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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?

 

 

 

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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

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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.

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Cannibal Spiders “Sing” to Each Other to Recognize Other Spiders of the Same Species and Avoid Becoming Dinner

Cannibal Spiders “Sing” to Each Other to Recognize Other Spiders of the Same Species and Avoid Becoming Dinner

There is plenty of cannibalism in the spider world, with one species of spiders that only prey on other spiders. However, this particular species has pretty bad eyesight, so there is a danger that they could eat one of their own species if not careful. They aren’t aiming to eat their own species, as this would cause obvious problems for the continued survival of the species. Eating member of your own species has quite a few drawbacks such as eating a possible mate or other spiders eating possible mates, causing missed mating opportunities, a higher risk of disease, as well as the obvious one of accidentally eating one of your own relatives. The spider species Palpimanus has a much higher risk of accidentally eating one of their own since they are specialized hunters, only preying on other spiders. So how do they avoid cannibalizing members of their own species? A recent study revealed that Palpimanus spiders likely use sound to recognize one another and avoid eating other members of the same species.

Since Palpimanus spiders have very poor eyesight they rely on touch and vibration instead to interpret what is going on around them. They can also make noise that sounds similar to buzzing chirps when they rub their facial appendages against the ridged surface of their jaws. In a recent study researchers placed two Palpimanus spiders in the same enclosure to see if they could recognize each other or one of them would end up eating the other one. When they put two of these spiders together the spiders usually would touch each other with their front legs and make a chirping sound. Both spiders walked away unharmed in this situation. However, a few smaller spiders that did not chirp did end up as dinner for the bigger spider.

The researchers then tried amputating some of the spiders’ facial appendages, rendering them unable to chirp. When they placed them in the same container as another spider of the same species that was bigger, the bigger spiders turned out to be four and a half times more likely to eat the smaller spider when they couldn’t chirp than when they could. This demonstrated that the spiders do, in fact, use sound to recognize each other and avoid eating their own species.

Have you ever heard a spider make noise such as chirping? What did you think it was doing?

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A Woman Returning Home From Vacation Was Stung By A Scorpion That Had Snuck Into Her Suitcase

A Woman Returning Home From Vacation Was Stung By A Scorpion That Had Snuck Into Her SuitcaseScorpion Control Gilbert

Everyone needs a vacation every once in a while, and what better place to visit than sunny Costa Rica? Tropical regions are popular tourist destinations despite the uncomfortably high humidity levels, terrifying wildlife and the many biting bugs. Unless you have been living under a rock for the past three years, South and Central America, as well as the Caribbean, have recently seen outbreaks of multiple types of mosquito-borne diseases. During the years of 2015 and 2016 most victims of mosquito-borne disease in these regions had contracted the Zika virus, although yellow fever and a few other diseases were by no means uncommon. However mosquitoes are not the only arthropods to fear when visiting a tropical paradise. Some of the most venomous arachnids in the world inhabit regions of South and Central America, and Costa Rica is certainly home to many of these dangerous arachnids. However, as long as tourists are careful, dangerous arachnid encounters are not likely to occur, and at least you know you will be safe from dangerous bugs once you return home. Well, probably safe anyway, as one woman recently sustained a bite from a scorpion that had hitched a ride in her suitcase. The scorpion had traveled with the female tourist from its native home in Costa Rica all the way to southern England.

The female scorpion victim, who has not yet been named by media outlets, was rushed to the hospital after she had sustained the sting. Scorpions do not exist within the United Kingdom, which is why the paramedics who arrived at her home were initially incredulous about the woman’s claims during the emergency call. However, doctors later confirmed that the woman had sustained a scorpion sting, but she was released from the hospital, as the particular species of scorpion that bit her is not dangerous to humans. There exists twenty five different scorpion species in the world that possess venom capable of killing a human. Luckily for the female traveler, none of Costa Rica’s fourteen scorpion species possess venom that is deadly to humans.

Have you or someone you know ever found a non-native insect within a suitcase upon returning home from an exotic location?

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Top 10 Termite Prevention Tips

Top 10 Termite Prevention Tips | Phoenix Termite Control

  1. Eliminate or reduce moisture in and around the home, which termites need to thrive.
  2. Repair leaking faucets, water pipes and exterior AC units.
  3. Repair fascia, soffits and rotted roof shingles.
  4. Replace weather stripping and loose mortar around basement foundation and windows.
  5. Divert water away from the house through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
  6. Routinely inspect the foundation of a home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), uneven or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
  7. Monitor all exterior areas of wood, including windows, doorframes and skirting boards for any noticeable changes.
  8. Maintain an 18-inch gap between soil and any wood portions of your home.
  9. Consider scheduling a professional inspection annually. Wood-boring insect damage is not covered by homeowners’ insurance policies.
  10. Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house.

Termites cannot be controlled with do-it-yourself measures. If you s

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Lawmakers Oppose Funding Into Edible Insect Research

It is probably fair to say that most of the American public is disgusted by edible insect meals. Now, lawmakers in the United States are disgusted by the government funds going into edible insect research. Most Americans want nothing to do with edible insects, so it is likely that they do not want to see their tax dollars being spent on research into eating bugs. This is why lawmakers from multiple states have gone on the record in their opposition to edible insect research being funded with taxpayer money. In fact, some politicians are attempting to pass a bill that would prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars in edible insect research projects.About Pest Control in Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek

Senator Jeff Flake from Arizona is leading the charge against federally funded edible insect research. Flake is not opposed to edible insects, but he does not want taxpayer dollars going to startup businesses that specialize in edible insect production. According to Flake, this type of spending is just another example of careless government spending. Flake is not alone, as he and many other senators and congressman are looking to make amendments to a particular House spending package that allows government entities to spend as much as 100,000 dollars on edible insect projects. Flake’s amendment would block taxpayer dollars from going into the hands of edible insect companies.

One business owner who specializes in cricket feed says he has not yet felt the heat from Senator Flake. The California-based business is called Tiny Farms Inc., and it is run by Andrew Brentano, who is currently serving as the company’s CEO. According to Brentano, his business, as well as many others he knows of, has received funding from the USDA with no problems. Brentano firmly believes that federal funding into edible insects is not a waste of money, as edible insects could end up saving billions if it were to displace livestock meat as the primary source of protein for Americans.

Do you want your tax dollars to go to edible insect research?