American Pest Management Employee Shawna Weber places as one of the top 10 finalists for Pest Control Technology Magazine's annual photo contest.
Shawna Weber, an American Pest Management employee at the Manhattan office, has placed as a top finalist for the Pest Control Technology (PCT) Magazine's Annual Photo Contest. PCT Magazine has been running the contest each year since its inception in 2001. The contest winner and finalists were announced earlier this month on the ninth. Contest photos can be viewed on their website.
Weber has been an American Pest Management employee for nearly six years. She has a degree in Graphic Design and Printing which lends to her skills in photography. Weber was told in passing of PCT's photo contest and submitted her photo of the office spider Laquisha offhandedly. To Weber's surprise, her photo placed as one of the top 10 finalists of the contest.
Laquisha is a wolf spider that was brought to American Pest Management's office by a client. It was fairly large in size, so the office staff decided to keep it in a bug enclosure. One of Weber's co-workers took it upon herself to care for the spider, even going as far as naming the spider Laquisha.
The next day, they noticed there was an egg sack in Laquisha's enclosure. The office watched the egg sack grow day by day. Wolf Spiders are unique from other spiders in that, after laying their eggs, they not only encase the eggs in a spider sack but attach the sack to their spinneret. "I thought it was neat how the egg sack was attached to her," Weber said, "...it was changing colors every day so I started taking pictures of the spider/egg sack. At first I was nervous to take the lid off the enclosure and then come within inches of Laquisha."
After a few photo sessions, Weber would no longer have to calm herself before sticking her hand inside Laquisha's enclosure to take photos. Several weeks and several photo sessions later, hundreds of babies hatched from the egg sack. Wolf spider broods are usually in the 100 count but can reach well over this number. It was an awesome experience to see the transformation from spider to egg sack to hatchlings, Weber reminisced.
"Laquisha had all of her babies on her back," Weber explains of the photo that she submitted. "I don't think Laquisha enjoyed having all those babies on her back. Her legs would twitch back and forth as she'd try to knock babies off that were crawling down her legs." Within a few days, the office observed the babies leaving Laquisha's back and decided to release her in the office garden.
American Pest Management employs Weber as a client specialist, speaking with potential clients about the services they offer as well as scheduling client meetings and completing daily work orders. She creates and edits the company's Quarterly Newsletter as well.
Weber looks forward to entering the contest next year and plans on taking more photos this year as the weather warms up. Her passions in photography are nature, country life, kids, birthday parties, and slice-of-life scenes. She also enjoys making crafts, sewing, and fixing computers.