Nelson Ruiz No Comments

People’s Complaints Over Bed Bug-Infested Airplanes Goes Viral

It is becoming common knowledge that bed bug infestations are increasing in hotels and motels. However, you may not have heard much about the increase in bed bug infestations aboard airline flights, but many people are being terrorized by these blood suckers while being thousands of feet in the air. Although the media has reported on numerous bed bug infestations on airplanes, many victims believe that the public is largely unaware of how often bed bug-related incidents occur during airline flights. This is why many people are taking to social media to share their stories concerning bed bug encounters on airplanes.Bed Bug Control

Recently, British Airways was forced to fumigate two airplanes after bed bugs were discovered during flights. Despite the fact that British Airways had been aware of a bed bug presence on the planes, they did very little to address the problem. In response to the lack of action taken by the airline to eradicate the bed bugs, one British Airways customer has started his own website where other angry bed bug victims can post their own complaints about the insects that they have found aboard airline flights. The person who started the website, Zane Selkirk, first posted pictures of the injuries that she had sustained from bed bugs while aboard a British Airways flight. The pictures showed bed bug bites covering her hands, legs and feet. Once these pics went viral, British Airways finally took action to eradicate the bed bug presence within their airplanes. Last year, another person who had been attacked by bed bugs on a United Airlines flight sent a letter to the New York Times detailing his experience. Despite all of these complaints, and the fact that bed bugs on airplanes is clearly a problem, very few statistics, if any, on bed bug problems within airplanes can be found. So far, bed bug complaints have been reported solely by business class customers, and not first class fliers.

Do you think that bed bugs will be on your mind the next time you fly an airline? Or do you prefer bed bug-free first class?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

The Rarest And Most Valuable Arthropod Species Were Stolen From An Insectarium In Philadelphia

Believe it or not, but there is such a thing as a “valuable insect.” At the moment, researchers estimate that somewhere around 925,000 insects have been described by scientists. However, there could be as much as 30 million insect species in the world, and no fewer than 2 million. There exists as many as billions of individual insects per species. This amounts to a whole lot of insects. Given how abundant insects are in the environment, it is surprising to learn that any insect species could be considered “valuable.” After all, are there really any insect species that could be considered endangered? Well, as it happens, there are many insect species that are categorized as being “endangered,” but not many. Out of nearly 1,300 analyzed insect species, 600 are considered to be in danger of becoming extinct. Therefore, it should not be surprising to learn that there are numerous insect species that are considered rare and even valuable. Many of these rare and valuable insects, and spiders as well, are kept in the Philadelphia Insectarium. Unfortunately, criminals have recently robbed the insectarium, and it was not a small scale heist.

The CEO of the insectarium, John Cambridge, has claimed that somewhere between 80 to 90 percent of the insectarium’s arthropod specimens were stolen. Cambridge believes that this heist was an inside job, and he is not alone, as the police believe that three former employees are responsible for pulling off the caper.

Exotic tarantulas, millipedes and scorpions were among the different creatures stolen from the complex. Not only are the creatures rare, but, according to Cambridge, they are essential for maintaining the proper functioning of the ecosystem. Cambridge also claimed that some of the stolen creepy-crawly specimens were worth as much as 50,000 dollars. Cambridge is hoping that, at least, the bandits know how to properly care for the delicate and endangered creatures.

Do you think that rare insects could be desired for reasons other than their dollar value?

 

 

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

A Few Mosquitoes In America Have Been Found Carrying A Rare And Deadly Virus

Given the copious amount of news coverage on the Zika outbreaks, as well as the aggressive public health campaign to convince people to take precautions against disease-carrying bugs, most Americans probably think that they are well aware of the diseases that mosquitoes can spread to humans. However, a recent finding in North Carolina will cause many people to think twice about this assumption. Researchers in North Carolina captured several mosquitoes that had been carrying a life threatening virus, but you have likely never heard of this particular mosquito-borne disease. The virus is known as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), and two cases have already been reported in one single county. The virus is a threat to both humans and horses. Luckily, no human cases of EEE have been reported in the United States this year, but one horse has already died as a result of sustaining a bite from a mosquito that had been carrying EEE.

In Onslow County, North Carolina, researchers have found more EEE-carrying mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can spread the devastating virus to humans and horses through one single bite. According to Pamela Brown, Community Relations Officer for the Onslow County Health Department, some people who contract EEE may show no symptoms, while others may develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. If you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, then a visit to the doctor is in order. Those that contract the disease, but fail to seek medical attention, can rapidly develop more serious medical issues, including seizures, coma and sometimes death. Using repellent every time you step outdoors and being mindful of areas that contain standing water can prevent bites from infected mosquitoes. The CDC states that EEE is one of the most significant mosquito-borne diseases in the US. Thirty three percent of Americans who contract EEE die as a result of the virus. Most people who survive the disease will sustain serious brain damage as a result of brain swelling.

Had you ever heard of EEE? Does learning about this virus make you concerned for your safety this summer?

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Centipedes Are Intimidating Even To Rattlesnakes

Centipedes Are Intimidating Even To Rattlesnakes

Predatory animals are abundant in nature, even your own city probably contains several native populations of predatory animals. Ever since we were in gradeschool, conjuring up a list of animal predators has never been a challenge. Lions, tigers and bears are commonly referred to as being apex predators, and of course, nobody can forget about snakes. No matter the species, all snakes are formidable predators. Snakes are even referenced as personifications of evil in ancient mythologies and religions, notably Christianity. Rattlesnakes are particularly menacing creatures, as their venomous bites have been known to kill humans. It goes without saying that no animal can stand up to a group of rattlesnakes, unless, of course, that animal happens to be a centipede. Although it may come as a shock, rattlesnakes are actually quite leery of certain centipede species. In fact, researchers were surprised recently to find centipede remains within the digestive tracts of pygmy rattlesnakes. The researchers were so surprised that they set up an experiment in order to determine how these snakes go about attacking and eating centipedes without suffering debilitating or deadly consequences.

Pygmy rattlesnakes can be found in the southeastern United States. Despite their less than intimidating name, pygmy rattlesnakes are highly venomous pit vipers that are dangerous to humans. Since these snakes are quite predatory in nature, they are not at all picky about what they eat. For example, mice, birds and even other snakes are often consumed by pygmy rattlesnakes. Although these snakes are fierce, even they stand back when confronted with centipedes. Most animals, even large predators, know better than to approach centipedes, as their many legs, prickly bodies, and sharp fangs spell danger to all animals, even humans. After finding centipede remains within pygmy rattlesnake stomachs, researchers set out to determine how snakes successfully capture and consume centipedes. After placing a rattlesnake and a skink in the same area, the skink was made into lunch. The snake waited to ambush the skink, but the snake behaved differently while in a room with a centipede. When in a room with a centipede, the snake spent a long period of time slithering around the creepy-crawly. After finally landing a bite on the centipede, the snake waited for the venom to take hold. This is a wise move on the snake’s part, as centipedes are relatively resilient to the toxic effects of rattlesnake venom. Most of the time snakes eat their prey immediately upon attack, but this was not the case with the centipede.

Do you think that there exists any venomous centipede species that can attack and kill certain snake species?

 

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Mosquito Protection Tips | Magic Pest Control

Mosquito Protection Tips | Magic Pest Control

Many people may connect the height of mosquito season, occurring in the summer through early fall, to the irksomely itchy welts that accompany mosquito bites. But, there are far worse associations to make with these blood-sucking pests, such as the health threats they pose to humans in their daily lives—even in their own backyards. To help protect the community against mosquito-related health risks, Magic Pest Control is reminding the public about threatening mosquito-borne diseases as well as prevention tips to avoid bites.

Thanks to professional pest control there are certain serious, and sometimes even deadly, mosquito-transmitted illnesses, such as malaria, that we rarely see in the U.S. But, the public should remember that there are still harmful diseases including the Zika, West Nile and chikungunya viruses present in the U.S. that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. In order to protect against these health threats, knowledge about each disease and general mosquito prevention is key.

The main ways to avoid mosquito bites and better protect against mosquito-transmitted diseases include:

  • Applying insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors and use as directed on the product label. Apply repellant over top of sunscreen, and reapply every four to six hours.
  • Minimizing outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, though it is important to note that mosquitoes that transmit chikungunya are active throughout the day.
  • Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when outdoors.
  • Eliminating areas of standing water around the home including clogged gutters, birdbaths, flower pots, tires and kiddie pools or untreated pools. Mosquitoes need only half an inch of water to breed.
  • Screening windows and doors, and patching torn screens.
Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Tick-Borne Diseases Are Likely To Increase In America’s Southwest

Tick-Borne Diseases Are Likely To Increase In America’s Southwest

Very few people in America are ignorant of the danger that ticks pose to humans. For the past two decades, Americans have been hearing about public health concerns regarding the increased frequency with which Americans have been falling victim to tick-borne diseases. By now, most people know that populations of disease-carrying ticks are at their highest within the northeastern region of the United States, and it is looking as though ticks may soon gain a comparable foothold over the southeastern region of the US as well. However, many people living in regions that do not see many tick-borne disease cases may consider tick-borne diseases to be unimportant and not worth worrying about. However, studies are showing that ticks are moving into areas that have traditionally remained free from outbreaks of tick-borne disease.

Ticks, of several different species, exist nearly everywhere within the continental US. However, it is only certain regions, namely the northeast, that contain populations of diseased ticks. Most other areas within the US may contain ticks, but the vast majority of them do not carry disease. It is for this reason, and not a lack of tick habitats, that make most of the American population relatively safe from tick-borne diseases. One area that has never seen any significant public health issues stemming from disease-carrying ticks is the southwest US. Unfortunately, this may not be the case for long, as researchers have found that disease carrying ticks are increasing in the southwest, particularly in the state of Arizona.

Researchers have recently gathered a total of 16,000 individual tick specimens from all over the US, including the state of Alaska and the US territory of Puerto Rico. For the very first time in history, researchers have discovered deer ticks within Maricopa and Pinal counties within Arizona. According to researchers, this sudden appearance of ticks in this arid region of the US is due to frequent travel between Arizona and the northeast US where disease-carrying ticks are well represented. In order to prevent tick-borne diseases, such as lyme, from infecting residents of Arizona and elsewhere, travelers must remain mindful of their time spent outdoors in other locations around the US, even if those locations have traditionally been free from disease-carrying tick populations.

Do you believe that lyme-infected deer ticks will eventually gain a foothold in Arizona?

 

 

 

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

Magic Pest Control’s Back to School Bed Bug Advice for College Students

As college students prepare to return to campuses nationwide, many plan to bring secondhand furniture including mattresses, futons, dressers, couches and more. As bags are being packed, and students begin to move in, Magic Pest Control is urging students in the Phoenix are to inspect new lodgings, personal belongings, and secondhand items, for bed bugs as these pests can cause painful, red itchy welts and can also spread quickly when introduced to new environments.

According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), bed bugs pose serious concerns to dorm rooms and thrive in university environments as there are often many people living in a confined space. In fact, a 2015 survey, conducted by the NPMA and the University of Kentucky, found that bed bug infestations in the United States continue at high rates, with 99.6 percent of pest professionals treating for bed bugs in the year prior.

Bed bugs are opportunistic and elusive pests. As students return from summers filled with travel they may unknowingly be transporting bed bugs to college campuses. Or, they could be returning to an environment where bed bugs are already a problem. It is essential that students inspect all belongings to help keep these pests at bay. Bed bugs are not only undesirable for students but also for parents who don’t want their children bringing these pests home on breaks.

Magic Pest Control offers tips to help prevent bed bugs from taking up residence in dorms:

  • Fully inspect suitcases prior to re-packing for a return to school, especially if you have traveled during the summer. Wash all clothes, even those that haven’t been worn, in hot water.
  • On move-in day, thoroughly inspect the entire room including mattress seams on beds, behind the headboard and in furniture using a flashlight for good visibility. If you see anything suspect, immediately contact a university facility manager or landlord.
  • If you are considering bringing “secondhand” furniture to campus, properly inspect it for telltale signs of bed bugs. If you notice and signs of shed skins, small blot marks/pepper-like stains do not bring it to campus.

Students are urged to follow prevention tips when packing for school and before unpacking in a new room. For more information on preventing bed bugs, visit www.magicpest.com

Nelson Ruiz No Comments

You Would Not Believe Where Pest Control Operators Have Found Insect Infestations

You Would Not Believe Where Pest Control Operators Have Found Insect Infestations

Many people will have to contact a pest control professional at least once during their lifetime. When your home is infested with termites, roaches or spiders, your best friend in the world is your pest control operator. Although some of you may have made polite small talk with the pest control professionals during past inspections, you likely have no idea what a day in the life of a pest control operator is actually like.

As you probably know, insect pests can infest the strangest of places where you would never expect insect infestations to take form. For example, on one occasion a pest control specialist with the University of Wisconsin in Madison was called to a parking lot over a purported ant infestation within a parking meter. When the pest control professional, Richard Ness, arrived at the parking lot, he found that the parking meter in question had already been shut off, and a few ants were spotted crawling nearby, but not enough to constitute an infestation. The call had turned out to be legitimate, as Ness quickly became bombarded with ants after opening the meter’s service door. In response, Ness used a spray to flush the ants out of the meter.

After taking a moment to closely observe a few of the ants, Ness became convinced that the ants were the notorious odorous house ants. These ants get their name from the coconut odor that they emit when they are threatened or crushed. Ness took a few specimens to be analyzed at the University, and it turned out that his judgement was correct. Later on, during the very same day, Ness was called to a different location where another strange insect infestation had been found. This time the insects were cockroaches, and they had been found in a dorm near the campus. This was a normal call for Ness, but for non-insect experts, this particular insect infestation seems like something out of horror films.

Students within the dorm had been complaining about cockroaches appearing out of nowhere. It turned out that cockroaches had been accessing the building through sewer pipes. According to Ness, cockroaches travel up drains and into homes and buildings when ground water evaporates. This evaporation makes the normally damp sewer pipes relatively dry, which does not agree with cockroaches. In an effort to locate a moist environment, cockroaches will follow the air current that flows up pipes until they arrive within a moist sink or bathtub. So think about that the next time you use the toilet.