Argentine Ants

The Argentine ant is a dark ant native to northern Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil. It is an invasive species that has been established in many Mediterranean climate areas,[1] inadvertently introduced by humans to many places, including South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, Easter Island, Australia, Hawaii, Europe, and the United States.

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[edit] Description

The worker ants are about 3 millimetres (0.12 in) long and can easily squeeze through cracks and holes no more than 1 millimetre (0.039 in) in size. Queens are two to four times the length of workers. These ants will set up quarters in the ground, in cracks in concrete walls, in spaces between boards and timbers, even among belongings in human dwellings. In natural areas, they generally nest shallowly in loose leaf litter or beneath small stones, due to their poor ability to dig deeper nests. However, if a deeper nesting ant species abandons their nest, Argentine ant colonies will readily take over the space.

German entomologist Dr. Gustav L. Mayr identified the first specimens of Hypoclinea humilis in the vicinity of Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1866. This species was shortly transferred to the genus Iridomyrmex, and finally to Linepithema in the early 1990s.

[edit] Distribution

The native range of Argentine ants is limited to around major waterways in the lowland areas of the Paraná River drainage; They have recently spread into parts of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.[2] The species has become established in at least 15 countries throughout the world, on six continents as well as many oceanic islands.[3]

Rats Cause Costly Damage to Homes-Even Cars!

Have you heard the sounds of rodents scurrying within your walls or gnawing in your home or business? Then you may have a rodent problem and it is very important to begin rodent control immediately. Rats gestation period is around 24 days and they are in heat 4 days after pregnancy. This means they produce even faster than rabbits. Rodents chewing through wiring is one of the leading cause of house fires.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, worldwide, rats and mice spread over 35 diseases. These diseases can be spread to humans directly, through handling of rodents, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or through rodent bites. Diseases carried by rodents can also be spread to humans indirectly, through ticks, mites or fleas that have fed on an infected rodent. Inhaling dust from dried rodent urine, feces and nesting material can also result in illness.  Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those who are immunocompromised should be particularly careful to protect themselves from rodent carried illnesses.

In California, the most common diseases caused by rodents are Typhoid, Rat Bite Fever, Lymphonocytic Choriomeningitis, Salmonellosis, Hantavirus, and Rabies. If you think you have come into contact with rodents and are having symptoms contact your health care professional immediately.

Wild rodents can cause home damage, contaminate food and cause illness in people and pets. To avoid rodent infestation remove potential rodent food and water sources, and store food for people and pets in sealed containers. Clear debris that rodents can hide in.  Safely clean up rodent droppings, urine and nesting areas, always wearing gloves and spraying material with disinfectant until thoroughly soaked before attempting to remove or clean.

The best way to prevent rodents from living space is by sealing up holes inside and outside your home or business to prevent entry. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime, and rats can squeeze through a hole the size of a quarter!

We specialize in rodent extermination and sanitization. Please contact us anytime for questions.

Mole

A mole’s diet primarily consists of earthworms and other small invertebrates found in the soil and also a variety of nuts. Because their saliva contains a toxin that can paralyze earthworms, moles are able to store their still living prey for later consumption. They construct special underground “larders” for just this purpose; researchers have discovered such larders with over a thousand earthworms in them. Before eating earthworms, moles pull them between their squeezed paws to force the collected earth and dirt out of the worm’s gut.[7]

The Star-nosed Mole can detect, catch and eat food faster than the human eye can follow (under 300 milliseconds).[8]

Although the mole can be eaten, the taste is said to be deeply unpleasant.[9]

[edit] Evolution

Darwin cites moles as an example of mammals that have organs that have become vestigial and are being phased out by natural selection:

The eyes of moles and of some burrowing rodents are rudimentary in size, and in some cases are quite covered by skin and fur. This state of the eyes is probably due to gradual reduction from disuse, but aided perhaps by natural selection. In South America, a burrowing rodent, the tuco-tuco, or Ctenomys, is even more subterranean in its habits than the mole; and I was assured by a Spaniard, who had often caught them, that they were frequently blind. One which I kept alive was certainly in this condition, the cause, as appeared on dissection, having been inflammation of the nictitating membrane. As frequent inflammation of the eyes must be injurious to any animal, and as eyes are certainly not necessary to animals having subterranean habits, a reduction in their size, with the adhesion of the eyelids and growth of fur over them, might in such case be an advantage; and if so, natural selection would aid the effects of disuse. (Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, Laws of Variation)

Since the modern synthesis, Darwin’s suggestion that the mole’s eye became small “probably due to gradual reduction from disuse…” is no longer fully accepted by modern biologists. The Lamarckian mechanism by which increased or decreased use of an organ could influence its reproduction, which was accepted by Darwin, has been replaced by an appreciation that natural selection and random genetic variation (genetic drift) are the primary drivers.[citation needed]

Vole

Voles are small rodents that grow to 4–8 inches depending on species. They can have 5–10 litters per year. Gestation lasts for 3 weeks and the young voles reach sexual maturity in a month. As a result of this exponential growth, vole populations can grow very large within a very short period of time. Since litters average 5–10 young, a single pregnant vole in a yard can result in a hundred or more active voles in less than a year.

Voles are commonly mistaken for other small animals. Moles, gophers, mice, rats and even shrews have similar characteristics and behavioral tendencies. Since voles will commonly use burrows with many exit holes, they can be mistaken for gophers or some kind of ground squirrel. Voles can create and will oftentimes utilize old abandoned mole tunnels thus confusing the land owner into thinking that moles are active. When voles find their way into the home, they are readily misidentified as mice or young rats. In fact, voles are unique and best described as being a little bit like all the other animals they are so commonly thought to be.

They will readily thrive on small plants. Like shrews they will eat dead animals and like mice or rats, they can live on most any nut or fruit. Additionally, voles will target plants more than most other small animals. It is here where their presence is mostly evident. Voles will readily “girdle” or eat the bark of small trees and ground cover much like a porcupine. This girdling can easily kill young plants and is not healthy for trees or other shrubs.

Voles love to eat succulent root systems and will burrow under plants or ground cover they are particularly fond of and eat away until the plant is dead. Bulbs in the ground are another favorite target for voles; their excellent burrowing and tunnelling gives them access to sensitive areas without clear or early warning. A vole problem is often only identifiable after they have destroyed a number of plants.[1]

Fleas

Flea is the common name for insects of the order Siphonaptera which are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. Fleas are external parasites, living by hematophagy off the blood of mammals (including humans) and birds.

In the past, it was most commonly supposed that fleas had evolved from the flies (Diptera), based on similarities of the larvae. (Some authorities use the name Aphaniptera because it is older, but names above family rank need not follow the ICZN rules of priority, so most taxonomists use the more familiar name). Genetic and morphological evidence indicates that they are descendants of the Scorpionfly family Boreidae, which are also flightless; accordingly it is possible that they will eventually be reclassified as a suborder within the Mecoptera. In any case, all these groups seem to represent a clade of closely related insect lineages, for which the names Mecopteroidea and Antliophora have been proposed.

Some flea species include:

Brown Widow Spider

Rodent Coverage is Included in our Service Program.

We warranty both inside and outside for Rodents and Pests!

Mice

A mouse (plural mice) is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents

Snails

Snail is a common name for almost all members of the molluscan class Gastropoda that have coiled shells in the adult stage. When the word is used in a general sense, it includes sea snails, land snails and freshwater snails. Otherwise snail-like creatures that lack a shell (or have only a very small one) are called slugs. One snail, the Giant African Snail, can grow 15 inches (39.3 cm.) from snout to tail, and weigh 2 lbs.

Snails can be found in a wide range of environments including ditches, deserts, and the abyssal depths of the sea. Although many people are familiar with terrestrial snails, land snails are in the minority. Marine snails constitute the majority of snail species, and have much greater diversity and a greater biomass. Numerous kinds of snail can also be found in fresh waters. Many snails are herbivorous, though a few land species and many marine species areomnivores or predatory carnivores.

Snails that respire using a lung belong to the group Pulmonata, while those with gills form a paraphyletic group; in other words, snails with gills are divided into a number of taxonomic groups that are not very closely related. Snails with lungs and with gills have diversified widely enough over geological time that a few species with gills can be found on land, numerous species with a lung can be found in freshwater, and a few species with a lung can be found in the sea.

Most snails have thousands of microscopic tooth-like structures located on a ribbon-like tongue called a radula. The radula works like a file, ripping the food into small pieces.

Earwigs

Earwigs make up the insect order Dermaptera, found throughout the Americas, Eurasia and Australia. It is one of the smaller insect orders, with only 1,800 recorded species in 12 families. Typical earwigs have characteristic cerci, a pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen, and membranous wings folded underneath short forewings, hence the scientific name for the order, which translates literally as “skin wings”. Some groups within the earwig order are tiny parasites on mammals and lack the typical pincers. Earwigs rarely fly, even though they are capable of flight.

Earwigs are nocturnal; they often hide in small, moist crevices during the day, and are active at night, feeding on a wide variety of insects and plants. Damage to foliage, flowers, and various crops are commonly blamed on earwigs, especially the common earwig Forficula auricularia. However, the harmfulness of earwigs to foliage is still under debate, as they also eat certain insects that damage them.

Earwigs undergo an average of 5 molts over the course of a year, their average life expectancy, before they become adults. Many earwig species display maternal care, which is uncommon among insects. Female earwigs are known to take care of their eggs, and even after they have hatched as nymphs will continue to watch over offspring until their second molt. As the nymphs molt, sexual dimorphism such as differences in pincer shapes begins to show.

Earwig fossils have been found dating back 208 million years. Those specimens are now included in the extinct suborder Archidermaptera dating back to the Late Triassic. Many orders of insect have been theorized to be closely related to earwigs by many authors, though Grylloblattaria is the most likely.