Why Do Some Insects Sting?
So when a wasp or a bee stings us are they just being jerks? Although, as many of us know, getting stung by an insect sure feels as though we have been done a wrong in which we have little chance of reciprocating. But perhaps we should cut those stinging insects a little slack.
As can be guessed, insects possess stingers in order to secure food. For example, Parasitic Wasps will sting and therefore disable caterpillars to provide food for their young. This violent method of securing food may be a far cry from hopping in the car to make a trip to Trader Joes, but we can certainly understand the noble desire to feed our young. Bulldog ants will also subdue larger insects with their fear inducing stingers.
Of course providing sustenance is not the only reason insect’s evolved stingers. Lets consider the honeybee. Honeybees, as we know from their title, love honey, but so do bears. If there is one single source of honey, which animal do you think will fend off the other in order to enjoy that wonderful sweetness? Turns out bees will often deter bears from chowing on caches of honey by stinging them if they come near the sought after honey.
Although being stung by an insect is unpleasant, it may not be a bad idea to cut them a break since their stingers are their primary tool for defense and sustenance.
Have you ever been stung by a bee or wasp? Why did you think they stung you?
Less Bang for Your Buck – Insects That Decrease Your Home’s Value
Insects have become masters of invading our homes. While some are simply a nuisance, others can seriously reduce the value of your home. Whether you’re planning on selling your home anytime soon or not, it’s probably a good idea to keep an eye out for these expensive pests.
Termites are probably the most serious villain when it comes to destroying your property. They cause over $5 billion in property damage throughout the United States every year. What’s worse is that home insurance doesn’t generally cover termite infestations, meaning the money to fix it is going to come straight out of your pocket. Enough termite damage can cause floors and walls to sag because of the loss of structural integrity. And, you don’t want to try and deal with these guys on your own. If you have a termite infestation, immediately call in the professionals to take care of it.
Powderpost beetles are another pest that can seriously harm your home. They are small and black, specializing in boring holes into wood. This means that they will go for anything made of hardwood, including molding, flooring, cabinets, doors and other hardwood furniture. You can detect an infestation by looking for small, round holes in the wood that may have fine sawdust peeking out. These pests tend to infest newer homes. Removing the infested wood is really the only way to eradicate them.
Have you ever had to deal with a termite infestation or powderpost beetles? What did you do to get rid of them?
The Most Terrifying Ant of all Time
Many scientists are strongly convinced that no insect in the world can cause hallucinogenic affects in a human being. However, there exists a little known report claiming otherwise.
A scholarly article written by anthropologist Kevin P. Groark from UCLA suggests that there is indeed a strong possibility, as well as scholarly documentation, that suggest that Native Americans ingested what are known as California harvester ants in order to induce spiritual visions of a hallucinogenic sort.
Native shamanic tribes would consume as many as 400 ants, resulting in them passing out and probably having some pretty awesome dreams…but let’s remember this was done all in the name of having magical visions…
It is reported that the dreams that the ant-eating tribe experienced during unconsciousness involved being visited by spirits in the form of animals. These divine animals would dispense with advice on how to live a prosperous life. It was especially popular among the young men who believed that heavy consumption at a young age would result in a wisdom that could only be achieved over a lifetime. But this was not the only purpose that these ants served.
Due to the strict procedures involved in initiating a native inhabitant of Southern California into adulthood, a young boy would be forced to lie on their back and endure the pain of the California harvester ants excruciating bite. All while the elders incite the anger of the ants by prodding them toward the boy—supposedly for his own benefit…or perhaps because they secretly got a kick out of it.
Could this be the next drug fad? Can the government actually make this illegal? Would you let loose and…let tons of ants bite you, causing excruciating pain…to check out this insect high?
Your Worst Nightmare – Cockroaches That Bite
I think we can all agree that cockroaches are generally loathsome. However, in their favor, they don’t actually do anything to hurt us. They don’t bite or sting like some other insects out there. They are just generally gross and disturbing…right? Well, I’m here to tell you that, while it is not common, cockroaches have been recorded biting people. What makes me want to gag, though, is finding out that they enjoy eating little bits and pieces of dead humans.
Cockroaches are omnivores, so I guess it is not all that surprising to discover that they would consider munching on us. For the most part, you are safe from their hunger, but if you have an extreme infestation with a large cockroach population, they can end up outgrowing their food source. This is when they turn to nibbling on human fingernails, eyelashes, feet, and hands. These bites can cause irritation, lesions, and swelling, and can sometimes lead to infection.
Apparently the most serious cases happened on ships. In such a confined space the cockroaches are able to keep growing in numbers, while sources of food do not. So, they begin biting the fingers and nails of the people on board. There are even reports of sailors wearing gloves to protect their hands from being bitten.
Did you know that in these extreme cases cockroaches will bite humans? How many cockroaches are living in your house?
Be honest: Is your first reaction to seeing an insect in your home a screech or gasp? If you answered yes, you are not alone! Most people cringe at the sight of insects or others pests in their home, which is why they hire a professional pest control company to keep critters away.
But several photographers are asking us to take a step back and admire bugs for their beauty. This may sound like an absurd concept to some, but the intricacies of some insects can be very beautiful.
And this is what photographer Pascal Goet wants people to understand, “The inspiration behind this is to disconnect man’s repulsion for the insects and make them accept and at least, aesthetically, love them.”
You may be wondering, what is it about bugs that makes them so beautiful (at least to some!). According to Goet, “With insects you have strange shapes, you have behavior that’s very strange, you have extraordinary colors. And this is very, very special.”
What do you think? Do you find bugs beautiful? Or at least interesting? Would you be interested in having a photograph of an insect in your home?
Brazil’s Brilliant Ad Campaign to Fight Zika
Brazil is one of the most highly affected areas with the Zika virus. As you can imagine, Brazilian officials are doing all they can to slow down transmission as much as possible.
And according to reports, local advertisers are also doing their part, which has resulted in a very innovative advertising campaign!
Billboards have been installed in the cities of Rio and Tijuca which emit the odor of human sweat and blast out carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes. Then, mosquitoes that take the bate, are trapped and killed.
Even if this makes a small impact, it will be worth it. There are more than 1,000 confirmed cases of Zika-associated microcephaly in Brazil and almost 5,000 suspected cases. What’s more, this number shows no signs of slowing down.
What do you think? Do you think this is just a crafty advertising gimmick or do you think it could help the problem?
If you have concerns about mosquitoes on your property, we can’t offer you billboards, but we do encourage you contact us about our mosquito reduction services!
Do not underestimate the small, yet mighty, Bombardier Beetle! This small insect may look harmless, but it has some serious defense mechanisms that pack a pretty big punch!
According to a recent documentary, when attacked, the Bombardier Beetle sparks an internal chemical reaction that releases hot liquid upon its attacker. This can also fend off potential attackers such as birds.
And make no mistake: this defense mechanism is very powerful
“If the beetle’s explosion chamber were the size of the inside of a car, the blast would release about the same energy as about two pounds of TNT,” Eric Arndt, a doctoral student who has studied these beetles says.
Pretty impressive considering this beetle is about the size of a dime!
What do you think? Are you impressed by the power of the Bombardier Beetle? Can you think of other insects or animals that have similar defense mechanisms?
If you have concerns about beetles, or any other pests, in or around your home be sure to contact a professional pest management company!
Bed Bugs are bad news for anyone who encounters them, primarily because they are one of the trickiest pests to eradicate from homes. That’s why if you even suspect you have bed bugs, it’s important to call a professional pest management company that specializes in Bed Bug Control right away.
And for residents in these Florida cities, this is of even higher importance. That’s because recent reports suggest that they rank in the Top 50 Cities with the highest bed bug occurrences.
Here is the breakdown: Tampa comes in at number 31, Orlando/Daytona Beach/Melbourne at 38, and Miami/Fort Lauderdale at 43.
What is the number one-ranking city you may ask? Chicago, Illinois!
Have you ever encountered Bed Bugs? Do you take precautions to look for or avoid Bed Bugs when you travel?
We can’t say it enough: Bed Bugs are certainly a job for the professionals!
Florida Fish to Fight Zika
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District has come up with an innovative way to fight the Zika virus: fish.
How will this work? According to reports, a tiny fish called gambusia (also known as a mosquitofish) could be key to Zika control efforts.
These fish feast on the larvae of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is responsible for transmitting the virus. What’s more, there are over 40 species of the gambusia fish, which live in freshwater and are native to the Southern region of the United States.
One gambusia fish can consume more than ten square feet of mosquito larvae, so it’s easy to see why officials are enlisting their help to fight the Zika virus, which has caused worldwide concern, particularly due to its association with devastating birth defects in babies.
In the Florida-Keys and other mosquito-control districts, the fish will be distributed for free to interested residents.
What do you think? Are you impressed by this tactic to fight Zika? As temperatures continue to rise, we encourage you to look into our mosquito reduction services.
Researchers recently discovered what makes invasive fire ants so successful. They found that these ants are extremely sophisticated manipulators of sand and soil. They can build in any type of soil because they can excavate no matter the size of the grains. These ants are actually able to change their excavation technique to better suit the type of soil they are digging in.
The researchers placed 100 ants in containers of different types of soil – small, medium and large grained, and let them excavate. They also placed ants in containers with different levels of moisture in the soil. The researchers found that that ants could build faster in coarser soil, but in the more moist coarse soil the ants tended to build more complex structures.
Taking an even closer look, the researchers discovered that in coarse soil the ants will grab one particle and drag it with them as they shuffle backwards up the soil. When they are dealing with finer grains, they will pack two or three particles together, almost like they are making a snowball, and pick it up and march up the tunnel. Scientists hope the study will help them build better robots.
How do you think studying the way these ants excavate their tunnels will help improve robotics?