Termites Are Threatening Mexican Vacation Homes Owned By Americans
Mexico is a common destination for American expats during the winter season. Most American expats in Mexico are retired senior citizens, and some simply own second homes in the country. Although taking annual winter vacations in a tropical paradise would be nice, the country’s termite problems should be taken into account before any American purchases a home in the country. Unfortunately, both termite control professionals and reliable termite control methods are relatively difficult to come by in Mexico. Not only is it comparatively more difficult to find assistance with eradicating termites from infested homes in Mexico, but the scientific literature concerning native and invasive termite species in the country is almost non-existent. According to the United Nations, studies concerning termite diversity and termite ecology in Mexico have never been carried out. Therefore, buying a Mexican timber-framed home that will remain uninhabited for most of the year can be a bit of a gamble in termite-rich Mexico. For example, back in 2011, officials with the Mexican Government worried that Americans would avoid purchasing Mexican homes due to a termite-induced property recession that had been occuring at the time. Property purchases in the country continued to take a hit after the United States Government, which was also experiencing a property recession at the time, warned Americans against buying homes in Mexico.
You would be surprised by how many American expats in Mexico have struggled with the country’s native termite population. The rainy season in Mexico causes an influx of termite swarms in well populated cities at a time of year when American snowbirds are typically not around to monitor possible termite activity on their mexican property. Subterranean termites are a major problem in Mexico, just as they are in America, but surprisingly, drywood termites are almost equally as destructive in the country. Drywood termites in Mexico can be as large as ants, and they attack a variety of different portions of a home as well as various forms of infrastructure such as untreated softwoods, particle board, paper, plastic, cardboard, and even insulation around pipes. Unfortunately, many homes in Mexico were not constructed to survive termite attacks, as untreated timber is often used to construct homes on termite-rich soil that is never treated with insecticides. Much of the furniture that is bought and sold within Mexico is also constructed with untreated lumber. The shipping of termite-infested furniture items is a serious issue in Mexico due to the lack of treated wood available in the country. In fact, it is even recommended that paper grocery bags and cardboard packaging be immediately and safely disposed of in Mexico due to the probability of a termite presence in such materials.
Do you think that the availability of termite control professionals in Mexico may be greater in regions that see many tourists?
Spooky Pests Can be a Nightmare for Homeowners
Magic Pest Control warns homeowners to be on the lookout for common creepy critters this fall
With Halloween right around the corner, sightings of classic creepy bugs and creatures will surely be on the rise as homeowners decorate for the spookiest day of the year. However, Magic Pest Control reminds homeowners that real pests pose threats to both health and property and an infestation can be a real nightmare.
Pests such spiders, bats, rats and mice are frequently associated with Halloween fun and campy horror movies, but if found inside the home, they are cause for concern. These pests are more likely to invade houses as the weather cools down, so it’s important for homeowners to be on the lookout for any signs of pest problems.
According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), the following pests could threaten the health and safety of your home this fall:
For many people, spiders of any size and shape are cause for great alarm when found in the home, and their webs can be a serious nuisance. However, there are only two species of spiders in the U.S. that pose significant threats to human health: the brown recluse and black widow. Both species will bite when threatened and can cause painful, and possibly fatal, reactions. Anyone who suspects they’ve been bitten by either of these should promptly seeking medical attention.
Bats prefer to settle in dark, secluded and protected areas, including the attics of homes. They are known carriers of rabies in the U.S. and capable of infecting humans and other animals. Their droppings can also cause certain lung diseases. Bats are protected mammals in many states, so it is necessary to contact a pest control professional or the local wildlife service before taking any action to remove bats from the home.
Rats can inflict property damage and threaten human health. Their strong teeth allow them to chew through glass, cinderblock, aluminum and wire, increasing the potential risk for fires. They are also vectors of diseases including plague, jaundice, rat-bite fever, cowpox virus, trichinosis and salmonellosis. Additionally, rats can introduce fleas in to a home. These pests can fit through holes the size of a quarter, so closely inspect both the inside and outside of the home for any gaps that could allow them easy entry.
For more information on these pests and how to prevent them, please visit www.magicpest.com
Phoenix Pest Control Q & A
What makes homes attractive to pests?
Pests are attracted to food, water and shelter. Exclusion techniques and removing food and water sources will help deter pests. Simple measures such as keeping food in sealed containers and cleaning up after each meal to avoid leaving crumbs can help. Fix leaky pipes and drains to ensure that if pests do get in, they won’t have ideal conditions in which they can thrive.
How do pests get into homes?
Pests enter structures through cracks and crevices around windows, doors, along foundations, ripped screens, uncapped chimneys, and also through holes where utilities enter a structure. Firewood, groceries, and other deliveries can carry pests in, too. Seal any openings with silicone caulk or steel wool, and to avoid hitchhiking pests, examine packages thoroughly before bringing them inside.
Where are pests most likely to settle in?
Pests have direct access to basements and attics through roofs and foundations, so they should be kept well ventilated, dry, and clutter-free. Also, because of the concentration of food and water, kitchens and bathrooms are other common areas.
What should I do if I have an infestation?
Despite even the best efforts, pests can still find their way inside. If you have a pest problem or need advice on how to better pest-proof your home, contact a qualified and licensed pest control professional, like Magic Pest Control.
For more information on common household pests, please visit www.magicpest.com
Public health threats vary from country to country, and this is true for vector-borne health threats as well. For example, mosquitoes are one of the leading causes of death in Africa and wasps are major killers in Asian countries. Here in America, ticks are the arthropods to fear, as thirty thousand people per year fall ill as a result of contracting lyme disease. While many people may assume that disease-spreading arachnids, like ticks, are a rarity, scorpions are considered a major public health threat in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world, including the United States. This is not surprising, as scorpions have a wide distribution across the globe.
The rate of medical incidents involving scorpions differs from country to country and depends on numerous factors such as socioeconomic status, residential status, availability of health services, and the geographical distribution of species. Scorpions pose the greatest threat to public health in African, Middle Eastern, and Central American countries. Scorpions are by no means rare in the US, and the arachnids cause the greatest amount of medical incidents and deaths in Mexico, which is alarmingly close to America. Every year, 300,000 scorpion stings are reported in Mexico, and many of these cases turn out to be fatalities. Back in 1995, 7000 scorpion stings were recorded in Brazil, and despite having anti-venom in abundance, 1 percent of these stings resulted in death. Both Morocco and Tunisia report 40,000 scorpion related medical incidents each year. India is currently home to a staggering 86 percent of all scorpion species known to exist. Scorpion stings in children result in death 3-22 percent of the time. When taking the entire world into account, 1.2 million scorpion stings are reported annually, and of these cases, 3,250 deaths result. This means that for every person killed by a snake bite, ten are killed by a scorpion sting.
If you sustained a scorpion bite would you visit the hospital even if you did not immediately develop symptoms?
Many people have heard the rumor stating that scorpion venom is the most valuable liquid in the world, but is this really true? And if it is, then what makes scorpion venom so special? While it is true that scorpion venom is highly valuable, it should be kept in mind that there are over 2,000 scorpion species in the world, and not all of them produce venom that is sought after. Of the many forms of scorpion venom that are valuable, the prices vary in accordance with the species. That being said, possessing a gallon of any type of valued venom can net you millions of dollars. At the moment, the venom produced by the dreaded deathstalker species is the most valuable. One gallon of deathstalker venom is worth 39 million dollars. The dangerousness of this particular scorpion species is the main reason for the high price of its venom.
Before you decide to go into the scorpion venom business, you should know that a full gallon of scorpion venom would take a very long time to procure. Milking scorpions for their venom is a difficult undertaking, as milking is still done almost exclusively by hand. One scorpion produces only two milligrams of venom at a time. Also, scorpion venom is not purchased in large amounts, as 130 dollars buys a single droplet of venom that is smaller than a grain of sugar. To put this in perspective, if you own one pet deathstalker scorpion, you would have to milk it 2.64 million times before obtaining a full gallon. Even if you had all the time and patience in the world, simply sustaining one sting from a deathstalker scorpion would likely discourage you from ever coming near one again, as their stings are reported as being one hundred times more painful than a bee sting. Deathstalker scorpion venom is also deadly enough to kill a human, and fatalities are not at all rare in many Arab and African countries.
Scorpion venom is fetching top dollar due to its medically valuable chemical components. For example, chlorotoxin binds to cancer cells located in the brain and spinal cord, which allows medical professionals to determine the exact size and location of cancerous tumors. Another component in scorpion venom known as Kaliotoxin is successfully being used to fight bone disease in rats, and researchers are hopeful about its successful application in humans. As a result of this medically promising research, many entrepreneurs are attempting to take part in the emerging economy of scorpion venom. Not long ago, a tech company developed the first milking machine that can extract scorpion venom with tremendous efficiency and none of the human labor.
After reading this blog article, do you feel inclined to enter the lucrative world of scorpion venom sales?
Experts Cannot Figure Out Why A Scorpion Species Produces A Narcotic-Like Venom
For thousands of years, humankind has been exploring the use of plants and herbs as forms of medicine. Many of today’s pharmaceuticals are extracted from plants or are modeled after compounds found in plants. Since plants have been around for hundreds of millions of years, it is not surprising to learn that many plant species contain compounds that are similar to the compounds found in many animals and humans. However, arthropods, such as insects, arachnids and crustaceans, are nearly as old as plants, which indicates that arthropods may also contain compounds that could serve a medicinal purpose. Although you would think that scientists have been busy analyzing different insect species in order to determine their usefulness in the field of medicine, you would be wrong. In fact, medical researchers have only recently started to explore the composition of spider and insect venoms as well as their internal bodily compounds. So far, it is going well, as one scientist has recently found that the venom produced by a particular scorpion species is composed of molecules that are structurally similar to opiates and cocaine.
For 40 years, the researcher Lourival Possani Postay has been studying scorpions from every corner of the earth. Most of this time was spent in search of a scorpion venom that has medicinal value. Finally, Postay found it in a species known as Megacormus gertschi, or the Hidalgo scorpion, as it is commonly known. As it turns out, the venom of a Hidalgo scorpion contains an alkaloid that is similar to alkaloids that are produced by plants, and the drug known as morphine as well as other illicit substances. As useful as this discovery will prove to be, researchers are still unsure as to why this scorpion species produces a narcotic-like alkaloid. This alkaloid may be useful for subduing prey, but this theory needs more evidence before it can be entertained by other medical professionals. The venom also contains compounds called vanillin and histamine, which are contained within allergy medications. Back in 1996, Postay won a nobel prize for his medical research into scorpion venom.
Have you ever heard about victims of scorpion stings report odd neurological effects?
If you haven’t noticed, the mosquitoes are back. Mosquitoes tend to annoy Arizona residents throughout the summer, particularly during and after monsoon season.
As we move into October, we’re getting closer to the end of mosquito season, and they seem to be going out with a bang.
So, today let’s talk about the top 3 ways to keep mosquitoes out of your yard, and your home…
Standing Water: Keep standing water off of your property. In October, Arizonans tend to seed for winter lawns. With that winter seen comes watering…lots of watering…which could mean puddles and standing water. It you find that your winter lawn is accumulating puddles, you could be attracting mosquitoes.
Have your local pest control professionals come out to fog for mosquitoes, and have your landscaper come out to check the sprinkler system.
Install Fans on Your Patio: Mosquitoes hate wind. Even a steady wind at 1mph can keep mosquitoes away. So, before you have to call Magic Pest Control to come fog for mosquitoes, consider installing a few outdoor, patio fans. When you’re outside, turn those fans on high and you shouldn’t have a problem with mosquito bites.
Take a Breather: Day says carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary thing mosquitoes search for to identify food sources. And when your heart rate is elevated, your body produces more CO2. From exercise to drinking alcohol or eating spicy foods, anything that cranks up your metabolic rate will increase your CO2 production—and make you irresistible to mosquitoes, Day says. (Unfortunately, being overweight or pregnant can also up your CO2 output, he adds.)
If you have mosquitoes and just can’t stand it anymore, contact Magic Pest Control. We fog for mosquitoes!!
The Most Venomous Scorpions In America Are Invading A Las Vegas Neighborhood
There exists over 2,000 species of scorpions that are known to science. This makes scorpions a relatively species-rich group of arachnids. Given the diversity of scorpion species in the world today, it should not come as a surprise to learn that scorpion species are well represented in America. Most arthropods that possess deadly forms of venom dwell in more tropical regions of the world where vegetation is diverse and abundant. The climate in America is typically too mild for many of the more terrifying arthropod species, but scorpions are an exception. There exists several scorpion species that possess highly potent forms of venom that can kill a human, and one of these species is now invading a neighborhood in Las Vegas.
For the past few days, many Las Vegas residents have been worrying for their own safety as well as for the safety of their friends and family living in the Las Vegas residential area. The scorpions that are invading a residential area of Las Vegas are relatively small, as they rarely grow to be more than three inches in length. Despite their small size, the invading scorpions are the most venomous scorpions that dwell in North America. The scorpion species in question is commonly known as the “bark scorpion,” and they are highly abundant as each litter consists of an average of 31 baby scorpions. Many Las Vegas residents have spotted bark scorpions in the past, but they are not generally found in large numbers in areas containing a high population of humans. Many residents of Las Vegas are claiming to have never seen so many scorpions in one place before in their lives.
Experts believe that the scorpions survived the mild winter in the region, which explains their high population levels now. Several residents have already been stung by the invading arachnids, and emergency room visits concerning scorpion stings have been common during the past few days. Many Las Vegas residents are contacting pest control professionals in order to stay safe, while others are hunting for the deadly scorpions themselves. Those who are hunting for the scorpions are doing so at night with the assistance of a black light. Scorpions glow when exposed to ultraviolet light, making them easy to spot in the dark.
If you were a Las Vegas resident would you hunt for scorpions around your home in order to prevent them from invading your house?