Posts Tagged ‘Pest Control’

Pest & Termite Control Blog Round Up!

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

Ants Invading Homes | B&B Pest Control

Swarming Termite Season | The Termite Boys

10 Bed Bug Facts | Johnny B’s Pest Control

Fifty New Spider Species Are Discovered

Largest Dose Of Antivenom Ever Becomes Necessary After A Boy Sustains A Bite From A Venomous Spider

Can Spiders Be Mailed in An Envelope?

Do Spiders Only Consume Prey In Liquid Form?

A Zika Vaccine Is On The Horizon

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Normally vaccines take years to produce, and then a particular vaccine must be properly tested and licensed. However, researchers attempting to develop a vaccine for Zika say that a vaccine could be on the market sooner than normal.

A mere ten months after US government politicians convened to discuss how Zika should be funded, researchers have already started testing three different experimental Zika vaccines. The vaccines are being tested on human subjects infected with Zika. Another four of five trials to test vaccines for Zika will likely occur between the start of 2017 and the following fall. The current best-case scenario is to have an emergency vaccine available within a couple of years from now. The goal of the US government is to have a fully licensed and effective Zika vaccine by 2020. The only worry researchers and lawmakers have regarding the quick production of a vaccine is that by 2020 people will not buy it, as it is possible that people will not longer be worried about contracting the virus. However, this would not necessarily be a negative outcome for consumers.

Do you think the Zika virus will become another major pathogen that will infect mass amounts of people, like Rubella, or will Zika die out and meet a fate similar to that of the west nile virus?

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?

A Genetically Odd Snail Manages To Mate Despite Unfavorable Odds

Monday, December 5th, 2016

A snail that has been named Jeremy has been known to the public for a while due to its strange appearance. Unlike other snails, Jeremy is considered a “lefty,” which means that Jeremy’s shell swirls counterclockwise and his sexual organs are located on the left side of his head. Jeremy could be considered a mirror image of snails born without genetic anomalies. Since Jeremy’s sexual organs are located opposite the sexual organs of its potential mates, Jeremy cannot find another snail to successfully mate with, that is, until recently.

According to evolutionary geneticist, Angus Davison, Jeremy’s genetic mishap could occur in only one out of every million snails. However, most scientists agree that one out of every one hundred thousand snails carry Jeremy’s odd genetic trait.

Thanks to a global search, Jeremy eventually became united with another snail that shares Jeremy’s genetic trait. The other snail is named “lefty,” and it is reportedly developing a sexual relationship with Jeremy. The scientists are eager to see what sort of genetic anomalies will result in the offspring that these two snails will soon produce.

Do you think that it is obvious that these two snails would produce offspring that would have the same genetic anomaly as the parents? Or do the researchers need to be familiar with Jeremy’s family history before the genetic makeup of its offspring can be narrowed down to only a few possibilities?

 

 

 

Keep Pantry Pests Out Of Holiday Cooking

Monday, November 21st, 2016

Bug Busters offer tips for pantry pest prevention

28075493 - flour moth, pantry moth (ephestia kuehniella)

ATLANTA – The holiday season is upon us, which means families will be spending a lot of time cooking and baking in the kitchen. When digging through your cabinets and storage for baking necessities, like cookie cutters and containers of flour, make sure you are leaving unwanted “pantry pests” out of the mix. To maintain high holiday spirits, Bug Busters and The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) are sharing a few tips for keeping these pesky pests from spoiling your holiday baking traditions.

Pantry pests are insects that tend to gather around food often stored in pantries and cabinets such as flour, dry cereals, spices, candies and chocolate. Common pantry pests include Indian meal moths and Merchant Grain Beetles. “Preparing food for the holidays should fun, but finding creepy crawlies in your baking ingredients can really dampen your spirit,” says Bug Busters Chief Operating Officer Court Parker. “By following a few simple steps, families can feel secure that their tasty creations are pest free.”

Bug Busters suggests the following tips to avoid pantry pests:

  • Immediately wipe up any crumbs or spills from countertops, tables, floors, shelves and inside cabinets.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Carefully inspect packages before placing them in the cart at the grocery store. Only purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage.
  • Check expiration dates on baking ingredients before use.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.

For more information, please visit bugbustersusa.com. For further details on scheduling an interview with a Bug Busters expert who can share ever more creepy crawly facts and pest-prevention ideas, please contact court@bugbustersusa.com or 1-800-210-6262.

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Bug Busters has been family owned and operated since 1984 and is committed to providing top-notch residential and commercial pest control services in the Southeast. While offering the most effective pest control services available, Bug Busters is dedicated to doing so with respect for the environment. The company focuses on the control, removal and monitoring of all types of crawling and flying pests including mosquitoes, rodents, bed bugs, termites, spiders and more. Bug Busters stresses the importance of knowing customers personally and offering thorough and tailored service with a vow to excellence in the products and services that it provides.

Company Punishes Employees By Making Them Eat Bugs!?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

Company Punishes Employees By Making Them Eat Bugs!?

Everyone makes a mistake now and then at work. Even the most perfect employee is going to have a bad day every now and again. Usually the worst punishment you can expect to receive is a lecture from your boss, unless of course you really screw up and get fired. However, employees in a sales group working for a group of construction supplies and furniture companies in the Hanzhong, Shaanxi province of China received a rather bizarre and barbaric punishment when they didn’t meet sales quotas.

Witnesses reported that 60 employees were gathered in a plaza in downtown Hanzhong for a meeting when a man carrying bags filled with worms, chopsticks, cups, and bottles of the infamously strong Chinese alcoholic beverage baijiu. What happened next shocked and appalled both the employees and witnesses present. Employees that had failed to meet their sales quota were called forward one by one and were forced by a leader of the sales group to drink a noxious concoction of mealworms and alcohol. According to one of the employees, each person was forced to eat four worms for every customer they lost. And this wasn’t even the first time these employees had been punished in this manner for not meeting sales quotas. The punitive routine, which the firm’s boss Cao had come up with, had involved consuming ants and even live squid on previous occasions.

Punishments like this are not uncommon in China, with numerous companies forcing their workers to do such acts as crawl around on their hands and knees, swallow vile concoctions, and even get spanked for performing poorly. Makes you feel rather silly about complaining about your own job now, doesn’t it?

Have you heard of any other kinds of bizarre and cruel punishments employees have received at the hands of their clearly bonkers employers?

Where Do Bugs Go During The Winter?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Some bugs migrate to warmer climates during the winter months; some hibernate, while others are learning to stick out the cold months thanks to global warming. Bugs have a variety of ways of surviving the winter months.

Often times spiders, insects and all types of arthropods will resort to “invasion” in order to avoid succumbing to the harsh winter cold. Lady Bugs and box elder bugs are common for their dependence on human dwellings for survival during colder months.

Honeybee’s, on the other hand make use of a survival method known as “activation.” During the colder months bees will expend more energy to keep themselves warm. The bees are able to produce the extra heat by eating honey in excess. This results in a longer functioning metabolism that can adapt to the body’s demand to warm itself. Of course more and more spiders and insects are surviving just fine outdoors as a result of climate change, but it is still not the preferred method of winter survival among arthropods.

Do you see more bugs in your home during the later fall and winter months?

 

 

Mad Scientists Create Three-Eyed Cyclops Beetle

Friday, August 26th, 2016

Most people are familiar with the stereotype of the “mad scientist”. They tend to have crazy hair that sticks out in every direction, are known to laugh maniacally every so often, and are fond of creating monstrous abominations through genetic experimentation. Of course, most people also know that they died out with Joseph Mengele…or did they? A team of scientists led by Eduardo Zattara, a postdoctoral researcher in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology, decided to play God and recently created a three-eyed beetle with an added compound eye in the middle of its head, inspiring them to give it the nickname “Cyclops”.

Now, I know what this looks like, but these scientists weren’t actually living out their darkest fantasies of being the next Victor Frankenstein. They were actually studying the possibilities of genetic evolution by shutting off a specific gene in the dung beetle to see what kind of physical changes it might result in. This helped them understand how certain genes cause the evolution of new characteristics in insects. When they removed the orthodenticle genes, the beetle grew a third eye in the center of its head and lost its horns. This was a monumental leap forward in our understanding so far of how evolution works.

What external factor could possibly cause this gene to suddenly become active and spark an evolution in the beetle’s physical traits?

How Hemlock Wooly Adelgids Spread is Finally Discovered!

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

The hemlock wooly adelgid is one destructive little pest. They kill hundreds of thousands of trees in the U.S. every year, and are a major issue that experts having been trying to control for years now. The biggest question circulating is how these little critters are able to get around, spreading vast distances to destroy forests that are thousands of miles apart. They can’t fly, so how are they able to spread as fast as they do? Answering this question could help experts make huge strides in being able to control this destructive pest.

Scientists recently did a thorough study of how they could be hitching rides on birds in order to spread these vast distances, and a recent report outlined exactly how they most likely do this. Researchers found that the birds migrating and taking a short rest on the hemlock branches were the prime targets for the wooly adelgid. There are two ways the insect hitch a ride on the birds. The adelgid nymphs known as “crawlers” will disperse after emerging from their egg sack and find a free space on the tree to feed. When a bird lands on the tree and happens to brush up against places where crawlers are feeding, those crawlers happen to get picked up by the birds. The birds that brush up against branches pick up the most crawlers, however, the little crawlers don’t just leave everything to chance. Many birds that simply perch on a branch will also pick up a good number of crawlers, meaning the adelgida aren’t simply passive hitchhikers. Researchers also found that birds picked the most adelgids during the month of May. The researchers plan on continuing these studies in the hopes that having a better understanding of when and how the birds disperse the adelgids will then lead to better way of controlling the spread of these destructive pests.

In light of this study, how do you think researchers could use this information to control the spread of the hemlock wooly adelgid?

Beetle Bracelets, Nightcrawler Necklaces, and Silver Slug Rings! Oh My!

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

Insects might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of expensive couture jewelry, but there’s a new trend emerging among the fashion icons (dictators…) of the world. High fashion designers such as Gucci are putting the spotlight on insect inspired jewelry, modeling their pieces on insects such as bees, spiders, beetles, ants, wasps, dragonflies, and even scorpions. Fans at first were somewhat taken aback by this new style, but soon warmed up to it after they noticed the many diamonds and gold used to make many pieces. I guess you can make anyone like something as long as it’s sparkly, and worth a small fortune.

Gucci’s new insect inspired jewelry focuses entirely on bees, with the creative director Alessandro Michele even giving it the honor of being an essential element in their new line. Other fashion designers that have jumped on this bandwagon are Stephen Webster and Jennifer Herwiitt, who made arachnids the focus of her latest jewelry line.

What kind of insect-inspired jewelry would you want to flaunt on the red carpet?