Category Archives: PEST CONTROL

Is The “Insect Armageddon” Being Exaggerated?

Is The “Insect Armageddon” Being Exaggerated?Beehive Removal

There has been a lot of talk lately about the current dwindling insect population crisis. The crisis has been dramatically dubbed as the “insect armageddon”. News outlets have been reporting stories every day telling about this troubling insect population trend. The concern all started when researchers from Germany reported that the insect population within German nature reserves decreased by seventy five percent over the course of twenty seven years.

You don’t have to be a scientist to know that a world without insects would result in an ecological catastrophe that would end life on earth. But does this study really indicate that the end of life on earth is near? Although the German study is certainly alarming, it is after all, only one study. What do other scientists think about the study and its results? Are the concerns generated by this study legitimate?

The study was conducted by respected scientists, and the results of the study are certainly reliable. However, the study is limited to German nature reserves, and not the rest of the world. We have no way of knowing if insect populations are decreasing on a global scale, so it may be too early to panic. However, there is good reason to believe that global insect populations are decreasing. For example, a 2014 study reported that insect populations had declined by forty five percent at different monitored locations around the world.

Many scientists believe that panicking may be a little premature since the study does not identify the cause of the insect decline. A variety of factors could lead to a decrease in insect populations. For example, a decrease in vegetation or an increase in farm crops that only favor the survival of particular insects could cause a decrease in insect populations. But scientists have yet to pinpoint any solid causes. However, rapid deforestation could certainly result in a loss of insect life. Although it may be too early to claim that the end of days is among us, multiple studies have demonstrated results similar to the German study, and most scientists believe that a decline in insect life is, in fact, taking place.

Do you believe that a sharp increase in insect life will occur at some point in the future? Could this decrease in global insect life be a part of a natural cycle that scientists have yet to understand?

 

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Getting Rid of Ants, The Most Common Home Invader

Getting Rid of Ants, The Most Common Home Invader | Ant Control

Often considered the No. 1 nuisance pest, ants also pose significant health and property risk as they destroy wood and contaminate food items. And with more than 700 types of ant species in the United States, it’s not surprising that ants can quickly become a source of disgust, frustration and concern for homeowners.

Some of the most common home invaders include:

  • Odorous House Ants: These ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they give off when crushed, often described as smelling like a rotten coconut. They typically nest in wall voids and crevices and prefer sweet foods.
  • Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants prefer sweets, but also consume grease and even shoe polish. They live in extremely large colonies and keep warm near artificial heating sources like baseboard heaters and ovens.
  • Carpenter Ants: This species hollows out nests in both dry and moist wood, though they prefer the latter. They can be particularly hard to remove since their nests can be more difficult to locate.
  • Fire Ants: Fire ants can cause severe allergic reactions in addition to structural damage caused by chewing through the insulation around electrical wiring.

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Tropical Honeybees May Have Survived Nuclear Winter Tens Of Millions Of Years Ago

Tropical Honeybees May Have Survived Nuclear Winter Tens Of Millions Of Years Ago

Scientists have suggested a few theories concerning the cause of the extinction of dinosaurs and other forms of Cretaceous life on the planet. Although multiple plausible theories, such as the “ice age”, have been suggested, many modern scientists are convinced that an asteroid wiped out most of earth’s lifeforms, including dinosaurs, millions of years ago. Most scientists agree that the planet became very cold following the impact of the asteroid. However, scientists have still not reached a consensus concerning how long this nuclear winter lasted. According to one researcher, the modern existence of a certain species of tropical honeybee indicates that a nuclear winter could not have lasted for long.

According to a University of New Orleans graduate student, Jacqueline Kozisek, the fact that the tropical honeybee known as Cretotrigona prisca survived past the Cretaceous period indicates that the nuclear winter may not have been as devastating to life on earth as many scientists think. Kozisek has studied numerous specimens of Cretotrigona prisca that have been preserved in amber. She claims that these ancient honeybees are nearly identical to the tropical honeybees that are living today. Given the similarities, it is likely that the ancient honeybees could tolerate just as much cold weather as today’s honeybees. In fact, the fossilized honeybees could even be ancestors to modern tropical honeybees. Since the fossilized honeybees went extinct long after the asteroid impact, they must have survived the nuclear winter. This means that the post cretaceous planet may not have been as cold as scientists think, or the nuclear winter did not last for very long. Modern honeybees would never be able to survive for an extended period of time in the cold post-cretaceous climate, so neither could these fossilized bees.

Today’s honeybees thrive at temperatures between thirty one and thirty four degrees celsius, so these fossilized honeybees likely required similar temperatures in order to survive. Scientists currently believe that the nuclear winter forced the earth’s temperature down to seven to twelve degrees celsius, which is too cold for the honeybees. Some scientists believe that Kozisek may be onto something. After all, many organisms did survive the asteroid impact and the following nuclear winter. Only seventy percent of life on earth died in the process. This fossilized honeybee may change the way scientists imagine the extinction event that occurred sixty five million years ago.

Do you believe many types of insects survived the nuclear winter, and that explains why fossilized insects look similar to insects living today?

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Rodent Prevention Tips!

As the temps begin to cool off utilize the following rodent prevention Tips in Tucson!

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of the home, including areas where utilities and pipes enter the home, using caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly.
  • Keep attics, basements and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Inspect items such as boxes, grocery bags and other packages for evidence of rodents before bringing them indoors.
  • Regularly check under the hood of the car for signs of a rodent infestation.

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Houses Made Of Hemp Are Termite-Proof

Houses Made Of Hemp Are Termite-Proof

It seems that termites are capable of eating through any type of home building material. Any type of lumber can become infested with termites at some point, even if the lumber is pressure treated during processing. However, if you want to build a home that is truly termite proof, then you don’t need to build an eyesore of a home made of tupperware plastic. You can always turn to hemp. Well, maybe not here in America, as the cultivation of hemp is highly regulated, and can only be cultivated for certain purposes. But in Australia hemp-constructed homes are already a reality. In Australia, the legality concerning hemp cultivation is also sketchy, but so far, twenty four termite-resistant hemp houses have been constructed in the country.

In Australia, as long as THC content is low, large hemp crops can be cultivated. The newly constructed hemp houses are not only termite-resistant but they are also fire-resistant, and they can prevent the growth of mold, as well as reducing the need for heating and cooling. The hemp-based construction material is made by grinding the hemp plant’s woody stems with a lime binder. The resulting material has been called “hemp paste”. Lumber is still used as a construction material, but the hemp paste is used to coat a standard wooden house-frame. Once the hemp paste is applied to a wooden frame, an additional coat of lime is applied to the outermost exterior. The timber contained within the hemp coat is inaccessible to termites. Once a hemp house has been completed it is indistinguishable from other houses made from timber.

Business professionals Angela Knock, Rowan Woodburn and Vicki Woodburn are the entrepreneurs behind hemp houses. According to Knock, the material is cheaper than bricks, and although the labor may be relatively expensive, the labor costs will decrease as hemp houses become more commonplace. These business pioneers will likely have solar panels installed within future hemp homes in order to promote sustainability.

Do you think that the economic costs of termite damage could be reduced if hemp was used for constructing houses and buildings?

 

 

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Alien Looking Insect Is Turning People’s Heads

Alien Looking Insect Is Turning People’s Heads

The world is full of strange looking insects. Insects make up the majority of species on this planet, and researchers believe their could be up to ten quintilian individual insects existing right now. That is a lot of insects! As far as humans are concerned insects are already strange looking relative to other animals. However, one particular insect is downright confusing to look at. A video featuring a “devilfish” has recently gone viral and even some amatuer insect experts are curious as to what type of animal they are looking at.

Video footage shot in Indonesia has captured a devilfish moving around on the floor with its hairy tendrils protruding from its midsection at the end of a caterpillar-like portion of its body. After different websites featuring the video footage received tons of speculative guesses and humorous comments concerning which species the devilfish belonged to, experts came forth with answers. Apparently, this creature is an extremely rare type of moth that is known as a Creatonotos Gangis. This moth is native to southeast Asia and parts of northern Australia. The video documenting the moth in action was posted on Facebook by a user named Gandik, who lives in Kebumen, Jawa Tengah, Indonesia. It has since been shared well over two hundred thousand times and has received tens of thousands of likes along with many comments from people all over the world. Although many of the comments being made about the unique moth are factually incorrect, entomologists are likely still pleased that the video has generated worldwide enthusiasm concerning insect life.

According to experts, this bizarre moth grows to about a half inch in length, depending on its diet. The “tentacles” of this moth are probably its most bizarre feature. These are not technically tentacles; instead these protrusions are referred to as “coremata.” Only the males of this species possess coremata. The coremata emit a scent that attracts females. Even though the identity of this species has been confirmed, people still seemed interested in the insect as the video is continuing to receive many views.

Have you ever spotted a strange looking insect that you had never seen before and have never seen again?

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You Would Not Believe How Large Wasp Nests Can Get

You have quite likely stumbled upon an insect nest before. Sometimes these nests can be interesting, and other times they can be terrifying. Wasp nests are one of those nests that people instinctively know to avoid. There’s something menacing about the appearance of a wasp nest, but wasp nests are not always housing wasps. Every year a queen wasp will emerge from hibernation and then start construction on a new wasp nest. Sometimes queen wasps will build onto old wasp nests that had already been constructed. However, queen wasps always build new nests, and they never inhabit old decaying nests. This is why simply spotting a wasp nest does not mean that wasps are nearby. However, this also means that wasp nests can become extremely large over the course of years. For example, a wasp nest discovered in Tasmania, Australia two years ago is the largest wasp nest ever recorded, as it weighs two hundred and twenty pounds. And if you think that enormous wasp nests can only be found in places like Australia, then you would be wrong.

Vespula germanica wasps are invasive to Australia, and experts believe they first arrived on the continent in 1959 through New Zealand. In Australia, these wasps do not have any natural predators so they are capable of building highly populated colonies. This is part of the reason why these wasps were able to construct a nest containing up to one hundred thousand wasps. The nest has recently been relocated to the Queen Victoria Museum where the general public can marvel at its enormous size of thirty cubic feet.

Just five years prior to the giant wasp nest that was discovered in Australia, a pub owner in Great Britain discovered a wasp nest in his attic that measured an astounding six by five feet at the base. Experts estimated that the nest housed half a million wasps. And most recently, a wasp nest measuring twenty two feet was discovered in the Canary Islands. Now the wasp nest that you found in your garage last summer does not seem as frightening.

Have you ever encountered an insect nest that you thought was unusually large?

 

 

 

 

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Is Bee Venom Used As Medicine?

Is Bee Venom Used As Medicine?

Bee pollen and honey have both been used for a variety of purposes since prehistoric times. Some people take bee honey in order to improve sore throat symptoms. The list of honey-related remedies is extensive, and bee honey has long been used in alternative medicine. Many nutritionists consider bee pollen to be an ideal source of protein as well as other nutrients. As far as humans are concerned, bees are a gift from the heavens, minus their venomous stings of course. It would be difficult to argue that bee stings can be beneficial, but the venom itself can actually be beneficial as a medicine.

The effectiveness of bee venom as a treatment for human illness has yet to be proven by scientists. However, bee venom has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, and even western medical professionals are taking bee venom seriously. The use of bee venom as a treatment for human illnesses is referred to as “apitherapy.” It is difficult for experts to determine just how long medicinal bee venom has been used by humans, but the ancient Egyptians believed that bee venom was medically invaluable. The medicinal use of bee venom is well documented throughout European history. Hippocrates used bee venom to treat general joint pains and arthritis. The popularity of bee venom as a medicine varied throughout Europe following the early Greek and Roman periods. Eventually interest in bee venom as a medicine was renewed during the late nineteenth century. In 1888 European researchers published an article that focused on the use of bee venom as a treatment for rheumatism. However, many western doctors became disinterested with the therapeutic effects of bee venom for many decades afterward.

The modern popularity of alternative forms of medicine has once again brought the use of bee venom to the attention of western medicine, but modern research has not yet confirmed any medicinal benefits of bee venom. Studies have shown that bee venom is ineffective when treating multiple sclerosis, but studies have also supported the benefits of bee venom in the treatment of arthritis. Since bee venom is a molecularly complex substance, medical researchers are still unsure as to how the human body reacts to the venom. Today, interest in the therapeutic effects of bee venom is at an all time high among western medical professionals.

Have you ever used any bee-related products as a medicine to treat a particular health problem?

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Some Regions Of The World Are Seeing Massive Insect Deaths

Some Regions Of The World Are Seeing Massive Insect Deaths

For the past few years the news has been reporting about sharp declines in the worldwide bee population. According to scientists, a phenomenon referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder is the cause of the mass bee deaths around the world. However, the decrease in bee populations is hardly the only ecological problem on the minds of many scientists today. Lately, the decreasing bee populations is not being discussed much, and bee population numbers are rising. Now, scientists are concerned about a massive decline in insect populations within Western Germany.

During the late eighties, scientists working for the Entomological Society Krefeld installed numerous insect traps within many different nature preserves located throughout western Germany. Entomologists capture these insects and record data concerning population sizes. The captured insects are mainly used for research and during academic instruction. But in recent years, the traps have been catching less and less insects. The total amount of traps that exist in western Germany amount to just over fifteen hundred. According to entomologists, the average weight of insects in the wild has dropped by seventy seven percent between the years of 1989 and 2016. Scientists were also disturbed to find that the average weight of insects caught during the peak of the summer season decreased by an astonishing eighty two percent.

One scientists in charge of collecting and evaluating the insect data, Hans de Kroon, said that a decline in population sizes was expected, but not on such a large scale. He went on to say that insect losses of this magnitude would be more believable if they were collected within an agricultural region, as opposed to a nature preserve. Scientists expected to see a bit of a decline since studies have already shown that European butterflies, honey bees, and certain moth species have been decreasing dramatically.

Do you think that global insect loss is a threat to the existence of humanity?

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Insect Larvae May Help Detectives Track Down The Perpetrators Of Sex-Related Murders

Insect Larvae May Help Detectives Track Down The Perpetrators Of Sex-Related Murders

Most of us know that forensic scientists use certain insects that are present at a murder scene to gather evidence, and to determine when a murder occurred. This type of investigation is known as forensic entomology. The job of a forensic entomologist is very unpleasant, but also very important to solving a murder case. Recently Murdoch University forensic researchers have discovered a new method of identifying perpetrators of sexually motivated murders. Normally, after a person is found murdered, their bodies are examined and all fluids present on the victim’s body are gathered on a cotton swab before being placed into a plastic bag as evidence. These cotton swabs can often reveal the DNA in semen. Once the DNA is gathered, determining who commited the sexually motivated murder is easy. However, collecting bodily fluids, such as semen, on cotton swabs is not perfect, as the semen normally degrades after three days. Once the semen sample has degraded, the DNA contained within the sample is gone, and the sample becomes worthless. Luckily, the forensic researchers from Murdoch University have found a more ideal alternative to cotton swabs, and it happens to be the larvae from carrion flies of all things.

A small-scale study has demonstrated that human DNA can be preserved for up to twelve days after carrion larvae begin to feed on biological substances. Retrieving high quality DNA samples that are in good condition is necessary for creating a proper profile. Gathering genetic information from biological fluids that are left behind at a crime scene is often difficult, and this is especially true for semen, as it degrades rapidly. When graduate student, Laura Nutton, compared the quality of DNA from semen collected on a cotton swab with the DNA from semen contained within larvae, she found that the larvae kept the DNA in semen in tact for the longest period of time. This was only a small-scale study, so further studies will have to be conducted in order to gain a better understanding of the preservative potential of the carrion larvae. However, this method of DNA sampling seems promising.

Do you think that other types of larvae can be harvested in order to preserve certain biological fluids?

 

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