Spring Pest Prevention Tips | Pest Control Atlanta

March 24th, 2017

The spring months also mark the onset of harmful pests including stinging insects like yellowjackets, wasps and hornets, making pest prevention especially important this time of year. As suchBug busters USA recommends the following quick and simple, yet valuable, pest-proofing tips provided by the NPMA:

  • Seal up cracks and small openings along the foundation of the house.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
  • Keep kitchens clean by wiping counters and emptying the garbage frequently.
  • Keep all food containers sealed.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
  • Keep trash containers clean and sealed, both indoors and outdoors.

Screen windows and doors.

What It’s Like Raising A Raccoon As A Pet | Atlanta Raccoon Control

March 23rd, 2017

Imagine for a moment what it would be like to have a raccoon as a pet. They are extremely messy and they can spread disease. Most people, with the exception of die-hard animal lovers, would not agree to let a raccoon stay in their home. If I hosted a raccoon around the clock and for seven days a week, then I would never be able to sleep. Despite the many hardships that come with owning a raccoon, some people actually go through with their plans to keep a raccoon captive in their homes.

Kasey Valentine decided one day that she needed a pet, so she decided to check the classifieds with the hopes that somebody would be selling a dog or a cat. Initially Valentine was looking for a new car, but she knew she wanted a pet so she started looking, and that was when she came across a raccoon that had been kept as a pet, but the owner was no longer able to care for it. After getting one look at the cute raccoons face, Valentine broke down and contacted the seller. Despite already having multiple and rambunctious kids, Valentine could not resist introducing a new destructive little critter into her home.

After posting her new pet raccoon on social media sites, the raccoon, which is named “Cody”, garnered a lot of likes and views. So Cody the raccoon is already an Internet celebrity.

According to Valentine, raccoons are even more destructive than she had been previously led to believe. Cody, like all raccoons, have highly dexterous paws which can unscrew the lids from jars, so you can picture the mess that would result. Cody has also been caught opening window latches and doors. Luckily, Cody the raccoon has a happy home, which consists of an underground network of tunnels that Cody can explore for the rest of his days.

Have you ever met someone who kept a raccoon as a pet?

A Rabid Raccoon Attack Has Recently Occurred In The United States

March 22nd, 2017

These days Zika is the disease to fear, whereas rabies has been largely forgotten about. Although rabies might not be a serious problem today, it could be, and rabies could infect many people during a brief period of time with relative ease. As a result of the vast amounts of scientific inquiry over the past several decades, rabies is a well-understood and well controlled animal-borne disease. However, there are still instances of infected animals spreading the disease. For example, a recent case in the United States had a rabid raccoon biting a dog before it was successfully put down.

After a raccoon attacked a dog around a week ago in the Southeastern United States, researchers determined that the raccoon in question was infected with rabies. After a wily raccoon was spotted in a busy neighborhood, residents shot the raccoon and removed its head for research, but only after the raccoon bit a resident’s dog. You have to wonder if the decapitation was recommended by a scientist before the act of decapitation, or if this is a neighborhood full of very sick individuals. After analyzing the raccoon’s detached head, the researchers concluded that the raccoon was indeed infected with rabies.

Luckily, no other human or animal was infected as a result of the stray, and rabid raccoon. The dog that sustained a bite from the rabid animal had already been vaccinated for rabies. However, in an effort to prevent any more exposure to the infection, the dog was revaccinated and placed on a forty five day quarantine. During the forty five day period, the dog owners are responsible for reporting to the proper authorities any strange behavior that is not typical of the dog in question. Pet owners are strongly advised to remain up to date regarding their pet’s vaccinations and other required shots.

Do you think raccoons get a bad rep due to the fact that they spread rabies more frequently than most other animals? Is this reputation, unfair?

Popular Shoe Company Is Releasing Their First Shoe Made From Spider Silk

March 21st, 2017

Most people are content with any type of running shoes, as long as they are comfortable and last.  I have certainly never heard about a consumer push to have silk-based shoes made. However, that is exactly what the popular company Adidas is doing with their newest edition of tennis shoes.

Technically speaking, the new shoes are made from bio steel fiber, which is a natural and biodegradable fiber. This material is fifteen percent lighter in weight than other synthetic fibers, and it is also the strongest natural material available to humankind. The company is priding itself on their successful attempts towards innovation while not harming the environment in the process. Officials with Adidas are hoping that since these shoes are one hundred percent biodegradable, then our environmentally-conscious millennials of today will not hesitate to buy the new silk running shoes.

The vice-president of the Adidas corporation has claimed that the new silk shoes are the most sustainable shoes ever constructed. The VP claimed that the new shoes will serve as the first example of “bionic innovation.” However, the big-wigs over at Adidas haven’t exactly earned the right to call themselves innovators when their idea has already been done by other companies, most notable North Face. What makes the parent company of North Face so impressive is that they can manipulate gene expression in order to artificially have spiders produce more silk at faster rates.

North Face has made an exhibit out of their newly created silk accessories. The moon parka by North Face was the very first successful use of synthetic spider materials. So, sorry Adidas, but North Face beat you, but if anybody is losing in this situation, it is the poor spiders that are being farmed for their silk.

Have you ever worn a piece of clothing made from 100 percent spider silk?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Is The Difference Between A “Mole” And A “Vole”?

March 20th, 2017

There is a good chance that you are not fully aware of what a “mole”, as in the animal, looks like. If you do not know what a mole is, then there is a good chance that you have no clue what a “vole” is, but learning about these animals, and what makes them different, is a simple Google click away. However, we will save you the trouble of typing all those words into your search bar.

Most people first become aware of moles through mole infestations. Pest control companies receive calls regularly asking about “mouse-like creatures”, and how to keep them from digging holes in their yard. Of course, these mysterious creatures are moles, and it is important to know how to differentiate the two animals if you want to pick the pest-control method that will successfully rid your yard of grass-destroying creatures.

To begin with, moles have a pointed snout, relatively large front feet, and very small eyes and ears. In fact, the eyes and ears of a mole are so small that the human eye is not acute enough to see them. On the other hand, voles have visibly rounded ears, a round body, and always have a grey underbelly, while its coat is always black, brown or reddish brown.

Moles and voles are further distinguished by their different habitats. Moles are largely predatory in nature, and they live within tunnels that are accessed by burrows that you may see in the ground during outdoor walks. Voles do not live within an intricate underground network of tunnels; instead voles live above land and in areas with low-lying vegetation. Unlike moles, voles are not at all predatory, and they prefer to feed on seeds, bark, roots and bulbs of many different ornamental plants.

Were you already able to distinguish between the two animals described above? If yes, how and/or why did you learn?

Plants Know How To Repel Insect Predators

March 17th, 2017

For many people, the only downside about visiting a beach during the summer is the sand. Sand is a “love it” or “hate it” sort of thing. The grainy sensation that sand produces as we are feeling it is unpleasant to most people…and insects. New research is suggesting that plants produce a sand-like substance that deters bugs from eating them.

Plants, such as everyday grass, produce large amounts of silicone. In fact, grass produces ten percent of its total weight in just silicone. Plants then use this silicone as a way of making grass more bridle and abrasive. Anybody who has ever felt a blade of grass can tell you that it feels somewhat like sandpaper.

In an effort to put an end to insect-pests destroying prairie land, a team of entomologists have banned together in order to induce a certain type of pasture grass into producing large amounts of silicone, which this type of grass normally does not. Since insects are naturally repelled from the grainy silicone in plants, researchers are attempting to deter insect-pest destruction to prairieland by making the prairie-grass produce silicon.

A recent experiment has showed how insects behave towards grass treated with silicone, and the behavior towards normal grass. The researchers were not surprised to find that the rats eating the silicone treated grass were not eating nearly as much as the second group, and consequently, the rats became much skinnier.

The study also showed how disinterested a mantis was towards crickets that did consume a lot of silicone. The mantises were less interested in the bugs that ate only the silicone treated grass. This shows how silicone may be a more important food ingredient to avoid than initially thought. In any case, we know that insects hate it. The experiments were a success, and the achievements made by the researchers will greatly help with creating an anti-insect type of grass.

Do you think there could be any negative environmental consequences as a result of producing silicone treated grass?

Pest Control Blog Round Up Form the Web!

March 17th, 2017

Can You Or Your Pets Catch Diseases From Skunks?

A Zika Contaminated Region Is Now Dealing With A Rabies Outbreak | West Palm Mosquito Control

A Skunks Fur Coat Can Effectively Ward-Off Predators | New Jersey Skunk Removal

Fashion of the Future: Spider Silk

A Deadly Fungus Kills Entire Bat Populations

March 16th, 2017

Many different species of bat that dwell within the United States are killed regularly by a disease that is known as white nose syndrome. The northern Midwest region of the United States has seen a tremendous dip in bat population sizes as a result of this disease hitting many bat populations.

White nose syndrome is named after the white fuzz-like fungus that grows on the faces of infected bats. The disease can be spread between bats, and the few bats that do contract the disease quickly begin to demonstrate unusual behavior. For example, some bats that have contracted this disease may leave their caves during the mid-winter season when it is normal for bats to be hibernating. Also, some bats afflicted with the disease will fly during the daytime hours, so if you see a bat flying around during the daytime, you could be looking at an infected bat.

A wildlife veterinarian from the University of Wisconsin says that white nose syndrome kills bats by causing their bodies to overheat. The disease causes bats to burn energy more quickly, and during the wintertime when very few insects are available for sustenance, white nose will result in death by starvation for the unfortunate bats. However, the rapid calorie burning will also steal heat from the bat’s body, which results in death by freezing. This is how most bats that are afflicted with white nose syndrome end up dying.

The disease is devastating to bats for a number of reasons. Although bats do live for a long thirty years on average, bats do not reproduce in high numbers. Therefore, restoring a bat population to its original numbers takes a long while. In fact, many experts say that bat populations can take as long as decades to recover from outbreaks of white nose syndrome.

Have you ever spotted a bat that had a white fuzzy fungus growing on its face?

 

 

How You Can Overcome Your Fear Of Spiders

March 15th, 2017

For many people the existence of spiders is an unfortunate aspect of life. This is mainly because spiders are terrible looking and, of course, they can cause pain if properly motivated. We humans may have good reasons to regard spiders as organisms to fear since we instinctively know that they can cause bodily harm. Although deaths from spider bites may not be common today, just try to imagine our prehistoric ancestors trying to avoid them while constantly being outdoors with little or no methods of protection from these small yet horrifying creatures. In this scenario, you can see why we humans may have developed an instinct to avoid spiders. So if you know you are afraid of spiders, then that is step one. Step two involves unlearning your fear of spiders, but how can a person unlearn a natural instinct to be afraid of spiders?

Having a fear of spiders is certainly normal, and arachnophobia is the most common of all phobias. Even researchers from Columbia University claim that people have been afraid of spiders for hundreds of thousands of years. In order to overcome this fear most mental health professionals believe that exposure therapy can rid our minds of unpleasant thoughts and anxieties some experience when around spiders.

Essentially, exposure therapy aims to change your perspective. In order to develop a more agreeable attitude towards something that you are afraid of, then it becomes necessary to expose yourself to your object of fear. After experiencing several situations in which you are exposed to your object of fear, you begin to learn that your fear was never rational, and consequently, you will dismiss your fear as being unfounded.

Although exposure therapy is straightforward enough, the effects often fade after a while, allowing a person to become fearful of spiders once again. However, if you are afraid of spiders then you don’t need to lose hope in exposure therapy as many mental health professionals increase your exposure time each session, which often leads to a complete change in how you react to spiders.

Have you ever considered therapy in order to overcome a fear of spiders?

The Most Common Garden Spiders Are More Interesting Than You Think

March 14th, 2017

If you do any gardening in your spare time then you probably have a love hate relationship with insects. That is understandable since some insects can devour or kill your garden while other types of insects can prevent garden damage by devouring those pesky insect-pests. But have you ever tried identifying some of the spiders that you find crawling about your garden? Some are scary looking, but very few, such as orb-weavers and harvestmen, are harmless.

The biggest spider that you will find in your garden will most likely be a golden orb-weaver. The GOW dwells in the south and is known for the golden hued webs that they weave. If you have ever spotted a web that appeared to be golden in color, then it was certainly created by the enormous golden orb weaver. There is no reason to fear these behemoths if you find them crawling in your garden since their venom only feels like a bee sting. Only if you are allergic to bee stings should you run from this scary looking spider. However, the GOW is also hesitant when it comes to biting, and they are often handled for long periods of time without injury by spider enthusiasts.

You are also likely to spot both harvestmen arachnids as well as the well-known daddy long legs arachnids in your garden. There are many myths about both of these often-mentioned arachnids, and they are not spiders. Rather these arachnids are distinguished from spiders in that they possess only two eyes and a one-piece head and thorax. These arachnids are also quite distinct from spiders in that neither one of these species of arachnid spins silk, they are not venomous they are not predators and they often resort to scavenging for sustenance. Harvestmen arachnids are nothing to fear as they are largely nocturnal and prefer to avoid contact with all animals by dwelling under logs or pieces of wood that you might find in your garden. If you find one, toss it in the yard; it will survive.

Have you ever sustained a bite wound from a spider or an arachnid that was dwelling in your garden? If yes, what type of spider or arachnid bit you?