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How Do Termites Successfully Escape From Predators?

How Do Termites Successfully Escape From Predators?

Since termites are relatively small organisms, you would think that they would stand almost no chance of surviving an encounter with a predator. Surprisingly, a termite’s small size affords them many advantages during predatory attacks. For example, subterranean termites, as their name suggests, spend most of their time below the ground’s surface where predators cannot reach them. Despite this advantage, subterranean termites still need to beware of predators that also burrow within the soil. Other types of termites, most of which are non-soil dwellers, such as many drywood and dampwood termite species, dwell within pieces of dead or living timber.

Termites protect themselves by avoiding exposure to the outside world as much as possible. Termite-built nesting structures, tunnels and mud tubes keep termites hidden from their predators. However, termites are sometimes attacked within the wood and nests that they inhabit. When termites are a

ttacked within these shelters, researchers cannot possibly observe their escape strategies. Luckily, the black-winged termite species is in a unique position to shed more light on the methods of escape used by termites under attack.

The black-winged termite is native to southeast Asia, and they are known for building mud tubes along the length of trees from the crown to the routes. Given this termite’s exposure to predators during mud tube construction, researchers are able to observe how this termite escapes from predatory attacks.

Past studies that focused on termite escape behaviors could only be conducted within laboratories. These lab studies showed that termites escaped from predators immediately, but the recent field study showed termites indulging in a “wandering behavior” in response to an attack. Wandering behavior has been observed in other animals under similar hostile conditions. Socially inclined animals that move in herds may take time to develop a team strategy for escape, and this can look like wandering to observers. An individual termite may feel restrained from escaping alone from a predator if the colony is still in danger. In a termite’s case, the survival of the colony is more important than individual survival. This may explain why individual termites escape at lower speeds than termites escaping in groups. In this case, the slow-moving individual termite may be more focused on serving or regrouping with its colony rather than successfully escaping from a predator. Immediately after a predatory attack, termites may also wonder in order to survey the outside conditions before making a getaway. Finding safe places in the environment to hide is a necessity for termites that were born and raised within nests.

Have you ever seen a group of termites fleeing in response to a disturbance?

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Termite Warning Signs | Phoenix Termite Control

Termite Warning Signs | Phoenix Termite Control

Magic Pest offers the following signs that termites may be present in a home:

  1. Mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source) on the exterior of the home.
  2. Soft wood in the home that sounds hollow when tapped.
  3. Darkening or blistering of wood structures.
  4. Cracked or bubbling paint.
  5. Small piles of feces that resemble sawdust near a termite nest.
  6. Discarded wings near doors or on windowsills, indicating swarmers have entered the home or swarmers themselves, which are often mistaken for flying ants.

Phoenix Termite Control Experts. Call Today For A Free Inspection!

10 Tips To Prevent Termites From Damaging Your Home

Gilbert Termite Control Experts

10 Tips To Prevent Termites From Damaging Your Home!

  1. Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
  2. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
  3. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  4. Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  5. Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  6. Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
  8. Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
  9. Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
  10. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.
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Cockroaches: Why They Are So Hard to Control

Cockroaches: Why They Are So Hard to Control

Magic Pest Control  explores why these reviled pests can be difficult to eliminate from homes

Cockroaches are some of the most adaptable pests on Earth. These long-despised creepy creatures have been around for more than 280 million years, and in this time have evolved to display some unique behaviors and survival tactics that allow them to thrive in many different environments, including homes. Magic Pest control reminds homeowners that while controlling cockroaches can be particularly challenging, doing so is vital to protecting human health.

Cockroaches are known to cause allergic reactions and trigger asthma attacks, especially in children. These pests can also spread 33 kinds of bacteria, including E. coli and Salmonella. If spotted, homeowners should call a pest professional to evaluate the severity of the problem and recommend a course of treatment.

Magic Pest Control offers insight into what makes cockroaches so difficult to control without the help of professional pest control services:

  •  Resilience. Cockroaches can live for up to a week without their heads. They can also hold their breath for 40 minutes and even survive being submerged in water for half an hour. Additionally, some species are able to withstand freezing temperatures.
  • Small size.Cockroaches are small pests, so they can easily hide in cracks and crevices. Male cockroaches can fit through an opening as small as 1/16 inch in width or the thickness of a quarter.
  • Quick speed.Cockroaches are very fast and can run up to three miles an hour. A newborn cockroach, which is about the size of a speck of dust, runs nearly as fast as its parents.
  • Irregular feeding habits.Cockroaches can survive for up to one month without food and one week without water. They are omnivores and are attracted to all types of foods, including sugars, proteins and fats.

 

To prevent cockroaches, Magic Pest Control suggests keeping a meticulously clean kitchen, eliminating moisture in bathrooms, sealing all cracks and crevices inside and outside the home and keeping basements and crawlspaces dry and well-ventilated.

 

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Dodge Ant Infestations this Summer | Gilbert Ant Control

Dodge Ant Infestations this SummerSummer DIY Pest Control Tips

Magic Pest Control offers prevention tips for homeowners to avoid ant problems

Spotting a line for food at a summer barbeque can be exciting, but not when it’s accompanied with a line of ants. Magic Pest Control says prevention of these picnic-crashing pests is key because they can be difficult to control once they infiltrate a property in large numbers.

Summer cookouts, and the crumbs they leave behind, are the perfect targets for ants in need of food and water. There are, however, quick tips and tricks that homeowners can use to sidestep ant infestations. These simple efforts can go a long way, as ants can contaminate food and colony sizes can be quite large depending on the species.”

Homeowners can implement the following ant prevention:

  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water; repair leaky pipes or faucets.
  • Quickly clean up crumbs and spills as soon as possible.
  • Do the dishes, wipe down counters, tabletops, sweep up floors and remove trash regularly.
  • Don’t leave leftover dog and cat food dishes sitting out all day; pick up dishes once the animals are done eating.
  • Check under appliances and behind garbage cans where crumbs and residue can accumulate.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
  • Seal any cracks or small openings around the foundation of the home and repair ripped screens as these can serve as entry points.

For more information visit www.magicpestcontrol.com

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The Phoenix Family That Captures And Eats Wild Scorpions

The Phoenix Family That Captures And Eats Wild ScorpionsAre Scorpions Infesting Your Home?

These days more and more people are trying to maintain a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients. As a result of this health craze, several diet fads have become popular in recent years. Ten years ago westerners would never have considered making insects a part of their diet, but now edible insects are being touted as a superfood. The western world has been slow to embrace edible insects, but a few brave westerners have successfully integrated insects into their diet. Edible insect products are available in the United States, but not all edible insect enthusiasts purchase their insect meals commercially. For example, one family in Phoenix, Arizona hunts, cooks and eats wild scorpions. Of course, scorpions are technically arachnids, and not insects.

Most Americans have never tried eating edible insects, and those that are willing to try eating insects would most likely refuse to eat scorpions. However, if you live in the southwest US scorpions make for convenient food items, as their abundance in this region makes them easy to find. Scorpions can be dangerous, and given the high scorpion population in the southwest, these arachnids often find their way into people’s homes. In the state of Arizona, it is not uncommon for people to hunt and kill scorpions in an effort to reduce scorpion attacks. However, the Mauls family not only hunts scorpions; they also cook and eat them.

One day Josh Mauls and his family went scorpion hunting. Upon finding a few scorpions, Josh’s four year old son asked if he could eat one. After conducting a bit of research on the topic, Josh finally told his son that scorpions can indeed be consumed. It took some trial and error before the Mauls family mastered the art of cooking scorpions. When cooking scorpions, the Mauls family removes the stinger, and the venom is neutralized during the cooking process. For those of you who wish to capture, cook and eat your own scorpions, be sure to do a bit of research first, as improperly prepared scorpions can be difficult to swallow.

Would you be willing to taste cooked scorpion?

Gilbert Scorpion Control

 

Why Scientists Want To Preserve Fireflies

Why Scientists Want To Preserve Fireflies

Fireflies may be the most beloved of all insects. As children, the sight of fireflies glowing on and off in the distance was nothing short of fascinating. For many adults, fireflies not only conjure up pleasant memories from childhood, but their glowing bodies indicate that summer has officially arrived. Fireflies are immediately recognizable, and many children never tire of attempting to capture the bugs in mason jars, but how much do people really know about fireflies? As it turns out, fireflies are more than just an interesting group of insects, as firefly activity can indicate the relative health of a particular ecosystem. Unfortunately, this means that, much like other insect species today, firefly populations are decreasing due to environmental hazards. In response to this loss in firefly life, experts formed the Firefly Watch project at the Museum of Science in Boston. This project aims to preserve and track firefly populations in America.

The Firefly Watch project recruits thousands of citizen scientists from all fifty states and several Canadian provinces in order to track trends in firefly populations around North America. Starting just a couple of months ago, the Firefly Watch program was taken over by Mass Audubon. This organization is working closely with Tufts University in order to continue the research started by the Firefly Watch program. Mass Audubon is still looking for more citizen scientists; anybody can sign up for the project by visiting the Museum of Science in Boston website.

Researchers also want to preserve fireflies due to their value in the field of medicine. Fireflies are helping researchers to understand how diseases such as cancer and muscular dystrophy attack human cells. Fireflies have also been used to detect food spoilage and bacterial contamination. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that fireflies are even used by NASA officials when developing instruments that are designed to detect life beyond our own planet.

Have you ever attempted to catch fireflies as an adult? Did the fireflies that you captured as a child live longer than a single day in captivity?

Phoenix Termite Control Experts

Swarming Termites Are Harassing Pedestrians Around The Daniel Boone Hotel

Every year toward the beginning of the summer season, winged termites vacate their nests in order to establish new colonies as queens and kings. Swarming termites cannot harm humans, but that does not stop them from annoying homeowners, tourists, and random pedestrians. Termite swarms are particularly easy to spot in the southeast, where the subtropical humid climate allows termites to thrive. As the month of June progresses, termite swarming activity begins to occur in more northern states.

For the past month, the internet has been constantly reporting on the unusually frequent termite swarms occuring in southern states this year. Now, these annoying swarms have reached the state of Kentucky where they are harassing pedestrians in one downtown area. In the town of Whitesburg, pedestrians are being rattled by swarming termites that are coming from one particular building. The historic Daniel Boone Hotel is currently being renovated, but that is not stopping termites from inhabiting the premises. It is in this hotel where many of the troublesome termite swarms have been originating.

One resident of Whitesburg, Medra Blair Bowen, posted a video to Facebook that shows numerous termites coating the outer hotel wall, as well as the sidewalk below the wall. Bowen posted a caption below the video that demanded something be done with the hotel so that downtown pedestrians won’t be forced to dodge termite swarms. Bowen is also concerned with the likelihood of her business succumbing to a termite infestation.

Bowen owns an insurance agency that is adjacent to the hotel, and she knows first hand how troublesome the termites have been for her customers and pedestrians in the downtown area. Bowen claims that she and many other nearby business owners called hotel managers in order to complain about the lack of pest control treatments being applied to the building. Initially, the managers did nothing in response to the several complaints. However, once she posted the video, pest control professionals were seen spraying the building the next day.

The Mayor of Whitesburg has stated that termite swarms are common and harmless in this region around this time of year, and that neither the hotel nor any other nearby buildings have become infested. Despite these claims, Bowen believes that buildings located near the hotel are still at risk for termite infestations since the termite spray had not been applied to the interior of the the Daniel Boone Hotel.

Do you believe that it is the local government’s responsibility to protect businesses from termite infestations in this case? Should the local government be able to legally require the owners of the Daniel Boone Hotel to have termite inspections conducted?

Thieves Make-Off With Two Million Honey Bees | Phoenix Bee Removal

Thieves Make-Off With Two Million Honey Bees | Phoenix Bee Removal

Having your possessions stolen is never fun, and this is why we keep our valuables in safe places. When it comes to preventing thefts, people may buy safes, or even hide their valuables before leaving home. Obviously, common thieves are after your most valuable possessions, as there are not too many thieves around who want to steal toiletry items from people’s homes. In big cities, like New York or Los Angeles, residents are understandably concerned with the high rate of robberies and petty thefts. It goes without saying that residents of bigger cities should always keep their valuables under lock and key. Of course, America is not the only place where high theft rates exist. For example, in the city of Skåne, Sweden, the rate of thefts are particularly high. However, in this city, thieves don’t seem concerned with getting their hands on your typical valuables, such as jewelry or electronics; instead, this city sees high rates of beehive thefts.

Every year in Skåne between fifty and one hundred beehives are stolen from beekeepers. The most recent beehive heist saw thieves make-off with at least two million individual bees of the Apis mellifera species. This was the largest theft of its kind in European history. According to local news sources, thieves stole fifty beehives as well as one thousand liters of honey. The thieves stole bees from two different beekeeping locations in the Swedish city. One of the beekeeper victims, Patrick Nilsson claimed that the loss made him feel as though his pets had just died. After Nilsson realized that he had been the victim of a theft, he called a nearby fellow beekeeper who also claimed to have been robbed of his beehives. It is not yet known how many bees were stolen from this second beekeeper. Sweden is not the only country to see high bee theft rates. For example, since 2011, hundreds of thousands of apiaries across England and Wales have been robbed. Experts blame the surge in thefts on increased competition between beekeepers.

Do you think that the alleged increase in competition among beekeepers is being driven by the declining bee population?