Cigarette Beetle

February 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Cigarette Beetle

These pests got the name from the fact that they infest tobacco products. They are found all over the world. Cigarette beetle adults are about 2-3 mm long and brown in color. Females lay white colored eggs and adults will fly to reach food and breeding areas.

The cigarette beetle will infest such things as: coffee beans, cigarettes, pet food, paprika, and spices just to name a few. If discovered, all food or infested items should be discarded. Remaining food items should be placed in sealed containers. Grocery stores where products were purchased should be notified.

Stored Product Pests

February 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Stored Product Pests

These pests can be responsible for damaging up to %10 of the worlds grain and crops every year. There are numerous types of these pests but most are a type of beetle.

Live link to Bald Eagle Nest

February 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This is a really cool look at nature. It’s an active bald eagle’s nest up near the Decorah fish factory…. and as a today there is an egg! It’ s a great opportunity to teach kiddos (and adults) about the their world. Link below.

http://katie.luther.edu/moodle/filter/mediaplugin/flvplayer.swf?file=rtmp://video-1.luther.edu/live/eaglecam.flv

Camel Spiders

February 25, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Not much is know about this creature. It is not a spider but considered an arthropod or solupugid. They can and do bite and can create quite a medical problem. They only live in arid areas and stay in burrows in the sand. Camel spiders prey on insects and other smaller creatures like mice. They are also prey of birds, reptiles and even humans. Camel spiders are considered beneficial but are pests when they invade human homes. People in Iowa don’t need to worry about these creatures.

Tarantulas

February 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Tarantulas

There are about 30 different kinds of tarantulas in the U.S. Most are found in the southern states. The bite of a tarantula is painful but not dangerous. Some species have the ability to shoot hairs as a defense mechanism the hairs can be irritating. Tarantulas build burrows in the ground and then ambush prey. They will feed on any kind of insect or even small rodents.

            In Iowa, these are not a realistic pest to have to deal with. If any are found it would be from a released pet or pet shop. Tarantulas are beneficial spiders in areas where they are found. Adults have been reported to live for two years or more.

Wolf Spiders

February 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Wolf Spiders

There are about 100 species of wolf spider in the U.S. They can be intimidating because of the large sizes they can reach, up to 35mm. usually black in color; they are also brown and spotted. Wolf spiders hunt large insects and run quite fast on the ground. They have burrows in the ground and usually leave at night to hunt prey.

            Wolf spiders can be found frequently indoors and can bite humans. They also help keep general insect numbers in check. Wood piles, underneath stones and rocks are good breeding grounds for the spiders. The large, hairy appearance is usually the worst thing about these spiders. Wolf spiders are active in day and night

Sac Spiders

February 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Sac spiders

Sac spiders are yellow in color and build a sac like structure where they hide in the daytime. There are only two species of sac spiders in the U.S. but it is thought that they are responsible for very high percentage of spider bites inside homes. It is not known if the bites can become serious. They are about 4-10 mm in size.

            Bites are generally when the spider is disturbed in bedding or clothing but it is thought that they will also bite when unprovoked. They will be found in corners of ceilings and walls of basements and all over the house. Sac spiders are a nuisance and should be treated with insecticides when large numbers are present in homes. They will be found outdoors and indoors throughout the season.

Jumping Spiders

February 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Jumping Spiders

This spider gets its name from the fact that they can jump to get to their prey. They are small about 4-10 mm. Jumping spiders have large eyes and a “fuzzy” appearance. Some have red on their back which can be mistaken for black widow markings. They are harmless to humans and can be found indoors.

            Jumping spiders do not catch prey in webs but will have small webs for protection and escape. They are unusual from other spiders in that they will be quite active during the day and love warm, sunny days. They can jump up to 20 times their body length. They can be found on cement porches, woodpiles, fences and old wood. Control is obtained through spraying.

. Some have red on their back which can be mistaken for black widow markings. They are harmless to humans and can be found indoors.

            Jumping spiders do not catch prey in webs but will have small webs for protection and escape. They are unusual from other spiders in that they will be quite active during the day and love warm, sunny days. They can jump up to 20 times their body length. They can be found on cement porches, woodpiles, fences and old wood. Control is obtained through spraying.

House Spiders

February 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

House Spiders

House spiders are found all over the U.S. and the world. They are the most prevalent spider in homes and structures. The webs can become a nuisance if not removed on a regular basis. They are about 5-8mm in size and are brown or black colored.

            House spiders prefer dark, moist areas with high numbers of other insects. They can be controlled with spraying and removal of webs and eggs. They are harmless to people but rather a housekeeping nuisance

Iowa Mountain Lion?

February 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Many of you may have received amazing text messages with pictures of mountain lions in Iowa over the lat year. Are they real? In fact, an Iowan hunter shot one this last year. This instills fear in many of us. My mother, who lives in a somewhat remote area outside of Des Moines, got her car stuck in the snow at the bottom of her long gravel drive late one night this winter. She later confessed to me that as she made her way through the drifts on her way back to her home she had one thought in her mind, mountain lion.

Mountain lions are on there way back. They used to live all over the US. They became virtually extinct any area east of the Rocky Mountains over the last century.  However, since the mid seventies, poisoning  practices used to control the species have stopped. The result is a subtle and gradual increase in the mountain lion population. Are you in danger? Likely not. Mountain lion sightings in Iowa are extremely rare. I have a client who lives in a remote area in Iowa and has confessed he  has a mountain lion in his area who frequents the wood pile in his backyard and claims there are deer carcuses to substantiate this claim. I believe this is most likely accurate. However, most Iowans do not need to worry. Mountain lions are still so extremely rare and usually never attack humans unless their target is moving, which triggers the predator instinct. This is why stories of mountain lion attacks in Colorado usually involve a bicyclist or someone jogging. They will mainly feed on roadkilled deer and the most easily accessible food source.

Next Page »