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Do Termites Enjoy Greater Evolutionary Success Than Ants?

Filed under: Pest Control,Termite Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:32 pm October 19, 2017

Do Termites Enjoy Greater Evolutionary Success Than Ants?Carpenter Ant

Ants may have existed on this planet for a very long time, but the evolutionary history of termites goes farther back than most insects, including ants. Both ants and termites are eusocial insects, meaning they live within colonies, and adapt to the environment collectively. Some scientists theorize that ants may have developed into eusocial insects by mimicking the social behaviors of termites millions of years ago. Unlike ants, however, the general physical appearance of termites has not changed much since they first appeared on earth during the triassic period. Ants first appeared on earth millions of years later during the cretaceous period. Despite the fact that termites are millions of years older than ants, ants have managed to diversify into well over twelve thousand different species. Whereas there are only between twenty six hundred to three thousand different termite species in existence today. For some reason, termites have not evolved as rapidly as ants.

Are ants a more successful type of insect than termites since the number of termite species in existence is far fewer than the number of ant species? Probably not, as the number of species belonging to one type of insect does not necessarily indicate superior adaptive abilities. One reason why termites have not evolved as much as ants and other insects is largely a result of the adaptive success that termites have enjoyed since day one. Early termites were blessed with adaptive features that made them uniquely successful creatures. As a result of this success, termites have not needed to adapt to new environments as much as other insects have. For example, since many termites hide beneath the soil and feed on the cellulose in plant matter, large predators were not able to easily access termites. A termite’s living conditions have always provided shelter from enemies as well as sustenance in the form of plant routes in order to survive. Therefore, termites can access everything that they need to survive while rarely risking their lives out in the open wilderness. When compared to termites, ants are quite vulnerable to predators, therefore ants have adapted many different physical features that have allowed them to thrive within different environments.

Do you think that there exists any other types of modern insects that are better suited for survival than termites?

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?

 

 

 

A Pest Control Company Is Refusing To Pay A Homeowner For Massive Termite Damage

Filed under: Pest Control,Termites — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:16 pm October 16, 2017

A Pest Control Company Is Refusing To Pay A Homeowner For Massive Termite DamageTermite

Termite infestations are a concern for homeowners all over America, especially in Florida. Florida is home to numerous types of termite species, which puts Florida homeowners on edge. One Florida homeowner from Lutz signed a contract with a popular pest control company that is based only in the state of Florida. The homeowner, Nathan Giordano, initially thought that he was getting a good deal after he signed a contract with the local pest control company. The contract stated that customers would receive regular termite treatments on their property as long as customers make annual three hundred dollar payments. In addition to that, the contract includes a one million dollar policy to cover any possible termite related damages. Ideally, the company would not have to pay for termite repairs since the company employs many pest control professionals who regularly inspect their customers properties. However, Giordano was one customer who noticed extensive termite damage to his home four months ago. Unfortunately, employees with the pest control company are choosing to ignore the contract by not paying for any termite-related damages to Giordano’s home.

Giordano has been a loyal customer of seven years and has always paid his annual premiums on time. Naturally Giordano assumed that his pest control company would abide by the rules outlined in the contract by paying him for the termite damage in his home. As a result of termite activity, Giordano was forced to have emergency repairs done to his home. These repairs have cost Giordano ten thousand dollars. Giordano believes that at least thirty thousand dollars in repairs is still needed. However, the pest control company is saying that Giordano’s home only became infested with termites as a result of conditions that are “conducive to termites”. Therefore employees with the pest control company believe that it is not their responsibility to pay for Giordano’s home repairs. In response to this Giordano has pointed out that the area of the contract that asks about “conducive” conditions is left blank. So far, a branch manager with the pest control company has offered Giordano just a bit more than twenty one hundred dollars in compensation, which does not make a dent in his termite repair costs.

Have you ever experienced a termite infestation, but were not sure as to which pest control professionals to contact?

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?

Spiders and Their Myths are Coming Out of the Woodwork

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:02 pm October 10, 2017

Spiders and Their Myths are Coming Out of the Woodwork

Hopefully, you’ve just heard about house spider mating season having arrived instead of having to experience the overflow of arachnids personally. But, yes, spider mating season, and more specifically the mating season of house spiders, has officially arrived. This gentle giant, the Tegenaria gigantean or Giant House spider, is often mistaken with its more poisonous and infamous cousin the Hobo spider, but are completely harmless despite their fearsome visage. Now, even though you might bee spotting more spiders around doesn’t mean there are actually more spiders running around. But that is not the case. They are merely more noticeable during this time of year because they’re all running around looking for a mate. That’s one major myth you can put to bed. Here are some other myths about the house spider that you can also set aside.

For starters, bigger spiders aren’t always female. While it’s true that females tend to have larger bodies, the males actually appear bigger because of their longer legs, which help them run faster since they are doing all the running around to find a mate in the first place. Around 80 percent of the spiders you spot running around your house during mating season are going to be male.

While their size might be frightening, the species has gotten so large for a reason. Think about all the insects a spider has to eat to get that big. They are the reason you don’t see more cockroaches and other insect pests running around your home. These guys put away a serious number of the insects you would definitely be seeing if they weren’t around. This giant spider is also not as frightening as it looks. The giant house spider is actually a very docile species. This is one spider you don’t need to worry about harming you or your children.

Another fact people often get wrong is that they think they are seeing more spiders because more of them are coming inside due to the change in seasons. Almost all of the spiders you see indoors have specifically adapted to living indoors and are always inside along with you. That is also why releasing a spider outside after catching it inside is not a good idea. That spider is likely unable to survive outside, as the inside of your home is where it has evolved to live, and will only die if you release it outside. There are only eight species of spiders that can actually survive in both inside and outside environments. Make sure you have all the facts straight when dealing with your spider housemates this year.

How serious is your spider issue this time of year? Do you notice a difference in the number of spiders that you see? Do you know of any other common but false myths about spiders?

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?

 

 

 

 

The Pikachu Pokemon Spider!

Filed under: Pest Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:19 pm September 28, 2017

The Pikachu Pokemon Spider!

The love of the show/game Pokemon has literally become a global phenomenon, as was demonstrated when the Pokemon game for smart phones came out and so many people were obsessed with it that some actually died in their relentless pursuit to “catch em all.” I’ll admit, I also downloaded the game, but have yet to actually chase down these critters all over town. So, imagine the fervor that would erupt if there were an actual Pokemon looking creature out there! Well, you no longer have to imagine it because the bug world has already happily provided one. And as luck would have it the pokemon this being resembles is the star himself/herself, Pikachu!

Yes, Pokemon have existed for centuries and we never even knew it. Of course, it also happens to be an arachnid, one of the most hated of bug creatures. But even those arachnophobes out there will want to check this spider out. The spider in question isn’t even one that hadn’t been discovered yet, but has been around for a while and is quite common. How has no one noticed this critter before?

All you Pokemon fans out there need to look up the Micrathena sagittata, or Arrowshaped Micrathena, spider. The females of this species have backsides that look like a dead-on mirror of the Pokemon called Pikachu’s head. To be more specific, this lady’s behind is shaped of a squirrel-like creatures head, with two horns/ears protruding from the top of its head. What’s more, this section of the spider’s body happens to be colored a bright yellow, with little black tips on the ears, making it a dead ringer for everyone’s favorite Pokemon.

This spider is not the result of some strange genetic experiment either. You can find one of these bright yellow ladies all over North America, as well as Canada and all the way down through Central America. They tend to hang out “among shrubs and other foliage” of “deciduous woodlands and forest edges.” Now fans of Pokemon, and particularly the Pokemon Go game, can go on a real-life hunt for them. It’s as if fiction has crossed over into reality and we’re all living in some hybrid fantastical/realistic world filled with brightly colored monsters/cute critters. Do dragons exist too?!

Have you ever spotted an insect or spider that closely resembled a creature from fantasy?

 

 

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