Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta Pest Control’

What Time Of Year Sees The Greatest Number Of Spiders

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Many people think that spiders are at their most numerous and active during the summer, especially the late summer. However, it is August and September that see the least amount of insects. Very few spiders will have fully matured by the time late summer rolls around. The orb-weaving spider as well as many house spiders are just a couple of the very few types of spiders that do mature fully by the end of the summer.

During the summer the low moisture levels make the environment less hospitable to spiders. For example, October through December as well as during the spring season, are the times of year when spiders will be at their most active, and this is due to the higher moisture levels in the air during that time of year. In regions with mild climates, such as the Northwestern United States, winter is especially more hospitable for spiders than the dead of summer.

Have you ever spotted a live spider, indoors or outdoors, during the winter months?

 

 

First Ever Insect To Physically Possess A System Of Gears

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

An interesting garden insect moves with the help of a set of mechanical gears. That sentence may sound strange, but researchers believe that they have found the first ever insect to a physical constitution that operates in a fashion similar to mechanical gears.

We are all aware of the mechanical gears that make engines operate, well, as it turns out, the insect known as the issus leafhopper also uses mechanical gears in order to jump through the air. This leafhopper has numerous sets of teeth that resemble cogs. The teeth in these cogs intermesh when the leafhopper is using its legs.

The system of gears is very similar in design to man made machines. For example, each tooth that is located on each cog has a rounded corner at the point where each tooth makes contact with the gear strip. This particular feature was thought to have been a completely man made construct, and not a part of the natural world. Maybe humans are not as clever and inventive as we think.

Are there any other examples of particular animals that demonstrate a similar gear system as a part of its anatomy? And if so, do those features function in service of the organism? Or have the gear-like features become obsolete to the organism?

New Possible Insecticide Found in Bacteria

Friday, December 16th, 2016

We find a great deal of our pharmaceutical ingredients right in our natural environment. Scientists recently discovered a new class of peptides called rhabdopeptide/xenortide peptides (RXPs) produced by the bacteria Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus that are able to kill insect larvae. Out in nature this bacteria works symbiotically with its nematode host to survive, which involves killing the insect larvae they are delivered to by the nematode quickly and efficiently.

What makes these new peptides so unique and a very exciting find is that the bacteria that produces them does so on a massive scale. One strain of bacteria is capable of producing 40 different derivatives of RXPs. The reason for the rather high rate of diversity with RXPs produced (instead of just one compound) is that the bacteria has no control over which insect larvae their nematode host delivers them to. Since they have to kill said insect larvae, they need to be able to kill any kind of insect quickly, which could involve sending the mixture of substances to numerous different target sites in their cells at the exact same time. The more RXPs they have to bombard the insect, the better chance they have of killing it. It’s kind of similar to shooting a shotgun. With so many RXPs sent out, at least one is bound to hit the target.

Scientists are now working on figuring out how to recreate these insect killers in a lab and possibly develop a new insecticide.

What kind of effect could an insecticide created from these RXPs have on our agriculture, economy, etc.? Do you think this would be a superior pesticide compared to what is available currently?

Why Are Roaches So Tough? And Can We Learn From Them?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Many people may have heard that cockroaches are pretty resilient creatures. They can thrive in the most unsanitary conditions without compromising their own good health. For ages researchers and entomologists have been puzzled over the cockroaches ability to live despite the external, or internal environmental conditions. Luckily, it seems as though the riddle may have finally been solved as a team of researchers discovered antibacterial molecules in the brain of the common cockroach.

It is easy to see why an animal would be so resilient to bacteria and disease when the contents of its innards include nine different antibiotic molecules. The antibiotic molecules contained within roaches, and locusts as well it turns out, are far more effective at killing bacteria than the antibiotics currently on the market for human use. Researchers are currently working on ways to best procure the antibiotic compounds from roach brains. Putting these super-powerful next generation roach based antibiotics on the market can save many people who die of infectious diseases.

Why would roaches have evolved internal bodily chemicals that are also antibacterial?

 

How To Prevent Insects From Invading Your Home

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Nobody likes seeing bugs in their home, but according to one entomologist, keeping bugs entirely out of people’s homes is an impossibility. According to Jeff Whitworth, an entomologist, people will always have to deal with bugs in their homes, but one way to reduce the number of bugs that we see in our homes is to understand how bugs get in in the first place.

Understanding how bugs get into your house is pretty tough to ascertain since most of us live in homes that already seem to be tightly sealed. However, when it comes to bugs in your home, you yourself may be partly responsible since for seeing them. It is not uncommon for bugs to hitch a ride into a person’s home. Bugs could be hiding in your jacket or a shoe, but once these bugs find a food source in your home they will be there to stay. You would be surprised how many bugs you can prevent from becoming fixtures in your home by inspecting yourself for bugs before you enter your home.

Have you ever noticed a live bug on you while you were out and about?

Bed Bug Doppelgangers

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Bed bugs are everyone’s worst nightmare. Just the thought of possibly having a bed bug infestation can cause people to go into full blown panic mode. However, because we have such a paralyzing fear of them, sometimes we see bed bugs when they’re not actually there. There are a number of insects that look almost identical to bed bugs, and the sight of one of these critters has caused many a person to freak out and start calling exterminators or worse trying their own home remedies that can lead to disastrous problems such as burning your house down or poisoning yourself with toxic chemicals. It’s a good idea to learn about these copycats and how to recognize them, so if you happen to spot one you won’t immediately panic and do something you might later regret.

One bug that is often mistaken for bed bugs is the bat bug. They are similar to bed bugs in appearance and while they prefer animal meals, they will resort to biting humans if an animal host is not nearby. They are small critters, only reaching 3/8ths of an inch, and are also flat and oval shaped. Small cockroaches, especially Asian and brownbanded cockroaches are also often mistaken for bed bugs. When found under beds or in dresser drawers, it can be very easy to think you’ve got bed bugs at first glance. Thankfully, these guys are harmless and don’t bite humans, so there’s no need to panic if you do see one.

Have you ever thought you had bed bugs and it turned out that you actually saw a copycat?

 

Mad Scientists Create Three-Eyed Cyclops Beetle

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Most people are familiar with the stereotype of the “mad scientist”. They tend to have crazy hair that sticks out in every direction, are known to laugh maniacally every so often, and are fond of creating monstrous abominations through genetic experimentation. Of course, most people also know that they died out with Joseph Mengele…or did they? A team of scientists led by Eduardo Zattara, a postdoctoral researcher in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, decided to play God and recently created a three-eyed beetle with an added compound eye in the middle of its head, inspiring them to give it the nickname “Cyclops”.

Now, I know what this looks like, but these scientists weren’t actually living out their darkest fantasies of being the next Victor Frankenstein. They were actually studying the possibilities of genetic evolution by shutting off a specific gene in the dung beetle to see what kind of physical changes it might result in. This helped them understand how certain genes cause the evolution of new characteristics in insects. When they removed the orthodenticle genes, the beetle grew a third eye in the center of its head and lost its horns. This was a monumental leap forward in our understanding so far of how evolution works.

What external factor could possibly cause this gene to suddenly become active and spark an evolution in the beetle’s physical traits?

Beetle Bracelets, Nightcrawler Necklaces, and Silver Slug Rings! Oh My!

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Insects might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of expensive couture jewelry, but there’s a new trend emerging among the fashion icons (dictators…) of the world. High fashion designers such as Gucci are putting the spotlight on insect inspired jewelry, modeling their pieces on insects such as bees, spiders, beetles, ants, wasps, dragonflies, and even scorpions. Fans at first were somewhat taken aback by this new style, but soon warmed up to it after they noticed the many diamonds and gold used to make many pieces. I guess you can make anyone like something as long as it’s sparkly, and worth a small fortune.

Gucci’s new insect inspired jewelry focuses entirely on bees, with the creative director Alessandro Michele even giving it the honor of being an essential element in their new line. Other fashion designers that have jumped on this bandwagon are Stephen Webster and Jennifer Herwiitt, who made arachnids the focus of her latest jewelry line.

What kind of insect-inspired jewelry would you want to flaunt on the red carpet?

Tarantula Venom Being Studied For Painkilling Effects

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

Feeling the sting of a tarantula bite must rank as a particularly stressful experience in life when simply seeing a tarantula is enough to make me run in complete fear. However, as terrible as it must be, there are benefits that you would most likely not consider at the time of a tarantula bite.

For example, the venom belonging to the Peruvian green velvet tarantula, contains a peptide referred to as Pro-Tx-11, which is a molecule that reduces the perception of pain in humans being administered the peptides. This research could lead to the development of non-narcotic drugs that don’t carry the risk of abuse or addiction that current painkilling drugs are known for.

Using an animal’s venom as medicine is not new to the US medical community. For example, venom-immunotherapy has been used to treat allergic reactions of all kinds, such as bee stings and other animal bites. Currently researchers have much to learn about the medicinal benefits of animal venom.

Which medical conditions have been successfully treated with venom therapy?

Fossil Shows Insect Jumping Out Of Its Skin

Monday, August 1st, 2016

A stick insect and a mushroom were both found encased within a chunk of amber near the Baltic region of Europe recently. Although this find may not sound too exciting, entomologists are fascinated with it because the fossil reveals a little known defensive mechanism that is not shared with many insects alive today.

The fossil is estimated to be fifty million years old. The bug located inside of the fossil appears to be a young stick insect. The fossil shows a stick insect alongside a mushroom. The fossil also contains the stick insect’s exoskeleton, which indicates that the bug jumped out of it. The reason why the bug left its skin behind has baffled some researchers. However, many researchers believe that the stick insect was making a meal out of the mushroom, but the mushroom secreted a fluid that made the stick insect adhere to the mushrooms surface. Unlike most insects alive today, the fossilized stick insect shows that it escaped from the mushrooms goo by literally jumping out of its own skin. Researches have never seen a scene like this preserved within amber before.

Which other species of insect escapes predators by escaping or using its discarded exoskeleton?