This Time Of Year Brings Out The Poisonous Caterpillars

February 22nd, 2017

It is that time of year again when people become excited about locating and photographing the strange looking wooly bear caterpillars. These caterpillars are popular among bug enthusiasts and average joes alike because, according to folklore, these fuzzy caterpillars can predict the future. So how does that work, you ask? Well, it probably does not, but legend says that these white caterpillars possess red bands around its body that are either broad or narrow in appearance. That much is true, however, some believe that more narrow bands indicate a harsher winter as opposed to broad bands that indicate a warm winter. Oh yeah! They are also venomous.

As a caterpillar this creature is just as poisonous as it is when it becomes a moth, in this case we are discussing the hickory tussock moth. Entomologists warn against handling the caterpillars or the moths since they can deal out a painful sting that feels like nettle. Although you won’t experience anything more than a rash along with a stinging sensation, it is possible to have an allergy to the moth or its venom, so steer clear.

Have you ever heard of venomous caterpillars or moths? Have you ever been stung by one? Did you know what kind it was?

Are There Any Bats That Like To Drink Human Blood? | Atlanta Wildlife Control

February 21st, 2017

Are There Any Bats That Like To Drink Human Blood? | Atlanta Wildlife Control

We have all heard of the vampire bat and how they love to drink blood, but that is animal blood right? Certainly not human blood. Most people assume that the idea of bats drinking human blood is the stuff for horror movies. Everyone knows that bats do not have a taste for human blood. However, Brazilian researchers would claim otherwise, as they have discovered a type of bat that prefers the taste of human blood, perhaps even more so than the blood of their natural prey.

All existing literature on the feeding habits of the vampire bat says that the they mostly prefer to feed on birds, but the hairy legged vampire bat, Diphylla ecaudata, is by far the most rarely seen of the three species of vampire bat.

After scientists analyzed the DNA from bat excrement, or guano, they found that human DNA was present in the guano of many hairy legged vampire bats. Well, at least the one bat that sucks human blood is almost never seen anywhere, so your chances of meeting a hairy legged vampire are pretty low, unless they cast Steve Carell as the lead in the upcoming Twilight sequel of course.

Had you ever been told by a respected educator that bats never drink blood?

An Asian Insect Pest Could Destroy Beautiful Plant Life In The Southern US

February 20th, 2017

Crape myrtles are nice looking ornamental flowering plants that form a big part of how many people picture the beautiful landscapes that can be seen in the Southeastern United States. These flowers are planted both privately and commercially for their attractiveness in the southern US states. Sadly, this flower is now becoming endangered as a result of an insect pest from Asia finding its way into the United States.

The Asian insect pest is aptly known as the crape myrtle bark scale because of its taste for crape myrtles. The pest was first discovered in Texas back in 2004, and since then the insect pest has spread to eleven different states.

These insects suck the sap from crape myrtles, which results in stunted growth for the plants. Once this occurs the flowers rarely develop properly, and the otherwise beautiful flowering tree start to look unsightly. The academic communities in the most heavily infected states are working to find a solution to the pest problem.

How could shipments from Asia be better regulated to ensure that no insect pests are imported to America from Asia?

The Current Boom In The Vampire Bat Population Has Experts Worried About Rabies | Atlanta Wildlife Removal

February 15th, 2017

Livestock breeders from both North and South America are becoming increasingly worried about the vampire bat population and its relationship with feral pigs. Researchers have recently found a correlation between the populations of boars and vampire bats. Vampire bats must feed on blood, and as long as the wild boar population is increasing, bats have an ever-growing source of satisfying blood. This could eventually cause problems for cattle breeders since the higher number of wild boars infected with rabies could make transmission to cattle much more probable.

Amazingly, of the twelve hundred different bat species in existence, only three of these species feed exclusively on blood, and all three of those species are located in the Americas. Researchers have estimated that there is a ten percent chance that a vampire bat will attack a feral pig on any given night. This may not seem like a number to worry about, but wild boars are notoriously successful at spreading their population over vast stretches of land and across different species of boars and pigs. And it does not help that vampire bats are particularly fond of pig’s blood.

Name one particular method of preventing the spread of rabies in livestock? Do animals also receive vaccines?

Elementary School Is Evacuated Because Of Raccoons | Animal Removal Atlanta

February 13th, 2017

A whole lot of children had their parents in a panic when the children were suddenly evacuated from their school. These days, school evacuations conjure up tragic images of the past. However, this particular case is not so tragic, and perhaps some may find it a bit cute, until you remember that raccoons can carry rabies.

At some point during the nighttime hours when nobody was watching the elementary school, a family of raccoons snuck in for some shelter, but sadly their stay was a short one. A spokesperson for the District of Columbia School District said that once the raccoons were spotted wandering the halls he immediately phoned the Animal Control Services in order to have the raccoons removed before the kids miss any more class.

Many parents are upset with the school system officials because many parents believe that the raccoon entered through a window that was left open deliberately overnight. Apparently, the situation was such a strain on everyone involved that officials representing the DCSC have called in an animal control officers to educate both students and teachers about how to act upon encountering wild animals. The animal control officer will remain at the school to ensure no more raccoons find their way into the school.

Have you ever been sent home from school because there was a wild animal loose somewhere in the building where you attended classes?



Is The Red “Hourglass” Mark On Black Widows Meant To Frighten Predators?

February 10th, 2017

Black Widows are well known around the world. These spiders are especially known in the Americas for having a highly venomous bite, they are generally intimidating to other arthropods, and the females often kill their male counterparts after mating. And the red “hourglass” marking on the female’s abdomen is a sure indicator that the female black widow is poisonous, right?

Although the strangely shaped red markings located on female black widows has made them famous, what is its actual purpose? Many people have heard that the markings are there to indicate to humans that black widows are venomous. That would be a very gracious tip from Mother Nature herself if only that were true, but it is not. Actually, the red markings located on a female black widow’s abdomen are meant to intimidate, but not all animals are so scared.

According to scientists, as of now we know that the red markings located on the female black widow’s abdomen can effectively scare birds away, but not insects. In fact, it is likely that insects don’t even perceive the hourglass shape in the first place. The visual systems belonging to birds and insects are very different systems. Birds have extra photoreceptors that allow them to perceive the red color on a black widow; an insect cannot boast this remarkable vision. So, now you can just say that the red hourglass marking that you see on a female black widow’s abdomen is for the birds.

Have you ever spotted any type of spider or insect that possessed a brightly colored feature that made it stand out?

Cutting Edge New Therapy Could Cure Arachnophobes

February 8th, 2017

It seems like a fear of spiders must exist at least a little bit in varying degrees in different people, similar to a fear of heights. Some people become so anxious around arachnids that even seeing a picture can be enough to induce an anxiety attack. Recently, many experts in many different fields have been looking at how virtual reality can help people overcome their fears through repeated exposure to their object of fear. However, this type of exposure therapy does not work for all people for the obvious reason that arachnophobes are scared to death of even seeing an image of a spider.

Brain scans have revealed that the human brain works harder to regulate emotions when a person is not conscious of what it is that is frightening them. Based on this finding, researchers have exposed many different arachnophobes to images of spiders that are so brief that the images cannot be consciously perceived by the observer.

Repeated exposure to these images is already demonstrating that people can become conditioned to certain attitudes through observations that never reach consciousness. So this is probably the easiest and least emotionally challenging of any type of spider-cure therapy available today.

Have you seriously considered hiring the services of a hypnotist with the hopes that he/she could cure you of your fear of spiders or insects?

What Are The Most Common Arthropods That Live Within Our Homes?

February 7th, 2017

The one good thing about living in a tiny apartment as opposed to a large home is that there is a much lesser chance of encountering a creepy bug. Less space equals lesser space for bugs to roam, right? Well, it really depends on where you live. If you live in the country surrounded by the natural environment you are more likely to encounter arthropods within your home than, say, an apartment dwelling New Yorker surrounded by concrete. But experts often see the same types of bugs when searching for arthropod life within people’s homes.

Some of the most common arthropods researchers encounter inside of houses include the carpet beetle, the masked bedbug hunter, book louse, house centipede, and cellar spiders. Cellar spiders are well known to people who have wool carpets, or used to have wool carpets until carpet beetles started destroying them with their larvae. And the house centipede is particularly unsettling since now I know that a creature as ugly as a centipede is so used to living in houses with people that a whole species is named for it! Look out for this centipede if you see it, its first pair of legs are poison fangs!

If you found a house centipede within your home would you call an exterminator, or would you kill it yourself and hope to never see one again? This is assuming you don’t think they make good pets.

Spider-Like Creature Once Ruled The Seas | Spider Control

February 6th, 2017

Well, I hope you are not afraid of water and spiders at the same time, because, once upon a time during the Cambrian period, a giant creature with multiple legs resembling a spider used to rule the seas five hundred million years ago. Be thankful that you did not have to worry about giant spiders when you go to the beach.

Sadly the five hundred million year old sea spiders had such soft bodies, as did most organisms during the Cambrian period, that many of them failed to leave an impression as a fossil, despite being surrounded by sediments necessary to encase most animals of today. However, the researchers exploration was not entirely without academic benefit as the group spotted many tracks along the ground that suggested the presence of a multi-legged worm, similar to the multiple legged worm that bullied all other sea creatures for millions of years.

What do you think recreational beach going would be like today if some of these terrifying creatures had survived?

Centennial Auction – 2/24/17

February 3rd, 2017