Protecting Your Family From Pests Since 1974!
Mosquito’s become a true menace during the summer, but you don’t have to just sit there and take it. Marshal your forces and fight back this year with these proven battle tactics that will beat back the mosquito forces.
Make sure your walls are reinforced to keep out the mosquito soldiers. Screens on your windows will keep out those pests and still allow you to crack open your windows and enjoy that rare summer breeze. Screening in your patio is also a great way to create a mosquito free zone where you can still enjoy the outdoors and watch the sun set.
Do a thorough search of your yard in order to find any shallow pools of water where mosquitos could possibly lay their eggs. Look out for quiet, standing water left in birdbaths, toy pools, puddles, and other artificial ponds. Drain any water you see, as female mosquitos can lay eggs in as little as an ounce of water.
Whenever you go outside make sure to cover yourself in insect repellent. It may be sticky and smelly, but it will save you from being mauled by those vicious blood-suckers. If you are feeling particularly bloodthirsty, create your own mosquito traps to lure in unsuspecting female mosquitos and make them think they have a safe space to lay their eggs, which you will later dispose of, decimating your local mosquito population and giving you a distinct advantage in this all-out war.
Never give up! Never surrender!
How do you deal with those menacing mosquitos during the summer?
Most bee colonies consist of both males and females, meaning they reproduce like any other animal, with the queen bee mating with males to produce worker bee offspring. However, scientists have discovered a species of bees in the southern Cape of Africa that are made up entirely of females. So, how do these female colonies reproduce when they don’t have any males?
A recent study revealed that the female bees are able to reproduce asexually. The female bees lay eggs fertilized by their own DNA, which then grow into new worker bees. These bees also invade foreign nests, reproducing in the same manner, and eventually taking over the nest. When a team of researchers sequenced the genome of these bees they found several genes that showed striking differences from the genes of normal bees. These abnormal genes could explain why the females are able to reproduce asexually and survive without male bees, as well as their social parasitism behavior.
Do you know of any other insects or animals that reproduce asexually?
Imagine that you are swimming near the beach, maybe about twenty feet out, and you are just enjoying your long deserved unpaid vacation, sipping pina coladas and just soaking in the sun along with the general majesty of the great expansive blue ocean when, all of the sudden, an enormous lobster-looking beast that is 6 feet long emerges from the salty surface with its beady eyes directed precisely at you, hoping to make a quick snack out of you and your cute little raft. What do you do?
Well unless you are 467 million years old you will not have any memory of these terrible monsters because god did us a favor and erased these hell-beasts from the earth about that long ago. But recently a team of archeologists from Iowa stumbled upon remarkably well preserved fossils of these monsters. Frankly I would be terrified just to see a fossil of this guy, but what they are actually called is Pentecopterus, or for the rest of us who are not monster scientists, Giant Sea Scorpions.
These guys were naturally predators. They enjoyed spending their time in shallow parts of the ocean, which has allowed their fossils to be uncovered with relative ease and in a remarkably well preserved state. The fossils were so well preserved that creating a lifelike model of the terrible thing is quite easily done. So if you are afraid of sharks, then just Google Image The Giant Sea Scorpion and realize that the ocean could be far more terrifying.
Do you know of any other terrifying insects from millions of years ago? What were they like?
Earwigs may be pretty frightening, but unlike the way they are depicted in popular culture, such as in the show Friends and Star Trek 2, they are entirely harmless.
Earwigs prefer wet and damp environments, so naturally minimizing these environments will help rid your yard or vegetable garden of these creepy-crawlers. It is not uncommon to find earwigs inside of human living areas. This often occurs because water sources may run towards your house as opposed to away from your house. So if you find earwigs in your home, check outside for the direction in which water is flowing in your yard. If you find water flowing towards your house, then take a minute to divert the water in the other direction.
Also, over watering your yard creates a wet habitat in which earwigs thrive. So although you may love watering your lawn you may not find it to be worth it if it means earwigs love it, and invite all of their friends over, creating an infestation.
And if creating a less damp environment does not do the trick, then it may be time to call the exterminator.
Do you have earwigs camping out in your backyard? What do you do to deal with an earwig infestation?
Anybody who enjoys a ladybug’s majestic appearance needs to smell the things sometime–they smell terrible! Ladybugs release a noxious odor, and if you find yourself in a particular area where ladybugs are congregating then you will most certainly catch a whif. Many of you may think that the fact that ladybugs smell like old diapers in the hot sun is not such a big deal, but if you owned a vineyard then you would likely have a different assessment since ladybugs often taint wine with their foul odor. This is a problem in wine country and it is a problem that has caught the attention of academics in the field of entomology.
University researchers were tasked with identifying the compounds in a ladybug’s emissions, and vineyard owners are hoping that perhaps the experts can help them. Even a very small amount of a ladybugs odor can destroy the good taste of wine, and ladybug epidemics on vineyards have been known to shut vineyards down completely, as there was seemingly no solution to the ladybug problem.
Although it looks like entomologists have made good use of their grant money by identifying the nasty smelling compounds in a ladybugs odor, I don’t see how simply identifying these odors is going to help the poor vineyard owners. Perhaps the entomologists can develop a chemical cocktail that will neutralize the odor. But, if you find that your favorite cheap wine from Wal-mart is no longer available, then you may just have everybody’s favorite red and black spotted insects to blame.
Have you ever noticed the foul odor that trails ladybugs?
Are you looking for a decent skeeter repellent this summer? Look no further than Victoria’s Secret. Researchers at New Mexico State University were apparently messing around one day and discovered that a particular perfume was super effective at warding off mosquitoes.
The brand of VS perfume that is killing off mosquitoes is called “Victoria’s Secret Bombshell.” The researchers assumed that the flower-like scent of the perfume would attract the skeeters and not repel them, but they turned out to be mistaken. In fact, the perfume was such an effective mosquito repellent that it worked to keep the annoying pests at bay for at least two hours.
However, the researchers are not sure what it is about the perfume that is responsible for acting as a skeeter repellent, but they did note that in order for the perfume to show results a rather large amount had to be applied. The all male team of scientists from New Mexico State are currently studying Victoria’s Secret catalogues to generate some ideas and see what they come up with next…Well…. I can see it happening.
Have you ever worn perfume and noticed that it attracted more mosquitos? Do you think you might try this new, sweet smelling insect repellent?
With the Zika virus epidemic still going strong, it doesn’t look like we can hope for any kind of reprieve for a while yet. Are you worried about possibly catching this mosquito-borne illness this summer? Well, a few simple tricks could help you stay safe and healthy until the danger has passed.
Summer is a popular time to travel and go on vacation, so with the threat of catching the Zika virus hanging in the air, make sure you travel smart this year. Make sure you are up to date on the travel warnings the CDC has issued. The CDC has warned people against traveling to areas where the Zika virus is active. These areas include Central and South America, much of the Caribbean, and other foreign countries.
If you don’t want to change you travel plans entirely, there are still many precautions you can take to protect yourself against the virus even if you are planning on traveling to one of these designated areas. It’s a good idea to stay indoors protected from insects by screens or windows as much as possible in these areas, particularly during the day when the mosquitos that spread the Zika virus are most active. At night, you can sleep under a mosquito net.
It is also a good idea to cover as much skin as possible when going outside. To make things a little more bearable in those hot climates, you can wear layered, loose clothing. You also might want to stick to light colors, as mosquitos are attracted to darker colors. Covering any exposed skin in insect repellent is a must. And make sure you choose bug spray that is registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and contains DEET.
Another thing to take into consideration is the fact that the Zika virus is not solely spread through mosquito bites, but can also be contracted through sexual encounters. Practicing safe sex this summer will protect you against more than just STDs.
What are your summer travel plans? Are you traveling to an area where the Zika virus is active? How are you planning on protecting yourself?
Scientists have recently developed two ways to genetically alter the genes of mosquitos so that they could effectively wipe out malaria within one season. Two teams of biologists from the Irvine campus of the University of California have engineered a new breed of mosquito that carries two genetic modifications designed to eradicate malaria from the world.
The scientists first modified the genes in mosquitos carrying malaria so that one set of genes shoots malaria antibodies at the parasite, rendering the mosquito immune to the parasite and unable to spread the disease. The second modification, known as a gene drive, helps to spread the first gene throughout a population of mosquitos. When the genetically modified mosquitos are released into the wild, the modified males that mate with wild females send a copy of the gene drive, which spreads the new gene, as well as malaria resistant genes to the female.
Almost all the of next generation of mosquitos would carry this new gene that makes them resistant to malaria, meaning they would spread very rapidly and could take over a wild population within one mating season.
What do you know about malaria? Have you ever traveled to an area where malaria is a problem?
Preserved Cockroach Was a Giant!
A one hundred million year old cockroach was found preserved in amber, and this is not any cockroach! The creature was found in a mine in Myanmar and it is very much different from the modern day cockroach.
For one thing, this guy had a head that could rotate and boasted a long neck, whereas today’s cockroach cannot swivel its head hardly at all. Additionally, this cockroach looks more like a praying mantis, as it had long mantis-like legs. This preserved roach is even more similar to modern day spiders than modern day roaches. However, despite its resemblance to the mantis, the ancient mantis-like roach is indeed a close cousin to the pesky roaches making a home under your refrigerator today.
Perhaps the most significant difference between the modern and extinct roaches is the fact that these days roaches are scavengers, which simply means that modern roaches feed on whatever they can find, particularly sugary foods. But the roach that is now extinct was a predator, and that makes these preserved hell-spawns much more frightening, as I would hate to find one of them in my bathroom taking a shower with me today!
What would you do if you found one of these cockroaches in your kitchen?