Posts Tagged ‘Pest Control Atlanta’

Spring Pest Prevention Tips | Pest Control Atlanta

Friday, March 24th, 2017

The spring months also mark the onset of harmful pests including stinging insects like yellowjackets, wasps and hornets, making pest prevention especially important this time of year. As suchBug busters USA recommends the following quick and simple, yet valuable, pest-proofing tips provided by the NPMA:

  • Seal up cracks and small openings along the foundation of the house.
  • Eliminate sources of moisture or standing water.
  • Keep tree branches and other plants cut back from the house.
  • Keep kitchens clean by wiping counters and emptying the garbage frequently.
  • Keep all food containers sealed.
  • Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
  • Keep trash containers clean and sealed, both indoors and outdoors.

Screen windows and doors.

This Time Of Year Brings Out The Poisonous Caterpillars

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

It is that time of year again when people become excited about locating and photographing the strange looking wooly bear caterpillars. These caterpillars are popular among bug enthusiasts and average joes alike because, according to folklore, these fuzzy caterpillars can predict the future. So how does that work, you ask? Well, it probably does not, but legend says that these white caterpillars possess red bands around its body that are either broad or narrow in appearance. That much is true, however, some believe that more narrow bands indicate a harsher winter as opposed to broad bands that indicate a warm winter. Oh yeah! They are also venomous.

As a caterpillar this creature is just as poisonous as it is when it becomes a moth, in this case we are discussing the hickory tussock moth. Entomologists warn against handling the caterpillars or the moths since they can deal out a painful sting that feels like nettle. Although you won’t experience anything more than a rash along with a stinging sensation, it is possible to have an allergy to the moth or its venom, so steer clear.

Have you ever heard of venomous caterpillars or moths? Have you ever been stung by one? Did you know what kind it was?

Lyme Disease Has Been Found In Nine US National Parks

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

Lyme disease causes a near perpetual flu-like state with varying degrees of severity, so it is tragic when we hear about people becoming infected with this disease. However, it is nice to know that the ticks responsible for spreading Lyme disease only exist in the upper Midwestern and northeastern portions of the United States. Well, according to a recent study carried out by researchers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Park Service (NPS) Lyme disease is on the move to other states.

Researchers collected ticks from nine different national parks. What they found were not only the type of ticks that spread the disease, they were also infected with Lyme disease. This is the first study to confirm the existence of Lyme disease in regions farther south than traditionally thought.

However, researches did suspect the presence of Lyme carrying ticks because there have been a few reports of Lyme disease hospitalizations in the southeastern states. Since national parks are so highly populated with tourists during the year, the presence of dangerous disease spreading ticks may cause the disease to spread to normally unaffected areas of the United States. The National Park service is currently working to help protect tourists through prevention education.

If you have ever found a tick on your body, what did you do with it after you found it? How did you dispose of the tick?

Woman Suffers Heart Attack In Response To A Spider Attack

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Everyone has been told repeatedly by experts that spiders cannot cause death, except in very rare circumstances. That may very well be true, but the fact is, people do indeed die in response to spider bites, even if the spider bite itself, or the venom, did not cause death.

A woman had just finished celebrating Christmas with her family when she decided to call it a night and retire to her bedroom. Sadly, she did not get her full eight hours of sleep because she awoke at three in the morning to find venomous spiders crawling all over her body. Initially the woman was too tired to think anything of it, but before she could go back to sleep she was awoken by a sharp stinging pain that, according to the bite victim, felt like a jellyfish sting.

The woman had been bitten by a two inch male funnel web spider. The male funnel web spider is six times more toxic than a female, and it is one of the world’s deadliest spiders as it can kill its bite victims within fifteen minutes. The woman suffered a heart attack as a result of the nightmarish situation that she found herself in, but luckily doctors were able to save her life. Don’t ever let anybody tell you that spiders are harmless folks!

Have you ever awoken in the night to a painful spider bite?

 

What Time Of Year Sees The Greatest Number Of Spiders

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Many people think that spiders are at their most numerous and active during the summer, especially the late summer. However, it is August and September that see the least amount of insects. Very few spiders will have fully matured by the time late summer rolls around. The orb-weaving spider as well as many house spiders are just a couple of the very few types of spiders that do mature fully by the end of the summer.

During the summer the low moisture levels make the environment less hospitable to spiders. For example, October through December as well as during the spring season, are the times of year when spiders will be at their most active, and this is due to the higher moisture levels in the air during that time of year. In regions with mild climates, such as the Northwestern United States, winter is especially more hospitable for spiders than the dead of summer.

Have you ever spotted a live spider, indoors or outdoors, during the winter months?

 

 

New Possible Insecticide Found in Bacteria

Friday, December 16th, 2016

We find a great deal of our pharmaceutical ingredients right in our natural environment. Scientists recently discovered a new class of peptides called rhabdopeptide/xenortide peptides (RXPs) produced by the bacteria Photorhabdus and Xenorhabdus that are able to kill insect larvae. Out in nature this bacteria works symbiotically with its nematode host to survive, which involves killing the insect larvae they are delivered to by the nematode quickly and efficiently.

What makes these new peptides so unique and a very exciting find is that the bacteria that produces them does so on a massive scale. One strain of bacteria is capable of producing 40 different derivatives of RXPs. The reason for the rather high rate of diversity with RXPs produced (instead of just one compound) is that the bacteria has no control over which insect larvae their nematode host delivers them to. Since they have to kill said insect larvae, they need to be able to kill any kind of insect quickly, which could involve sending the mixture of substances to numerous different target sites in their cells at the exact same time. The more RXPs they have to bombard the insect, the better chance they have of killing it. It’s kind of similar to shooting a shotgun. With so many RXPs sent out, at least one is bound to hit the target.

Scientists are now working on figuring out how to recreate these insect killers in a lab and possibly develop a new insecticide.

What kind of effect could an insecticide created from these RXPs have on our agriculture, economy, etc.? Do you think this would be a superior pesticide compared to what is available currently?

Why Are Roaches So Tough? And Can We Learn From Them?

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Many people may have heard that cockroaches are pretty resilient creatures. They can thrive in the most unsanitary conditions without compromising their own good health. For ages researchers and entomologists have been puzzled over the cockroaches ability to live despite the external, or internal environmental conditions. Luckily, it seems as though the riddle may have finally been solved as a team of researchers discovered antibacterial molecules in the brain of the common cockroach.

It is easy to see why an animal would be so resilient to bacteria and disease when the contents of its innards include nine different antibiotic molecules. The antibiotic molecules contained within roaches, and locusts as well it turns out, are far more effective at killing bacteria than the antibiotics currently on the market for human use. Researchers are currently working on ways to best procure the antibiotic compounds from roach brains. Putting these super-powerful next generation roach based antibiotics on the market can save many people who die of infectious diseases.

Why would roaches have evolved internal bodily chemicals that are also antibacterial?

 

Will Insects Become A Common Food Ingredient?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Last may the North American Edible Insect Coalition had its first meeting in Detroit. The fact that insects are not listed by the FDA as a safe food ingredient is more than likely one of the issues discussed at the meeting last spring. Naturally, many people assumed that Washington would soon be flooded with lobbyists pushing to add insects to the safe food list. However, that has not exactly been the case, and many entrepreneurs looking to profit off of bug-based food are not too worried about the FDA’s failure to declare insects safe for consumption.

According to Robert Nathan Allen, a businessman looking to profit in the bug-based food market, most entrepreneurs are not too worried about resistance from the FDA. Instead, entrepreneurs like Allen, and the members of the edible insect coalition, are focusing on making the benefits of insect consumption known to the public so that people can make their own informed choices.

Do you think that insects will be used to create another common food additive, similar to high fructose corn syrup?

 

Bed Bug Doppelgangers

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Bed bugs are everyone’s worst nightmare. Just the thought of possibly having a bed bug infestation can cause people to go into full blown panic mode. However, because we have such a paralyzing fear of them, sometimes we see bed bugs when they’re not actually there. There are a number of insects that look almost identical to bed bugs, and the sight of one of these critters has caused many a person to freak out and start calling exterminators or worse trying their own home remedies that can lead to disastrous problems such as burning your house down or poisoning yourself with toxic chemicals. It’s a good idea to learn about these copycats and how to recognize them, so if you happen to spot one you won’t immediately panic and do something you might later regret.

One bug that is often mistaken for bed bugs is the bat bug. They are similar to bed bugs in appearance and while they prefer animal meals, they will resort to biting humans if an animal host is not nearby. They are small critters, only reaching 3/8ths of an inch, and are also flat and oval shaped. Small cockroaches, especially Asian and brownbanded cockroaches are also often mistaken for bed bugs. When found under beds or in dresser drawers, it can be very easy to think you’ve got bed bugs at first glance. Thankfully, these guys are harmless and don’t bite humans, so there’s no need to panic if you do see one.

Have you ever thought you had bed bugs and it turned out that you actually saw a copycat?

 

Torture Via Insects

Friday, July 8th, 2016

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven to be controversial for the military’s use of various torture techniques, mainly waterboarding. However, in documents declassified by Barack Obama, the Bush Administration either used or toyed with the idea of using insects as a method of interrogation.

This method of torture by insects was meant to be used against only one particular suspected terrorist by the name of Zubaydah. This method was considered for this terrorist because he had a known fear of insects. The idea was to put Zubaydah in a “confinement box” and to tell him that a dangerous insect that cause extreme pain through stings would be dropped in the box unless he furnished his interrogators with satisfactory answers to their questions. However, in actuality the insect that they would drop into the box would actually be a harmless insect, and therefore this method of interrogation does not constitute torture.

It turns out that this method was scrapped and never used due to fears that it may be argued to constitute torture afterall. In Zubaydah’s case it seems as though good old fashioned waterboarding did the trick.

If you were in charge, would you use insects to torture people?