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Archive for the ‘The Bug Blog’ Category

Scorpions in Arizona

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

scorpionsSCORPIONS IN ARIZONA 

Arizona and the Sonoran Desert are known the world over for Saguaro cactus, high temperatures and scorpions.

Scorpions are common and plentiful in Southern Arizona, but they are very secretive and nocturnal. Some people have lived their whole life in Arizona, but have never seen one. They are typically neutral in coloring, ranging from a translucent straw color to a striped brown, allowing them to camouflage easily on most natural surfaces. Depending on the species, adults may be just over one inch in length or may be up to three inches long. Scorpions possess a toxic sting at the tip of the tail; as a result, the tailless species are harmless! Even the ones that do sting can be relatively harmless, much like a bee sting (if you are not allergic to bees). In some species, the sting can be extremely toxic, causing severe symptoms in some people or even death in the elderly or in infants. With scorpions, bigger is better, with the larger varieties possessing the mildest sting, and the smallest with the most toxic. (more…)

Dooryard Pests in Arizona

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

DOORYARD PESTS IN ARIZONA

Most people think of the desert as a vast wasteland, where nothing can survive. The reality is that the Sonoran Desert is a thriving wildlife community that, for the most part, has been undisturbed by man. Since a large number of insect, rodent and reptile species live in the desert and have evolved to survive in this environment with limited resources, human dwellings present a tremendous opportunity to them. The presence of these pests will vary based on a number of factors.

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Crickets in Southern Arizona

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

roachCRICKETS IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA
Douglas Seemann, Board Certified Entomologist

There are several different types of crickets in Southern Arizona that a homeowner may encounter. The two most common are the field cricket and the Indian house cricket. The field cricket is a native cricket. They are black, round in cross-section, larger and, except for the wings, shiny. As the name implies, they are found primarily out doors in areas with lots of vegetation or weeds. They are sometimes found under rocks or leaf litter. The Indian House Cricket is a brown cricket that people buy from pet shops to feed to their pet lizards. They are dull looking and kind of square in cross-section. They can be found in homes and stores. (more…)

Ants in Arizona

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

antsANTS IN ARIZONA

Arizona is the number one state for ant diversity. There are well over 100 different ant species!  It would be impossible to describe all the different types briefly. Let’s cover some ant basics and group ants by how we might find them.

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American Cockroaches in Arizona

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

AMERICAN COCKROACHES IN ARIZONA

American RoachThe American Cockroach can be found throughout most of the United States. It was introduced in the mid 1600s, but was originally from Africa. It is known by many names: Palmetto Bug, Water Bug and Sewer Roach among others. In our part of the country, they are commonly found in sewers, septic tanks, rock swale, crawl spaces, leaf litter, under rocks and around swimming pools. As adults, the American Cockroach is large, reddish brown and winged, but the immature are smaller, have no wings and are very shiny. When disturbed, they run very fast in a “razzle dazzle” type motion. They can run 50 times their length in a second. That is the equivalent of a human running about 200 mph.

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Bedbugs, At Home, On Vacation, and Around Town

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

bed bugsBEDBUGS AT HOME, ON VACATION AND AROUND TOWN

Bedbugs have become one of the most important pest species in the U.S. All you have to do is open a newspaper or surf the net to hear stories of people whose lives have been changed by a bedbug infestation.

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Termites in Tucson

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

termiteTERMITES IN TUCSON

 

Every home in Tucson has had, has or will have termites. (more…)

Seasonal Changes Bring Dooryard Pests

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Dooryard pests are “pests of opportunity,” also known as “occasional invaders.” (What are dooryard pests, you ask? There are many varieties but to give you a few examples, they are: crickets, cockroaches, moths, beetles, termites, ladybugs, earwigs and web spinners, etc.). Landscaping and water have the greatest effect on pest populations. The seasons provide ranges in temperature and moisture. Each species has an optimal temperature range and a preferred moisture level. When the best conditions for any type of pest are present, activity, feeding and reproduction increase. As populations build in the desert, pests start looking for additional living space, food and other resources. A large structure provides some hiding places, increased moisture due to irrigation, warmth at night, shade in the daytime, and in many cases, increased food supply. This food can include a barbeque grill that has not been cleaned, dog food left by the family pet, spilled trash, bird feeders or even snacks left behind by the kids.

Seasonality also brings about changes in the length of the day. In many dooryard pest species, reductions in the length of daylight, together with a drop in temperature triggers a “hibernation” behavior causing large numbers of insects to migrate into structures.

Why are moths and other insects attracted to light?

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Lights don’t occur at ground level at night in nature. The closest thing is the moon. Night flying insects use the moon to orient themselves and navigate, never thinking they will actually get there. If a moth were to fly, attempting to keep a light bulb “moon” over its left shoulder, for instance, it would fly in circles around the bulb. The slightest change in angle would send it spiraling away or toward the light bulb until: CRASH! The moth slams into its moon! Of course, insects are not adapted to land on their moon and without a mechanism to deal with the situation. They are over stimulated, sitting with their wings vibrating. Come morning, they are exhausted, fall to the floor and look for the nearest hiding place, under your door. In the morning, you open the door and they are in!

Ballooning—One Way Spiders Get into Your Home

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

Have you ever walked out to your car and get a spider web strand across the face? A baby spider caused this! Shortly after emerging from an egg sack, baby spiders climb to a high point and toss strands of spider silk into the air. Even a slight breeze will pick up this strand, carrying the spiderlet to its new home—your hair, your car’s windshield, or if your door is open, your living room.

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