Posts Tagged children’s activities

The writing spider is busy writing mosquitoes out of the picture.

Argiope spider that eats mosquitoes

The black and yellow Argiope, also known as a writing spider, feeds off insects such as mosquitoes, aphids and flies.

This past week, my daughter and I were out on the back porch planting the usual autumn perennials. It is always a special time when we do our “seasonal” planting together, we get to spend some quality time with one another and I have an opportunity to educate her on different species of flowers and plants, which is a tradition she will one day pass on to her daughter. We decided to plant huge yellow chrysanthemums in correlation with rust colored majestic pansies both of which are so lovely this time of year against the changing leaves within the landscape. As we were busy getting our hands dirty, my daughter pointed out a large spider web right off our back porch attached to the azaleas around it. The spider was in a circular shaped web and the spider residing there was quite large, and scary looking, but yet beautiful in its own way. I discouraged the thought of getting rid of the spider until I learned more about this mysterious beauty.  I was curious about the type of spider we have living in such close proximity to our home and decided to do a little research on the spider.

charlottesweb

Charlotte, the beloved spider from "Charlotte's Web" was possibly a Argiope spider as well.

My gut feeling was that the spider we found was a “writing” spider reminiscent of the mythical spider from my favorite childhood book by E.B. White, “Charlotte’s Web”. My intuition served me well. My findings concluded that the spider we have residing within our azaleas is actually an  Argiope, or black and yellow garden spider, also known as a  corn spider, and referred to as a writing spider as well, just like Charlotte from my beloved childhood novel.

What I discovered is that our guest, the black and yellow Argiope,  is a common spider found among fields and gardens because they like to spin their orb shaped webs among bushes , tall plants and flowers. The female Argiope is a good bit larger than the male, and judging by the size of ours, she is obviously a female. The female spins a large web which spirals out from the center and can be as large as two feet across. The male spider will then spin a smaller web for himself on the outside of her web and is has a characteristic zig-zag pattern. We have not yet caught a glimpse of Mr. Argiope yet, but are hopeful to catch a candid soon.  The interesting thing about the Argiope is that  each evening the spiders will eat their web and build a new one.

Argiope spider web detail

This photo shows the Argiope's elaborate web.

The purpose of the web, like all spiders is to trap and digest prey such as insects which are the spider’s main food source. The web also serves as a nursery where the female will lay her eggs on one side of the web and cover them with a papery sac for protection until they hatch in the fall. Then the baby spiders will remain within the protective sac throughout the winter, and will leave when mother nature harkens the arrival of spring. A single egg sac can contain over one thousand eggs. The Argiope like almost all spiders  is not harmless to humans and rarely, if ever bites humans except in the rare instance as a defense mechanism if they are grabbed.

Mosquito

The Argiope spider considers the mosquito among its favorite snacks.

There is more to this stunning spider than meets the eye, the black and yellow Argiope eats mosquitoes among the many insects that get caught in its web, which cuts down on the amount of disease carrying mosquitoes that are thriving along the realm of my backyard. Suddenly this spider is beginning to become my friend. They also dine on aphids and flies as well, this spider is helping cut down on mosquito populations and helping to keep aphids off my rose bushes? Based on these findings, we have decided to let the black and yellow beauty make herself at home. We will not disturb her as she raises her young and has her gourmet dinners of my aphids, flies and mosquitoes and other garden pests. Bon appetit !

So, before you squash that spider that makes you squeamish, give some thought to the many ways it may be of great benefit to you and the world around you. Many of the world’s most scream inducing  insects and animals, like the spider and the bat,  benefit us from being natural predators of potentially dangerous insects such as mosquitoes, making them an effective weapon is the battle for mosquito control.  For every mosquito they dine upon is one less we have  to potentially put us at risk.

Visit our Mosquito Squad website to learn more about our safe and effective mosquito and tick control programs. Or, look at our location list for a mosquito and tick control location near you.

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Don’t let mosquitoes ruin the rest of your summer

Was your 4th of July celebration filled with the worst of the uninvited guests-mosquitoes?

Was your 4th of July celebration filled with the worst of the uninvited guests-mosquitoes?

How was your Independence day celebration? Did you and your family and friends get together for a little outdoor grilling, conversation and to show your patriotism for our nations birthday? I am sure like many folks all over this great land of ours you planned your celebration with relaxation, comfort and enjoyment in mind. But apparently the mosquitoes “thought” they were invited to the festivities as well!

Yikes, the mosquitoes came for the fun and invited all their friends and family as well. Maybe your celebration went a little like this… there were mosquitoes at the cookout, mosquitoes at dinner, mosquitoes while roasting marshmallows, mosquitoes during conversation and mosquitoes while we were trying to enjoy that decadent after dinner dessert or beverage. If this reads like a page from your diary, Mosquito Squad has the answer to all your mosquito woes.

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

Mosquito Squad keeps you and your family mosquito free

On Independence day, and any other day during this season, many of us entertain outdoors and this is especially true during the dusk and evening hours.  Mosquitoes are evening feeders and like to feed under the veil of night and cooler temperatures. Mosquitoes usually feed during those same times that we enjoy entertaining so effective mosquito control is a necessity for anyone who enjoys entertaining  outdoors during the spring and summer.

Mosquito Squad makes mosquito control effortless with our barrier sprays. Our safe and effective barrier spray kills mosquitoes and prevents more mosquitoes from “celebrating” in your yard. Mosquito Squad sprays regularly scheduled sprays throughout the season to keep your property free of the little pests all summer long. Our barrier spray is applied approximately every 21 days for continuous mosquito control. We also have an all-natural solution which offers  effective continuous mosquito control and is applied approximately every 14 days. When I say Mosquito Squad is effortless, it truly is, all you do to get started is contact your local Mosquito Squad to sign up and that’s it- we do the rest. You won’t have to worry about scheduling the spraying, or keep track of anything, we take care of the rest. You probably won’t even give mosquitoes a second thought since you and your family won’t be getting bit.

Keep you and your family off the menu this season with Mosquito Squad

Keep you and your family off the menu this season with Mosquito Squad

The season is still young, don’t let mosquitoes ruin your outdoor fun this summer. After all, it’s summertime, remember, and the living is supposed to be easy…isn’t that how the song goes? Make it easy to keep mosquitoes away from your and your family with Mosquito Squad.

Contact Mosquito Squad today to find and more and to sign up for our barrier spraying. We offer season long tick protection as well. Call  877-667-7823   or email us at info@mosquitosquad.com   and get removed from the mosquitoes menu.

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Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

DreadSkeeter_spring_flowers

Dread Skeeter wants you to enjoy your season bite free!

We have all heard the old saying “Blondes have more fun”. Famous movie icon Marilyn Monroe even pushed the envelope further in her 1953 film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”. When it comes to insects, such as mosquitoes, which color would you think they are more likely to strike upon, brunette or blonde?

In this scenario we use the terms blonde and brunette loosely to characterize dark colors versus light colors. The simple elements of design teach us that colors are formatted into dark and light by the way they either reflect or absorb light. We researched what the mosquito is attracted to most and we came up with some interesting facts.

Mosquitoes are actually drawn to dark colors such as deep greens, blacks, browns and similar colors. The reason for the attraction is it mimics the colors found in dark foliage and thus, they are attracted to dark foliage as a place of refuge. Mosquitoes are also attracted to bright lights, such as incandescent lights. This seems like a contradiction in terms compared with dark versus light, but when choosing lighting to deter mosquitoes studies show fluorescent is the best choice.

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Dead mosquito - Mosquito Squad kills mosquitoes dead

Certain scents draw a mosquito in for the kill as well. Overly fruity or floral fragrances are attractive to mosquitoes, as well as sweat. The carbon dioxide we exhale when we breathe is the main allure that draws mosquitoes to us. Certain foods we ingest are also prone to give off odors that the mosquito likes. Foods high in potassium such as bananas and strawberries affect our bodies by giving off lactic acid after we ingest these foods, and the mosquitoes love the smell of lactic acid.

Within your landscape you can deter mosquitoes by taking care of any standing water or any items that could collect standing water. Even small amounts of standing water could end up as a mosquitoes nursery for her new brood. Keeping your lawn mowed and tidy is a plus as well. Mosquitoes are drawn to unkempt lawns and property. Avoiding being outside during the feeding frenzy will help discourage unwanted bites. Mosquitoes generally feed from dusk until dawn. These common sense safeguards will help keep you safe and happy when entering untreated property and lawns.

No Mosquitoes

No Mosquitoes

Another formidable deterrent to avoid mosquitoes bites all together is to contact a licensed professional such as Mosquito Squad. We can apply a barrier spray every 14-21 days to kill and prevent mosquitoes from entering your property.We realize however, that while enjoying all your favorite activities you will enter untreated areas and have to deal with mosquitoes during this season. We recommend using the knowledge and awareness you gain about mosquitoes to keep you bite free.

So, to answer the age-old question “do blondes have more fun”, the answer is YES, and so do brunettes, redheads and so forth, especially when they have their property taken care of by Mosquito Squad. Call us to find out how to keep the mosquitoes out and the fun in this season.

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Dread says hello to Spring

Hey there little boys and girls. I’m Dread Skeeter and I am excited about all the fun things that Spring brings. All the beautiful flowers are blooming and the bees are buzzing. The warm weather and beautiful skies are great for an afternoon playing at the park with your buddies, or maybe even flying a kite. Everywhere you look Spring brings us a new outdoor adventure. Who doesn’t like to have a cookout with hot dogs and hamburgers and a game of hide and seek?

No Mosquitoes

No Mosquitoes

Remember kids, the mosquitoes like the warm spring weather just as much as you do. Make sure your parents keep you safe and bite free this season by making sure you play it safe when it comes to mosquitoes. Make sure to wear the right kind of clothes for your outdoor fun and ask Mom and Dad give Mosquito Squad a call to help them keep you skeeter free this Spring..

Ask your Parents to go to http://www.mosquitosquad.com/AboutUs.html and print off our cool Dread Skeeter coloring pages to color. Once you play it safe and you’re mosquito free you can do like Dread Skeeter and tell those mosquitoes….”bite me”.

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For kids: Swat the Mosquito Game

Looking for a fun way to keep your kids occupied, while improving their math and coordination skills? Try this fun game where you try to squat mosquitoes as quickly as possible!

Mosquito Swat game

Kids learn the dangers of mosquitoes from an early age. Keep them protected with Mosquito Squad, a proven way to kill mosquitoes without harmful chemicals.

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