Category Archives: General

General Discussion

California Has Fireflies! Who knew?

What better time to start planning a summer vacation than in the middle of a cold (sort of), wet California winter.  If you are doing a little California dreaming right now, why not plan a summer adventure in the beautiful southern mountains.  You might be surprised at what you find.  Like Joshua Oliva, who recently completed his undergraduate studies at UC Riverside, who discovered a brand-new species of firefly while exploring in the Santa Monica mountains, in Topanga. firefly-2466543_640

This tiny creature with its glowing personality, was only about half a centimeter long and it did faintly glow. He (she) has a long way to go to measure up to its East Coast relatives, who, by the way, are larger, more numerous and really, light it up, on warm summer evenings.

USA, TX, Jeff Davis Co.: Fort Davis.Davis Mountains State Park.04-ix-2016
Public Domain Image by Alejandro Santillana for Insects Unlocked Project, University of Texas,  Austin

Contrary to popular belief, California is home to 18 species (soon to be 19). In contrast, Florida has about 56 species of fireflies. Fireflies are nocturnal members of Lampyridae, a family of insects within the beetle order Coleoptera, or winged beetles

Heinz Albers, www.heinzalbers.org(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons
Firefly larvae eating a snail, Heinz Albers, www.heinzalbers.org(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], from Wikimedia Commons

Firefly larva, also known as, glow worms live for about one year, before it turns into an adult and mates.  The average lifespan of adult fireflies is around 2 months. The firefly’s sole purpose in life is to mate and procreate. Flashing each other, the males and females, find the loves of their lives.

In the United States, it’s extremely rare to see glowing fireflies, west of western Kansas, and even the ones that do glow can be very small and their light so faint that it can hardly be seen. But here’s the scoop.

Courtesy of Art Farmer from Evansville Indiana, USA. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/
Courtesy of Art Farmer from Evansville Indiana, USA. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

Luminescent fireflies also known as lightening bugs, have been seen in the Santa Monica mountains and the Laguna mountains in San Diego.  They’ve also been spotted on the southeast slope of Mt. San Jacinto and upper Lytle Creek in San Bernardino County.

In general, fireflies prefer wet, humid habitats that  support their favorite food, snails. Those few species that have been discovered in Southern California have been found mostly by ponds, springs, seeps and streams.

Firefly Fun Facts: 

See more fun Pest Toons athttps://www.corkyspest.com/toons.html
See more fun Pest Toons at https://www.corkyspest.com/toons.html
  1. They have strange eating habits. Contrary to the cute image of baby fireflies flitting from flower to flower, the underground-dwelling larvae of the lightning bug are carnivorous and feast on oozy slugs, worms and slimy snails. Once they grow up, some turn to cannibalism and eat other fireflies, but most live on pollen and nectar (while some don’t eat anything during their short lifetimes).
  2. Predators that might crave a “light” meal, beware the lightning bug. They taste disgusting. Firefly blood contains lucibufagins, which is a defensive steroid that tastes really yucky. Predators associate the awful taste with a firefly’s light and learn not to eat bugs that shine.mason-jar-2-3864319_640-1

If your summer, mountain adventure includes firefly hunting, your best bet is to grab a mason jar (don’t forget to poke holes in the lid) and head for an area with a natural water source on a warm summer night. Turn off your flashlight, so you can see their glow.  Be thoughtful.  When you are done admiring these little guys, let them go.  They will thank you for it.

Termites: From Wrecking Homes to Saving the Environment.

 

According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause more than $5 billion in property damage each year. They can eat wood and extract energy from it, thanks to a few thousand microbes living inside their gut.termite mound

This huge community of microscopic organisms works together to digest the cellulose and lignin that give plant cell walls their strength. As a biproduct of this process, Methane (a natural gas) is expelled by the termites.

So what does termite “gas”, have to do with producing clean energy for the world? A lot!

Each termite produces, on average, about half a microgram of methane per day, an insignificant amount you say. Not really. When multiplied up by the world population of termites, their global methane emission is estimated to be about 20 million tons each year.

Most methane is produced by decaying debris from natural sources such as wetlands, rivers and streams, gas hydramethane_sourcestes on the ocean floor, and melting permafrost. Termites are the second largest source of global methane emissions. Next comes the extraction and burning of fossil fuels for electricity and transportation. Then way down the list comes the cows.

All of the above sources use variations of the same process, the decay of organic material in anaerobic conditions (in the absence of oxygen). Symbioticgel micro-organisms in the digestive tracts of termites (flaU.S. Department of Energy Office of Sciencelate protozoa in lower termites and bacteria in higher termites) produce methane gas (CH4).

 U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science

How can coal be a food source for termites?  It’s not really.  Scientists have figured out a way to use the termites gut microbes to break down cellulose which is a big part of what makes up coal, converting the coal into methane gas, giving us a cleaner fuel source.

According to University of Delaware researchers, Termites may hold the key to processing coal — a big polluting member of our Earthly energy supply — into cleaner energy for the world, products for agriculture, water cleanup and waste recycling.

Mining coal and processing it, by traditional means, is a pollution nightmare.

Coal is a fossil fuel created from the remains of plants that lived and died about 100 to 400 million years ago. Basically, it’s wood that’s been coal-mining-jpegliterally baked for millions of years.

 

 

 

According to Pradad Dhurjati, a professor at the University of Delaware, in the Chemical and Bio-molecular department; “This groundbreaking biotechnology has the potential to change ‘dirty coal’ into ‘clean coal’. That would be a big win-win for the environment and for the economy.”  Right now, the process is taking place in large vats of termite gut microbes, but scientists are looking forward to introducing these microbes directly into coal seams deep beneath the Earth’s surface, letting these hungry organisms, mine and process the coal, in place, and then sending the natural gas, in a steady flow to the surface for consumption.

This is not the end all solution to the clean energy problem. It is the goal of scientists to perfect this process until new and more efficient renewable energy sources can be found and made economically feasible.

Check out this link to find out why methane (natural gas) is a cleaner burning fuel than coal.   https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/coal-and-other-fossil-fuels/environmental-impacts-of-natural-gas#.XDeTLVxKiUk

 

“It’s not The Planet of the Apes—it’s The Planet of the Arthropods.”

 

Who are the most successful beings on Earth? It certainly isn’t Man, Ape or any other mammal. The most successful animals on the planet are the arthropods. They have conquered land, sea and air, and make up over three-fourths of all currently known living and fossil organisms. They are the true masters of the Earth!

Various Arthropods Wikipedia Commons
Various Arthropods Wikipedia Commons

The Phylum Arthropoda got its name from the Greek, arthros (jointed) and poda (foot) and encompasses over 800,000 species, including arachnids (spiders), crustaceans (sea creatures) and insects.  Also, members of this gigantic phylum are Myriapods; centipedes, millipedes, sea spiders, and maybe a host of other organisms yet unidentified.

What do all of these creepy, crawly and flighty creatures have in common?  They are all invertebrate (without a backbone), have symmetrical, segmented bodies, jointed legs, exterior skeletons, a ventral (front) nervous system, highly developed sensory organs and they are cold blooded.

Arthropods have a leg up on all other organsms. They do everything with legs or modified legs. They swim, crawl, jump, and fly, they use legs to sense with (their antennae), to bite and sting with and to chew with (they even chew sideways).  All this and more, is done with legs.

So, with segmented bodies that accommodate environmental changes, with legs that let them walk; with hard, waterproof shells that keep water in or out; and with highly adaptable respiratory systems, arthropods have dominated the animal world.

Arthropods occur in virtually every earthly habitat, from the cold ocean depths to the hottest deserts. They can live through extremes that would kill most vertebrates.

Fun Facts about Arthropods:

  • Arthropods crawled onto land about 100 million years before vertebrates did. It’s thought that colonizing land was easier for them for several reasons – including the fact that they had already evolved legs, which they used for walking on the bottom of the sea.
  • About 80% of all animal species are arthropods!butterfly-emerging-from-cocoon-1518060_640
  • All arthropods undergo metamorphosis – a process where their bodies change radically as they pass from their larval to adult stages. Butterflies are the best-known for entering cocoons as caterpillars and coming out quite different, but all arthropods do something similar!
  • When arthropods outgrow their old exoskeleton, they molt – leaving behind their former skin and growing a new one. All arthropods do this at least once in their lives.
  • Crustaceans and arachnids – two types of arthropods – have blue blood instead of red blood! Their blood uses a blue copper compound to carry oxygen, instead of the red iron compound used by most other animals.
  • An Arthropods’ hard exoskeleton is made of chitin – which is made of a sugar glucose compound! It’s not sweet but it sure is hard!

If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos. (E. O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life)

Christmas Crashers

There’s nothing like the smell of an evergreen tree and a cozy wood fire, to get you in the holiday spirit. But when you bring a live or cut Christmas tree indoors, along with the necessary firewood, some of the insects tspider-found-in-holiday-decorationshat have called your Christmas tree and yule log, home, might be joining you for the holiday season.

Aphids, bark beetles, bark lice, spiders and, even termites may be homesteading your Christmas tree.   Most of the Christmas trees you pick up from a lot or other

commercial settings are utree_farm_christ_trees_12-8-12_8298288388sually inspected and cleaned. The emphasis here is on usually. The greatest threat of home invasion comes to those who cut down their own trees.

It is a known fact that as soon as a tree is cut from its trunk and brought into someone’s warm home, most hitchhiking critters die from starvation or desiccation (lack of water).termites-eating-wood-and-swarmers It’s also a known fact that some may begin to wander from the tree, or firewood pilewood-pile, in search of food and water sources and if these are found they may start to set up housekeeping.

Don’t be afraid to purchase a real tree because of the possibility of tiny pests. And don’t forego the warmth and cozy atmosphere of a wood fire either. Control methods are relatively simple and low maintenance. And remember, artificial trees can house pests, too.

Spiders Spin a Web of Fear!

Spiders and their webs are synonymous with Halloween.gothic-2487365_640

Spider lore has changed over time.  According to medieval superstition, people believed that if you saw a spider on all hallows eve, it was the spirit of a dead loved one watching over you.  When humanity started the witch hunt era, spiders became associated with magic, witches and the supernatural, right along with bats and black cats. They also become representatives of danger, fear, ensnarement, and deception (think of the phrase “caught in a web of lies”).

Their odd anatomy and physiology (multipwolf-spider-eyes-and-fangsle eyes, crushing mandibles, 8 legs, and bulbous abdomen) creates aversion and fear in some individuals. brown-hairy-spider

Add in their habit of seeking out cracks and crevices to hide in, their skittering and jumping movements and their nocturnal foraging activity, not to mention their ability to create great sticky webs, and what you have is the basis for “arachnophobia, or the fear of spiders.cobweb-74592_640

So now that we are convinced that spiders are loathsome creatures, our imaginations add magnitudes of size and deadliness, making them truly Halloween icons.

The true nature of spiders isn’t to be scary.  But if you are perceived to be scary, then nobody messes with you, hence you may live longer.

Spiders have acquired a bad reputation over the centuries.  Going from lucky charms to fearsome, evil specters.  What they really are, are natures clean-up crew. wasp-spider-3659351_640                                        Spiders eat other insects.    Their diet consists mostly, of flies, roaches, moths, earwigs, aphids, caterpillars and even pesky mosquitoes.  Some of these delicacies, spread disease, so spiders help humanity stay healthy.

While we faspider-man-1242398_640ntasize spiders into huge, deadly, horror creatures, remember they are also the inspiration for a much beloved super-hero, Spider Manspiderman-1341591_640 

You may be noticing more spiders out and about. It’s Fall, otherwise known as Autumn, and this is the time of year when many male spiders are out searching for a mate. This is true for house spiders and garden spiders, alike. If you are seeing more spiders inside your home, they may have came in from the cold, but more likely that they have been hiding in your wall voids all summer, venturing out, now into your living areas looking for mates.  Once they mate, chances are, the males will die and the females will go back into hiding, lay their eggs and then, you know, “die”.

Need help dealing with your spiders?

spider-web-wrapped-people-53b8ac2c3810a68c25b00366961187d7

Follow this link: Get Rid of Spiders!

It’s Rodent “Beware-ness” week: “Batten Down the Hatches”!

Fall is a time of change.  The weather is cooling, leaves are falling, plants and animals are going into overwintering mode and for animals this means heading out of the landscape for safer, warmer places, like inside your home, inside your car or inside your BBQ (not to mention inside pool equipment cabinets).

 

The most frequent unwanted visitors, this time of year, are Mice and Rats.mice-on-cornRat yelling

 

Besides being disgusting, noisy and destructive, rats and mice can contaminate food, spread diseases, bring on allergies and even invite their friends; fleas, ticks and lice into your home.  Rats, especially, have been known to greatly damage property by chewing through drywall, insulation, and electrical wiring (including vehicle wiring).  If you park your car outside, don’t forget to check under the hood frequently.

Prevent rats and mice from making your house their home by:

  • Removing yard debris and trash. Always look for places you think rats might like to live such as wood piles and thick ground covers. Take time to thin out the vegetation and move firewood away from the home. Frequently restacking the wood will also discourage rodents from the area.
  • Keeping trash cans tightly closed. rat-in-trach
  • Storing pet food or bird seed in metal cans with secure lids.
  • Picking up fallen fruit. (Don’t feed the rats!)
  • Bringing in pet bowls and bird feeders at night when rodents are the most active.
  • Keeping your home in good repair. Check for openings where rodents can get in. Remember that a mouse can squeeze through a hole as rat_pipesmall as a dime, and rats can enter through quarter-sized holes. Covering the openings with metal, concrete or mesh wool or copper mesh wool will stop them from getting in.

Rats and mice are sneaky, determined  creatures, so if they’ve gotten past your best defensive line, it’s time to call in the professionals.  

Fun Fact:

Rats and mice have a need to gnaw. rat-at-dentist-1_k2puy3y6fb6ohq-5csefw

They’re not looking to add wiring or building materials to their diet, they are doing what they need to do to promote good dental health.  Yes, rats gnaw to take care of their teeth.  Their front teeth constantly grow and without gnawing and chewing to reduce the size of their choppers, the teeth would grow right out of their mouths until they would be unable to eat therefore starving to death or the bottom incisors would poke through the roof of the mouth stabbing into the brain. Not a good way to go.

Argentine Ants and Chemical Warfare

In their quest for world domination, Argentine ants have successfully conquered 6 continents and many islands.  How did they do this?  Easily, their multi-queen colonies, adaptive abilities (conquering changes in their environment) and their nomadic lifestyles), have made them “hard to kill”.

1st-american-ant-colony

The first Argentine ants disembarked, in New Orleans, from ships carrying coffee from Brazil. Originating along the banks of the South American, Parana River, in a tropical ecosystem, Argentine ants have become a major nuisance in the southwestern United States including California.  They are now thriving in urban areas where non-native landscape and plenty of irrigation fosters beautiful tropical environments.  As an invading species they are a natural and economic threat to native ants by aggressively competing for life sustaining resources and pollinators by protecting plant pests such as aphids and scales that provide them with a food source, honeydew, while the makers of their food source destroy landscape plantings and crops.

By Penarc {http://en.wikipedia.org)
By Penarc {http://en.wikipedia.org)

Being extremely aggressive, these ants out compete native species for food and other resources by employing “Chemical Warfare”.  During battle, Argentine ants produce secretions that serve them in two ways, first they irritate and incapacitate their foe and second, this same secretion attracts other Argentine ants to the war zone where they aggressively join the battle.

Photo: Choe Laboratory, UC Riverside
Photo: Choe Laboratory, UC Riverside

A single colony may contain 10,000 female workers, and there may be hundreds of colonies around your home; the total number of ants could easily reach a million. Although they cannot sting, they can and do bite.

Native ant colonies, for the most part, are extremely territorial and will fight other colonies of the same species. Argentine ants in the United States are all closely related with very similar DNA, since originating from the first colonizers in Louisiana. They seem to accept ants from different colonies as members of their global family. It has even been observed that, Argentine ants from different colonies will “join forces” and attack together in huge swarms. To Argentine ants, victory is simply a numbers game and they don’t care if the enemy is Goliath and they’re David.

In their case, size doesn’t matter. It’s not the size of the ant in the fight it’s the size of the fight in the ant and maybe who has the best weapons.

fighting-ants

If you suspect you have an argentine ant invasion or any ant invasion, here is a link to our ant control experts.

Dog Lovers Beware! Mans Best Friend is Under Attack!

It has been estimated that there are 899 species of ticks in the world, of which over 90 make their home in the continental United States.  According to the California Department of Health, around 47 species have been identified here but only 15 of these are likely to be encountered by your dog. The most notable of these include the Western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus), the American dog tick also known as the wood tick, (Dermacentor variabilis), and Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).

THE WESTERN BLACK LEGGED TICK (Ixodes Pacificus)

westerns-black-legged-tickThe Western black legged tick is a three-host tick that primarily feeds on lizards and small rodents during its early life stages, and large mammals, commonly deer, dogs (canids), horses, and humans, as adults. It is the prime vector of the Lyme disease and the equine granulocytic ehrlichiosis rickettsia in California. In California, it seems to be limited to the coastal and Sierra foothill ranges. Humans bitten by these ticks may notice intense inflammation at the site of the bite. These slow healing sores do not necessarily indicate disease transmission by the tick (the Lyme disease “bulls eye” rash), but are mostly a result of irritation caused by tick saliva injected into the bite site that facilitates blood flow.

the AMERICAN DOG TICK (Dermacentor variabilis),

 The American dog tick or wood tick is a three-host tick that feeds on rodents and lagomorphs (hares, rabbits and pikas) during its immature life stages, and large mammals, american-dog-tickmostly canids (dogs, wolfs, coyotes, foxes) and humans, as adults. It is the most important vector of the Rocky Mountain spotted fever rickettsia and is also able to transmit the bacteria which causes tularemia (hunter’s disease). It has also been found responsible for tick paralysis. This tick is widespread throughout the U.S. as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. In California, it is mostly found along the coastal areas along the length of the state.

THE BROWN DOG TICK (Rhipicephalus sanguineus).

brown-dog-tickThe brown dog tick also known as the kennel tick, is unique in that it can complete its entire life cycle indoors.  As a result, it is more of a domestic pest (occurring in and around structures) than other tick species.  Other ticks can be brought indoors, but they are not able to build populations and infest structures like the brown dog tick.  Because it is primarily an indoor parasite of the ever-present domestic dog, it is the most widespread tick in the world.  It is usually introduced into a structure ondog-on-dog-house an untreated dog that originated from or visited an infested location. All life stages of the brown dog tick prefer to feed on dogs.  Each stage drops off the host after feeding to molt into the next stage or to lay eggs.  Because of this behavior, most of a brown dog tick’s life is spent in the environment, not on a dog.  Engorged larvae, nymphs and adult females drop and search for protected cracks and crevices in which to molt or lay eggs.  Where dogs stay during the night is where the most brown dog ticks are likely to be., whether indoors or outdoors.  Under the right conditions, brown dog ticks will infest outdoor dog houses, kennels and runs.

Conditions Associated with Ticks in Dogs include:

  • Blood loss
  • Anemia
  • Tick paralysis
  • Skin irritation or infection
  • Disease

 

Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for most of the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog.

What you need to know:

For pets: •   Consult your veterinarian about over-the-counter, anti-tick products for pets •   Consider a Lyme disease vaccination for how-to-safely-remove-a-tickdogs at risk of blacklegged tick bites •   Keep dogs confined to yards or homes and don’t allow them to roam freely •   Keep dogs on leashes during walks, and inspect them for ticks afterwards.

Habitat moweed-gardendification: Keep yards mowed and do not allow brush or leaf litter to accumulate. Remove brush, tall weeds and grass to eliminate rodent and other small mammal habitats, which serve as hosts for ticks. Larger mammals (e.g. deer) can be excluded from an area with fencing.

For humans: •   Apply a tick repellent according to manufacturer spraying-kids-for-ticksinstructions    •   Repellents with DEET formulations of at least 25 percent are needed to repel ticks •   Wear long-sleeved shirts (tucked into pants) and long pants (tucked into socks) •   Avoid tall grass and weedy areas •   Bathe immediately after coming indoors to find and remove any ticks •   Conduct a full-body tick check using a hand-held or full-length mirror  •   Remove ticks right away. For tips, visit the CDC website. •   After coming indoors, put dry clothes in a dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks

Knowing how to remove a tick is very important.  remove-tick-from-dogs-earYes, there is a right way and if you follow this link you will see just how it’s done. https://www.petmd.com/dog/parasites/how-to-remove-a-tick-from-dog-cat

 

They’re Out for Blood!

mosquito-swarm-red-dawnA new “Red Dawn” is here. Invaders from all over the globe are taking over our neighborhoods and these guys and gals “Bite” and “Suck Your Blood”.  The newest of the bunch is the aedes-noto-2Aedes notoscriptus, the Australian Backyard Mosquito.  Joining the other two invasive, non-native, Aedes Mosquito species (aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus) this hungry mosquito is plaguing Southern California and together with its’ companions is bringing the risk of disease (Zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya and in dogs, heartworm).

The Aeaedes-albopictus-1des albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) arrived in California in 2011 and the Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito), in 2014. The newest arrival, Aedes notoscriptus has been aedes-egyeptiidentified here since early 2017 and its’ populations are increasing exponentially, (that means really fast) due to the hot humid weather we have been experiencing.

Back yard breeders and daytime feeders.

Females of this dark colored mosquito, with outstanding lighter markings, banded legs, and a white band across the proboscis, bite humans chiefly by day in shaded areas. These mosquitoes don’t fly very far, so much of their spread has been helped by the transport of their eggs in everything from flower pots and old tires to trains, planes and automobiles. They are known to prefer breeding in container environments.

Being extremely tiny and aggressive, people never see what’s biting them, leading to misidentification of the attacks as coming from spiders, bed bugs, sand flies or fleas.

Their bites, often concentrated on ankles and legs below the knees, look like clustered pinpricks. They quickly become red and inflamed and grow into big red welts and rashes with scratching.  These bites seem to be extra itchy and that can be because our immune systems haven’t gotten used to them yet.

According to vector control officials, these three species, lay eggs on the sides of barrels (and other containers), not just in standing water, so even though you dump out the water, they can remain alive (and in wait) in people’s yards for years.

Keep safe from mosquitoes by following a few rules.

 In your yard and around your house:

  • Decrease watering schedules                        yard work
  • Remove standing water
  • Limit outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Cut back (prune) dense foliage
  • Mow tall grasses
  • Fix broken screens
  • Move outdoor lighting away from windows and doorways
  • Burn citronella candles or torches on or around the patio or other outdoor areas where activities are being performed.

When you don’t have the time or the inclination to implement the needed procedures to safeguard your landscape plants and gardens from mosquitoes, considegetting help from a professional pest control company and have them, do the work for you.

When you are outdoors: mosquito repellant spray

  • Limit outdoor activities when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear protective clothing (long-sleeved shirt and pants).
  • Use a proven effective mosquito repellent (products containing Deet or oil of lemon and eucalyptus)

For more information on these Southern California Invaders check out the link below.

Meet the new daytime mosquito spreading misery in California

Termites are Cockroaches with a Fabulous Social Life.

termite-king-queen-and-workerAs of February 15, 2018, it was official, termites are socially advanced wood eating roaches, but not all cockroaches are termites.

Once biologists were able to use DNA to identify genealogical relationships, evidence quickly began to show that termites had evolved as a branch on the cockroach’s family tree.

It is true that various roaches have some form of minimal social life, but termites take socialization to an extreme. They’re eusocial, showing an advanced level of societal organization in which a single female (or caste) produces offspring and non-reproductive individuals care for the multitudes of young. An extreme example; The African mound-building termite (Macrotermes) colonies can grow to 3 million individuals with only one queen and one king.

To show how closely related roaches are to termites, the Cryptocercus (brown hooded) roaches live in termite-like colonies in the wood_cockroach_Kern_2016-06-01Appalachian Mountains. Monogamous pairs of these roaches eat tunnels in wood and raise young within the tunnels. The young feed on anal secretions from their parents, which provide both nutrition and starter doses of the wood-digesting gut microbes that will eventually enable the youngsters to eat their way into homes of their own.

Researchers have concluded that, technically, all termites are ‘wood feeding eusocial roaches,’ but not all cockroaches are termites.  This new truth has caused an upheaval within the scientific community and now the Entomological Society of America has been forced to update its master list of insect names to reflect the astounding evidence that termites, once of the order Isoptera, now belong in the cockroach order, called Blattodea.

For those not of the scientific community, termites will continue to be called termites and cockroaches will still be called by names that I can’t repeat here!

Bon Voyage! See you soon!

Think about this; 

If you call a pest control company to check out your house for termites, will your inspector write up a “Termite Report” or a “Cockroach Report.  Confusing?