About Aquaman

The Brown House Spider

The brown house spider is one of the most common types of spiders and it is typically characterized by long thin legs and light brown to reddish hue. Its scientific name is Steatoda Grossa and it typically describes various species of house spiders. The typical brown house spider is known by several names including the following brown house spider, the false black widow, the dark comb footed spider, and the cupboard spider.

Are brown spiders a threat?

When people hear of the brown house spider they typically remember its other name which is the false black widow. The brown spider and black widow have a lot of similarities which is why they are confused for each other. For example, they both suspend themselves upside down and both are nocturnal. However, the black widow is a venomous spider that while it looks like the house spider, it has a distinct red color right in the middle of its back which identifies it. The brown house spider is very much a nuisance and less of a threat.

Having said that they have been known to bite when they are trapped against your skin. Their bite is similar to a black widow’s bite but the effect is much more mild and manageable with first aid. It is very rare for these spiders to bite and even more rare for them to cause an anaphylactic shock reaction. These spiders are more of a threat to its prey which includes small insects, spiders and bugs. The females can live for six years while the male has a shorter life span of up to a year.

How do you get a brown spider infestation?

Brown house spiders are known to enter the house through cracks in the windows, foundation, doors, and holes in the floor. They love to live indoors where they are safe from predators and will hide under appliances and in the cupboard. In the house they will find food and shelter giving them a safe place to mate and reproduce.

You can tell that you have a brown spider infestation by sighting dead prey, many webs and their cocooned egg sacs. When the female lays eggs it can produce an egg sac that contains 10 to 250 eggs. Before their eggs become adults they go through two molts which happen within the egg sac.

Origins of brown house spiders

These spiders are originally from Europe but they have been moved around so much by man that they are now available worldwide. They are widely distributed around the western and southern states. You can keep them out of your home by sealing the gaps and cracks that provide an in into the house. In case of an infestation, calling a pest technician is your best option.

Do Bedbugs Fly?

The dreaded bed bug puts the fear of the itches in grown men and women across the globe. It doesn’t matter where you are the thought of a bite from a bedbug can cause you sleepless night and the actual bite can drive you to the nearest exterminator at the crack of dawn. And the paranoia surrounding these little terrors has caused humans to give them super natural powers like the ability to fly.

Do bed bugs fly? No, they don’t.

The anatomy of a bed bug

The bed bug is a wingless insect meaning it is completely incapable of flight which is why it is adept at hiding from human beings. Also they are not able to jump from one place to another like most wingless insects are able to. So that leaves crawling which is the primary mode of travel and movement for bed bugs. The anatomy of a bed bug features the head, protonum, wing pad, abdomen, leg and antennae.

Crawling seems a very basic way of getting around for these insects and their infestation makes it seem like they have more efficient means of traveling. Well they do. Human beings. Bed bugs are carried from one place to another by human beings because they will hide in your clothing, luggage, car, gym bag or even purse and before you know it you have welcomed home a bed bug.

Bed bug bites

One thing that is for sure is that bed bugs bite and their bites can be very irritating and in some people the bite can cause a severe allergic reaction. Since they feed solely on human blood they will sooner or later come out to feed. Their bites feature a raised welt with a distinct center and overall swelling in the surrounding area.

A bed bug tends to make several bites across the same area leaving you with a few distinct bites which have make a series of welts. Applying some hydrocortisone cream will help with the itchiness and inflammation that accompanies a bed bug bite. But this is a palliative measure that needs to be followed up with a full on extermination of the bugs. The truth is that it is extremely difficult to sleep in a bed infested by bed bugs as you are literally their food on a daily food.

How to get rid of bed bugs

You can use some store bought pesticides to get rid of bed bugs but in the long run the most effective way to eliminate bed bugs from your space is by having a professional come into your space to get rid of them. Professionals where to look and uncover the breeding ground of bed bugs and hey have more sophisticated equipment that helps them do a better job of eliminating these bugs.

Crickets Chirping

The chirping of crickets has been long dissected in various cultures as either a good sign or a bad sign. In some cultures it signifies wealth and success to have a cricket chirping in your house but in other cultures it is an ominous sign that means some form of bad luck will befall the household. Unfortunately, some of these are just beliefs that don’t mean much when you have a cricket calling out to its mate in the wee hours of the morning and disrupting your sleep.

Why they chirp

The main chirper is the male cricket which calls out to females in what is supposed to be a melodious tune. The male cricket can have a repertoire of songs that it unleashes to mesmerize the female and the chirping is produced by the male rubbing its legs together. Granted the song can be soothing and even calming on a warm evening or night and it can really bring the feeling of nature to forebear if you are in the outdoors.

There are several things that affect the chirping of a cricket including the temperature outside, time of day and mating season. The higher the temperatures the more the cricket will chirp and the house cricket will produce more sound at night. The field cricket will chirp day and night but their chirp is far lower in chirp compared to the house cricket.

The house cricket

These crickets are dark in color and have three distinct lighter bands running across the head.  They typically have very long antennae and larger back legs to facilitate jumping around from one place to another. house crickets love the warmth and moist environments indoors and they will thrive in the kitchen and bathroom mostly because these areas have moist areas.

Cave crickets

These crickets can have a length of up to 5 cm and they have a distinct brown color. They also have a strong, long pair of hind legs which are instrumental in helping them move far and fast. The shape of their body which gives the hind quarters a lift has earned them the name camel or spider crickets. They are very specific about their environment and will only find their way into human shelter during the drought or heavy rain to find a warm moist place to reproduce.

Mole crickets

Mole crickets are mainly outdoor crickets and they can be a nuisance as they cause damage to grass and turf. They are also nocturnal like the house crickets only they live underground where they continue to hibernate in winter. They measure up to 4cm in length with a thicker body and forelimbs that look overgrown with a spade like shape and claws. These forelimbs are important for burrowing. There are two species of mole crickets: four clawed and two clawed species.

Cockroach Poop

This is not a particularly exciting task but finding roach poop can be beneficial to how you deal with cockroaches in the long term. What if we told you finding cockroach poop is the key to getting rid of cockroaches. Where there is roach poop is where they congregate and close by is their food and water source. This is where you begin to treat your house and exterminate the cockroach populations in your home.

Where to find cockroach poop

As mentioned above cockroach poop is always close by their source of food and water. But cockroaches also leave their poop wherever they travel and eat. If you find a large amount of poop in one area they probably live there as well. Typically roach poop is found in the cupboards, room corners, in the storage rooms, inside the cabinets and under appliances. They also live in the pantry and garbage can or the compost area not to mention hiding in the baseboards and you will find their poop dotting those areas as well.

Unfortunately, roaches will defecate near your food sources because these are also their food source thereby contaminating your food.

How to identify cockroach poop

Fecal matter varies depending on the roach species you are dealing with. The smaller the cockroach, like the brown banded cockroach or the German cockroach, the smaller the size of their droppings. In fact, their droppings look like small coffee granules or black pepper granules. The larger species leave dropping that are cylindrical in shape and slightly larger in size. This is the poop you expect to see from the American cockroach and other larger species. Their poop is black in color, the size of a grain of rice and has a blunt end with ridges running through the face of the droppings.

Getting rid of cockroach poop

The best way to get rid of cockroach poop is by vacuuming the droppings off the surface where they lay. Just ensure the vacuum has a HEPA filter to reduce air contamination from the poop. Next clean the area with hot soapy water which will help loosen the smear of the droppings. Always wear gloves during the washing process to clean out the poop and keep your hands uncontaminated.  Keep in mind that some of the dropping are along the walls and inside the walls so make sure that you eventually get a professional exterminator to get rid of the remaining fecal matter in the base boards and other hidden areas. If you don’t you may be leaving behind pheromone attractants that just call out to more cockroaches even when the original ones are gone.

Cockroach Killer

Cockroaches take the crown for disgusting and filthy creatures on the face of the earth. They may not be the only ones but they are right up there with flies, rats, and slugs. There is nothing one wouldn’t od to prevent a roach infestation which is why the following cockroach killers will come in handy and change the balance in your house in a couple of days.

Chemical solutions

Insecticide and pesticides are effective in killing the adult cockroach as well as eliminating the nymph and the eggs. They can be used directly in the cockroach nest with quick and effective results. You can also opt for the gel killer which is ready to use and will be in place longer deterring the reoccurrence of roaches in your space.  The gel is applied using a syringe and it is applied undiluted along the skirting board of the room. The gel solution works actively for seven days.

Cockroach traps

Roach traps are typically round boxes that feature several entrances with a poison inside to kill the cockroach. It features a smell that attracts the cockroach and the roach can leave the trap carrying with it some of the poison to its lair. This effectively kills the roach and others in the lair.

Roach traps can be effective for 2 weeks to up to 3 months and each commercially bought trap typically comes with several traps in the package. Companies like Raid, Raptor and Combat have some of the best roach traps in the market.

Fogger

This is dry fog that works effectively by penetrating any environment where the roaches hide and killing them in their nests. This is the product to use where other products cannot reach and it can work in any environment from the office to the home and warehouse as well.  It is the closest product to what a professional exterminator can use.

How do cockroaches survive extermination?

Cockroaches can survive extermination because they are fast on their feet and prolific hiders. A cockroach moves at 4.8 kilometers per hour which is quite fast for an insect. They can also eat just once in a month and stay in hiding for the rest of the time.  Females are also able to keep producing offspring after mating with a male just once in their lifetime.

Cockroaches survive extermination because they can go without breathing for 40 minutes and it can feel you approach because of the hairs on its legs. This give it ample time to change direction up to 25 times in one second.  Interestingly, a cockroach can continue living for a week without its head attached .

Conclusion

Getting rid of cockroaches is not as easy as one may think. The secret is to prevent an infestation in the first place. If the above remedies don’t work it’s time to call the big guns in; the professional exterminators.

Cockroach Bite

Do cockroaches bite human beings? Yes. How often that occurs is in fact very rarely but indeed cockroaches can bite you. Before you let you imagination run wild a cockroach will not attack you in order to get a pound of flesh from you. But these insects have been known to bite fingernails, eyelashes, as well as dead skin that has formed on your hands or your feet.

Not all cockroach species bite humans. In fact, out of the 55 species of cockroaches in the world the ones that are well known for biting are two: Periplaneta Americana and Periplaneta Australasiea. Both are species of the American cockroach and German cockroaches have also been known to bite.

When do cockroaches bite?

Cockroaches bite when you have a major infestation that there is not enough food for the roaches to all feed. In sea faring vessels this is a common occurrence as the vessel is at sea for long periods of time and food supply can run out or is well protected to make sure it lasts the entire trip. Sailors have reported numerous instances where they have been bitten by cockroaches as they look for food forcing them to wear gloves so they don’t get bitten.

Typically, cockroaches are omnivorous so they can eat plants and meat. So if the normal food supply grows limited they have to make due with the next best thing to survive. In dire circumstances  they will bit the face, mouth and hands as long as they are exposed. They are attracted t these sections of the body because of the food residue that can be found in these areas.

A cockroach bite

The cockroach bite is characterized by lesions, swelling and irritation at the bite site. Because cockroaches are extremely filthy insects you may experience an infection on the bite. Fortunately, cockroaches will not transmit diseases through their bite but it is important to clean the area with water and soap thoroughly. Cleaning up the area gets rid of the germs and excrement of the cockroach and eliminates the risk of infection.

For some home remedies you can use in case of a cockroach bite include applying a tea bag to the site to reduce the swelling and mitigate the itching. Also, consider using lemon juice to clean the place and prevent inflammation or some natural aloe vera to aid in the healing process.

Conclusion

The good news is that cockroaches are not reliant on human beings for survival so they don’t have to feed on you to live. But to prevent a bite in the first place you need to formulate a way to get rid of roaches in your house. Cockroaches are prolific survivors and the best way to get rid of them is to enlist the help of a professional pest control expert.

Centipede Vs. Millipede

The battle between the multi segmented and multi legs is always fought by the centipedes and millipedes. There is always debate surrounding the two creatures and their abilities and of course, who is the king of the multi legs battle. When looking at this battle you must realize you are pitting two different types of anthropods against each other. The centipede is a chilopoda while the millipede is a diplopoda.

Centipede

The centipede is a predatory anthropod which has one pair of legs for each of its body’s segments. Centipedes are harmless to human beings to a degree because they don’t carry any diseases and neither do they form nests or webs that are a nuisance to clean up every so often. On the other hand centipedes are poisonous and their venom can cause an allergic reaction which in some people can lead to an anaphylactic shock.

Having said that the centipede is not going to attack you in your sleep or anything nefarious like that. They will only bite when trapped against your skin and as a way out of the situation. Most people believe that because a centipede has the prefix centi- before the pede it must have 100 legs but that it’s not true.  A typical centipede can have anything between 30 and 354 legs. But here is an even more interesting fact: centipedes don’t have an even number of legs.

Centipedes can grow up to 12 inches and they all have antennae. They have large jaws with claws at the front of their head and they are also carnivorous.

Millipedes

Millipedes have two pairs of legs for everybody segment and two segments are typically fused together for the two pairs of legs. Remember the centipede has one pair for each segment. Because millipedes are not carnivorous and they won’t even bite you when they are crushed against your skin. However, don’t pick them up because they emit a stinky substance when attacked which can cause an allergic reaction.

The centipede is going to sting in defense but the millipede will only curl up into a tight ball. The prefix milli- in front of the pedes gives people the impression that millipede has thousands of legs but that’s not the case. Even the most leggy (pun intended) millipede that was ever examined has only had 750 legs. The millipede can grow up to 15 inches in length and this is typically the African giant centipede.  Some of the species of millipede will omit a scent like almonds which is meant to attract its attacker. Millipedes love a cool moist place which is why you will find some in the house.

 

Conclusion

The centipede and millipede may look similar from afar but upon closer inspection they are very different. Keep these differences in mind the next time you encounter either one.

Carpet Beetles

Carpet beetle bites

Carpet beetles are attracted by animal based products in your home and they may even find their way into your bed which can be a terrible irritant. But here is the thing: you don’t need to worry about the adult carpet beetle as these have no appetite for you natural fabric or nor will they bite you. The larvae on the other hand are a menace.

The larvae feed on fabrics and they have small bristles on the skin that prick you and can cause an allergic reaction when they come in contact with your skin. Most people mistake this reaction for a bite (especially a bed bug bite) but it’s actually just a reaction to the bristles. Apart from giving you a severe itch and allergic reaction in some people these larvae can cause damage to your fabrics like natural cottons, leather, silks, furs, wools and hair or lint in the house.

How to treat a carpet beetle rash

These little creatures can come in contact with your skin and causing a rash that looks like welts and like we said they may even be mistaken for bed bug bites. The rash has a burning sensation and may be accompanied with a severe itch. More pronounced allergic reactions to the carpet beetle can result in red and teary eyes which can also be itchy. Carpet beetles can also cause a runny nose, hives and in some people gastrointestinal issues.

If you come in contact with a carpet beetle you should clean the area with warm water and then apply a hydrocortisone cream to stop the itching and swelling. If the reaction is severe seek a doctor’s help.

How to get rid of carpet beetles

Carpet beetles are attracted to warmth and light and these are present in the home. Once they are inside they will find a hiding place in the carpet. They are attracted to the sweat odor on clothes so make sure to keep the clothes clean and well aired in the closet. Also consider having airtight containers where you place clothes that are not frequently used. For example, store your winter clothes in airtight containers over summer and vice versa for summer clothes.

For items that you clean with water makes that you use insecticide to kill off any carpet beetle larvae and air before you return it into the house. Make sure the larvae are dead.

Finally, vacuum the floors and carpets and rugs should be taken to professionals for a deep clean. Check heating vents for any carpet beetles and larvae and vacuum those areas as well.

Bug Bite Identification

Being bitten by bugs is one of the most uncomfortable situations one can find themselves. Some bugs release their saliva or enzymes that cause you to get a nasty case of unbearable itching. However, it can be tricky to identify the type of bug that has bitten you. Unfortunately, most bug bites tend to look similar and this can be confusing to most of us. So here is break down of the most common bug bites you will encounter in all parts of the world.

Bed bug bite

Bed bugs bites are found all over the body and they typically occur where one’s skin was exposed during the night. Since bed bugs are nocturnal in nature they will bite you at night so you will most probably notice their bites in the morning. They don’t form a welt immediately like other insect bites because bed bugs are known to excrete a small amount of anesthesia on the bite site which causes you not to feel the bite when the bug bites. Their bite makes you itch and the site will become red and swollen. The bite will have a raised center and a swollen surrounding area.

Mosquito bite

Mosquitoes have a sharp proboscis so their bite is more needlelike and you feel it immediately as the mosquito breaks skin. The bite looks round, raised and puffy with a sever itch that can cause you to break skin in the process. When the mosquito bites you it releases its saliva into the bite site to prevent the blood from clotting allowing it to have unrestricted flow of the blood. Also the saliva contains an allergen that most people react to and which triggers the immune system to create the bump and redness as well as triggering the itch.

Red bug bites

Red bugs are also known as chiggers and they are tiny larvae in the arachnid family. These larvae may be small but they have an extremely painful bite. They can jump onto your skin unnoticed which is why they can bite you without you ever knowing what bite you. Chiggers love to live in the grass and weeds and are also found mostly in berry patches and also in the woods.

The little terrors are very active in the spring and summer afternoons because they love the warmth of these seasons. Chiggers will choose the moist areas of the skin and attach themselves to you using their claws. They then take a bite of you and release their saliva during the process. There is an enzyme in the saliva that breaks down your skin into liquid. When your skin reacts by hardening the cells around the bite site the area forms a natural funnel which the chigger uses to suck on you bodily fluids. They can stay on the site for days feeding.

Flea bite

Fleas will typically bite you around the elbows, ankle, waist, knees and the arm pits. Strange as it sounds this is a great indicator of what type of bug has bitten you. You will notice clusters of bumps and sometimes they can cause you to break out in hives. If you have a rash it will tun white when pressed.

The Brown Rat

There are several monikers that the brown rat goes by including

  • Street rat
  • Hanover rat
  • Common rat
  • Sewer rat
  • Norway rat
  • Norwegian rat
  • Wharf rat
  • Parisian rat

However its scientific name is Rattus Norvegicus. Although it can be found in various parts of the world the brown rat is native to Asia. In the 1700 it was introduced to Europe and later found its way to the United States on the ships that made their way into the Americas. It has managed to succeed at surviving in different environments because it has the ability to adapt to any new surroundings. The brown rat will live in any environment that provides water, food, shelter. They will live inside human structures or they can burrow into a wet river banks or under a shed.

Appearance

The brown rat looks like a mouse only with a bigger body and a scaly tail. The muzzle is blunt and the ears are small and pointed. It typically weighs over half a kilo with the weight going up depending on the availability of food. By this we mean does it have available food sources and shelter that keeps it away from the predators. Although it is called the brown rat it can be brown or black in color. Of course, there is the true black rat that is much larger than the brown rat with a much shorter tail.

The brown rat like all other rats has a very well developed sense of smell and taste. It is also has a keen sense of touch. Did you know that rats utilize ultrasound frequency to communicate giving them a fantastic sense of hearing.  They are particularly sensitive to any type of noise that will get the scurrying out of the way and to safety.

Brown rat infestation

It is important to curb the infestation of brown rats because they are not only a nuisance but they are also disease carriers. They have been known to carry diseases like Listeria, Hantavirus, Bubonic plague, Salmonella and Toxoplasma.

Since they are gnawers the structural damage done by brown rats can cause fires, flooding by puncturing plumbing pipes and gas pipes leaking resulting even in death. In fact, according to the insurance sectors rats are responsible for 25% of the electrical fires in buildings.

How to prevent Brown rats?

Most people wonder how to prevent a brown rat infestation. Well there are a few things you can do.

  • Begin by eliminating any places where the rat can hide. This means seal off the gaps and keep the area under the shed clean and clean. Rats can squeeze through any place that has a gap of 15mm.
  • Cut down the areas around the yard and fence to keep the rats away from the house and prevent them from gaining entry.
  • Cover any waste from the house and close the dustbin outside the house. Also find a way to cover the compost pit.
  • Use poisons and traps to kill off the rats if you decide to do this yourself. Alternatively, call a pest control technician.