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 »

Nuisance Midges Identification & Control Guide

a nuisance midge on a leaf

Living near water is a dream for lots of people, but it can come with its own issues. Things you might even call a nuisance—or nuisance midges, to be exact. If you live near a lake or a pond, you’re likely familiar with these annoying, mosquito-like little insects. But what exactly are nuisance midges? Are they dangerous to humans? And what’s the best way to get rid of them?

Identifying Midges

Though these small flying insects look a lot like mosquitoes, they are actually a type of fly. This is why they’re also known as “blind mosquitoes” or non-biting midges. One way to tell midges apart from mosquitoes is their antennae. Male midges have bushy, feathery-looking antennae. Of course, their antennae are hard to see, since midges are so tiny.

Whatever you call them, nuisance midges don’t bite, suck blood or carry diseases. Thus, they aren’t dangerous to people or our pets in … Read Full Post »

DIY Cockroach Prevention

a dead cockroach on a kitchen floor

If you’ve had a roach problem, you may be looking for DIY cockroach prevention techniques that really work. Fortunately, there are several effective steps people can take to keep cockroaches away from their homes. These include things you can do inside your house along with things you should do in your yard. Together, these steps should help in the ongoing battle against roaches.

Just be aware that making your home less accessible and attractive to cockroaches is easier than eliminating roaches on your own. An established cockroach infestation is best dealt with by a pest control professional. Once your home is free of cockroaches, you can keep them away by following a few common-sense steps.

How to Make Your Home Less Accessible to Roaches

The first step in DIY cockroach prevention involves making your home less accessible to roaches. This means figuring out how they might get inside and then blocking them out.

To … Read Full Post »

How To Identify a Centipede Versus a Millipede

a centipede

Wondering how to identify centipedes versus millipedes? It can be tough, since both centipedes and millipedes have long, segmented bodies and lots of legs. Also, both are truly shocking to find in your yard. It’s even scarier to come across one inside your house. Fortunately, there are several differences that make it easy to tell these creepy-crawlies apart.

It’s interesting to note that lots of people call both centipedes and millipedes insects, but this isn’t correct. They are actually arthropods. Insects have only six legs, while centipedes and millipedes have a lot more than that. As far as numbers of legs, their names are misleading: Centipede means “100 legs,” while millipede means “1,000 legs.” But the truth is that centipedes and millipedes have different numbers of legs depending on their species.

When you see one of these creatures crawling along, it can definitely look like it has a huge number of legs. … 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 »

Am I Dealing With Fruit Flies or Fungus Gnats?

a fruit fly

When you spot tiny insects buzzing around your home, you probably assume they’re fruit flies and you’re probably right. What about when you see what looks like the same insects outside, or in another room in the house? Fungus gnats look a lot like fruit flies and behave in similar ways. Even though these insects are both annoying, there are distinct differences between them. Knowing which one you’re dealing with will help you determine how to deal with them.

Fruit flies and fungus gnats can appear to look the same, but this is only because they’re so tiny. Each insect is only about an eighth of an inch long, making it hard to see their individual characteristics with the naked eye. However, if you could see each one up close, you would see they look pretty different from each other.

Identifying Fruit Flies

Fruit flies are like tiny versions of house flies. They … Read Full Post »

Cigarette Beetle Identification & Control Guide

a cigarette beetle on a piece of wood

It can feel shocking to discover tiny beetles infesting your pantry or your pet’s dried food. Even if you’re familiar with these small pests, when you find one, you might wonder: Is it a cigarette beetle, a drugstore beetle or something else? Cigarette beetles are extremely common pests in people’s homes across the United States. They are especially common in warmer areas. Knowing how to identify them is an important first step in learning how to control them.

Both cigarette beetles and drugstore beetles got their names from the dry goods stores of yesteryear. These pests infest all sorts of dried items. You may find these bugs in flour, beans, rice cereal, herbs and spices. They are also known to infest dry dog and cat food, and many other things people regularly bring home from the store.

Since all of these are such common items in so many homes, it’s easy to … 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 »

Silverfish Identification & Control Guide

a silverfish

Silverfish are very small, wingless insects. Silverfish eggs are so tiny, they’re hard to see without a magnifying glass. Baby silverfish, or nymphs, are also very, very small. Adult silverfish grow to about a half-inch long and just an eighth of an inch wide. They get their name from their interesting appearance: They are a silvery-gray color, and they are covered in what look like fish scales. Their long, narrow bodies also move on their tiny legs in a side-to-side way that looks like fish swimming in water.

Silverfish have long antennae on their heads as well as long, tail-like spikes coming out of their hind ends. They actually look a little bit like shrimp, although they don’t live in water. They live either outdoors or in our houses, where they can cause hidden damage to our things.

Silverfish are attracted to moisture and humidity. Outside, these insects might be found in … Read Full Post »

DIY Mice Repellent: What Works and What Doesn’t

a cat looking at a mouse

The most effective way to keep mice out of your house and yard is to contact a pest control professional. These experts have the experience and tools to help keep you and your family safe from pests like mice. They can also provide ongoing rodent control services, so you do not have to worry. However, homeowners sometimes prefer to try to take care of pest problems on their own before reaching out to a professional.

A quick search of the internet will show that there are many different ideas out there on how to repel mice. Before you try any of these DIY methods, it is important to know which ones are most likely to work. This could save you from wasting time and money on something that will never work. It is also important to understand the dangers of certain DIY mice control methods. Otherwise, you might accidentally endanger your … Read Full Post »