rely on more? The wind currents or visuals from the ground. Researchers set out to find the answer and what they found is quite interesting.
Insects, like moths respond differently when winds hit them from a side to side angle. However they also can be misled by spiraling winds. These cause offsets that are the key to the research. It shows that without doubt moths and other flying insects use that internal compass mix with wind turbulence to determine their distance and over correction that is needed to land at their intended destination.
For more information on moths and other flying insects, please click here.
Are termites geniuses?
Termites are not something you would typically relate to genius, but recent studies show they may just be more than your average insect.
Termites build their homes without the use of tools like humans have. After all, they only have their bodies, soil and saliva to work with. Setting aside these challenges and limitations how is it possible they have figured out how to ventilate a structure? Something not even humans have fully figured out how to do? Studies on termite mounds show that the structure actually works in a similar fashion to lungs; they inhale and exhale with the changing of the temperature throughout the day. Scientists spent several weeks inspecting termite mounds and discovered that termites build their homes around several chimney like structures allowing for constant ventilation.
Termites take extra care and caution in creating their own homes, but can destroy your home in just a matter of months if they go undetected. Termites can reproduce at alarming rates, and you may think you only have a handful to deal with, if you see one there are probably thousands hiding from you. Call your local pest control company if you believe you might have a termite problem.
For more information on termites, please click here
Traditional diets already include many of the over 2000 species of edible insects and it is estimated that the field will increase to be higher than 75% in the near future. These facts open up the window to food security and change.
Edible insects are high in protein, low in fat and make an excellent food source for both people and animal feed. They also reduce the environmental footprint opposed to other forms of food sources like cattle and even produce. A little known statistic shows that if everyone on earth were to eat insects more than 30% of the world’s surface could be reclaimed for livestock as well as gas and emissions could be eliminated and food costs would plummet.
One educational company is targeting education for young adults on the topic. They are using things such as hornet liquor infused drinks and grasshopper deserts to entice the young adults into trying to consume the insects. Rather than poking at them in ewwww fashion, or becoming emotionally attached to the grasshoppers, but allowing them to teach themselves the benefits, the ideas are catching on.
For more information on grasshoppers please click here
Change of season equals change in pests
As the weather changes from a hundred and devil spit degrees to a more manageable 80-90 degrees throughout fall, a different group of pests may choose to invade your home. It is very important to stop them in their tracks before you have a total infestation.
Mice are one of the main household pests that will appear during the cooler months as they try to find a warm happy home full of table scraps and crumbs to feast on. One may look cute from across the room but keep in mind there is never only one. This isn’t Highlander.
Some tips to protect your home from these furry beady eyed critters are to check both inside and outside your home for holes and openings, and seal them with caulk. Clear clutter of dead branches, fire wood, etc. away from the side of your home, pests can make their homes there, and that is too close for comfort. Clean your home often, I know that sounds like a no brainer, but you would be surprised. Sweep away any cobwebs you may find and move your furniture periodically to vacuum any webs not seen on a daily basis.
For more information on keeping household pests at bay this fall, click here
Gross, but clean
Insects are nasty is probably one of the most commonly used phrases used when discussing bugs. However, are they really nasty or do they just make you feel gross?
Ants specifically seem like nasty little insects. They crawl through anything they can to get to their food source. However, they are actually extremely clean and they have to be to keep their work going. Ants have a joint on each of the front of their legs that when bent forms a type of clamp. They use this clamp to remove dirt and pollen and anything else stuck to their legs.
Ants actually are very meticulous on purpose. Their world revolves around the small hairs on their legs which sense the smells of food sources. If dirt and pollen clog up the hairs, they are unable to “smell” where they are going and where their next dinner is coming from.
While they may burrow through some nasty filth, ants are actually very clean little worker insects. They can however take over your home and patio in no time. It is important to keep an eye out for an emerging colony and call your local pest control company if you are worried about an infestation.
For more information on ants, please click here
The largest scorpion
Did you know scorpions haven’t always been just land dwellers? Scientists have found the oldest and largest sea scorpion. While it lived 460 million years ago, the size alone of the discovery is turning heads today.
The scorpion measured nearly six feet in length and predates any other version of the species scientists had previously found. Studies show that this sea scorpion is actually very close to the scorpions we see today, just on a larger level. They had bodies with the same 12 segments, a head and tail on each end. The only major difference of course besides the sheer size, being these six foot long scorpions lived in the ocean. It is theory that these creatures were soft and worm like with impressive jaws. The scientists who found them rightfully named the species after an ancient Greek warship that resembled the likely shape and aggressive behavior.
Scorpions today are still not an insect you want to mess with. Their stings can be painful and even deadly to those with allergies, the elderly and small children. They hide in brush and other collected vegetation near your home. If you think you have an issue with scorpions, call your local pest control company to come review and formulate a plan of attack.
For more information on scorpions, please click here