Learn about some of the creatures that share our world

The following information was obtained through Wikipedia.

Want to learn more about the insects and animals who inhabit our world? Visit the following websites:
Bug Bios

Let's Talk About Insects

The Science Spot

Entomology for Beginners

Critters on the Menu

Animal World

Animal Pests, Deseases & Insects
Integrated Pest Management


Creepy-Crawlers
Are Those Little Creepy-Crawlers Getting You Down? Does it seem like every time you turn around you're having to do battle with ants, wasps, cockroaches, mosquitoes, or even bedbugs, show them the door (or those Pearly Gates) and reclaim your territory?

Well, you're definitely not alone.

There are distinct "bug seasons" and you can count on one beastie or another to engage in battle with you at some time throughout the year. Female Mosquitos, for example, are a major group of arthropods and the most diverse group of animals on the Earth, with over a million described species--more than half of all known living organisms--with estimates of undescribed species as high as 30 million, thus potentially representing over 90% of the differing life forms on the planet.

Is it any wonder we find them everywhere in and around our homes?

 

Warm & Fuzzy--or Not!
And so can be moles, ground squirrels, gophers, voles, and even rats!

But when you find one (or more!) chomping on your insulation, scratching behind your walls making nests, or find one glorious day that your lawn has mysteriously gone missing, you know these cute little guys are making inroads into your domicile. Why, you may ask, can't they just stay in their own homes?

Forty percent of mammal species are rodents, and they are found in vast numbers on all continents other than Antarctica. Common rodents include mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, gophers, porcupines, beavers, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, degus, chinchillas, prairie dogs, and ground hogs. Rodents have sharp incisors that they use to gnaw wood, break into food, and bite predators. Most eat seeds or plants, though some have more varied diets. Some species have historically been pests, eating food stored by humans and spreading disease.

 

Small & Sometimes Furry
Have you got some uninvited visitors that appear to be in the process of claiming your territory? Maybe they're digging through your trash, or damaging your garden or lawn, or making cozy nests too close to your nest. Or maybe they just smell really, really bad. Maybe you're not sure what's making all that racket every night, but it's most unsettling. Could it be bats? Raccoons? A grey fox? Feral cats? Coyotes? Skunks (see right)?

Do not touch or handle any wild animal, especially if it appears sick! Better to give Terra-X a call--we'll do our professional best to keep your home safe from unwanted guests (of the non-human kind!).
 

cockroachCOCKROACHES: Cockroaches are one of the most commonly noted household pest insects. They feed on human and pet food and can leave an offensive odor. They can also passively transport microbes on their body surfaces including those that are potentially dangerous to humans, particularly in environments such as hospitals. Cockroach infestations have been shown to be linked with allergic reactions in humans. One of the proteins that triggers allergic reactions has been tropomyosin. These allergens have also been found to be linked with asthma.

 
 

antsANTS: Some ant species are considered pests, and because of the adaptive nature of ant colonies, eliminating the entire colony is nearly impossible. Pest management is therefore a matter of controlling local populations, instead of eliminating an entire colony, and most attempts at control are temporary solutions.

 
 

earwigEARWIGS: Earwigs can be considered in some ways a beneficial part of the garden, especially when they prey on other insects, but they can become a nuisance because of their habit of positioning themselves within leaves and feeding on soft plant tissues. They prefer cool, moist places, and a rolled up damp newspaper placed where earwig activity is suspected can be effective in collecting them. The newspaper can then either be discarded or shaken out. Placing diatomaceous earth in key spots around the home (bathroom, baseboards, window frams) can be a long-term repellent.

 
 

fleaFLEAS: Once the flea reaches adulthood its primary goal is to find blood--adult must feet on blood in order to reproduce. Adult fleas have only around a week to find food once they emerge, though they can survive two months to a year between meals. A flea population is unevenly distributed, with 50 percent eggs, 35 percent larvae, 10 percent pupae and 5 percent adults. Their total life cycle can take as little as two weeks, but may be lengthened by many months if conditions are favorable. Female fleas can lay 500 or more eggs over their lives, allowing for phenomenal growth rates.

 
 

bedbugsBEDBUGS: Bedbugs are known for being elusive, transient, and nocturnal, making them difficult to detect.The presence of bedbugs may be confirmed through identification of the insects or by a pattern of bites. Though bites can occur singularly, they often follow a distinctive linear pattern marking the paths of blood vessels running close to the surface of the skin. The common bite pattern of three bites often around the ankle or shin close to each other has garnered the macabre colloquialism "breakfast, lunch & dinner."

 
 

miceMICE: Mice are very harmful pests, damaging and eating crops and spreading diseases through their parasites and feces. In western North America, breathing dust that has come in contact with mouse feces has been linked to the deadly hantavirus. The original motivation for domestication of cats is thought to have been for their predation of mice and their relatives, rats.

 
 

ratsRATS: The common species are opportunistic survivors and often live with and near humans. The Black Plague is traditionally believed to have been caused by the micro-organism Yersinia pestis, carried by the Tropical Rat Flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) which preyed on R. rafftus living in European cities of the day; these rats were victims of the plague themselves. While modern wild rats can carry Leptospirosis and some other "zoonotic" conditions (those which can be transferred across species, to humans, for examples), these conditions are in fact rarely found (not true in neotropical countries). Wild rats living in cities may suffer from poor diets and internal parasites and mites, but do not generally spread disease to humans.

 
 

gopherGOPHERS: All pocket gophers are burrowers. They are larder hoarders, and their cheek pouches are used for transporting food back to their burrows. Gophers can collect large hoards. Their presence is unambiguously announced by the appearance of mounds of fresh dirt about 7.9 inches in diameter. These mounds will often appear in vegetable gardens, lawns, or farms, as gophers like moist soil. They also enjoy feeding on vegetables. Although they will attempt to flee when threatened, they may attach other animals, including cats and humans, and can inflict serious bites with their long, sharp teeth.

 
 

moleMOLES: Problems cited as caused by moles include contamination of silage with soil particles making it unpalatable to livestock, the covering of pasture with fresh soil reducing its size and yield, damage to agriculture machinery by the exposure of stones, damage to young plants through disturbances of the soil, weed invasion of pasture through exposure of fresh tilled soil, and damage to drainage systems and watercourses. Other species such as weasels and voles may use mole tunnels to gain access to enclosed areas or plant roots. Moles burrow in lawns, raising molehills, and killing the lawn, for which they are sometimes considered pests. They can undermine plant roots, indirectly causing damage or death. Contrary to popular belief, moles do not eat plant roots.

   
 

skunkSKUNKS: Skunks are mammals best known for their ability to secrete a liquid with a strong, foul odor. General appearance varies from species to species, from black-and-white to brown or cream colored. Skunks belong to the family Mephitidae and to the order Carnivora. The two skunk species in the Mydaus genus inhabit Indonesia and the Philippines; all other skunks inhabit the Americas from Canada to central South America. There is cause for concern when skunks take up residence in an urban or suburban area because in California they are primary carriers of rabies, a viral disease transmitted through the bit of an infected animal.

   
  possumPossum: Possums are quadrupedal diprotodont marsupials with long tails. The smallest possum, indeed the smallest diprotodont marsupial, is the Little Pygmy Possum with an adult head-body length of 70mm and a weight of 10g. The largest is the Bear Cuscus that may exceed 7 kg. Possums are typically nocturnal and at least partially arboreal. The various species inhabit most vegetated habitats and a few species have adjusted well to urban settings. Diets range from generalist herbivores or omnivores (the Common Brushtail possum) to specialist browsers of eucalyptus (Greater Glider), insectivores (Mountain Pygmy Possum) and nectar-feeders (Honey Possum).

 

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