Archive for the ‘Tennessee Pest & Termite Control’ Category

This Time Of Year Brings Out The Poisonous Caterpillars

Wednesday, 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?

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

Monday, 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?

Voles Console Each Other – Evidence of Animal Empathy

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

A recent study on voles revealed that when one vole is distressed, other voles will immediately begin to console their stressed buddy for a good ten minutes. This leads scientists to argue that this is a sign that animals, or at least voles, can experience empathy. Many are quick to shoot down this claim, but the evidence is pretty convincing if you ask me.

The voles in the study exhibited behavior that can almost only be explained as empathy, no matter how many ways you look at it. The vole consoling the stressed comrade would also match his stressed behavior, despite having not experienced any stress. They would even develop higher levels of stress hormones. This sounds an awful lot like empathy to me. Others argue that the behavior of grooming and cleaning that these voles match to their stressed partner is simply a way for them to relieve their own stress. However, this doesn’t explain why the stressed vole doesn’t also groom and take care of the other partner to relieve their own stress. It was the observing vole that pulled out all the stops to groom, and comfort it’s partner more than usual. This clearly shows an emotional difference between the two and implies that one vole is reacting to the stressed voles emotions by feeling them themselves and increasing behavior designed to decrease stress levels. Not only that, but the voles showed biases in whom they showed empathy towards, only comforting partners and familiar voles, and ignoring the discomfort of strangers. This behavior is very similar to the way humans show empathy more for people they are close to emotionally such as family.

Have you ever witnessed behavior in other animals that seemed like empathy or consoling treatment?

Why You Should Never Have a Raccoon as a Pet

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Raccoons don’t normally come to mind when I think of animals people keep as pets, but apparently a number of people out there think that having a raccoon for a pet would be fun. Let me stop you right where you are, and tell you that is a very bad idea, so just forget about it immediately. There are numerous reasons why no one should have a wild animal, let alone a raccoon, as a pet. Raccoons are definitely wild animals, and even if they are “tamed” they still retain many of those wild instincts, and require very high maintenance and an experienced, knowledgeable guardian. This is not like your average house cat by any stretch of the imagination.

You cannot cage a wild animal, as that is just inhumane, but on the other side, letting a pet raccoon just roam around your house is a very bad idea. They are very destructive and unpredictable around humans as well as other pets. They are also extremely hard to house train, so you would most likely end up with one just doing their smelly business all around your home. They are also notorious for biting, which means you’ve got a serious medical and insurance liability on your hands at all times. Aside from all of this, where are you going to take them to the vet or when you want to go away on vacation? Not many vets are trained to treat raccoons, and you are going to have a very hard time finding a raccoon babysitter. These little bandits need constant attention and care, and will play their own little tricks on you like repotting all of your houseplants, stripping your bed sheets, or removing all of the buttons from the jacket you foolishly left lying around. Are you starting to get the picture? Don’t try to have a raccoon as a pet. It just doesn’t work out no matter how you look at it.

Have you ever considered or has a friend considered having a wild animal as a pet? How did that work out?

Lyme Disease Has Been Found In Nine US National Parks

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Lyme disease causes a near perpetual flu-like state with varying degrees of severity, so it is tragic when we hear about people becoming infected with this disease. However, it is nice to know that the ticks responsible for spreading Lyme disease only exist in the upper Midwestern and northeastern portions of the United States. Well, according to a recent study carried out by researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Park Service (NPS) Lyme disease is on the move to other states.

Researchers collected ticks from nine different national parks. What they found were not only the type of ticks that spread the disease, they were also infected with Lyme disease. This is the first study to confirm the existence of Lyme disease in regions farther south than traditionally thought.

However, researches did suspect the presence of Lyme carrying ticks because there have been a few reports of Lyme disease hospitalizations in the southeastern states. Since national parks are so highly populated with tourists during the year, the presence of dangerous disease spreading ticks may cause the disease to spread to normally unaffected areas of the United States. The National Park service is currently working to help protect tourists through prevention education.

If you have ever found a tick on your body, what did you do with it after you found it? How did you dispose of the tick?

Why Cold Winters Are A Good Thing For Gardeners | Atlanta Pest Experts

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Anyone who is into gardening as a hobby is also likely to know a bit about bugs. Insect pests can ruin a gardener’s day, and one of the most damaging culprits has to be the chafer beetle. The chafer beetle spends the winter nestled in our lawns as larvae, but when spring rolls around, these beetles devour the roots of grass, angering homeowners. However, although you may hate the winter cold, there is one good thing that could be said in favor of long winters, longer winters equate to less insect pests damaging your gardens and/or lawn during the spring and summer months.

When birds migrate back to northern regions for the spring and summer they rely largely on insect larvae for sustenance. When winters are shorter and more mild the insect larvae will mature into adults before the birds return, thus the food that birds typically rely on, is not there. So the next time your car gets stuck in the snow, or you slip on the ice in March, just remember that the long winter will make your spring gardening activities nearly bug free.

Have you noticed that insect pests are more numerous following warmer winters?

Do All Spiders Try To Enter Houses In The Fall To Avoid The Cold Weather?

Monday, January 16th, 2017

It seems like common sense that spiders and insects will attempt to enter your home during the colder months if they don’t want to freeze to death. However, house spiders are usually not the same types of spiders that you find outside near your garden. Spiders that live indoors are specially adapted to survive indoors since the climate inside of a home is stable, and there is not much food or water available. Most outdoor spiders would not be able to survive for very long living indoors.

It makes more sense to think of house spiders as a separate species with special needs that are not in common with outdoor spiders. House spiders have had plenty of time to evolve along side humans within sheltered areas. In fact, house spiders are documented as going as far back as the Roman Empire. These house spiders never go outside and most of them call Europe home, and luckily they are harmless.

Have you noticed that most of the spiders that you find in your home all look similar?

A Newly Discovered Bug Species Has Females That Are All Pink

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

A team of researchers exploring the jungles of Southeast Asia for exotic bugs stumbled upon a unique specimen. The researchers discovered two different species of katydid, both of which are sporting a distinct pink color that cannot be missed.

Not only are the female katydids bright pink, but both the males and the female katydids look just like leaves. The katydid’s leaf-like appearance is unmistakable once you see their distinct veins as well as the leaf-like robes that these strange looking creatures seem to be wearing on their legs. The researchers have not failed to notice that these two rarely seen katydid species do not look like any other species of katydid, and it is mostly their bright pink appearance that experts find so strikingly different from the norm. The researchers claim that these two katydids developed strange looking camouflage on account of their unique environment that is not shared with any other species of katydid.

Have you ever seen an insect that looked to be the color of red or pink?

 

 

Researchers Debate Over The Cause Of Gigantism In Polar Spiders

Monday, December 26th, 2016

You may not have known about the spiders that thrive in arctic environments, but they do exist. Actually, the spider-like creatures that have been spotted in arctic waters are not spiders, rather they are classified as a type of arthropod know as pycnogonids. These arctic bugs can grow to astonishing proportions with body lengths reaching a full twenty inches across. However, researchers are still unsure as to why these arctic bugs are so much larger than their spider relatives.

One theory says that these huge arctic bugs may have evolved from deep sea spider-like creatures, which are known to be as large in size as the arctic bugs spotted near the surface of arctic waters. Now, after having studied the arctic environment more closely, researchers seem certain that the excess oxygen that forms in response to extremely cold water temperatures is what allows these arctic bugs to become so large in size. Bugs located elsewhere on this planet have not had to adapt to the same high oxygen levels. Higher oxygen levels in the arctic waters can only be tolerated by organisms with bodies large enough to process the excess oxygen present in their environment.

Since higher oxygen levels result in larger bodied arthropods, then would it be sensible to assume that there exists extra small arthropods in low oxygen environments, such as mountain tops?

Where Do Bugs Go During The Winter?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Some bugs migrate to warmer climates during the winter months; some hibernate, while others are learning to stick out the cold months thanks to global warming. Bugs have a variety of ways of surviving the winter months.

Often times spiders, insects and all types of arthropods will resort to “invasion” in order to avoid succumbing to the harsh winter cold. Lady Bugs and box elder bugs are common for their dependence on human dwellings for survival during colder months.

Honeybee’s, on the other hand make use of a survival method known as “activation.” During the colder months bees will expend more energy to keep themselves warm. The bees are able to produce the extra heat by eating honey in excess. This results in a longer functioning metabolism that can adapt to the body’s demand to warm itself. Of course more and more spiders and insects are surviving just fine outdoors as a result of climate change, but it is still not the preferred method of winter survival among arthropods.

Do you see more bugs in your home during the later fall and winter months?