Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Dangers Of Keeping Spiders As Pets

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

There is a very odd group of people in this world who like, or would like, to keep giant hairy spiders as pets, and even play with them by letting them crawl all over their bodies. Now I understand dogs, and even cats, but keeping spiders as pets is possibly the most terrible idea that I have ever heard. Their terrifying ugliness is unquestionable. But is keeping spiders as pets safe?

There are few different problems that can arise from keeping spiders as pets, problems that pose hazards to your health as well as the spiders. For example, a spider owner must be very careful when handling their hairy spiders. Although a spider owner may consider his spider a friend, the feeling is not mutual, and it often happens that spiders will fling their urticating hairs at their owners face when being handled. So you already made one mistake by buying a spider as a pet, so don’t make a second one by forgoing the glasses and protective facial wear necessary for up close encounters.

Spiders may also escape, which will cause a bit of anxiety to your roommates. Not surprisingly, spiders do not enjoy being forced into a transparent box that does not resemble their habitat. There is also the chance your spider will injure itself with a fall. In fact even short falls are enough to cause death. If your spider makes it out of its box, it could pose a threat to your other pets. So be mindful of these potential issues, or buy a guinea pig instead.

How long have people been keeping spiders as pets?


How Do Spiders Eat?

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

We all know spiders have fangs and may not chew like us humans. However, what the manner in which a spider consumes its food is far from pleasant. A spider liquefies its prey by vomiting on it, so to speak.

When a spider spots its unfortunate prey it will swing it jaws open revealing its fangs, and then it will, of course, sink its jaws into its prey. Much like a hypodermic needle the spider will then inject its prey with venom, which ensures that the living prey is paralyzed and ready to consume. The fangs have small holes at the bottom that lead to a venom gland.

The once living bug food is then slowly liquefied by the acidic venom. Once the prey is properly liquified the spider will then suck the venom up through its fangs. The life of a little bug is hard. Frankly I cannot imagine a worst place to be than stuck on a spider web knowing that this is the future that awaits you.

Do you know of any other insects that eat in this manner?

Atlanta Bed Bug Removal

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016


Friday, March 11th, 2016


Raccoons are omnivores and will eat plants and other animals, including fruits, berries, nuts, fish, frogs, insects, turtles, mice, rabbits, muskrats and bird eggs. Raccoons usually have one litter per year, which is usually born in late spring or early summer. One litter may contain between three and five young. Raccoons can live as long as 12 years in the wild. Raccoons do not hibernate, but they do live in dens and become inactive during severe winter weather.

Make sure you store trash cans and recycling bins indoors, or in sealed areas such as a locked shed or outhouse. If trash cans are kept outdoors, use animal-proof lids. Remove other obvious sources of food and shelter from your property. Inspect the outside of your home for holes or access points, such as broken vent covers. Repair any loose siding or shingles. Install a mesh cover or cap over chimneys and other exposed openings to prevent entry.

Ask the Pest Professor: Strength of Ants

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Zika Virus Q & A

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

Q: How is Zika virus transmitted?

A: Zika virus is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes genus of mosquitoes, which is the same type of mosquito that carries dengue fever and chikungunya. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which live predominantly in tropical and sub-tropical regions, are the primary carriers, but Aedes albopictus mosquitoes might also transmit the virus. This species, commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito, is found much farther north in the summer.
Q: Where is Zika virus found?

A: Zika virus was first identified in 1947 in Africa as an infection of rhesus monkeys in the Zika forest of Uganda. It was later confirmed to cause human disease in 1968. For many years infections appeared to be both rare events and limited to Africa, India, Southeast Asia and western Pacific Island. More recently, epidemics have spread across the Eastern Pacific and into south and Central America. There have also been reports of Zika virus cases in Illinois, Florida, Texas and New York, but all of the individuals obtained the disease while traveling to infected countries.
Q: What are the chances of an outbreak in the United States?

A: While the probability of infected mosquitoes traveling to the United States is unlikely, there is reason to believe that Zika virus can spread locally. If more imported cases continue to surface, especially as the summer months near, it may result in human-to-mosquito-to-human spread of the virus in areas of the country where mosquito vectors are present. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other organization are monitoring the situation closely.
Q: What are the symptoms of Zika virus?

A: In general, most cases cause no symptoms. Only about 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill. Those who do develop symptoms often experience several days of mild headaches, fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and joint pain.
Q: What is the treatment for Zika virus?

A: Zika virus is a self-limiting disease that typically only requires supportive care. Unfortunately, there is no medicine to treat Zika virus, nor any vaccine to prevent it at this time. However, the U.S. government has launched an effort to develop a vaccine given the recent surge in cases in the Americas.

The 20 percent of infected people who actually develop symptoms should get plenty of rest, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, and take acetaminophen for pain. It’s important to avoid aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) until another infection like dengue fever can be ruled out.
Q: Can infection in a pregnant woman cause birth defects?

A: Little is known about the association between pregnancy and Zika virus, but studies of possible mother-to-child transmission of Zika virus are ongoing in Brazil, where there is a major outbreak of the disease. It is thought that a mother who is already infected near the time of delivery can pass on the virus to her newborn, but this is rare.

Zika virus has also been linked to a neurological disorder called microcephaly, which is known to halt brain development in newborn babies, cause babies to be born with small heads and lead to early death. It should be noted that 2,782 cases of microcephaly were reported in Brazil in 2015, when the Zika virus outbreak began, compared to 147 cases in 2014 and 167 cases in 2013.
Q: How can I prevent Zika virus?

A: The NPMA urges people to protect their skin from mosquito bites when outdoors by applying an effective insect repellant containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. People who are spending long amounts of time outdoors should also consider wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts to limit exposure to mosquitoes. The type of mosquito that carries Zika virus is a daytime biter, so taking preventive measures at all times of the day is crucial.

It’s also important to take steps around one’s property to combat mosquito nesting and breeding sites. This includes eliminating standing water in or around the home, keeping windows and doors properly screened and repairing even the smallest tear or hole.

Tap Pest Control Insulation Tax Credit!

Monday, January 25th, 2016

The bipartisan act extends several energy provisions for both individuals
and businesses, including insulation installation, through 2016 by way of
the Code Sec. 25C residential energy property credit. The Act allows a
credit of up to 10 percent of qualifying expenses, capped at $500.

“This is a bold step for which we applaud members of Congress on both sides.
Our team looks forward to delivering on the promise that this policy now
offers our clients and their customers across the country,” says  TAP Pest Control Insulation CEO William Turk.

Turk explains that pst management professionals (PMPs) currently offering
attic capping or attic removal and restoration services with TAP Pest
Control Insulation can now enhance their clients’ experience with a tax
credit on qualified expenses. In addition, homeowners who add TAP Pest
Control Insulation to their attic enjoy up to 30 percent savings on their
annual heating and cooling costs while controlling insects who seek refuge
in the attic space, he notes.
Call Bug Busters USA at 800-264-4611 to learn more and take full advantage!

Going Out With a Bang

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Going Out With a Bang

Periodical cicadas should be considered to the all-out partying rock stars of the insect world. They chill and do nothing but eat and rest for around 13 to 17 years. Then they emerge from their underground nests, making the loudest ruckus you’ve ever heard, mate like there’s no tomorrow…because there isn’t…and then die. Their entire lives spent out of the ground are like one giant rock party, and they make enough noise, which they of course consider music, as to be similar to their human rock star counterparts.

Once they emerge they only live for about a month. The males in particular lead very sort lives. Their sole purpose is to impregnate the females. They emerge from the ground and sing loudly to attract females, who flutter their wings in response, much like women fluttering their eyelashes at a rock star. After they’ve mated they die. The females get to stick around a little longer so they can lay their eggs safely in the warm earth or inside young trees.

What most people don’t know is that there are fifteen broods of these periodical cicadas, and each is set to emerge during a specific year. This year was particularly raucous as two of the broods, Brood IV and Brood XXIII, came out together this past year.

One question scientists have about these rockin’ bugs are why they have such specifically timed life cycles of exactly 13 and 17, both of which are prime numbers. One theory is that it helps them avoid being completely destroyed by predators. By coming out in such large numbers they overwhelm their predators with too many insect to possibly eat, so the species is able to live on.

Have you had the chance to witness the mating call of the periodical cicadas? What do you think of their fleeting existence above ground?

New Threat of Disease From Mosquitos

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

New Threat of Disease From Mosquitos

This past summer and autumn officials were concerned about mosquitos spreading dengue fever and chikungunya, but now they have added another disease to the list. Citizens are now warned against catching the Zika virus from mosquitos. So far no one has contracted it in the U.S., but people have returned from abroad having caught the disease. Officials say that it is simply a matter of time before we see this devastating disease affect Americans as well. The disease already spread to Mexico and Puerto Rico this past fall. We are definitely in its flight path.

Zika is mostly feared because of its probably link to birth defects in thousands of infants of parents who caught it. Officials in Brazil believe that it is linked to 3,170 cases of microcephaly in infants. This neurological disorder causes smaller than normal head size and is linked with impaired brain development. At the moment officials are trying to get the current mosquito problem under control before this new disease hits American soil.

Have you heard of the Zika virus? Are you worried about possibly contracting it?

Insect Showdown in Shenandoah National Park

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Insect Showdown in Shenandoah National Park

The trees in Shenandoah National Park are under attack from a destructive invasive insect called the hemlock wooly adelgid. The HWA has killed 95 percent of the park’s eastern hemlock trees. HWA appear as a small white wooly mass smaller than the erasure at the end of a pencil. HWA attach themselves to the base of the needles connected to the twigs of the hemlock trees and begins chomping down immediately. The trees usually die within four years of one of these bugs latching onto it. The first sign is the needles drying out and losing color, followed by a complete lack of new growth.

After battling the insects for years with insecticides the park officials are now trying a new method of attack. The officials are releasing a predatory beetle from Japan named Laricobius osakensis. These beetles are smaller than a grain of rice and will settle near the needles of the hemlocs close to where the HWA latch on. The beetles are host-specific predators of the HWA, so as number of HWA decline so will the beetles, negating any chance of simply replacing one insect with another.


What do you think of this warfare happening in one of our nation’s most beloved national parks?