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Archive for the ‘Ask the Expert’ Category

Keeping Out The Pests: Four Steps To Seal Cracks and Crevices in Your Home

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The old saying goes that a person’s home is his (or her) castle, but how solid are your ramparts? Infestations of bugs, rats, and other vermin may have been part of living in a medieval castle, but in the modern home, there is no reason why you should have to accept these unwelcome home invasions. In fact, you can slam the door on them before they ever get a foothold in your castle. One of the best tried-and-true methods of do-it-yourself pest control is the practice of sealing cracks and crevices that act as main entry points for pests trespassing into your home. (more…)

7 Ways to Pest-Proof Your Home This Fall

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

Chillier weather is here and that probably means you are planning to spend more time indoors and out of the cold, but would it surprise you to hear there are others that have the same plans? There are a wide variety of critters that seek out human habitation when colder weather sets in, and even in sunny Arizona, colder nights can make unwelcome guests check-in for the evening. Today, let’s take a look at 7 steps that you can take to pest-proof your home this fall and winter. (more…)

A Web of Symptoms: How to Tell if You’ve Been Bitten by a Dangerous Spider

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Of all the creatures you may find in or around your home, coming face-to-face with a spider is particularly startling. Though most arachnids will do their best to avoid you, many homeowners can’t help but be concerned when these uninvited guests make an appearance. After all, isn’t a spider bite dangerous? (more…)

Survive the Hive – How To Protect Yourself From A Bee Swarm

Friday, August 18th, 2017

When considering dangerous pests, honeybees might not register very highly. While nearly everyone has had a bee sting, they are rarely dangerous unless you have an allergy to the bee venom. However, the recent fatal bee attack in Tucson is raising awareness of the threat that can be posed by a bee swarm, and given the conditions, more potentially deadly attacks are expected in the coming season. (more…)

6 Easy Home Remedies to Get Rid of Sugar Ants

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

First of all, let me be clear. There is no such animal as a “sugar ant”. This is a term that is loosely applied to any number of small species of ants that seemingly find the smallest bit of sugar from a spill the night before and invade your kitchen, living room, bathroom, let’s face it, anywhere. (more…)

When Is The Best Time To Get Rid Of Weeds?

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

The last two years have seen a massive increase in the amount of rainfall in the Desert Southwest. A quick drive around town, down the road to Sierra Vista, or even just around your neighborhood will likely confirm that weeds are growing like crazy, taking advantage of this abundance of rain. (more…)

Bug Blog Entries

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Hypothetical: A Portuguese designer creates a food source from primary ingredients that are in abundant global supply. It’s a high protein powder. It’s good for you and good for the environment. Do you eat it?

Here’s the catch: this superfood is made from the paste of ground-up dung beetles and crickets.

Here’s the other catch: this isn’t a hypothetical.

A Portuguese designer, Susan Soares, is using 3D printing technology to make insects more palatable.

There is a wholly rational argument for eating creepy-crawlies. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization believes bug eating is the right strategy to adopt; as the world’s population grows, a new food source is required, and bugs are already squirming around on every continent and in every climate. It makes sense to embrace entomophagy, the practice of raising insects as food, on a global scale.

Read more: Edible Bug Treats: 3D Printer Susan Soares Cricket Candy | TIME.com http://newsfeed.time.com/2014/02/05/3d-printing-company-makes-edible-cricket-and-dung-beetle-treats/#ixzz2tvzZa0hJ

Monarch butterflies

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Arizona doesn’t get swarms of monarch butterflies migrating between their summer habitats up north and the mountains of Mexico where they spend the winters, but they are a dependable presence.

The Southwest Monarch Study, which enlists citizen-scientists to tag migrating monarchs in an attempt to better understand their migration, tags thousands a year.

“Where they come from is anyone’s guess, but they do fly in from the north,” said Gail Morris, coordinator of the Southwest Monarch Study. “We tag 2,000 to 3,000 every year. Imagine all those we haven’t seen,” she said.

This year, her group has teamed with Borderlands Restoration to grow native, pesticide-free milkweed varieties in a greenhouse near Patagonia, Morris said.

The Canelo Hills south of Patagonia and the entire Sonoita area are hot spots for monarchs, she said, though they are found throughout the state, including Grand Canyon National Park. to read more go here: http://azstarnet.com/news/local/monarch-butterflies-a-steady-presence-in-arizona/article_efe1d0f4-78de-51a7-a173-00b3545be057.html

Awesome Architects

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Humans aren’t the only animals that build intricate homes and other structures: The animal kingdom abounds with talented architects.

From dams to nests to body armor, these feats of animal ingenuity will blow your mind—and perhaps inspire you to get up off that couch.

Beavers

Beavers might be the most well-known animal architects, and with good reason. These prolific builders fell trees and gather sticks and mud to construct dams, which create ponds that offer predator protection and easy access to food during the winter.

Beaver families live in lodges within the dams, and are constantly “busy as beavers” adding to and repairing the structures, says the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Although the average beaver dam is about 6 feet (1.8 meters) high and 5 feet (1.5 meters) wide, they can be much bigger. In 2007, experts spotted the world’s largest beaver dam in Alberta, Canada, using Google Earth…read more here: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/01/27/5-animals-that-are-awesome-architects/

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