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Centipedes Are Intimidating Even To Rattlesnakes

Centipedes Are Intimidating Even To Rattlesnakes

Predatory animals are abundant in nature, even your own city probably contains several native populations of predatory animals. Ever since we were in gradeschool, conjuring up a list of animal predators has never been a challenge. Lions, tigers and bears are commonly referred to as being apex predators, and of course, nobody can forget about snakes. No matter the species, all snakes are formidable predators. Snakes are even referenced as personifications of evil in ancient mythologies and religions, notably Christianity. Rattlesnakes are particularly menacing creatures, as their venomous bites have been known to kill humans. It goes without saying that no animal can stand up to a group of rattlesnakes, unless, of course, that animal happens to be a centipede. Although it may come as a shock, rattlesnakes are actually quite leery of certain centipede species. In fact, researchers were surprised recently to find centipede remains within the digestive tracts of pygmy rattlesnakes. The researchers were so surprised that they set up an experiment in order to determine how these snakes go about attacking and eating centipedes without suffering debilitating or deadly consequences.

Pygmy rattlesnakes can be found in the southeastern United States. Despite their less than intimidating name, pygmy rattlesnakes are highly venomous pit vipers that are dangerous to humans. Since these snakes are quite predatory in nature, they are not at all picky about what they eat. For example, mice, birds and even other snakes are often consumed by pygmy rattlesnakes. Although these snakes are fierce, even they stand back when confronted with centipedes. Most animals, even large predators, know better than to approach centipedes, as their many legs, prickly bodies, and sharp fangs spell danger to all animals, even humans. After finding centipede remains within pygmy rattlesnake stomachs, researchers set out to determine how snakes successfully capture and consume centipedes. After placing a rattlesnake and a skink in the same area, the skink was made into lunch. The snake waited to ambush the skink, but the snake behaved differently while in a room with a centipede. When in a room with a centipede, the snake spent a long period of time slithering around the creepy-crawly. After finally landing a bite on the centipede, the snake waited for the venom to take hold. This is a wise move on the snake’s part, as centipedes are relatively resilient to the toxic effects of rattlesnake venom. Most of the time snakes eat their prey immediately upon attack, but this was not the case with the centipede.

Do you think that there exists any venomous centipede species that can attack and kill certain snake species?

 

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Lawmakers Oppose Funding Into Edible Insect Research

It is probably fair to say that most of the American public is disgusted by edible insect meals. Now, lawmakers in the United States are disgusted by the government funds going into edible insect research. Most Americans want nothing to do with edible insects, so it is likely that they do not want to see their tax dollars being spent on research into eating bugs. This is why lawmakers from multiple states have gone on the record in their opposition to edible insect research being funded with taxpayer money. In fact, some politicians are attempting to pass a bill that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars in edible insect research projects.About Pest Control in Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek

Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona is leading the charge against federally funded edible insect research. Flake is not opposed to edible insects, but he does not want taxpayer dollars going to startup businesses that specialize in edible insect production. According to Flake, this type of spending is just another example of careless government spending. Flake is not alone, as he and many other senators and congressman are looking to make amendments to a particular House spending package that allows government entities to spend as much as 100,000 dollars on edible insect projects. Flake’s amendment would block taxpayer dollars from going into the hands of edible insect companies.

One business owner who specializes in cricket feed says he has not yet felt the heat from Senator Flake. The California-based business is called Tiny Farms Inc., and it is run by Andrew Brentano, who is currently serving as the company’s CEO. According to Brentano, his business, as well as many others he knows of, has received funding from the USDA with no problems. Brentano firmly believes that federal funding into edible insects is not a waste of money, as edible insects could end up saving billions if it were to displace livestock meat as the primary source of protein for Americans.

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Neuroscientists Have Revealed How Humans Really Feel About Insects

Having a fear of insects is not uncommon. Even those people who claim to be fearless when encountering creepy-crawlies still probably become startled upon unexpectedly seeing one in their home. Since a few insects can inflict painful, or even deadly bites or stings, our instinctive fear of them keeps us safe. It is generally believed that humans developed this sense of fear over the course of evolution in order to recognize and avoid threats to our survival. However, how do we know that we are really experiencing “fear” when encountering creepy-crawlies? After all, the feeling of being scared does not necessarily match the feeling experienced during arthropod encounters.

Obviously, being alone in the dark, watching scary movies, or being stocked by a stranger elicits feelings of fear, but seeing a creepy looking arthropod, like a tarantula or a praying mantis, does not make us feel the same way. Of course, this is not to say that arthropod encounters don’t elicit negative feelings that make people uncomfortable, but perhaps we humans have been misjudging our own feelings toward insects. Many people would argue that the feelings that one experiences upon unexpectedly finding a creepy arthropod are merely subjective feelings that differ from individual to individual. This is a sensible opinion, but most neuroscientists would disagree. A recent study had researchers examining how our brains function upon finding insects. As it turns out, we are not scared of these multi-legged creatures at all, but we are certainly disgusted by them.

Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have recently determined that the part of the human brain associated with disgust, and not fear, becomes activated upon finding insects. The feeling of disgust is associated with contamination and disease. This finding surprised the researchers that had been expecting to record a neurological fear response, but the fear centers remained inactive upon exposure to insects. Understandably, the study subjects became particularly disgusted upon seeing the common household insects that are capable of spreading disease pathogens, such as roaches. In fact, household insects elicited more fear in the subjects than insects in the wild. This makes sense, as humans have naturally become conditioned to fear the very pathogen-spreading insects that we encounter most often.

After reading this blog article, do you find it easy to believe that insects elicit feelings of disgust rather than fright? Or do you feel like the study’s finding runs contrary to your own feelings when finding an insect in your home?

 

 

Why Are Aquatic Insects Rare? | Magic Pest Control

Why Are Aquatic Insects Rare? | Magic Pest Controlmagicpest-logo

It is obvious to anyone who has aged beyond their toddler years that there exists a whole lot of insects on this planet. Insect abundance is so great on Earth that even the harshest environments that you can think of most certainly contain at least a few forms of insect life. For example, insects can be found in the freezing cold of Antarctica as well as within the scorchingly hot Sahara Desert. Despite the resilience and abundance of insect species, hardly any insects have adapted to live near water. Considering the abundance of both insects and water on this planet, it is surprising to learn that very few aquatic insect species have come into existence.

Around seventy percent of the globe is covered in bodies of water. There exists approximately ten quintillion individual insects inhabiting earth right now. For those who need some perspective on this massive number, it contains nineteen zeroes. Despite this incredibly high number, there only exists around thirty to forty thousand insect types that are classified as aquatic. Of these forty thousand, only one hundred or so actually live within an aquatic environment. According to one marine biologist, there actually does exist many insect species that dwell within or near sources of freshwater, and there is nothing to prevent these same insects from inhabiting the ocean. Despite this, the number of insect species that dwell near or within the ocean is relatively small, and these aquatic insects are not being deterred by the ocean’s salt content. Although very few insect species dwell within ocean habitats, it is not uncommon for insect larvae and eggs to develop beneath the ocean’s surface. However, most of the larvae that develops within ocean habitats possess wings as adults, which could explain why these insects cannot survive in the sea. When aquatic larval species of insects develop into adults, they often experience difficulty obtaining food so far out into the ocean. This difficulty gives insects another good reason to avoid the ocean and other large bodies of water. For most adult insects, water means death.

Have you ever encountered an aquatic insect while swimming for recreation

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Out Of Control Urban Fly Populations Terrified Americans During The Early Twentieth Century

Out Of Control Urban Fly Populations Terrified Americans During The Early Twentieth Centurymagicpest-logo

Today, everyone should be familiar with the various ways in which people can protect themselves from dangerous insect pests. Mosquitoes are the modern insect threat to be controlled, and American public health officials are doing their best to share with the public the various measures that can be taken to avoid sustaining bites from disease-carrying mosquitoes. Insect pests have always been a threat to humans, and it is impossible to find a time in history when there was not an insect menace to fear. For example, back in 1900, Americans were terrified of flies. The flies that were feared during this time were not exotic flies that bit people or spread disease; instead, the insect threat came from simple houseflies. It may be hard to believe that Americans used to fear houseflies, as they are encountered on a daily basis during the summer, but the American government used to be convinced that houseflies possessed disease-spreading potential. During the early twentieth century, government-employed public health officials were not shy about sharing the housefly threat with the America public. As you can imagine, the American public responded to these warnings with mass panic.

Today we take garbage-disposal services for granted. Believe it or not, public garbage-disposal has not always been an established part of life in America. Prior to the mainstream use of vehicles, horses were common, and they left massive amounts of manure in the streets, as did many other animals. At the time, public health officials feared that flies would spread disease to humans after making contact with the bacteria-rich manure that littered the streets of Washington DC. Houseflies used to be viewed as filthy, as they were well known to swarm near decaying carcasses as well. One educator at the time falsely claimed that fly-borne disease killed seventy thousand Americans every year. The threat of fly-borne disease prompted activists and public health officials to demand that the government dispose of the tons of manure in urban regions. Public health officials recommended that citizens of manure-saturated urban areas install screens on their doors and windows in order to prevent the entrance of flies. However, the calls for public sanitation reforms were halted by experts who had claimed that houseflies were not spreaders of disease. Luckily, pioneers in the field of medical entomology pressed for better public sanitation programs in order to control the fly supposed menace. Eventually, the overabundance of flies subsided along with the progressive decrease of public manure heaps.

Do you think that you too would have worried about disease-carrying flies if you lived during the first half of the twentieth century?

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Pest Control Q & A

Phoenix Pest Control Q & A

What makes homes attractive to pests?

Pests are attracted to food, water and shelter. Exclusion techniques and removing food and water sources will help deter pests. Simple measures such as keeping food in sealed containers and cleaning up after each meal to avoid leaving crumbs can help. Fix leaky pipes and drains to ensure that if pests do get in, they won’t have ideal conditions in which they can thrive.

How do pests get into homes?

Pests enter structures through cracks and crevices around windows, doors, along foundations, ripped screens, uncapped chimneys, and also through holes where utilities enter a structure. Firewood, groceries, and other deliveries can carry pests in, too. Seal any openings with silicone caulk or steel wool, and to avoid hitchhiking pests, examine packages thoroughly before bringing them inside.

Where are pests most likely to settle in?

Pests have direct access to basements and attics through roofs and foundations, so they should be kept well ventilated, dry, and clutter-free. Also, because of the concentration of food and water, kitchens and bathrooms are other common areas.

What should I do if I have an infestation?

Despite even the best efforts, pests can still find their way inside. If you have a pest problem or need advice on how to better pest-proof your home, contact a qualified and licensed pest control professional, like Magic Pest Control.

For more information on common household pests, please visit www.magicpest.com

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 Tips For Pest Prevention | Phoenix Pest Control Experts

 Tips For Pest Prevention | Phoenix Pest Control ExpertsAbout Pest Control in Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek

What makes homes attractive to pests?

Pests are attracted to food, water and shelter. Exclusion techniques and removing food and water sources will help deter pests. Simple measures such as keeping food in sealed containers and cleaning up after each meal to avoid leaving crumbs can help. Fix leaky pipes and drains to ensure that if pests do get in, they won’t have ideal conditions in which they can thrive.

How do pests get into homes?

Pests enter structures through cracks and crevices around windows, doors, along foundations, ripped screens, uncapped chimneys, and also through holes where utilities enter a structure. Firewood, groceries, and other deliveries can carry pests in, too. Seal any openings with silicone caulk or steel wool, and to avoid hitchhiking pests, examine packages thoroughly before bringing them inside.

Where are pests most likely to settle in?

Pests have direct access to basements and attics through roofs and foundations, so they should be kept well ventilated, dry, and clutter-free. Also, because of the concentration of food and water, kitchens and bathrooms are other common areas.

What should I do if I have an infestation?

Despite even the best efforts, pests can still find their way inside. If you have a pest problem or need advice on how to better pest-proof your home, contact a qualified and licensed pest control professional.