3 Insects with the Most Legs – Arthropods and Arachnids

The Three Arthropods / Arachnids that Have the Most Legs

Arthropods are a group of animals including insects, crustaceans and myriapods. Arthropods have many legs with jointed feet and molt their exoskeleton several times throughout their lives.  Arachnids are a separate group of insects including ticks, mites, harvestmen, and spiders; each has only two body sections.

Many animals have two legs, some have four but some have more. Most insects have six legs, three body segments, and an exoskeleton. However, there are a couple insects that have much more than six legs such as the centipede and the millipede.  The name centipede and millipede suggests that they have one hundred and one thousand legs accordingly; however, millipedes are born with only three pairs of legs and most have less than one hundred legs.  As the millipede grows more segments in its’ typical seven year life span, it also grows more legs; there are two legs per body segment.  The record holding millipede for the largest amount of legs had seven hundred fifty legs, still two hundred fifty legs shy from the thousand legs most people expect of a millipede.  Millipedes are an interesting arthropod in that they coil their body into a spiral to protect their belly when threatened; their exoskeleton segments then protect them.

Another arthropod with many legs is a crustacean: the crab.  The crab is a decapod, meaning it has ten legs.  Eight of these legs are used for mobility and two are used for capturing food and defense.  Like insects, crabs have complex eyes, which allows them to see in multiple directions.  Also like insects, crabs have a thick exoskeleton, which they shed periodically for a larger one.  Their exoskeleton is made of chitin and calcium and protects them from predators and their environment.  Crabs are opportunistic feeders and prey on mussels, fish, plant matter, and animal carcasses.  Unfortunately, the crab population has declined in recent years due to pollution and an excess of nutrients in the water from plant and animal waste and fertilizer.

Arachnids have just two fewer legs than crabs but two more than most insects. Unlike insects, arachnids do not have antennae or mandibles. The arachnids called spiders have eight eyes and poor eyesight.  In fact, they use hairs on their body to sense the vibrations around them.  Spiders are carnivores and prey on insects by injecting them with venom as they spin them rapidly in their webs.  Arachnids can only digest liquid food, so they inject their prey with digestive chemicals before sucking out the resulting juice.







Where to Look for Rodent Infestation Symptoms

Rodent Infestation Symptoms

The moment you discover that you are sharing your home with a rodent brings an unsettling feeling in the pit of your stomach.  Whether you are less than fond or just precautious of transmitted diseases, rodents leave much to be desired.  The first surefire sign of rodents is droppings.  Droppings or feces pellets are typically left behind in the kitchen area.  Check your pantries, drawers, cabinets, counters, and behind appliances for rodent droppings.  In fact, check any place in your home that could provide a potential hiding place, food or water source.  For instance, mice droppings can also be found along beams, wall studs, in boxes, furniture, as well as other packing materials.  Mice and rats are prolific poopers; thus, you will know if you have an infestation.  Another unsightly sign of a rodent infestation is urine pools and trails.  Mice and rats are known to have weak bladders and leave urine trails as they travel.  Most rodent’s urine and feces have an unforgettable musky smell.  Additionally, mice leave behind urinating pillars which are made of grease, dirt, and urine.

Rodents are some squeaky animals that scamper around your home as they move about from their nest throughout your home.  You will typically hear them in action when you are settling down for bed as they are just getting started.  Another tell tale alarm is your pet’s excitement or over excitement.  If your pets are pawing around a possible rodent hiding area, then you can bet that you have an uninvited visitor.  As they scamper about, rodents are likely to leave their mark via droppings, gnaw marks, holes in packaging, or grease and urine trails.  Many times you will see grease marks either from the rodent walking through grease or left by the oil in the rodent’s coat.  Larger, greasy smears are a good sign that you are dealing with a rat infestation.  Rodents also leave tracks via their feet and tail.  The larger rodents drag their tails, leaving a tail mark in between their tracks.  Other signs of a rodent infestation are nibble marks or gnaw marks accompanied by droppings or urine trails nearby.  Gnawing is a characteristic of all rodents; they prefer to chew wood but will chew anything that will help keep their incisors in check.  In fact, many electrical fires occur as a result of rodents gnawing through electrical wire.

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Why Use a Local Dallas, TX Pest Control Company?

Why Using a Local Pest Control Company is Best

Many pests are consistent throughout regions such as the ants, bees, wasps, termites, and bed bugs; however, they do vary in their resistance to pesticides.  Many of the pest control professionals have a go-to pesticide for each of the most common pests.  If they overuse one pesticide or do not diversify the treatment enough, the pests can become resistant to the method of treatment.  This is knowledge that only a pest control professional in your vicinity can help with.  Local pest control companies are most familiar with the species of pests and the degree of treatment efficacy for pests in your area; thus making them more effective.

Remember that a pest control company should be a proactive reality that provides pest control maintenance throughout the year.  As a result, potential pest control issues will be lessened.  Also, if a pest control problem arises, the pest control professional will have a history with you, your property, and potential entry and exit points of pests.  When you do begin to select a pest control company, ask for their credentials and do not rush into a contract.  Ask neighbors, friends, and family in your area about pest control companies that they have had successful experiences with when selecting a pest control company.  Be sure to call the company and speak with them about liability insurance, value, and any guarantees.  Liability insurance is a must as it covers any damages to your home or belongings as a result of or during treatment.   Remember that you want to buy value as many companies will offer “bargains” that sound too good to be true and they usually are!  Finally, know all terms of the agreement of any proposed pest maintenance contract: the targeted pest or pests, the treatment proposed, the cost, the extent of the pest infestation, and what it will take to maintain and prevent further infestation.

Beware of companies that show up to your home uninvited and begin offering you pest maintenance contracts at “bargain” prices or free home pest inspections.  Chances are that they aren’t offering quality pest control services.  Pest control and maintenance can get costly so consider getting bids from multiple pest management companies.  Consider interviewing potential pest control companies as you are paying for their knowledge and know how as well as their judgment and skilled application of pesticides.  If you have any further questions, contact the State Department of Agriculture as it is the regulatory agency for pest control and maintenance companies.

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Get Rid of Pests from Your Home

A clean home will help create a pest free home.

There is no rest for the weary when you are sharing your home with pests because pests never rest!  Most people would agree that there is a certain stigma associated with having pests inside your home, most especially if other people find out.  However, even the cleanest of homes are still attractive for pests as they provide a safe shelter, moisture, and a food source.  There are some quick, easy tips for keeping your house to yourself without sharing it with pesky pests!

Want to get rid of pests from your home?

First and foremost, store all food in sealed, air-tight containers.  By providing pests a food source, you’ve enabled them to reproduce and continue inhabiting your home.  Common pests attracted by food are weevils, roaches, and mice.  Refrain from leaving dirty dishes in your sink overnight as many of these pests are nocturnal and feed on your leftovers.  On the same note, do not leave your pets’ food containers out all of the time.  Try to put them out only when you plan for them to eat and store pet food in air-tight containers as well.  Garbage cans also act as a food source so take your trash out often.  This helps with keeping the odor down as well as it too will attract pests.  Bleaching your trash can or at least washing them out once every couple of months will keep the bacteria from growing out of hand as well.

Help getting rid of pests

Is your home secure?

Next, protect your shelter by sealing any cracks or gaps between pipes and walls.  Check your attic for improperly sealed areas.  Try the spray foam crack sealer that is available at your local hardware store.  Fix any leaky faucets and patch any holes surrounding the pipes going in or out of your home.  If there are areas of standing water or blocked gutters, be sure to remedy this quickly as it will attract flying pests.  Maintaining your yard by keeping the lawn neatly mowed and all trees nicely trimmed.  This will allow for superb pest hiding and nesting places.  Finally if you have a wood burning fireplace, keep the stored firewood away from your home.  This too can be a source of shelter for many pests and a gateway into your home.

Before you start your house cleaning, be sure that window screens are properly installed on all of your windows.  Open up the windows and let the fresh air do its part to clean your home.  If you have any questions regarding pests or pest prevention, please give your local pest control agent a call.

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Trying to Get Rid of Ants?

Trying to get rid of ants in your home?

Home invasive ants or “crazy ants” as they are termed are moving across the southeastern United States rapidly replacing the common fire ant as the most invasive.  The common fire ant is known to reproduce and make large mounds in your yard but they usually do not invade homes.  The crazy ants, however, will go everywhere, most especially inside your home.  They are opportunistic nesters and will nest in the first place that is conducive to their survival.  Crazy ants invade your home’s walls and crawl spaces.  In fact, they reproduce rapidly and usually cause damage to electrical equipment.  Although crazy ants do not sting, they are so pervasive that management of home invasions can be costly.

The home invasive ant has replaced the fire ant in some of the Texas Gulf Coast areas.  In fact, the home invasive ant has become ecologically dominant by reducing the number and diversity of the ant and arthropod species.  In fact due to their omnivorous nature, crazy ants are known to prey on other ant and arthropod species.  Even in areas where the crazy ants are not abundant, they have diminished the native ant species.  Unfortunately the home invasive ants do not consume typical ant baits and their super colony can take the area over at a later time.

First discovered in 2002, home invasive ants were found in Houston, Texas and have since been found in Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana in primarily wet environments that have milder winters.  As a result of much research, home invasive ants have been identified as a species of ants call Nylanderia fulva that originated in Argentina and Brazil.  It is believed that the crazy ants were transported from Argentina and Brazil to the Texas Gulf Coast as a result of human movement.  In fact, the reproductive members of the population are unable to fly.  The crazy ant colony is only able to move a little over two hundred meters per year unless they are transported by human.  The most common is by plant and garden nurseries transplanting and shipping out potted plants.

The home invasive ants’ natural predators that exist in Argentina and Brazil are not evident in the southeastern United States; thus, they are changing the food pyramid drastically.  At this point, it is unknown as to whether or not the home invasive ants are able to live in a variety of environments.  So far, it is suggested that they are not suitable for dry and cold climates.

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Dallas Pest Control Professionals

Why should you hire a professional pest control service?
Do it yourself projects are a great source of independence for many homeowners; a weekend spent painting the office or repairing a slight plumbing failure is hard work yet intrinsically rewarding. Do it yourself pest control can be a bit more tricky. While the occasional ant, wasp, or fly can be combated by most homeowners, termites or bed bugs as well as extreme infestations of any insect may require a professional. When it comes to pest control, however, you must consider the efficacy of do it yourself products, the cost and convenience, as well as the inherent risks.
Over the counter, so to speak, pest control products are well labeled and the directions are easy to follow; however these products are not as potent as those issued to individuals with a pesticide applicator’s license. A professional pest control service has the knowledge necessary to diagnose, treat, and apply the correct amount of the correct pesticide. They can also be pertinent in the prevention of further infestations through early detection and continued intervention.
The over the counter chemicals are typically less expensive; however in the long run, a professional may be more effective especially in response to pests such as termites that could cause fatal, long-term damage to your home. In the event that the over the counter chemicals are not effective, the insects may develop a resistance to the chemical makeup, making them stronger and more difficult to deter. The initial cost of a professional pest control company may seem high, but the effective maintenance will keep the cost down. The over the counter chemicals are also convenient to use but a good pest control company will work with the homeowner to schedule a date and time that is most convenient for both parties.

Dallas Pest Control Professional
Just like other do it yourself projects, there are inherent risks associated with applying pest control chemicals. Some chemicals are not pet, child, or plant safe; thus, careful attention and adherence to the labeling is a must. When you hire a professional pest control company almost all of the inherent risks are removed from the homeowner. Thankfully though, the pest control professional is well versed in the chemical and knows the preventive measures that must be adhered to. However, be sure to research the pest control companies in your area to find one that is friendly, effective, and cares for the betterment of the homeowner.

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Dallas Fort Worth Pest Control – Fire Ant Colonies

A Pest Control Nightmare

The fire ant is definitely a pest control nuisance throughout Dallas / Fort Worth and an allergic threat via dermatitis and anaphylactic shock to millions of people.  Even if you don’t have to pull out the epi-pen after being bitten, there is a certain unpleasant feeling to their sting.  Thus, the best way to co-exist with fire ants is to know more about them.  There are many do-it-yourself tricks to alleviating a fire ant problem; however, it is safer for you and your family to call your local Dallas pest control company for assistance and their professional recommendations.

First off, fire ants live in colonies that are social units containing several hundred to several thousand members.  There are three subgroups within the colony: the workers, the reproductives, and the queens.  The worker ants are the largest group in the colony and as their name suggests, they work for the good of the colony by foraging for food and building tunnels and mounds.  The worker ants travel up to one hundred miles away foraging through tunnels and atop land for food to feed the colony.  They forage day and night until temperature reach ninety-five degrees, at which point, they forage during the night only.  The reproductives are a select group of male and female ants that have the ability to take flight and mate, later forming new colonies.  The most well-known ant of the colony, the queen is very highly revered and protected as she is the life line of the colony.  There can actually be between ten to one hundred queens in a single colony.

Life Cycle

When the reproductives take flight, mate, and settle in to build their own colonies, their first mission is to lay and protect their many eggs.  The egg hatches in to a soft white larva, looking much like a minute grub worm.  The larva is helpless and dependent upon the workers for food and protection as it grows and later begins the molting process.  In the next to last molt, the larva transforms into a pupa and begins forming legs and often wings.  Finally, the pupa turns into the adult ant.  It is at this point that the new ant will either begin as a sterile worker or begin helping in quest of reproduction and new colony formation.

The reproductives that began the colony end up becoming queens of the fire ant colony.  The queen’s primary job is to reproduce, lying up to one thousand, five hundred eggs per day.  Unlike the worker, the queen’s life span can range up to seven years.  The mature ant colony can contain up to a hundred queen ants and span over three feet in diameter.

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