The Never Empty Home

The home can be another place colonized by invertebrates. Some arrive seeking humidity, shelter, or food; others are attracted by the scent of skin, wool garments, or wooden ceilings. Generally, they are considered a threat and are fought, but some can be truly beneficial. There are insects, for instance, that can act as a plague control in the garden. Various strategies can help keep some "ecologic balance" in the home. •

"Magic" Carpet

Keeping carpets clean within the home is critical, because few are the insect species that live in a carpet and are nice to humans.

FLEAS

Ctenocephalides sp,

COCKROACHES

In the Garden

The home garden is a natural environment in which food chains become established. Species such as snails, which feed on plants, can be destructive. But carnivorous species can keep harmful species at bay. Earthworms and some beetles serve as environmental cleaners because of their eating habits.

LADYBUG

Coccinella septempunctata eats fleas and gnats.

Plagues and Illness

When the females feed on human blood, mosquitoes (such as those belonging to the family Anopheles, bearers of malaria) and other insects become vectors for illnesses, since they can transfer microscopic parasites to people. For this reason, bodies of stagnant water, which is where mosquito larvae develop, should be avoided.

HOUSE -

DUST MITES

Dermatophagoides farinae Some dust mites carry parasites; others cause allergic reactions.

HOUSE -

DUST MITES

Dermatophagoides farinae Some dust mites carry parasites; others cause allergic reactions.

TERMITES

Nasutitermes sp. Live inside the wood they feed on.

TO CONTROL PLAGUES

Many plants, alone or in combination with other plants, are effective and selective.

Helix aspersa is a nightmare for the green leaves in the garden.

A COLONY OF 60,000 TERMITES CAN EAT

2 ounces

AUGER BEETLES

Xylopsocus sp. The adult beetle lays eggs, and the larva burrows into wood, creating tunnels 0.25 inch (0.6 cm) wide in the wood.

WASPS

Apis mellifera build their nests (hives) under the

WASPS

Apis mellifera build their nests (hives) under the

TERMITES

Nasutitermes sp. Live inside the wood they feed on.

Helix aspersa is a nightmare for the green leaves in the garden.

In the Roof

The wood in roof beams and spaces between them forms a unique environment within a house, especially for the insect order Hymenoptera. Likewise, several species of beetles feed on wood and lay their eggs in it.

TO CONTROL PLAGUES

Many plants, alone or in combination with other plants, are effective and selective.

MOUTHPIECES -

In these bugs the mouthpieces are in a small front projection, the capitulum (gnathosoma), formed by the appendages that surround the mouth. On each side there is a chelicera that tears, crushes, or bites the food.

SARCOPTES MITE

The Sarcoptes scabei is a tiny mite that lives under the corneal layer of the epidermis in passages that the female makes in the skin, where she lays her eggs. Between 10 and 14 days later these eggs become adult sarcoptes mites. The

TICK

The tick is the largest acarid; its body has no divisions, and it feeds on the blood of its hosts. It is generally found among tall grasses or in plant leaves, waiting to hook onto any animal or person that passes by. When a tick succeeds in doing so, it uses a hook-like structure in its mouth to penetrate the skin and to begin to suck blood. Once its body swells with blood, the tick lets go.

presence of this mite under the skin produces intense itching, which can be severe and which can worsen at night. There are special creams and lotions to treat this infection. If boils appear, the infections must be treated with antibiotics.

0.10-0.25 inch

Liquid Food

When they come in contact with what will be their food, dust mites secrete digestive juices that soften and liquefy solids because their mouth or ingestion system lets them ingest only liquid food.

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