How Do Insects Choose A Mate?
When it comes to the dating scene how much importance do you place on the scent of the person you are out with? While you likely find certain odors to be a deal breaker, it goes without saying that humans are not nearly as driven by smells as stick insects are when it comes to the mating game.
A recent study carried out by researchers from the UK has determined that stick insects from the state of California can still use smells to accurately discern the genetic quality of a mate even when its physical features are obscured. This study is part of an eighteen year long research program aimed at better understanding what forces lie behind the formation of new species.
The researchers were interested in what factors keep organisms from avoiding interspecies mating, which is not typically advantageous for a species. It turns out that stick insects are able to discern members of their own species from outsiders based on their natural fragrance. Researchers believe that other animals likely use their sense of smell to choose appropriate mates, and not so much their visual systems.
Like stick insects, have you ever been knowingly aware that you found another person’s natural fragrance appealing?
Giant Japanese Spider Is Found In A Shipping Container | New Jersey Pest Control
It seems that there has been a lot of stories in the media lately about invasive insects and spiders arriving in America through shipping containers. You would think that since invasive insect pests are so devastating shipping officials would have figured out some way of making all shipments pest-free, but apparently that is easier said than done. Recently a shipping crew found a giant spider in a container from Japan.
Word has it that not a single member of the shipping crew was willing to trap the spider or remove it from the crate where it was found on account of its very large terrifying look. So the workers contacted an expert. Eventually an animal collection officer arrived to take care of the scary spider for the dock workers.
The spider turned out to be a large huntsman spider that is normally found in Australia. This spider can reach lengths of 13 or more centimeters, and their venom is not deadly to humans. Although these creatures are huge and scary looking they are completely harmless.
Which foreign insect or spider pest do you think is most damaging to North America’s ecosystem?
For the most part, if an insect is going to cause you harm, something about them tends to give that threatening aspect away. But there are some insects out there that at first may seem harmless, until you realize that these “harmless” insects can actually cause some serious damage and put you in great danger. Here’s one secretly deadly insect that you are probably already quite familiar with.
The locust is basically just a big grasshopper right? They don’t bite and aren’t exactly known as deadly to humans. But, that’s where you’re wrong. In the right circumstances these big grasshoppers can be devastating to human life. They pose a more indirect and, actually, much more terrifying danger to us. Locusts love to swarm, completely devouring entire fields of crops in masses you would think were only described in the Bible. But, oh no, these guys are still doing their work biblical plague style. And once they’ve come and eaten all of your crops, everyone gets to starve to death, which is probably one of the slowest and most painful deaths I can think of. People in Africa still live in absolute fear of locusts.
What other seemingly harmless insects can pose a major threat to humans?
A Centipede Stalks First-Class Passengers | New Jersey Pest Control
A bunch of rich people riding in first class aboard an airline recently got the scare of their lifetimes when a giant, ugly centipede made its presence known. The centipede was first discovered onboard when it tried to crawl up the leg of a first class passenger. The passenger then brushed the centipede off of its leg, and it scuttled away underneath some seats, and that is when panic ensued.
The ten centimeter centipede likely found its way onto the plain via passenger carry on luggage. Once the plain arrived at its destination, it was promptly killed by quarantine inspectors. An official with border authorities took this recent scare as an opportunity to educate people on the importance of checking their bags for any foreign invaders before stepping onto an airplane. If the centipede had not been destroyed upon arrival in New Zealand, then the centipede may have proliferated and could have caused disaster to New Zealand’s agricultural industry.
Do you think that incidents like the one described in the article is the primary way that insects invade foreign soil?
Missiles Laced With The Zika Virus Could Become A New Warfare Tactic |Pest Control New Jersey
It seems that there already exists a variety of ways to kill people, but spreading disease as a method of fighting wars is not something new to humanity. The term is “biological warfare,” and this form of warfare, although not yet perpetrated on a large scale by any government body or terrorist organization, is generally agreed upon by experts to result in mass amounts of civilian deaths. However, For Pest Control New Jersey Call us today!
NATO commander and retired US Admiral, James Stavridis, is making public his concern over the use of such destructive weapons. If a missile that is laced with Zika were to be launched into a major metropolitan area, the world could see an epidemic that would be comparable to the Spanish influenza outbreak from the early 20th century. Imagine if any of these biological weapons wound up in the hands of terrorists. So thanks to mosquitoes, the world has been introduced to a more efficient method of mass killing.
Do you think that using insect-borne diseases as a form of warfare will become a source of even greater fear and anxiety than nuclear weapons?
If someone asked you which type of insect was the toughest of all insects, you might remember the cockroach as being a nearly indestructible organism. Actually roaches do not even come close to the durability of the tiny arthropod that is commonly known as a “water bear”.
Despite being only half a millimeter in length the water bear is generally recognized among experts as being among the most durable organisms that exists today. The water bear has been found in just about every type of environment that you could imagine. For example, these tiny bugs have been spotted thriving in freezing cold mountaintops, the rainforest, the arctic and even the deep sea. These bugs can obviously withstand extreme temperatures with no problem. In fact, the water bear can withstand temperatures ranging from -450 degrees Fahrenheit to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. If that is not impressive enough, the water bear can even survive a full ten years without food. I think it is fair to say that this bug will be around long after humans have left.
Can you think of any other animal/s that can build populations under any type of climatic condition?
Can Insects Sense Pain? | Horizon Pest Control
So can a creature as simple as an insect experience the physical sensation of pain? Can insects anticipate pain? According to Matan Shelomi, an entomologist, insects can sense damage being done to them, but they don’t experience emotional distress as a result of such damage. Insects also cannot recall past injuries that well, and there is an evolutionary advantage to the lack of attention that bugs pay to their own injuries.
The lifespan of an insect is not a long one, and therefore it is advantageous for an insect to avoid spending too much time wallowing in its own pain. It is also a good thing for insects that they rapidly forget about severe damage to their bodies because insects need to spend their precious time trying to reproduce. The rate of insect reproduction would decrease sharply if every insect took a week to rest and heal every time it sustained an injury. In other words, the feeling of pain is only felt in animals with long lifespans and animals that can put off mating until their health has returned.
Are there any examples in nature of either spiders or insects resorting to methods of self-care after sustaining an injury?
Why Bugs Hate DEET – You have probably heard of the bug repellent called “DEET”. For over fifty years people have been using DEET to repel flying insects. Many people agree that DEET is the most effective bug repellent available on the market. So what is it about DEET that makes it so deadly to bugs?
Ever since DEET hit the market more than sixty years ago, researchers have been trying to create another product that repels bugs as well or better than DEET. However, doing this proved to be difficult since researchers were still not sure why DEET worked so well to fend off bugs. Recently a team of researchers from the University of California at Riverside identified a receptor in a fly’s antennae that explains why fruit flies are repulsed by DEET.
The receptor called IR40a activates sensory organs that do not respond well to the chemical compound. Now researchers are searching for chemical compounds with a similar structure. So far researchers have identified three compounds that will likely work as well as DEET to repel bugs.
Have you ever used a bug repellent that you thought worked better than DEET at keeping bugs off of your skin?
Beer Can Now Be Made With Insects – Soon we may be seeing products such as “Bugweiser” at our local grocery stores. Researchers at North Carolina State University are working on a new method of beer making. The process is largely the same as normal beer production, but with a minor difference. The new beer being tested at the University includes yeast procured from bugs as one of its ingredients.
Researchers start the process by collecting wasps from the wild, and then they proceed to grind them up in order to extract all the usable yeast from their bodies. Once the yeast is extracted it is placed into a petri dish so that it may grow to the size necessary for brewing. Next the researchers take the yeast to a brewery to create and test out the new insect-inspired beer.
All those who have tasted the bug-brew have described its taste as being more sweet and tart than your typical beer. Although finding new methods of creating beer may sound like a noble academic pursuit to some, others may think that making beer does not need to be improved. However, the taste of the bug-brew seems to be universally praised.
Would you be willing to buy beer made from bugs if such a beer were to be less costly?