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How Do Termites Survive Drops In Temperature And Water Shortages?

Filed under: Termite Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:19 pm August 31, 2017

How Do Termites Survive Drops In Temperature And Water Shortages?

Termites are tiny creatures that do not move around fast, so they must take care to avoid areas that are too hot or too cold. Termites are particularly picky about their surrounding heat and moisture levels. Termites will not forage in areas that are not within a certain temperature and moisture range. Termites prefer temperatures in between seventy five and ninety five degrees fahrenheit. Termites will perish quickly if an environment’s temperature rises above one hundred degrees or below twenty five degrees. Even though termites are not the speediest of insects, they make it their priority to remain within areas where the temperature level is ideal.

Over the course of a year, temperatures fluctuate dramatically in all regions of the US. When consuming the cellulose in a log, for example, termites will respond to temperature changes by moving from the outer to inner portions of a log. Subterranean termites, the most common termite pests in the United States, will respond to temperature change by digging several feet below the soil’s surface, where temperatures are less variable and more steady. These same termites will also find shade during the hotter summer days when the soil is too hot. During the winter in colder regions, like the midwest, subterranean termites will dig as far as forty feet below the soil’s surface, where they remain in an inactive state for a period of time. Other termites can overwinter within logs. If termites are found overwintering, they may appear frozen, but they soon regain movement when heated.

The amount of moisture termites require varies among species. For example, drywood termites retain all the moisture they need from the wood that they consume, even if the infested wood appears dry. However, subterranean termites require a relatively large amount of water in order to survive, so constant access to water is a requirement for these termites. Subterranean termites prefer moist wood, and they even possess “water sacs” for storing water. This stored water is used during tunnel construction, as the water helps soften and form the dirt tunnels. This is why dry termite mud-tubes that protrude from the ground, are likely old and unused tubes where subterranean termites were once active. Too much water is also a possibility. Subterranean termites will evade large pools of water, and Formosan termites are killed by frequent southern floodwaters. On the other hand, dampwood termites can tolerate high volumes of water that would be devastating for any other type of termite.

 

Why do you think different termite species all developed different bodily reactions to water?

 

Pay It Forward

Filed under: Uncategorized — New Jersey Pest Control @ 9:07 pm August 29, 2017

New Jersey Pest Control

A Former President And Union General’s Historic Home Was A Termite Hotspot

Filed under: Pest Control,Termites — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:13 am

A Former President And Union General’s Historic Home Was A Termite Hotspot

If you have never heard of the eighteenth President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, then you are not much of a history buff. Grant was a two-term president, and a Union General operating under President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. Due to Grant’s accomplishments and overall importance to American history, many historians have stressed the importance of preserving the log cabin where Grant lived during the war. Fortunately, the government agreed to preserve the log cabin where Grant issued orders during the Civil War. Unfortunately, the log cabin ha come under attack by termites several times since the cabin had been built. These termite infestations have nearly destroyed the cabin many times over.

The most recent restoration to Grant’s cabin occurred back in the year 2000. Termites had caused more than thirty thousand dollars in damage by eating through several pieces of wood. The restoration included the replacement of twenty two logs, and was paid for with a grant from the National Park foundation. According to park historian Jimmy Blankenship, termites had eaten through several logs, as well as wood located above the cabin’s door (the only entrance). The termite-eaten wood connected the walls of the cabin to the ceiling. The cabin is located at the City Point unit of Petersburg National Battlefield Park, and only about five percent of the original cabin remains.

Back in September of 1981 a thorough restoration had also taken place; once again as a result of numerous termite infestations. However, the cabin was then located in Richmond, Virginia, which is where the cabin was moved in 1865. The cabin had been moved from City Point in 1865 so that Grant could command his troops from a more convenient location during the end of the Civil War.

During the restoration of 1981, the cabin was dismantled by the National Park Service for its relocation from Richmond to City Point. The National Park service was hoping that termites would be less of a problem for the cabin if it was moved back to its original home at City Point. However, this was not the case, as officials with the park service would discover nineteen years later.

Have you ever heard about termites destroying historical artifacts or the presence of termites within museums? To your knowledge, what is the most treasured item ever destroyed by a termite infestation?

A Man Dies From A Tick-Borne Illness That Is Often Preventable

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:34 am August 28, 2017

A Man Dies From A Tick-Borne Illness That Is Often Preventable

We all know of lyme disease. It is a disease caused by ticks, which results in lifelong bouts of flu-like symptoms. There also exists a plethora of other tick-borne diseases, but many of these diseases are preventable with prompt medical care. Sadly, a Connecticut man has recently died as a result of a tick bite that infected him with a lesser known bacteria. The disease is known as Babesiosis.

Babesiosis is caused by a malaria-like parasite that attacks red blood cells. Babesiosis can be transmitted to humans from tick bites, but this disease can also be passed from mother to child during birth. Also, blood transfusions can lead to infection. Unfortunately, blood banks do not currently test blood for the Babesiosis parasite.

The Connecticut state medical examiner claimed that the victim, Michael Yoder, died from kidney and liver failure as a result of sustaining a tick bite that infected him with Babesiosis. Yoder’s wife, said that her husband had complained of a stomach bug for weeks before he was checked into a hospital. Sadly, by then it was too late and he passed away not long after.

Babesiosis has been infecting more victims in the state of Connecticut this year. Some people infected with Babesiosis are asymptomatic for the disease. Others can experience flu-like symptoms, and in severe cases, organ failure. Babesiosis typically infects people living in the upper northeast as well as the midwest during warmer months.

After infection, those who experience symptoms of Babesiosis can seek proper treatment. Babesiosis can attack red blood cells to the point where a serious type of anemia can develop. This particular type of anemia is known as hemolytic anemia, and it can cause jaundice and darkening of the urine. The elderly and those with abnormal organ functioning are at greater risk of death as a result of contracting Babesiosis.

Have you ever heard of anyone contracting a tick-borne disease that was not lyme disease? If you have, which tick borne disease was it?

Home Pest Control by Horizon Pest Control

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 5:06 am August 24, 2017

Home Pest Control by Horizon Pest Control

Web-Building Spiders Are True Artists

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 5:48 am August 23, 2017

Web-Building Spiders Are True Artists

Spider webs are one of nature’s more interesting productions. They look like works of art, but spiders certainly don’t have the mind for art, right? Even past experts believed that web-building was merely a functional ability in spiders. It is not easy to believe that such tiny-brained creatures can think about the designs they are making, and therefore, alter designs from time to time. However, some spiders do, indeed, have a certain creativity that allows them to build webs that are truly remarkable. Orb-weavers are one such group of creative spiders.

Orb-weavers are known for their big intricate webs. It has also been known for some time that these spiders will decorate their webs. Orb-weavers add extra silk to certain areas of their webs as decorations. These silky decorations are referred to as “stabilimenta”. Nocturnal spiders will include stabilimenta on the webs they build only during daytime building, but at night they do not include stabilimenta. This is a clear indication that stabilimenta is meant to be seen. If other animals cannot see spider webs in the dark, then what is the point of adding interesting decorations to the webs? After all, artwork is only worth doing if you can show if off. Well, this seems to be the thinking of the orb-weaver spider.

Spiders do not create big and shiny webs without reason. Spider webs, as we have all noticed, are shiny. This shine may be necessary in order to reflect UV light. Of course, spiders do not choose the “shine” of their silk, but it has been theorized that spiders of all sorts see UV light clearly, so they are more apt to attract prey if their webs reflect UV light. Also, in this case, the decorations, or stabilimenta, may fool flying insects into thinking that the extra silk is actually vegetation, causing flying insects to cruise right into these portions of extra silk. Large spider webs are not necessarily built for catching numerous small prey flying through the air. Like us, spiders need some variety in their diets. This is why some researchers believe that large webs are actually designed to attract other spiders, sometimes one’s bigger than themselves. In these cases, the extra silk serves to keep webs from breaking when supporting large bodied spiders or insects.

Do you think that orb-weavers are unique among spiders for their more intelligent behaviors? Or are orb-weavers just the most studied of spiders, and the way they behave is common to the way many spiders behave across the arachnid species?

Can Locust Swarms Reach Biblical Proportions?

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:16 am August 22, 2017

Can Locust Swarms Reach Biblical Proportions?

Locust swarms are well represented in biblical stories. As a result of this early fascination with locusts, many rumors about their collective behavior have been spread throughout the ages. Some people are genuinely curious to know just how enormous locust swarms can become. Can the sun be obscured by locust swarms in the same way that the moon obscures the sun during an eclipse? This is just one of many questions that a particular entomologist has recently answered.

According to Hojun Song, Ph.D., an associate professor of entomology, at Texas A&M University, not all locusts swarm, as there are many different types of locusts alive in the world today. Dr. Song recently witnessed a locust swarm at Socorro Island in Mexico. The swarm he saw was astronomical in size, and he described the sight as “surreal”. However, the particular swarm that he witnessed was nowhere near large enough to darken the sun.

After referring to the proper data, and making various calculations, Dr. Song ultimately did not believe that the sun could be overwhelmed by a swarm of locusts. But this does not mean that locust swarms can now be dismissed as an uninteresting phenomenon. Locust swarms can still become large enough in scale to bedazzle even the most stoic of spectators. For example, one square kilometer of swarming locusts can contain up to eighty million locusts in total, and a swarm can reach an area of one hundred square kilometers.

Dr. Song is not concerned with whether or not locusts can eclipse the sun; rather, he is more concerned about preventing the vast amounts of crop damage that locusts cause every year. Eighty million locusts is a lot of locusts, and when they descend upon crops and other forms of vegetation, the consequences are always disastrous. Despite this fact, very little research is being conducted on locust swarming behavior. What sorts of conditions result in locust swarms? This is just one of the many mysteries that Dr. Song is now trying to solve.

Have you ever spotted a single locust in your life? Have you ever spotted a swarm of locusts? If so, where?

A New Damselfly Species Has Been Named In Honor Of An Insect-Loving Celebrity

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 6:31 am August 21, 2017

A New Damselfly Species Has Been Named In Honor Of An Insect-Loving Celebrity

damselfly

damselfly

A new species of damselfly has been discovered fossilized in Myanmar. The species was found located within Burmese amber, and it is the first of its kind. The species has been named Mesosticta davidattenboroughi, after the celebrity naturalist, and dragonfly enthusiast David attenborough. According to the expert who helped name the species, finding dragonflies in burmese amber is extraordinarily rare. Of course, Attenborough himself was delighted, and he expressed interest in both the insect as well as the amber in which it was found.

David Attenborough is famous for hosting educational shows about insects as well as many aspects of the natural environment. However, younger generations may know Attenborough as the real-life brother of the old guy in the movie Jurassic Park. The movie even managed to start a craze involving the collection of amber-preserved insects by ordinary people. The movie often shows a walking cane, belonging to Attenborough’s character, as being outfitted with a handle that consisted of clear yellow amber encasing a dragonfly. The two men are often confused, and mistakenly believed to be one single man, when, in fact, David and Richard are brothers.

The fossilized damselfly was preserved very well within amber, and its features can be clearly seen despite being one hundred and ten million years old. With the help of cutting edge digital technology, the researchers responsible for discovering the new species can create a three dimensional replica of what the damselfly would have looked like while living millions of years ago. This recently discovered fossil can be distinguished from other similar species by noting its wing length. The wings of this damselfly are slightly shorter than other damselflies living at the same time. Most damselfly species are not found encased within amber, so the researchers are particularly excited about being able to catch a more clear glimpse of ancient insect life on earth.

Have you ever bought or recieved your own insect encased within yellow amber? If so, which type of insect does the amber contain?

 

 

The Last Invasive Termite Family Was Found In America During The 1990s

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Termite Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 6:10 am August 18, 2017

The Last Invasive Termite Family Was Found In America During The 1990sTermites New Jersey

Many of you have heard of the eastern subterranean termite, as these termites cause more property damage than any other type of termite in the United States. Other termites that cause millions in damage each year include dampwood and drywood termites, and of course, Formosan termites. Since Formosan termites are invasive, and not as widely distributed within the US, then they must be the most recent termites to have invaded America, right? Well, not really. It is true that Formosan termites (Coptotermes formosanus) have only existed within America since the 1960s, but there is another invasive termite family that was found in Miami, Florida in 1996. I am referring to the Asian subterranean termite, or Coptotermes gestroi. Although many people often get Formosans and Asian Termites confused, due to their many similarities, these two termites are completely different.

Asian termites have not moved beyond the state of Florida. This is due to the Asian termites preference for more tropical regions. So far, Asian termites have not populated any regions that are farther north than Riviera Beach, Florida. However, these termites have been discovered infesting numerous structures and boats in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Palm Beach, Broward County, and especially Key West.

Asian termites are frequently found on boats that are docked within saltwater. Formosan termites, on the other hand, have a much heavier presence heavy within Florida. Formosans are able to survive in more temperate climates when compared to Asian termites. Currently, west Palm Beach, Ft. Lauderdale and Riviera Beach are the only three locations in the world where both Formosan and Asian termite populations overlap.

These two termites are also notorious for their ability to quickly devour wooden objects, and other materials containing cellulose, in a relatively short amounts of time. Formosan termites are found in several more southern states, but, luckily, experts believe that Asian subterranean termites will remain most active in southern Florida. However, experts say that a northward expansion is likely for Asian termites.

Did you know that there was a difference between Formosan subterranean termites and Asian subterranean termites? Do you think that these two termites could successfully produce offspring?

A Newly Developed Light-Trap Could Help Monitor And Eradicate Malaria-Spreading Mosquitoes

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:46 pm August 17, 2017

A Newly Developed Light-Trap Could Help Monitor And Eradicate Malaria-Spreading Mosquitoes  Mosquitos

Have you ever wondered how experts are able to assess how different regions will be affected by different insect-borne illnesses? Entomologists certainly don’t hand count the number of disease carrying mosquitoes that are flying through the air; instead entomologists and public health officials rely on incandescent light bulbs in order to attract mosquitoes to netted traps. Once these netted traps are sufficiently full of mosquitoes, and other flying insects, entomologists then count the number of disease carrying mosquitoes found within a particular trap. These incandescent light bulb-traps are located in various regions around the world in order to estimate the number of disease carrying mosquitoes within particular regions. However, research is suggesting that these incandescent bulbs are less effective than more modern light bulbs when it comes to attracting mosquitoes. For example, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are more effective than incandescents at attracting mosquitoes.

LEDs, unlike incandescents, only emit certain wavelengths. Researchers believe that this has something to do with its effectiveness at attracting mosquitoes. Incandescent bulbs, on the other hand, cover the entire visual spectrum. As a result of the greater efficacy of LEDs, public health officials have been able to more accurately determine the size of certain insect pest populations. Also, LEDs will likely lead to more accurate predictions concerning the spread of insect-borne diseases. Despite the clear superiority of LED lights for trapping purposes, researchers are still very much in the dark as to why malaria-carrying anopheline mosquitoes are more attracted to LED lights.

According to insect biologist, Francinaldo Silva, LED lights emit two completely distinct wavelengths. After comparing the efficacy of traps that emit incandescent light versus traps that emit LED light, it was clear that LEDs attracted a greater number of malaria-carrying anopheline mosquitoes. More research is needed on this topic, but it is beginning to look like predicting which regions of the world are at the most risk of being populated with disease-carrying mosquitoes is going to become easier and more accurate for public health officials.

Do you believe that incandescent light bulbs should be immediately replaced with LEDs based on just a few small-scale studies?

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