Posted on February 14, 2012 with No Comments
What’s the Latest Development?
A team of MIT researchers who recently examined spider webs says the amazing work of nature could improve various human systems, including Internet security and how buildings are designed. Pound-for-pound, the silk which spiders spin is stronger than steel yet it retains a flexibility that is very ‘flaw-tolerant’. If one section of the web malfunctions, i.e. is torn away by a bug, the larger integrity of the structure remains. This may help encourage engineers to examine the use of more complex materials when making new designs.
What’s the Big Idea?
Spider web research may affect real world systems such as how buildings are constructed in earthquake zones. Current designs seek to preserve the structural integrity of the entire building, meaning it must be razed and rebuilt if damaged, but a building of the future may collapse one vulnerable area to preserve the rest. These ‘sacrificial elements’ could also benefit networking systems. Were a computer to contract a virus, for example, the affected area could shut down immediately before infecting the rest of the network.
Spider Webs in Your Residence?
Of course the fact that spider webs may inspire new technology is amazing, but if you have spiders in your Westchester County residence they can be annoying and often even dangerous. Just call JP McHale Pest Management to find out about of Home Pest Prevention Program.
Posted on October 31, 2011 with No Comments
Happy Halloween!! Tonight, you expect to see vampires, ghosts and goblins around your neighborhood but it’s the bats, spiders and other pests that will be giving you the nightmares! As temperatures have begun to cool in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut outdoor pests are seeking a warm place for the winter and they want to come into your home and place of business.
Certain pests, such as bats and bed bugs, have a resemblance to Halloween characters! Bedbugs are similar to vampires in the sense that they are both nocturnal, bloodsucking creatures.
To keep spiders, mice, roaches, and other unwelcome creepy crawlers out of your home, keep all food and sweets stored in air tight containers. Don’t let your kids leave their candy on the floor as this is an open invitation for pests. If you insist on carving and leaving your pumpkin outside, it’s a good idea to bring it in at night to avoid attracting mice, rats and other outdoor pests that are looking for food and warmth.
Don’t let pests be a nightmare in your home anymore! If you live in New York, New Jersey or Connecticut call JP McHale Pest Management Inc. for all of your residential and commercial pest control services.
Tags: bedbugs, halloween, Mice, Pests, Rats, spiders
Category: Bed Bugs, Mice, NY Pest Control, Rats, Spiders, Winter Pests
Posted on July 5, 2011 with No Comments
Yes, that is in fact another movie reference, this time for the popular 1990 film Arachnophobia. Many Americans inspected their shoes and the toilet before getting to business after this movie. And with good reason! Fright from spiders is one of our most basic fears, ranking up there with snakes and heights. Some evidence suggests that these fears are innate, having evolved during our development as a species to increase survival. However, fear of spiders in the Northeastern United States is based more in fiction than in fact.
With eight legs and two body parts, spiders belong to a group of arthropods called arachnids; a title shared by ticks, mites and scorpions. Nope, spiders are neither bugs nor insects, which have six legs and three body parts! Worldwide there is an estimated 40,000 species of spiders, with 3,400 in the US and Mexico representing 64 different families. Identification to the family level relies on several key features, including the number of eyes and their arrangement on the cephalothorax, the body segment that contains the head. For example, spiders may have six or eight eyes arranged in pairs, rows, or clusters. As is true for most specimens requiring identification, habitat and behavioral information are invaluable in determining where a specimen lives and what it does.
Nearly all spiders are predators that feed on other living organisms for nutrition. Most species have mouthparts that open and close sideways like ice tongs, with piercing fangs at the end of jaws called chelicerae. Other spiders, including tarantulas, have mouthparts that move up and down in a stabbing motion. Both mouthpart designs require spiders to liquefy food before consumption, and this is accomplished by injecting digestive fluids into captured prey. Proteins within these digestive fluids break down solid tissue, yielding a soupy liquid ingested by the feeding spider. Prey items are left as hollow exoskeletons or skins after being fed upon by a spider.
In pest management, we often hear the question, “what is the point of _[some pest]_?!” People want to know the role played by mice, clothing moths, ants or mosquitoes, which are commonly viewed only as pests. Sometimes this requires a bit of research to discover not only the ecological role played by an organism, but also the context that will give meaning for the non-ecologist. With spiders, the answer is simple: spiders provide pest control! In my own living space I consider the presence of spiders to be an indicator of spider food. Personally I would rather have the spider! Within reason, I will allow spiders to inhabit the hard to reach corners of a room so long as they do their job and eat invading insects.
Although myth and Hollywood lend to a heightened fear of spiders, there are only a few species of concern in the US. In general, spiders are not very aggressive, and only bite when they are threatened. Most reports of spider bites come from situations where people were sleeping and rolled over a spider, or someone put on an article of clothing that contained a spider.
With no ability to make noise, a spider announces its presence the only way it can, with a bite.
Reactions to a spider bite can range from no visible signs, an itchy raised bump, to severe cases that include ulcer-like sores or even death. In our area of the eastern United States, the brown recluse and black widow spiders are two species with dangerous and harmful bites.
The brown recluse or fiddle-back spider, named for the design on its cephalothorax, is a southern species occasionally introduced to our area with furniture, boxes or other items shipped north. Measuring 1/3 inch, they prey on small, soft-bodied insects and are active at night or in dimly-lit rooms during the day. Although their bite is not painful, the venom of a brown recluse spider contains a powerful cytotoxin that causes tissue death. Large ulcerating sores can form several days after a bite and require immediate medical attention. The presence of a single brown recluse spider in a home is enough to warrant action.
A second species of concern is the infamous black widow spider. Identified by her jet black abdomen with a contrasting red hourglass, this spider can be found in almost every state in the US, excluding Alaska. The danger posed by black widow spiders exceeds that of brown recluse based on the nature of the toxin. While brown recluse venom is cytotoxic, black widow venom is neurotoxic and can therefore create a systemic or whole-body reaction. On a per volume basis, black widow venom is more potent than that of a pit viper, but because it is injected in low levels, death is rare. Black widow bites are most dangerous to small children and the elderly.
Where to Look
Both black widow and brown recluse spiders can live indoors, where they hide in dark, infrequently disturbed spaces behind and under furniture, in basements, garages and closets, and with stored items. Webs are irregular in shape and typically found close to the ground. Outdoors, these spiders prefer to construct their webs in debris piles, in corners near windows and under the eaves of a house. These are areas visited by prey and ideal locations for a web.
More pictures of these and other spiders can be found on Bugguide.net.
Some of the spiders more commonly received for identification at JP McHale include wolf spiders, cellar spiders, sowbug killers, yellow garden spiders, nursery web or fishing spiders, long-legged sac spiders, crab spiders and jumping spiders.
Chances are you have heard one of the many variations about eating spiders while you sleep. Whether it is 4 spiders a year or 20 in a lifetime (which leaves interesting mathematical questions), you would be hard-pressed to find any evidence to suggest that this is true (thank goodness). Myth Busted: we do not eat spiders in our sleep, nor do they obtain moisture from our eyes or mouth while we dream.
“Daddy-long-legs are one of the most poisonous spiders, but their fangs are too short to bite humans.” Actually, the truth about this one is comically ironic. First, the arachnids commonly referred to as daddy-long-legs are not spiders, but instead belong to a group called Opiliones or Harvestmen. What’s more? Harvestmen are not venomous and lack fangs altogether – they do not even bite! Myth Busted: harvestmen are docile predators and scavengers that contain no toxic venom.
Photo Credit 1
Photo Credit 2
Posted on August 11, 2010 with 7 Comments
When students go away to college, they are on their own to maintain their dorm room. Here is some information on the pests to expect in a dorm room and some tips that will help you control them.
Spiders: Most people jump at the sight of a spider. Spiders are unwelcomed guests that always tend to make their way into a room. Spiders are attracted to two things, moisture and light. Often your will see spiders make webs in the corners of the room or by the windows. If you do see a web forming, a handheld vacuum is an easy way to get rid of it. Try not to leave clutter around. Spiders can easily make a web in a stack of papers or in a cup that is just lying around.
Stink Bugs: The Western Conifer Seed Bug, often called the stink bug, is a bug that seems to make its way onto dorm walls. You will see stink bugs more likely in the winter months because they will go inside to look for shelter. When you kill them, they give off a foul odor. The only way to prevent them is to seal off entry points from the outside, like windows and doors.
Lady Bugs: If you see a small dot on the wall, don’t be surprised if it is a lady bug! Lady bugs are around ¼” long and are red or yellow with black spots. Like the stink bug, lady bugs will come indoors to look for shelter. They best way to keep these out is to seal off all entry points.
Flies: Flies and gnats are a big nuisance in dorms. You will find a significant number of gnats in the bathrooms. Flies and gnats love moisture and will hover around pipes that condensate. If a fly does enter your room the best this to do is have a fly swatter handy. Flies are very quick and a hassle to get rid of! Flies are either attracted to decay organisms or food. Hopefully a fly will be in your room just from crumbs and not a dead mouse!
Silverfish: Silverfish look like hairy centipedes. They are usually ½” to ¾” long and appear silver to brown from their scales. They are flat and oval shaped, with three long tails and two antennas. Silverfish are attracted to moisture and will thrive in rooms 70 to 80 degrees. Silverfish are nocturnal but can be found in the day time.
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to stay bug free in your dorm:
- Make sure the screens in your windows do not have tears or holes.
- Frequently dust. By dusting the areas that you rarely use will reduce the amount of pests your see significantly.
- Try to make sure there is not a big space between your door and the floor. Often there will be a small space which is big enough for pests to crawl under.
- Do not leave damp clothes or towels around. Hang up all wet clothes before you throw them in your hamper.
- Make sure all food is securely stored. Most people will be eating a bag of chips then leave the room for a bit. You’d be surprised how fast bugs can sense food!
- Position furniture right against the wall or in an area where you can move it. If there is an inch between a closet and the wall, pests will likely hang out there.
- If you do see pests, try not to kill them. Some insects, like the stink bug, will give off a scent that attracted other to the area. Catch the pest and throw it outside.
- Don’t leave clothes lying on the floor. Even if the clothes are not damp, a shirt can make a warm environment for a pest to live under!
Tags: flies, Ladybugs, Pest Control, Pests, Silverfish, spiders, western conifer seed bug
Category: Cluster Fly, Crawling Insects, Do It Yourself, House Fly, Silverfish, Spiders, Western Conifer Seed Bug
Posted on December 23, 2009 with No Comments
As Christmas is only two days away, many Americas have live Christmas trees in their family room to celebrate the holiday. These trees smell and look amazing after they are all set up and decorated. One thing you need to understand, these trees are from the forest (duh). When these trees are cut down, there is a high chance a few insects call this tree home, most commonly Spiders and Aphids. Though you may have inspected the tree before buying it, “…it’s all about the eggs that the adult insects and arachnids laid on the stems of a tree in late summer or fall.” The presence of insects can actually be a good thing. You will ask..WHY? The presence of insects and their eggs will show the minimal use of pesticides used on these trees, which is the center piece of your home during the holiday season.
Many reports also mention that wildlife has been found in Christmas trees. Bird nests and snakes are among the most popular found in these trees. Wildlife can be a bit more scary then a spider or two…could you imagine a snake popping out of your tree while decorating it?
This is not to scare you, just to inform you. Take a good look at the Christmas tree before you buy it and ensure you don’t see a snake or bird’s nest in it. If an insect has laid eggs on this tree, most likely these eggs will die when the tree is placed inside your warm home.
JP McHale Pest Management Inc. would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!
Penn Live.com first wrote about these Christmas tree horrors.
Posted on October 24, 2009 with No Comments
Here in New York we see many different pests that can be annoying to a homeowner. We have compiled a list of the 10 ten most common annoying pests that could invade your home.
10. Ants: While not so harmful they can come in large swarms. Ants, as you know, are tiny little critters that are world –class food gatherers. If you leave a mess in your house and you have ants, get the vacuum out because they will come! [more about ants (carpenter ants)]
9. Earwigs: These small insects are just an eyesore to look at and can also give you a sore if you are tagged by their pinchers. They tend to migrate to moist areas, normally bathrooms and sinks, as well as towards plant life. While not as common as ants or spiders, they will appear in your house if you don’t keep your residence maintained. [more about earwigs]
8. Moths: While normally not harmful, moths are just a nuisance. Leave a light on at night time with your sliding door open and you will for sure see shadows flying around the walls.
7. Fleas: Dog owners beware!!! Make sure your dog or cat is treated for flea prevention or sooner or later your whole family will be itching. After days of nasty shampoo and soap regiments you will be wishing you gave your dog a bath! [more about fleas]
6. Bats: If you live in a more rural area, bats might be a little further up on your list. Not only one of the dirtiest animals, they also are a main carrier of rabies. Find one of these in your house in the morning time and you should have the family get rabies shots. [please contact our wildlife partners for bat control]
5. Spiders: The cause of many panic attacks and screams. These 8 legged crawlers can be large and poisonous. While some parts of the U.S. aren’t home to poisonous spiders, you can still wake up with a spider bite on your arm. Unfortunately a spider bite won’t turn you into Spiderman. [more about spiders]
4. Bedbugs: If you have bad case of bedbugs, you and your partner will for sure know that it is time to get rid of them. These tiny insects feed on blood and have a needle sharp bite that allows them to get the blood. The morning after you will feel irritation along with a nasty looking bite mark. [more about bed bugs]
3. Flies: Don’t try and have a summer lunch with the patio door open without expecting a few flies trying to land on your food. The pound for pound champion of bacteria, these are just not clean insects. One suggestion, screen doors! [more about flies]
2. Mice: Not only one of the most common household pests, they can be the dirties and most unsanitary creatures that roam the earth. Don’t leave a pile of old clothes or insulation in the basement or someone will have a major mouse problem. [more about mice, more about rodents]
1. Cockroaches: Natures story of perfect evolution, these critters have been a pests for longer than any other pest. Don’t believe that they only exist in restaurants, if you get a couple to start reproducing you are in a boat load of trouble. [more about cockroaches]
JP McHale Pest Management offers services for all these pests, (excluding bats) if you are interested and would like a free home inspection please contact us!
Tags: Ants, bats, Bed Bugs, Cockroaches, Earwigs, fleas, flies, Mice, moths, Rodents, spiders
Category: Bed Bugs, Can You Believe It?, Crawling Insects, Flying Insects, Rodent
Posted on August 17, 2009 with No Comments
This weekend was a hot one! It was nice to finally get a hot weekend with no rain. Humidity and little to no cloud cover made temperatures hit 90 degrees. This is where we start to see a lot of pest activity in and around homes.
Moist basements will see spiders, millipedes and centipedes.
- Keep doors closes, and windows screened in
- If you don’t have an air conditioner, run a dehumidification machine to take the moisture out of the air.
Outside you will see paper wasp nests in the eaves of your house and under gutters. These must be removed. Yellow jackets will be present under the ground, and will be disturbed by a lawn mover or someone stepping on it.
Mosquitoes will be out, ensure you have no stagnant water on your property (bird baths, old tires & clogged gutters.
As always if you wish to have us give your property a free inspection, give us a call at (800) 479-2284. If you already are on our Home Pest Prevention program, contact us to schedule an appointment for service.
Tags: centipedes, hot, millipedes, Moisture, Mosquitoes, Paper wasps, spiders, Summer
Category: Crawling Insects, Flying Insects, Integrated Pest Management, Mosquitoes, Stinging Insects, Summer Pests