Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wolf Spiders

Wolf spiders
(Lycosidae)


photo via http://bit.ly/Q6ZEAW

Wolf spiders are members of the family Lycosidae, from the Ancient Greek word "λύκος" meaning "wolf". They are robust and agile hunters with excellent eyesight. They live mostly solitary lives and hunt alone. Some are opportunistic hunters pouncing upon prey as they find it or even chasing it over short distances. Some will wait for passing prey in or near the mouth of a burrow.
Wolf spiders resemble Nursery web spiders (family Pisauridae), but wolf spiders carry their egg sacs by attaching them to their spinnerets (Pisauridae carry their egg sacs with their chelicerae and pedipalps). Two of the Wolf spider's eight eyes are large and prominent, which distinguishes them from the Nursery web spiders whose eyes are all of approximately equal size. (Wikipedia)

Appearance: These are usually large spiders. Wolf Spiders can range from 3-30 mm in body length. Female wolf spiders are often bigger than males of the same species.


photo via http://bit.ly/OBvibU 


Like all spiders they have two body sections: the cephalothorax in front and an abdomen behind. The abdomen contains the digestive and reproductive systems, and on the underside of it are the glands where silk is produced. The structures that produce the silk are called spinnerets.

Wolf spiders have eight legs, all attached to the cephalothorax. On the front of the cephalothorax are the mouth, the fangs, the eyes, and two small "mini-legs" called pedipalps. These are used to grab prey, and in mating, and are much bigger in male spiders than in females. They have eight eyes in three rows. The front row has four small eyes, the middle row has two much larger eyes, and the back two eyes are medium sized and off to the sides. These spiders have strong fangs and and venom glands to quickly kill their prey.

Wolf spiders are colored in camouflage colors of brown, orange, black, and grey. Sometimes they are all one color, but usually they have some stripes or blotches.

Wolf spiders are found all around the world, and about 2,300 species are known. There are about 50 species of wolf spiders in Michigan.

Wolf spiders live in all kinds of habitats, anywhere there are insects to eat. They seem to be most common in open habitats like grasslands, and are often found in farm fields and meadows. Most species stay on the ground, but a few climb up onto trees and other plants when hunting. Some wolf spiders hunt along the shores of ponds and marshes, and may even dive into the water to capture prey.

These spiders can be found in the following types of habitat: temperate; tropical; terrestrial.
Terrestrial Biomes: taiga; desert or dune; chaparral; forest; rainforest; scrub forest; mountains.
Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds.
Wetlands: marsh; swamp.

Wolf spiders hatch from eggs, and the hatchlings look more or less like grown-up spiders, though sometimes their colors change as they age. In many species, the hatchlings ride on their mother's body for some time before going off on their own. To grow, spiders must shed their exoskeleton, which they do many times during their lives. Unlike insects, some spider species keep growing after they become adults, and continue to molt as they grow even larger.

After mating, female wolf spiders lay a batch of eggs (usually several dozen or more), which they wrap in silk. If she gets enough food, a single female may produce several clutches of eggs in a year. They are seasonal breeders (sexual; oviparous). Female wolf spiders wrap their eggs in a round ball of silk, and keep them close. Wandering species carry their egg sack under their abdomen as they move around. Tunnel-building species keep their eggsacks in their tunnels, and bring them up to warm in the sun during the day (the warm temperature helps their eggs develop faster).

Parental investment: female parental care.
Male wolf spiders probably don't live more than a year, but females of some species can live for several years.

Behavior: many wolf spider species hunt at night, but some are active during the day. 
They are solitary animals, they hunt alone and only come together to mate.

Some species wander, hiding during the day and roaming at night to find food. Some patrol a regular territory, returning to the same place to rest. Others dig tunnels, or use tunnels made by other animals. A few build little walls or turrets around their tunnels, and then sit inside the wall looking out for passing prey or predators.

Key behaviors: diurnal; nocturnal; crepuscular; motile; nomadic; sedentary; solitary; territorial.
How do they communicate with each other?
Wold spiders use their vision more than most other spider groups. Males often signal to females by waving their pedipalps in certain patterns. Wolf spiders are also very sensitive to vibrations in the ground, and use scent and taste as well.

Wolf spiders eat insects and other invertebrates, and really large females might eat very small vertebrates, like amphibians and reptiles, if they find them. They sometimes attack insects that are larger than they are.

Different species of wolf spider have different ways of finding prey. Some build tunnels and ambush prey that come near their hiding place. Others wander on the ground, looking for small animals to eat. When they find a target, they jump on them and grab and quickly bite. Often they roll over onto their backs and hold the prey in a "basket" made by their legs before they bite.



photo via http://bit.ly/QeXC4r
Primary Diet: carnivore (eats terrestrial vertebrates, eats non-insect arthropods).
What eats them and how do they avoid being eaten?
Known predators: other spiders, wasps, ants, praying mantids, birds, small reptiles, toads and other amphibians, and shrews.
Wandering wolf spiders rely on speed and camouflage to escape predators. They have good vision and are very sensitive to vibrations in the ground that help them detect predators. Some species hide in tunnels in the ground. Wolf spiders will bite to defend themselves if necessary.

Wolf spiders can give you a painful bite if you handle them carelessly, but it the bite usually doesn't do much damage unless the person bitten is allergic to the venom.

Wolf spiders are often common in agricultural areas, and can be very helpful in reducing populations of insect pests.

No wolf spiders are known to be endangered. (Michigan University - BioKids)



Edited, Revised and Condensed by:  Scott Glaze    August 26, 2012

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Super Cool Pictures of Insects

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Common Ticks

Common Ticks

 Although ticks are commonly thought of as insects, they are actually arachnids; like scorpions, spiders and mites. All members of this group have four pairs of legs as adults and have no antennae. Adult insects have three pairs of legs and one pair of antennae. Ticks are among the most efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when sucking blood, feed slowly and may go unnoticed for a considerable time while feeding. Ticks usually take several days to complete feeding.

Ticks have four life stages: egg, six-legged larva, eight-legged nymph and adult. After the egg hatches, the tiny larva (sometimes called a “seed tick”) feeds on an appropriate host. The larva then develops (molts) into the larger nymph. The nymph feeds on a host and then molts into an even larger adult. Both male and female adults find and feed on a host, and then the females lay eggs sometime after feeding.

Ticks wait for host animals from the tips of grasses and shrubs (not from trees). When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly let go of the vegetation and climb onto the host. Ticks can only crawl; they cannot fly or jump. Ticks found on the scalp have usually crawled there from lower parts of the body. Some species of ticks will crawl several feet toward a host. Ticks can be active on winter days when the ground temperatures are about 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are two groups of ticks, sometimes referred to as “hard” ticks and “soft” ticks. Hard ticks, like the common dog tick, have a hard shield just behind the mouthparts (sometimes incorrectly called the “head”); unfed hard ticks are shaped like a flat seed. Soft ticks do not have the hard shield and they are shaped like a large raisin. Soft ticks prefer to feed on birds or bats and are seldom encountered unless these animals are nesting or roosting in an occupied building.

American Dog Tick 
(Dermacentor variabilis)
American Dog Tick

One of the most frequently encountered ticks is the American dog tick, also sometimes known as the wood tick. The larvae and nymphs feed on small warm-blooded animals such as mice and birds. The adult American dog tick will feed on humans and medium to large mammals such as raccoons and dogs.
Unfed males and females are reddish-brown and about 3/16-inch long. Females have a large silver-colored spot behind the head and will become ½-inch long after feeding or about the size of a small grape. Males have fine silver lines on the back and do not get much larger after feeding. Males are sometimes mistaken for other species of ticks because they appear so different from the female.
In Illinois, the adults are most active in April, May and June. By September, the adults are inactive and are rarely observed. The American dog tick can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and possibly ehrlichiosis to humans.

Lone Star Tick 
(Amblyomma americanum)
Lone Star Tick

The lone star tick is primarily found in the southern half of Illinois, although it can occasionally be found further north. Larvae, nymphs and adults will feed on a variety of warm-blooded hosts, including people. The larva is very tiny, only a little larger than the period at the end of this sentence. The nymph, the most common stage found on people, is about pinhead-sized. Adults are about 1/8-inch long and brown. The adult female has a white spot in the middle of her back. Because they are so similar in size, the lone star tick is sometimes misidentified by laypersons as the blacklegged / deer tick (see below).
The lone star tick is most active from April through the end of July. Although it can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the lone star tick is not as likely to transmit the disease as the American dog tick. This tick also may transmit tularemia and ehrlichiosis to humans. The lone star tick is not believed to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi), but may be associated with a related bacteria species that has not been completely identified.

Blacklegged Tick, also known as the Deer Tick
(Ixodes scapularis)
Blacklegged (Deer) Tick

All three active stages of the blacklegged / deer tick will feed on a variety of hosts including people. After the eggs hatch in the spring, the very tiny larvae feed primarily on white-footed mice or other small mammals. The following spring, the larvae molt into pinhead-sized, brown nymphs that will feed on mice, larger warm-blooded animals and people. In the fall, they molt into adults that feed primarily on deer, with the females laying eggs the following spring. Adults are reddish-brown and about 1/8-inch long (or about one-half the size of the more familiar female American dog tick).
These ticks are found in wooded areas along trails. The larvae and nymphs are active in the spring and early summer; adults may be active in both the spring and fall. The blacklegged / deer tick can transmit Lyme disease and possibly ehrlichiosis to humans.
The deer tick has been found sporadically in many Illinois counties. However, in recent years it has been common only in limited areas, mostly in northern Illinois (Geographic distribution by county). Additionally, Illinois residents may encounter the deer tick during trips to Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin or the northeastern United States where it is very common in some areas.

Brown Dog Tick 
(Rhipicephalus sanguineus)
Brown Dog Tick

The brown dog tick (also known as the kennel tick) is found through most of the United States This tick feeds on dogs, but rarely bites people. Unlike the other species of ticks, its life cycle allows it to survive and develop indoors. The brown dog tick is found primarily in kennels or homes with dogs where it may be found hiding in cracks, behind radiators, under rugs and furniture, and on draperies and walls.
The adult is reddish-brown and about 1/8-inch long, and usually attaches around the ears or between the toes of a dog to feed. After feeding, a female may engorge to ½-inch long. She then drops off the dog and crawls into a hiding place where she may lay as many as 3,000 eggs. This tick is tropical in origin and does not survive Illinois winters outdoors. The brown dog tick is not an important carrier of human disease.

Winter Tick
(Dermacentor albipictus)
Winter Tick

The winter tick is a species that feeds on large mammals like deer, cattle and horses. Unlike the hard ticks mentioned above, the winter tick attaches to the host as a larva and remains attached throughout its life. Consequently, this tick is rarely encountered by campers or hikers. However, hunters may find the winter tick in large numbers on deer carcasses. Although the winter tick may carry diseases of large wild mammals, it is not known to transmit disease to humans.

Preventing Tick Bites and Disease
The best way to protect yourself against tickborne illness is to avoid tick bites. This includes avoiding known tick- infested areas. However, if you live in or visit wooded areas or areas with tall grass and weeds, follow these precautions to help prevent tick bites and decrease the risk of disease:
  • Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes and a head covering. (Ticks are easier to detect on light-colored clothing.) Tuck trouser cuffs in socks. Tape the area where pants and socks meet so ticks cannot crawl under clothing.
  • Apply insect repellent containing 10 percent to 30 percent DEET primarily to clothes. Apply sparingly to exposed skin. Do not spray directly to the face; spray the repellent onto hands and then apply to face. Avoid sensitive areas like the eyes, mouth and nasal membranes. Be sure to wash treated skin after coming indoors. Use repellents containing permethrin to treat clothes (especially pants, socks and shoes) but not skin. Always follow label directions; do not misuse or overuse repellents. Always supervise children in the use of repellents.
  • Walk in the center of trails so weeds do not brush against you. In camping areas, individuals who sit on the ground or disturb leaf litter on the forest floor may encounter ticks.
  • Check yourself, children and other family members every two to three hours for ticks. Most ticks seldom attach quickly and rarely transmit disease organisms until they have been attached four or more hours. If your pets spend time outdoors, check them for ticks, too.
  • If ticks are crawling on the outside of clothes, they can be removed with masking tape or cellophane tape. A ring of tape can be made around the hand by leaving the sticky side out and attaching the two ends. Ticks will stick to the tape which can then be folded over and then placed in the trash. 
  • Remove any tick promptly. The mouthparts of a tick are barbed and may remain embedded and lead to infection at the bite site if not removed promptly. Do not burn the tick with a match or cover it with petroleum jelly or nail polish. Do not use bare hands to remove the tick because tick secretions may carry disease. The best way to remove a tick is to grasp it firmly with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and gently, but firmly, pull it straight out. Do not twist or jerk the tick. If tweezers are not available, grasp the tick with a piece of tissue or cloth or whatever can be used as a barrier between your fingers and the tick. Ticks can be safely disposed of by placing them in a container of soapy water or alcohol, sticking them to tape or flushing them down the toilet. If you want to have the tick identified, put it in a small vial of alcohol.
  • Wash the bite area and your hands thoroughly with soap and water and apply an antiseptic to the bite site.
  • If you have an unexplained illness with fever, contact a physician. Be sure to tell the physician if you have been outdoors in areas where ticks were present or traveled to areas where tickborne diseases are common.

Prevention and Control of Ticks Around the Home
Make sure the property around your home is unattractive to ticks. Because ticks are sensitive to dry conditions and do not thrive in short vegetation, they are seldom a problem in well-maintained lawns. Keep your grass mowed and keep weeds cut. Clean up items that attract rodents which can carry ticks, such as spilled birdseed, and hiding places like old wood piles. If ticks are present in vegetation along the edge of the property, insecticides labeled for control of ticks can be applied to small areas of high weeds that cannot be mowed. Often, one or two applications per season will be adequate to control ticks in these areas.
Free-roaming dogs and cats are much more likely to encounter ticks than those that are confined to the home or yard. If ticks are found on pets, contact your veterinarian for information about an appropriate tick treatment. Remove the occasional tick found indoors by vacuuming, seal the vacuum bag and place it in the trash. Owners of kennels or homes infested with the brown dog tick may wish to contact a professional pest control company for assistance.

Identification of Ticks
During the last several years, about 75 percent of the ticks submitted to Department staff have been identified either as the American dog tick or as the lone star tick. Many people are familiar with the female American dog tick. However, the adults of several species and immature stages must be identified by an entomologist or other professional familiar with ticks. To submit a tick for identification, put it into a leak-proof container with rubbing alcohol along with the date and location where the tick was encountered and contact your local health department for assistance.
This publication is for information and is intended as a guide only. Always read and follow all current label instructions for repellents and pesticides. If any information in these recommendations disagrees with the pesticide label, the label instructions must be followed. Prepared with the assistance of the University of Illinois Extension, University of Illinois Department of Veterinary Pathology and Illinois Natural History Survey. Edited and Condensed by Scott Glaze  February 19, 2012.


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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Earwigs (Forficula auricularia)

Earwig
(Forficula auricularia)
Earwig

The name earwig comes from a European superstition that these insects entered the ears of a sleeping person and bored into the brain. This belief is totally unfounded. Earwigs often cause alarm to homeowners when discovered indoors, despite the fact that they are harmless to humans. They have a frightful appearance, move rapidly around baseboards at the ground level and may emit a foul-smelling, yellowish-brown liquid from their scent glands. Active at night and hiding during the daytime, earwigs normally live outdoors and do not establish populations indoors. They are harmless to humans and animals, although if handled carelessly, the earwig can give a slight pinch with the forceps. Earwigs can be responsible for serious feeding damage on flowers, vegetables, fruits and other plants, giving the leaves a ragged appearance with numerous, small, irregular holes.

Description
Earwigs are elongate, flattened insects, ranging from light red-brown to black and are easily recognized by their forceps-like appendages (pincers) on the end of the abdomen. The forceps (cerci) are unequal in length in the males. Earwig female forceps are straight-sided, whereas male forceps are strongly curved (caliper-like) and larger. They have chewing mouthparts and long, slender antennae. Some species are wingless but others have a pair of leathery forewings covering a few segments of the abdomen and the membranous hind wings, which have the tips protruding. There are many species of earwigs: the European earwig ranges from 13-20 mm (1/2 to 3/4 inch) in length, with banded legs and reddish head; the ring legged earwig ranges from 13-18 mm (1/2 to 3/5 inch) in length and is black-yellowish underneath with legs having dark crossbands.
Earwig
Young earwigs (nymphs) are similar in appearance to adults. They are white to olive-green and lack wings. An earwig's forceps are used to defend the nest, capture prey, probe narrow crevices and fold or unfold wings. Earwigs are primarily scavengers on dead insects and rotted plant materials. Some species are predators, feeding on aphids. Only a few of the winged species are good fliers. They are often transported great distances in plant materials and occasionally in other freight. Earwigs require moist, cool places and are found in damp crawl spaces, flower gardens near the home, in mulches, compost piles, under boards, in wood piles, and trash areas. After entering houses, they feed on sweet, oily or greasy foods or houseplants. They are attracted to lights.

Life Cycle
Earwigs develop from egg to adult through gradual metamorphosis with four to five nymphal instars or stages. During the spring or autumn, females lay 20 to 50 smooth, oval-shaped, pearly-white or cream-colored eggs in a below-ground chamber (upper two to three inches of soil). The female moves, cleans and provides maternal care by protecting the eggs and new young until the first molt. Young then leave the nest, fend for themselves and mature in one season. Most species in this country have one generation per year, overwintering as eggs or adults in the soil. Earwigs may dig as deep as six feet below ground to escape the cold temperatures.
Earwig

Damage
Some feed on living plants and often become pests in greenhouses and field crops.

Control / Prevention
For best control indoors, one must first control earwigs outdoors. Since they are attracted to lights, reduce lighting around doors, windows and other potential entry sites. Use good night light discipline and special sodium vapor yellow lights (less attractive to insects) instead of white, neon or mercury vapor lights. Earwigs need and are very attracted to moisture. High populations, practically invisible during the day, may be present around foundations, in landscaped yards, in mulch, under boards, etc. Be sure to eliminate damp, moist conditions in crawl spaces under houses, around faucets, around air-conditioning units and along house foundations.

Rain gutters and spouts should carry water away from the house foundation. Use caulking compound, putty and weather stripping around doors, windows, pipes and other entry sites, especially at the ground level. Change landscaping by creating a clean, dry border immediately around the foundation wall. Gravel or ornamental stones can make an attractive barrier against earwigs and other pest invaders. If populations are difficult to control, or earwig invasion to the home continues, it is always best to contact a professional pest control company.


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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A bug's (sex) life: Diving beetles offer unexpected clues about sexual selection

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Fossil cricket reveals Jurassic love song

Fossil cricket reveals Jurassic love song:
The love song of an extinct cricket that lived 165 million years ago.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brown-banded cockroach

Brown-banded Cockroaches
(Supella longipalpa)
Brown-banded cockroach

Cockroaches are among the most common of insects. Fossil evidence indicates that cockroaches have been on earth for over 300 million years. They are considered one of the most successful groups of animals. Cockroaches are so adaptable, they have successfully adjusted to living with humans. About 3,500 species of cockroaches exist worldwide, with 55 species found in the United States.

Description and Behavior
Adult male brown-banded cockroaches are about 1/2 inch long and light brown, with fully developed wings . The adult females are shorter and stouter than the males and their wings do not cover the entire abdomen. Both adults and nymphs can be distinguished by the two brownish, broad bands across the body at the base of the abdomen and at mid-abdomen. Both males and females are quite active; adult males fly readily when disturbed. Brown-banded cockroaches prefer warm and dry locations, such as near refrigerator motor housings, on the upper walls of cabinets, and inside pantries, closets, dressers, and furniture in general. They can also be found behind picture frames and beneath tables and chairs, and inside clocks, radios, light switch plates, doorframes, and dressers. It is common to find them hiding nearer the ceiling than the floor and away from water sources. Accurate identification is paramount to controlling brown-banded cockroaches. Control strategies for other cockroaches will not be efficacious for brown-banded cockroaches.

Life Cycle
The brown-banded cockroach has three developmental stages: egg, nymph, and adult. Eggs are laid in capsules, which the female carries for about 30 hours before she fastens it on walls, ceilings, and in protected and hidden areas. During her adult life a female produces about 14 egg capsules, each containing an average of 13 eggs. The length of the egg stage varies from 37 to 103 days, depending on temperature. The nymphal stage ranges from 8 to 31 weeks. A female adult has a life span of 13 to 45 weeks; each female produces about 600 descendants per year.
Brown-banded nymphs and adults (with egg sack)

Damage
The brown-banded cockroach feeds on a wide variety of materials. Like members of other cockroach species, it may consume materials like glue or paste (especially from animal-based materials), starch, and certain color dyes. As a result, items like stamps, envelopes, bindings of older books, draperies, and occasionally wallpapers may show signs of feeding. This species has also been known to chew on nonfood materials, such as nylon stockings, presumably for the residues of body oils and skin flakes. Damage by brown-banded cockroaches results from their feeding and harboring in pantries and storage areas indoors. Also, bacteria and protozoa that cause diseases (such as different forms of gastroenteritis and diarrhea) can be carried on the legs and bodies of cockroaches and deposited on food, utensils, etc.

Management Strategies
Survey - To control brown-banded cockroaches, it is important to do a thorough inspection, or survey. Cockroach surveys involve placing sticky traps (glueboards) at strategic locations within the building. Whenever possible, place survey traps either against a wall or in a corner of the floor, a shelf, or a drawer. Most commercially available traps come complete with bait to encourage cockroaches to enter. One week of trapping with a sufficient number of trap sites (ten or more) usually provides enough information for effective control. Treatments should be directed to those areas where cockroaches have been collected in the traps.
Brown-banded cockroach

Sanitation, Structural Modifications, and Repairs
It is difficult to keep cockroaches from entering the home via boxes, grocery bags, suitcases, etc., but you can prevent them from developing into a serious problem. One of the key factors is sanitation: clean up spilled foods on the floor, do not leave dirty dishes overnight, store items such as cereal, crackers, and cookies in airtight containers, and empty garbage each evening into a sturdy container with a tight-fitting lid. Brown-banded cockroaches can conceal themselves in many places that are inaccessible to larger species. Making structural modifications such as caulking (in cracks, crevices; around ducts, molding, etc.) is necessary in bedrooms, bathrooms, dining rooms, and other areas of the house.
Brown-banded cockroach

Chemical Control
Baiting is an effective method to control or eliminate brown-banded cockroaches. Baits containing hydramethylnon, sulfluramid, boric acid, or abamectin can provide a high level of control when applied to those areas where cockroaches harbor. Some formulations of baits are available to the public in plastic feeding stations. Professional pest control personnel also have cockroach baits in flowable granular and gel formulations. Care should be taken to closely follow the label instructions for use. Insecticidal dusts like boric acid, silica aerogel, and diatomaceous earth can provide additional control. Apply dusts lightly, as heavy deposits may repel cockroaches. These products can be applied in the cracks and crevices of bureaus, clothes closet shelves, ceiling light fixtures, valances above windows, hollow legs of chairs and tables, and wall or floor cracks and crevices throughout the house. Do not place dusts where they could come in contact with children or pets. Do not allow children access to areas treated with boric acid. Boric acid is of low toxicity to adults, but it can present a hazard to children. Take precautions to assure that dusts do not contaminate food. The use of residual insecticidal sprays or aerosol foggers within a structure is of little value in controlling brown-banded cockroaches. In fact, these applications may disperse the cockroaches making control difficult and lengthy.

Warning
Pesticides are poisonous. Read and follow directions and safety precautions on labels. Handle carefully and store in original labeled containers out of the reach of children, pets, and livestock. Dispose of empty containers right away, in a safe manner and location. Do not contaminate forage, streams, or ponds.

Originally Authored by: Steve Jacobs, Sr. Extension Associate
March 2002 Reviewed April 2007     © The Pennsylvania State University 2012
Edited, Revised and Condensed by:  Scott Glaze    January 29, 2012

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Scientists Discover Gene that Cancer-Proofs Rodents Cells : University of Rochester News - StumbleUpon

Cancer Proofing Cells

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Naked Mole Rats

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Whats turning straight mice gay?

Straight Mice turned Gay?

As usual, if we come across something that's industry-related, current, cool, or just goofy, we share it. Uncertain which topic-title we should place this into, but interesting nonetheless.
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spiders on the hunt | Animal and Dog News in Gympie | Gympie Times



We came across this informative news article (link provided) from Queensland.
Yes, we are fascinated by the variety, scope, and diversity of life on our planet.
These spiders are big and strong enough to subdue frogs and mice!
APOLOGIES if you are looking at this while eating but the large Sydney Huntsman (in Queensland known as the Grey Huntsman) is certainly enjoying its meal.
The Grey Huntsman Spider
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Warm, Dry Winter Means More Mice, Scientists Say

Warm, Dry Winter Means More Mice, Scientists Say...

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Words of wisdom can come from a variety of sources. We keep an open mind to provide YOU with the best education our industry can provide.
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Sunday, January 22, 2012

American Cockroach

American Cockroach
American cockroach

Wikipedia gives us the following (paraphrased, but keeping hyperlinks for your convenience): The American cockroach (Periplaneta americana), is often misidentified as the palmetto bug (see Florida woods cockroach for the differences). It is the largest species of common cockroach, and often considered a pest. None of the Periplaneta species are endemic to the Americas; despite the name, P. americana was introduced to the United States from Africa as early as 1625. They are now common in tropical climates because human activity has extended the insect's range of habitation, and global shipping has transported the insects to world ports including the Southern United States, Tenerife, southernSpain, Greece, Taiwan, and Cape Town and Durban, South Africa.
American cockroach adults grow to an average length of around 4 centimetres (1.6 in) and about 7 millimetres (0.28 in) tall. They are reddish brown and have a yellowish margin on the body region behind the head. Immature cockroaches resemble adults except that they are wingless.
The insect can travel quickly, often darting out of sight when someone enters a room, and can fit into small cracks and under doors despite its fairly large size. It is considered one of the fastest running insects. In an experiment carried out at the University of California, Berkeley in 1991, aPeriplaneta americana registered a record speed of 5.4 kilometres per hour (3.4 mph), about 50 body lengths per second, which would be comparable to a human running at 330 kilometres per hour (210 mph).
American cockroach

It has a pair of large compound eyes each having over 2000 individual lenses, and is a very active night insect that shuns light. American cockroaches generally live in moist areas, but can survive in dry areas if they have access to water. They prefer warm temperatures around 29 °C (84 °F) and do not tolerate cold temperatures. In residential areas, these cockroaches live in basements and sewers, and may move outdoors into yards during warm weather. These cockroaches are common in basements, crawl spaces, cracks and crevices of porches, foundations, and walkways adjacent to buildings.
The American cockroach is a scavenger that feeds on decaying organic matter and a variety of other foods. It is particularly fond of fermenting foods.
Females produce an egg case called an ootheca which protrudes from the tip of the abdomen. After about two days, the egg cases are placed on a surface in a safe location. Egg cases are about 0.9 centimeters (0.35 in) long, brown, and purse shaped. Immature cockroaches emerge from egg cases in 6 to 8 weeks and require 6 to 12 months to mature. Adult cockroaches can live up to one year, during which females produce an average of 150 young.
American cockroach

Due to their large size and slow development, large infestations of these insects are not common within houses. However, during certain times of the year, these cockroaches may move inside a house from outside. In cold weather these cockroaches may move indoors, seeking warmer temperatures and food. Cockroaches may enter houses through sewer connections, under doors, around plumbing, air ducts, or other openings in the foundation. Cockroach populations may be controlled through the use of insecticides, however it is usually best to contact a professional.


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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bed Bug Videos - Avoid, Prevent, Travel

Looking at our numbers, it would appear that bed bug information is in high demand.
In an effort to save you some time tracking these videos down, we've gathered some of the videos we feel are most educational.
Here you go.









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