Did you ever have a class gerbil or other small furry animal? It can be fun to get together with a group to take care of an animal. It’s great for learning some responsibility when you’re young. One neighborhood banded together to raise an animal, but it wasn’t the usual furry, cuddly kind. No. They discovered a giant Holconia huntsman spider in one of their mailboxes, and instead of whacking the thing with a newspaper all the neighborhood kids decided they would work together to raise the spider, who happened to be protecting an egg sack. The spider was dubbed Hortense, short for Hortense Protector of the Post.

But the story doesn’t end there. The kids have been waiting for weeks for Hortense’s baby spiders to burst free from their eggs and join the party. They even asked some of the state’s highest scientific authorities for incubation advice. Well, the long awaited day finally came, and Hortense’s eggs hatched. Hundreds of baby spiders swarmed inside the mailbox, with Hortense standing guard. Doesn’t that sound like heaven?

Did you raise an animal with your class when you were younger? What would you do if you found a giant spider protecting her eggs in a mailbox?

Job Description:

Part-time: 30+ hours

Customer Service Representative Job Responsibilities:

Serves customers by providing service information and scheduling; resolving service problems.

Customer Service Representative Job Duties:

  • Attracts potential customers by answering service questions; suggesting information about other treatments and services.
  • Opens customer accounts by recording account information.
  • Maintains customer records by updating account information.
  • Resolves product or service problems by clarifying the customer’s complaint; determining the cause of the problem; selecting and explaining the best solution to solve the problem; expediting correction or adjustment; following up to ensure resolution.

*Bilingual is a plus

*Accounting experience is a plus

Job Type: Part-time

Required experience:

  • Customer Service: 1 year
  • Answering Phones: 1 year

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Trilobites are probably the best known of the extinct arthropods. It has recently been discovered that a certain species of trilobite had unusual spotted markings over its body. These are the first trilobites to have markings that have not been altered during the fossilization process.

There have been other fossilized trilobites found that bear markings on its body, but these markings turned out to be impressions made during the fossilization process, and not markings that are naturally featured on the bodies of trilobites. Researchers in New York, where the fossils have been found, ran a test on the fossilized trilobites in order to determine how the spots occurred. The researchers were expecting another example of false spots, however, their chemical analysis did not turn up any evidence that would suggest that the trilobites spots are anything but natural. This opens up several possibilities as to what the trilobite really looked like before it went extinct.


How did the now extinct trilobite find sustenance while it was still a part of the food chain?



Keep Ticks Out Of Your Home This Christmas

In order for a tick to go into hibernation temperatures must drop below forty degrees. As you can guess, ticks living in warmer regions of the United States never enter into hibernation since temperatures never drop below forty during the winter months. This is most true in the state of Florida. Last year, temperatures in southern Florida only dropped below forty degrees on two occasions. Naturally, this lack of tick hibernation is a concern to people who are bringing trees into their homes for the Christmas festivities.

This winter is looking to be a milder one as well, but not quite as bad as the winter of 2015. If you did buy a Christmas tree, experts recommend shaking the tree vigorously in order to remove any ticks that may still be residing within the bark. If shaking your tree is not satisfactory for you then you can up-it a notch by literally washing your tree with soap and water. As strange as washing your tree in the same manner as you wash your car may be, this method evidently works. However, be sure not to use any bug sprays on your tree since bug-sprays are flammable.

Have you ever experienced an insect infestation in your home as a result of bringing a genuine living tree into your living room for Christmas celebrations?

Bedbugs have been a major problem for a lot of people around the world. It has been decades since bedbugs have been this active. For the first time in history researchers were able to sequence the genome of the common New York bedbug. The researchers are hoping that the bedbug genome will help them find an easy method of extermination.

One group of researchers learned that bedbug genes are most clearly expressed after their first blood-sucking session. The group of researchers also learned that bedbug living in different parts of the city possess different genetic profiles. The group of researchers is being led by the Museum of Natural History’s Jeff Rosenfeld.

Another group of researchers were able to identify genes that are associated with resistance to insecticides. For example, bedbugs possess certain proteins that can prevent insecticide penetration as well as enzymes that can detoxify the chemicals found in common insecticides. Researchers believe that this genetic bedbugs research will open up new possibilities when it comes to how create insecticides that kill bedbugs with greater efficiency.

Have you ever had a case of bedbugs that exterminators had a difficult time eradicating?



Many of you may remember being checked for lice as a kid. Some of you have probably had lice at some point in your lives. Typically finding out that you have head lice is no big deal. However, researchers are now saying that there is not a single over the counter lice treatment available today that can effectively eradicate lice. This is due to the fact that lice have evolved to become resistant to anti-lice products.

Researchers studied lice in forty eight states, and out of that forty eight, there were forty two states where the native lice had undergone three genetic mutations that make anti-lice products ineffective. There are still products that will eradicate lice, but they are not available over the counter. The researchers stressed the importance of seeing a physician in case you find lice in your hair. Hopefully it will not take too long before another over the counter remedy for treating head lice becomes available.

Or you can simply use my grandmother’s tried and true lice treatment – douse your head in WD-40. The lice don’t stand a chance…of course, I can’t make any promises about the safety of this treatment, but I survived, right?

Have you ever had head lice? And if yes, was the treatment that you used over the counter? Did it work?


Since insects count for about a third of all animals on the planet earth, you should understand that you cannot avoid eating them, there are too many. In the United States it is estimated that each person consumes an entire pound of insects per year, maybe I am getting enough protein in my diet after all.

One example of a bug that is legally allowed in canned or frozen asparagus, frozen broccoli and brussel sprouts, and apple butter, is a bug known as a “thrip.” Thrips are small winged parasites that you probably would not feel comfortable eating despite their eighth of an inch body length.

Aphids count as another example of a bug that you most likely consume regularly. You may have encountered aphids on your bouquet of flowers from the florist, but aphids will cause damage to any type of crop, and they are well known to make their way into hops in large quantities. The FDA legally allows for 2,500 aphids for every ten grams of hops. I know aphids are small, but that is a lot of aphids.

Have you ever found a bug in your food products?

Many of you probably assumed that a snail’s shell is meant to protect it from dangerous predators. Well, you would be right for the most part. However, there are two different snail species that swing their rock-hard shells at threatening predators, which is a snail behavior never before documented by a scientist.

Researchers from Japan and Russia teamed up to learn more about defensive snail behavior. The researchers eventually learned that there exists two different snail species that use their shells like a club as a fighting tactic against its enemy, the carabid beetle. The researchers compared these two fighting snail species to other closely related species of snails. The researchers found that even closely related snails did not use their shells for defenses purposes like their warrior snail cousins. Instead all the other closely related snails used their shells for only one purpose, and that was to retreat into its hardened min-fortress of a shell until its enemy stopped attacking. Researchers now know which snails are the bravest thanks to this invaluable research.

Could studying how animals attack and defend themselves tell us anything about how animals diversified into different, but similar, species?

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