Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Small Flies That Arizona Residents Often Mistake For Fleas Or Chiggers

Flies are disgusting and annoying insect pests that are, unfortunately, all to common within homes. In Arizona, one of the most common fly pests belonging to the Diptera order are commonly known as no-see-ums, also known as sandflies or biting midges. No-see-ums belong to the Ceratopogonidae family, which consists of more than 5,000 species that span all regions of the world, even polar regions. The no-see-ums that exist in Arizona and the rest of the southwest belong to the Culicoides genus. This genus includes species that are known for facilitating the spread of disease. While no-see-ums in Arizona are not considered disease vectors, they can still spread disease causing bacteria to humans and human food sources. When these insects bite, their saliva is injected into the human bloodstream, causing initial pain and lasting irritation. Persistent scratching of bite wounds has been known to lead to infection.

No-see-ums are nearly invisible to the naked eye, and they are sometimes referred to as gnats. Despite their small size, these insects are known for inflicting painful and irritating bites. Each year, entomologists who specialize in pest control at the University of Arizona’s extension office receive numerous calls from residents who believe that they have been bitten by fleas or chiggers. However, after discussing the bite wounds and symptoms with residents, the entomologists learn that these residents were actually bitten by no-see-ums.

Since no-see-ums are no larger than 1/16 of an inch in body length, they can easily fly through window screens before biting residents within their homes. The presence of these insects are virtually impossible to prevent within homes, but keeping garbage and open food sources minimal can go a long way to prevent these insects from becoming an issue within homes. No-see-ums are most active in Arizona during the summer months in the morning and early afternoon.

Have you ever found what you believe were no-see-ums within your home?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Small Flies That Arizona Residents Often Mistake For Fleas Or Chiggers

Flies are disgusting and annoying insect pests that are, unfortunately, all to common within homes. In Arizona, one of the most common fly pests belonging to the Diptera order are commonly known as no-see-ums, also known as sandflies or biting midges. No-see-ums belong to the Ceratopogonidae family, which consists of more than 5,000 species that span all regions of the world, even polar regions. The no-see-ums that exist in Arizona and the rest of the southwest belong to the Culicoides genus. This genus includes species that are known for facilitating the spread of disease. While no-see-ums in Arizona are not considered disease vectors, they can still spread disease causing bacteria to humans and human food sources. When these insects bite, their saliva is injected into the human bloodstream, causing initial pain and lasting irritation. Persistent scratching of bite wounds has been known to lead to infection.

No-see-ums are nearly invisible to the naked eye, and they are sometimes referred to as gnats. Despite their small size, these insects are known for inflicting painful and irritating bites. Each year, entomologists who specialize in pest control at the University of Arizona’s extension office receive numerous calls from residents who believe that they have been bitten by fleas or chiggers. However, after discussing the bite wounds and symptoms with residents, the entomologists learn that these residents were actually bitten by no-see-ums.

Since no-see-ums are no larger than 1/16 of an inch in body length, they can easily fly through window screens before biting residents within their homes. The presence of these insects are virtually impossible to prevent within homes, but keeping garbage and open food sources minimal can go a long way to prevent these insects from becoming an issue within homes. No-see-ums are most active in Arizona during the summer months in the morning and early afternoon.

Have you ever found what you believe were no-see-ums within your home?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

A Citywide Outbreak Of Odorous Stink Beetles Perplex And Disgust Residents

A Citywide Outbreak Of Odorous Stink Beetles Perplex And Disgust Residents

Beetles may be the most species-rich group of insects on the planet, and many beetle species have been categorized as pests. However, most beetle pests infest and damage trees and plants, as many gardeners have come to learn. Very few beetle pests invade homes, and beetle epidemics that see thousands of specimens invading homes and business in large cities are unheard of, well almost unheard of, anyway. Last April, massive amounts of beetles laid siege to residential and urban areas of Bullhead City. The worst aspect of this invasion was the foul-smelling defensive fluids that the beetles secrete when they become threatened or when they are squished.

Last spring, residents of Bullhead City could not help but notice the abundance of beetle corpses and live beetles littering parking lots, residential lawns, parks and busy streets. Many of the beetles found their way indoors, and the ones that didn’t rapidly succumbed to dehydration. According to one pest control expert, all the beetles that had been found in the city resulted from unusually high moisture levels that persisted since the beginning of the year in the northwest region of Arizona. The frequent bouts of rain during the winter and the consequent overgrowth of vegetation during the spring caused the beetles to invade the city en masse.

Employees at a local Ace Hardware store removed both dead and live beetles from the area surrounding the store for weeks. Thousands of beetles could be seen outside Kohl’s and Target where corpses became so abundant that the parking lot became slippery in some places. Many dogs and cats in the city quickly learned that the beetles make for a lousy meal, as several pet owners claimed that their dog or cat quickly spat a beetle out quickly after collecting it from the ground. The reason the pets did this is due to this particular beetle species’ defensive secretions. The beetles in question are known as “desert stink beetles” in Arizona, as the beetles are well known to gather around outside lights during the spring, summer and fall. The defensive fluid secreted by these beetles causes intolerable irritation, providing these beetles with an ideal way to avoid being eaten alive.

Have you ever caught a whiff of smelly odors secreted by insects?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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.

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

 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.

Spooky Pests Can be a Nightmare for Homeowners

Spooky Pests Can be a Nightmare for Homeowners

Magic Pest Control warns homeowners to be on the lookout for common creepy critters this fall

With Halloween right around the corner, sightings of classic creepy bugs and creatures will surely be on the rise as homeowners decorate for the spookiest day of the year. However, Magic Pest Control reminds homeowners that real pests pose threats to both health and property and an infestation can be a real nightmare.

Pests such spiders, bats, rats and mice are frequently associated with Halloween fun and campy horror movies, but if found inside the home, they are cause for concern. These pests are more likely to invade houses as the weather cools down, so it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for any signs of pest problems.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the following pests could threaten the health and safety of your home this fall:

Spiders

For many people, spiders of any size and shape are cause for great alarm when found in the home, and their webs can be a serious nuisance. However, there are only two species of spiders in the U.S. that pose significant threats to human health: the brown recluse and black widow. Both species will bite when threatened and can cause painful, and possibly fatal, reactions. Anyone who suspects they’ve been bitten by either of these should promptly seeking medical attention.

Bats

Bats prefer to settle in dark, secluded and protected areas, including the attics of homes. They are known carriers of rabies in the U.S. and capable of infecting humans and other animals. Their droppings can also cause certain lung diseases. Bats are protected mammals in many states, so it is necessary to contact a pest control professional or the local wildlife service before taking any action to remove bats from the home.

Rats

Rats can inflict property damage and threaten human health. Their strong teeth allow them to chew through glass, cinderblock, aluminum and wire, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also vectors of diseases including plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis. Additionally, rats can introduce fleas in to a home. These pests can fit through holes the size of a quarter, so closely inspect both the inside and outside of the home for any gaps that could allow them easy entry.

For more information on these pests and how to prevent them, please visit www.magicpest.com

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?

 

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

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?