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.

Do all spiders spin webs?

Spider webs are some of the most intricate creations of nature in existence. The way they are made and they way that spiders utilize them, is absolutely incredible. Today, we are going to talk about how spider silk is made and how they use it. It should be known, that all spiders make silk, but not all spiders use that silk to make webs. Other uses of silk include: climbing, building walls for burrows, protection for egg sacs, transportation, and catching prey. Spiders transport by attaching an end of the silk to one side of a tree branch and dangling off the other, then letting go and moving with the wind; this is known as kiting. They also use the silk to “fish” in rivers and such “throwing a line” and catching what sticks. The use of the silk, completely depends upon the type of spider and their role in the wild. Different silks have different uses depending on the niche of the spider as well, some are sticky while others are impeccably strong. Now that we have some semblance of the who, what and why, we can gain a better understanding of how spiders create this stuff!  Spider silk is made within the spider through glands in it’s abdomen. The silk starts as a liquid made out of proteins and as the spider releases the silk out of its abdomen it becomes the fiber that is visible to us, the web. Spiders are so much more complex than the “scary” arachnid we see on the outside. 

Why are wasps important?

Whenever we think of wasps, we think of nasty pests, getting stung, nests on our house, and other annoying attributes they tend to have. What we don’t realize is that where there is bad, there is often some good, and believe it or not, wasps have a pinnacle role in nature in helping the circle of life. Wasps provide parasitism, pollination, and predation. Parasitism happens when two species interact and one of them is helped while the other sacrifices. Wasps are used as insect control in farm crops, because while they don’t damage the crops they lay their eggs in caterpillars and ruin any chance of the caterpillars harming the crop. Wasps, like bees, are also pollinators. People always think of bees as the only pollinators, and that without them plants would die, which is true, but wasps are just as important and effective when it comes to pollinating. Predation, is perhaps one of the most important attributes that wasps offer. Some people know that wasps are great spider killers, but lesser known is the just how many insects they actually kill. Without wasps there would an exponentially greater number of insects in the world, so much that it would affect our ecosystem. Wasps are important, and without them there would be an astronomical ripple effect within the circle of life. Be careful the next time you see these pesky creatures, but keep in mind that they do a lot for us! 

 

Why do scorpions sting themselves?

Most mysterious creepy things in this world are known to have some sort of myth or legend about them, and scorpions are no different. For scorpions, the myth is, when they are cornered or feel they have no chance to survive (for example, being surrounded by fire), scorpions will choose to sting themselves in order to commit suicide, rather than being killed. This myth has some truth to it, but in the end, it is false. When scorpions are in danger they tend to squirm around and sting vigorously around themselves, and thus on occasion, they will accidentally sting themselves. Even though scorpions may sometimes do this, their venom is not venomous to themselves or other scorpions so it would not normally kill them. This makes sense because when a scorpion tries to kill its prey, it will grab onto it and squirm around trying to sting it in order to disorientate its victim. Thus, when a scorpion comes up against an unknown danger, of course it’s going to respond by doing what it is used to doing, squirming and stinging. As far as fire goes, scorpions are cold blooded, so if they are surrounded by fire the scorpion may spasm and accidentally sting itself or it will look as though it is stinging itself. Consider this myth busted. Scorpions hardly ever sting themselves and if they do, it’s not suicide, but accidental self-defense.

 

 

 

 

How is an ant hill made?

Ant hills are some of the most intricate nests in the animal kingdom, yet hardly anyone knows their inner workings, or much about them at all.  I know I always thought that ants just, pile some dirt wherever they want and then live in that hill, but it’s actually far more sophisticated. Here’s the real intricacy behind how ant colonies build their homes. First, they search for the most adequate spot, which needs to be most ground, close to water, but not too close for obvious reasons. Once they have found the perfect spot, the ants will begin to dig their home.

A nest is separated into chambers, with the bottom holding the Queen Ant and her eggs. As the ants carve this out they will bring the dirt to the surface and stack it around the entrance which makes the hill we see above ground. They create a system of chambers and tunnels underground which aids in the organization of the hierarchies of the colony. The chambers stack in a sort of staggering fashion to avoid multiple cave-ins, and each chamber is separated by ant type. There is a chamber for worker ants, a chamber for soldier ants, etc.  This helps the ants be able to work together in a more productive way and helps them do what they need to do to continue their circle of life.

What can eat a spider?

When we think of spiders, we usually think of them as hunters, the top of the food chain, the “Big Kahuna” if you will. Well, believe it or not, there are many types of creatures that go after these bad boys, and today we identify who can size up against the eight-legged menace.

Astonishingly, spiders have a lot of enemies aside from humans. Spiders seem to be at the top because of how many types of insects they dominate, but in reality many creatures stalk spiders as prey, as is the circle of life.

 

There is a niche group of creatures called insectivores that mainly hunt insects and spiders. A few insectivores around us include, bats, lizards, frogs, rats, and birds. Spiders stand little to no chance with these animals, and thus the above insectivores are some of the biggest predators of spiders! 

Now, when it comes to invertebrates, spiders are the boss. In fact, they are ranked one of the top predators ever. The only small creatures that are known to eat spiders are other spiders and wasps. Though spiders rarely eat one another due to the hunt, the most common time another spider will eat its own kind is because a female spider eats its mate in order to aid their young. Though this is the most common occurrence of spider eating spider action, it doesn’t happen all that often. The real killer in this category is the wasp! Wasps are well known to stalk, kill and eat spiders. They do so by stinging and paralyzing the spider, and then burying the spider with its eggs and once the baby wasps hatch, it’s dinner time and they chow down on the spider. 

Getting Rid of Wasps by the Pool

So, you have wasps around your pool, but you don’t know why. Believe it or not, the wasps are there for the water source, they need water to survive and your pool is the most convenient place to get it. You may be thinking, why on Earth do they want to drink from the pool, doesn’t the chlorine bother them? Well, long story short, no; water is water and wasps just don’t care. Though your pool is an easy water source, we have a way to keep them away! 

  1. Call an Exterminator – Always consider getting professional help first, it will help limit the amount of stings you incur and will ensure they are being removed from the location properly.
  2. Find an Alternative Water Source  –  Create some sort of pond, bird bath, or other water source outside of your pool that has a constant source of water. This is a more pest friendly option; the wasps won’t be harmed and they will leave your pool alone. 
  3. Create a Decoy Nest – Wasps are very territorial creatures, and creating a fake nest will surely deter them from the area surrounding your pool.
  4. Build a Trap–  To build a fake trap, cut a water bottle in half and fill it with diesel fuel. The wasps are attracted to the fuel, and will go into the bottle and drown. Though this method is less pest friendly, it gets the job done. 

If all else fails, your best chance is to locate the wasp’s nest by the pool and get rid of it. See my other blog: How do you get rid of a wasp nest? 

      

Why do some things glow under a UV/black light?

What do scorpions and teeth have in common? They both glow under a UV/black light! If you think about it, we see these types of lights quite often, in amusement parks, Halloween, bowling alleys, and even pest control. The real question is why do some things glow under UV/black lights, while others don’t?

 

A black light is actually a type of UV light, there are many types of UV or Ultraviolet lights, but the one in a black light is specifically UV-A. Ultraviolet light is a type of light with a less than normal wavelength, meaning it is out of the the visibility spectrum. UV lights are the the same type of light that emits from the sun. When these UV lights hit and reflect off of certain things, interesting reactions will happen. For example, when UV rays from the sun hit your skin you could get sunburned. In the case of a black light, when the UV light hits the chemical element phosphorus, it reacts by glowing. “Coincidentally”, phosphorus is common in plasma screen televisions, certain fabrics, teeth, fingernails, and scorpions! So if you’re ever at a bowling alley and your shirt, teeth, and fingernails start to glow, the answer is phosphorus!

10 Qualities of Outstanding Pest Control Employees

For the employee of the month
For the employee of the month (Photo credit: 4nitsirk)

As pest control operators it can be challenging at times finding extraordinary employees and technicians to work for your company. Showing up to work everyday and performing adequately is expected, but it doesn’t make for an outstanding employee.

Several pest control operators were asked, “What qualities do their most outstanding technicians and employees possess, and what traits do you look for when hiring them?”

Here are their top 10 responses:

1. They have a positive attitude. Working for a pest control company might not always be the most glamorous of jobs at times, but the most outstanding employees will always show up to work everyday with a positive disposition, enthusiastic about their jobs. Staying above the fray of office politics also helps.

 

2. They are punctual. This quality is a no-brainer in the pest control industry. Customers expect technicians to be on time for a treatment, as many make special accommodations to be at home to let techs inside. Punctuality shows that an employee is committed to the job, interested in the work, and able to handle responsibility. It facilitates a sense of professionalism and commitment. When an employee is late, its effects spread throughout the entire workplace and even to other employees.

3. They are organized. This quality is a definite must in the pest control industry not only for customer satisfaction, but for safety reasons as well. An organized technician needs to manage the different pesticides, inventory, and service routes to be effective.

4. They are self-motivators. Knowledge, intellect, talent, and skill are necessary, but personal drive is critical. Remarkable employees are driven by something deeper and more personal than just the desire to do a good job. Self-motivators look around to see what needs to be done and do it. They ask questions to try to learn more.

5. They like to prove others wrong. Self-motivation is often derived from a need to show that the doubters are wrong. The pest control technician without a college degree, or the secretary who was told she didn’t have leadership potential, often possess a burning desire to prove other people wrong.

6. They possess excellent interpersonal communication skills. Pest control employees must have strong communication skills, as they have to communicate directly with customers, with fellow employees, and with supervisors. Listening skills are also essential, as employees must listen to different approaches and ideas for service assignments, especially when working with a team of technicians.

7. They’re neat in appearance. This attribute is self explanatory. Our customers are letting our technicians on their property and in their homes. They need to feel safe. Techs should to be clean cut, dressed in uniform, and always greet a customer with a smile.

8. They are always tinkering. Some employees are seldomly content, and I mean that in the best of ways. They are continually tinkering with something: Reworking a timeline, fine-tuning a process, or tinkering with workflow. Great pest control employees follow processes. Outstanding employees find ways to make those processes even better, not only because they are expected to… but because they just can’t help it.

9. They publicly praise and privately complain. Outstanding pest control employees identify the contributions of others, especially in group settings where the impact of their words are even greater. When issues need to be brought forward these employees will present them to their boss, privately, without setting off a company firestorm.

10. They are eccentric, but know when to dial it back. Unusual personalities shake things up, make work more fun, and transform a workplace into a place other employees can look forward to coming to each day. These eccentric employees also know when to conform, and when to back off. It’s a tough balance, but an infrequent few can walk that fine line effortlessly.

Human capital is the single most important aspect in running a successful pest control company. In this industry, having employees with these qualities can be the difference between thriving or closing your doors. As a pest control operator, look for these qualities during the hiring process—Hire tough, and manage easy. If you are a pest control employee, look to align yourself with these 10 outstanding qualities.

This Weeks Pest Control News

news
news (Photo credit: JSF539)

Fruit fly sex lives impact effectiveness of pest control strategies

Scientists in Australia have been hard at work watching fruit flies mate to figure out how fly sex is affecting your food. During this process they are discovering more effective pest control strategies. For a great read, check out:

http://nittygrittyscience.com/2012/09/06/fruit-fly-sex-lives-impact-effectiveness-of-pest-control-strategies/

Mosquitoes Plague the Northwest as West Nile Cases Increase

Recent rains, warm weather, and high humidity have made mosquito control in the Northwest challenging. The number of foreclosed properties in the area, with their sometimes un-kept swimming pools and scattered backyard debris that’s collecting water, is making mosquito control more difficult.

http://blog.pestcontrolceus.com/mosquitoes-plague-canyon-hills-neighborhood-as-west-nile-cases-increase/

New Kind of Ant Discovered in New York City

We can now add one more type of ant to the 13,000 plus known breeds in the world. A new type of ant was discovered by a biologist earlier this week near 63rd and Broadway in New York City.

http://www.longislandpestcontrolblog.com/2012/09/06/new-type-of-new-york-ant/

Scorpion Sting Leaves Arizona Woman With Massive $83,000 Bill

Our friends at Pest Control Mesa AZ bring us this unfortunate story coming out of Phoenix. Imagine being in your garage, opening a box of air conditioner filters, when you are suddenly stung by a scorpion—and that’s not even the worst part! Read all about it at:

http://pestcontrolmesaaz.com/scorpion-sting-leaves-arizona-woman-with-massive-83000-bill/

Top 10 Considerations when Hiring Pest Control Companies

Here are ten criteria our customers are taking into consideration when they are looking to hire a pest control professional. As a pest control operator, look to align yourself with most of these demands to be successful in the industry.

http://xtremeartandentertaiment.blogspot.com/2012/09/top-10-considerations-for-pest-control.html

The Basics of Dust Mites

For all the ins and outs about dust might behavior, including: where they like to hide, how they get into your home, and the health concerns they can cause, check out:

http://www.richterslawncare.com/detroit-pest/the-basics-of-dust-mites/