Lethal Cocktails: Why cockroaches are more than just a visual pest

Humans have long waged a war against “unwanted” pests. But if evolution has taught us anything it is that insects aren’t going anywhere in a hurry and that cockroaches are now stronger than ever.

In fact Periplaneta Americana has maintained an unhealthy presence in our lives since time in memoriam. They’d been on earth 199,800,000 years before we came along so it’s easy to imagine, given the lack of sanitation and hygiene back in the day, that cockroaches creeped out our ancestors in much the same way as they do us.

Cockroach Pests Disease

Image: The Virtual Fossil Museum

Roman author and philosopher Pliny the Elder made some of the first pest-control recommendations in the First Century AD. He observed that, “dressing seeds with the ashes of a cat or weasel or steeping the seed in ox-gall” was an effective home defense against cockroaches; he also said that storing grain in airtight containers would prevent infestations, which by modern-day standards seems quite insightful.

Why are cockroaches so tough?

There is a solid basis for saying that a cockroach is one of the most resilient creatures on the planet. They have a tough exoskeleton, incredibly adaptable DNA, they don’t have blood, they have a different immune system to us and they have a primitive nervous system which renders them less susceptible to radiation damage. Couple this with their famed resilience to periods without food and water (some roaches can last more than a month without food and over a week without water) and you have a true SUPERBUG.

Cockroach Pests Disease

Image: Chambers Pest Solutions

However, even super powers have their limitations and weaknesses. According to a study in 2007 by Vanderbilt University the beasts don’t function very well in light and are better able to learn at night; in fact, they seemingly have, “a total inability to pick up anything new during the daylight hours.” So too are they the easy victims of natural predators like frogs and iguanas. Roaches are also susceptible to some fungi, all in all suffering a practical form of karma.

Carriers

As well as their unpleasant look and smell, roaches have the potential to spread deadly diseases through cross-contamination, as well as cause major allergic reactions.

They have disease-ridden bodies because being omnivores they will eat anything. That includes poop, discarded food and rotting meat. All of this organic matter harbors bacteria potentially harmful to humans and it takes just one cockroach to walk across fresh food to contaminate it. It is believed roaches transmit a host of diseases in this way such as dysentery, cholera, leprosy, typhoid fever, and salmonella, all of which can make us either very poorly or can even kill us.

Cockroach Pests Disease

Image: Barfblog

And it doesn’t really make a difference (Pliny) if the food is covered. Agreed, sealing food in proper containers will stop direct infestations but if you have roaches in your house the germs they carry will have been traipsed across floors and furniture. The fact that you can’t see any markings where the critters have been doesn’t mean the surface is clean.

So how is it possible to eradicate them?

Being so resilient to baits and poisons cockroaches are notoriously difficult to eradicate but not impossible. However, shop-bought chemical insecticides aren’t the answer; they kill only the roaches you can find…if you can even find them!

Cockroach Pests Disease

Image: Pest Control Swindon

Antworks’ professionally trained employees use slow acting, non-repellent material or bait for cockroaches but follow up with a cockroach treatment because of their feisty nature. It is imperative that when you first see a roach or smell an odor you call Antworks pest control service straight away because it’s highly likely you already have a problem. What’s more as well as being impervious to most man-made pesticides, roaches have the ability to reproduce quickly.

So don’t delay, otherwise they will take over.

Bugs in Space: Why study insects in micro-gravity?

It has been said that finding a spider in your home symbolizes good health, wealth, and cleanliness. But what if you went to work surrounded by crickets, rodents, frogs, newts, fruit flies, snails, fish, monkeys, dogs, silkworms, carpenter bees, harvester ants and nematodes? Would you holler for help?

Let’s have a quick look at the history and reasons for taking live animals into orbit.

Image: NASA

Over the last 70 years all the big sprinters in the space race have used animals as guinea pigs. Back in 1947 a handful of fruit flies were the first to be strapped to a captured German V2-rocket; they reached an altitude of 68 miles and returned to Earth safely. Then over the next 20 years a succession of higher animals (including an actual guinea pig) became the unwilling participants in research on things like solar radiation at high altitude, the ability to carry out tasks in micro-gravity and the effects of space flight on bodily functions.

In the 1970s with manned spaceflight all the rage, scientists’ focus shifted to more complex problems. For example some tests were carried out on the effects of motion sickness in frogs, others on the regeneration of newt limbs and yet others looked at how spiders spun their webs in micro-gravity. The last 30 years have still seen numerous insects propelled into space including ants, cockroaches and moths but the observations have grown more clinical and ethical.

Image: NASA

One of the most recent large scale bio experiments took place in 2014 when 800 ants were sent to the International Space Station. Astronauts were able to study their foraging behavior in micro-gravity and drew some interesting conclusions about their 150-million-year-old instincts.

On Earth, ants are capable of understanding their community’s population density by counting the number of times they touch each other with their antennae. The higher number of contacts obviously indicates larger numbers of ants in the colony allowing them to be more thorough in their search for food; they move in a tight circular pattern confident that the location will yield something tasty.

As you might have guessed, in the micro-gravity of space, things are a little different. Because each ant finds itself further apart, they perceive the population to be scarce. Consequently, with great presence of mind their movements are much more straight-lined in order to cover more ground to find food.

Image: vox.com

How does this apply to our lives and the cultural evolution going on around us?

NASA believes the way in which ants react to their environment may give developers of AI (Artificial Intelligence) some food for thought. In terms of internet connectivity, Stanford University biology professor Deborah Gordon, an expert on animal collective behavior said in a statement, “Learning about the ants’ solutions might help us design network systems to solve similar problems.” So too would it have some implications for robotics, according to the Administration.

The way ants forage is by way of an inbuilt algorithm (a series of actions to be performed) honed throughout their evolution. Studying the way in which these bio-algorithms alter in space provides valuable clues to the development of our own space robotics. So too will understanding the basic nature of the ants’ working practice allow scientists and engineers to consider new ways of connectivity and improved data networks going forward.

A Brief History of Ants

Even though Antworks Pest Control prides itself on the removal and control of all sorts of pests, we started off specializing in some serious home defense against ants. Ants are fascinating creatures that have diverged into the 12,000 known species of resilient, hard-working bosses of the bug world. But as we know too well they are also extremely pernicious mainly down to the fact they have evolved constantly over the course of 150M years to meet environmental change. Let’s face it, you don’t get anywhere in this world if you’re not willing to ride the times!

These days, ants can be found on just about every landmass on Earth barring Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Their success can be put down to their social organisation, ability to change their living arrangements quickly, seek resources, and – with some – defend themselves. All of this means that ants create one massive home defense and extermination issue worldwide; that goes for us here in Vancouver, WA too.

Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Jurassic period and hit the big time after the rise of flowering plants and fruits in the spring of 100M years ago. While wasps went on to use their rear ends to deliver venom the ants used their’s to deliver new life. There are an estimated 22,000 species in the world with only half having been identified.

Over time, different ant species chose different ways of life; some burrowed, some lived on dead vegetation, and some lived in trees. Despite all sorts of climate change (including whatever killed off the dinosaurs) ants thrived. A 49.5M year-old fossil of a winged queen ant is testimony to their evolutionary success; discovered in Wyoming in 2011, Titanomyrma is a prehistoric giant ant about the size of today’s hummingbirds (3-5 inches long).

During the Cretaceous period ants were scarce in comparison to the populations of other insects making up only about 1% of the world’s bug population, but by the Oligocene and Miocene (100M years later), ants made up 20–40% of all insects found in major fossil deposits.

One of the biggest reasons ants can be so hard to control as a pest is their love of living together in colonies which can range in size from a handful of individuals to millions. This way of living is called Eusociality and is in fact the best type of social organisation that some believed was akin even to our own way of life. It’s thought that ants became grouped as eusocial insects through an evolutionary phenomenon which allowed them to work collectively to benefit the gene pool rather than themselves as individuals.

Colonies are exceptionally well-run affairs with castes (groups) all specialized in one particular area of nest maintenance including reproduction. Similarly to ants, termite colonies are eusocial but the two are not related except through a primitive biological line. Termites are thought to have existed 251M years ago, more than 100M years before ants; when ants were getting stuck into the new fruit craze, termites were already working on their caste system. Their colony habits are similar but only by coincidence; termites are actually more closely related to cockroaches and mantids.

Are ants dangerous or should we protect them?

Humanity considers ants to be pests, and some nasty ones at that. And sure, ants are not good in the home of any person, but they can be extremely useful in nature. So we should try to keep them away from our home, however we should respect them in nature and leave them alone! The reality is that ants live in society, just like we do, and they have distinct individual tasks that they have to attend to. This alone shows that ants are more than just a simple pest, they are intelligent insects that managed to create their society. In fact, they even have their kind and queen.

On top of that, ants are very resistant. Some studies have shown that ants, as well as cockroaches, might even be able to resist nuclear attacks, all thanks to their durable exoskeleton.

Aside from that, ants are very useful for the environment. They protect nature, and they help create the compost needed by forests as well. Plus, ants are also known for being some great collector of items they found on the forest floors, and that’s why you can find quite a lot of stuff in ant nests, to begin with.

But it’s the cooperative behavior and the unique hierarchy system that intrigues most people. And that’s for a magnificent reason because ants are known to be social beings, yet despite that, no one will expect them to be so well-organized. In fact, ant societies work pretty much like a well-oiled machine, and they do have a variety of tasks for each member.

Ants are also known for helping plants pollinate, and they play an active role in keeping nature in a thriving state, just the way it is at this point. In fact, some ants help with the prevention of other pests! If you are even remotely interested in saving the forest and making sure that these ecosystems thrive on their own, you have to let ants live as they are an active part of this system. These ants are very important, and they will be able to bring you the help and success you need.

Are there any institutions that help protect ants? Yes, there are quite a lot of them in the US, here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Myrmecological  
  2. LSU AgCenter Research and Extension
  3. Texas A&MJ AgriLife Extension  
  4. University of South Bohemia and Biology Centre CAS 
  5. University of Florida 
  6. Purdue University 

As you can see, lots of organizations study ants all the time, and it’s easy to understand why they do that. Even if they are considered as pests because they end up creating a nest very close to our homes, ants have a pivotal role in our society. We need to respect these amazing insects if we want to preserve nature and wildlife because they are actively implicated in the wellbeing of our planet. Killing ants won’t solve our problems; we need to understand why these amazing insects are useful and, with their help, we might be able to create a better future. If you want to find out more about ants, it can be a good idea to use the research links above!

Why pest control is so important to you?

Pest control is highly important to anyone. No matter wherever you are living in the world, you need to take measures in order to keeps the pests away from you. We always hear that there are pest management and pest control companies around you but find ourselves reluctant to take their services. Some of us think that it is a waste of money while others may think that “what harm a pest can do” to them. In this article, we will take a peek at the significance of pest control and why pest control is important.

Pest management and control

Most of us associate the pest control to residential sites. However, for the commercial and agricultural property, the control of these creatures is as important as it is to residential properties. Following are some reasons why you must immediately call a pest control expert:

  • Take the food that we have in this world as 100%. Now, eliminate 20% from it. That 20% food, when we put into the account, is highly significant. However, it is the one that rodents consume every year.
  • Rodents tend to carry dangerous diseases along with them. The fleas, ticks and mites are certain pests that are attached to the rodents. These micro-organisms come with the diseases that can be transmitted to the human body.
  • Around 500,000 people go to hospital emergency rooms per year due to insect bites and stings. The number of Americans allergic to the pests is about two million. Each year, 40 to 150 deaths occur because of dangerous animal stings.
  • When you talk about the deadliest animal in the world, which one comes into your mind? A lion, or perhaps a tiger? Or maybe snakes? But the most number of deaths each year are caused by mosquitoes which make them deadliest animal on planet earth.
  • Not only the deaths are caused by these animals, they are a large contributor to property damage. Pests such as termites do around $5 billion damage to property each year ($5 billion is estimated repair cost for the damage that termites do each year).
  • There are around 45000 people that are victim to rat bites each year. This leads to the development of multiple diseases such as rat bite fever, salmonella etc.
  • If pest control was not put into action, we have over 59% of world food crop eaten each year by pests.
  • If the pest control was not there, the food sanitation and regulation would have never been put into practice with so much efficiency.
  • Cockroaches possess allergens. They are a growing cause of child asthma. Along with the flies, the cockroaches are considered as the filthiest creatures that exist today.

Final words

So, these are certain reasons why pest control is important. In short, you get to have more food, fewer health issues, minimal chances of catching allergies and diseases and better food sanitation. Millions of pathogens and dangerous micro-organisms are transmitted to humans each year by these animals. So, better control them before you get into any trouble.

Contact best Portland`s pest control company for more info (11124 NE Halsey St #400, 97220 Portland, OR).

Top Reasons Fall Pest Control is so Important

Most homeowners already realize the importance of securing their homes against pests as the summer turns into fall. However, there are quite a few that don’t realize just how important it is to call in some form of reputable pest control to make sure their homes are secure and not going to be overrun by everything from rats to spiders when the temperatures start to plummet. With that being said, if you are one of those who doesn’t realize the importance of pest control in the fall read on below for some of the top reasons that fall pest control is extremely important.

Termites and the Long Winter Months

The first thing you need to know is that termites can do damage to your home all year long. However, in the winter months, it is less likely that you will find them all cozy and snug in their nests because you aren’t out and about in the yard as you are at other times of the year. Termites aren’t bears; they don’t hibernate. Instead, they are busy destroying your framework, and by spring you could have thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to repair. Calling in reputable pest control can save you tons of money when the flowers start to bloom once more.

Rats, Mice, and Diseases

Another important reason to have fall pest control performed on your property is rats, mice, and diseases. As the weather starts to cool, these rodents will start looking for places to build their nests. Your home is warm, safe, dry, and comfortable. They will quickly take up residence in your attics, basements or anywhere that they can carve out a hidey hole for themselves and their young. If you will, think about all of the diseases that rodents carry. You certainly don’t want a rodent that has been crawling around in gutters, sewers, and trash piles crawling across the counters of your kitchen when you and your family are sleeping. Calling in fall pest control can prevent that from happening before it ever begins.

Insects Galore

When the leaves start to fall, and the fireplaces are lit, ants, spiders, fleas, and other insects start looking for a place to get warm and ride out the winter. The nooks and crannies of your home are the perfect places for these insects to hold up until the winter is over. The only problem is they won’t leave when the flowers start to bloom, and your home will be infested before you know it, which will cost you a ton in the long run to have the place exterminated. Why not just call in a pest control company to safeguard your home against unwanted pests before the fall is done.

These are just a few of the reasons that fall pest control is so important. You don’t want to share your home with all sorts of pests over the winter. For more information on reputable pest control, contact the professionals at Antworks today.

Tips to Prevent Rodents from Invading Your Home this Fall

vegetables-928970_960_720Tips to Prevent Rodents from Invading Your Home this Fall

 

Fall is right around the corner, and most people are already picturing bonfires, hoodies, and mugs of hot chocolate by the fireplace. What people aren’t prepared for is the rodents that try to make their way into your home as the weather starts to get chillier. As the weather turns cooler, rats and mice start looking for warm places to build their nests and a safe place to find food. While these creatures, especially mice, may seem harmless and even cute and cuddly, they are actually anything but.

Left to their own devices, they will destroy the wiring and foundation of your home. Rodent’s also carry diseases that you don’t want to expose your family to as well. With that being said, read on below for a few of the top tips for preventing rodents from invading your home this fall.

Rodent Proof Your Home

If there is nowhere to sneak into the home, the rodents will try to find somewhere else to crash for the fall and winter. Below are some tips for barring entrance to your home:

  • Walk around the outside of your home. Any holes, cracks are crevices you find need to be filled so that the rodents can get in.
  • Install caps on your chimney.
  • Any vents that are open should be covered with screens.
  • Walk around and find any screens that are torn or missing from windows and replace them.

Remove the Temptation

Rodents are attracted to clutter. So removing those temptations will make them less likely to choose your home as a hotel for the upcoming winter.

  • Make sure that all storage areas and garages are neat, orderly, and free of clutter.
  • Trash any cardboard boxes that are lying around.
  • Store firewood far away from your house, storage areas, and garages.

Take Away Their Food Source

If there is no food for the rodents to sniff out, they will most likely move onto greener pastures. Below are some tips on how to remove their food source.

  • As the temperatures cool, remove bird feeders from your property.
  • Consider using artificial decorations, instead of using edible items such as pumpkins to decorate for fall.
  • Always store your food, including food for pets in airtight containers.
  • Put trash in containers that can stand up to the gnawing of rodents and be sure to take it out the way you are supposed to.

Regular Pest Control Inspections

One of the best ways to keep rodents out of your home this fall is to contact your professional pest control company and have them do regular inspections of your home. In this way, you are assured that any signs of rodent infestation will be found early and can be taken care of right away. This is the best prevention for you.

These are just a few tips for preventing rodents from storming your home as the summer turns into fall. For more information, contact the professionals at All About Ants today.

Top 3 Reasons You Might Need to Call Pest Control

When you see a large army of ants crawling across your kitchen floor, your home has been infiltrated. Of course, ants aren’t the most difficult pest to deal with as you might already know. While noticing the army of ants is a good reason to call a pest control service, you need to know the other important reasons, too. Maybe you’ve been thinking about making an appointment with an exterminator, but you just haven’t done so yet. If you notice any of the following signs, don’t hesitate to make that call.

Anything related to termites should be reported and dealt with immediately. It doesn’t matter if you see one single termite because where there is one, there are more. Any signs of termite damage or any signs of termites means that exterminator needs a phone call right away. Termites are one of the most damaging pests when it comes to homes. They will eat your home right out from under you if you don’t take action at the first sign of trouble.

Termites and other critters like bedbugs can be some of the most problematic pests. However, not all pests are bugs, and not all pests are that small. Remember, there can be mice and even rats. The last thing you want is to find out you have a rather large mice population on your hands. If you start seeing mice, well, that’s your queue to call pest control. You have to realize that the longer you let a mice problem go on, not only are you having to put up with them, but they can damage your home.

They can do more than damage your home, too. One of my friends who lives in a rural area once left a truck unattended for months out in the barn/garage. The mice ate away at all the wires and pretty much destroyed the truck. Imagine if that can happen to a truck what mice can do to your home. Remember the general rule when it comes to pests about when you see one, there are more of them in hiding.

Another reason why you might want to call pest control is because of another rather large pest. Those squirrels might look all cute playing around in your front yard. They are lovely creatures indeed until they are crawling around inside your roof wreaking havoc. You don’t want them causing damage, and there are simple and easy ways for the pest control companies to help get the squirrels back outside and playing on your front lawn.

There are other types of pests that can be problematic enough to make you get in touch with an exterminator immediately. Any type of pest infestation is reason enough, so don’t wait too long. You might be inclined to want to try and handle all your pest problems on your own, but why don’t you handle the maintenance phase instead. That would be much easier, and you would have a much better chance of keeping the pests away. Contact All About Ants for more information today.

Top 3 Signs that You Have Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are definitely one group of pests that can be the most problematic in a home. It’s not just what they do that is bad but also the fact that it can be difficult to get rid of them. In fact, it’s not a problem you want to take on yourself, as there is a certain removal method required that a professional exterminator must handle for you. That being said, you don’t want to wait until they are feasting on you before you notice you have a bed bug problem. When you know the common signs that a home has bed bugs, you can call the pest control service right away.

Have you ever noticed small blood stains on your pillows or sheets before? You’re certainly aware small blood stains on a pillow can also occur from a nighttime nosebleed, but you’re going to look for multiple signs. Besides, nose bleeds and any other blood stains are often going to look different than the traces of blood that bed bugs leave behind. If you notice blood stains on your bedding materials, then it’s time to get to know the rest of the signs that you may have a bed bug infestation.

Naturally, if you do see those blood stains, you definitely want to be paying attention to your body. Hopefully, you don’t have any bites yet, but be on the lookout. You need to be familiar with what bed bug bites look like so that you can know. You also need to be on the lookout for the bugs themselves. However, you should know that bed bugs love to hide during the day. However, you can find their eggs, too. While their eggs are quite tiny, you should be looking or them in your bedding material, in crevices of your mattress and in other places.

Not only can be looking for the bed bugs and bed bug eggs, but it’s the skins that you need to be watching out for as well. If you see any of the signs mentioned so far, start looking for the other signs. As you get to inspecting your bedding more closely, you’ll start to get more easily an idea as to whether or not you’ve got bed bugs. Remember, they can be elsewhere in your home, too.

You’re going to need to call the pest control service, but you can also do certain things before they arrive. However, don’t try to handle the problem entirely on your own without calling the professionals. If you do, you’ll likely be fighting the battle all over again. The reason for this is that to get completely rid of the bed bugs; a thermal heat treatment is necessary.

You’ve done your part by spotting the bed bugs as early as possible. Now let the exterminator do his part, and your home will be bed bug-free. The last thing you want is for those blood suckers to keep multiplying. Now you know what signs to watch out for. Visit All About Ants for more information today.

Summer is Coming! Tips for Ridding Your Home of Fleas the Right Way

Summer is the best time for soaking up the sun, working in the garden, picking watermelons, and swimming in the lake. However, what isn’t so great about summer is the constant problem with fleas that most of us have to battle when you have pets. You can’t get rid of your pets of course, so you have to find some form of pest control in Portland, Oregon to rid your home and yard of these pests for good.

Of course, the pest control company can only do so much, and the rest is up to you. With that being said, read on below for some tips on how to prevent and control fleas from invading your yard, home, and pets this upcoming summer season.

For Pets

 Keep Them Healthy: Remember that parasites are only drawn to the weakest of species so keeping your animals healthy is the first line of defense. Keeping your pet’s immune system strong is imperative to keeping fleas out of your home and yard.

For Inside of the Home

 When fleas travel on your pets and into your home, it can be quite a chore to get them out again. They quickly lay eggs in the carpeting and before you know it, your home is infested with creatures that bite. The best way to get rid of fleas, of course, is to call in an exterminator to help with the process of ridding your home of fleas.

If you want to prevent them from invading to begin with, then you need to keep your carpeting vacuumed well at all times, this includes vacuuming your curtains, upholstery, and furniture on a regular basis as well. Remember, that once a flea gets on your pet and travels into your home, or gets on your pants in the grass, it will proceed to lay eggs in your carpeting or other areas that are soft and before you know it, you will have a full-blown infestation on your hands.

Make sure as well to wash all linens, pillows, and blankets that your pet is exposed too, especially in the summer months when fleas are most prevalent.

For the Outside of the Home

 The best way to prevent fleas from infesting the inside of your home is to stop them from getting into the home to begin with. Fleas usually start in your yard, attach themselves to your pet or pants legs, and then invade your home to populate and bite the people who live there. Once they are in the carpeting and upholstery, it’s beyond hard to get them out again.

Making sure to keep leaves raked and not to let them build up and become moist and damp under porches or in and around doghouses can help quite a bit. Calling in your exterminator for help is also recommended.

If you are searching for reputable pest control options, make sure to contact All About Ants today for more information.