PESTS  >  PESTS IN THE NEWS
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  • Fri Sep 26 2014

    New insect expert taking over at UW-Madison lab - WISC Madison

    MADISON, Wis. - P.J. Liesch takes a vial or two with him when he goes for a walk outdoors. If he finds an insect he wants to learn more about, the 29-year-old pops the critter into one of the glass bottles. Liesch never gets bored when it comes to bugs. He favors beetles and has a couple thousand in his personal collection. Often, he tucks them in the freezer until he can attach pins and labels to them after work, The Janesville Gazette reported. The insect connoisseur took over in March as the main man at the UW-Madison's Insect Diagnostic Lab. He stepped into the job held fo...

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  • Fri Sep 26 2014

    One of 'World's Most Destructive Insects' Found at Philadelphia International Airport

    The khapra beetle is one of the most destructive insects in the world. It's hard to eradicate because it can go for long periods without food or water, making it a menace to the grain and seed industry (since it likes the dry conditions afforded by large stocks of grain.) So kudos to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Philadelphia who intercepted a khapra beetle in a passenger’s baggage at Philadelphia International Airport. The Dept. of Homeland security provided the details in a statement: CBP officers referred a family that arrived from Saudi Arabia via Qatar to a secondar...

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  • Fri Sep 26 2014

    Terminix goes Canadian with acquisition - Memphis Business Journal

    Terminix has acquired the assets of Groupe Cameron, a Quebec, Canada-based pest control company. The move will grow the company’s Canadian presence, following its acquisitions in 2013 of Toronto-based Magical Pest Control and Vancouver-based Care Pest & Wildlife Control. Groupe Cameron serves the greater Quebec and East Ontario markets through a network of five branches. The company provides insect, rodent and bird control across a variety of industry categories including agri-food, institutional, pharmaceutical, industrial, commercial and residential. It was founded in 1962. Financ...

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  • Fri Sep 26 2014

    Why Are Scientists Releasing Supermosquitoes?

    Tens of thousands of mosquitoes are being released in neighborhoods — on purpose. You could say it’s like fighting fire with fire. It’s rarely fatal, but symptoms include fever, severe muscle and joint pain, and a skin rash similar to measles. The mosquito-born disease is rare in the continental U.S., but according to this study published in July, Brazil has reported 7 million cases of dengue fever between 2000 and 2013. On Wednesday, scientists released mosquitoes carrying the wolbachia bacteria, a new, natural weapon in the country’s battle with dengue. The common bacteria ...

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  • Thu Sep 25 2014

    Lessons from Nature: Recycle Allies that Stop Being Useful

    These two insects are cereal weevils of the same age and species. They have different colours because the one on the bottom has a thinner, weaker shell. It is the lesser of two weevils. Cereal weevils are long-snouted beetles, no bigger than corn kernels. They are serious pests that devour crops like rice and wheat, and like many insect pests, they owe their success to bacteria. Their microbes in question all belong to a species called Sodalis pierantonius and they live inside some of the weevil’s cells. These cells are packed into special organs called bacteriomes, which branch grape-li...

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  • Wed Sep 24 2014

    Bedbugs infest Naval Academy for second time in 2 years

    Bancroft Hall, the dormitory at the Naval Academy. (By Joshua McKerrow, Staff / September 24, 2014) Turns out some midshipmen are just scratching the surface of their challenges. A small number of rooms in Bancroft Hall, the Naval Academy's only dormitory, have bedbugs. Academy spokesman Cmdr. John Schofield said Tuesday that 34 rooms are being treated for the troublesome insects. The affected residences, which represent less than 2 percent of the 1,800 rooms at Bancroft, will be closed for three to four weeks as an exterminator treats them. The midshipmen in those rooms have be...

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  • Wed Sep 24 2014

    Origin of Strange Butterfly-Shaped Radar Blob Found

    These are touchy times and even a simple radar blip can send the whole security apparatus into a tizzy. A mysterious butterfly-shaped cloud spotted over St. Louis last week. Investigation revealed that it was a giant swarm of migrating monarch butterflies. The huge group of migrating Monarch butterflies which resembled a strange shape was flying in between 1,525 meters to 1,825 meters and was heading south to Mexico. The Monarch Butterflies wings are small but they are excellent radar target. The National Weather Service or the NWS said on Facebook, “No one saw the butterflies, but th...

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  • Tue Sep 23 2014

    Mown grass smell sends SOS for help in resisting insect attacks, researchers say

    The smell of cut grass in recent years has been identified as the plant's way of signalling distress, but new research says the aroma also summons beneficial insects to the rescue. "When there is need for protection, the plant signals the environment via the emission of volatile organic compounds, which are recognized as a feeding queue for parasitic wasps to come to the plant that is being eaten and lay eggs in the pest insect," said Dr. Michael Kolomiets, Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant pathologist in College Station. The research stems from a look at the function of a large famil...

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  • Tue Sep 23 2014

    UW researchers discover link between insects and antibiotics

    Researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health have discovered a link between insects and antibiotics that has lead to the development of new medicine. The project, which is a collaborative effort between SMPH and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, involved observations of ants and other insects done by co-principal investigator Cameron Currie. Co-principal investigator David Andes, a professor in the Department of Medicine, said Currie’s “breakthrough” research has allowed for the creation of new antibiotics. “We’re excited because we’ve...

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  • Mon Sep 22 2014

    Gear: Baggage kills pests that might hide inside

    Bedbugs and lice can surreptitiously infiltrate luggage and clothing before or after a trip. Now comes luggage that functions as an execution chamber for stowaway bugs by heating them to death. ThermalStrike Heated Luggage has a lightweight polycarbonate blend outer shell, and inside -- hidden behind the lining – ultra-thin infrared heating panels. Just zip up the bag, plug the included electrical cord into the bag’s built-in socket, plug the other end into a wall socket, and slide the timer unit on the cord to two, four or eight hours. The bag’s internal heat will reach up to a bug-l...

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  • Mon Sep 22 2014

    Taxidermy Makes Its Way Into Upscale Kansas City Decor

    A new shop in the Crossroads District in downtown Kansas City, Mo., looks like a naturalist’s cabinet filled with bones, feathers, insects and skins. “We had a guy come in and said it looked like if a witch doctor and an interior designer kind of got together and started a shop,” says Jane Almirall, co-owner of Oracle, which opened about a year ago. Among the animals on display are a white stag, a tiny black-and-white piglet, and above the doorway, a 100-year-old Canadian lynx, originally stuffed with newspaper and sawdust. In the past couple of years, taxidermied animals have brok...

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  • Sun Sep 21 2014

    Feds start second annual census of invasive brown marmorated stink bugs

    As if it weren’t bad enough that stink bugs, well, stink, they’re also liable to attack your tomato plants. And your blackberries, peaches, lima beans, apples and green peppers, too. And when the temperature falls, they start looking for warmer places to spend the winter, such as your house, where they’ll squeeze in through any number of improbably small spaces and pop out all winter long. Most brown marmorated stink bugs, the kind that pose the biggest threat to Ohio’s produce, originated in Asia and first showed up in the United States in Pennsylvania in 1988. They were first ide...

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  • Sat Sep 20 2014

    7 More Bug Myths Squashed: Giant Killer Insects, Flesh-Eating Beetles

    Like it or not, bugs aren’t going anywhere—and it’s clear that they continue to both horrify and fascinate us. Our story last week squashed some of the more persistent bug myths, but it also generated many more urban legends and questions suggested by our readers. So we just had to do a follow-up. Here’s what the experts had to say about giant killer bugs, pesky fleas, and beetles that supposedly devour human flesh. In the movie The Mummy, scarab beetles attack people, crawling under their skin and eating them alive. Can scarab beetles actually do this? “The word ‘scarab‘ is use...

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  • Sat Sep 20 2014

    What to do? Scorpions appear soon after home purchase

    Does the seller have any responsibility to disclose the presence of scorpions? It depends. Question: Before we purchased our home in Casa Grande last year, we had a home inspection and a termite inspection. Both inspections showed no problems with the home. In addition, the seller disclosed nothing about scorpions in the disclosure form. On the day that we moved into the home, however, we saw a scorpion crawling across the carpet in the living room while we were watching television. Although we have a pest control company come every month, we are still finding two to three scorpions a we...

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  • Fri Sep 19 2014

    Bed bugs found on 3 Rabbittransit buses prompt preventative action

    The bus company has purchased a bug-killing heater for its buses and other vehicles Rabbittransit has taken steps to ensure that further bed bug problems don't occur on its buses, after the insects were found in three buses recently, Executive Director Richard Farr said Thursday. "This isn't going to be a one-and-done," he said. "This is going to be an ongoing, proactive program ... We're going to be very aggressive through this process." Farr said that about three weeks ago, a female driver told Rabbittransit management that she had a bed bug bite. The company had the bus treated ...

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  • Wed Sep 17 2014

    Entomologist says expect more spiders inside as weather turns cooler

    This is the time of year when the Kansas State University entomology department receives a lot of calls. The question most asked: Why am I getting so many spiders in my house? "Insects move inside the house seeking warmer temperatures," said Jeff Whitworth, assistant professor of entomology. "Just like humans, insects prefer a climate around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Spiders are seeking those warmers environments as well as searching for food." Tennessee medical officials have reported an increase in brown recluse bites this year. However, Whitworth says there is no indication there are ...

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  • Wed Sep 17 2014

    Insect Spotlight: A universal fear of spiders

    Even the most hardened entomologists are sometimes creeped out by spiders. My research team and I were running a test in the laboratory. Some time ago, we were feeding corn rootworm larvae to wolf spiders in Petri dishes (rootworms are the most expensive pest in the world to control, and happen to have some interesting anti-predator defenses). Wolf spiders are harmless to humans, but they are quick little devils. Often, the spider would dash out of the dish and directly into our laps. Although we reminded ourselves that our study subjects were "more scared of us than we are of them," we ...

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  • Wed Sep 17 2014

    Mother and young son flee home after wasps' nest falls through living room roof

    Emma, 22, and son Cody, inspect the hole where the wasps (right) came from. (SWNS) Yahoo News. - Emma, 22, and son Cody, inspect the hole where the wasps (right) came from. (SWNS) Terrified mother Emma Thickbroom had to flee her own living room - after a wasps’ nest fell through her roof ‘just like a horror film’. Emma, 22, had been hearing a ticking sound in her living room wall for a few months - but put it down to just a leak. But last Wednesday evening, her house in Wednesfield, West Mids, was invaded with thousands of the winged insects while she sat watching TV. Emma sa...

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  • Wed Sep 17 2014

    Rats Expected to Come Out When Uptown Buildings Come Down

    Wilson Red Line Station Rehab View Full Caption UPTOWN — Once the wrecking ball starts swinging, the rats come out — that's just a fact of life when it comes to demolition projects in a big city. And the CTA's $203 million makeover of the Wilson Red Line will be no exception, officials said. Ald. James Cappleman (46th) and the Chicago Transit Authority held a community meeting Tuesday about the Red Line project to let Uptown residents know how demolition and construction could affect them once the project starts this fall, and one major concern was rats. Adeshina Emmanuel says Upto...

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  • Tue Sep 16 2014

    'Moths' And 'Cockroaches' A Lighting Designer's Greatest Pests

    Melissa Block talks to David Grindle for our Trade Lingo series to find out why lighting designers talk about "moths" and "cockroaches."

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