Friday Links Round-Up: Weekly Pest Control News

Friday Links Round-Up: Weekly Pest Control News

Pest Control LinksDiatomaceous Earth Pros and Cons

There is such a mixed sentiment out there about diatomaceous earth, leading to a lot of confusion. People are left wondering if it really does kill pests, and if so, how effective it really is. Learn more about the pros and cons, here.

Higher Temperatures Are Bringing Out The Wasps

Have you noticed an increase in wasp activity this September? Apparently, the recent hot spell is bringing out wasps in full force in some areas of North America. More…

Keeping Bed Bugs At Bay – Even In College

College dorms are quickly becoming one of the most frequent areas becoming infested with bedbugs. While away at college, know what to do to keep from getting bit by these tiny, miserable bloodsuckers. More…

Thief Ants Will Steal Your Sanity

The Thief ant’s persistent pesky behavior makes them difficult to control once they make their way indoors. More…

Tips To Keep Pests Out Of Your Home This Winter

As the weather cools, and with winter right around the corner, pests are making their way inside your home; looking for places to overwinter. Here’s what you need to know. More…

Little Black AntPest Of The Week: The Little Black Ant

Frequently found in the Eastern United States, as well as Southern California, the little black ant is known for being quite the nuisance. Their name adequately describes this ant species, as it’s little (measuring only about 1/16 of an inch), and a glossy black. In fact, when compared to most other ant species that are commonly found in the US, little black ants are extremely small. Their queens usually reach the same size as other ant species; measuring about 1/8th of an inch long.

One unique characteristic the little black ants have is that they are unable to chew food. Instead, these ants simply suck out the liquid nutrients found in the foods they eat and leave behind the solid. The favorite meal of the little black ant is the honeydew that aphids produce. Additionally, these ants will also consume insects, sweets, vegetables, and greasy foods. Like most other ant species, the little black ant forages in trails and can carry about 20 times its body weight. Impressive!

Little black ants do not cause structural damage to homes, but are considered to be an annoyance. Serious little black ant infestations or nesting should be professionally treated by an ant control specialist.

 

Top 3 Biggest Insect Swarms In Recent History

There are more insects on Earth than there are human beings. Billions more. In fact, there are so many insects that they can sometimes swarm in the millions and devastate the landscape. Swarms are large numbers of insects that get together for a collective purpose. This purpose can be migration, mating, or eating. Swarming is a behavior that occurs more often than most people realize. Sometimes these swarms get so massive that they are positively biblical, as in the swarm of locusts that destroyed ancient Egypt’s crops. Here are a few massive swarms that have appeared in recent memory.

1931 Grasshoppers in the Midwest

Grasshopper Swarm
Grasshopper Swarm

Grasshoppers are famous for swarming and devouring miles of crop along the way. This usually happens as part of the mating drive, when certain conditions cause their wings and jaws to grow making them into hungry eating machines. They fly farther, and eat more as a result. The 1931 Swarm landed in the heartland of South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa in July. There are so many grasshoppers that they blocked out the sun and ate crops right down to the ground. People had to use shovels to scoop dead grasshoppers off the ground. This swarm was particularly bad because it occurred in the midst of the Great Depression and the Dustbowl, placing even more hardship on a strained nation.

2009 Ladybugs on Green Mountain

Ladybug Swarm
Ladybug Swarm

In Boulder, Colorado the residents experienced a very buggy summer of 2009 when millions of ladybugs landed to feast on a bumper crop of aphids. This swarm of bugs is mainly carnivorous, so the plants weren’t in too much danger, but the very wet spring provided plenty of green plants for the growth of other insects including aphids, slugs, snails, mosquitoes, and ants. The ladybugs were everywhere as they feasted on these insects. People reported seeing so many ladybugs on tree trunks that it appeared as if the bark itself were moving.

Double Cicada Hatching of 1998

Cicada Swarm
Cicada Swarm

Cicadas are large, winged bugs with massive eyes and no mouth parts. They live underground in a larval stage for a decade of their lives before emerging to develop wings as adults. These adults fly, mate, and die. They are not at all dangerous, but they are scary looking and sounding. Massive broods of cicada live under the North American continent, but they only come out once every 13 or 17 years. This is bad enough on its own when millions of bugs line the tree trunks and sidewalks, making chirping noises all night. However, once every 221 years, the brood hatchings will align and both 13 and 17 year cicadas crawl up out of the ground. This happened in 1998 and cicadas swarmed the northern and southern states of America in the millions. Luckily, this won’t happen again for another two hundred years.

Insect swarms are no joke. They can be quite annoying and cause lots of damage. However, not all swarms are locusts and grasshoppers. Some swarms are from normally harmless insects that in large numbers cause a lot of problems.

About the author: Chris is a blogger for a Union Exterminator company.

Published by Thomas Ballantyne