Crab Spider

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Crab Spider

Spider that Changes Colors to Look Like a Flower

Crab Spiders can be quite hard to spot, as you can see in the above picture. Unlike many spiders, the Crab Spider does not spin a web and wait for prey to be caught, rather they are hunters. The way that the Crab Spider hunts its prey is through camouflage and imitation to be a part of a flower or plant. In many cases the spider will actually display a bright color of white or yellow in order to look like a flower itself. Therefore they crawl up a plant stem find a good spot for other pollinators to land, and then over a period of a day or two they can change colors to look like the surrounding flowers. They blend in so well, that a bee will land on what they see as a flower, which is actually a Crab Spider waiting for its next meal. They are so adept at camouflage that they even reflect the same ultraviolet wavelength of the flower they are pretending to be. The Crab Spider also can find even more success in areas where flowers may not exist. Pollinators are desperately seeking flowers, so with the ability to look like a flower and reflect the same UV as a flower they would stand out in a field of plants with one lone flower. The one lone flower would be the successful pretender, a Crab Spider waiting for a flying pollinator to land.

The Crab Spider has eight eyes, eight legs, long front legs that extend like crab pincers and powerful fangs to do battle with fierce stinging prey. They also can walk in any direction, including sideways like a crab. Once caught, they inject their prey with venom from their fangs that makes the battle into an easier fight to win and make a delicious meal. The Crab Spider feeds on Bumble Bees, Honey Bees, Wasps, Butterflies, Flies, Mosquitoes and Moths. They are day hunters, although you might not see them very well, due to their camouflage and small size. They are only about ¼” in size, with the female being larger than the male. She is larger in order to carry and produce young, and the male is thought to be smaller in order to move quicker in pursuit of his mate. Once the Crab Spiders have mated, she lays eggs on the wooded floor, spins a cocoon around them and covers them until they hatch. The female stays and protects her eggs for up to three weeks when they hatch. Shortly after the miniature Crab Spiders hatch, the mother dies. Since the babies are hatched as fully formed adults, they shed their skin as they grow in order to reach full size, and begin looking for a mate to start the generation. Generally most of this species mate in the summer, then produce the next generation which on average live one to two years.

The Crab Spider is not aggressive unless threatened, and their bite is not been found to be threatening to humans. So, even though this Crab Spider does help with pest control in your back yard, killing pesky mosquitoes, it is not considered a household pest. However; if you notice other spiders, spider webs, or if the Crab Spider is not controlling your Mosquito population, call Certified Pest Control. Our Local family owned and operated small business is happy to solve any of your Nashville Pest Control issues. We always take our time to give quality, effective services. Choose local; choose Certified Pest Control.

 

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Crane Fly

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Crane Fly

Giant Mosquito?

What is this Giant Mosquito that has invaded your house? The Crane Fly is most often mistaken for an extra large Mosquito flying around your porch lights; or inside clumsily bumping into walls as it is drawn to your interior lighting. They can be quite intimidating to see, due to their size, thus the nickname many have given to this species of “Mosquito Hawk”. Crane Flies are often spotted in the spring. Their large bodies and long leg span makes it very difficult for them to fly, so they seem to be flying with no purpose or control. The Crane Fly is identified by the appearance of a large mosquito, with bodies of up to three inches long, six long legs and one set of wings that can span two to three inches. The female has a thicker body, to accommodate eggs during mating and a tip at the end of their abdomen that looks like a stinger but is for laying eggs.

The Crane Fly has over 10,000 different species, but many share the same characteristics and life span. With an urban myth of being a mosquito eater, many species of the Crane Fly don’t even eat. They only have a lifespan of up to two weeks, and literally hatch to mate. Once a male and female have successfully mated, the female will lay up to two hundred eggs in water. Then the male and female die within a two week period. They generally live around lakes, rivers, streams and wet swampy areas. So the eggs hatch in two to three weeks under water and then live underground as they eat and develop through their stages of life. This is when the Crane Fly does it’s only eating. During the larvae stage they are called leather jackets due to their appearance, and they feed heavily on wood, roots, grass, flowers and other vegetation. They need this food in order to become adults and sustain them for the two week period of life they will have as a non eating adult. The Crane Fly larvae develop into pupae that feed for two months before they make a cocoon to overwinter by hibernating until they hatch in spring. The newly hatched adults then begin this new but very short lifespan.

With such a short lifespan, what is the purpose of the Crane Fly? As with many things in nature, it is simply the food chain that this insect seems to contribute its existence to. Birds, other insects and fish are happy to use the dead bodies of the Crane Fly as a source of food. Living close to many streams and rivers, the Crane Fly is such a popular food source to trout that many flies and lures have been made for use by fisherman. With the Crane Fly having such a large diameter of fully extended legs, light weight and fine hairs on its structure, it can actually land on water without sinking. This is when the trout can dart in for the meal, and they do, dead or alive. The dead bodies of Crane Flies that do not get eaten also contribute to the eco system of forests by decomposing into the ground to make rich soil for plant growth.

It seems to be such a short life with the sole reason for living, is to mate for a next generation. However, many things in our environment benefit from this clumsy fly that is commonly mistaken for a large mosquito. So, don’t be afraid when you have a Crane Fly bumping around the house, this harmless insect cannot bite and is only using its short life to find a mate.

The Crane Fly is not a Nashville Pest Control issue; however the insect that it is most mistaken for, the mosquito, definitely is. So if you have Mosquitoes that are bothering you around your home, please call Certified Pest Control Nashville to identify your problem areas and define a treatment plan to reduce this pesky biter. Our family is always happy to help, so give Certified Pest Control a call for the personal service you deserve.

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Tiger Moth

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Tiger Moth

A Moth that can Jam Sonar

The Tiger Moth has over 250 different species in its North American family. Here in Tennessee, we have the Banded Tiger Moth as a resident. They are a medium sized moth with bold patterns and many with an underlying bright coloring when they have their wings spread. They are nocturnal in nature, so they lay flat in undetectable hiding places, using the patterns in their wings to blend in until night comes. They are then busy feeding on different crops, bushes and trees. Some species feed on different plants that actually make them taste bad or even produce poisonous fluids to ward off predators. However it is not the bad taste or threat of poison that protects some species of the Tiger Moth.

It has been proven that several species of the Tiger Moth can actually jam radar. This is a very useful defense due to the fact that they are nocturnal and their main predator at night are bats. Bats use echo locating sonar to target their potential prey. However the Tiger Moth possesses a tymbal organ that produces clicks. These clicks are produced when being hunted. As the predator bat emits the echo locating sonar, the Tiger Moth will emit a click that confuses the bat, thus jamming its sonar where it cannot locate the moth in flight. Some have theorized that these clicks are warning sounds In order to scare off the bat. However, this has actually been proven by scientists who have conducted studies with moths that have had their tymbal organs removed. When observed with other moths that naturally posses the tymbal organs, the rate Tiger Moths caught by the bats are proof that this sonar jamming click actually works.  Most all of the moths that had the tymbal organs could click, jam and evade, whereas the moths without the tymbal organ were mostly caught by the predator bat.

This tymbal organ has also been observed to be used while mating. The Tiger Moth has two or three generations per year. Once the overwintering Tiger Moth makes its appearance, it needs to mate quickly due to the fact that they only live for a few days. They need to find a mate and lay eggs quickly. So the female flies while emitting pheromones to attract a male. With the male Tiger Moth flying downwind, he can pick up on this pheromone trail to get a closer location. Then the tymbal organs are used again, but this time for mating instead of defense. The male will emit a click with the female answering until they can find each other to mate and produce another generation.  They lay their eggs on the underside of leaves, then after a few days she dies. The spring eggs produce a summer generation, with the summer eggs producing the over wintering spring generation for next year. These eggs eventually produce a caterpillar that emerges into this beautiful moth. The caterpillar of some species of the Tiger Moth is called woollybears.  The woollybears are quite popular in some areas of the Southeast United States, due to the fact that they are believed to predict how severe a winter may be. People gather to see if the woollybear is more brown or black. This practice has become so popular that festivals are held in Kentucky and North Carolina, specifically dedicated to the woollybear. This event is actually much like the well known Groundhog Day, where the nation watches to see if winter is over or not, based on the groundhog.

Although the Tiger Moth and its caterpillar may cause some damage to crops or bushes, they are not considered to be a well know pest control issue here in Nashville, Tennessee. The Banded Tiger Moth can be a beautiful and quite skilled insect to try and spot. However if you happen to encounter a Nashville Pest Control issue, please call the local family you can trust – Certified Pest Control. We are happy to offer a free inspection to properly identify the solution to keep your home pest free.

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Candy Striped Leafhopper

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Candy Striped Leafhopper

A Beautiful but Ravenous Over Eater

While many insects rely on camouflage and using every method possible to blend in with their natural surroundings in order to survive, the Candy Striped Leafhopper does the exact opposite. As a matter of fact, they could possibly be the most brilliantly colored insect in North America. Not only do they display a bright color, but a beautiful display of four or five colors in a design that appears as if it has been created by an artist. Although they may be so brightly colored and beautiful to look at, you may have to exert quite the effort to get a good look.

They may be bright, but they are also small and quick. With an adult measuring at just 3/8”, you have to have a keen eye. Couple that fact with their large hind legs well designed for quickly jumping long distances, and they are a speedy little insect to see. Their jumping ability has been reported to propel their small 3/8” body up to fifteen inches in a single and quick hop. That would equate to a human being able to jump up to 240’; an incredible jump indeed. So, when walking through flowers and blackberry bushes in particular, keep watch, you may see one of our most beautiful insects in Tennessee.

Although the amazing color scheme and incredible jumping ability may make this insect interesting enough, it is their eating habits that can be hard to believe. As a general rule the Candy Striped Leafhopper is a herbivores, using their mouth parts to actually suck the juices out of a plant or leaf, rather than eating it. And like a starving man at a buffet, their appetites are ravenous. Once they start eating they will not stop, even though they are stuffed beyond what their bodies can process or hold. Therefore, they eat and eat and eat the delicious plant juices they desire. Rather than stop eating, these juices just build up until they are forced from their bodies and literally pop out of their rear ends. Imagine eating until you are so full that food pops out of your rear. This sounds gross, but it serves a purpose for other insects. This juice that comes out with such force that it actually pops, leaves behind sweet drops of fluid that wasps, bees, flies and ants can feed on. An infestation of Candy Striped Leafhoppers could harm a plant, but normally a few feed on a plant and leave behind damaged leaves or stems. The population is kept under control by a few natural enemies, like birds and spiders, only if they are fast enough to catch this fast jumper.

They can have up to three generations in a mating season and actually puncture plant stems in order to lay their eggs, which hatch in about two to three weeks. They are born looking like a miniature adult, although they molt multiple times in a very short time frame in order to grow to full size within two weeks. Many leafhoppers only live for 30 days, so it takes multiple generations to continue their life cycle from year to year.

With the Candy Striped Leafhopper not being a Nashville Pest Control issue, you can find DIY gardener tips online to protect your flowers and berries if you find it necessary. However with the honeydew excretion they produce, it can draw actual pests, such as ants and wasps that can try and invade your home. If you happen to notice ant trails around and in your house, call Certified Pest Control Nashville to honestly and effectively address your issue. For locally owned and operated family service, give us a call for the personal and detailed Pest Control you deserve.

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Fire Beetle

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Fire Beetle

An Insect that seeks Forest Fires

Forest fires can run rampant, destroying thousands of acres along with homes and whole towns. Although humans consider this natural disaster a horrible thing to be avoided, there is an insect that thrives for this opportunity. When a forest fire begins to grow, the infrared heat that builds can travel many miles. We may be able to sense the urgency by site of fire and smoke, but humans do not have receptive enough sensory organs to feel that heat from miles away. However there is an insect that can not only feel the heat, but actually seeks it – the Fire Beetle.

As a forest fire begins to rage, many Fire Beetles begin to anticipate the opportunity they will have to reproduce. This beetle can sense the heat from a large fire up to 40 miles away. They are ultra sensitive due to the pit organs that it possesses in between its legs. These organs can detect infrared radiation that comes from a forest fire. However, unlike human’s tendency to run from a fire; these insects run towards the fire. Why would an insect ever have an attraction to such a large fire? They are seeking a safe place to reproduce, which begins the flying migration for the Fire Beetle.

The Fire Beetle can be Black or very colorful, almost mimicking the fire itself. They have a hard outer shell and measure about ½” in length. As they arrive and blend in with the carnage that has been left, they use their antennae to find a tree that is still smoldering. These antennae have been thought to act like smoke detectors that can sense this smolder from a mile away. Once the proper tree is identified, they begin to reproduce. This environment is conducive for the beetle’s reproduction for several reasons. The wood that has been left by the fire has been weakened, and therefore is very easy for the beetle to bore into for laying eggs. Also, since the whole area has been burned and destroyed of all life, it gives the beetle a safe place with no natural predators to eat their eggs. This dead tree is also a disease free source of food, making this a place for numerous wood boring beetles to mate safely. Even firefighters have to be aware of the numbers of beetles they may encounter in the still smoldering woods. Other than being a nuisance of getting into clothes, biting or pinching, they pose no serious danger. So the firefighters work around the cycle of life that happens with a forest fire.

The pit organs of the Fire Beetle are of interest to many scientist and researchers because of the sensitivity to presence of fire from many miles away.  Most all of human inventions to sense fire have to do with smoke or heat. However the Fire Beetle is far more advanced because it can detect infrared radiation. Humans cannot sense this type of a wave. If a sensor like the Fire Beetle possesses could be developed, it would assist with fighting fires. The major reason for this is because the infrared wavelength travels long distances. A sensor that could mimic the same type of sensitivity could alert officials that a very small fire has started miles away, and could be extinguished before it becomes a large problem to fight. The Fire Beetle could hold the answer to saving millions of dollars in fighting fires and the value of property damage that occur every year.

So, the Fire Beetle is not a Nashville Pest Control problem, rather it could become very helpful to those that live in areas prone to forest fires. However if you happen to find yourself with a beetle pest issue, such as Asian Lady Beetles, Carpet Beetles or Ground Beetles – please call your Local, Family Owned and Operated Certified Pest Control of Nashville.

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Odorous House Ant

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Odorous House Ant

Ant that Smells Like Coconut

The Odorous House Ant is a common Nashville Pest that can invade your home. They can be brown or black and will grow to an overall size of 1/8”. The odd thing about this species of ant is the odor they emit when crushed. The smell has been described as a licorice, coconut or a rotten odor. It is one of the most common house ants in the United States, so more than likely you have encountered this particular ant.

As the Odorous House Ant is looking for food, it is more than likely to satisfy their insatiable craving for sweets. In an outdoor environment they eat aphids and other small insects that contain honeydew. Their outdoor habitat is typically a colony under rocks, stacks of firewood, leaves, and around mulch surrounding dwellings. However they have a strong tendency to invade homes, due to the fact that we keep so many sweet sources of food in one place. Also, as with many insects, homes provide perfect harborage due to the fact that it is a warm place to nest, with plenty of access to food and moisture. Being a small insect, they seek out cracks, holes where pipes or duct enter the home from outside, and poor sealing door jams. Once inside they colonize and have nests inside walls, behind appliances, seldom used cabinets or even under door mats. With the Odorous House Ant now sharing your home they seek out the delicious sweets they desire. They will invade your pantry, crawl across floors and countertops looking for crumbs and take advantage of anything out in the open that is not in a sealed container. This emphasizes the importance of keeping plants and mulch from being placed right up against your home. Also make sure to regularly check for cracks and crevices that can assist with the ants from gaining entry. Lastly, good housekeeping and moisture elimination goes along ways with eliminating their food source.

This ant does not have a stinger, and is only left to bite in defense. They rarely bite, but instead rely on that same strange smell that they emit when crushed, to keep other predators away. If disturbed, they will run and spray this same odor from their rear. As they are crawling through your house, and over the sweets, they will also use this same odor trail to help orient and assist the colony workers to form regular trails to constant sources of food.

This ant’s population will grow quickly, if not kept in check with proper Pest Control Methods. They can live without water for a few months and are very adaptable to cold and hot weather. Typically they will live through winter as one colony, then as spring and summer have arrived, they will form multiple nests in order to more easily raid your home’s food sources. Each colony normally forms to number up to 2,000, however they have been observed to number into the tens of thousands with multiple queens. The ants you see will be workers, trailing through the house in order to bring back food and the sugar they desire, to feed the colony according to hierarchy. These ants are difficult to control; therefore a method of baiting in order to eliminate the colony must be implemented. Merely using a DIY spray to get rid of the ants you see will do no good.

So, if you have an ant problem in your home, choose to use a professional to properly eliminate the Pest Control Issue that so many have here in Nashville, TN. Leave it to our trained technicians at Certified Pest Control to identify and define the solution to this pesky house invader. Make it your choice to use a Local Nashville Pest Control specialist – Certified Pest Control – to provide a home town, honest approach to keeping your home pest free.  

 

 

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Horsehair Worm

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Horsehair Worm

Parasitic Worm that causes Grasshoppers to Commit Suicide

Horsehair Worms take over and brainwash Grasshoppers to actually commit suicide, by convincing their brains to jump into water and ultimately to their death. To see the purpose of this gruesome killer, examine the facts.

A Horsehair Worm may look innocent enough, as it is just a thin long worm. However the larvae of this worm can infect the central nervous system of Grasshoppers and Crickets and control their thinking process, once they become adults. This is how the Horsehair Worm develops to adulthood and uses its host to carry on reproduction.

The Horsehair worm can be brown, black or yellow and can reach lengths of three to four feet depending on its host. They live in bodies of water, and will also be found in anything that can hold water. This is what led to the name as a Horsehair Worm. Water troughs used to allow livestock to drink, including horses, would be found to have these worms. Therefore early on, people began to think that these worms came from Horse Hairs falling into the water and becoming worms. But this is not the case at all. As a matter of fact, this parasite is first laid as an egg near any source of water. These eggs then develop into larva that is seen as a source of food for other insects. Grasshoppers and Crickets in particular, like to eat this larva. Once it is ingested it becomes a parasite to the host Grasshopper. They use the host to develop and grow in the host, while the Grasshopper is still alive and going about their normal life. The Horsehair Worm can then grow to full size while still in the host. Once the Worm is an adult and ready to reproduce, they excrete a protein that can allow them to control the host brain. This allows them to control the Grasshopper in a way to make its brain want to find a source of water. Once the water is found, the worm then brainwashes the Grasshopper into a suicidal jump to its death. Once the Grasshopper is in the water, the adult Horsehair Worm can exit its dying host by boring a hole and escaping into its natural habitat. The poor Grasshopper is left for dead.

This is all done, so the adult Horsehair Worm can be in the water to find a mate. However this parasitic killer eventually meets its own demise upon mating. Once the Male finds and fertilizes the female, he dies. Then when the female lays her eggs, she dies. This unusual behavior is all driven by reproduction.

The power that the Horsehair Worm protein has over the central nervous system of its host is so strong that researchers are studying this along with human behavior. This protein causes a Grasshopper to do something completely different than its natural inborn instinct. Therefore this could help scientist with human Central Nervous System and Brain behavior studies. If a small parasite can force a host to water, even though it doesn’t want to, then convince it to commit suicide, it is worth studying what this protein really is.

Either way, we do not want to be infected or controlled by such a powerful brain altering concoction. But we have nothing to fear, as this parasite worm has not been found to harm Humans, other than possible vomiting. So, this is not a Nashville Pest Control issue to be concerned with. As a matter of fact, the Horsehair Worm might actually help control other insects that would be considered a pest (crickets, grasshoppers, roaches, ants).  However, if you do not want to wait on natural selection or survival of the fittest, call Certified Pest Control Nashville, TN to immediately address any pest issues you may want solved. Our family is happy to offer year round pest protection plans to keep your family safe from invading insects; and always courteous, effective service with a smile. Local Family; Local Business = Trust.

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Spider Goat?

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Spider Goat?

A Goat that can Produce Spider Silk

Why would a Goat belong on a Nashville Pest Control blog? An inventive new technology involving genetic engineering has brought the goat into a category similar to that of a spider. This may seem impossible; however we have all witnessed much advancement from DNA engineering over the past few years. These scientific advancements have even allowed genetic biologists to go so far as to clone an actual goat. So with even more research scientists have been able to alter the DNA of goats to produce a Spider Silk protein. These goats do not shoot spider silk from their abdomen in order to spin webs, however a goat living on a spider web would be quite an interesting site. Rather, this discovery has allowed goats to make Spider Silk protein and excrete it in the milk that they produce.

Why would we be interested in developing a genetically engineered goat to produce Spider Silk? Well, just a few blogs back, on our site, we already discussed the strength and innovations that could be invented by using spider silk in a variety of applications. This silk can be compared to having the strength of steel, and could even stop a bullet when used in the proper way. If this silk could have so many strength benefits in such a small package, scientists deem it highly important to explore how to produce it in an easy to harvest manner. Just think of trying to have a spider farm; which would send chills up the spine of many. Not only would there be a problem with keeping the spiders from eating each other, it would also be difficult to gather and harvest. Enter the goat; a calm animal that is easy to breed and handle, produces as much milk as larger more difficult animals to work with, and they are a lot cuter than a spider.

Scientists found a way to extract the genetic code from an orb weaver spider, inject that gene into goat embryos, then just let breeding do the work. As with all breeding of genetically engineered animals, only certain babies will be born with that DNA and genetic code, so they are simply tested and separated. That is a very simple description of how this has been accomplished, but in short it explains the process. The altered goats do not look or act any different than a normal goat and they lactate to produce milk in the same way. They are also milked in the same manner, pulling on their udders. However, this spider silk protein is also produced along with the milk. The milk is then is processed, purified to separate the silk protein, dried and spun into a super strong microfiber. There is also ongoing research to put these spider silk genes in their feed, to eliminate the process of injecting embryos. This would simplify the process of getting this gene into the goats DNA and also would speed up the development of herds that could produce the silk for benefit of inventions that could help us all.

Imagine the future of clothing, shoes, building materials, coatings as well as applications for joint replacements, ligaments, skin, and tendons; all thanks to the genetically altered spider silk producing goat. Seems unbelievable, but Scientists are hard at work making this a reality for our future.

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Tiger Beetle

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Tiger Beetle

A Beetle Faster than its own Eyesight

Tiger Beetles are found all over the world, but mostly in the hot and dry areas of our planet. Although there are over 2,500 species of this beetle, they have many of the same characteristics and behaviors.

The one behavior that is most notable is the speed of the Tiger Beetle. They are some of the fastest of insects, with some species being able to run over 5 mph. Given their small size of ½” makes that speed even more amazing. Now take that up to human scale in comparison, we would be able to run over 450 mph if we had the same speed capability of the Tiger Beetle. Having slender bodies and long legs, they are built for speed. That speed gives this small beetle a great advantage when it is hunting prey. Although they have large eyes that give them keen eyesight, they are actually so fast, that they outrun their ability to see or focus while running. So, the Tiger Beetle uses its great vision to spot its prey, and then use their lightning bolt speed to track down the target. However, running so fast makes their world become a blur. The Tiger Beetle will actually stop the pursuit long enough to focus again, regain their focus and again shoot off at top speed toward their prey. Stopping to re-focus does not affect the outcome of the pursuit, because being that fast, they can afford to pause and simply make up the short amount of time lost with their speedy legs.

You would think that running so fast that you cannot even see where you are running would make it quite dangerous. To equip the Tiger Beetle even better to deal with this speed, they have flexible antennae that are extremely sensitive. Couple that with their super fast reaction time and the Tiger Beetle can stop on a dime or avoid an obstacle even while blinded. These Antennae can move just as quickly, constantly moving and bending around corners, obstacles and even downward to sense a drop or stop of the path. This keeps the Tiger Beetle safely on course until it can stop and take a break to quickly refocus.

Once the Tiger Beetle catches its prey, they do not have courteous table like manners. They are quite ferocious when attacking and eating. With very large jaws, large curved mandibles and hooks in their abdomen; they are equipped for destruction. They use those cutting tools to chop and violently cut up their prey and consume them. And if that is not quite gruesome enough, they finish off their meal by vomiting digestive fluid on them to completely eat, dissolve and drink up every last drop. They are so violent in their attack that they are sometimes found with insect parts (as past evidence of the kill) still stuck in their attack weapons, even when they are not feeding.

Even while still in the Larvae stage, they are quite ferocious. The Tiger Beetle egg is laid in a vertical burrow that is about 2’ deep. As they develop into the larvae stage, they wait near the top of the burrow for prey to walk by. As a potential victim walks by they quickly pop their head out of the burrow and attach with its jaws. They keep part of their abdomen still in the burrow, so they can anchor their bodies in the walls with their abdomen hooks. This allows the larvae to hold onto their victim and drag it back into the burrow for meal time.

The Tiger Beetle also uses these jaws during mating. As a male finds a suitable mate, he will hop on her back and hold on to her with his powerful jaws to reproduce. But he does not give up at that point. He continues to hold on to her, clamped onto her with his jaws. The male rides her in this manner to keep away any other possible male suitors.  

Although several speedy Tiger Beetle species do live here Nashville, Tennessee, they usually stay outside and actually work as a good garden protector of other pests. They are not aggressive towards humans, but could bite if you pick it up. So, allow the Tiger Beetle to do its job as protector of your garden and do not handle it unless you want to get a pinch from those powerful jaws. As always keep our family at Certified Pest Control Nashville in mind for honest, effective and affordable service in the Nashville and surrounding county area of Tennessee.

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Putnam Jumping Spider

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Putnam Jumping Spider

A Spider with an internal Hydraulic System

Imagine being able to jump 300’ in a single leap. That is what a six feet tall human could jump, if enabled with the ability of the Putnam Jumping Spider. This tiny spider is only about ¼” in length but has the ability to jump over 50 times its body length. That equates to jumping up to 12” for this species, in order to catch prey.

How could such a tiny spider with small legs jump so far? Well, they are equipped with the ability to change the pressure of their body fluid. This allows them to drastically raise this pressure like a hydraulic system within their body and jump very far. So, unlike other insects that need large muscular hind legs in order to jump (such as a grasshopper or cricket), these spiders can pump up the pressure and use their relatively small legs to jump long distances. This is particularly helpful when they are on the hunt for prey. Once a possible source of food is detected, they will examine and stalk the insect. At this point, like a climber, they set an anchor line for safety, then pump up their pressure and jump very quickly and accurately. The drag line serves as a safety line, if they miss and fall, just like a climber would use a life line to protect from a possible misstep. They are successful on most attempts at hunting in this ambush type attack mode. Once the Putnam Jumping Spider has landed on top of the prey, they inject a venom to paralyze it and bring it back to a safe place to have a meal.

There is a reason why they are so accurate at the direction and length of their attack jumps. This is because, unlike many other spiders, they have excellent eyesight. Most spiders have poor vision and have to rely on other senses such as touch or sense of vibration on their webs to catch their prey. However the Putnam Jumping Spider does not spin a web, because they do not hunt this way due to their keen eyesight. Equipped with eight eyes positioned strategically around their heads they are able to have a 360 degree view of all that is around them. All of the eyes have very good focus, with the front large eyes having narrow extreme high definition for pinpointing the jump and attack.

They are also very smart for an insect. This also helps with their survival and accurate attacks. With such a small body of ¼” their brains are tiny. But this small brain is very intelligent. They hunt in a methodical way, not just spinning a web and waiting on a vibration to sense out and trap like many other spiders. Their intricate vision is on the same level as many hunting animals; couple that with smarts to move slowly and track their prey in an ambush style manner makes them very efficient. The Putnam Jumping Spider will not just focus on prey and move in a straight line towards the target. Rather, they have been observed to slowly track the insect, circle the prey and wait for the perfect time and angle to plan the quick and long distance jump attack.

The Putnam Jumping Spider is a resident of Tennessee; however they are not considered a threat. They prefer to live and thrive in outdoor conditions. You could find one that wonders into your home, as they are very curious, but they will quickly find their way back outside. The venom they produce is not dangerous to most humans, although some people do have an allergic reaction if bitten.

Although the Putnam Jumping Spider is not considered dangerous, as with any spider, keep your distance. Any issues you may have can be solved with a call to Certified Pest Control Nashville, TN. Our family is always happy to assist with any pest control issue you may have. Choose local, family owned and operated; you will be happy you did.

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