PESTS  >  PESTS IN THE NEWS
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  • Sun Jul 26 2015

    Bug banishers: Which home remedies repel bugs, which don't

    This story originally appeared on TODAY.com. Summer is in full force, and that means more mosquitoes, ticks, and other creepy crawlies that bite, sting and suck. The great outdoors becomes, for many, one great big picnic — with us on the menu. Yet some folks are just as concerned about the chemicals found in popular insect repellent products as they are the pests themselves. Search the Internet for home remedies to ward off bugs and you'll find page after page of non-toxic tips, everything from rubbing yourself down with garlic to stuffing your pockets with fabric softening sheets....

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  • Sun Jul 26 2015

    Drs. Oz and Roizen: Lab testing in rodents and insects

    Q: Why do scientists use mice and fruit flies in lab experiments for testing toxins, drugs and other things? Rodents and insects are so different from humans! — Jeremy R., Bellevue, Washington A: Mice and other rodents are mammals and they share behavioral as well as genetic and biological characteristics with humans. And they are much easier to understand, scientifically speaking. Plus, we know so much about their biology and genetics that we can now switch their genes on and off, and see how their various internal systems respond. For instance, there is a genetically engineered mouse w...

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  • Sun Jul 26 2015

    Labrador black fly horror stories: Entomologist weighs in on swarming insects

    This summer's black fly bonanza has frustrated residents of Labrador, with higher than normal numbers of the pesky insects reported. Most recently, hundreds of black flies swarmed a woman on the south coast of Labrador, to the point where she was prescribed prednisone and an antibiotic to clear up a nasty infection from the bites. Doug Currie, curator of entomology at the Royal Ontario Museum, told CBC's Labrador Morning the swarms were "quite unusual." "You actually have to sustain quite a few bites to develop a reaction like that. It's an allergic reaction to the anticoagulants t...

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  • Fri Jul 24 2015

    Mosquitoes Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Sort it Out Eventually

    In the 1980s, public health officials and entomologists noticed a curious sea change in Florida. For centuries, the yellowfever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) had been one of the deadliest and most invasive disease transmitters in the United States. Borne by stowaway mosquitoes from Africa, yellow fever surged through eighteenth- and nineteenth-century American cities, killing thousands — and even changing the course of history when the disease struck Napoleon’s army in the Americas. The landmark development of a yellow fever vaccine in 1951 helped reduce the mosquito’s status as a public-heal...

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  • Fri Jul 24 2015

    Property owners reject vector control fee

    Riverside County supervisors will have to find another way to pay for vector control in unincorporated communities after property owners rejected an annual fee to pay for efforts to fight mosquitoes, rats and other disease-carrying pests. Mail-in ballots counted this month showed that a majority of property owners served by the county Vector Control Program voted against the fee, which would have charged properties $1.02 to $7.14 annually. The money would have paid for services to control insects and rodents linked to West Nile Virus, hantavirus and other diseases posing a threat to h...

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  • Fri Jul 24 2015

    University professor offering free stinging insect removal service: venom used for immunization

    Jeffrey Goff, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at Malone University, is offering free insect removal services as a collector for pharmaceutical companies. The venom collected is then used to help immunize patients who, without the allergy shot, would suffer severe allergic reactions to stinging insects. According to Dr. Goff, “Of all the allergy shot regimens given to patients, venom shots are among the most effective: roughly 98%. People with a history of severe allergic reactions to stings can be given a very small dose of the venom at regular intervals and at increasing concentrations un...

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  • Wed Jul 22 2015

    Denton man pays fine over unauthorized pest work

    A Denton businessman has agreed to pay a fine after reaching a settlement agreement with the N.C. Structural Pest Control Committee. Josh Frank, manager of All Star Cleaning and Restoration Services in Denton, agreed to pay $1,200 for performing structural pest control work without a valid license. The company performed four bedbug inspections and heat treatments without a license, according to a press release from the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services. Frank said the fine was incurred because he did not realize he needed a pest license to do heat treatments for bedbu...

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  • Wed Jul 22 2015

    Horticultural Oils from UGA Extension

    Several pests are popping up in the landscape during these hot days of summer and residents are asking how to control them. Some may need an application of horticultural oil depending on the pest and plant. I usually recommend spraying these in the dormant season to reduce the risk of injury to the plant. These outdoor insect control products are classified as horticultural oils and are specially formulated for use on plants. According to UGA Extension’s Keith Mickler, most are petroleum-based products with an added emulsifier which allows them to be mixed with water. Horticultural oi...

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  • Wed Jul 22 2015

    Insects Spotted in IV Solutions Spur Recall

    Baxter International is recalling 2 lots of intravenous solutions due to the presence of insects. In each reported case, the insect was identified as a result of a customer compliant. Fortunately, the matter was identified prior to drug administration and no associated adverse events have been reported to Baxter. The recall affects Lot Numbers P319921 and P327635 of Baxter’s 0.9% Sodium Chloride Injection 50 mL and 100 mL, which were distributed to customers and distributors throughout the United States between October 7, 2014, and July 14, 2015. The company cautioned that injectin...

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  • Wed Jul 22 2015

    RNA insecticide could target specific pests

    Colorado potato beetle larvae cause $100 million per year in costs to North American farmers and also damage tomato and other plants. A novel insecticide targets a specific gene in a pest, killing only that bug species on crops and avoiding collateral damage to beneficial insects caused by today’s pesticides. Though the technology is still in its infancy, a Cornell study published online in Pest Management Science describes how the RNA-based insecticide can be effective for at least 28 days when sprayed on a leaf, a finding that dispels previous concerns that the genetic material woul...

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  • Tue Jul 21 2015

    Mosquitoes find you three ways. Here's how, new study finds

    A new study published in the journal Current Biology shows the bloodthirsty insects are attracted by three things: smell, sight and heat. Scientists from the California Institute of Technology and the University of Washington were able to examine the movement of mosquitoes inside a wind tunnel by using cameras and 3D tracking software. The three different stimuli were represented in the study by a plume of CO2, a black spot on the floor of the tunnel and heated glass containers. Results show the insects are able to first detect suitable hosts by the presence of a plume of CO2, such...

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  • Thu Jul 16 2015

    West Nile confirmation in Texas

    BEAUMONT, TX: Jefferson County Mosquito Control sprayed Tuesday night for the pests after the first confirmed case of West Nile Virus in 2015. The discovery was made in a July 7th test of mosquitoes in an area of Beaumont's south end. It was found near Ogden Avenue and Harriot Street. So far, ten Texas counties have declared cases of West Nile Virus in mosquitoes - including Harris and Montgomery counties. No human cases have been identified. Jefferson County Mosquito Control Director Kevin Sexton says the higher the chance of these infected bugs hatching. "We have our day cr...

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  • Tue Jul 14 2015

    Authorities work to clear wreck, chemical spill

    At about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, emergency units from the Marco Island Fire-Rescue and Police departments were dispatched to a two-car accident at the intersection of San Marco Road and North Barfield Drive for a reported chemical spill. Upon arrival, they found a Hulett Pest Control vehicle and a service vehicle for Islander Pool and Patio blocking the intersection. The service vehicle for the pool service company was on its roof and chemicals had been spilled in the intersection, first responders said. The fire-rescue crews immediately instituted hazardous materials protocols for dealing...

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  • Tue Jul 14 2015

    Bed bugs 'bite' the wallet of hotel owners

    While finding a bed bug at home can be unnerving, discovering one in a hotel room can be nightmarish for guests and hotel managers alike. Now, new research from the University of Kentucky'sCollege of Agriculture, Food and Environment has revealed findings about the financial impact bed bugs can have on the travel and hospitality industry. UK entomologist Michael Potter, a Provost's Distinguished Service Professor, teamed with Agricultural Economics Professor Wuyang Hu, and doctoral student Jerrod Penn, in the Department of Agricultural Economics, to conduct this research. Very little was...

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  • Sun Jul 12 2015

    A summer camp where bugs are the star attraction

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Enzali Sutherland is not squeamish. The 10-year-old collected most of the creepy-crawlies in her bug box herself, killed them and delicately pinned them to the Styrofoam lining the box. Some of the bugs, like a large cicada, she'd been saving in her freezer until she could come to Bug Camp. "Beetles are my favorite," she said, pointing to a shiny green one. For Enzali and a few dozen like her, the University of Florida's Entomology Field Camp, or Bug Camp, is heaven. The weeklong camp exposes 10- to 15-year-olds to any critter that could be called a bug — ...

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  • Fri Jul 10 2015

    Pest control vehicle catches fire, leaks chemicals in Chesterfield neighborhood

    CHESTERFIELD, Va. — An environmental company was needed to clean up the mess in the driveway of a home in the Tarrington subdivision off Robious Road in North Chesterfield. Chesterfield fire officials said a pest control company was on site to spray for mosquitos when the motor near the container used to spray the chemical accidentally caught fire. The fire engulfed the vehicle, and ultimately destroyed it. Some of the chemicals in the truck started to run off toward a nearby creek, but firefighters were able to stop it. At this time they said there is no threat to residents or the...

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  • Tue Jul 7 2015

    Alterra Pest Control Wins Gold at The American Business Awards for Nation's "Fastest Growing Service Company of the Year"

    PROVO, Utah, July 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - The American Business Awards has announced Alterra Pest Control as the winner of the first place gold award as the "Fastest Growing Service Company of the Year" for 2015. The American Business Awards are the world's premier business awards that honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals worldwide. More than 3,300 nominations from organizations in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration. In short order, the "Stevie" has bec...

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  • Tue Jul 7 2015

    Grey squirrels are not just nut-loving pests but are in fact top of the class, survey reveals

    Grey squirrels are not just nut-loving pests but are in fact top of the class when it comes to learning, a new study shows. The bushy-tailed mammals show great intelligence and the ability to learn patterns in order to get their paws on food, research found. Boffins at the University of Exeter tested the agile critters by hiding hazelnuts in specially designed puzzle boxes. The boxes contained 12 sunken wells, of which only two contained the tasty treats. The hazelnuts were always placed in wells diagonally opposite each other. The quickest way to success was to methodically che...

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  • Mon Jul 6 2015

    Age and fertility in social insects

    Fertile and long-lived: A termite queen (white) lays 20,000 eggs per day and can, like the king (brown), live for more than 20 years. The small termites are workers. They are sterile and have a lifespan of just two to three months. Credit: Judith Korb A new research unit coordinated at the University of Freiburg tackles the question of why the otherwise usual trade-off between fecundity and lifespan in multicellular organisms is not present in social insects like bees, ants, or termites. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has agreed to provide 2.2 million euros for the project in three...

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  • Mon Jul 6 2015

    Insects may be able to feel fear, anger and empathy, after all

    For most of us who have ever had a pet companion, it’s a no-brainer that mammals and birds are emotional creatures. But what about insects? A recent survey suggests that, for most of us who have ever had a pet companion, it’s a no-brainer that mammals and birds are emotional creatures, sharing emotions with multiple species and not just their own. Yet despite the thousands of YouTube videos and hundreds of recent scientific studies presenting easily accessible evidence and examples, not everyone thinks so. It was only in 2012 that scientists finally agreed that nonhuman animals are co...

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