While mosquitoes, wasps and other pests may be an unwanted addition to your home and yard, they are an important part of our ecosystem and are more interesting and sophisticated than you might think. Learning a little more about these pests can help you appreciate them even if you still want them out of your yard.
Fun Facts about Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are one of the most pervasive insects in the world. The can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. In total, are around 3500 different species and they have been around, in some form, starting around 226 million years ago.
Mosquitoes are Attracted to CO2
You have probably heard someone say that mosquitoes love them or maybe you are that person. While everyone seems to have their own personal theory about what makes them attractive to mosquitoes, the answer is CO2. Mosquitoes have an organ, called the maxillary palp, that is dedicated to detecting CO2. This is how they located their next source of food. Unfortunately, for humans, we exhale CO2 with every breath.
Only the Females “Bite”
That’s right, only the female mosquitoes are responsible for sucking blood and leaving an itching red welt. While we often refer to these as “bites,” this term is a bit of a misnomer. Mosquitoes actually extract blood and use the iron and protein to help them lay eggs. The itchy rash is caused by the insect’s saliva.
Mosquitoes are Deadly
We tend to think of sharks, lions and even alligators as the world’s deadliest predators, but the mosquito is responsible for more deaths than any other living creature on earth. Mosquitoes can be dangerous because they carry a myriad of deadly diseases that can be passed on to both humans and animals. Estimates put the number of mosquito related deaths at 700,000 to 1 million per year.
Fun Facts about Wasps
Wasps also have long history that dates back to the Jurassic period and a wide range that includes every part of the world except Antarctica. There are many different species of wasps that can range in size from just over a millimeter to 2 inches in length.
Wasps Can Be Aggressive
Not only are wasps known to sting repeatedly, their sting also releases a pheromone that signals other wasps in the area to become aggressive. If you have angered one wasp, you better be ready for some of their friends to come after you.
Queen Wasps Rule the Colony
All male wasps are referred to as drones and they have one job: mate the with queen. Once they have completed this task, they die off. By the end of the summer, they last surviving males mate with the queen and then hibernate through the winter months. Most are killed by the cold weather, but young fertilized queens will survive. During the spring, it is their job to hatch larvae and create new colonies.
Wasps Live in Paper Houses
The queen wasp collects mouthfuls of wood fibers and then uses her saliva to break down the material into a paper pulp-like product. She then takes this to her chosen nest location and begins building. As she lays down the pulp, worker wasps start shaping the paper into the familiar hexagon shapes that make up the individual cells of a nest.
Fun Facts about Cockroaches
Cockroaches might just be the world’s most hated insect, yet they are also one of the most hardy and ancient. Scientists can trace cockroaches back at least 320 million years. While they may be a nuisance to humans, only about 30 out of a total of 4,600 specifies even interact with humans.
American Cockroaches Love Beer
Cockroaches usually enter homes looking for food and a warm place to live. While they don’t discriminate when it comes to food sources, is seems that they are especially drawn to alcohol. American cockroaches in particular show a real affinity for beer, so be sure to get rid of your empties.
Cockroaches Are Hard to Kill
Cockroaches are some of the most primitive and resilient creatures on earth. They can run up to 3 miles an hour and live without their head for up to a week. In addition to being track athletes, they are also great swimmers and can hold their breath and survive fully under water for 30 minutes. Perhaps most impressive they can do all this while fasting. As long as they have a water source, they can live for a month without food.
While you don’t want to lay down a welcome mat for mosquitoes, wasps and cockroaches, there is no denying that these common pests are also amazing creatures. If they are getting a little too close for comfort and you would rather admire them from afar, call the pest control experts at PMI and we can help.