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Bug Fun Facts

Familiar Bluet

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Familiar Bluet

Hung By The Neck to Lay Eggs

The Familiar Bluet is a Damselfly that lives right here in Tennessee. They can be easily mistaken for a dragonfly, due to the similar appearance. But the main differences are to be noticed are that a Damselfly will have a bigger wingspan and upon closer inspection the dragonfly has a significant gap between their compound eyes. The Familiar Bluet is a beautiful color of blue, thus the fitting name. They generally have a black and blue striped head with its body being a fading blue with black spots at the segments and in between the segments of the body, all equally separated. They range in size from 1” to 1 ½” in body length and have four wings with a span of 1 ¾”.

They live for up to two years and always tend to live near a constant water source like lakes, ponds, creeks and streams. However they have been known to live in an area with a water source as small as a birdbath or large puddles. This damselfly requires water to use as its habitat, survival, mating and reproduction. The eggs of the female are laid under water by crawling down plants that surround the area, then depositing her eggs on the plant just below the surface of water. The female is able to stay under water for ten to fifteen minutes at a time and can take up to an hour to complete the egg laying process. At times the male and female will work together to lay the eggs; with the male hovering above and holding her by the neck with his tail to allow the underwater placement of the eggs. The eggs hatch and do not go through the transformation of many insects, rather they are born as miniature versions of the adults (called instars) and simply grow and molt in order to get larger. Living in the water these small damselflies feed on plants, algae, moss and other vegetation in their habitat. As they mature, they crawl back up the plants or swim to the shore and begin their lives as a small adult Familiar Bluet.

Familiar Bluet’s are carnivorous and feed on a variety of smaller insects such as flies, mosquitoes and ants. They fly over the water habitat watching for these insects looking for moisture, then go in for a vicious attack. They have been observed catching their prey then rabidly ripping the insects apart as they feed. But even though they may be vicious themselves, they do have predators to be on the lookout for. This same habitat is also home to frogs, lizards, snakes, birds and larger insects that feed on the Familiar Bluet. They only have one line of defense, speedy and quick aerial maneuvers in order to elude being caught.

The Familiar Bluet is not looked at as a Nashville Pest Control Issue; rather they can be quite helpful with controlling mosquito populations. However if you have a Pest Control issue here in Nashville, Certified Pest Control is always available to assist with identifying the proper control method for your pesky insect invasion. You can trust our local family to honestly and effectively treat your home and prevent pests all year long.

 

 

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Click Beetle

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Click Beetle

A Clumsy Acrobat

Click Beetles are best known for the acrobatic click flip they do in order to get back on their feet. This beetle is usually about ½” to 1” long, with hard shell bodies, two – main sections of a body and six legs. Although the adult Click Beetle is not categorized as much of a pest in Nashville, they will invade your homes at night trough cracks and crevices. Being nocturnal during the warm months, they are drawn to light, thus the reason they can find their way into your home. They usually live in wood piles, soil, mulch and around on the ground where they feed on roots, nectar, flowers, seeds or aphids. More than likely though, you will only encounter one, by hearing the loud clicking noise they make if they are upside down on your wood or tile floor trying to get them back erect. No need to worry though, as they are generally harmless and you can simply scoop them up and let them back outside where they belong.

Although the adult Click Beetle is not a pest or harmful, their larvae can be a pest to crops. As they mate, and the female eventually lay eggs, the eggs hatch into larvae. These larvae are called wire worms and can be harmful as they eat and damage the roots and leaves of Corn Crops. They can take one year to three years to develop from larvae to adult, so a lot of eating and damage can be done to these crops as they grow. Producing up to two generations a year and depending on species, they have a lifespan of one to three years. During their lifespan living on the ground, they are prey to different predators such as birds, moles, spiders and lizards. So, they also contribute to the food chain.

The Click Beetle‘s most interesting characteristic is the clicking mechanism that they posses. They have a snap or notch between the first and second section of their thorax. When threatened or touched the Click Beetle will play dead, and quickly roll over on its back. The problem is that they do not have long enough legs, or maneuverability to roll back over. So the Click Beetle bends in a way that allows the notch and pin to become unlocked and release a powerful click. This click catapults the beetle two to ten inches into the air to get back on their feet. The only issue with this ingenious ability is that other than controlling the actual click, they cannot control how far or where they will click. So, in self defense the Click Beetle pretends to be dead and lays on its back, then begins the random gamble of being able to accurately get back to its feet. As they click far up in the air, they are like uncontrollable acrobats doing somersaults. Studies have shown the beetle to accomplish four to six flips end over end, until they land. Therefore it is by absolute random odds that they actually land upright and may take several tries before they are successful.

The Click Beetle is an interesting and clumsy acrobat to observe, but not a Nashville Pest Control problem for homeowners. If you notice other pests that have wandered their way into your home, call Certified Pest Control Nashville to perform a free inspection to define and address your issue. Our local family is pleased to serve our neighbors, and give you a level of service that will make you happy to become part of our extended family.

 

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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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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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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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Spider Webs

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Spider Webs

Silk Strong as Steel

Spiders are very good engineers with an ability to form a web material that defies strength that can be attained from such a small strand. When compared to very strong materials that humans build with, it actually has the same tensile strength as steel when measured at the same weight of each material.

So how can such a small insect produce such a unique and strong material? Spiders are born with spinneret glands in their abdomen. Each species of spiders have a different number of these glands and each produce a different type of material.  Spiders may have as many as five to eight different silk producing glands. Some is produced sticky, while some is fluffy. While constructing their sticky web as a trap for food, they carefully and slowly move in a way so as not to get stuck themselves. They are assisted by having feet that is covered in a non stick coating. Also they can produce a web material that is thick and strong in order to suspend the spider and drop its entire body weight safely to another level of construction. In addition to using these miraculous silk producing spinneret glands, some spiders have brush like designs on their legs that can give the silk a different texture to make it more fuzzy and cover a wider area with a more tangled and dense web. More interesting uses that a Spider web is used for, is transportation. They can shoot the silk in a vertical pattern to form a balloon or parachute like structure, and then ride the wind to spread out their population over a wider area. The many inventive ways a spider uses its silky web is truly amazing.

Even more amazing is how the web gets its strength. Although its relative strength can be compared to steel, it is the flexibility or elasticity that makes it even more versatile and strong for building. If the web material was simply a strong rigid material, it may be very strong for a short amount of time, but then it could break under a sudden impact. However the spider silk is very flexible; allowing it to blow in the wind, be stretched by other insects, animals or humans and stay relatively intact. Therefore when a spider orb is carefully placed to attract and capture food, it can absorb the impact of a flying insect, stretch enough to stay intact then allow the stickiness of the web to capture its prey. It can be compared with other strong human made products such as the material that is used in bullet proof vests. These vests are effective due to the fact that they are constructed with many different small strands of material. These strong flexible strands flex and absorb the impact of a bullet travelling at thousands of feet per second. The spider web works in the same manner, and there is even talk of using research to incorporate spider web silk into a next generation of bullet proof vests.

Many spiders can be identified simply by the type of web they construct. Many of us only think of the typical orb spider web that we see so often. However there are also sheet webs, funnel webs, triangle webs, tube webs and tangle webs to name a few. Each of these different designs serves a specific purpose for each species of spider that depends on where they live, how they trap and how they defend. Some are very organized in structure in design, while others resemble tangled tumbleweeds of silk. Most orb webs begin with a single fine thread to drift and catch a ride over to bridge a gap. Once the fine thread is secure, they tighten it and go back over the initial silk thread with a stronger thread to begin the orb construction. Once the main header lines are in place, the circular pattern begins construction, followed by support webs to keep the pattern uniform. The spider constantly checks and measures based on their body length where to connect the next circular pattern to the inner web. While this construction is happening, the spider also continuously checks the tension of each web, eating off what is considered loose, tightening it and reattaching. Then it is time to run the sticky silk lines.  The sticky silk is used to trap and is carefully placed in the same circular pattern, in between the initial design. This gives the spider a non sticky route to travel around the sticky trap, to quickly travel to prey and wrap it in silk for a tasty meal. It is a very tedious and time consuming process, but beautiful and effective when complete.

Although there are many different designs of webs per spider species, most all spiders use the same type of silk to wrapping their prey once it is caught. They also use this same type of fine silk to wrap their eggs to keep them safe. So not only is this one of nature’s miracle compounds and designs, it also has very different uses and applications within the insect world and beyond.

As with all spiders, when you see webs make sure to call Certified Pest Control of Nashville, Tennessee. We are happy to inspect, identify and implement a control method to keep your home safe from Spiders. We offer Nashville Pest Control services at affordable rates with friendly local family service.

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Horse Fly

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Horse Fly

Blood Sucking Fly

It’s cold outside, so let’s think happy thoughts of summer. Just picture; having a great time in the back yard, throwing the ball, playing in the pool or grilling out; happy and peaceful. That is, until the large Horse Fly shows up to the party. With their quick speed, agile acrobatic moves and tenacity to focus on a particular target; the party soon turns into “get rid of the biting fly”.

The Horse Fly is mostly identified by their large size and almost buzzing like sound as they quickly fly around your head looking for a quick spot to land. Their bodies range in size from ¼” to 1” long, with an accompanying wingspan of up to 2”. Brown or Black in color with a fuzzy appearance, they have one set of wings and have tapered bodies.  They are found in all areas around the world except for Polar Regions and Hawaii. And, as we all know from the painful bite, they do exist here in Nashville, Tennessee.

Horse Flies are most active in summer busy feeding on nectar.  Although the male and female feed this way, it is primarily the male that feeds and collects pollen, while the female is much more sinister. In order to reproduce, the female needs to feed on blood of another animal or human. They do not have an undetectable bite such as a mosquito, rather the bite is quite painful and immediately knocked away. Therefore the persistent Horse Fly continues its pursuit to get blood from this one particular victim. This proves true if you have ever been swimming in a pool with other people, however one Horse Fly continues to maneuver and speedily land on and attack one individual. They are naturally drawn to swimming pools with the shiny reflections and most commonly, carbon dioxide exuding humans.  For some reason once a Horse Fly chooses its victim, they tend to continue to try and attach to the same victim. This is due to the type of movement, body warmth, skin texture or even the levels of carbon dioxide that the individual victim produces. Once you have tagged as “it”, the Horse Fly tries its best to attach by using the ends of their legs and claws to grip and hold on just long enough to bite and get some blood to reproduce. This bite is particularly ferocious due to the design of the Horse Fly mouth. It has an organ designed to stab into the skin, then two pairs of cutting razors that quickly and effectively pierce then open the wound. Once the wound is opened, the saliva of the Horse Fly acts as an anti clotting compound to make sure that the blood flows quick and easy. Then the center of the mouth has an organ very much like a sponge that is ready and able to soak up and store all of the blood that the fly can get from the victim.

The female Horse Fly has mated, now increased the chances of offspring with a lovely meal of blood and is ready to lay her eggs. They usually prefer areas near water, such as marshy areas at the edge of a pond or lake, boat docks at inlets or any area with a continuous moist ground. She can lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time. These eggs go through five to ten different larval stages, last through the winter months, ready to emerge as fully grown adults in spring. As an adult they only live thirty to sixty days, so they have a limited time frame to ensure the next generation continues.

The Horse Fly can spread disease since they suck blood from multiple different animals or humans. These infectious equine diseases could become quite serious. However; most reactions to their bites are relatively mild such as redness, swelling, rash or even dizziness. If the bite area looks infected or a fever develops, seek immediate medical attention. For maximum protection, always wear insect repellent while outdoors along with long sleeves and pants if possible. As with any fly problem, call out a professional to properly identify the solution. Certified Pest Control in Nashville is your local family owned and operated choice for honest effective solutions to all of your pest control needs. Call our family today to define your affordable preventative pest control program in Nashville and all surrounding counties.

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Insect Stinger

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Insect Stinger

Is it a Sting or a Bite?

Most people do not properly identify between an insect bite and sting. They simply say I have been stung or bitten. So what is the difference? The biggest difference is that a bite is from the mouth and a sting is from a sharp organ that is attached to the rear of the abdomen. That being said both a bite and a sting can be venomous or non venomous.

To further identify the difference; most stinging insects are in the form of Wasps, Bees, Hornets, Yellow Jackets and Fire Ants. Some Centipedes and Scorpions also use stingers. Stings most often cause pain, swelling, redness and itching as the venom dissipates. Bites are often associated with Spiders, Mosquitoes, Ticks, Bed Bugs, Chiggers, Fleas, Mites and in rare cases Cockroaches. Bites cause the insect saliva to enter your body that can produce rash and itching; and in more serious cases it can introduce disease such as Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, Malaria, Chagas disease and flesh eating bacteria in wounds.

An insect stinger is a very small organ that can deliver a powerful punch. Although most stinging insect females carry the venomous stinger, many males do not, such as the Wasp and Carpenter bee. These males will bluff and even act aggressive, but they cannot sting you. The female stinger however is one to be avoided, with two key ingredients being venom. An insect stinger is a built in defense system that helps them to survive other predators. The problem is that they live in close proximity to us and can consider us invaders. Thus the stinger is only used when under threat, or we have gotten too close. Once we have breached that boundary of posing a threat, the insect will go into a protective pose and attack. The insect will land on you with a leading tail and stinger ready. Once the stinger has been inserted into your skin, the two venom glands excrete the fluid. Each venom gland produces a different type of compound to be most effective. One gland secretes a poison that affects the nervous system in order to send signals to the brain that there is an intense pain. The second gland secretes a form of acid that actually slows the flow of blood. That is the reason that a wasp sting is extremely painful for the first few minutes. The painful poison is allowed to stay in the slowed blood stream at point of entry, until it can be diluted naturally and carried away. So, we find ourselves screaming in pain and rubbing the sting area for a few minutes until the blood can get to flowing again in order to dissipate the pain inflicting poison.

There is a common belief that all stingers are left in the skin and need to be removed; that the bee or wasp stings once, lose their stinger and dies. There are species of Honey bees that do have a barbed stinger that will embed in the skin. These Honey bees do in fact lose their stinger and die within minutes. However most all other Wasps, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Fire Ants and Bees have smooth stingers, and like a needle can be used to sting, pull out smoothly and used again. They can sting multiple times in one attack, which make them especially dangerous to those that have allergic reactions.

So, as with any insect that can bite or sting, you need to avoid any nesting areas. Then take appropriate measures to remove the threat. To keep your home safe from stinging insects; make sure to call your Nashville Pest Control Family at Certified Pest Control. We will locate nesting sites, identify the pest and define the proper treatment program to control your issues.

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Black Widow Spider

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Black Widow Spider

Cannibal that Eats Her Mate

The Black Widow Spider has long been one of the most feared insects to invade your home. Recently, with more knowledge and cases of Brown Recluse Spider bites, the Black Widow is not as prevalent among homeowner’s complaints. However it is still a populous resident in Nashville and a venomous predator that should be avoided at all costs.

The Black Widow gets its name from their mating practice. They are solitary insects, except for late in the spring season, when it is time to reproduce. Once the Female has chosen her mate, and is fertilized, she then turns cannibal and eats her male counterpart. This behavior has been determined to be a survival instinct, to give her offspring better odds of growing to adulthood and give her babies sufficient protein while still inside of her. She then spins an egg sac that will hold up to 800 eggs. In about one month the baby spiders emerge, and following their mothers example, they too are cannibals and will even eat each other. So, the quick three month span to adulthood is quite difficult. Although the female lifespan is two to three years, the male lifespan is only a few months. This is no doubt, due to the fact that the females eat them. So the male is quite careful when approaching. They try and sense if the female has already eaten, to lower the possibility that they will in fact be eaten. They do so by testing the chemical makeup of her web, to see if it is safe. But few ever get away safe.

The female Black Widow spins an extremely strong web that is comparable to steel wire, when compared in scale to humans. This web serves several functions. It is a place to keep her egg sac and potential young safe until they hatch. The Black Widow Web also is carefully placed in an area that will trap food for survival. The diet of the Black Widow consists of just about anything ensnared in the web such as flies, mosquitoes, and even other spiders. Although the Black Widow has very poor eyesight, they are very sensitive to vibrations. The hang upside down, suspended and attached to the web, waiting to sense the vibrations of its struggling prey. They then hurry to the trapped insect and wrap it in silk to encapsulate its dinner. When it is time to eat, the Black Widow actually bites the prey to ensure death, and then they regurgitate digestive enzymes on the insect to dissolve it into a liquid. Now it is time to suck up their liquid diet.

The Black Widow is about 1 ½” long and can be identified by its trademark black color, and red hourglass on the underside of their abdomen. The male is a little more difficult to identify as it is smaller than the female and can have various different markings of red or white, on the top of its body.

The Black Widow venom is one of the most powerful among arachnids, however it only feels like a small stick of a pin when bitten. They are not aggressive and only bite out of defense or if they sense pressure, such as being stepped on. The effects on other insects are deadly, so be careful around a web or if you spot a Black Widow. Rare cases of human fatality have been reported, so children and elderly should be extra cautious of this venomous spider. The venom can cause sweating, nausea, muscle pain, abdominal pain and a very fast heart rate. Symptoms can last as long as a week or two, but can be treated with an antivenom if necessary to relieve pain.

Black Widows reside around the world, including the United States and here in Nashville, TN. So, in addition to being cautious to avoid this venomous spider; a regular pest prevention plan should be in place to protect your family from all spiders. To properly address your Nashville Pest Control Prevention Plan, contact Certified Pest Control. You can trust our family to treat you and your home in an honest and effective manner.

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Norway Rat

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Norway Rat

Fast Breeding Rodents

Rats, Mice and other Rodents can breed you out of your home, very quickly if control measures are not taken. For example one of the most common Rats we have in Nashville, Tennessee as a Pest Control issue; is the Norway rat, Brown rat or common rat. They breed year round with the right conditions, and can produce up to five litters per year. Once the female has mated, babies can be produced in as little as 20 days and can be as many as 14 in one litter. These new baby rats can then breed within 5 weeks of being born. They do not care that they are brother and sister, so the 14 new rats will breed with each other and begin the whole process all over again. Do the math and you will see how fast this rodent can eat you out of house and home. At the minimum the mother will give birth to a litter of seven or eight babies. If Litter one of only 8 rats breed they then produce at minimum 32 new rats, those 16 mates then produce at minimum 128 new rats, those 128 new mates then produce at minimum 512 new rats, those 512 new mates then produce a minimum of 2048 new rats, then the final 5th generation of 2,048 new mates produce a minimum of 8,192 new rats. So, in conclusion 2 mating rats can grow to 8,000 or more rats in a single year. That is assuming the bare minimum of 8 babies per litter. If they happen have the maximum of 14 per litter, the numbers grow exponentially to a potential of 15,000 to 20,000 rats in one year.

This is purely a mathematical approach to show how many rats can produce in 1 – year under the right conditions. That being said, the Norway rat has a lifespan of up to 3 – years with many only living one year due to other predators. Either way, nobody wants to see 15,000 rats in their home.

So, you want to keep an eye out in order to spot the first one in order to put control methods in action. Places to watch are basements and crawl spaces. These rats burrow and look for places to breach your foundation, even burrowing through your foundation if they really want entry. Once you can spot rat runs to holes near the foundation or in your crawl space, cellar or basement, there is an issue. They gain entry to your home and are very good climbers to get into walls and your home to find food, moisture and harborage. They will eat most anything, but seem to favor most items in the common household pantry.

For sake of identification the Norway or Brown rat is brown or dark grey and will range in size from 6” to 12” long. These large rats are effective survivors, having the ability to climb, swim in water, and can adapt to live in extreme weather environments. They prefer to live in urban areas where they have plenty of access to moist and food rich structures. Once they invade a structure, they do not venture far from their nest, usually staying within 50’ as long as food is available.

Another concern of having been invaded by this fast reproducing rodent is the possibility of disease that they can carry. Most common diseases that they can carry are a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis (which is mostly spread when the house cat catches the rat and then can transfer it to humans). This is usually transferred through the feces of the cat and can cause flu like symptoms. People with compromised immune systems are more at danger for serious complications from this parasite. So, always keep your cat well fed on pet food, avoid stray cats, wear gloves and a mask when cleaning the litter box and last but not least – wash your hands thoroughly when done.

As you have just read, the breeding cycle and speed of reproduction of Norway rats make it very difficult to control as a DIY project. If you spot rats, or other rodents in or around your home please call Certified Pest Control in Nashville, Tennessee to address the issue with the proper control method. So, choose the only Nashville Pest Control company that is truly “Certified” to give you the personal and honest service a local family owned and operated business can.

 

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