Category Archives: PEST CONTROL

Choking To Death On An Insect Is Possible, And Has Happened

Choking To Death On An Insect Is Possible, And Has Happened

You have all heard of various contests in which players attempt to consume as much as possible of some type of food. For example, there are pie-eating contests, hot dog-eating contests, and I won’t go on, but you know the ones. However, you have likely never heard of a cockroach eating contest. Unfortunately, people have eaten cockroaches for sport. Not only that, but people have competed with others in order to determine who can down roaches the fastest. Sadly, a man died not too long ago as a result of choking to death on cockroaches. The man was from Florida, which, come to think of it, is the only place that would have a cockroach-eating contest.

The man had eaten dozens of roaches, and he was hoping to win the grand prize, a python. Initially, the cause of his death was only a matter of speculation, but an autopsy report revealed that the man had choked to death. Considering that the man had just consumed dozens of roaches as quickly as he could, it would seem that roaches, and they were all alive during the competition, had become lodged in his throat, cutting off his airway. The official autopsy report stated: “asphyxia due to choking and aspiration of gastric contents.” This Florida man did, indeed, die from eating too many cockroaches during the Midnight Madness bug-eating competition at an insect and reptile store near Miami, Florida.

During only a few minutes following the competition, the man had fallen unconscious and was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. It was reported that the man had eaten the cockroaches so quickly, that some of them came crawling out of his mouth during the competition. He was also reported to have swallowed many of the cockroaches whole. Despite the embarrassing obituary, this man reached his goal.

Have you ever eaten a live insect deliberately? If you have, then what type of insect did you consume?

 

 

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Spider Control Tips | Arizona Pest Control

Spider Control Tips | Arizona Pest Control

  • Keep garages, attics and basements clean and clutter-free. Most spiders seek out secluded, undisturbed areas where they can build a web to catch their next meal, so an attic or basement that has been left unused over the past season could be harboring these pests out of sight. Avoid leaving clothing and shoes on the floor and consider storing them inside plastic containers.
  • Seal any cracks or crevices around the home. Spiders can crawl into homes through damaged window screens or cracks in the siding and foundation of a home.
  • Inspect items such as boxes of decorations and grocery bags before bringing them indoors. Packages are often left on the front step when delivered, and groceries might be placed on the driveway while unloading. These are opportunities for spiders and other pests to crawl onto bags and boxes and be carried inside.
  • If a spider bites you, contact your primary care physician for medical advice. Species such as house spiders and cellar spiders pose no health threat to people. Other species such as black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders do have the ability to pierce the skin and inject venom. Their bites cause varied reactions in people, but are very rarely fatal with proper treatment.

 

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Researchers Discover A Way To Immobilize Insect For Improved Internal Viewing

Researchers Discover A Way To Immobilize Insect For Improved Internal Viewing

Have you ever had an X-ray or a CT-Scan? The doctors and technicians will always tell you to remain perfectly still, and there is a good reason for this. As many of you probably know already, moving around while a machine forms images of your internal body results in smeared and ultimately useless results. This poses a problem for entomologists who want to view the internal working of insects with computerized tomography (CT) scans. Of course, insects cannot stay still when demanded to by an entomologist. Therefore finding a way to make insects motionless is important in order to better understand insect anatomy and physiology. Only recently have scientists learned how to knock out bugs in order to keep them still. It turns out that high levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) can act as a sort of anesthesia for insects.

In a recent study published in BMT Zoology researchers used the black and yellow striped Colorado potato beetles (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) as a test subject for the carbon dioxide induced paralysis. The researchers were pleased when, after just a few seconds, the insects were immobile, but still alive. As a result of this method, researchers were able to view the internal working of an insect with perfect clarity.

The beetles remained in a sleeping state between three to seven hours. This is enough time to gather the images necessary. Obviously, when carbon dioxide is released for a longer period of time, the beetles can stay motionless for a longer period as well. All of the beetles were easily woken up after the tests were finished, except for older males. The older males required longer coaxing to awaken from the sleep. Also, the carbon dioxide as well as the radiation exposure from the X-rays did not harm the beetles at all. This new method of insect-anesthesia will allow for an entirely new way to study insects.

Why would holding the insects in place with an object of some sort not work for X-rays and CT scans?

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Wasps Create Their Own Paper In Order To Build Nests

Wasps Create Their Own Paper In Order To Build Nests

12365423 - wasp isolated on white background

There are a variety of different types of wasps in America. For example, yellowjackets, paper wasps and bald-faced hornets. Each one of these wasps show similarities and differences in how they construct their nests. All wasps build their nests in the same way, but that does not mean that they end up looking the same in the end. Queen, and worker wasps use a sort of paper during nest construction. This paper is the most abundant material used in nest building. In fact, wasps have been able to produce paper longer than we humans have. You can find wasp nests in a variety of locations, but when you do, turn around, and walk the other way, as these flying insects tend to be more protective of their nests than some other insects.

We all know that wood can be turned into paper. Humans have been processing paper from trees for quite some time. But how do wasps create paper from wood? Any type of wood can be converted into paper by wasps. Cardboard can even be used by wasps to create paper.

After a queen wasp uses her jaws to break-off wood fibers, the queen then uses her saliva, and a bit of water, in order to weaken the hard wood fibers. This mixture becomes soft pulpy cellulose in the queen’s mouth. The queen then finds some void where it wants the nest to be located. This is when the mouthful of cellulose and saliva are spit out. This solution then hardens, forming the wasp nest.

The queen forms hexagonal shapes within the nest in order to shelter wasp offspring. As the colony grows, worker wasps take over construction of the nest; building additions for new offspring. During the winter, wasps die, except for the hibernating queen. Upon awakening during the early spring, The queen repeats this process.

Have you ever spotted a wasp nest, but did not recognize it at the time? Was it an active nest?

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The Horsehair Worm: The Parasite That Grows In Insects

The Horsehair Worm: The Parasite That Grows In Insects

We have all heard about parasites invading the human body, but nobody suspects that insects have to deal with the same parasitic inconveniences. After all, insects seem too small to possess any parasitic worms, unless, of course, the parasitic worm is microscopic. Also, insects have been around for millions of years, and they are among earth’s most successful animals when it comes to survival. Therefore it seems improbable that their lives could be endangered by parasitic worms. This is why the horsehair worm are so interesting. Very few people have heard of this arthropod invading parasitic worm. Even more surprising is the size of the horsehair worm. These parasitic worms measure between four and forteen inches in length. Luckily, horsehair worms do not use humans as hosts.

Horsehair worms are long and clearly visible roundworms. They are often spotted by humans in small portions of outdoor and indoor water sources, such as birdbaths, water troughs, pet dishes, sinks, bathtubs, and unfortunately, toilets. These frightening looking parasites can also be spotted in gardens and yards following heavy rainfall. These parasitic worms get their name on account of their resemblance to long threads of horsehair.

For those of you who cannot stand insects, then you will be pleased to know that horsehair worms are only parasitic to larger sized insects, such as crickets, grasshoppers, cockroaches, beetles and katydids. These parasitic worms evolved within the body cavities of these insects. The worms are even harmless to plants, and all types of animals besides insects. In fact, horsehair worms do not pose any threat to the environment at all; it could even be said that these parasitic worms do the world a favor by minimizing cricket populations, and many insect pests. In rare cases when this parasitic insect is found, there is no need for alarm, and control efforts are entirely unnecessary. Lets just hope one of these large parasitic worms does not somehow wind-up in your toilet.

 

Have you ever spotted what you believe may have been a horsehair worm? If so, where was it located?

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After An Exterminator Rids Your Home Of Termites Can The Damaged Wood Be Repaired?

After An Exterminator Rids Your Home Of Termites Can The Damaged Wood Be Repaired?

If you find extensive termite damage within your home, then the only thing you can do is hire a local pest control professional to rid your home of termites. But how can termite related damage be repaired once a home is free of termites? In some cases a call to a nearby handyman is required. However, some forms of termite damage can be repaired without the assistance of a handyman. Although minor wood damage can be repaired by yourself, minor termite damage can be hard to spot.

Termites love wood, more specifically they love the cellulose inside of wood. Wood typically contains forty to fifty percent cellulose, more than enough to satisfy a termites hunger. If you are unaware of what termite damage looks like, and are therefore, unsure if calling a handyman is necessary, then keen an eye out for the following signs of termite damage: termite trails, feces, eggs, and even dead termites.

Termite trails are digested wood residue. This residue looks like a powdery substance that forms a trail along your wood. Termite feces are often not recognized as such. Termite feces often appear as tiny pellets or sawdust. Termite feces is officially referred to as “frass”. Termite eggs are, as you can imagine, very small, but they look like tiny insect eggs. Dead termites may also not always resemble termite corpses on account of their small size. But looking closely at what looks like tiny dead insects will often reveal a termite infestation.

If pest control professionals eradicate your home of termite during the early stages of infestation, then you can use wood hardener to obscure minor termite damage on your wood. Simply fill in wooden dents caused by termite activity with store-bought wood hardener. Allow time for the hardener to dry. If the damaged part of your home is often walked over, then use a blow drier to speed up the drying process. Once the wood hardener dries, sand over the repaired wood. Once this process is completed, then your wood will look as though it had always been free of termites.

Have you ever repaired termite damaged wood on your own? If you have, then what did you use?

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Columbus’ Replica Ships Were Eaten By Termites

Columbus’ Replica Ships Were Eaten By TermitesTermite Control

It may be hard to believe, but the Spanish Government was furious with officials in the United States during the early 2000s. So what could possibly have come between America and the country of Spain? Why, termites of course. The Spanish Government had spent nine million pounds building replicas of the ships that Columbus used to sail to the New World. Since then Spain has blamed American officials for allowing the ships to become extremely expensive termite food.

The year 1992 was a significant year for both the United States and Spain. For those of you who recall your elementary school history, 1992 was the five hundred year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s voyage to the new world. The Spanish Government decided to celebrate the anniversary by building replicas of Columbus’s ships, and then sailing the ships to the United States. Once these replica ships arrived in the United States, the state government of Texas decided to accept the ships as a gift from Spain. To be more specific, the ships were leased to the city of Corpus Christi, Texas. Unfortunately, by the early 2000s, a few of these replicas became termite hotspots.

Officials in Spain were hoping for the replica ships to become tourist attractions in America. Local government officials in Corpus Christi, Texas, however, failed to adequately care for the ships. By the time 2001 rolled around, termite infestations had rendered both the Pinta, and the Santa Maria worthless. The ships had become unable to float on the sea. These two infested ships were moved onto unsightly concrete blocks located on a portion of open land within a shopping plaza. The Nina was still in the water, but had fallen into serious disrepair.

At the time, the American lawyer for the Spanish Embassy in Washington, James Gold, had acknowledged the failure of Corpus Christi’s local government to properly care for the replica ships. In early 2001, the Corpus Christi Convention and Visitors Bureau took over management of the ships. A representative of the visitors bureau had been quoted as saying “The termites are holding hands. That is the only reason the ships are still standing up”. The termites caused millions in damage, and a rift existed between America and Spain for years afterward. Who would have thought that termites could cause a major international fiasco?

In your experience, what is the most expensive thing that a termite infestation destroyed?

 

 

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Monster Bug Bite Is a Medical Mystery

Monster Bug Bite Is a Medical Mystery

You have probably been bitten by a bug once or twice and not known exactly which insect was the culprit. But one man received one nasty bug bite that is still baffling the medical community. Thomas Jay from Arizona got what he thought was a simple bug bite while taking out the trash one day. Unfortunately, that simple bite turned into a painful injury covering his entire arm, and doctors are still unable to figure out which insect might have bitten him.

Thomas Jay noticed a big bite on his arm after taking out his trash earlier in the month. He initially felt a painful pinch or sting on his arm, after which he simply swatted the bug away. At first the bite looked like just a small red circle. However, within hours the bite then began to spread out farther, causing mysterious horrible bruising all over his arm, which ended up looking like it could have been run over by an 18-wheeler a few times. When he went to an urgent care center to have physicians check it out, they were all baffled by it, unable to distinguish what bug bit him. Even after going to two hospitals, he found no one that could diagnose the insect bite.

His wife, Dee Petrov, believes it was caused by a type of spider called a solifuge, but is not entirely sure, and no doctors have been able to provide any answers. She posted pictures on social media to see if anyone online could help solve this mystery, but hasn’t found any answers yet. Jay and his wife are continuing to take him to different doctors in an effort to discover the culprit and heal the painful symptoms that are still affecting his arm. While they are currently seeking further medical help to deal with the current issues Jay is having with his injured arm, they hope that there are no long-term affects that have yet to pop up. The couple hopes that they will ultimately get to the bottom of this mystery, if only to help future individuals unlucky enough to be bitten by this mystery bug.

Who knew there were still bug bites that couldn’t be diagnosed? I’d keep your hands and feet out of dark corners if I were you.

Have you ever gotten a bug bite that you had to go to the hospital to treat? Did doctors discover what bug did the biting, or have you also experienced the affects of a mysterious bug bite?

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How To Respond To A Swarm Of Honey Bees

How To Respond To A Swarm Of Honey Bees

When we encounter bees during the summer months we typically react with fright, and with good reason. Bees are territorial, and anyone in their vicinity will be considered a threat. Bee stings are not just painful either; they can also be deadly, even for those who are not allergic to their stings. Obviously being attacked by multiple bees greatly increases the chances of death. But it is not always clear how an individual should respond when encountering a colony of bees.

Some people are under the impression that it is best to stand in one spot when surrounded by bees. However, standing in one place while frantically attempting to swat nearby bees is certainly not the best way to avoid bee related injuries. Instead do what your instinct tells you, and run! By standing motionless in one place during a bee attack, bees are given plenty of time to recruit other bees from the colony. It does not take long for an entire colony of bees to reach a potential victim.

If you should ever find yourself being pursued by a mob of aggressive bees, then try to locate bushes or other tight spaces where you could possibly obscure yourself. Of course, locating a shelter of some kind is ideal for avoiding bee-swarms, but if you cannot find shelter, then continue running. Eventually bees will give up their pursuit. But remember, bees can travel an entire half mile before giving up on a potential victim.

Finding refuge under the surface of water will not keep you guarded from bee-swarms. Actually, this method only works for as long as you can hold your breath. Although the movies may tell a different story, plenty of people have reported that bees will linger above water, and sting victims when they surface, even if it is for just a second. Also, if you should sustain bee stings in the future, then be sure to remove the stingers from your skin after you have secured a safe haven. This is important because the venom-sac is still attached and can continue to inject venom into your body. Honeybees are the only stinging insects that detach their stingers after penetration.

Have you ever sustained multiple bee stings within a public area?

 

 

 

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Are Lemons Too Sour For Insect-Pests?

Are Lemons Too Sour For Insect-Pests?

Lemons are not often consumed like oranges. Lemons are cultivated mainly to enhance the taste of certain foods or beverages. The sour taste of lemons are not well tolerated by human tastebuds. You may assume that other animals feel the same way about lemons, and for most mammals this is probably true. However, there are plenty of insects that love the taste of lemons. It is not shocking that many insects cannot get enough of certain sweet-tasting citrus fruits, but how could any insects tolerate the overwhelming sourness of lemons? Insects, such as mites, flies, thrips and moths are often responsible for damaging American lemon crops.

 

It is not unusual for some insects to spend the early stages of their lives dwelling within lemon crops. For example, citrus thrips require citrus plants in order to develop properly. These thrips hatch from eggs that are located on the leaves of lemon plants, as well as other citrus fruits. Once these thrips hatch and become nymphs, they remain within lemon crops in order to feed on the fruits. This is how the nymphs develop into adults. Some other types of insects can take their taste for lemons to a whole new level, causing serious problems for lemon farmers. Citrus cutworms are one such example.

Much like citrus thrips, citrus cutworms hatch from eggs that adult cutworm moths leave on the leaves of lemon trees. However, these insects can cause damage that is far more extensive than other lemon-eating insects. This is because one single lemon is not good enough for the picky citrus cutworm; instead, these cutworms prefer to sample multiple lemons, resulting in the rapid spread of lemon crop damage. Some moths ignore all other citrus fruits and, instead, only feed on lemons. In fact, there exists two parasitic moths that target only lemons. There are also different types of earwigs, flies and caterpillars that cause damage to lemon crops in regions all around the world.

Have you ever taken a bite of a certain type of fruit only to discover that it had already been damaged by an insect pest?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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