Waco Armyworm invasion

Waco Armyworm InformationWaco Armyworm

The armyworm is a common pest of bermudagrass, sorghum, corn, wheat and rye grass and many other crops in north and central Texas. Larvae of fall armyworms are green, brown or black with white to yellowish lines running from head to tail. A distinct white line between the eyes forms an inverted “Y” pattern on the face. Four black spots aligned in a square on the top of the segment near the back end of the caterpillar are also characteristic. Armyworms are very small (1/8 inch) at first, cause little plant damage and as a result often go unnoticed. Larvae feed for 2-3 weeks and full grown larvae are about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. Given their immense appetite, great numbers, and marching ability, fall armyworms can damage entire fields or pastures in a few days. Once the armyworm larva completes feeding, it tunnels into the soil to a depth of about an inch and enters the pupal stage. The armyworm moth emerges from the pupa in about ten days and repeats the life cycle. The fall armyworm moth has a wingspan of about 1 1/2 inches. The front pair of wings is dark gray with an irregular pattern of light and dark areas. Moths are active at night when they feed on nectar and deposit egg masses. A single female can deposit up to 2000 eggs and there are four to five generations per year. The fall armyworm apparently does not overwinter in north Texas, but survives the winter in south Texas. Populations increase in south Texas in early spring and successive generations move northward as the season progresses. Management. Fall armyworm outbreaks in pastures and hay fields often occur following a rain which apparently creates favorable conditions for eggs and small larvae to survive in large numbers. Hay fields with a dense canopy and vigorous plant growth are often more susceptible to armyworm infestations than less intensely fertilized and managed fields. Irrigated fields are also susceptible to fall armyworm infestations, especially during drought conditions. Also monitor volunteer wheat and weedy grasses in ditches and around fields which may be a source of armyworms that can move into the adjacent crop. Look for fall armyworm larvae feeding in the crop canopy during the late evening and early morning and during cool, cloudy weather.

During hot days, look for armyworms low in the canopy or even on the soil surface where they hide under loose soil and fallen leaves. A sweep net is very effective for sampling hay fields for fall armyworms. When fields are wet with dew, armyworms can stick on rubber boots worn while walking through the field. Small larvae chew the green layer from the leaves, creating a “window pane” effect and later notch the edges of leaves. The key to managing fall armyworms is frequent inspection of fields to detect infestations before they have caused economic damage. Once larvae are more than ¾ inch long, the quantity of foliage they eat increases dramatically. During their final 2-3 days of feeding, armyworms eat 80% of the total foliage consumed during their entire development. The density of armyworms sufficient to justify insecticide treatment depends on the stage of crop growth and value of the crop. Seedling plants can tolerate fewer armyworms than established plants. Infestations of more than 2-3 armyworms (1/2 inch or longer) per square foot may justify an insecticide application.

You Would Not Believe How Useful Grasshoppers Are In The Field Of Medical Science

The scientific exploration of human physiology has long given rise to ethical concerns. History shows that several medical researchers have overstepped the boundaries of moral decency by sacrificing human lives in the pursuit of effective medical treatments. For example, it is certainly not unprecedented for medical researchers to purposely infect healthy study participants with certain diseases solely to test the efficacy of certain drugs. The Tuskegee experiments are probably the most well known studies of this kind. In order to ensure that human lives are not harmed in the pursuit of medical knowledge, researchers use certain animals as models in medical experiments. Rats and mice, for example, are commonly used as models in medical experiments since their physiological processes are largely analogous to a humans. However, even mice and rats can suffer as a result of medical experimentation. This is why more primitive lifeforms are sought as models in medical studies. Luckily fruit flies, despite their relative physiological simplicity, have many physical attributes in common with humans. Although fruit flies are useful in medical research, very few people are aware that grasshoppers have even more in common with humans when it comes to physiological functioning.

Researchers have only understood how physiologically similar grasshoppers are to humans for around 50 years, and to this day, nobody really understands why these distantly related animals share so many physiological attributes in common. Grasshoppers have been successfully used in experiments that test how humans are affected by psychoactive drugs. The central nervous system of grasshoppers and humans is similar enough that the two act out similar behavioral side-effects in response to psychoactive drug consumption. In fact, grasshoppers are even useful for understanding how the cardiopulmonary functioning of humans can be affected by psychoactive drug intake. Thousands of pre-med students have learned about the process of cell division in humans by observing how this process occurs in grasshoppers. Grasshoppers have also proven useful for determining which substances act as carcinogens in the human body. In some respects, grasshoppers may be the most useful stand-ins for humans in studies that aim to determine how abnormal cell division occurs in response to certain environmental toxins.

Do you believe that there exists an ethical line that cannot be crossed when it comes to medical experiments on insects?


Neuroscientists Have Revealed How Humans Really Feel About Insects

Having a fear of insects is not uncommon. Even those people who claim to be fearless when encountering creepy-crawlies still probably become startled upon unexpectedly seeing one in their home. Since a few insects can inflict painful, or even deadly bites or stings, our instinctive fear of them keeps us safe. It is generally believed that humans developed this sense of fear over the course of evolution in order to recognize and avoid threats to our survival. However, how do we know that we are really experiencing “fear” when encountering creepy-crawlies? After all, the feeling of being scared does not necessarily match the feeling experienced during arthropod encounters.

Obviously, being alone in the dark, watching scary movies, or being stocked by a stranger elicits feelings of fear, but seeing a creepy looking arthropod, like a tarantula or a praying mantis, does not make us feel the same way. Of course, this is not to say that arthropod encounters don’t elicit negative feelings that make people uncomfortable, but perhaps we humans have been misjudging our own feelings toward insects. Many people would argue that the feelings that one experiences upon unexpectedly finding a creepy arthropod are merely subjective feelings that differ from individual to individual. This is a sensible opinion, but mosts neuroscientists would disagree. A recent study had researchers examining how our brains function upon finding insects. As it turns out, we are not scared of these multi-legged creatures at all, but we are certainly disgusted by them.

Scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have recently determined that the part of the human brain associated with disgust, and not fear, becomes activated upon finding insects. The feeling of disgust is associated with contamination and disease. This finding surprised the researchers that had been expecting to record a neurological fear response, but the fear centers remained inactive upon exposure to insects. Understandably, the study subjects became particularly disgusted upon seeing the common household insects that are capable of spreading disease pathogens, such as roaches. In fact, household insects elicited more fear in the subjects than insects in the wild. This makes sense, as humans have naturally become conditioned to fear the very pathogen-spreading insects that we encounter most often.

After reading this blog article, do you find it easy to believe that insects elicit feelings of disgust rather than fright? Or do you feel like the study’s finding runs contrary to your own feelings when finding an insect in your home?



The Existence Of Insect-Borne Disease Has Been Known To Scientists For Only One Hundred Years

Today, insect-borne diseases get a lot of press, and scientists anticipate that these diseases will remain a problem for years to come. Considering the amount of attention that researchers and scientists devote to disease-carrying insects today, you would think that the existence of these diseases had to be well known to past scientists. Surprisingly, this is not the case, as the existence of disease-carrying insects has only been known to mankind for a century. As a matter of fact, one of history’s most brilliant biologists, and the foremost expert on the world’s abundant animal life, Charles Darwin, likely contracted chagas disease by clumsily handling a kissing bug while on his historic trip to the Galapagos Islands. In an act that would be considered criminally careless today, Darwin had the kissing bug bite each member of his crew on the HMS Beagle solely to observe the manner in which it bit people. It is perhaps not surprising to learn that our ancestors indulged in behaviors that made insect-borne diseases a scourge upon past societies.

Today, lice is a well known type of insect that infests human hair. In order to rid oneself of lice, medical attention is usually required. As it happens, our ancestors also knew that lice were tiny insects, but they did not understand how easily the bugs spread from person to person. To illustrate this lack of understanding, lice-infested people living during the medieval period hired professional lice-pickers to remove the insects from their scalps and beards. This is where we get the term “nitpicker”.

Insects have been annoying people from day one, as lice legs have been found on mummified remains within ancient Egyption tombs. Even the wealthy King Tut could not avoid contracting insect-borne disease, as historians believe he died from a malaria infection. Scientists have even found insect parasites within the fossilized feces left by Vikings. Too bad scientists from hundreds of years ago were not this dedicated to the study of insects.

Do you believe that ancient societies developed unique methods of insect control?

Using Perfume, Cologne And Scented Soaps Can Attract Biting Insects

Using Perfume, Cologne And Scented Soaps Can Attract Biting Insects

There is probably not a single person in the world who has not, at some point, made an effort to attract members of the opposite sex. In order to improve one’s appearance, a range of options are available, such as exercising, eating right, stylish haircuts, maybe tattoos, and, of course, perfumes and cologne. Although the scent of cologne and perfume may successfully attract the opposite sex, there are some major downsides involved with the use of perfumes, colognes, and even scented soaps and shampoos. If you are fearful of contracting an insect-borne disease, then bypassing the perfume or cologne may be a wise idea according to scientists. As it turns out, scented chemicals attract several types of insect-pests, such as mosquitoes.

It seems that mosquitoes are becoming more and more dangerous to humans as time goes on. Due to the increasing spread of awareness concerning mosquito-borne diseases among the world’s citizenry, just about everyone over the age of three should know that areas of standing water can be hazardous to humans during the summer season, as they attract mosquitoes, many of which carry diseases. According to  Margaret Harris, assistant professor of health for the University of Arkansas’ Division of Agriculture, mosquitoes are attracted to the scents of perfume, cologne and heavily scented soaps just as much as they are attracted to areas of standing water. Since mosquitoes gravitate toward standing water in order to constantly mate, you can understand how appealing artificial scents are to the bloodsucking pests. Surprisingly, mosquitoes are not the only dangerous insects that gravitate toward perfumes and cologne. The well known arachnid pests that spread lyme disease, ticks, have been known to move toward people wearing artificial scents. Fleas and chiggers also fancy people’s attractive scents. If you insist upon applying perfume, cologne or other scented products this summer, then taking other precautions against insect-borne disease is in order. These precautions include long-sleeved clothes, and mosquito repellent. According to Dr. Harris, mosquito repellent that contains less than ten percent DEET should be avoided, as such low levels are largely ineffective when it comes to repelling dangerous insects.

Have you ever noticed that more insects gravitate toward you on days when you apply artificial scents, like perfume and cologne?

The Volkswagen Company Threatened Legal Action Against An Artist Who Paints Beetles

The Volkswagen Company Threatened Legal Action Against An Artist Who Paints Beetles

You may think that the topic of insects could not possibly make for an interesting conversation. After all, how many times have you become excited by a news story about the olfactory system of crickets, or the jumping frequency of grasshoppers? Many people do not care to learn anything more about insects than they already know. Lately the media has been releasing stories about edible insects, and sadly, this topic has probably generated more public interest concerning insects than has ever existed before. However, you may be surprised to learn that a variety of court cases involve insects. Obviously, there are court cases that involve landlord and tenant disputes over bed bug infestations; or court cases between homeowners and real estate companies concerning undisclosed termite infestations. These types of cases are frequent, but a recent insect-related legal dispute will surprise you in a few different ways. If you are a fan of the Volkswagen company, then you may be disappointed to learn that they do not want you publicly displaying photographs, works of art, or any other medium that depicts beetles. In this case, the word “beetle” does not just refer to the Volkswagen Beetle, a model of car that the company has produced for several decades; instead this particular case specifically refers to the insect group known as “beetles”. Recently, an artist was forced to hire a lawyer after Volkswagen officials demanded that she remove her artwork from a website. The artwork depicts beetles of many different species.

The car company must have believed that their production of the lovable and classic Volkswagen Beetle gave them ownership over all beetle insects as well. The artist is also a scientist who has studied insects, but she prefers to mix her passion for art and science by painting detailed portraits of certain beetle species. One morning Muddles received a message from Volkswagen that demanded that she remove her beetle paintings from the website known as RedBubble. This website is used by people who are trying to sell their artwork. Apparently, Volkswagen assumed that Muddles was trying to profit off the Volkswagen Beetle. For the next year, and after hiring a lawyer, Muddles continued to receive takedown requests from the car company. She even sent a letter to the company and the website that explained her situation. Eventually, the take down letters turned into apology letters, and Muddles continued her tasteful artistic depictions of dung beetles.

Do you think that the car company was making a mistake, or do you think that they really took offense to Muddles’ artwork depicting beetles?

Waco Texas Bee Removal

Don’t Get Stung By Summer’s Stingers | Pest Control Waco

While summer is an especially ideal time for fun, relaxing activities in the yard, it is also the season during which stinging insects thrive. These insects can be very dangerous and should always be handled by a licensed pest control professional, especially when it comes to nest removal when bees and wasps may attackWaco Bee Removal

According to the NPMA, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room annually. iPest Solutions is committed to help reduce this number by educating homeowners on how to protect themselves with these tips from the NPMA:

  • Seal cracks and crevices: Seal all visible cracks and crevices to keep these pests from moving indoors, and regularly inspect around the yard and along the perimeter of the house for nests.
  • Keep food covered: During a picnic or cookout, cover all food when outside and be sure to keep tight fitting lids on trash bins.
  • Avoid excessive use of fragrances- If spending long periods of time outdoors, avoid excessive use of perfume or cologne, as yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances. When possible, choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions and sunscreen is also ideal.
  • Adjust wardrobe: Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, since these patterns can attract stinging insects. Wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas where hornets and other pests often nest.
  • Remain calm, cool and collected: Do not swat a nearby pest or flail in panic—these movements may actually provoke an attack. Instead, remain calm and slowly walk away from the area. The insect should fly away without causing any harm.

For more information on stinging insects, please visit https://www.wacopest.com/pest-control-waco/