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Can Spiders Think About Their Webs? | Spider Control New Jersey

Filed under: Pest Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 5:15 am May 25, 2017

Can Spiders Think About Their Webs? | Spider Control New Jersey

You may have noticed that spider webs don’t all come in the same size, or even the same design. There are circular spider webs, rectangular webs, hanging globs of webs, and of course, cobwebs. So why are so many spider web styles necessary? Do different webs catch different types of prey? Well, millions of years before humans inhabited earth, most spiders kept it simple with the classic circular design, but this eventually changed.

When spiders were using only circular webs they all resorted to the same predatory strategy. This strategy involved waiting patiently while a dumb insect walked into an obvious web. The spider would then go retrieve its insect meal–simple as that. However, at some point, spiders learned to build their webs horizontally. These horizontal webs were used as fishing platforms by the spiders. Now, during modern times many spiders will build what are referred to as cobwebs. These cobwebs look like spider webs that were made by spiders with no talent for web building. Then again, these sloppy looking silk-creations do serve a purpose. For example, the cobweb spider will dangle chunks of silken webbing from areas above their prey. When an unsuspecting insect gets snagged by a hanging cobweb, the spider will then pull the insect-prey into its living quarters so that the unfortunate insect can be properly eaten.

In 2008 a scientist, and a world-renowned expert on spiders conducted an experiment demonstrating that spiders can cast different types of webs based on the environmental conditions. The experiment showed a group of orb-weavers adapting to a change in their environment by using its web as a tool. Instead of waiting for their prey, when the orb-weaver’s net broke, creating a trap much like the hanging silken lures of the cobweb spider, the orb-weavers began to reel in their dinners. This behavior is not common to orb-weavers, but it shows you how much physical (maybe mental) effort these tiny spiders put into their webs. One expert, in response to this study, suggested that spider web building activity could be thought of as an extension of the spider’s cognitive system.

Have you ever seen any arachnid behavior that had you considering how much spiders could think and feel?

 

 

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?

Raccoons: The Other New York City Residents

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Nuisance Wildlife & Animal Control,Pest Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 10:21 am May 22, 2017

Raccoons: The Other New York City Residents

Have you ever lived in New York City? If you have, I am betting that you became well acquainted with raccoons. Even people visiting New York City make comments about the abundant raccoon population. Raccoons are normally tolerated by residents of New York City because the most abundant native animals in the big apple are probably cockroaches and rats. Even though raccoons are regarded as troublesome by many residents, at least raccoons are cute to look at. The raccoon populations in New York City have grown so rapidly that the Parks Department has made a video acquainting people with the fact that New York City is a raccoon’s paradise.

The video that was released by the New York City Parks Department explains how residents of New York City can safely cohabitate with raccoons. This video was not about adopting raccoons; instead the video focuses on ways for residents to protect themselves and loved ones from the raccoons that may own the city any day now.

Mitchell J. Silver, New York City’s Park Commissioner, was featured in the video asking residents of New York City to respect the wildlife that exists in the city. He also stated that New Yorkers share their city with six hundred other species of animal. The video specifically addresses the issue of feeding wild animals. The video states that feeding wildlife is unwise because feeding a raccoon only increases its chances of encountering another person. This encounter could turn out to be a violent altercation with a human. The overall message was one of respect for raccoons. This video was made as a result of a campaign known as Wildlife New York City. The campaign aims to better educate people on the nature of wildlife, and to dispel many harmful myths about wildlife that have persisted over the years. The video is easy to find on any social media outlet.

Have you ever taken note of the large raccoon population in New York City if you live there, or have ever visited the city?

Grubs Can Attract Skunks

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 1:55 am May 18, 2017

Grubs Can Attract Skunks

Nobody likes an unkempt lawn, especially if the lawn in question is a cemetery lawn. Imagine having a cemetery lawn full of grubs that you could not get rid of. Now imagine having a problem with skunks tearing up your lawn in order to take those grubs. The Iron Mountain Cemetery is currently dealing with this strange scenario at the moment. Little did the groundskeeper, or most people in the world know, but apparently skunks love grubs.

At the moment the cemetery looks like it has been vandalized. According to one city official, the cemetery lawn looks as though somebody tore up each section with a rototiller. And all of this damage was caused by skunks, and only skunks. During the past two summers skunks have dropped by the cemetery for their grubs regularly. But during the previous years, the skunks only damaged one section of the cemetery. Luckily, the damage was fixable, and they were able to get rid of the few skunks eventually. This year, however, skunks have destroyed the lawn covering the entire property. The Iron Mountain Cemetery contains thirty sections and is seventy acres large, so that must be a lot of skunks.

Last year, the city hired a private company to remove the grubs from the ground. This worked to prevent the skunks from returning repeatedly. However, the treatment was costly, around seven hundred dollars per section. Since the property contains thirty sections, it is unlikely that the city will be able to afford to remove the grubs professionally.

Now, having exhausted every other option, the city is hoping to rid the cemetery of skunks by asking the Department of Natural Resources to give the city a grant or some financial assistance in order to take care of the problem. In any case, if you have grubs, then you may want to think about getting rid of them.

Have you ever noticed any type of wild animal being attracted to a particular plant?

 

 

Researchers Develop Holograms To Gain A New Perspective On Malaria

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 1:05 am May 17, 2017

Mosquitoes are bad news. These flying pests are not only responsible for the severe itching that you perpetually experience during the summer, but they are also the world’s most prolific killers. Mosquitoes cause health problems in around five hundred million people every year; that is half of one billion! One mosquito-borne disease that causes a significant amount of death and suffering is malaria. Malaria alone is responsible for the deaths of, at least, 2.7 million people annually.

Here in the western part of the world, malaria is treated in a straightforward manner. In order to diagnose an individual with malaria in the west, all a doctor has to do is take some blood, and then analyze a small sample of the blood under a microscope. However, this is easer said than realized since analyzing blood in order to ascertain disease is a highly involved process that takes a lot of skill and education. The people that analyze blood samples are referred to as microscopists, and many malaria-ravaged countries in Africa are in short supply of these microscopists. This makes malaria impossible to diagnose until symptoms appear, and by then treatment options are too little too late.

However, it looks like scientists and engineers from Duke University have developed a new method of analyzing the blood samples. People living in poor countries can use holographic technology in order to diagnose the disease. The machine that creates the holographic image of the blood sample operates on an algorithm that can determine, beyond a doubt, if a blood sample is infected with malaria. Since this information has been released by the University, many private companies have developed smaller, lighter and more affordable holographic diagnostic machines. Some experts believe that this technology could mark the beginning of the end for many diseases that ravage the third world.

Have you ever cared for someone who had become ill with an insect-borne disease?

 

 

Try Something New And Take A Trip To Any One Of America’s Many Insect Museums | Insect Fun

Filed under: Horizon Pest Control,Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:32 pm May 15, 2017

Try Something New And Take A Trip To Any One Of America’s Many Insect Museums

We have all been to museums whether we wanted to go or not. But there exists a variety of different museums in the world that showcase a multitude of different and unusual aspects of the natural world. One type of museum (or zoo) that is gaining popularity fast is known as an insect zoo. These zoos exist to not only showcase unusual and remarkable insects and spiders, but they also exist as a conservatory for rare or endangered insects, and/or spiders. Although you may not know it, but there are actually many popular and renowned insectariums and insect zoos right here in the United States. In fact, the Natural History Museum in New York has recently spent three hundred and forty million dollars on an insectarium that will open at some point in the future.

One popular destination where you can learn all about the world’s diverse collection of insects and spiders would be the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. This permanent exhibition is known for having a rare species of spider that is known as the white-eyed assassin bug. This exhibition has also become popular for sponsoring the thirty first annual bug-fair. This event lasts for a period of two days from May 20th to the 21st, and it offers up cooked bugs for those interested.

On the other side of the coast there is the Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This museum has been hosting field trips for Philadelphia’s children for the past twenty five years, and its popularity reaches to all corners of the globe. This year the museum opened up the new Butterfly Pavilion, which details the different life stages of a butterfly. There are also well known, and respectable insectariums and insect zoos in many other states including Washington, Arizona, North Carolina, New Jersey and Oregon. And this is only naming a few of the most notable insectariums.

Have you ever visited an insectarium? If you have, then which insectarium did you visit?

Big City Insects Are More Numerous Than You Think

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:54 pm May 1, 2017

Big City Insects Are More Numerous Than You Think

Anybody living in the big city has likely noticed the abundant wildlife, mostly in the form of rats. These animals may be annoying at times, but it is our waste that is constantly attracting animals to the big city. A recent New York Times article has pointed out that furry animals are not the only animals that feed off of human waste in the big city. Of course, there are also insects in the big city, in particular Manhattan. In fact, there are so many insects in Manhattan that they could consume sixty thousand hotdogs in one year.

When you think of insects in New York, or any other big city, you probably picture enormous cockroaches. And of course there are plenty of puppy-sized roaches in Manhattan that consume discarded food, but there are also dozens of other insects that can put down more food than you could believe. These insects include mites, flies and ants. Each year the insects of Manhattan consume 2,100 pounds of dry-weight organic matter.

A group of researchers sampled parks and medians in Manhattan for insects. The group managed to locate and capture even more types of bugs than they had anticipated. Altogether the researchers gathered around sixteen thousand insects. The researchers even used traps in order to catch the insects. The insects were lured to the traps by the sugar-rich food items that were left within the trap, such as cookie-crumbs. Insects ate every bit of their food. Most of the traps were modified in order to keep all animals, other than insects, out of the traps. However, there were also traps that were not modified, and other wild animals had invaded most of these traps. This shows that both insects and wild animals compete for the same food sources in some environments.

If you have ever spent time in a bigger city then which insect did you spot most often?

The Caterpillars That Cannot Stop Eating Plastic Bags?

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:46 pm April 27, 2017

The Caterpillars That Cannot Stop Eating Plastic Bags?

The world is full of non-biodegradable garbage that will go on polluting our environment for ages to come. This problem is made much worse by all of the plastic that is thrown out on a daily basis. The main ingredient in plastic that makes plastic materials degrade very slowly is known as polyethylene. Every year factories produce about eighty-eight tons of these plastics. The main source of this plastic-pollution comes from polyethylene plastic bags that you get from grocery stores. Each person uses about two hundred and thirty plastic bags annually. The polyethylene used in plastic bags can take about one hundred years to decompose. Other forms of polyethylene plastic can take up to four hundred years to decompose. One method of decomposing these plastics at accelerated rates is to apply corrosive chemicals to the plastic. Unfortunately, these chemicals are dangerous to the environment as well. Just when no solutions to this problem seemed apparent, a group of researchers discovered a type of caterpillar that consumes and breaks down these plastics without any unnatural or unsafe byproducts resulting from the degradation of the polyethylene.

The caterpillar is only one inch long and is known as a wax worm, as well as the honey worm caterpillar, but the caterpillar’s official name is the Galleria mellonella. This caterpillar is eats unconventional meals as this caterpillar is most often found feeding on waxy and goo-drenched honeycombs. So this caterpillar is not afraid of venturing inside of beehives apparently. This caterpillar has six weeks before it becomes a moth, which is not a lot of time to solve plastic-pollution. It was only by accident that researchers discovered the wax worm’s ability to break down polyethylene. Some researchers hypothesize that this caterpillar is attracted to this type of plastic because the plastic has chemical bonds that are similar to the bonds found in beehives. Now that researchers have found an organism that can break down polyethylene safely, the next step is making that happen on a large-scale.

Do you think that it would be more sensible to farm these caterpillars in order to accelerate the breakdown of the world’s plastics? Or should researchers learn enough about the caterpillar so that researchers can extract their enzymes for our own application?

How Do Insects Choose A Mate?

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 5:52 pm February 22, 2017

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

Filed under: New Jersey Pest Control,NJ pest control services,Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:05 pm January 23, 2017

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?

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