Hearts Pest Management - Blog

Cheese Mites

Thursday January 24, 2013
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Cheese Mites – France’s Mimolette

The next time you´re eating out, you may think twice about ordering “extra cheese.”  Did you know that some cheeses have mites?  And there are other cheeses that have maggots?  What´s gross to some of us is but a delicacy to others….  personally, I love cheese and like trying different varieties but after researching cheese mites, I´ve decided a part-time job as a cheese connoisseur is not for me!

Mimolette Cheese French Mimolette Cheese: The textured crust is caused by cheese mites. Doesn’t look too unusual, right? Keep reading! Read more


True Bugs

The Red-shouldered Bug

Red-shouldered bugs actually have red shoulders!

An afternoon walk usually involves having my “nose to the ground” checking for any interesting insect activity.

This particular bug was very lucky I was looking down or it may have been stepped on…it´s little life cut short by a size 8 sneaker!

The first thing I noticed was its beautiful coloring of bluish-black wings with red markings and red eyes.

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Sand Digger (Hunting) Wasp

Friday October 26, 2012
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Sand Digger (Hunting) Wasp

One day I was out walking on my lunch hour, and as usual, I had my camera with me. Casing out the ground as I walked, I noticed something crawling around in the dirt, climbing in and out of small holes. At first, because of the coloring, I thought I had found a spider wasp. This thread-waisted wasp, however, turned out to be what is sometimes called a “Sand Lover” wasp. Instead of hunting spiders to feed to her young, she hunts and paralyzes caterpillars.

Sand Digger Wasp Digger Wasp (Sand Wasp / Sand Lover) – Ammophila sabulosa Read more


Mud Daubers

Monday October 1, 2012
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Mud Dauber Architects

Mud daubers, “mud what?”  Mud “d-a-u-b-e-r-s.”  According to Webster, to daub is “to cover or coat with a soft adhesive matter such as plaster or mud.”  Mud dauber female wasp are like miniature architects creating nests out of mud, much like brick-laying, only they  build by scooping mud into their mouths and daubing it in layers until their nests are big enough for larvae to grow.  Ergo – mud daubers.

Mud dauber wasp

Mud dauber wasps hunt spiders to feed to their young.

Black-and-Yellow Mud dauber – Sceliphron caementarium

Beneficial Wasp and Huntress

A solitary wasp and beneficial insect, the predatory black-and-yellow mud dauber feeds spiders to her young, helping to decrease the spider population within an area while providing necessary food for her babies.   If a wasp could be friendly, it would be this one……mud daubers are unlikely to sting (and they don´t contain venom), unless they are feeling very threatened.  Adult mud daubers, both male and female, live mostly on nectar and sap but the larvae can only survive on fresh meat from spiders left by their mother. Read more


Worker Bees and the Role of the Drone

Tuesday June 5, 2012
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Career Changes for the Honey Bee and the Role of the Drone

Bee on red apple ice plant

Good Morning Sunshine!

The Honey Bees Career Its a Wo-mans World

The honey bee changes her occupation numerous times during her short life span. Upon birth, the female bee enters the hive as a worker bee, then for a period of about 2 weeks her principal occupation is nursemaid to the queen, the drones (males) and larvae. It is a very demanding job since a single larva may eat up to 1,300 meals a day!

As the female bee gets older (by middle-age), the next job is in production — honeycomb assembly. The bee begins producing wax from glands on the underside of her belly which she uses for building honeycombs. Read more


Honey Bee on Apple Ice Plant

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

Beekeeping in Ancient Egypt

The earliest methods of beekeeping (apiculture) are recorded on the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. Sugar was unknown in the region and Egyptians had to rely on honey to sweeten their breads, cakes, beer, and wine. Egyptians captured wild bees and created hives out of baskets made from reeds. The reliefs from Egyptian tombs show hives stacked on top of one another, similar to today´s beekeeping practices. Beekeeping was a migratory occupation; Egyptian Beekeepers loaded the basket hives onto small boats that sailed along the Nile in search of blooming flowers. Read more


Western Fence Lizard – AKA “Blue-Belly”

Thursday February 2, 2012
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by Donna Walker

Western Fence Lizard - Human Benefactor

Western Fence Lizard – Human Benefactor

Hearts Pest Management, the leader in organic pest control for Southern California, provides a conscious, cycle of life pest management approach while maintaining an interest in the preservation of our natural resources and wildlife.

The Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis), or “Blue-belly, a constant companion to gardeners, manages the pest population in its own way by clearing a garden of beetles, flies, ants, caterpillars, spiders, and crickets. Read more


Spiders and Trapdoor Spiders

Wednesday January 4, 2012
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A trapdoor spider in plain view

A trapdoor spider in plain view

Our own San Diego trail guide, Donna Walker, inspired by her new career at Hearts Pest Management, took to the Mission Trail this past week and came back thrilled by her find of a trapdoor spider. Read more