Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Why are there so many insects? - Murry Gans


If insects suddenly morphed into large beings and decided to wage war on us, there’s no doubt that humans would lose. There are an estimated 10 quintillion individual insects on earth, outnumbering humans by more than a billion to one. So what’s their secret to success? Murry Gans details the reasons behind insect abundance. 

Lesson by Murry Gans, animation by Echo Bridge Pictures.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Insects

Insects (from Latin insectum) are pancrustacean hexapod invertebrates of the class Insecta. They are the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body (head, thorax and abdomen), three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. Their blood is not totally contained in vessels; some circulates in an open cavity known as the haemocoel. Insects are the most diverse group of animals; they include more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms. The total number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million; potentially over 90% of the animal life forms on Earth are insects. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans, which recent research has indicated insects are nested within.

Nearly all insects hatch from eggs. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of molts. The immature stages often differ from the adults in structure, habit and habitat, and can include a usually immobile pupal stage in those groups that undergo four-stage metamorphosis. Insects that undergo three-stage metamorphosis lack a pupal stage and adults develop through a series of nymphal stages. The higher level relationship of the insects is unclear. Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm (22 to 28 in). The most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

WHO WE ARE


American Pest Management, LLC, is a family owned and operated business. Bob and Barbara Weyand started the business in 1980 with the goal to provide realistic solutions to pest control needs while still maintaining a safe environment.

Continuing in this tradition, Bob and Barbara’s son-in-law Jeff Verges took ownership of the company in 2016. His goal is to maintain the same personal experience customers have enjoyed for more than 35 years.
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Licensed and Insured in the State of Oregon
  • Reasonable Prices
  • Materials are Safe and Effective
  • No Contracts
  • FREE Estimates
  • Fast and Friendly Service
Providing pest control for your friends and neighbors in the Eugene, Springfield, and surrounding areas for more than 35 years.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Insects for Kids | Have fun learning all about different kinds of bugs! ...


Insects for kids is a fun video where we get to learn all about bugs!  We start by identifying different kinds of bugs like butterflies, beetles, moths, arachnids, etc.  We then take a deeper look at what makes up the bodies of insects: the head, thorax, abdomen. By the end of the video your students or kids will be able to better distinguish and identify the differences between types of bugs and identify important characteristics of each kind. They should also be able to name a few different kind of bugs as well!

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Contact Us.

We are fully licensed and insured in the state of Oregon. Our prices are reasonable and competitive with fast and friendly service. Call us today for a FREE quote!

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Monday, September 19, 2022

What Are People Saying?


TESTIMONIALS

LJG
“Bob and Barb were referred by a neighbor and we have been using their services for better than five years. We also use their services at our rental house. I would highly recommend to anyone the professional pest management  services that they offer. We have tried other services with different people showing up every month and we feel comfortable with Bob."

BJL
“Bob and Barb are very conscientious and  do a great job of taking care of their customers. They are friendly, accommodating, and very trustworthy. Their prices are reasonable, and they do a very good job, while also treating household pests with an eye to the environment. I’d recommend them to anyone."

TLB
“We’ve been a client of Bob’s for nearly 15 years.  I tried the “regular" big guys, but I didn’t like the results or the price. Bob is efficient, uses pet- and human-friendly products (we have 3 cats), and is always pleasant and fun to talk to. He explains everything and answers any questions with an amazing repertoire of “bug knowledge." I’ve learned way more about pests than i probable need to–and lots of other subjects that he and I talk about. His visits are like have a good friend over. Although I’ve never met his wife Barbara, I feel as though I know her personally. She is always pleasant and accommodating, even in last-minute emergencies. Altogether, I can’t imagine a better pest management service."

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Friday, September 16, 2022

Silkworms Spin Cocoons That Spell Their Own Doom | Deep Look


Those precious silk garments in your closet were made by the caterpillar of a fuzzy white moth – thousands of them. Silkworms spin a cocoon with a single strand of silk up to ten city blocks long. Humans have bred these insects into weaving machines that can no longer survive in the wild.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

WHAT WE DO : Monthly Service

  • Internal and External Pest Management
  • Monthly Service
  • Bi-Monthly Service
  • Quarterly Service
  • One Time Service
Service Locations: Eugene, Salem, Springfield, Cottage Grove, Creswell, Veneta, Dexter, and Pleasant Hill

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Count on Us

We provide pest control for your toughest pest problems, including but, not limited to, Carpenter Ants, Sugar Ants, Fleas, Spiders, Roaches, Wasps, Mice and Rats.

Effectively controlling pests requires knowledge and understanding of their habits, traits, environment, and weaknesses. It's not just eliminating the pest problem that matters; it's doing so in a safe and effective manner.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Yellowjackets


This video features a hands-on look at the inside of a Yellowjacket colony.  Yellowjackets are a common wasp, their life cycle is one of complete metamorphosis. The video shows eggs, larva, pupa and adults in the colony. This video is suitable as a resource for teaching about insects and insect life cycles.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Identification of the Yellowjackets

Yellowjackets may be confused with other wasps, such as hornets and paper wasps such as Polistes dominula. A typical yellowjacket worker is about 12 mm (0.47 in) long, with alternating bands on the abdomen; the queen is larger, about 19 mm (0.75 in) long (the different patterns on their abdomens help separate various species).

Yellowjackets are sometimes mistakenly called "bees" (as in "meat bees"), given that they are similar in size and general coloration to honey bees, but yellowjackets are actually wasps. In contrast to honey bees, yellowjackets have yellow or white markings, are not covered with tan-brown dense hair on their bodies, and do not have the flattened, hairy pollen-carrying hind legs characteristic of honey bees (although they are capable of pollination).

Yellowjackets have lance-like stingers with small barbs, and typically sting repeatedly, though occasionally a stinger becomes lodged and pulls free of the wasp's body; the venom, like most bee and wasp venoms, is primarily dangerous to only those humans who are allergic or are stung many times. All species have yellow or white on their faces. Their mouthparts are well-developed with strong mandibles for capturing and chewing insects, with probosces for sucking nectar, fruit, and other juices. Yellowjackets build nests in trees, shrubs, or in protected places such as inside man-made structures, or in soil cavities, tree stumps, mouse burrows, etc. They build them from wood fiber they chew into a paper-like pulp. Many other insects exhibit protective mimicry of aggressive, stinging yellowjackets; in addition to numerous bees and wasps (Müllerian mimicry), the list includes some flies, moths, and beetles (Batesian mimicry).

Yellowjackets' closest relatives, the hornets, closely resemble them but have larger heads, seen especially in the large distance from the eyes to the back of the head.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Yellowjacket

Yellowjacket or yellow jacket is the common name in North America for predatory social wasps of the genera Vespula and Dolichovespula. Members of these genera are known simply as "wasps" in other English-speaking countries. Most of these are black and yellow like the eastern yellowjacket Vespula maculifrons and the aerial yellowjacket Dolichovespula arenaria; some are black and white like the bald-faced hornet, Dolichovespula maculata. Others may have the abdomen background color red instead of black. They can be identified by their distinctive markings, their occurrence only in colonies, and a characteristic, rapid, side-to-side flight pattern prior to landing. All females are capable of stinging. Yellowjackets are important predators of pest insects.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Monday, August 29, 2022

Children Learn About The Ant


Zoologist Jess French Jess looks at an ant colony with its queen and many worker ants.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Friday, August 26, 2022

Distribution and Diversity of Ants

Ants have a cosmopolitan distribution. They are found on all continents except Antarctica, and only a few large islands, such as Greenland, Iceland, parts of Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands lack native ant species. Ants occupy a wide range of ecological niches and exploit many different food resources as direct or indirect herbivores, predators and scavengers. Most ant species are omnivorous generalists, but a few are specialist feeders. Their ecological dominance is demonstrated by their biomass: ants are estimated to contribute 15–20 % (on average and nearly 25% in the tropics) of terrestrial animal biomass, exceeding that of the vertebrates.

Ants range in size from 0.75 to 52 millimetres (0.030–2.0 in), the largest species being the fossil Titanomyrma giganteum, the queen of which was 6 cm (2+1⁄2 in) long with a wingspan of 15 cm (6 in). Ants vary in colour; most ants are red or black, but a few species are green and some tropical species have a metallic lustre. More than 13,800 species are currently known (with upper estimates of the potential existence of about 22,000; see the article List of ant genera), with the greatest diversity in the tropics. Taxonomic studies continue to resolve the classification and systematics of ants. Online databases of ant species, including AntWeb and the Hymenoptera Name Server, help to keep track of the known and newly described species. The relative ease with which ants may be sampled and studied in ecosystems has made them useful as indicator species in biodiversity studies.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Sugar Ant

Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from vespoid wasp ancestors in the Cretaceous period, and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 13,800 of an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified. They are easily identified by their geniculate (elbowed) antennae and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists.

Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females, most of which are workers (ergates), as well as soldiers (dinergates) and other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens" (gynes). The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.

Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships.

Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems. These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject of study. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine, medication, and rites. Some species are valued in their role as biological pest control agents. Their ability to exploit resources may bring ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can damage crops and invade buildings. Some species, such as the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) of South America, are regarded as invasive species in other parts of the world, establishing themselves in areas where they have been introduced accidentally.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Spiders for kids


Zoologist Jess French takes a look at some spiders, then accompanies a group of children to have a look for webs and eggs.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Eyes of the Spider

Spiders have primarily four pairs of eyes on the top-front area of the cephalothorax, arranged in patterns that vary from one family to another. The principal pair at the front are of the type called pigment-cup ocelli ("little eyes"), which in most arthropods are only capable of detecting the direction from which light is coming, using the shadow cast by the walls of the cup. However, in spiders these eyes are capable of forming images. The other pairs, called secondary eyes, are thought to be derived from the compound eyes of the ancestral chelicerates, but no longer have the separate facets typical of compound eyes. Unlike the principal eyes, in many spiders these secondary eyes detect light reflected from a reflective tapetum lucidum, and wolf spiders can be spotted by torchlight reflected from the tapeta. On the other hand, the secondary eyes of jumping spiders have no tapeta.

Other differences between the principal and secondary eyes are that the latter have rhabdomeres that point away from incoming light, just like in vertebrates, while the arrangement is the opposite in the former. The principal eyes are also the only ones with eye muscles, allowing them to move the retina. Having no muscles, the secondary eyes are immobile.

The visual acuity of some jumping spiders exceeds by a factor of ten that of dragonflies, which have by far the best vision among insects. This acuity is achieved by a telephotographic series of lenses, a four-layer retina, and the ability to swivel the eyes and integrate images from different stages in the scan. The downside is that the scanning and integrating processes are relatively slow.

There are spiders with a reduced number of eyes, the most common having six eyes (example, Periegops suterii) with a pair of eyes absent on the anterior median line. Other species have four eyes and members of the Caponiidae family can have as few as two. Cave dwelling species have no eyes, or possess vestigial eyes incapable of sight.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Spiders

Spiders (order Araneae) are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, chelicerae with fangs generally able to inject venom, and spinnerets that extrude silk. They are the largest order of arachnids and rank seventh in total species diversity among all orders of organisms. Spiders are found worldwide on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every land habitat. As of August 2021, 50,266 spider species in 132 families have been recorded by taxonomists. However, there has been dissension within the scientific community as to how all these families should be classified, as evidenced by the over 20 different classifications that have been proposed since 1900.

Anatomically, spiders (as with all arachnids) differ from other arthropods in that the usual body segments are fused into two tagmata, the cephalothorax or prosoma, and the opisthosoma, or abdomen, and joined by a small, cylindrical pedicel, however, as there is currently neither paleontological nor embryological evidence that spiders ever had a separate thorax-like division, there exists an argument against the validity of the term cephalothorax, which means fused cephalon (head) and the thorax. Similarly, arguments can be formed against use of the term abdomen, as the opisthosoma of all spiders contains a heart and respiratory organs, organs atypical of an abdomen.

Unlike insects, spiders do not have antennae. In all except the most primitive group, the Mesothelae, spiders have the most centralized nervous systems of all arthropods, as all their ganglia are fused into one mass in the cephalothorax. Unlike most arthropods, spiders have no extensor muscles in their limbs and instead extend them by hydraulic pressure.

Their abdomens bear appendages that have been modified into spinnerets that extrude silk from up to six types of glands. Spider webs vary widely in size, shape and the amount of sticky thread used. It now appears that the spiral orb web may be one of the earliest forms, and spiders that produce tangled cobwebs are more abundant and diverse than orb-weaver spiders. Spider-like arachnids with silk-producing spigots appeared in the Devonian period about 386 million years ago, but these animals apparently lacked spinnerets. True spiders have been found in Carboniferous rocks from 318 to 299 million years ago, and are very similar to the most primitive surviving suborder, the Mesothelae. The main groups of modern spiders, Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, first appeared in the Triassic period, before 200 million years ago.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Learn Something About Silverfish!


Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Monday, August 8, 2022

Reproduction and Life Cycle of Silverfish

Before silverfish reproduce, they carry out a ritual involving three phases, which may last over half an hour. In the first phase, the male and female stand face to face, their vibrating antennae touching, then repeatedly back off and return to this position. In the second phase, the male runs away and the female chases him. In the third phase, the male and female stand side by side and head to tail, with the male vibrating his tail against the female. Finally, the male lays a spermatophore, a sperm capsule covered in gossamer, which the female takes into her body via her ovipositor to fertilize her eggs. The female lays groups of fewer than 60 eggs at once, deposited in small crevices. The eggs are oval-shaped, whitish, about 0.8 mm (0.031 in) long, and take between two weeks and two months to hatch. A silverfish usually lays fewer than 100 eggs in her lifetime.

When the nymphs hatch, they are whitish in colour, and look like smaller adults. As they moult, young silverfish develop a greyish appearance and a metallic shine, eventually becoming adults after three months to three years. They may go through 17 to 66 moults in their lifetimes, sometimes 30 in a single year—many more than most insects. Silverfish are among the few types of insect that continue to moult after reaching adulthood.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Friday, August 5, 2022

Silver Fish


The silverfish (Lepisma saccharinum) is a species of small, primitive, wingless insect in the order Zygentoma (formerly Thysanura). Its common name derives from the insect's silvery light grey colour, combined with the fish-like appearance of its movements. The scientific name (L. saccharinum) indicates that the silverfish's diet consists of carbohydrates such as sugar or starches. While the common name silverfish is used throughout the global literature to refer to various species of Zygentoma, the Entomological Society of America restricts use of the term solely for Lepisma saccharinum.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Why Cockroaches Are So Hard To Kill


Cockroaches are one of the most widespread and resilient creatures on this planet. They are practically everywhere around us, hiding in the walls, sewers, and perhaps your cupboard. They are also one of the most hated creatures by humans. If you are like most people, you will become determined to kill all of the roaches when you see them in your house. Despite such hatred towards them, how do cockroaches manage to thrive all around the globe?

Science Insider tells you all you need to know about science: space, medicine, biotech, physiology, and more.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Behavior of Cockroaches

Cockroaches are social insects; a large number of species are either gregarious or inclined to aggregate, and a slightly smaller number exhibit parental care. It used to be thought that cockroaches aggregated because they were reacting to environmental cues, but it is now believed that pheromones are involved in these behaviors. Some species secrete these in their feces with gut microbial symbionts being involved, while others use glands located on their mandibles. Pheromones produced by the cuticle may enable cockroaches to distinguish between different populations of cockroach by odor. The behaviors involved have been studied in only a few species, but German cockroaches leave fecal trails with an odor gradient. Other cockroaches follow such trails to discover sources of food and water, and where other cockroaches are hiding. Thus, cockroaches have emergent behavior, in which group or swarm behavior emerges from a simple set of individual interactions.

Daily rhythms may also be regulated by a complex set of hormonal controls of which only a small subset have been understood. In 2005, the role of one of these proteins, pigment dispersing factor (PDF), was isolated and found to be a key mediator in the circadian rhythms of the cockroach.

Pest species adapt readily to a variety of environments, but prefer warm conditions found within buildings. Many tropical species prefer even warmer environments. Cockroaches are mainly nocturnal and run away when exposed to light. An exception to this is the Asian cockroach, which flies mostly at night but is attracted to brightly lit surfaces and pale colors.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Cockroach

Cockroaches (or roaches) are insects of the order Blattodea, which also includes termites. About 30 cockroach species out of 4,600 are associated with human habitats. Some species are well-known as pests.

The cockroaches are an ancient group, with ancestors originating during the Carboniferous period, some 300–350 million years ago. Those early ancestors, however, lacked the internal ovipositors of modern roaches. Cockroaches are somewhat generalized insects lacking special adaptations (such as the sucking mouthparts of aphids and other true bugs); they have chewing mouthparts and are probably among the most primitive of living Neopteran insects. They are common and hardy insects capable of tolerating a wide range of climates, from Arctic cold to tropical heat. Tropical cockroaches are often much larger than temperate species. Contrary to popular belief, extinct cockroach relatives (Blattoptera) and 'roachoids' such as the Carboniferous Archimylacris and Apthoroblattina were not as large as the biggest modern species.

Some species, such as the gregarious German cockroach, have an elaborate social structure involving common shelter, social dependence, information transfer and kin recognition. Cockroaches have appeared in human culture since classical antiquity. They are popularly depicted as dirty pests, although the majority of species are inoffensive and live in a wide range of habitats around the world.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Sunday, July 24, 2022

See What Happens When You Tickle a Rat | National Geographic


By studying how rats react to tickling, scientists are gaining insight into how a brain processes and responds to the sensation. Video courtesy Humboldt University of Berlin

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Rat Tails


Multiple studies have explored the thermoregulatory capacity of rodent tails by subjecting test organisms to varying levels of physical activity and quantifying heat conduction via the animals' tails. One study demonstrated a significant disparity in heat dissipation from a rat's tail relative to its abdomen. This observation was attributed to the higher proportion of vascularity in the tail, as well as its higher surface-area-to-volume ratio, which directly relates to heat's ability to dissipate via the skin. These findings were confirmed in a separate study analyzing the relationships of heat storage and mechanical efficiency in rodents that exercise in warm environments. In this study, the tail was a focal point in measuring heat accumulation and modulation.

On the other hand, the tail's ability to function as a proprioceptive sensor and modulator has also been investigated. As aforementioned, the tail demonstrates a high degree of muscularization and subsequent innervation that ostensibly collaborate in orienting the organism. Specifically, this is accomplished by coordinated flexion and extension of tail muscles to produce slight shifts in the organism's center of mass, orientation, etc., which ultimately assists it with achieving a state of proprioceptive balance in its environment. Further mechanobiological investigations of the constituent tendons in the tail of the rat have identified multiple factors that influence how the organism navigates its environment with this structure. A particular example is that of a study in which the morphology of these tendons is explicated in detail. Namely, cell viability tests of tendons of the rat's tail demonstrate a higher proportion of living fibroblasts that produce the collagen for these fibers. As in humans, these tendons contain a high density of golgi tendon organs that help the animal assess stretching of muscle in situ and adjust accordingly by relaying the information to higher cortical areas associated with balance, proprioception, and movement.

The characteristic tail of murids also displays a unique defense mechanism known as degloving in which the outer layer of the integument can be detached in order to facilitate the animal's escape from a predator. This evolutionary selective pressure has persisted despite a multitude of pathologies that can manifest upon shedding part of the tail and exposing more interior elements to the environment. Paramount among these are bacterial and viral infection, as the high density of vascular tissue within the tail becomes exposed upon avulsion or similar injury to the structure. The degloving response is a nocifensive response, meaning that it occurs when the animal is subjected to acute pain, such as when a predator snatches the organism by the tail.

Read more, here.
Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Monday, July 18, 2022

Rat

Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents. Species of rats are found throughout the order Rodentia, but stereotypical rats are found in the genus Rattus. Other rat genera include Neotoma (pack rats), Bandicota (bandicoot rats) and Dipodomys (kangaroo rats).

Rats are typically distinguished from mice by their size. Usually the common name of a large muroid rodent will include the word "rat", while a smaller muroid's name will include "mouse". The common terms rat and mouse are not taxonomically specific. There are 56 known species of rats in the world.

Species and description
The best-known rat species are the black rat (Rattus rattus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). This group, generally known as the Old World rats or true rats, originated in Asia. Rats are bigger than most Old World mice, which are their relatives, but seldom weigh over 500 grams (17+1⁄2 oz) in the wild.

The term rat is also used in the names of other small mammals that are not true rats. Examples include the North American pack rats (aka wood rats) and a number of species loosely called kangaroo rats. Rats such as the bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis) are murine rodents related to true rats but are not members of the genus Rattus.

Male rats are called bucks; unmated females, does, pregnant or parent females, dams; and infants, kittens or pups. A group of rats is referred to as a mischief.

The common species are opportunistic survivors and often live with and near humans; therefore, they are known as commensals. They may cause substantial food losses, especially in developing countries. However, the widely distributed and problematic commensal species of rats are a minority in this diverse genus. Many species of rats are island endemics, some of which have become endangered due to habitat loss or competition with the brown, black, or Polynesian rat.

Wild rodents, including rats, can carry many different zoonotic pathogens, such as Leptospira, Toxoplasma gondii, and Campylobacter. The Black Death is traditionally believed to have been caused by the microorganism Yersinia pestis, carried by the tropical rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis), which preyed on black rats living in European cities during the epidemic outbreaks of the Middle Ages; these rats were used as transport hosts. Another zoonotic disease linked to the rat is foot-and-mouth disease.

Rats become sexually mature at age 6 weeks, but reach social maturity at about 5 to 6 months of age. The average lifespan of rats varies by species, but many only live about a year due to predation.

The black and brown rats diverged from other Old World rats in the forests of Asia during the beginning of the Pleistocene.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Friday, July 15, 2022

Animal Facts - Mouse


Mice are found in all corners of the world. They can live on scraps of  food. They peep out of their little holes start eating whatever is available.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Human Use of Mice

As Experimental Animals

Mice are common experimental animals in laboratory research of biology and psychology fields primarily because they are mammals, and also because they share a high degree of homology with humans. They are the most commonly used mammalian model organism, more common than rats. The mouse genome has been sequenced, and virtually all mouse genes have human homologs. The mouse has approximately 2.7 billion base pairs and 20 pairs of chromosomes. They can also be manipulated in ways that are illegal with humans, although animal rights activists often object. A knockout mouse is a genetically modified mouse that has had one or more of its genes made inoperable through a gene knockout.

Reasons for common selection of mice are that they are small and inexpensive, have a widely varied diet, are easily maintained, and can reproduce quickly. Several generations of mice can be observed in a relatively short time. Mice are generally very docile if raised from birth and given sufficient human contact. However, certain strains have been known to be quite temperamental.

As Pets

Many people buy mice as companion pets. They can be playful, loving and can grow used to being handled. Like pet rats, pet mice should not be left unsupervised outside as they have many natural predators, including (but not limited to) birds, snakes, lizards, cats, and dogs. Male mice tend to have a stronger odor than the females. However, mice are careful groomers and as pets they never need bathing. Well looked-after mice can make ideal pets. Some common mouse care products are:

Cage – Usually a hamster or gerbil cage, but a variety of special mouse cages are now available. Most should have a secure door.

Food – Special pelleted and seed-based food is available. Mice can generally eat most rodent food (for rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, etc.)

Bedding – Usually made of hardwood pulp, such as aspen, sometimes from shredded, uninked paper or recycled virgin wood pulp. Using corn husk bedding is avoided because it promotes Aspergillus fungus, and can grow mold once it gets wet, which is rough on their feet.

As Feed

Mice are a staple in the diet of many small carnivores. In various countries mice are used as feed for pets such as snakes, lizards, frogs, tarantulas, and birds of prey, and many pet stores carry mice for this purpose.

Common terms used to refer to different ages/sizes of mice when sold for pet food are "pinkies", "fuzzies", "crawlers", "hoppers", and "adults". Pinkies are newborn mice that have not yet grown fur; fuzzies have some fur but are not very mobile; and hoppers have a full coat of hair and are fully mobile but are smaller than adult mice. Mice without fur are easier for the animal to consume; however, mice with fur may be more convincing as animal feed.[citation needed] These terms are also used to refer to the various growth stages of rats (see Fancy rat).

As Food

Humans have eaten mice since prehistoric times. In Victorian Britain, fried mice were still given to children as a folk remedy for bed-wetting; while Jared Diamond reports creamed mice being used in England as a dietary supplement during WW II rationing. Mice are a delicacy throughout eastern Zambia and northern Malawi, where they are a seasonal source of protein. Field rat is a popular food in Vietnam and neighboring countries. In many countries, however, mouse is no longer a food item.

Prescribed cures in Ancient Egypt included mice as medicine. In Ancient Egypt, when infants were ill, mice were eaten as treatment by their mothers. It was believed that mouse eating by the mother would help heal the baby who was ill.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Mouse


A mouse (pl: mice) is a small mammal. Characteristically, mice are known to have a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (Mus musculus). Mice are also popular as pets. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are locally common. They are known to invade homes for food and shelter.

Mice are typically distinguished from rats by their size. Generally, when a muroid rodent is discovered, its common name includes the term mouse if it is smaller, or rat if it is larger. The common terms rat and mouse are not taxonomically specific. Typical mice are classified in the genus Mus, but the term mouse is not confined to members of Mus and can also apply to species from other genera such as the deer mouse, Peromyscus.

Domestic mice sold as pets often differ substantially in size from the common house mouse. This is attributable to breeding and different conditions in the wild. The best-known strain of mouse is the white lab mouse. It has more uniform traits that are appropriate to its use in research.

Cats, wild dogs, foxes, birds of prey, snakes and even certain kinds of arthropods have been known to prey heavily upon mice. Despite this, mice populations remain plentiful. Due to its remarkable adaptability to almost any environment, the mouse is one of the most successful mammalian genera living on Earth today.

In certain contexts, mice can be considered vermin. Vermin are a major source of crop damage, as they are known to cause structural damage and spread disease. Mice spread disease through their feces and are often carriers of parasites. In North America, breathing dust that has come in contact with mouse excrement has been linked to hantavirus, which may lead to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).

Primarily nocturnal animals, mice compensate for their poor eyesight with a keen sense of hearing. They depend on their sense of smell to locate food and avoid predators.

In the wild, mice are known to build intricate burrows. These burrows have long entrances and are equipped with escape tunnels. In at least one species, the architectural design of a burrow is a genetic trait.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem



Wednesday, July 6, 2022

21 Most Incredible Moth Species


Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Differences Between Butterflies and Moths


While the butterflies form a monophyletic group, the moths, comprising the rest of the Lepidoptera, do not. Many attempts have been made to group the superfamilies of the Lepidoptera into natural groups, most of which fail because one of the two groups is not monophyletic: Microlepidoptera and Macrolepidoptera, Heterocera and Rhopalocera, Jugatae and Frenatae, Monotrysia and Ditrysia.

Although the rules for distinguishing moths from butterflies are not well established, one very good guiding principle is that butterflies have thin antennae and (with the exception of the family Hedylidae) have small balls or clubs at the end of their antennae. Moth antennae are usually feathery with no ball on the end. The divisions are named by this principle: "club-antennae" (Rhopalocera) or "varied-antennae" (Heterocera). Lepidoptera first evolved during the carboniferous period, but only evolved their characteristic proboscis alongside the rise of angiosperms in the cretaceous period.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Moths

Moths are a paraphyletic group of insects that includes all members of the order Lepidoptera that are not butterflies, with moths making up the vast majority of the order. There are thought to be approximately 160,000 species of moth, many of which have yet to be described. Most species of moth are nocturnal, but there are also crepuscular and diurnal species.

Predators and parasites

Tobacco hornworm parasitized by braconid wasps

Nocturnal insectivores often feed on moths; these include some bats, some species of owls and other species of birds. Moths also are eaten by some species of lizards, amphibians, cats, dogs, rodents, and some bears. Moth larvae are vulnerable to being parasitized by Ichneumonidae.

Baculoviruses are parasite double-stranded DNA insect viruses that are used mostly as biological control agents. They are members of the Baculoviridae, a family that is restricted to insects. Most baculovirus isolates have been obtained from insects, in particular from Lepidoptera.

There is evidence that ultrasound in the range emitted by bats causes flying moths to make evasive maneuvers. Ultrasonic frequencies trigger a reflex action in the noctuid moth that causes it to drop a few centimeters or inches in its flight to evade attack, and tiger moths can emit clicks to foil bats' echolocation.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Monday, June 27, 2022

Friday, June 24, 2022

Life Cycle of a Hornet

In V. crabro, the nest is founded in spring by a fertilized female known as the queen. She generally selects sheltered places such as dark, hollow tree trunks. She first builds a series of cells (up to 50) out of chewed tree bark. The cells are arranged in horizontal layers named combs, each cell being vertical and closed at the top. An egg is then laid in each cell. After 5–8 days, the egg hatches. Over the following two weeks, the larva progresses through five stages of development. During this time, the queen feeds it a protein-rich diet of insects. Then, the larva spins a silk cap over the cell's opening, and during the next two weeks, transforms into an adult, a process called metamorphosis. The adult then eats its way through the silk cap. This first generation of workers, invariably females, now gradually undertakes all the tasks formerly carried out by the queen (foraging, nest building, taking care of the brood, etc.) with the exception of egg-laying, which remains exclusive to the queen.

As the colony size grows, new combs are added, and an envelope is built around the cell layers until the nest is entirely covered, with the exception of an entry hole. To be able to build cells in total darkness, they apparently use gravity to aid them. At the peak of its population, which occurs in late summer, the colony can reach a size of 700 workers.

At this time, the queen starts producing the first reproductive individuals. Fertilized eggs develop into females (called "gynes" by entomologists), and unfertilized ones develop into males (sometimes called "drones" as with honeybee drones). Adult males do not participate in nest maintenance, foraging, or caretaking of the larvae. In early to mid-autumn, they leave the nest and mate during "nuptial flights".

Other temperate species (e.g., the yellow hornet, V. simillima, or the Oriental hornet, V. orientalis) have similar cycles. In the case of tropical species (e.g., V. tropica), life histories may well differ, and in species with both tropical and temperate distributions (such as the Asian giant hornet, V. mandarinia), the cycle likely depends on latitude.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Hornets

Hornets (insects in the genus Vespa) are the largest of the eusocial wasps, and are similar in appearance to their close relatives yellowjackets. Some species can reach up to 5.5 cm (2.2 in) in length. They are distinguished from other vespine wasps by the relatively large top margin of the head and by the rounded segment of the abdomen just behind the waist. Worldwide, 22 species of Vespa are recognized. Most species only occur in the tropics of Asia, though the European hornet (V. crabro), is widely distributed throughout Europe, Russia, North America, and Northeast Asia. Wasps native to North America in the genus Dolichovespula are commonly referred to as hornets (e.g., baldfaced hornets), but are actually yellowjackets.

Like other social wasps, hornets build communal nests by chewing wood to make a papery pulp. Each nest has one queen, which lays eggs and is attended by workers that, while genetically female, cannot lay fertile eggs. Most species make exposed nests in trees and shrubs, but some (such as Vespa orientalis) build their nests underground or in other cavities. In the tropics, these nests may last year-round, but in temperate areas, the nest dies over the winter, with lone queens hibernating in leaf litter or other insulative material until the spring. Male hornets are docile and do not have stingers.

Hornets are often considered pests, as they aggressively guard their nesting sites when threatened and their stings can be more dangerous than those of bees.

Read more, here.
Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem


Saturday, June 18, 2022

Why Fleas Are So Hard To Kill


Fleas are incredible jumpers, but their talents don’t stop there. With the ability to sense warmth and vibrations, they're perfectly adapted to find blood-filled mammals like dogs and cats. What they do next will give you chills — and hopefully, nothing more.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Morphology and Behavior of Fleas


Fleas are wingless insects, 1.5 to 3.3 millimetres (1⁄16 to 1⁄8 inch) long, that are agile, usually dark colored (for example, the reddish-brown of the cat flea), with a proboscis, or stylet, adapted to feeding by piercing the skin and sucking their host's blood through their epipharynx. Flea legs end in strong claws that are adapted to grasp a host.

Unlike other insects, fleas do not possess compound eyes but instead only have simple eyespots with a single biconvex lens; some species lack eyes altogether. Their bodies are laterally compressed, permitting easy movement through the hairs or feathers on the host's body. The flea body is covered with hard plates called sclerites. These sclerites are covered with many hairs and short spines directed backward, which also assist its movements on the host. The tough body is able to withstand great pressure, likely an adaptation to survive attempts to eliminate them by scratching.

Fleas lay tiny, white, oval eggs. The larvae are small and pale, have bristles covering their worm-like bodies, lack eyes, and have mouth parts adapted to chewing. The larvae feed on organic matter, especially the feces of mature fleas, which contain dried blood. Adults feed only on fresh blood.

Jumping
Their legs are long, the hind pair well adapted for jumping; a flea can jump vertically up to 18 cm (7 in) and horizontally up to 33 cm (13 in), making the flea one of the best jumpers of all known animals (relative to body size), second only to the froghopper. A flea can jump more than 100 times its length (vertically up to 7 inches and horizontally 13 inches). That's equivalent to an adult human jumping 250 feet vertically and 450 feet horizontally. Rarely do fleas jump from dog to dog. Most flea infestations come from newly developed fleas from the pet's environment. The flea jump is so rapid and forceful that it exceeds the capabilities of muscle, and instead of relying on direct muscle power, fleas store muscle energy in a pad of the elastic protein named resilin before releasing it rapidly (like a human using a bow and arrow). Immediately before the jump, muscles contract and deform the resilin pad, slowly storing energy which can then be released extremely rapidly to power leg extension for propulsion. To prevent premature release of energy or motions of the leg, the flea employs a "catch mechanism". Early in the jump, the tendon of the primary jumping muscle passes slightly behind the coxa-trochanter joint, generating a torque which holds the joint closed with the leg close to the body. To trigger jumping, another muscle pulls the tendon forward until it passes the joint axis, generating the opposite torque to extend the leg and power the jump by release of stored energy. The actual take off has been shown by high-speed video to be from the tibiae and tarsi rather than from the trochantera (knees).

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem



Sunday, June 12, 2022

Flea


Flea, the common name for the order Siphonaptera, includes 2,500 species of small flightless insects that survive as external parasites of mammals and birds. Fleas live by consuming blood, or hematophagy, from their hosts. Adult fleas grow to about 3 millimetres (1⁄8 inch) long, are usually brown, and have bodies that are "flattened" sideways or narrow, enabling them to move through their host's fur or feathers. They lack wings, but have strong claws preventing them from being dislodged, mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood, and hind legs extremely well adapted for jumping. They are able to leap a distance of some 50 times their body length, a feat second only to jumps made by another group of insects, the superfamily of froghoppers. Flea larvae are worm-like with no limbs; they have chewing mouthparts and feed on organic debris left on their host's skin.

Genetic evidence indicates that fleas are a specialised lineage of parasitic scorpionflies sensu lato, most closely related to Nannochoristidae. The earliest known fleas are known from the Middle Jurassic, though modern looking forms do not appear until the Cenozoic. Fleas likely originated on mammals before later parasitising birds. Each species of flea is more or less a specialist with respect to its host animal species: many species never breed on any other host, though some are less selective. Some families of fleas are exclusive to a single host group; for example, the Malacopsyllidae are found only on armadillos, the Ischnopsyllidae only on bats, and the Chimaeropsyllidae only on elephant shrews.

The oriental rat flea, Xenopsylla cheopis, is a vector of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium which causes bubonic plague. The disease was spread to humans by rodents such as the black rat, which were bitten by infected fleas. Major outbreaks included the Plague of Justinian, c. 540 and the Black Death, c. 1350, both of which killed a sizeable fraction of the world's population.

Fleas appear in human culture in such diverse forms as flea circuses, poems like John Donne's erotic "The Flea", works of music such as by Modest Mussorgsky, and a film by Charlie Chaplin.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Children Learn About The Earwig


Zoologist Jess French and a gang of children search for earwigs, which hide away under things in damp, dark places.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem

Monday, June 6, 2022

Distribution of Earwigs

Earwigs are abundant and can be found throughout the Americas and Eurasia. The common earwig was introduced into North America in 1907 from Europe, but tends to be more common in the southern and southwestern parts of the United States.  The only native species of earwig found in the north of the United States is the spine-tailed earwig (Doru aculeatum), found as far north as Canada, where it hides in the leaf axils of emerging plants in southern Ontario wetlands. However, other families can be found in North America, including Forficulidae (Doru and Forficula being found there), Spongiphoridae, Anisolabididae, and Labiduridae.

Few earwigs survive winter outdoors in cold climates. They can be found in tight crevices in woodland, fields and gardens. Out of about 1,800 species, about 25 occur in North America, 45 in Europe (including 7 in Great Britain), and 60 in Australia.

Read more, here.

Jeff Verges/Owner/Operator
742 Santa Anita Court
Eugene, OR 97401

541-688-0580 Eugene 
503-371-8373 Salem