PESTS  >  PESTS IN THE NEWS
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  • Thu Oct 30 2014

    5 Spooky Spider Myths Busted

    Spiders: they creep, they leap, they haunt the nightmares of arachnophobic humans. But a lot of the fear surrounding spiders is based on myths, not facts, according to the experts who study these eight-legged creatures. Did you know, for example, that the venom of most tarantulas would hardly make adult humans flinch, let alone kill them? And all those stories you've heard about spiders laying eggs inside an open wound are the stuff of urban legend, not reality. Here are five more spider myths that irk arachnologists and spider-lovers alike. [Creepy, Crawly & Incredible: Photos of Spi...

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  • Thu Oct 30 2014

    Home Magazine Creations for Lawn Care

    Creations for Lawn Care Take a look at the latest chemical technology to hit the marketplace. These days lawn care operators are under tremendous pressure to get the job done quicker, but still be affordable. As a result, a large focus of product suppliers’ latest developments has been on combination formulations that offer more of an “all-in-one” product. There are a variety of new products already on the market with more to come in 2015. The newest products have updates and improvements to existing chemicals that have already been successful in the landscape market. For instance,...

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  • Thu Oct 30 2014

    Prevent insects from infesting stored grain

    As corn yields exceed commercial storage space, farmers will likely store some of this year’s crop in on-farm bins and in unconventional ways. Stored grain attracts insects, and producers should take measures to protect their investment from insect damage, says Wayne Bailey, University of Missouri Extension entomologist. First, remove grain residues from bins, nearby bunks or feed storage areas, Bailey says. Sanitize empty bins, combines, trucks and augers, paying special attention to fans, with pre-harvest insecticide applications. For best results, apply to empty bin surfaces and su...

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  • Wed Oct 29 2014

    How animals BREATHE: Amazing animations reveal how air travels through humans, birds and even lungless insects

    Updated: 07:47 EST, 29 October 2014 Last month science illustrator Eleanor Lutz brought us stunning graphics showing how animals fly. And now she’s at it again with amazing illustrations showing how different animals breathe. The fascinating animations show the direction oxygen and carbon dioxide travel in different animals to supply their body with oxygen. A Seattle-based designer has created animations for animals breathing. They show how oxygen and carbon dioxide are transported. The animations reveal how humans have a two-way system for air. But birds have a one-way system (...

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  • Wed Oct 29 2014

    Pest control called to kill bedbugs at Richmond City Hall

    RICHMOND, Va. — A pest control company treated a bedbug problem inside an office at Richmond City Hall. Tammy Hawley, the press secretary for Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones, called it an isolated incident. “Our building maintenance crew was notified on Friday, and took immediate action,” she said in a written statement. Hawley said the infected cubicle was on the building’s ground floor. “A pest control company was called in to inspect the area, and bed bugs were found and treated,” Hawley said. “The entire cubicle area was treated and then all cubicles within the work area (approxima...

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  • Wed Oct 29 2014

    Pest control sparks fire at Stanton home

    STANTON – A home sustained moderate damage in a fire Monday night in Stanton, authorities said. The fire broke out around 6:50 p.m. in the attic of the single-story residence in the 7800 block of Santa Rita Avenue, Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Steve Concialdi said. The fire was started by a resident who was improperly using a makeshift open-flame device to eradicate spiders and spider webs in the eaves of the roof, he said, and the device caught some combustible material on fire. There was fire damage to the home’s attic and roof, along with smoke damage throughout the house,...

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  • Wed Oct 29 2014

    Watch How Maggots Help Solve Crimes

    There's no quicker way to elicit a shiver of disgust than to mention maggots. Halloween brings maggot-filled tricks and treats, from cupcakes to faux maggots for zombie costumes. But maggots are more than creepy, crawly insects. Maggots, which are actually the larvae of flies, have helped doctors clean wounds on and off the battlefield since Napoleon's time. Now, they're also helping to catch criminals. Forensic entomology—the study of how insects interact with dead bodies—can help law enforcement and lawyers in criminal investigations, and maggots are a big part of that. The presence...

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  • Wed Oct 29 2014

    Why These Parasitic Butterflies 'Talk' Like Ants

    It turns out that ants aren't the only insects that inhabit their own nests. Scientists have found how a species of butterfly manages to infiltrate ant nests and spends most of its life there as an unwanted guest. (Photo : Marco Gherlenda/University of Turin, Italy) The butterflies in question are Maculinea butterflies, which infiltrate the nests of Myrmica ants. In order to evade the ants and prevent them from attacking, the butterflies mimic the sounds produced by the ants themselves. "Acoustic signals convey quite complex information, not only between worker ants while outside the ...

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  • Wed Oct 29 2014

    Your Halloween Candy Contains Insects — Get Over It

    Halloween is candy season. Whichever treats you're sweet on, this Friday is their day. Of course, your preferred candy likely contains more than just sugar high fructose corn syrup and chemicals; as The Washington Post reminded us this week, it's also probably full of bugs. And, that's really NBD. In the video above (shared by The Washington Post and courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences), you can see the process by which cochineal insects are ground up to create a brilliant, red dye that's added to everything from candy to cake to strawberry yogurt for that appealing...

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  • Tue Oct 28 2014

    Beetle Battle: Gigantic Insects Fight for Prized Female

    Betting on Rhinoceros Beetles pitted against each other is a common pastime in northern Thailand during the mating season. Two Rhinoceros Beetles battle for a female at a fairground in Doi Lo, Thailand, on Oct. 19. In northern Thailand, gambling on Rhinoceros Beetle fights is a popular pastime during the September and October mating season. The male beetles, which are captured in the jungle at night, fight over a female beetle which is placed in a small compartment inside of the fighting perch. Thai men gather to gamble on Rhinoceros Beetle fights at a large fairground in Doi Lo, T...

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  • Tue Oct 28 2014

    Mayoral aide 'mortified' by giant cockroach in Council chambers

    "I had horrible luck on this one," Fleet and Facilities Management Commissioner David Reynolds said after a cockroach was spotted in the City Council chambers during his budget testimony on Thursday. | Fran Spielman/Sun-Times What if a giant cockroach were spotted crawling up a wall in the City Council chambers while the department head, whose job includes pest control, was on the hot seat at budget hearings? Would it feel like throwing a dinner party and having a big bug crawl across the plate of one of your guests? Kind of, judging from the reaction it got Thursday from Fleet and...

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  • Tue Oct 28 2014

    Pennsylvania Pest Management Association Plans Annual Conference November 10 & 11

    HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Pest Management Association (PPMA) will hold its annual conference on November 10 & 11 at the Best Western Eden Resort in Lancaster. Sessions over the two-day conference will address public health pest control, flying insect control strategies, wildlife control strategies, sanitation strategies for IPM, rodent control program evaluation, control options for wood-boring beetles, termite control, fungus identification & control issues, and personal protection on the job. In addition a one-day bed bug agenda on November 10 will ru...

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  • Tue Oct 28 2014

    Pesky 'pruners' have struck

    It seemed to Lanny Lankford that within days of removing a pickup load of dropped tree branches from his yard, the place was more heavily littered than before. “At first I thought it was a porcupine,” said the rural Reno County resident, having dealt with the rodent before. “But I couldn’t figure out how they got to the end of the branch. It was just the last 1 1/2 to 2 feet of the limb dropping off.” So he took a branch into the Reno County Extension Office in South Hutchinson and learned the bad news: twig girdlers. Entomologists named the grayish-brown long-horned beetle, Oncideres ci...

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  • Mon Oct 27 2014

    Beekeeper baffled by Kitchener bylaw that calls bees 'pests'

    Melissa Krone's beehive, pictured in Joyce Brennan's backyard. (Joyce Brennan) Amateur beekeeper Melissa Krone is baffled by what she says is the heavy-handed manner in which a Kitchener city bylaw officer dealt with one of her backyard hives. Krone installed the honeybee hive in the backyard of a family friend, Joyce Brennan, in the early summer this year. But just over two weeks ago, on October 9th, Brennan got a letter from a city of Kitchener bylaw officer asking her to remove the hive, citing a regulation in the city's municipal code. The letter said the beehive was a violatio...

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  • Thu Oct 23 2014

    Pest Company Says Chicago Has the Most Rats of Any City

    Keep an eye out, Chicago. The Windy City was the most rat-infested city in the country in 2013, according to pest-control company Orkin. The company based its rankings on the number of rat-eradication service requests it received in specific cities. The company says cities can be great homes for our rodent friends because they can thrive with help from human infrastructure -- specifically by eating out of our garbage and taking shelter in our buildings. From a press release that announced Orkin's rankings: Fall is a prime time for commensal rodents to actively seek food, water and ...

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  • Thu Oct 23 2014

    Work was just a pest for the Bakers; now have retirement under control

    Waging war against pests has been Joe Baker’s primary concern for over 35 years. But he has chosen to let others carry on the battle after he sold Baker Pest Control and retired in September. Baker got into the pest-control business while he was still in high school. His uncle start-ed a company in Houston, and Baker worked for him. After his uncle suffered a serious on-the-job injury, the company was passed to a son-in-law and eventually sold to one of the employees. Even though Baker had continued with the company between stints at college and other jobs, by 1976 he and his wife, Su...

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  • Wed Oct 22 2014

    Harmful brown stink bugs appear in southern Michigan

    The brown marmorated stink bug has appeared in southwest Michigan. The brown marmorated stink bug, which has already wreaked havoc on orchards and fields in Pennsylvania, is now making its presence known in Southwest Michigan. The stink bug, which is an invasive species from Asia, is capable of causing widespread agricultural damage to Michigan’s crops. It’s also an obnoxious pest that bothers homeowners as well. When the bug is squished, it releases a noxious odor. According to a recent report by the Michigan State University Extension monitoring program, the stink bugs haven’t ap...

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  • Sun Oct 19 2014

    Genius beer carton with power to keep mosquitoes away

    This beer carton is designed so that, when burned, it will keep mosquitoes away. Photo: Supplied Creams, sprays and coils are known methods to keep mosquitoes away, but a Brisbane company claims it has a new solution - beer. Strictly speaking, it isn't the beer itself keeping the pests at bay but the eucalyptus-laced cardboard box that can be ripped up and burned to create a natural repellent. The cartons have been used in a limited run by Papua New Guinea beer company SP Lager, which is owned by Heineken. The Brisbane office of marketing company GPY&R, which works for Heineken,...

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  • Sun Oct 19 2014

    Local writer uses new book to educate on the importance of insects

    Local News Ann Blum, local Athenian and former University of Georgia employee, has bugs on the brain. Her newly published book, Bugs@Play, showcases the daily life of insects through theatrics. Bugs@Play features 17 plays that introduce a wide variety of insect characters from a harried ant queen to an obstinate mosquito and overeducated bess beetle who want to explain their lives and problems. Blum aims to educate adults and children on how fascinating and varied insects are and what critical roles they serve in the natural world. Supplementing each play is a “More about...”...

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  • Sat Oct 18 2014

    How To Train A Movie Star Insect

    How do you get insects to "act" on camera? Entomologist Steven Kutcher tells NPR's Scott Simon about wrangling bugs for Hollywood and using the insects as living paintbrushes.

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