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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?

Termites Will Eat Their Way Into Swimming Pools

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Termite Control — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:05 am August 14, 2017

Termites Will Eat Their Way Into Swimming Pools | Termite Control

We all know that termites love to chew through wood, or anything containing cellulose, such as various forms of plant matter. Different termites threaten different forms of wood. Some types of termites stick primarily to forests where they can take their time destroying trees. Other termites, mostly eastern subterranean termites, but many others as well, enjoy destroying the wood located within people’s houses. When it comes to other materials, such as plastic, rubber or vinyl, termites will obviously show no interest in consuming such materials. However, termites are thirsty creatures, and they will chew through any type of material in order to access large sources of water. Swimming pools, for instance, are not immune to termite damage.

Termites may find their sustenance in cellulose from wood, but their powerful mouthparts are capable of chewing through synthetic materials if they are motivated to do so. Many pool owners have complained of what looked to be termite damage on their pools, but found such damage to be improbable. Unfortunately, termite damaged pool liners are not at all uncommon. What termites want is not a belly full of plastic or vinyl; instead, desperately thirsty termites are looking to satisfy their need for water, as termites require plenty of water in order to survive.

Pool owners may notice a gradual loss in pool water occurring over several days, or weeks, but initially, not much is thought of this water loss. After a while, and often after some inspection, tiny little holes can be found in various spots on above ground pools. Even pools built underground can be accessed by termites since many termites travel through dirt below the soils surface. Even below ground plastic pipes that are attached to swimming pools can become compromised as a result of termite damage.

Obviously, pools that are built with wooden materials are at even greater risk for termite damage. So resorting to wooden pool linings, over plastic or vinyl pool linings, will certainly not spare your pool from damage caused by termites. Just about any synthetic material can be penetrated by termites. If you should find that your pool has been damaged by termites, pest control professionals can offer anti-termite treatments that will end termite related pool damage.

Luckily, termites are not able to convert plastic into food, so termites are better off finding water sources elsewhere. But the astounding amount of available water within swimming pools must be an awfully tempting water source for parched termites.

Have you ever found termites floating within your pool? If so, did you later discover that termites had accessed your pool by chewing through its synthetic lining?

History Shows That Forensic Entomology Is Not As Accurate As You May Think

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 10:44 am August 7, 2017

History Shows That Forensic Entomology Is Not As Accurate As You May Think 

Forensic Entomology

Television shows, movies, and even some documentaries may convince you that forensic entomology is a complicated, yet accurate science that leads to numerous convictions. In reality, forensic entomology is far from being a precise science, and very few murderers have been sent to jail based on evidence collected by forensic entomologists. That is not to say that forensic entomology is worthless as an investigative tool. However, in cases where insects do unveil the perpetrators of particular crimes, the science of forensic entomology is applied in a straightforward manner that is not terribly complicated.

One of the first legal cases that resulted in the conviction of a criminal based on insect activity occurred in China way back in 1235 A.D. The case involved a villager that had been found brutally murdered with a sharp weapon. The judge presiding over the case had all the local farmers gather in one place along with their razor sharp sickles. Almost immediately a swarm of flies gathered around one farmer’s sickle, indicating that he was the murderer. The logic was that since flies were known to gather around the blood from decomposing bodies, then the murder weapon would also be tainted with the dead victims blood, also attracting flies.

These days forensic entomology is practiced in a similarly simple manner. According to Damien Charabidze, a forensic entomologist at the University of Lille in France, very few murder cases are solved with forensic entomology alone. Forensic entomology is more useful as a method of learning more about the initial location of a victim’s body following a murder. For example, in 1991, a body was found in the country, but certain insects that are only found in urban areas had been present on the body of the murder victim. Therefore, investigators realized that the body had been moved, which eventually helped lead to a conviction. Insects are great indicators of where a corpse has been located, but beyond that, forensic entomology is rarely, if ever, applicable to a crime scene investigation.


Have you ever become aware of a murder that had been solved with the assistance of forensic entomology? If you have, what types of insects were involved?



Insect Symbolism Around the World

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:36 am August 1, 2017

Insect Symbolism Around the World

While most people now look at insects as gross critters that invade our gardens and homes in order to mess with us and our plants, for centuries insects have symbolized many other positive as well as negative aspects for different cultures. Some of this symbolism even bleeds into today’s culture and color how we look at certain insects. What do you think of when you see a ladybug or a caterpillar? Do you think of the hookah-smoking caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland or perhaps the lovely ladybug in James and the Giant Peach? Different bugs can mean different things to different cultures and people, and those meanings don’t always coincide with the actual facts about these insects.

In a number of different cultures ladybugs have served as a symbol of luck and love. We can see this even in today’s modern culture. Ladybugs often bring to mind luck if you spot one. Spotting a ladybug can be thought to bring you good luck for a day or even a year. Ladybugs are also considered to represent true love. In certain folklore, seeing a ladybug on your windowsill could mean that your love is dreaming of you, and that they are hoping you are also dreaming of them. Finding a ladybug on your doorstep can mean that love will come knocking soon. Ladybugs are generally symbols of good luck, love, and positivity in general.

Many cultures considered dragonflies as evil. In some legends they are said to be the minions of the devil, and they will poke out your eyes if you see them, and even go as far as to sew your lips shut. On the other hand, other cultures such as the Chinese, Japanese, and Norse see dragonflies as sacred creatures and sometimes even spirit guides. The Norse goddess Freya was depicted as using dragonflies as spirit guides. Dragonflies can also represent air, and are a sign of the “winds of change,” meaning you are meant to move on to a new path if you cross one.

Butterflies are generally seen as good creatures by most cultures. Many cultures associate butterflies with transformation, transmutation, and they can represent travels to come. A butterfly fluttering past you could mean you are meant to soar to new heights, while they could also be a symbol of you emerging from your spiritual cocoon, ready to leave your old skin behind and burst forth into your new life.

What other insects can you think of that symbolize specific aspects of life or parts of life in certain cultures? What do bees symbolize?

Is A Fear Of Insects Cultural Or Biological?

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:20 pm July 31, 2017

Is A Fear Of Insects Cultural Or Biological?

The world is full of fear inspiring animals. Some animals inspire fear because they are much larger than humans. And other animals inspire fear because they are strange looking. However, it could be argued that all commonly feared animals are potentially dangerous to humans. Some people are afraid of bears, or lions, or tigers. The reason for these fears seems obvious–they are dangerous to humans. Then again, we do not fear these predatory animals when thinking about them while in the comfort of our homes, well, most of us don’t anyway. However, people are also afraid of insects, but in a way that is much different from the feelings of fear associated with other animals. For example, people that are afraid of insects can feel this fear even when no insects are around. This is because insects cause people to associate fear with disgust, which are typically regarded as two distinct feelings.

The fear of insects is officially referred to as entemophobia. If this fear is strong enough to induce panic attacks, then it could be considered a legitimate pathological fear that could be treated with various therapies. But why do so many people become uncomfortable just when thinking about insects? Why do insects elicit feelings of fear even when we know that they cannot harm us? Psychologists tell us that being afraid of insects is more complicated than most other fears in that the feeling of disgust is also involved.

The feeling of disgust can be culturally conditioned, but this feeling is also routed in our biology. We often regard harmful things with disgust. For example, feces and rotting food obviously cause us to feel disgusted. This is because these two things are harmful and can cause illness if not avoided. Some people feel disgusted by insects because, biologically speaking, we know that they will cause us harm if we make contact with them. Therefore, the fear that you may feel towards insects is bound up with disgust so that you continue to take actions necessary to preserve your health and promote your survival.

Do you fear insects? If you are, then do you also feel disgusted by insects? Why do some people claim not to experience a fear of insects while psychologists tell us that we are biologically programmed to?

Can Barklice Infect Humans Or Animals?

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:21 pm July 17, 2017

Can Barklice Infect Humans Or Animals?

Booklice and barklice both belong to an order of insects known as Psocoptera. Some experts consider it unnecessary to draw a distinction between these two types of the same insect. Some Psocoptera prefer to dwell within indoor conditions that are populated by humans, and others prefer to spend their lives outdoors. Barklice thrive in moist conditions, such as under trees and in areas with heavy vegetation. Whereas booklice are often found in close proximity to humans, which is probably why they are often mistaken for parasites that can harm humans and other animals. Despite the fact that their names contain the word “lice”, the Psocoptera is not a parasite. This bug likely got its name because it resembles small parasitic insects, especially booklice, which are smaller than barklice, and live within human dwellings.

Barklice possess long antennae, and they prefer to feed on fungi, lichens, algae and many different plant products, such as pollen. Most barklice are below six millimeters in length, but they can reach ten millimeters in length. These bugs also have wings, which make them look similar to aphids, but their broad heads, and fierce looking jaws are features that are quite different from those of aphids.

Booklice, on the other hand are significantly smaller, but they are clearly the same as barklice. Booklice are often smaller than two millimeters in length. Although booklice are not parasitic, they do often damage property, such as wallpaper paste, grains, bookbinding and other starchy products. Booklice have often been found feeding on historically important books that are found in museums, and they are considered pests within grain stores. Booklice can sometimes manage to invade bird nests, but they do not feed on birds, as some may assume; instead these bugs feed only on the remains of feathers or skin cells. So if you spot a parasitic-looking creature in your home, then just hope that they are booklice.

Have you ever heard of the bugs infesting a home before?


Spiders in Myths and Folklore

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 5:28 pm June 29, 2017

We’ve been trying to figure out why those creepy, long-legged spiders since the day humans first walked this Earth. If you’ve studied any mythology or folklore, you have probably come across numerous stories featuring the creepy crawlers. Myths help us look at these often frightening creatures and think about them in a way that makes them less frightening, taking the creatures we fear and making them more familiar, like taking hold of the boogie man inside your closet and bringing him out into the light of day. These stories help us humans deal with our fear of the unfamiliar and strange and try to understand them better by talking about them as if they are also humans, and not quite so different from us as we think. Here are some myths and folklore featuring spiders from around the world.

There is a Greek legend about a woman named Arachne, who boasted that she was the best weaver in the world.  This doesn’t sit to well with on of the goddesses that monitor these people, as Athena thought her own weaver was superior to Arachne’s. She decides to go head to head against the skilled Arachne to settle the score, but Arachne ends up winning. Seeing that her weaving was indeed better than hers, Athena angrily destroyed the piece. Arachne hangs herself out of despair, but Athena ends up saving her by turning her into a spider and the rope she was hanging from into a spider web. This way Arachne could weave her beautiful tapestries forever.

Another well-known tale about spiders comes from West Africa. The spider, called Anansi, is portrayed as a trickster god, always causing trouble in order to fool other animals. Many stories of Anansi connect him to creation, usually of storytelling and wisdom. Tales of Anansi are still told in Africa today, and ended up spreading to Jamaica and the Caribbean by way of the slave trade. He is portrayed as a somewhat untrustworthy god, but one that is still well respected and revered by people.

Do you know any other myths or folktales featuring spiders? Where does your story originate from?

Doctors Failed To Notify A Pregnant Women About Zika

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:43 am June 28, 2017

Doctors Failed To Notify A Pregnant Women About Zika

Being diagnosed with the Zika virus while pregnant would be terrible. But at least a diagnosis of Zika could lead to successful treatments, in which case an infected mother’s fetus could be spared the worst effects of the virus, such as cranial malformation. Thank goodness we are living in an era when medical professionals are anything but irresponsible, and a scenario like the one mentioned above could never happen, right? Sadly this is not the case as medical professionals in Washington failed to notify a pregnant mother that she had tested positive for the Zika virus.

Andrea Pardo, 33, of Issaquah, Washington was tested for the Zika virus last October, and the results of her test came back as positive the following December. However, Andrea was notified about her positive Zika test until April of 2017. At this point Andrea was thirty seven weeks pregnant. Andrea contracted the disease while she was staying in Mexico.

Andrea eventually gave birth to a daughter whom she named Noemi. So far the baby seems to be free of the symptoms associated with the Zika virus. However, there is no way to determine the effect that Zika has had on the infant until the infant matures. Many members of the public are appalled that the mother was not informed of her diagnoses, and some are arguing that the mother’s right to choose was violated by the doctors failure to notify Andrea of her Zika diagnoses. Andrea claims that she still would have given birth to her daughter, but she is still upset that she did not find out.

According to Dr. Timothy Dellit, from the University of Washington’s School of Medicine has expressed his apologies over the matter. The doctor has gone on record stating that the blood tests administered to Andrea were “not handled properly”. As a result of this incident, many experts are claiming that strict surveillance is needed in medical setting in order to prevent situations like the one involving Andrea and her baby.

Do you believe that criminal charges should be filed against the doctor for his failure to notify the patient of her disease?


Some Ancient Male Bugs Used Their Legs To Attract Females | Horizon Pest Control

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 11:07 am May 24, 2017

Modern damselflies mate in many different ways. According to one expert, the various ways in which male damselflies approach females could be described as cooperative or downright hostile, depending on the situation. However, a recent archeological dig has unearthed two fossilized, and now extinct, ancient relatives of modern damselflies. And their way of mating was similar in some ways to their modern counterparts, and different in others. For example, both modern and ancient male damselflies use their legs to attract females, but ancient damselflies were far more interested in legs than modern damselflies.

Modern damselflies engage in mating rituals that involve waving their legs in front of the opposite sex. But modern damselflies sometimes bypass the ritual in order to engage in a more urgent-form of mating. The ancient male damselflies were larger than modern ones, and they also had more ornate legs.

The ancient damselflies legs are adorned with eye-like designs and strange protrusions that appear decorative. Many entomologists believe that these eye-like designs were used to fend-off predators. However, two researchers, Zheng Daran and Wang Bo from the Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, disagree with the above stated theories, and instead they believe that the showy designs were used to attract female damselflies. Damselflies have advanced and highly acute eyesight relative to other insects. This may indicate that damselflies are designed to resort to visual cues when attempting to attract a mate.

Modern damselflies also use their legs to attract mates, but males are far less reliant on flashy legs than their ancient relatives when it comes to attracting females. Another researcher believes that male damselflies may have lost their flashy legs over time because their legs were attracting the wrong kind of attention, like dangerous predators. Also, their large legs with noticeable protrusions would not have been ideal for flying. The bulky male legs would have created a lot of drag for the airborne ancient damselfly. The factor, or factors, that are responsible for the genetic change cannot be determined with certainty, but this ancient insect is a great example of how insects evolved to become more efficient.

Have you ever spotted a damselfly with your own eyes? If you have, did you think that it was a dragonfly at first?

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