Category Archives: PEST CONTROL

Fall Pest Proofing Tips! | Pest Control Tucson

Fall Pest Proofing Tips! | Pest Control TucsonFall Pest Proofing Tips! | Pest Control Tucson

Arizona Pest Control encourages homeowners to implement the following fall pest-proofing tips

  • Screen attic vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Eliminate moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home using caulk and steel wool. Pay close attention to where utility pipes enter the structure.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house, and keep shrubbery well trimmed.
  • Install door sweeps and repair damaged screens.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors.
  • If you suspect a pest infestation, contact a licensed pest control professional who can properly inspect and treat the problem.

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Scorpions Use Different Venom Cocktails Depending On The Type Of Animal They Are Attacking

Scorpions Use Different Venom Cocktails Depending On The Type Of Animal They Are AttackingDesert Pests

You would think that scorpions only inject their victims with one single type of venom. However, researchers have known for a while that scorpions contain three different subtypes of venom. The three different toxic chemicals that make up scorpion venom may be mixed in ways that either reduce or or increase the potency of their venom. For example, if a scorpion is hunting its prey, which are insects, then they will likely use a mix of venom that is strong enough to kill a small insect, but not strong enough to kill a mammal. Since scorpion predators are often mammals, then scorpions will likely have to use a particularly potent mix of chemicals in order to subdue large predatory mammals during defensive attacks. Do scorpions change the composition of their venom in order to match the animals that they are attacking? Does scorpion venom change composition depending on the relative dangerousness of their environments? Or is the particular composition of chemicals in a scorpion’s venom fixed? In order to answer these questions Dr Jamie Seymour from James Cook University’s Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine has conducted some clever experiments.

Seymour’s team also included ecologists, chemists, and physiologists from the graduate school. The team of scientists separated scorpions into different groups. One group was placed in an environment with a dead cricket, and another group was placed with a live cricket. The third group was placed with a mammal that resembled a mouse. The stuffed mouse was lifelike and simulated threats against the scorpion.

Not surprisingly, the researchers discovered that the scorpion exposed to the mammalian threat produced a venom cocktail that was more lethal to mammals. The scorpion’s venom also contained less of a chemical that would be more effective at killing insects. The different venom compositions did not necessarily mean that some were more potent than others; instead some particular blends of venom were more effective at attacking particular types of nervous systems. Based on these results Seymour and his colleagues demonstrated that scorpions, and probably other organisms, can change the composition of their venom in response to a threatening environment.

Do you think that the change in venom composition is immediate or gradual in scorpions?

 

 

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A Swarm Of Nearly One Million Bees Results In A Man’s Death| Killer Bees

A Swarm Of Nearly One Million Bees Results In A Man’s Death| Killer BeesBees

Typically bees are not interested in causing harm to human beings. Unless, of course, the bees in question happen to be Africanized honey bees, or “killer bees,” as they are sometimes called. Killer bees are invasive to the United States, and they are often spotted around the US/Mexico border. Back in 2014, a man from Douglas, Arizona near the Mexican border, died after a swarm of eight hundred thousand bees swarmed directly at him. The man’s official cause of death was from a heart attack. The man, whose name was not released to the press, died at the tragically young age of thirty two.

The man was working for Douglas-ARC, which is a charity that helps people with special needs find employment within the community. The charity also assists needy residents within their own homes. The man who was killed by Africanized honey bees was working as a gardener. The man and three of his colleagues were called to the home of a ninety year old resident of Douglas. As soon as one of the three men started a lawnmower, a horrifyingly large amount of aggressive bees roared towards them from an open attic space.

A pest control professional, Jesus Corella, was working in the same area as the three men at the time of the attack. Corella was called to the scene. According to Corella, the bee swarm was massive, and numerous bees repeatedly dive-bombed him. Corella became frightened, as the bees seemed unusually aggressive. Two of the three charity workers who had arrived at the house earlier managed to escape the bee swarm. One of the workers asked a neighbor to call the police and fire department.

One of the two charity workers had sustained more than one hundred stings, but luckily he survived. Another worker managed to survive with very few injuries. Sadly, one of the workers arrived dead at the nearest hospital. The deceased victim had clearly sustained massive injuries during the bee attack. According to doctors, the thirty two year old man died of a heart attack.

Not long after the fire department arrived at the home, professional beekeepers were quickly called in to handle the massive bee swarm. However, the beekeepers had to have part of the home’s roof removed in order to access the hive. Authorities in the town of Douglas sometimes receive calls from residents complaining of bee-related disturbances, but a bee swarm as massive as the one described in this article had never been seen before by fire or police department employees in the border town of Douglas. Every year the United States sees an average of forty fatal bee attacks.

Do you think that all Africanized honey bees in America should be eradicated when found since they are dangerous invasive insects?

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Arizona Pest Control | Since 1947!

What’s for lunch today? 😳

A post shared by Arizona Pest Control (@azpest) on Oct 11, 2017 at 10:54am PDT

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Spider Scientists Turn to Twitter for Researching the Brown Recluse

Spider Scientists Turn to Twitter for Researching the Brown Recluse

30142236 - brown recluse spider sitting on a white background

Recluse spiders are pretty much universally hated and feared by most people. Considering their toxic venom and the pain they can cause with their bite, it doesn’t take a genius to understand why. Stories of bite victims are notorious, with almost every person you meet claiming they know someone who knows another person that was bitten by a brown recluse. But despite the numerous horror stories, brown recluse bites are actually rather uncommon, and getting your facts straight from the source without any embellishment can be a little tricky when that is the case. Urban legends unfortunately don’t provide much concrete data for scientists to study. In an attempt to learn more about recluse spiders as well as address peoples’ fears concerning them a team of spider experts from the U.S. and Canada have teamed up to launch a huge social media initiative they are calling Recluse or Not?

Matt Bertone from North Carolina’s State’s Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology and Eleanor Spicer Rice from the University of Toronto are leading the massive campaign. People are encouraged to send them pictures of spiders they think are a possible brown recluse to their project at @RecluseOrNot. They will go through the photos and deduce which spiders are a genuine brown recluse, and post those photos with each one’s particular location and habitat data. If the spider is not a brown recluse, then the actual species of spider will be revealed. This will help scientists study their location and habitats better a well as see which spiders are most often confused with recluses. They can then use this to help educate people about brown recluse spiders as well as numerous other species.

Bertone and Rice are hoping they can address the brown recluse’s bad reputation and provide a platform to educate the public on these cases of mistaken identity, and help them better understand the spiders around them. With the data they collect, the researchers will also be able to study and discover where brown recluse spiders actually reside in the country and keep tabs on these locations for recluse activity. They are hoping to help the public better-identify these arachnids and avoid stirring up unnecessary panic in spider situations that don’t warrant it.

Have you or someone you know ever been bitten by a brown recluse spider? Have you seen brown recluses around your home or spiders you thought might be recluses?

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A Termite Infested School May Be Putting The Safety Of Its Students In Jeopardy

A Termite Infested School May Be Putting The Safety Of Its Students In Jeopardy

Although parents are not around to supervise their children during school, most parents assume that their children are safe while attending school. This is not an unreasonable assumption since schools are filled with responsible adults who are tasked with maintaining the well being of students. However, one particular schoolhouse in Phoenix, Arizona has received widespread attention due to the school’s dangerous termite infestation. This termite infestation is extensive and it  has threatened the safety of children and teachers alike for a couple of years. According to some individuals who frequent the preschool, the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf is already falling apart due to extensive termite damage. And if that is not enough, the school is also plagued with mold, a busted air conditioning system, and numerous other termite-related structural issues.

Officials working for the state agency known as the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind have sent desperate pleas to the federal government asking for a new building. This agency oversees the state’s schools for the blind and deaf, and they have been requesting help from Washington’s legislature for more than two years now. The state education agency is hoping that the capital will agree to relocate the preschool to a new building that is not threatened by termites. The agency contends that the termite infested preschool cannot be saved from further structural damage, and that exterminators cannot rid the building of termites. School officials have repeatedly and specifically mentioned termites as being the cause of the schools structural damage.

School officials asked for 1.2 millions dollars in funding in order to establish a new termite-free building for the students. Unfortunately, the federal government has not granted the money to Arizona’s education agency for the deaf and blind. In addition to that, school officials are even having difficulty obtaining an official building inspection report. The state’s Department of Administration is in charge with having building inspections done every four years at all of the state’s schools for the deaf and blind. Despite the fact that the DOA is legally required to have quadrennial building inspections done, the DOA of Arizona has not had the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf  inspected since 2009. These inspections stopped when the Arizona state legislature began cutting government costs several years ago.

School officials are certain that the building will one day collapse as a result of the ongoing termite infestations. Teachers, students and parents are all concerned about the extensive termite damage. The outside of the school looks unaffected by termites, but after stepping inside of the building, termite damage is apparent everywhere you look. Hopefully, the DOA will soon be able to carry out an inspection that will determine the extent of the termite damage.

Have you ever attended a school that had a problem with insect infestations of any kind?

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Glow Worms Can Survive In The Arctic Circle?! | AZ Pest Control

Glow Worms Can Survive In The Arctic Circle?! | AZ Pest Control

The Arctic Circle is not a pleasant place for most animals. Very few organisms call the Arctic Circle home. However, the interesting glow worm has no problem withstanding the harsh Arctic climate. The glow worm is a relatively large sized invertebrate with a yellow glowing light on its tail. This light is an easy way to tell glow worms from similar looking organisms. Although glow worms can survive the harsh cold, they are most often found in dense wooded areas and caves all around the world, except for the Americas. Glow worms are nocturnal animals, and the nighttime hours are the only time that their glowing backsides become visible.

The name “glow worms” is only a nickname for a variety of different types of insect larva. Many glow worm larvae become adult larviform females which glow through bioluminescence. Glow worms all look more like worms than insects, but actually all glow worms are insects. One type of glow worm eventually becomes a fly, but most glow worm species become beetles. Not all glow worms are equipped to attract fascination with a majestic looking glow, as male glow worms are not equipped to glow like females are. During mating season the females move about for around two hours with their glowing backsides sticking out. Obviously, the female glow worms do this in order to attract mates, as male glow worms seem to be even more impressed with the glowing tales than humans. The male glow worm is attracted to glowing objects that are located within foliage, but males have been known to approach man made lights with interest as well. Glow worms are most often spotted by humans in the United Kingdom between the months of June and October. Once the sun sets, glow worm tales become clearly visible to humans, even when humans are located far away from these worms.

Have you ever spotted a glow worm? If you have, did you assume that it was a worm rather than an insect?

 

 

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Happy Friday! From Arizona Pest Control

Would you walk through it!? 🤔🤔

A post shared by Arizona Pest Control (@azpest) on Oct 5, 2017 at 5:02pm PDT

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Wasps Can Literally Scare Their Prey To Death

Wasps Can Literally Scare Their Prey To Death

Some young adults choose to study entomology hoping to spend the rest of their lives with insects. There are plenty of insect enthusiasts in the world. However, one college student, Alex Baranowski, is considered an entomology “savant.” Alex has had a lifelong obsession with insects, and he has indulged this obsession without restraint ever since he was a young child. During his high school years, Alex raised several different insects within his own home. These insects included mantises, moths and butterflies. Alex has even conducted his own scientific experiments in order to understand the nature of particular insects that are not well described in existing scientific literature. As a result of these experiments, Alex has shed more light on the life cycles of particular insects. Even professional entomologists have found the results of Alex’s scientific inquiries to be insightful. Alex is currently able to conduct more sophisticated insect-related experiments with the proper equipment, as he is now a coastal fellow at the University of Rhode Island. Alex is mainly focusing on predator/prey insect relations. Specifically, Alex is studying the relationship between wasps and luna caterpillars.

Alex is curious as to how insect prey respond when exposed to predators. Luna moths are preyed upon by wasps. Luna moths only live as adults for a single week, and they struggle their entire lives to avoid their wasp predators. Wasps often succeed in locating defenseless luna moths when they are still in their larval stage as caterpillars. Wasps will rip the caterpillars apart and bring chunks of them back to their nests in order to keep their offspring well fed. So do these luna caterpillars know that wasps are after them? How would a luna caterpillar respond if placed into a jar with a wasp? These are the answers that Alex is hoping to answer.

Alex set up a cage where luna caterpillars and wasps were in close proximity to each other, but a transparent barrier prevents the wasps from killing the caterpillars. Every day Alex would make a variety of observations and take measurements, such as weighing the caterpillars, and monitoring their growth rate. It turns out that caterpillars do, in fact, recognize the danger posed by wasps, as the caterpillars are scared to death, literally. The caterpillars would stop moving, which helped them avoid detection by wasps. Unfortunately for the caterpillars, this also means that they could not eat or drink. The luna caterpillars eventually succumbed to death caused by starvation or dehydration.

Do you believe that all insect prey can instinctively recognize the presence of a predatory insect?

 

 

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Silkworms May Become Essential To The Future Of Space Travel

Silkworms May Become Essential To The Future Of Space Travel

These days there is a lot of talk about relocating some members of the human population to the planet of Mars. However, so far we humans have only made it to the moon, and that is already a long distance. In order to make space travel a normal aspect of future life, researchers must find ways to allow space travelers to sustain themselves nutritionally during long bouts of space travel. For example, there is no denying that astronauts of the future will have to make use of miniature ecosystems in order to sustain human life in space. These ecosystems will need to supply space travelers with a sufficient amount of food and water.

Researchers from China have already experimented on a number of animals that could possibly be raised in space in order to feed astronauts. These animals include poultry, fish, and even sea urchin larvae. However, each one of these animals raised logistical problems, as researchers ruled them out as possible forms of future space-food. Luckily, Chinese researchers did not fail to find an organism that could feasibly sustain a crew of individuals for long periods of time. Unfortunately, for most westerners who hope to experience interplanetary travel, insects are the only forms of sustenance that could support the dietary needs of a group of space travelers.

Future space explorers will be limited only to indoor conditions that are completely free of earthly environmental climatic conditions. This makes creating and maintaining an ecosystem difficult. Despite this, researchers are convinced that silkworms are likely the only protein-rich animals that could feed a crew of astronauts.

Silkworms are ideal because they require only very little space and water, they breed quickly, and they only produce small amounts of excrement. The small amount of excrement that silkworms produce could be used as fertilizer for growing vegetables and fruit. Silkworms are also highly nutritious, as they are even richer in protein and amino acids than eggs and milk. Even the silk produced by the silkworm could be consumed for nutrients. So if you want to be considered as a candidate for future space missions to Mars, then you should get used to eating silkworms.

Would you be willing to live on a diet of silkworms in order to travel to another planet?

Do you believe that there exists many other equally beneficial types of insects that could be raised for sustenance during space travel?

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