Venom

The biggest worry people have about having creepy crawlers in their house is getting bitten. while sometimes people just fear their presence, the way they look, or the damage to their food or home. the main concern is getting bitten by these pests. that is why the least popular creatures that invade a home are spiders and (depending on the area) scorpions. Some people don’t like cockroaches because of how gross they look, others dislike ants because of how they scourge food. Spiders and scorpions easily top both of those and it’s for one reason, they can bite and sting. Ants can bite too, but the difference between those little guys versus spiders and scorpions are the affects of the bite. Scorpions and spiders have a bit of a unique quality that differs from other pests, venom.

To be fair, ants, bees and a few other insects do have venom, however that venom does not have the same impact on our body that scorpion and spider venom do. We have an inherent fear of spiders because of the horror stores we have heard about the notorious Black Widow and Brown Recluse. These two spiders carry a venom that can potentially be deadly, so we tend to put that venomous umbrella over all types of spiders.  Scorpions carry a similar amount of clout compared to spiders, and this is often attributed to movies in which we see the effects of the Emperor Scorpion and other dangerous scorpions, we have a fear of what could happen.

 

 

 

 

Black Widow

 

A surprising aspect of venom, is the effect that it has on our bodies when we are bitten or stung. When you are bitten by a black widow the effects usually happen after about 20-60 minutes. After being bitten the venom will travel throughout your body and you will begin to feel pain at the location of the bite, and you may also experience nausea, abdominal pain and muscle cramps. If you have those symptoms, please call 911 or visit your local E.R. or urgent care. Though the affects often wear off within 24 hours, and it isn’t likely that you will die, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Brown Recluse spider bites only differ slightly from that of the Black Widow; after being bitten you won’t notice any effects until about 2-6 hours. Symptoms include pain and itching in the bite area as well slight skin color change in that area due to skin cell damage. It is best to treat these bites by applying ice to the bite and contacting emergency help. As with black widow bites, most of the time the effects will go away without medical treatment as time goes by. Unfortunately, for both of these spiders’ bites, children and the elderly are most susceptible to them and could be fatal danger if the bites go untreated.

Even though there are thousands of species of spiders within the United States, the only two that are “dangerous” are those mentioned above. Among the thousands of spiders that could potentially be in your home (not all at once), most of their bites’ could not even penetrate your skin. We have this inherent fear of spiders in our home because we are terrified of being bitten, but the chances of a bite are minimal, and if you do get bit, it will probably go unnoticed.

AZ Bark Scorpion

Regarding venom, the same holds true with both spiders and scorpions. When a scorpion stings you, the venom will travel throughout your whole body and you will feel quite a bit of pain at the location of the sting. A large difference within this sting versus that of a spider bite, is that there will be quite a bit more pain where the sting occurred, and there will be a bit more swelling. As with spiders, if a child is stung, call 911, poison control, or go to your nearest urgent care of ER because the effects can be detrimental. This same thing is true with scorpions regarding venom. Most of the time the affects of the sting will soon wear off and you will be fine, but again, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Although spiders and scorpions may seem scary and dangerous, they have been over dramatized for years in movies and television shows and therefore seem absolutely terrifying. It is still a good idea to avoid spiders and scorpions when possible, the real pests that can hurt your home are insects like termites that can “erode” your home away. Whether you have termites, spiders, scorpions, ants or another pest, Bulwark Pest Control is the best option to rid of any pests you may have! Call us today at, 1-800-610-7576.

What is a spider’s web made out of?

For any of you who have seen any Spider Man movie *cough* Spider-Man: Homecoming *cough* which recently came out, you’ll notice that Spider-Man makes his own webbing! Let’s look into what a spider’s web is actually made of, and is it possible to recreate our web slinging friends antics? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When people think about the structure of a web they often think about the rumor that states that they’re stronger than steel… Well, not only is that true, but a spider’s web is actually stronger than steel! This is because of something called tensile strength, which refers to the tension of which the material can withstand, and why a web is more elastic than steel. Without that elasticity, people would be hurting themselves left and right as they try to clear webs.  The spider’s web is made of spider silk, which is an extremely elastic material constructed of lots of protein fibers. That being said, spider silk can bare more weight than steel, however it is much less dense. A spider creates its silk within a very specialized organ, called the spinneret. Another benefit of this silk, is that it contains glue like properties which aid in catching its prey. When an insect comes in contact with the web, they are likely stuck until their demise. Spider silk is also conductive to electricity, and the spider actually uses this to its advantage. They use this conductivity to build up a static charge, and like a sock sticks to a towel if there is too much static in the dryer, an insect with any static charge clinging to it will stick to the web as well, and they are unable to escape. At first glance, a spider web may seem like an intricate design for spiders to lounge on, but the underlying properties are absolutely fascinating. 

 

New Year’s Party Snack: Bacon & Cheese Grasshoppers In A Can

New Year Bug SnacksNew Year’s is almost upon us! As you’re picking out the party favors for your New Year’s festivities, why not try something new that will have all your party guests talking? Why not try bacon and cheese flavored grasshoppers in a can!

Yes, you heard me right… Bacon and cheese grasshoppers in a can! With each subsequent word, that statement gets better! Let’s face it… You had us all at bacon!

Bacon & Cheese Grasshoppers In A Can

Whether you’re the super adventurous type, or maybe just slightly insane, I’ve got a treat for you. A company in Thailand is offering these delectable treats, along with many more.

Thailand is long known for eating bugs, and as many Thais moved throughout the globe, they still wanted to eat bugs. So a Thai entrepreneur started canning and exporting the bugs in a variety of flavors. Yup, flavored bugs in a can! The latest is bacon and cheese grasshoppers.

If you’re got a hankering for the creepy crawlies, it’ll cost you $40 for a box of 7 cans. The product comes from Thailand, and the manufacturing facility is registered with the Thai FDA (Food & Drug Administration) and the US FDA and has passed GMP (Good Food manufacturing). All individual food products are tested and registered with FDA, so it sounds like they’ve gotten the green light for consumption here in the United States.

Other Tasty Bug Treats In A Can To Try

If bacon and cheese flavored grasshoppers aren’t your thing, give a few of these other tasty bug treats a try:

  • BBQ Bamboo Worms
  • Nori Seaweed Armor Tail Scorpions
  • Salted Queen Weaver Ants
  • Sour Cream & Onion Dung Beetles
  • Wasabi House Crickets
  • Giant Waterbug Chili Paste

Someone will have to let me know how the Sour Cream and Onion Dung Beetles taste… I wonder what kind of cleaning process the dung beetles go through before being canned!?! I mean, they spend there lives playing with balls of crap.

Happy New Year’s!

So it is farewell to 2015, and Blog Pest Control would like to express our gratitude for another remarkable year. We’d like to thank you the reader for your valuable support, comments, social media shares, and feedback throughout the past year.

All of us here at Blog Pest Control would like seize this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year 2015. May the coming year bring prosperity, joy, and happiness to all of you!

Warning: Smelly Bugs Invading

Brown Stink BugAs certain as the hot summer months arrive throughout the US, so too do the bugs. They enter our homes looking for shelter from the elements. During these home invasions, many homeowners will likely see a familiar pest… The invasive brown marmorated stink bug!

The invasive brown marmorated stinkbug has been a serious pest problem for much of the country, especially in the Northeast United States. Some reports predict their numbers to be up over 60% this year. This is mostly due to the insects having multiple breeding cycles during the upcoming long, hot, extended summer which is supposed to be one for the record books.

Reporting Stink Bug Sightings

If you are seeing an influx of Brown Marmorated stink bugs in your home or on your property, it’s likely that your State Department of Agriculture would like to hear about it. Please report any sightings.

Officials in the state of Texas are especially concerned with these stinky bugs making their way into the state. The Texas AgriLife Extension Office is asking for anyone who finds this type of stinkbug to give them a call. Officials have said that they “take this pest seriously, and are hard at work trying to understand effective ways to control it; and mitigate its effect.” These stink bugs have the potential to damage Texas’ crops; and your garden. The Texas AgriLife Extension Office can be reached at (512) 854-9600. 

The Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

Stink_BugThe Brown Marmorated Stinkbug is a medium sized insect that measures about a half inch to three-quarters of an inch long. They’re shield shaped and brown with black mottling on their backs. They also sport white and black triangles around the outer edge of their bodies. They are best known for emitting a foul smelling over when disturbed or squashed.

Keeping Stinkbugs Out Of Your Home

  • Cover any vents, window, and doors with tight fitting screens.
  • Seal up any holes, cracks, or that might allow stink bugs easy access into your home.
  • Keep outdoor lighting to a minimum as stink bugs are attracted to lights.
  • If you do happen to get any of the bugs inside your home, vacuum them up with a shop-vac filled with hot soapy water. If using an upright vacuum, make sure it has a vacuum bag that is tightly sealed. Remember, do not crush the bugs or you will be smelling them.
  • If a stink bug problem develops, contact a licensed pest control professional.

Zombie Ladybugs

Ladybug_Swarm

Zombies are all the rage these days from hit Hollywood movies, to the critically acclaimed The Walking Dead television series; with some cities even sponsoring Zombie runs.

In the bug world, we’ve become acquainted with zombie ants and zombie bees; now we can add zombie ladybugs to the mix.

In news of the completely cool and awesome, one sting from a parasitic wasp can inflict a newly discovered virus into a ladybug; turning the ladybug into the wasp’s zombie slave.

Zombie Ladybugs

Zombie Ladybug Cocoon
Source: sciencemag.org

In the insect world, stings from wasps aren’t always intended to kill or ward off an intruder. In the case of a parasitic wasp, Dinocampus coccinellae, stinging a ladybug will turn the beetle into a zombie babysitter of sorts.

When the parasitic wasp stings the ladybug, it lays its egg inside the hapless creature. The incubating ladybug goes about it’s business for weeks as the parasitic wasp larva grows within it; feasting on its internal organs. Three weeks later a wasp larva bursts from the ladybug’s belly and weaves itself a cocoon; a cocoon that will be attached to the undercarriage of the bug. You’d think the process would kill the ladybug, but no. The bug simply becomes paralyzed. The virus then takes over the ladybug’s brain.

The ladybug starts to involuntarily twitch, and full zombie transformation has occurred (minus the whole eating brains thing). The poor zombie bug essentially becomes a zombie bodyguard, protecting the wasp egg with its life; watching over the young and fighting off predators. An adult wasp will emerge from the cocoon a week later.

Remarkably, about 25 percent of these zombie ladybugs will recover and return to their non-zombified selves; some even get stung and infected again!

Scientists are studying the process, looking at the potential of the virus being used as a neurological weapon… Used to turn people into zombies!

The cool and crazy insect world continues to amaze!

 

The Most Loved Bugs

For many of us, the term “most loved bugs” seems like an oxymoron. While many bugs do have some redeeming qualities; most of us wouldn’t say we love bugs like blood sucking bedbugs, stinging wasps, biting ants, destructive termites, or disease carrying cockroaches.

Still, despite the bad reputations of some bugs, there are actually several out there that many of us do love!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and romance in the air, I’m curious… which bug is the fairest of them all? “WHAT IS THE MOST LOVED BUG?”

I turned to Pinterest to evaluate, and based on number of pins, here are the 2015 rankings of the most loved bugs:

Most Loved Bug

Cuddly Caterpillar’s Sting Worse Than Scorpion

Caterpillar
They’re cute!

They look cuddly!

You’re kids want to touch them when they see them!

Don’t touch these innocent looking fuzzy caterpillars… You’ll be sorry you did!

Warning: Puss Caterpillars Are Dangerous

A little warning for the next time you step outside your home. Be on the lookout for the cuddly looking caterpillar that’s sending residents to the ER in record numbers this year. They are referred to as puss caterpillars (Megalopyge opercularis), or asps.

You don’t want to cross paths with these little critters. They sting! These painful stings leave a distinct imprint on your skin; but this mark is just the beginning. An encounter with a puss caterpillar, or asp, can lead to a painful recovery.

The pain from a puss caterpillar sting is actually worse than that of a scorpion sting!

Puss caterpillars can hide in bushes, fall from trees, and even find their way into your home. If one happens to brush up against your skin, it will first feel like a hot frying pan has hit your skin. Asps have hollow spines that are full of venom. Reactions can be quite severe at times, and send you to the ER.

Keep you and your kids away… These caterpillars are dangerous!

English: Catepillar sting twenty-four hours af...

Asp Sting Reactions

● Swelling
● Redness
● Pain
● Burning sensation
● Loss of breath
● Vomiting
● Muscle contractions
● Convulsions
● Drop in blood pressure
● Blood can’t clot

Puss Caterpillar Range

Puss caterpillars are predominately found in the Southern United States; and are especially prevalent in Texas and Florida. In addition to being found in the Southern US; asps are also widely distributed in Mexico and South America.

Asps Invade Texas 


During summers in Central Texas, it’s very common to come in contact with puss caterpillars. Nathaniel Greenwood is the Medical Director of the Cedar Park Emergency Center, and he said they have seen a spike in asp stings this summer.

 

Bugs for Dinner? 4 Surprising Foods that Contain Insects

In some parts of the world, bugs are considered a healthy source of protein. Many don’t think twice about popping a cricket or worm into their mouths when they want a quick snack. In the United States, however, we generally shy away from consuming insects. What you may not know, however, is that the FDA’s position is that some bugs in food are perfectly acceptable, as long as you can’t see them. In fact, for every 100 grams of food, up to 60 insect parts are considered “safe” to eat. As a result, you probably eat way more bugs than you ever realized. The following foods are sure to surprise you, as they all contain their fair share of insect parts.

Chocolate

A chocolate bar and melted chocolate. Chocolat...

Most of us have a weakness for chocolate. However, the next time you reach for a bar at the checkout line of the grocery store, consider this: there’s probably around eight insect parts inside the savory treat. In fact, people who are allergic to chocolate may actually be allergic to cockroaches instead. Cocoa beans naturally attract the little creatures as they grow, which means it is almost impossible to find a chocolate treat that does not have some level of contamination.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a semi-solid and can therefor...

Do you remember those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you loved as a kid? Your parents probably did not realize they were unintentionally packing you a healthy dose of bug as well. For every 100 grams of peanut butter, there can be 30+ insect parts and even a few rodent hairs mixed in with the product. In an average 18 ounce jar, then, there might be five or six rodent hairs and more than 150 insect parts!

Spinach

English: Spinach plant, Castelltallat, Catalon...

To get in a hearty dose of green vegetables, many people turn to frozen spinach. However, for every 100 grams of the food, there could be four dozen mites and aphids mixed in, along with caterpillar larvae. To avoid the bugs, try selecting fresh spinach and other produce. Some of the contamination is washed away in the cleaning process. With frozen foods, however, you can’t tell what is lurking in there.

Candy

Candy!

If you have a sweet tooth, beware. Some of the little treats you love so much are covered with a substance known as shellac, which is a secretion from a Thailand insect. Shellac is a part of candy corn, milk duds, junior mints, jelly beans, and other hard candies. If you love these treats, shellac is a part of your diet.

Eating bugs is fairly common in other parts of the world. However, in the United States, we generally don’t feast on insects. However, whether we like it or not, bugs are a part of our diet. The four foods listed above are just a few of the ones that contain insect parts. To minimize your consumption of these little critters, stay away from processed foods as much as possible. Also, read ingredient lists so you know what is in the food that you eat. And, of course, to avoid contamination in your own home, keep your living space as clean as possible and hire a pest control specialist if you find any little creatures near your food supply.

Strange Bug Facts: 5 Cool Things You Never Knew About Insects

Most homeowners are familiar with a variety of pests, but how much do you really know about the little creatures you see each day? Insects are actually quite intelligent, and there is a lot about them that might surprise you. These five facts will give you an inside glimpse into the secret world of bugs and other pests.

1. The animal that has killed more humans than any other is the… mosquito.

Mosquito

Mosquitoes may be tiny, but their bite packs a punch; they transmit parasites from one human to another, causing diseases like malaria. More than one million people die each year from mosquito bites, and the tally has grown so large, it even exceeds the number of people who have died as a result of war.

Two fun facts about mosquitoes: only the females bite, not the males, and the insects are drawn to human beings because of the carbon dioxide that we expel when we breathe.

2. The award for the biggest insect brain goes to the ant.

Carpenter Ant Face

Proportional to its size, the ant is the insect with the biggest brain. These little creatures outnumber humans about a million to one, and they are very social, residing in colonies with hundreds of thousands of other ants.

Ants seem to have a built-in earthquake radar, as they are able to detect a quake approximately 24 hours in advance. It is thought that they either pick up on changes in the Earth’s magnetic field or recognize changing gas emissions.

3. Honeybees pose a greater threat to human life than snakes.

Honeybee Honeycomb

While rattlesnakes and other poisonous reptiles are certainly dangerous, honeybees kill more people every year than all the various types of snakes combined. However, it is important to keep in mind that honeybees do important work; they pollinate about 80 percent of all flowering crops, which make up a large part of the human diet. As a result, most pest control companies will not destroy their hives and instead relocate them to another area where the honeybees can continue their work.

A few other things of note regarding honeybees: they never sleep and they fly at around 15 miles an hour. Also, they are the only insect that creates food humans can eat.

4. Dragonflies live for only a day.

Dragonfly

Dragonflies have an extremely short lifespan, experiencing the world around them for about twenty-fours before they die. They are also very fast fliers, moving at a rate of about sixty miles an hour. They obviously have a lot to do in a short period of time!

5. A bug is an insect. An insect is not necessary a bug.

ladybugs

Bugs typically have two pairs of wings and a tube-like beak. Many insects, like butterflies and ladybugs, are commonly confused for bugs even though they are quite different creatures. So, the next time you want to use “bug” and “insect” interchangeably, think again.

Hopefully, the next time you see an insect creeping about in your kitchen or fluttering around your car, you will look at it just a little differently. After all, you never know what is going on behind the scenes with these little creatures.

Chris is a regular contributing guest blogger on all bug things weird and fascinating.

Weekly Link Round-Up

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Pest Of The Week: Carpet Beetles

Thirsty carpet beetle
Thirsty carpet beetle (Photo credit: servitude)

Carpet beetles are very small, round and patterned in mottled, checkerboard, or wavy lines; with black, white, gray, brown, or orange colors. These insects are often found inside homes, living under carpets and rugs, and in crevices; where hair and dead insects have accumulated.

Between late May and early August, mating occurs and the Carpet beetles lay their eggs in air ducts, in closets, under furniture; or under baseboards. Once hatched, the larvae (also known as a woolly bear), will hide in dark, undisturbed areas and feed on organic material. These tiny pests cause major concern for homeowners, when they travel from room to room, quickly infesting a home; and damaging household items.

Hungry Carpet beetles will feed on a variety of animal and plant products, and cause insect control problems for homeowners, when they damage carpets, furniture, clothing and valuable food supplies. Strong indications of a wide-spread pest control problem, include the presence of damaged household items, molted larval skins in dark areas, and an abundance of adult Carpet beetles; near windows.

To deter an invasion, homeowners should vacuum regularly, dry clean their clothing, place naphthalene balls inside closets, and remove abandoned bird and insect nests; that might be attached to the house and out-buildings.