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If crickets are good omens, what does it mean when a squirrel comes in to watch TV? – AG Week


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on October 5th, 2021

Ancient Chinese texts reveal that women collected crickets in the fall, domesticated them, and kept them in ornate hollowed out gourds so their music could be heard year-round. (The gourd cages are eagerly sought by collectors who are willing to pay princely sums.)

Chinese superstition tells us that a loud cricket means money is coming and that harming one would lead to bad luck. Millions of crickets were shipped to the nations capital to curry good health and great intelligence. Although one cannot imagine how, crickets were trained to fight each other for sport.

Grasshoppers are shirttail cousins to the cricket and symbolize peace, freedom, joy, and many other things. Grasshoppers spread a path of destruction and disaster in the Dust Bowl years when billions of them darkened the sky, chewed through grain fields, and bankrupted farmers.

It may have been unwise to be so upset by the crickets chirp, but it ruined a good nights sleep and left me cranky when the sun rose.

Why are they getting into the house? Kathy asked.

Even if our abode was locked up like Fort Knox, a cricket, mouse, bat, or bird can and has found their way in. A tennis racket came in handy to fell the bat, but our daughters insisted that the sparrow not be harmed. It took the bird more than an hour to find the open front door. A trap set with peanut butter dispatched several mice.

Whats that squirrel doing in our house? Kathy asked on a chilly fall night while we watched television. I thought she was kidding until I saw the red squirrel not far from the TV.

Maybe it just wanted to catch its favorite show. All kidding aside, its presence hinted at a major structural problem. A windstorm had buckled flashing from the porch, leaving wood exposed.

The final straw came when Kathy called to say that she was stranded on the highway. The car stalled, wreaked of gasoline, and a pool of gas had formed on the pavement.

The mechanic easily spotted the problem the fuel line had been eaten through by a squirrel. The incident could have turned the car into an inferno.

You should do something about them, he said.

The shotgun had been given away years before, and red squirrels had free run of the farmstead because our dog was no match for them.

Live traps were set, but no squirrels were captured. An exterminator visited, explained that squirrels in the attic spread disease and could cause fires by chewing on electrical wires. He visited for a couple hundred dollars and there would be additional charges for each squirrel caught.

You are lucky, he said. A business owner who operated a fleet of skid steers suffered a huge financial loss when squirrels invaded a building and ate through several electrical harnesses.

He carries a gun with him whenever he walks around the yard now, the would be-squirrel catcher said. He never did catch a squirrel and explained it happens on occasion despite his expertise.

The squirrel problem was left behind or so I thought when we moved to town. The farmsteads new owner has shot several red squirrels. With them mostly gone, chipmunks moved in.

Squirrels appear to have followed us to town. Several nearby walnut trees provide ample food. The rodents seem to be forgetful, given that digging in the garden reveals buried nuts. Corn planted by the squirrels grows in the flower bed.

The neighbor across the way shoots them on sight, but the population continues to grow. Maybe, like crickets, squirrels are good omens.

Nope, they do not seem to be.

To read more of Mychal Wilmes' Farm Boy Memories, click here.

Mychal Wilmes is the retired managing editor of Agri News. He lives in West Concord, Minn., with his wife, Kathy.

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If crickets are good omens, what does it mean when a squirrel comes in to watch TV? - AG Week

Residential | Commercial Exterminator | Full-Service Pest …


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on October 5th, 2021

Save Your Trees from Spotted Lanternflies

If youre seeing spotted lanternflies in Lancaster County, youre not alone. These plant-hoppers showed up in Lancaster just a couple of years ago and are seen over the whole county.

Last year, Dominion treated mostly trees in the northern parts, including Lititz, New Holland, Ephrata, and other towns in the spring. But, by late fall, the sapsuckers were targeting trees in every town in Lancaster County, including Manheim, Hempfield, Millersville, Mount Joy, and Willow Street.

Heres how they ruin trees and what you can do to help prevent them from spreading to other areas and protect your own property.

Its that time of year, when termite swarmers emerge to start a new colony. It can look like an indoor hurricane when a healthy colony of termites swarms out of one of your baseboards or basement sill plate.

Thousands of these ant-looking creatures will fly to the windows to get out and start a new colony. If youre seeing termite swarmers in your house, its time to call for professional termite control.

Both termites and ants are destructive. Do you know the difference?

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Residential | Commercial Exterminator | Full-Service Pest ...

Have you noticed Joro spiders in North Georgia? Here’s what you need to know about them – Online Athens


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on October 5th, 2021

Experts say don't panic about more spiders in your home this fall

If you hate seeing spiders around your home in the fall, don't be spooked, they aren't there to harm or bother you.

Staff Video, USA TODAY

It seems Georgia residents will need to get comfortable with a new arachnidin town because, according to scientists, its not going anywhere.

The Joro spider was first identifiedin North Georgia in 2014 by Georgia Museum of Natural Historycollections managerRick Hoebeke wholed an effort to identify the East Asia native spider and track itas it spread throughout Georgia.

Here's what to know about the brightly coloredorb weavers:

More on Joros: Joro spiders, with yellow-striped legs and golden webs, out in force across Georgia

Joro spiders are harmless to humans. University of Georgia entomologistNancy Hinkle said Joros are not interested in biting humans, noting they have small mouth parts. They are deadly, however, to their prey, eating insects and even smallvertebrates such as lizards,according to theClemson University Cooperative Extension Service.

Don't panic: Seeing more spiders crawling around your home? Don't panic, there's a reason, experts say

Although their size and color may be alarming, Joro spiders aren't dangerous and do not need to be killed. Hiring an exterminator will not alleviate your property, as Joros have such a large population.

They alsoprey on pests like biting flies and mosquitoes, as well as stink bugs, which other spiders don't seem to enjoy. Scientists are hopeful that the Joro spiders will help make a dent in those populations. These spiders act likenatural pest control, so you may want to leave them alone.

Both spiders are orb weavers, whichmeans the silk they spinis made up of specific chemicals that make it golden in color, according to Clemson University. They also both have small mouth parts.

What makes banana spiders stand out is their hairy bottlebrush appearance on some of their leg segments. They can also get pretty big, with female bodies averaging between 1.5 and 2 inches long and males being a little less than 1 inch long, according to Clemson.

Joro spiders, on the other hand,have a bright yellow abdomenwith gray or dark blue stripes and a red underside.

Most Joro spiders will die off come November, Hinkle said, but the egg sacs they leave behind will hatch in the spring. Think of them as your freepest control, Hinkle added, although they can be pests themselves.

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Have you noticed Joro spiders in North Georgia? Here's what you need to know about them - Online Athens

What time of year and month do wasps die in Doncaster? – Doncaster Free Press


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on October 5th, 2021

Lets be frank with one another theres one thing we all hate about the hot weather. No, its not the sunburns, the holiday snaps or the abundance of fat, topless men wandering around in broad daylight its the wasps.

While yellow jacket wasps do clean up other pests and contribute to pollination, most us will be glad to see the back of them for this year. That goes especially for anyone who suffers from Spheksophobia (a clinical fear of wasps) or has an allergy to wasp stings.

Generally, wasp season lasts from around mid-March to late August. In September, wasps will begin to die off, with their numbers dropping more rapidly as the months progress. By November and December, the wasps should be virtually all gone until March arrives in 2022.

As their life cycle nears its end, wasps become noticeably more aggressive, due to their limited food resources in the cold weather and their instinct to protect the hive. Because food is scarce for them in the winter, theyre more likely to encroach on human territories in search of sustenance.

Wasps die off around this time of year not due to the lowered temperature, but more so because of the lack of food. With flowering plants and insects being generally rarer sights in the winter months, theres a lot less for them to eat.

As such, the workers, grubs and queens will die, but some of the queens may survive through hibernation. Even still, many of these will also be killed by larger spiders and other potential predators as they try to see out the winter.

However, theres also a real possibility that a queen wasp may decide to use your home as a place to hibernate through the winter if theyre successful and set up a nest, you could end up with a wasp infestation.

If this occurs, by no means should you try to tackle the problem yourself. When a wasp is killed, its corpse releases a chemical into the air that instructs any other wasps in the vicinity to become aggressive. If this happens, youre extremely likely to be stung, as is anyone else in the area.

Furthermore, wasps will also release an airborne chemical when they sting someone (or something), signalling their colony to attack. This is a natural defence mechanism that is used to protect their nests when under attack from things such as black bears or (funnily enough) humans.

Wasp stings not only hurt, but they can also be dangerous to your health if stung too many times over a short period - especially if youre allergic to them.

As such, you should always hire a professional exterminator or pest control unit to deal with the problem. They know exactly what theyre doing and have the correct equipment to deal with wasps, so you need not expose yourself to any sort of risk.

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What time of year and month do wasps die in Doncaster? - Doncaster Free Press

Major flea infestation shuts 2 Oakland schools for cleaning :: WRAL.com – WRAL.com


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on October 5th, 2021

By The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO Two elementary schools in Oakland will be closed for the rest of the week due to an infestation of fleas that may have been caused by raccoons in the area, school officials said Wednesday.

The move comes after a major problem developed with fleas on campus, the Oakland Unified School District said in announcing the two-day closure starting Thursday of Esperanza Elementary School and Korematsu Discovery Academy, which are located next to each other.

Exterminators have been working for a couple of weeks to eliminate the fleas but the issue has persisted, and closing the schools will prevent fleas from spreading throughout the campuses, the district said in a statement.

Plus, it will allow crews to do a deeper cleaning of all classrooms and common areas, including removing all carpets where fleas have taken up residence and laid their eggs, the statement said.

The schools have a park on one side and a wooded area on another and have seen issues with racoons, the district said. Experts brought in by the district believe the animals may have led to the flea problem.

Oakland schools welcomed students back to in-person classes in August, after more than a year of distance learning due to the pandemic.

Students will be given short-term study packets during the two-day closure. Each school has about 300 students.

Exterminators say not to expect the flea issue to be entirely resolved when classrooms reopen Monday, the district said, noting flea extermination can take a month and a half or longer to complete but there should be a noticeable improvement.

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Major flea infestation shuts 2 Oakland schools for cleaning :: WRAL.com - WRAL.com

Two New Species Of Maltese Cockroach Discovered As Known Species Increase From Seven To 21 – Lovin Malta


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 29th, 2021

A Maltese scientist has discovered two previously undocumented species of cockroach that can only be found in Malta, according to a newly-published study.

The discovery was made by naturalist Arnold Sciberras and has been documented in a paper reviewing the current Blattodea a grouping of insects including cockroaches and termites fauna of Malta.

Two new cockroach species to science! Sciberras said in a Facebook post last week. This long-awaited study reviews the current Blattodea fauna of the Maltese Archipelago, increasing the species list from the seven recorded species to 21.

The study is the first of its kind since the 1980s.

The two new species, have been named Kakroc ta Malta (Maltese Cockroach) and Wirdiena tal-Gebla tal-General ta Jeffrey (Jeffreys Fungus Rock Cockroach) named after Sciberras botanist brother Jeffrey.

The Maltese Cockroach has been spotted in various locations around the island, while Jeffreys Fungus Rock Cockroach has been spotted mainly on Fungus Rock.

While both have been described for the same time, Sciberras and his co-author not in their paper that they cannot be certain whether they are endemic to Malta given that the fauna of southern Sicily, as well as Pantelleria and the Pelagic Islands, is not well known.

In addition to his academic work, Sciberras also runs his own pest-control company the Exterminator.

Lovin Malta caught up with him last year to understand his passion for insects.

Tag someone who needs to read it

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Two New Species Of Maltese Cockroach Discovered As Known Species Increase From Seven To 21 - Lovin Malta

Roaching: The Newest Dating Trend To Watch Out For – kiss951.com


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 29th, 2021

Unless youre an exterminator, its safe to say your knowledge of roaches is probably slim to none. Heres one thing you need to know about these nasty insects. If you see one in your home, they likely have a lot of friends hiding somewhere unseen.Kind of like some of your recent Tinder matches.

Hence the new term Roaching. This is when someone secretly dates and sleeps with multiple people.Emphasis on the word secret there.Someone is only technically a roach if there has been an agreement to go exclusive and they still decide to sneak aroundlike a little bug.

Worried that you might need to fumigate your relationship but youre not sure?

Here are some signs of roaching to look at for:

If any of these sound familiar, its time to have a serious thinking session on whether this breach of trust is worth forgiving or if its time to end things before they get worse.

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Roaching: The Newest Dating Trend To Watch Out For - kiss951.com

Season of the Bat | Local News | gloucestertimes.com – Gloucester Daily Times


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 29th, 2021

In the movie Batman Begins, there is a scene in which the superhero explains why he dresses in a bat costume to fight crime.

Bats frighten me, Batman says. Its time my enemies shared my dread.

Most people have felt that fear when they hear a bat whirring near the ceiling of a darkened bedroom. The angstonly intensifies when theyturn the lights on, and the bat veers past them while it circles the room, trying to find a way out.

Even more unsettling than the behavior of bats is their appearance. As the worlds only flying mammals, with furry bodies, webbed wings and a face like a rodents, they look like bizarre evolutionary experiments.

Its small wonder that, at moments of encounter, some will turn to their towns animal control officer for help in dealing with this winged presence.

I think its usually in the middle of the night, some people will panic and call, said Kathryn Kozikowski, who was previously the animal control officer in North Andover, and now holds that job in Andover. I do get quite a number of calls about bats in the house.

Such intrusions are especially common now, in late summer, when young bats are learning to fly and feed on their own, as described in MassWildlifes Massachusetts Homeowners Guide to Bats.

You might find these inexperienced young when they fall down a chimney, travel down the attic stairway, fly through anopen window, or land on the ground, said the guides seventh edition, published in 2020.

The most important consideration in removing bats from the house is never to touch one with bare hands. The simplest solution is to keep them in one room by closing the door, then open a window so they can fly out.

But sometimes a bat will tire and cling to the wallpaper, or to the back of some curtains, and at this point they can be captured for removal.

I will use what I have available to me, which usually is a cardboard box or Tupperware container, Kozikowski said.

After trapping the animal inside, and slipping a piece of carboard or heavy paper between the opening and the wall, the bat can be carried outside and released.

If I dont have either of those available, Ill use a bird net, Kozikowski said. All of these make it easy enough to move the bat out of the house to a nearby branch where he can take off.

But if the bat was discovered and captured in a room where someone was sleeping, it should be handed over for rabies testing.

You dont know if it landed on you and scratched on you, said Ellen Bistany, animal control officer in Lawrence for 28 years. Most of the cases, Ive had to have it tested for rabies. I havent had any come back positive lately, but a while back I had one come back positive, and the whole family had to have shots.

If bats appear in your house only rarely, theres a chance that this visitor flew down the chimney or through an open door. That happened in Lawrence recently, in an incident that Bistany handled.

The guy had opened his sliding doorhe had an old dogand he saw something fly in, and it went right into a kitchen cabinet, Bistany said. So he shut the door and locked it in.

She retrieved the bat with a retractable bird net and, since there had been no contact with the man, let it go.

But if bats make recurring appearances inside a home, they are probably not accidental visitors, but rather permanent residents in an attic or wall. They may even be part of a colony, which MassWildlife defines as 10 or more bats living together.

Bats that live in attic colonies start looking for cooler locations in late summer, and sometimes crawl through openings near a pipe or vent into rooms below, which is another reason why intrusions are common at this time of year.

Anyone who suspects that they may be hosting a colony should know that animal control officers cant help them, beyond providing some general advice.

Were not trained to go in and remove colonies, Kozikowski said.

Bats are protected in Massachusetts, because they have enormous ecological value as consumers of insects, and several species have been decimated by White-Nose Syndrome, which they get from a fungus in caves.

Bats are scary, but theyre good, Bistany said. They eat all the mosquitoes.

Only licensed Problem Animal Control agents can conduct a bat exclusion, and this time of year, from August 1 to mid-October, is one of two times during the year when they can do that.

An exclusion involves fixing one-way doors to the spots where bats enter and exit a house, then completely sealing off all other possible entrances, to keep bats from getting back inside after they leave at dusk to eat bugs.

If these passages were sealed earlier in the summer, before the young could fly, they would die inside the house when parents were unable to return and feed them.That would not only be bad for the bats, but would also create a health hazard for humans inside the house.

The month of May is the only other time when exclusions are allowed, with the aim of keeping adults from getting inside and bearing their young.

The Massachusetts Homeowners Guide to Bats provides tips on helping people identify how and where these colonies are forming in their house.

It also provides information on different methods for conducting bat exclusions, along with plans for bat houses, which can provide evicted bats with a new home.

But for anyone who would rather leave the job to a licensed agent,Kozikowski recommends hiring someone who specializes in bats, and who comes with a recommendation from someone they trust. Bistany said she tells renters who get bats inside to call their landlords, so they can handle it.

Chris Mulcahy of Pest-End, an exterminator that operates in Methuen and Plaistow, said his firms wildlife division has started more than 120 bat exclusions this season.

He said that bats, in addition to choosing houses that have cracks and crevices that they can enter, like to live in locations where they can find food.

If youre close to wetlands, and have lots of bugs in the area, theres a reason they chose where they chose, he said.

Mulcahy said that they use wire mesh to seal up alternate entry points, so squirrels cant chew their way through. They also make their own one-way doors from plastic tubes.

We create little fingers off the end, so that allows the bat to drop out, but it keeps the end of that one-way door a little tougher for them to find their way back, he said.

Mulcahy said some people use hardware mesh for their one-way doors, but he thinks that could damage a bats wing. He also said they never re-use the tubes, to make sure bats crawling through them wont get White-Nose Syndrome.

We treat every bat as though it was susceptible, Mulcahy said.

The weather can effect how long it takes to exclude a colony, he said, but he tends to leave one-way doors in place for a month.

Usually the bats are going to leave within a week or so, Mulcahy said.

Will Broaddus may be contacted at wbroaddus@gloucestertimes.com

We are making critical coverage of the coronavirus available for free. Please consider subscribing so we can continue to bring you the latest news and information on this developing story.

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Season of the Bat | Local News | gloucestertimes.com - Gloucester Daily Times

Rosie on the House: Rid your home of pests – Arizona Daily Star


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 29th, 2021

If you have scorpions or black widows, which can be dangerous, call a pest control professional to get rid of them.

Special to the Arizona Daily Star

Question: How can I get rid of crickets in and around my home?

Answer: If youre seeing crickets inside your home, then more serious predators are sure to follow. Get rid of those crickets fast.

Heres what not to do: Dont empty a can of Raid on those creepy crawlers. Sure, youll drown the ones you can see, but their friends will simply sidestep the chemicals when they come out of their hiding places.

A better strategy is to find out where theyre hiding and lure them out with a granular food bait that will trap them. You also can use sticky traps or concoct your own traps using a jar containing some water and molasses.

Q: How can I get rid of ants around my house and yard?

A: We have compiled a list of recommendations from the hosts, listeners and Rosie on the House extermination partners.

Small apple slices (kills the queen ant due to digestive problems)

Corn meal (may harm bird digestion, use with caution)

Grits (safe for bird digestion)

Cinnamon (deterrent only)

Avon Skin So Soft in a spray bottle, diluted with water (also helpful to keep mosquitoes off your skin)

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Rosie on the House: Rid your home of pests - Arizona Daily Star

This Week in Jane’s World – Ants, Bees & Other Uninvited Guests – Old Mission Gazette


Recommended by Dikshit Aryal, Published on August 29th, 2021

Im not a huge fan of summer. As soon as the last snowstorm hits in May, I start counting the days until the next snow will fly. Thats probably not something you hear a lot of people say here in northern Michigan, but I have my reasons.

First, Im not crazy about heat and humidity, both of which keep me off my beloved trails on the north end. Id even risk seeing the naked guy out there at this point, but its just been too hot and buggy lately. I just ordered a mesh netting thing to go over my head and keep the mosquitoes from chewing on me well see how that works. Im basically covered in bites from spring until the first frost, and the mosquitoes seem like theyre working overtime this summer.

Its especially discouraging that Tim and I can be in the same swarm of mosquitoes, and theyll all come after me, leaving him completely fine. If theres even one mosquito in the house, it will terrorize me.

Second, when we built our log home here on Bluff Road 25 years ago, we had no idea that every insect and creature known to man would think it was THEIR log home. So, as soon as that last snowflake leaves the sky in the spring, all of them start invading our house ants, bees, wasps, spiders, moths, birds and sometimes even mice.

Although in recent years, the mice tend to set up their communes in our cars, prompting Tim to run traplines in every vehicle we own. Its all fun and games until you realize in the Meijer parking lot that youve been hauling around an uninvited guest. I apologize to whomever had to empty the trash bin. When I got home, Tim wondered why I hadnt saved the trap. No. Just no.

(I had a picture of the expired mouse here, but Tim made me take it out. Click here if youd like to see it.)

This summer, the bees and ants have been exceptionally busy making cozy homes in our log walls. Tim spent several days spraying the holes with bug killer and filling them with foam, only to have the creatures make new homes in the foam. A week on, it seems like they might be taking the hint. Im sure our walls are now harboring a large graveyard of ants and bees in there.

Honestly, I would rather have this guy, who was also recently evicted

This week, we decided to finally tear out the shower in our bathroom on the first floor. It was ancient and gross and had some water damage. I knew there were carpenter ants in the walls behind it, because Ive been spraying them since spring. I just didnt realize how many were there until the shower came out.

Again, we sprayed bug killer in there and flushed a bunch of ants out of the walls. Weve really enjoyed watching them crawl out and collapse on the floor, staggering around in circles until they die a miserable death. Awww are you having a bad day? I like to say. Its about to get worse.

This is what it looked like AFTER hed taken out a dustpan full of ants. Thankfully, I was in town when that happened. Knowing how much I LOVE bugs, he stopped me at the door to warn me of the gruesome crime scene. Some fell to their death through the drain hole into the basement.

Ive also been spraying around the outside of the house all summer, but it might be time to call in the experts (an exterminator). Especially since I just murdered a big spider in the living room. I could have sworn he chirped at me before I sent him to Boot Hill. Do spiders chirp?

And yes, I realize that all of you spiders out there have many redeeming qualities, but take note, if you are in my house, you are going to die. I am not taking you outside.

Is it winter yet?

Old Mission Gazette is a reader-supported newspaper, and we need your ongoing support to keep delivering OMP news, history, photos, events and more. Owners Tim and Jane Boursaw are devoted to the Old Mission Peninsula community, and every contribution, big or small, is valuable. Click HERE to support Old Mission Gazette. Thank you!

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This Week in Jane's World - Ants, Bees & Other Uninvited Guests - Old Mission Gazette


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