Top 10 Articles On Blog Pest Control For 2014

This busy year of 2014 has come to an end, and what a year it has been. The Ebola scare had the media outlets whipped up into a frenzy. We were introduced to ISIS. The NFL experienced what seemed like record off the field problems. People were dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in support of ALS. The situation in Ferguson, MO had us glued to our TV’s. We also lot some beloved celebrities like Joan Rivers and Robin Williams.

Top 10 Articles On Blog Pest Control For 2014

While 2014 was a busy year for all of us, it was also a busy year for Blog Pest Control. We actually set a record for the most views in a year, in a month, and in a day. So many of you are hungry for these interesting perspectives on pests, and on the pest control industry.

Here are the top ten articles on Blog Pest Control for 2014, determined by you the reader:

10. You Have To See This Gigantic Rat Caught By An Exterminator

Ratzilla

You’ve heard of ROUTS (Rodents Of Unusual Size) from the movie The Princess Bride. We’re all familiar with Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame. Our next tale of a huge rat takes us to Sweden, as now we have Ratzilla terrorizing a Stockholm family. A homeowner in Sweden is breathing a sigh of relief today as a giant rat, measuring over two feet in length from nose to tail, was caught by exterminators. The enormous rodent weighed well over two pounds, and had chewed through a concrete wall before getting caught in an industrial trap set by exterminators.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/04/you-have-to-see-this-gigantic-rat-caught-by-an-exterminator/

9. 3 Pests Often Confused For Scorpions

Whipscorpion

Sometimes the creepy-crawlies we see inside our homes or on our properties are not scorpions at all; just pests that closely resemble a scorpion. They’re still ugly, and they still look dangerous; even though they are generally harmless.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/03/3-pests-often-confused-for-scorpions/

8. Brown Recluse or Wolf Spider?

Brown Recluse

One of the common venomous spiders around is the brown recluse. This spider is easily confused with the wolf spider, but this article helps make sure you know just what kind of pest you’re dealing with.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/03/brown-recluse-or-wolf-spider/

7. Cuddly Caterpillar’s Sting Worse Than Scorpion

puss caterpillar

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.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/09/cuddly-caterpillars-sting-worse-than-scorpion/

6. Understanding A Pest Control Non-Compete- The Employee Perspective

Non-Compete Agreement

Before you start your own pest control business, first you must understand the non-compete agreement or clause you may have signed with your former employer; as many questions arise when it comes to pest control non-competes.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/03/understanding-a-pest-control-non-compete-the-employee-perspective/

5. The 4 Scariest Insects In the World

Scorpion Fly Face

Believe it or not, some bugs can really hurt humans, and there are a number of them that can even kill you. The following four insects are some of the scariest in the world.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/05/the-4-scariest-insects-in-the-world/

4. Elf On Shelf, Friend Or Pest? 12 Funny Images

elf-on-the-shelf-mess

We have called in the experts to try and determine whether reports on Christmas Elves becoming a household nuisance are valid. In gathering evidence we found some very strange activity by these Elves on Shelves and some funny pictures to boot.

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/12/christmas-elf-on-a-shelf-funny/

3. Mosquitoes, Bed Bugs & More: How To Identify Common Bug Bites

bedbug bites

Understanding what different bites look like and being able to identify where they came from will help you know what steps you need to take upon a bite. See the bite pictures here:

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/06/mosquitoes-bed-bugs-and-more-how-to-identify-common-bug-bites/

2. Fact Or Fiction: Bedbug High

smoking bed bugs

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler have been inundated as of late with reports of a new method of getting high… Drying, crushing, and then smoking or injecting bed bugs! Is this true or false?

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/04/fact-or-fiction-bed-bug-high/

1. Scorpion Found In Bananas

walmart scorpion

Imagine shopping at your local Wal-Mart with your two children. You pull your cart up to a box of bananas, reach your hand in looking to pick a few out that aren’t quite ripe and you feel it! A PINCH! That’s exactly what happened to a Pittsburgh area man, and the pinch was from a scorpion!!

http://blogpestcontrol.com/2014/08/scorpion-found-in-bananas/

Blog Pest Control 2015

All of us here at Blog Pest Control want to thank you all for your support and readership throughout 2014. Stay tuned for more informative and interesting pest control stories in the upcoming year. Let’s have another banner year come 2015.

Brown Recluse Or Wolf Spider?

For those living in spider infested areas, the first thing that comes to mind when we see a spider is, “It’s gonna kill me!” The reality is that most spiders can’t kill you. One of the common venomous spiders around is the brown recluse. This spider is easily confused with the wolf spider, but we are here today to make sure you know just what kind of pest you’re dealing with.

Physical Differences

Cornered Wolf Spider
Wolf Spider
Brown Recluse
Brown Recluse Spider

Their Basic Stuff

These spiders differ substantially in size and color. Measuring from ½ an inch to 2 inches in length, the wolf spider is much larger and more robust than the brown recluse which measures from a ¼ to ¾ of an inch. The wolf spider is also a darker shade of brown and gray, with tan and a mixture of colors and markings, while the brown recluse is one solid color either a light brown or tan. The legs will sometimes be a little lighter than the body, but in general the same color.

Brown recluse spiders are some of the few species to have only six eyes, seeing as the wolf spider has eight. The brown recluse has 3 pairs arranged laterally and the wolf spider has 3 rows of eyes in the center of its head. Shining a flashlight on the eyes of a wolf spider will cause a glow, which is a great identifying trait. This trait is a quick go to for identify the arachnids.

The Dark Mark

Their main physical difference is the violin shape on the brown recluse’s cephalothorax. Both these spiders are made of two principle body parts. The cephalothorax is the head part where the legs actually extend out from. The abdomen is the bottom “butt” part. The brown recluse has the violin marking on its cephalothorax and the wolf spider has random lines and marks on its abdomen, causing easy confusion with the spiders’ marks.

Other Fun Facts Between Friends

Using its great eyesight the wolf spider is a good and agile hunter. The brown recluse uses webs to hunt. They both like to hide out in garages, basements, and other dark and dry places. Neither of these guys are aggressive, but in contrast both are shy and will only bite if disturbed. Another tip for easy detection of a wolf spider is to check out its back carefully. Wolf spiders carry their spiderlings on their backs until the little guys are ready to hit the big world on their own.

While the wolf spider may be scary looking, it is definitely not as dangerous as the brown recluse. The brown recluse has an extremely poisonous bite and has been known to cause severe reactions in people. So if you’ve identified a brown recluse keep your distance and an eye on it. If either of these two species of crawlers is too much for you too handle be sure to call the spider control guys at Bulwark Exterminating.

Brown Recluse vs Wolf Spider

Brown Recluse

Brown Recluse

Wolf Spider

Wolf spider

¼ to ¾ inches ½ to 2 inches
6 eyes 8 eyes
Uniform brown color Various tan, brown, gray colors
Smaller, thinner Large, robust
Poisonous bite; may be severe Bite is non-threatening, may cause slight reaction
Has violin-shaped mark on cephalothorax Spiderlings commonly on back (abdomen)
Builds webs for prey Hunts for prey without webs
Found from central Texas to Georgia, and Nebraska to Indiana, including Kentucky and Ohio. Everywhere except the North Pole Area including most of Greenland, Northern Russia, and North Alaska.

Guide To Identifying A Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Infographic

5 Strange Parenting Habits From The Original Modern Family

Think your parents did weird? Well they are nothing compared to these guys! These creepy crawlies have some really strange ideas of how to take care of their babies. Here are five shocking habits insects perform on a regular basis to keep their kids safe and healthy:

1. Setting up the nursery

Dung Beetles

The dung beetle starts off our list with their strange habit: setting up the baby’s room. Dung beetles will roll up balls of dung and use them for nursery. Talk about one smelly room!

These insects get all of their nutrients from dung. When two beetles are ready to mate they will create a ball of dung, bury the ball underground, mate and then lay the eggs into the ball. The eggs will then hatch the larva safe inside the middle, providing nutrients until the larva mature and are ready to leave.

2. Lift with your legs not with your back

Wolf Spider Babies

The Wolf Spider takes the next spot on the list. This doting mother is very protective of her young. After mating, the spider will carry around her egg sac attached to their abdomen until the eggs are ready to hatch. The especially unusual thing about this is that the mother is still able to hunt her prey while toting around her unborn children.

After the eggs hatch, the baby spiders will crawl up onto their mother’s back and stay there until they mature enough to live on their own.

3. Dads who help out

Giant Water Bug With Eggs

Belostomatidae, or The Giant Water Bug, is, in itself, a very strange creature. Also known as Indian Toe Biters or Alligator Ticks these huge guys are famous for having the most painful bite and for attacking and eating things much bigger than themselves, like baby turtles and water snakes.

Why they are listed on this article, however, is not for their ferocious hunting skills, but for their caring parenting abilities, particularly with the males. Water bugs are extremely cautious and caring throughout the entire reproduction process and invest unusual amounts of time into making sure that the eggs hatch safely. Male Water Bugs will actually carry around eggs on the wings until they hatch, continually exposing the eggs to air and biting anything that comes too close.

4. Dangerous Nannies

treehopper

Treehoppers are another insect to exhibit some strange parenting behaviors. These guys will aggressively protect their eyes. As soon as the eggs hatch, the female will secret a sweet tasting substance called honeydew, which will attract ants. When a colony discovers the secretion, the mother will then completely abandon her young, who also feed on the secretion, into the care of the ants. The ants then serve as the babies’ protectors until they mature and can fend for themselves.

5. Farting Moms

stink bug

Harlequin Bugs are fierce protectors of their eggs. They will lay clusters of eggs, protected by twigs and leaves and stand guard until they hatch. As part of their defense, unusual bugs have glands that will release a smelly substance warding off potential attackers. When one bug releases their scent it will trigger other scent glands to release the smelly substance from other bugs nearby, making their area extremely unpleasant to be around. These bugs are so famous for their ‘farts’ they are also known as Stink Bugs.

Yup! These bugs are definitely weirdoes! Next time your parents do something unusual, just think of these strange parenting habits, and you’ll feel better in no time!

Giant Spider In The Pants

Giant Crab Spider
Giant Arizona Crab Spider

While at work today, I got a frantic phone call from my four year old daughter.

“Daddy,” she cried. “I went to put on my pants and out jumped a big spider!”

“It’s scary Daddy!” “We caught in a jar.”

After a examining the spider, and talking to some spider control professionals, I was able to determine that the spider in question was a Giant Arizona Crab Spider; a common spider in Arizona.

My Daughter Found a Giant Crab Spider In Her Pants

So this is how it all went down. My daughter had been swimming in her inflatable swimming pool the previous day. Caught up in all of the excitement, she jumped into the pool completely dressed, and didn’t bother putting on her swimming suit. Obviously, while doing so her pants got wet. After swimming, she hung them up to dry, inside the house over a chair near our kitchen table. Upon returning to the dry pants the next morning she made a horrific discovery.

As my daughter went to put on her now dry pants, a giant brown spider leaped off of them and ran across the floor and up the wall. She screamed! She called for her mom who captured the spider in a jar so it could be identified.

At first it was believed to be a very poisonous and potentially deadly desert recluse spider. I brought the spider into work, and asked the spider control professionals here at Bulwark Exterminating what kind of spider it was. It was quickly determined that the spider found in my daughter pants was not a deadly desert recluse, but a Giant Arizona Crab Spider.

Giant Crab Spider
Giant Crab Spider

After a few “Oooohs” and “Awes,” “Yikes” and “Wows” from everybody in the office, I set the spider free so it could continue keeping us all free from roaches, crickets, and other annoying pests.

The spider was likely attracted to the moisture in my daughters then wet pants, as spiders need water to survive just like the rest of us.

Giant Crab Spiders

Called Giant Crab Spiders because their legs extend sideways like a crab, these spiders also move side-to-side to catch prey much like a crab would. They can be huge, measuring almost three inches across in diameter.

The huge spider is a tannish brown in color, and appears to be wearing black socks on each of its eight legs. The spider has big black jaws called chelicerae that it uses to crunch crickets and other insects it devours. Because of it’s size and coloring, it’s often times confused for a Wolf spider. Giant Crab spiders are easy to distinguish from Wolf spiders because they are great climbers, while Wolf spiders are not.

Although extremely intimidating in nature, Giant Crab spiders are not dangerous even though they can bite. Reportedly the bite is painful.

Giant Crab spiders are common in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

Northwest Pests By Season Infographic


How to Prevent and Control Pests by Season created by http://www.edenpest.com/blog/post/how-to-prevent-and-control-a-northwest-pest-fest-pests-by-season-infographic

Links Round-Up: 5 For Friday

Links Round-Up: 5 For Friday

 

Weekly Links RoundupRasberry Ants Spreading Through Texas

The Rasberry ant (not raspberry) was first discovered in Houston, TX in 2002, but has now spread to 24 different counties in the state of Texas. They are now also found in North Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. More…

NPMA Legislative Day in Washington – Clark Pest Control

Clark Pest Control participated in NPMA Legislative Day sending two executives, Here’s what they learned. More…

Bulwark Scorpion Control Makes The Evening News

With the scorpions making an earlier than usual appearance in Arizona this spring, residents were in need of some answers. CBS 5 News in Phoenix called Bulwark Exterminating for some those answers. Watch the video here.

Wolf Spiders: Pests or Diamonds

We’ve all had an experience with a wolf spider at least once in our lives. Here’s EnviroTech’s experience with the hairy looking spider. More…

Spring is Bee Season

Aww, spring is finally here… For some of the country anyway. Be on the lookout for hives popping up on your property. Here are a few tips on what to do, and what not to do, if you have a bee hive(s). More…

 

Pest Of The Week: Black Widow Spider

 

Female black widow spider guarding an egg case...
Female black widow spider guarding an egg case – Species Latrodectus mactans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most recognizable, and perhaps the most feared, spiders in the United States is the Black Widow spider. This distinction comes from the female’s notoriously venomous bite. While the female Black Widow spider is generally shy in nature, she can become aggressive and bite when she is provoked, or when she is protecting her young. Her venom is one of the most potent venoms found on the planet. Only female Black Widows will bite humans. The males, who are brown and white in color, cannot bite because of their size.

The female Black Widow spider measures about 1/2 inch in length, with a shiny black body, long thin legs and large oval abdomen with a red “hourglass” pattern on the underside. Black Widows make their webs wherever there is water or other insects. They are common among the garages, patios, sheds, and storage areas of a home. Professional spider control methods are successfully used to eliminate them from around the home.

Links Roundup: Pest Control News For The Week

Links Roundup: Pest Control News For The Week

 

Weekly Links RoundupInsects That Look Worse Than They Are

Bugs like the praying mantis, dragonfly, spider, and scarab beetle all look menacing. These insects’ bark is worse then their bite. They are actually quite beneficial. More…

Beware The Bug: Fire Ants – The Dangerous Home Invader

Fire ants pose a serious health risk, particularly to small children or family pets. They are known to have a strong, painful and persistent sting that often leaves a pustule on the skin. Left untreated, fire ant bites can become infected and in a few extreme cases, have been reported fatal. More…

Pest Control Tip: Beware Of Mites!

The microscopic mite can be found almost anywhere, just not outdoors. The house dust mite is the most common, but there are several other types of mites that can cause itchiness and skin irritation. More…

Pest Control: Mosquitoes

With the warmer weather just around the corner, the West Nile carrying mosquito will be making it’s dreaded appearance  Here are some tips for dealing with the annoying pests. More…

Pest Control Tip: De-Grub Your Lawn

It is estimated that grubs cause more than $234 million in property damages every year. Grubs are the offspring of Japanese beetles. Before they set up shop in your trees, they lay their eggs underground. The white c-shaped larvae hatch and immediately begin feeding upon the root system of your turf. More…

 

Pest Of The Week: The Wolf Spider

 

Burrowing wolf spider defending its egg sac.
Burrowing wolf spider defending its egg sac. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the more common spider pests in the United States is the wolf spider. These spiders garnered their nickname not because of their large, hairy, wolf like appearance, but because they were once thought to hunt in packs like wolves. Wolf spiders are excellent hunters. They do not build webs, but patiently wait in underground burrows for an unsuspecting cricket or cockroach.

Wolf spiders are brown in color, and can reach lengths of well over an inch. Their appearance is well known because of the Union Jack (British flag) impression on their backs. Although intimidating in appearance, wolf spiders don’t usually bite unless they are in danger or provoked. Wolf spiders are venomous.

Homeowners will frequently see these wolf spiders in their homes during the cooler months of the year. They enter homes looking for other insects to eat, and refuge from the elements. Even though the wolf spider’s venom is not lethal, their bites can cause health concerns. Traditional spider control methods are need for wolf spider elimination.

 

Pests Your Thanksgiving Turkey Might Eat

Thanksgiving Turkey

The turkey has been a staple of Thanksgiving since the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Natives ate it for their first Thanksgiving in 1621. Thanksgiving is colloquially called “Turkey Day” since turkey is the most common main dish of the holiday.

This year alone, American turkey growers have raised 270 million turkeys; which will correspond to the five billion pounds of turkey Americans will eat this Thanksgiving. That’s a lot of turkey!

While Americans love eating their turkey for Thanksgiving, turkeys equally love eating all sorts of bugs. Turkey’s raised on farms traditionally eat corn and seeds, but wild turkeys love eating insects and other creepy crawlies in order to get much needed protein. Some may even consider enlisting a turkey for scorpion control. (Have it your way, bugs or bird poop. Or call a professional.)

But really, as a bug guy, the whole turkey dinner thing got me thinking:

What would a turkey’s dinner look like on Thanksgiving?

 

Appetizer

A rustic arrangement of escargot featuring the Leopard Snail

Salad Course

A lovely Flowering Dogwood salad tossed with North American Millipedes

Main Entrée

A large assortment of raw Grasshoppers, Field Crickets, and Black Carpenter Ants, served with a side of Wolf Spiders, and generously garnished with Dandelion.

Dessert

A delectable Earthworm Mud Pie sprinkled with Chiggers.

 

For Bulwark’s complete list of what turkeys eat, click here.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, and the holiday season is in full swing, Bulwark Pest Control would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! No matter what your plans are or where you’ll be, there are many things to be thankful for. Take some time this week and reflect on all of your many blessings. Watch a lot of football, enjoy the company of your loved ones, and eat way too much pie. Have a Happy Turkey Day!