ABC Blog

The Colorful Orb Weaver Spider

an orb weaver spider on a web

Orb weavers are a group of spiders that includes many different species. However, each of these spiders shares certain characteristics.

For one, they spin intricate webs using both sticky and non-sticky silk. In fact, orb weaver spiders even got their name from the shape of their webs because they weave organized webs that are circular like orbs. They use the non-sticky silk to build the frame of their web. They also use it for the threads that anchor the web to trees and plant stems, as well as the radial support threads of the structure.

The spiders then use sticky silk to spin a circular pattern between these support threads. They also use these sticky threads to catch prey. Additionally, many kinds of orb weavers build a thick, zig-zag line from the center of the web downward known as a “stabilimentum.” It is believed that this part of the web helps attract … Read Full Post »

How To Prevent Ants

a clean kitchen

Finding ants in your home can be shocking and gross. People find them most often in the kitchen, since that’s where most types of ants seek the food and water they need to survive indoors. But you might find them in other rooms, too. Ants are opportunistic. That means wherever they can get inside, they will. Learning how to prevent ants from infesting your home is an important part of controlling these pests. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to keep ants away from your home and property.

Ants are attracted to places where they can safely build a nest and reproduce. They also need to be able to find enough water and food to support their colony. Since they are so tiny—some types are less than an eighth of an inch long—they can get into our homes through very tiny cracks. That’s why preventing ants is a combination … Read Full Post »

The Link Between Heartworms and Mosquitoes

an asian tiger mosquito, which is one variety of heartworm mosquito, biting someone

Part of loving and caring for our pets is protecting them from common illnesses. It’s especially important to protect them from illnesses that can be serious or even fatal, like heartworm. Mosquito bites from infected mosquitoes are the only way that dogs contract heartworm disease. When a mosquito feeds on the blood of a heartworm-infected animal, it takes in tiny baby heartworms called microfilariae. Then, it passes these microscopic worms to other animals that it bites.

Heartworm is most common in areas with lots of mosquito activity, but it has been reported in all 50 states. Not all mosquitoes carry heartworms, but several common types of mosquitoes are carriers.

Aedes Mosquitoes

Aedes mosquitoes are one known carrier of heartworm. These have narrow, dark-colored bodies with little white spots on their sides and legs. They are commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, since they can transmit yellow fever as well as dengue and … Read Full Post »

Can Mice See in the Dark?

a house mouse nibbling on a piece of food

In the cartoons, mice have all kinds of superpowers. They can fly, speak and even save the world. But how about real-life mice? We know that mice are generally more active at night. Does this mean that real mice have superpowers too and can see in the dark?

The truth is that mice do not have strong eyesight. Mice are not completely blind, but they have trouble seeing objects clearly. This means that mice cannot see well in the dark or in the light. However, they do have other ways to find their way around a room.

For one, instead of using their eyes, mice rely on their whiskers to figure out their surroundings. A mouse has two dozen whiskers on their face, and each whisker has powerful sensors on it. When the whiskers touch things, they send signals back to the mouse’s brain. The mouse uses these signals to create a … Read Full Post »

Cockroach Versus Beetle: What Pest Do I Have?

a cockroach

When you spot a bug running across the floor, you may wonder what exactly you just saw. Yes, it’s the old cockroach vs. beetle debate: Was that some type of beetle? Most of us don’t want beetles in our houses, but at least they don’t have quite the ick factor that cockroaches have. Or was it—shudder—an actual cockroach? Fortunately, there are several distinct characteristics that can tell you which insect you just saw, even if you only spotted the pest for a second before it zoomed out of sight. (Hint: If it looked like the image above and it moved that fast, it was most likely a cockroach.)

Identifying the Differences Between American Cockroaches, Oriental Cockroaches and Beetles

There are several main types of cockroaches that people commonly find in their homes. Two of them look very similar to each other, namely American and Oriental cockroaches. Both of these types of roaches … Read Full Post »

What Do Bats Eat?

a bat hanging on a tree.

Bats have gotten a bad reputation from movies and urban legends for attacking humans and drinking their blood. In reality, people are not the food of choice for bats. However, not all bats are alike—there are hundreds of species of bats, and they feed on a wide variety of things.

For example, some types of bats eat plants and plant parts like pollen, seeds, nectar and fruit. These bats typically like bananas, figs and mangoes the most. As the bats move from plant to plant, they often help distribute seeds and pollinate plants along their path. These plant-eating bats may also target other sweet things, such as the sugary water used in hummingbird feeders.

There are also some bat species that eat meat and drink blood. While bats don’t typically attack humans, some kinds of bats will eat other kinds of animals, such as lizards, fish, birds, frogs and other bats. Additionally, … Read Full Post »

How To Identify Different Types of Wasps in Florida

a cicada killer wasp on a leaf

If you have noticed some six-legged creatures flying around your property, you are probably wondering what kind of insects you are dealing with. Since some insects look alike, it can be difficult for homeowners to figure out what kind of bug is well, bugging them. Wasps are one of the most common flying insects that homeowners encounter, but not all wasps will hurt you. Although some of these creatures are dangerous to humans, some other types might even be beneficial and help get rid of other pests.

Some of the kinds of wasps that you might find on your property include cicada killer wasps, mud dauber wasps, paper wasps and yellowjackets.

Cicada Killer Wasps

As you can see in the image above, the cicada killer wasp is about an inch and a half long, and it’s mostly black with orange wings and some yellow markings on its abdomen. They can look scary because … Read Full Post »

How To Get Rid of Fleas on Your Mattress

dogs laying on a bed which led to fleas on the mattress

Waking up in the morning with itchy bites on your skin is no fun. Not only are you uncomfortable from all the itching, but you’re also now aware that you have a pest problem to deal with. Fortunately, it’s not hard to learn how to get rid of fleas on your mattress so you can sleep comfortably once again.

First, of course, it’s a good idea to determine whether you’re dealing with fleas or some other type of pest. After all, there are other types of pests that can cause itchy bites, like mosquitoes or bed bugs. Both flea bites and mosquito bites might happen at any time of day or night, and both leave itchy red welts that soon fade and get less itchy for most people. Bed bugs, on the other hand, typically venture out only in darkness to bite people while they sleep. Also, most people find bed … Read Full Post »

Flea Infestation in My Yard: What Can I Do?

a german shepherd mix in a flea infested yard

There’s not much that’s worse than spending time outdoors in your yard, only to be bothered by the tiny tickle of fleas jumping onto your feet and ankles. Then, there are those itchy bites they leave behind. If you suspect you have a flea infestation in your yard, it’s time to take action, because it will only get worse if left untreated. Fleas can lay up to 50 eggs a day, and they can live a long time if conditions are right. A flea infestation in the yard can be tough to get rid of without the help of a pest professional.

When fleas infest a yard, they are probably first introduced by wild animals like squirrels, possums or raccoons that spend time in your yard. This can also happen if a wild animal with fleas dies in your yard. When fleas lose the animal host they were living and feeding … Read Full Post »

Types of Flying Cockroaches in Florida

an American cockroach which is one variety of flying cockroach in Florida

They are huge, they can spread disease, they run fast and they can even fly—what are we talking about? If you answered “palmetto bugs,” you’re not wrong. That’s the far nicer-sounding name for the crawling insects also known as American cockroaches or smokybrown cockroaches. Whatever you choose to call these common bugs, you know after some time in this state that it’s not uncommon to see a flying cockroach in Florida. If you’re like most people, the sight of one hurtling through the air or zooming across your floor will make you shriek or at least raise your heart rate a notch or two.

There are plenty of flying bugs that are common in Florida, including mosquitoes and wasps. But somehow, flying cockroaches are extra horrifying, even if they don’t bite or sting. They’re just so big and they run so fast when they’re on the ground. Cockroaches of many varieties … Read Full Post »