New Mexico

Field Crickets

Characteristics:
Size: Field crickets grow to 1 or 1 1/2 inch long.

Color: Field crickets are black, compared with the tan or light brown house crickets. They have long, thin antennae and long, enlarged hind legs designed for jumping. They also have two large spikes (called cerci) that extend from the back of their abdomens. Adults have wings.

Habits: Field crickets are seen and heard during late summer and fall. They are generally found outdoors, but have been known to invade homes in search of warm hiding places in the colder months. Once indoors, they can cause damage to fabrics, paper, leather, furs and other materials indoors. They also cause tremendous destruction to outdoor landscaping. Field crickets are subject to huge population surges, and may become extremely abundant virtually overnight.

What Do Field Crickets Eat?: Field Crickets eat plant material including seeds and small fruits. They also eat both living and dead insects. If they become very hungry, field crickets will cannibalize each other.

Reproduction: After mating, female field crickets look for damp soil in which to lay their eggs. They inject a needle-like ovipositor deep into the soil to deposit 50 or so eggs. Females lay 150 to 400 eggs over the course of their short life cycle. Eggs hatch in the spring, usually in May. Young crickets are called nymphs. They eat a great deal and grow very quickly, shedding their outer skin about eight times as they mature. Each time they molt, they look more like adults.

Other Information: Field crickets are fully mature at about two months old and begin looking for mates. Males sing and dance to attract females. The song is made by rubbing the front wings together and females hear it through tympanum (eardrums) on their front legs. When a female approaches a male, he does a back and forth courtship dance. Adult and nymphs die when cold weather arrives, but eggs beneath the soil survive to hatch in spring.

Hobo Spiders

Characteristics:
Size: Hobo spiders grow to about 1/2 inch long with a leg span of up to 1 1/2 inch.

Color: They are grayish brown with dark stripes and zigzag lines. They have long, hairy legs.

Habits: The hobo spider is also known as the aggressive house spider and is notorious for biting humans with little or no provocation. Like many spiders, it injects toxic venom when it bites that leads to tissue death and a lingering open wound. If the bite is delivered in fatty tissue, the lesion can be very deep and extensive, sometimes not healing for years. The hobo spider is very common in the Pacific Northwest, and is the most likely cause of serious spider bites there. The hobo spider creates a non-sticky funnel shaped web close to the ground often near a home�s foundation, under the siding or on plants and weeds. The hobo web has strings that trip the prey, which the hobo spider then attacks before it can escape.

What Do Hobo Spiders Eat?: Hobo spiders are hunters and eat any small invertebrate that touches their web.

Reproduction: The female hobo spider stays stationary in her web so the male must approach her for mating. The male bobs and taps at the funnel web�s entrance in a precise pattern. If his signals are not clear, the female may attack and kill him. If the female is responsive, the male slowly adds silk to her web and gradually approaches her. After mating, he leaves in search of other females. The female produces one to four egg cases, each one holding 50-100 eggs. The female attaches the egg cases underneath outdoor objects, although occasionally in crawlspaces. Hobo spiderlings hatch in June.

Other Information: The hobo spider's web is unusual, because the funnel opening is oval and not circular. The spider has very poor eyesight which explains why it is much more aggressive toward humans then other spiders. They have to attack to eat otherwise they would die of starvation.

Oriental Roaches

Characteristics:
Size: The Oriental cockroach is a large roach reaching about 1 inch in length.

Color: They are very dark brown to black. Females are oval shaped and have short stubby wings. Males have wings that do not reach the end of the abdomen.

Habits: Oriental roaches are commonly known as �water bugs� and can be found living outdoors in damp locations such as underground water and sewage systems. Their travel through such unsanitary habitats increases their potential as disease vectors. They often enter structures by crawling under doors or through other exterior openings and often take up residence in damp basements, cellars, crawl spaces, near drains, leaky water pipes and beneath refrigerators, sinks and washing machines, under floors, and inside walls. Oriental cockroaches are nocturnal, avoid light, and, although the male has well developed wings, neither sex can fly.

What Do Oriental Roaches Eat?: These insects feed on garbage and decaying organic matter and are often considered the filthiest of the house-infesting roaches.

Reproduction: Females carry their egg capsules for about one day, and then deposit the capsule in a secluded place. Each capsule has an average of 15 eggs. Eggs hatch in about 60 days and nymphs develop in about one year. Adult females live one to six months.

Other Information: Oriental cockroaches can live without food for up to a month if water is present, but will die in two weeks without food and water.

Wolf Spiders

Characteristics:
Size: Wolf spiders vary in size from small species with only 1/2 inch leg spans to large ones whose legs may stretch out 5 inches.

Color: Wolf spiders are long legged and covered with short hairs, gray to brown to dark brown in color, and have several darker stripes.

Habits: Wolf spiders are large, hairy spiders not associated with a web. In fact, they only use silk for lining their nest and covering their eggs. They are very mobile, very fast, and very aggressive when threatened. Smaller species have been knows to run across the water of a swimming pool, suspended on the surface tension of the water. Retreats for the spiders are holes in the soil, under debris on the ground or within woodpiles. They commonly enter structures and can be found running across floors or walls as they search for food.

What Do Wolf Spiders Eat?: Wolf spiders are hunters and hunt for insect prey under cover of night.

Reproduction: The female constructs an egg sac of white papery silk, which she carries around attached with strong silk to her spinnerets. When the spiderlings hatch, they are carried around on the females back until they are ready to disperse by ballooning to the ground.

Other Information: Wolf spiders are often confused with the brown recluse, but they lack the violin-shaped marking behind the head. The wolf spider is shy and runs away when disturbed.

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