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The Beewolf Is One Of The Fiercest Of All Flying Insects

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:42 pm October 18, 2017

The Beewolf Is One Of The Fiercest Of All Flying Insects

Bees can be frightening insects when they happen to be buzzing in your direction. Even if you are not allergic to bee stings you probably still move away quickly when one is nearby. After all, why risk the possibility of a painful sting. However, even bees themselves are afraid of certain insects, such as the beewolf. The beewolf is a perfect example of an insect that strikes fear into the hearts of bees, as well as other stinging insects. Beewolves, despite their name, are not actually bees; instead beewolves are wasps. Beewolves hunt bees, specifically honey bees. The manner in which beewolves dispatch their bee prey is particularly brutal.

Beewolves can be found in the United States, Europe and northern Africa. Beewolves are predators to numerous flying insects, including other wasp species. Beewolves get their name from their predatory behavior. The term “wolf” in the name “beewolf” indicates their preference for hunting like a wolf. Unlike many species of wasps, beewolves do not live within colonies or amongst other beewolves, except for females and their offspring. Beewolves live alone, and hunt alone, making them highly capable and versatile insects. During the late spring and early summer months female beewolves will dig tunnels into the ground. At the end of these tunnels the females will construct compartments that act as nurseries for the female’s offspring. The female’s habit of digging shelter within soil has earned them the alternate nickname of “digger-wasps”. Once the female has completed its underground compartments it will begin to hunt.

The female beewolf will visit flowers in order to locate pollinating honeybees. The beewolf will also feed on plant nectar before capturing a honey bee. Sometimes the female will squeeze nectar from the body of an individual honey bee, but it won’t kill the honey bee. The female beewolf will sting the bee between its legs in order to paralyze the bee. The female then deposits the paralyzed be in its nursery in order to feed the hungry larvae offspring. Each beewolf larvae requires several bee carcasses each day for sustenance. Female beewolves have been observed capturing five bees for each one of their larvae during single hunting sessions. Once the fall season rolls around,  beewolf larvae will spend the winter developing into adults while safely tucked away below the ground.

Have you ever seen a beewolf before? Have you ever seen a flying insect carrying another insect in its mouth while flying?

 

 

 

Fall Pests Not A Treat This Halloween

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:35 pm October 13, 2017

Fall Pests Not A Treat This HalloweenBlack Widow Spider

Horizon Pest Control offers prevention tips for homeowners’ spookiest pests

Rats, bats and spiders might serve as great Halloween décor, but real infestations make for a haunted house that can turn into a homeowner’s worst nightmare. These creepy pests tend to seek refuge and resources in homes during the fall, which is why Horizon Pest Control and the National Pest Management Association are taking this Halloween to educate homeowners on these critters and how to prevent them.

It’s particularly important to pest-proof the home against rats and bats as they pose health risks and can carry disease. Spiders, on the other hand, may cause people to cringe, but in reality, almost all types of spiders found in the United States pose no threats to people. “Dangerous or not, it’s best to leave all pests where they belong — outside and out of the home.”

Rats can fit through an opening the size of a quarter, so it is easy for them to find access into homes. Once inside, they can spread disease by contaminating food and put homes at risk for electrical fires by gnawing through wires. Before homeowners bring boxes of pumpkins and faux cobwebs inside to decorate for Halloween, they should inspect them for signs of an infestation such as gnaw marks and rodent droppings. Once Halloween is over and it’s time to pack away the ghoulish decorations, make sure they are stored in a plastic box with a sealed lid. This will prevent rodents from making out-of-season décor their new home.

Bats are nocturnal mammals that roost in dark areas of buildings, such as attics, belfries and under fascia boards, and in other sheltered areas like caves. They are frequent carriers of rabies, which can be fatal if left untreated. Homeowners should screen attic vents and openings to chimneys, and install door sweeps this fall to keep bats out of the home. If an active bat infestation is suspected, it’s important to contact a licensed pest professional.

 

Spiders have adapted to live in nearly every type of habitat, and they are one of the top 10 most diverse populations on earth. Homeowners can avoid coming in contact with spiders by keeping garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free. Make sure to wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time, like Halloween decorations.

 

For more information on fall pest prevention, please visit www.horizonpestcontrol.com

The CEO Of Marvel Entertainment Is Suing An Interior Design Company Over Termites

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:08 pm October 11, 2017

The CEO Of Marvel Entertainment Is Suing An Interior Design Company Over Termites

These days Marvel superhero movies are all the rage. These movies have been highly profitable for the Marvel Entertainment company. Imagine being paid millions of dollars for making comic book-based movies. Isaac ‘Ike’ Perlmutter is one individual who is lucky enough to make comic book movies for a living, as he is the CEO of Marvel Entertainment. Unfortunately, Ike has recently discovered that one of his condos has become infested with termites. Ike believes that an interior design company is responsible for the termite infestation. It is hard to sympathise with a super-rich CEO that has the enviable job of heading up Marvel Entertainment. However, anyone who has struggled with termite-related issues in the past may understand Ike’s frustration.

The seventy four year old CEO is now suing an interior design business for structural damages that were caused by termites. Ike contends that a company named K.A. Design Group LLC installed wooden cabinets in his kitchen that had been infested with termites. This infestation began in February of 2012, after Ike had hired the interior design business to make renovations to his beautiful and expensive Florida home. According to Ike, the company failed to replace his cabinets and the owners refused to pay for the termite extermination expenses after the infestation had been discovered. Due to these failures, Ike is alleging that the company is guilty of breaching their business contract.

According to Ike, the property became heavily infested with termites as a result of the compromised wood installed within his home. As a result, Ike was forced to spend more than eighteen thousand dollars in pest control fees. Ike is now demanding that the interior design company compensate him for the cost of eradicating the invading termites. The interior design business never replied to Ike’s demand for compensation. You would think that a billionaire CEO could handle taking an eighteen thousand dollar hit.

Have you ever suffered through a termite infestation that you yourself had started by bringing termite infested wood into your home?

Extinct Diamond Spider Discovered in a British Park

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:51 pm October 9, 2017

Extinct Diamond Spider Discovered in a British Park

The extremely rare diamond spider, which was declared officially extinct over 50 years ago, was just recently found in a park in Britain. Named after the diamond-shaped markings on its back, the diamond spider was discovered at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire by National Trust volunteers. This spider is so rare that it had only been sighted in England three times before it was declared extinct, and all of those sightings occurred in the South of England. Due to the rarity of this spider, it took experts a whopping six weeks just to identify the arachnid. The last time the spider was seen was in Legsheath and Duddleswell, in Ashdown Forest, in 1969.

Diamond spiders are members of the Philodromidae species, also known as philodromid crab spiders. They tend to be a dusty brown color with a distinctive black diamond shaped marking on their back. They like to stick to the boggy areas filled with moss, purple moor grass and heather. Diamond spiders are active hunters rather, stalking their prey on plant stems and leaves and injecting them with their venom once caught. Thankfully, however, while they are venomous, they are not considered dangerous to humans.

The volunteer that actually found the spider, Lucy Stockton, was delightfully surprised when she discovered what a rare arachnid she had stumbled across. For a spider enthusiast like Lucy, finding such a rare species that had been declared extinct is like finding the Holy Grail. When she had gone out to spider hunt in Clumber Park for the National Trust, she certainly didn’t expect to come across an extremely rare and thought-to-be extinct species.

Her usual bug hunt turned into a real-life Indiana Jones-esq. treasure hunt when she came across the seemingly average looking spider on her journey. Lucy claims, “The spider ran away from me twice but with persistence and some luck I caught it. At the time I had no idea that it would turn out to be such a rare find.” Identifying it wasn’t a simple task either, but she explains, “Upon closer inspection our spider had a conspicuous ‘cardiac mark’, a black diamond shape on its abdomen, edged with white that helped us to identify it.” This made her discovery one for the history books in the spider world. “We were thrilled to have discovered this new resident of Clumber Park and to prove that this species is definitely not extinct in the UK.”

Have you ever gone on a hunt for spiders? What kind did you find and do you think you’ve ever come across one that is rare and could even be undiscovered or extinct?

Reducing The Deer Population Could Make Lyme Disease Less Frequent

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:10 pm October 3, 2017

Reducing The Deer Population Could Make Lyme Disease Less Frequent

Cases of lyme disease have been increasing steadily during recent years. Naturally, this increase has been concerning public health officials, and experts are trying to find ways of decreasing the amount of lyme disease infections. Lyme disease is most prevalent in the northeastern region of the United States. The tick species that transmits the greatest number of infections to humans is the Ixodes scapularis, or the black-legged tick, as it is more commonly known. So why are cases of lyme disease increasing? There are a variety of factors that could be leading to more lyme disease infections. For example, urbanization, changes in forested environments, or even a change in human behavior could all be responsible for an increase in the amount of lyme disease cases. However, scientists want to know how lyme disease cases could be decreased, and one scientist has suggested that reducing deer populations could be the answer.

A recent article written by Sam Telford, Ph.D., from the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, has suggested that reducing deer populations could reduce lyme disease cases within the United States. Although deer do not give ticks lyme disease, like mice and other mammals do, adult ticks typically feed on deer, and have few other feeding options. Therefore, reducing the number of deer in the wild could decrease the chances that an adult female tick will mate and reproduce.

Anybody who is a fan of deer would likely not be a fan of this particular disease control method. However, this method has proven effective in the past. Two different studies demonstrated a dramatic reduction in lyme disease cases among humans after deer populations were decreased.

Do you think that it is inhumane to kill deer in order to prevent lyme disease infection?

 

The United Nations Will Help All Countries Decrease Insect-Pest Populations

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:29 pm October 2, 2017

Many experts are predicting that climate change will cause more insect-related illnesses and deaths in the years to come. Mosquitoes are particularly feared, as they are the world’s most prolific killers. Also, insect-pests are becoming increasingly destructive to crops around the world. Therefore, in order to secure a safe future for mankind, the threat posed by insect-pests must be discussed. In response to the rapidly growing concerns about insect-pests in the world, the United Nations has recently opened a laboratory where insect-pest populations can be decreased by using a modern nuclear pest-control technique. The lab is located in Seibersdorf, Austria and it makes up a part of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The lab itself has been named the The modern Insect Pest Control Laboratory (IPCL). This laboratory, where cutting edge pest-control technologies exist, will be available for use by all UN member states. The most promising pest-control technique is referred to as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).

During an inauguration ceremony, IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano claimed that this new facility is only the first of many future facilities that will undergo the modernization necessary for reducing insect-pest populations around the world. Officials from the IPCL claim that the new Sterile Insect Technique is environmentally safe. The SIT works by sterilizing an abundance of male insects with radiation, and then releasing them into the natural environment in order to mate, or “not” mate, to be more precise. Obviously, no offspring can result after male insects become exposed to the radiation. The idea is that after so many generations, certain insect-pest populations will decrease dramatically.

The IPCL aims to train experts from all member countries so the SIT can be employed on a larger scale. The IPCL has yet to test the SIT on certain insect-pests, such as mosquitoes. The program is promoting the use nuclear science and technology as the most beneficial and practical approach toward insect-pest control.

Do you think that there are any aspects of nuclear technology, such as the Sterile Insect Technique, that could become hazards for mankind in the future?

 

 

 

 

Termites Cause The Removal Of A Beloved Tree

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Termites — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:19 pm September 29, 2017

Termites Cause The Removal Of A Beloved Tree

We all know that termites can destroy valuable homes. And most of us know that termites are active consumers of plant-life. However, most people only complain about termite damage when homes have been affected. How often do you hear about the sad loss of an admired tree due to termite damage? Probably not very often. However, some people take decades old trees very seriously. For example, in San Diego, California, the Coral Tree Tea House in Old Town’s Heritage Park has recently been reopened after a historically significant tree was removed from the property. The Coral Tree House obviously gets its name from the majestic-looking coral tree that was a prominent feature at the park for six decades. Now, many members of the public, and even state politicians, are lamenting over the loss of the tree. The tree split and fell over a couple of years ago, and it stayed in that condition until finally being removed. State officials say that the tree fell over due to natural causes, but the individuals who run the Coral Tree House insist that termite damage brought the tree down. Pam Catania, one of the caretakers of the Coral Tree House, believes that the tree would still be standing if it had been sprayed with termite-killing insecticide.

The loss of the tree has been a major blow to the people living nearby in the surrounding neighborhood. Even former state Senator Larry Stirling has admitted to being disappointed over the fate of the tree. According to Stirling, waking up and seeing the tree missing from the park was “like being hit with a cold bucket of water while sleeping.” Stirling demanded that Supervisor Ron Roberts explain to him why the tree was removed. However, Stirling never received a response. Stirling claimed that the law allowed for public records regarding the tree’s removal to be released. This prompted the Department of Parks and Recreation Director Brian Albright to respond to former Senator Stirling’s inquiries. Albright claimed that the “DPR recognizes the value and significance of the coral tree at Heritage Park,” and that the tree unexpectedly fell as a result of natural causes. However, Pam Catania and her family insist that termites brought it down, and that the DPR failed to spray the tree with insecticide. A mature coral tree is now being sought as a replacement.

Have you ever experienced a termite infestation that caused a treehouse or a swing to be removed as a child?

 

 

 

 

Researchers Will Decrease Mosquito Populations Through Inbreeding

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Mosquito Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:50 pm September 27, 2017

Researchers Will Decrease Mosquito Populations Through Inbreeding | Mosquito Control

These days numerous researchers are focusing on methods that will reduce mosquito populations. Given the toll that Zika took on certain regions of the world last year, as well as the predicted increase in mosquito populations in the years to come, many scientists believe that humanity will be best served by exploring methods of mosquito control. Even private companies are beginning to explore the business of mosquito control. One business, Oxitec, is based in the United Kingdom, and this company breeds millions of insects every day for research. According to Oxitec biologist Karla Tepedino, at least sixty million mosquitoes are produced once a week within a factory located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. These mosquitoes are genetically modified in order to influence mosquito populations in the wild. Apparently, the company is planning on releasing mosquitoes that will die by breeding with distant relatives.

Once these genetically modified mosquitoes are released into the natural environment, they will mate with other Aedes aegypti mosquito species. However, the mosquito offspring will be spawned with a deadly genetic flaw, resulting in a quick death. According to Oxitec president Hadyn Parry, the factory in Brazil is the first factory of its kind. Nowhere else can you find an enormous mosquito production factory. The factory can provide Sao Paulo with a major economic boost.

The researchers, and the president himself, seem certain that this mosquito control method will work as planned, and will prevent massive amount of deaths from mosquito-borne diseases. This confidence comes as a result of six years of testing. This method has been replicated numerous times since 2011. The company carried out five field tests on the Cayman Islands and in Panama in order to record the decrease in mosquito population numbers. After the tests it was discovered that a staggering ninety percent of mosquitoes had died from the inbreeding experiment. At the moment, the factory is waiting for the approval Government Public Health authorities before they release the mutant mosquitoes.

Do you think that this company will receive government approval to release the genetically modified mosquitoes? Why would government authorities be concerned about this odd public health measure on the part of Oxitec?

Ants Stand By To Protect These Amazonian Plants From Hungry Herbivores

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:23 pm September 25, 2017

Ants Stand By To Protect These Amazonian Plants From Hungry Herbivores

We all know there are some vicious ants in the world, and when their colonies become super-large, ants can go to battle with just about any type of insect, no matter how large. This is why ants are so important to the abundance of plant life in the Amazon rainforest. As you know, the Amazon rainforest is full of herbivore insects that constantly threaten the lives of plants. Obviously plants cannot move, so how do they defend themselves in an environment shared by numerous species of herbivore insects? Well, ants, of course. It turns out that plants offer ants shelter, and in return, ants protect plants from herbivore insects, both large and small. Researchers recently discovered that ants are called on for protection duty when two particular genes in the ant are expressed.

Researchers focused on a common plant found in the Amazon rainforest. This plant is referred to as Cordia nodosa (CN). These CN plants are clearly protected by a particular type of Amazonian ant that is referred to as Allomerus octoarticulatus (AO). This plant species and this ant species support one another, since the plants shelter the ants and the ants stand up to insects that are looking to consume the plants. The ants are like bodyguards to the plants. The plants act as a safe haven for ants by obscuring the ants from predators. When different animals benefit one another in nature, the phenomena is known aptly as “mutualism.” The ant/plant relationship being described in this blog is certainly not rare in nature. In fact, over four hundred species of tropical plants have developed structures called “domatia,” which can house ant colonies that defend the plants. According to researchers, domatia likely developed over the course of evolution because it had attracted ants, which always kept dangerous herbivore insects away. These ants seem to be the only protection from herbivores that plants have.

The researchers focused on two particular ant genes involved in foraging. The way an ant forages for food determines protective behavior towards plants. When the two genes were activated, the ants became vicious warriors, and were willing to attack the largest of insect herbivores, which resulted in less damage to the plant. The genes also led to more ant workers being recruited to fight, and the ants were better able to locate and kill herbivore enemies. This study was able to account for mutualism on an chemical level.

Do you think that these plants release chemicals that influence the ants’ foraging genes?

Entomologists May Be Underestimating The Loss Of Monarch Butterfly Colonies

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:05 pm September 20, 2017

Entomologists May Be Underestimating The Loss Of Monarch Butterfly Colonies

You may have heard that 2016 was a bad year for monarch butterflies. Heavy storms in Mexico killed-off many monarch butterflies. Monarch populations were already in trouble long before the storms of 2016. Since the 1996 and 1997 winter months, monarch butterfly colonies have decreased by a staggering ninety percent, according to biologist Dr. Lincoln Brower. Dr. Brower and his research team have recently discovered that the initial studies concerning the loss of monarch butterflies in 2016 reported an amount of deaths that were far lower than the actual amount of deaths. Initially, it was estimated that only seven percent of the monarch butterfly population died as a result of the snowstorms that hit Mexico during March of 2016. Now, after further analysis, the actual amount of deaths is estimated to be closer to thirty to thirty eight percent.

During the spring of 2016 an area of forestland dedicated to preserving monarch butterfly populations was hit by a storm. The storm was a mix of snow, sleet, rain, hail and the freezing wind. The storm ravaged the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve, which was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations nearly a decade ago. Typically, the forest serves as a “microclimate” for monarch butterflies. The dense forest protects monarchs from strong winds, rain, cold temperatures and other forms of harsh climate. These areas of forestland are important for butterfly conservation, since harsh weather can kill-off populations of delicate monarch butterflies. This protective forest climate was radically altered last year, which killed all of the butterflies residing within the Mexican forest. Dr. Brower wants to understand how to protect the forests that protect rare butterflies.

Dr. Brower, and other researchers, traveled the forests in order to determine the amount of butterflies that had perished during the storm. It was found that thirty one to thirty eight percent of butterflies in the region perished. However, this number could be much higher as much of the forest has not been visited. There is also a lack of studies concerning the monarch butterflies response to freezing cold temperatures. Without reference to such studies, it is hard to estimate how many monarch butterflies died during the 2016 storms in Mexico.

How do you think forestland could be protected from the damaging consequences of violent storms? Why do you think so many monarch butterflies are dying?

 

 

 

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