Bug of the Week ~ The Ladybug

Ladybugs aren’t really bugs at all, they’re beetles!
 Europeans have called these dome-backed beetles by the name ladybirds, or ladybird beetles, for over 500 years. In America, the name ladybird was replaced by ladybug.

A ladybug’s bright colors warn predators to stay away.
 Like many other insects, ladybugs use aposematic coloration to  signal their toxicity to would-be predators. Insect-eating birds and other animals learn to avoid meals that come in red and black, and are more likely to steer clear of a ladybug lunch.

Over its lifetime, a ladybug may consume as many as 5,000 aphids.  Almost all ladybugs feed on soft-bodied insects, and serve as beneficial predators of plant pests. Gardeners welcome ladybugs with open arms, knowing they will munch on the most prolific plant pests.  As larvae, ladybugs eat pests by the hundreds. A hungry ladybug adult can devour 50 aphids per day!

Insect of the Week ~ The Black Widow Spider

Black widow spiders get their names from the belief that the female devours her partner after sex. But this gruesome ritual doesn’t always happen after mating. The males of the species are thought to be harmless, it’s the mature female whose bite can cause severe illness.

The black widow avoids light and is usually found in dry, undisturbed places outdoors. Their favorite places are in man-made outdoor structures such as block walls, sprinkler valve boxes, sheds, and under porches, patio furniture, decks or eaves. Indoors, they can be found in undisturbed corners of garages or basements.

Like other spiders, the black widow is not aggressive unless disturbed or when guarding her egg sac. But that’s the catch. Because she is so reclusive, hidden away in dark corners and under objects, it’s easy to accidentally “disturb” her.

A black widow spider web is messy and unorganized, like a cobweb. The strands will not come together to form a definitive pattern. Due to the overlapping strands a black widow spider web is very strong and hard to pull apart. Any webs of this variety around your home most likely belong to black widows.

 

The Green Approach

Western Exterminator is greatly concerned about the possible health risks posed by various pests or rodents occupying your home or office. And we are acutely aware of the considerable costs you might incur to repair the kind of damage to your home and property that pests, rodents and nuisance birds can cause. That’s why we have the most knowledgeable staff and highly-trained and certified service technicians in the industry.Continue reading