How Many Weeks!? (AKA: What do I write about this week?)
I looked today and this is my 100th blog post. I can hardly believe I have been writing every week for 100 weeks and that means in four short weeks, it will be my two year anniversary. Wow. So how should we celebrate? I’m thinking cake and champagne definitely but what else?
In the meantime, for the 100th episode, here are 50 pest facts. Yeah, 100 was just too many and I don’t have the time! But as usual, I include some lagniappes. Did I miss your favorite pest fact? Then comment below!
1. There are over 4,600 species of cockroach world wide.
My personal favorite is the glowing cockroach.
2. Norway rats are not from Norway.
Then again, German cockroaches aren’t from Germany, nor are American cockroaches from America.
3. A termite queen will lay an average of 30,000 eggs PER DAY.
And will live for about 20 years.
4. Acorn ants can literally have an entire colony within one acorn.
5. Speaking of ants, there are over 700 species in North America.
And about 14,000 species world wide.
6. Some species of Dermestid beetles can “reverse age” when conditions aren’t great.
And this is one of my favorite videos of Dermestids!
7. Cigarette beetles are some of the hardiest stored product pests – they often feed on rodenticide bait!
8. Roof rats really like fruit trees and are often found nesting in them.
9. Wasps like fruit too and at the end of the season when those fruits start to ferment, they get a little drunk!
10. German cockroaches, if left unchecked, can go from a single pair to over 536 MILLION in one year.
11. American cockroaches go by many regional names including sewer bug, water bug, and it is often referred to as a “croton bug”?!
12. The mosquito is the deadliest animal.
Humans are the second deadliest (humans are pests too, right?).
13. Some species of ants will literally herd insects like aphids.
14. It’s not just large flies that carry diseases, small flies can carry many harmful pathogens too.
15. Ticks can carry a disease that causes a severe meat allergy.
And so many other diseases too.
16. There are many insects that mimic mosquitoes.
17. Bed bugs have a behavior called traumatic insemination. (Ew.)
18. Estimates range, but it’s thought that termites cause $5 billion dollars worth of damage every year. (Seriously amazing article on that here.)
One estimate put it at over $20 billion!
19. While spiders aren’t truly social, some species will be found in very large groups together.
20. Bed bugs like darker colors.
21. There is no such thing as a “gnat”.
But there are fungus gnats.
22. Fruit flies use alcohol to self medicate. (I feel a little better about myself now.)
23. Pillbugs (AKA rolly poly’s) are actually a crustacean.
24. Cats are not good pest control.
25. House flies spit up digestive juices and defecate nearly every time they land.
26. It wasn’t just scarab beetles in Egyptian tombs: cigarette beetles plagued them too!
27. Mosquitoes can live in some pretty polluted water sources.
28. Spiders are incredible pest control and can eat an amazing number of insects every year.
Want to know the equivalent of that number?
29. Speaking of weird numbers, there is a calculation of how many mosquito bites it would take to kill the average human!
30. Norway rats are good swimmers, one was clocked at 400m over the open ocean (between islands).
31. Some ant species, like carpenter ants can form satellite nests where some ants live while still keeping in contact with the main colony.
32. Deathwatch beetles communicate with sound: they tap their head on their wooden tunnels.
They get the name because when homes were quiet during wakes (“death watches”), the tapping in the wooden walls could be heard.
33. Brown recluses are only found in some parts of the US: chances are, it’s not a recluse.
34. Mosquitoes are found everywhere, including the arctic.
35. Insects have been taken to space (on purpose to study!) including some pest species.
36. Despite the name, cat fleas are the most common fleas found on dogs and other pets.
37. Honey bees are actually an introduced species in the US (they were brought from Europe) and can definitely be considered a pest sometimes.
38. Termites can cause more than just damage that takes money to fix, they can damage money!
And paper and so much more that is derived from any wood material.
39. Ticks spread Lyme disease which is estimated to impact over 400,000 people per year in the US.
40. Silverfish have a complicated mating “dance”.
41. Phorid flies are often called coffin flies because they feed on dead bodies.
Phorid flies can be a real problem in mausoleums.
42. Scorpions carry their young on their back until they have made their first molt.
But she will occasionally eat a few if she gets hungry!
43. Earwigs are good parents too!
44. Rodents are able to directly and indirectly transmit over 35 different diseases.
And the black plague still exists!
45. Some ants have multiple queens and can form massive colonies like Argentine ants.
46. The Asian longhorned tick recently invaded the US and in endemic countries, they can kill animals by draining their blood.
47. Springtails are tiny insects that are found by the thousands in soil, but occasionally get into structures through cracks and crevices.
48. German cockroaches have the most eggs per egg case of all the pest species of cockroach – up to 40!
49. Red flour beetle adults can live up to three years.
50. Flesh flies can find buried carrion over a foot down to lay their eggs on.
Stay tuned for another 50 weeks and I'll post the next 50 best pest facts!
And as always, if you are having issues with any of these pests, or other pests, contact us to see how we can help you.
Okay, lagniappe: #51. There is an Italian cheese that is purposely infested with maggots; you are supposed to eat them alive. I always say I'm willing to try anything....but I think I will pass on this one.
360 PFCS – your urban pest control consultants.