Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Poisoned Bait

Poisoned bait is a common method for controlling rats, mice, birds, slugs, snails, ants, cockroaches, and other pests. The basic granules, or other formulation, contains a food attractant for the target species and a suitable poison. For ants, a slow-acting toxin is needed so that the workers have time to carry the substance back to the colony, and for flies, a quick-acting substance to prevent further egg-laying and nuisance. Baits for slugs and snails often contain the molluscide metaldehyde, dangerous to children and household pets.

An article in Scientific American in 1885 described effective elimination of a cockroach infestation using fresh cucumber peels.

Read more, here.

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

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

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Pests

Pests are not just a nuisance; they can be carriers of disease and micro organisms. Pest control is a necessary defense against these unwelcome home invaders.

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

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

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Why fish are better at breathing than you are - Dan Kwartler


Explore how fish use their gills to breathe, and how these processes make them some of the most efficient breathers on Earth.

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Recent studies found that elite runners can take in twice as much oxygen as non-runners. And it’s likely that this superhuman ability played a role in breaking the two-hour marathon barrier in 2019. But when it comes to breathing efficiently, not even the best runners can compete with the average fish. What makes fish some of the best breathers on Earth? Dan Kwartler explores the science of gills.

Lesson by Dan Kwartler, directed by Denys Spolitak.

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

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

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Notable Species of Yellowjackets

  • European yellowjackets, the German wasp (Vespula germanica), and the common wasp (Vespula vulgaris) were originally native to Europe, but are now established in southern Africa, New Zealand, and eastern Australia
  • The North American yellowjacket (Vespula alascensis), eastern yellowjacket (Vespula maculifrons), western yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica), and prairie yellowjacket (Vespula atropilosa) are native to North America.
  • Southern yellowjacket (Vespula squamosa)
  • Bald-faced hornets (Dolichovespula maculata) belong among the yellowjackets rather than the true hornets. They are not usually called "yellowjackets" because of their ivory-on-black coloration.
  • Aerial yellowjacket (Dolichovespula arenaria)
  • Tree wasp (Dolichovespula sylvestris)

Read more, here.

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

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

Thursday, July 11, 2024

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 8, 2024

Why do cats have vertical pupils? - Emma Bryce


Peering into the eyes of different animals, you’ll see some extraordinarily shaped pupils. House cats, for one, are twilight hunters with vertically elongated pupils. Many grazing animals, like goats, have rectangular pupils. Other animals have crescent- or heart-shaped pupils. So, what’s going on? Why are there so many different pupil shapes? Emma Bryce digs into the science of animal vision.

Lesson by Emma Bryce, directed by Bálint Gelley, CUB Animation Ltd.

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

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

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

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

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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