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Out Of Control Urban Fly Populations Terrified Americans During The Early Twentieth Century

Out Of Control Urban Fly Populations Terrified Americans During The Early Twentieth Centurymagicpest-logo

Today, everyone should be familiar with the various ways in which people can protect themselves from dangerous insect pests. Mosquitoes are the modern insect threat to be controlled, and American public health officials are doing their best to share with the public the various measures that can be taken to avoid sustaining bites from disease-carrying mosquitoes. Insect pests have always been a threat to humans, and it is impossible to find a time in history when there was not an insect menace to fear. For example, back in 1900, Americans were terrified of flies. The flies that were feared during this time were not exotic flies that bit people or spread disease; instead, the insect threat came from simple houseflies. It may be hard to believe that Americans used to fear houseflies, as they are encountered on a daily basis during the summer, but the American government used to be convinced that houseflies possessed disease-spreading potential. During the early twentieth century, government-employed public health officials were not shy about sharing the housefly threat with the America public. As you can imagine, the American public responded to these warnings with mass panic.

Today we take garbage-disposal services for granted. Believe it or not, public garbage-disposal has not always been an established part of life in America. Prior to the mainstream use of vehicles, horses were common, and they left massive amounts of manure in the streets, as did many other animals. At the time, public health officials feared that flies would spread disease to humans after making contact with the bacteria-rich manure that littered the streets of Washington DC. Houseflies used to be viewed as filthy, as they were well known to swarm near decaying carcasses as well. One educator at the time falsely claimed that fly-borne disease killed seventy thousand Americans every year. The threat of fly-borne disease prompted activists and public health officials to demand that the government dispose of the tons of manure in urban regions. Public health officials recommended that citizens of manure-saturated urban areas install screens on their doors and windows in order to prevent the entrance of flies. However, the calls for public sanitation reforms were halted by experts who had claimed that houseflies were not spreaders of disease. Luckily, pioneers in the field of medical entomology pressed for better public sanitation programs in order to control the fly supposed menace. Eventually, the overabundance of flies subsided along with the progressive decrease of public manure heaps.

Do you think that you too would have worried about disease-carrying flies if you lived during the first half of the twentieth century?

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Pest Control Q & A

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

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 Tips For Pest Prevention | Phoenix Pest Control Experts

 Tips For Pest Prevention | Phoenix Pest Control ExpertsAbout Pest Control in Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek

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.

Why Scientists Want To Preserve Fireflies

Why Scientists Want To Preserve Fireflies

Fireflies may be the most beloved of all insects. As children, the sight of fireflies glowing on and off in the distance was nothing short of fascinating. For many adults, fireflies not only conjure up pleasant memories from childhood, but their glowing bodies indicate that summer has officially arrived. Fireflies are immediately recognizable, and many children never tire of attempting to capture the bugs in mason jars, but how much do people really know about fireflies? As it turns out, fireflies are more than just an interesting group of insects, as firefly activity can indicate the relative health of a particular ecosystem. Unfortunately, this means that, much like other insect species today, firefly populations are decreasing due to environmental hazards. In response to this loss in firefly life, experts formed the Firefly Watch project at the Museum of Science in Boston. This project aims to preserve and track firefly populations in America.

The Firefly Watch project recruits thousands of citizen scientists from all fifty states and several Canadian provinces in order to track trends in firefly populations around North America. Starting just a couple of months ago, the Firefly Watch program was taken over by Mass Audubon. This organization is working closely with Tufts University in order to continue the research started by the Firefly Watch program. Mass Audubon is still looking for more citizen scientists; anybody can sign up for the project by visiting the Museum of Science in Boston website.

Researchers also want to preserve fireflies due to their value in the field of medicine. Fireflies are helping researchers to understand how diseases such as cancer and muscular dystrophy attack human cells. Fireflies have also been used to detect food spoilage and bacterial contamination. Perhaps most surprising is the fact that fireflies are even used by NASA officials when developing instruments that are designed to detect life beyond our own planet.

Have you ever attempted to catch fireflies as an adult? Did the fireflies that you captured as a child live longer than a single day in captivity?

You Would Not Believe How Creepy Some Of The Insects In Your Backyard Can Be

You Would Not Believe How Creepy Some Of The Insects In Your Backyard Can Be

When it comes to finding terrifying, bizarre or even dangerous insects, you do not need to travel to Australia. In fact, your own backyard likely contains bugs that you would never imagine existing in your region of the world. For those of you who are creeped-out by insects, knowing which insects dwell within your own yard could keep you up at night. Insects like bed bugs, termites or stinging insects may be near your home now, but these are insects that every American is well aware of, and prepared for. Most of the insects in our yards may not be considered pests, but you would not want to keep them as pets either. Assassin bugs serve as a good example of one of the many more unsettling insect species that are commonly found near people’s homes.

Assassin bugs are intimidating looking insects that are made to terrorize smaller insect species. These bugs have tubular mouthparts extending from their heads, which they use while ambus

hing their prey. Assassin bugs are effective predators, as their oversized front legs allow them to form a tight grip on the bodies of their insect prey. After suddenly appearing out of nowhere, assassin bugs inject their prey with salivary excretions in order to prepare them for consumption. Although these insects sound frightening, they are harmless to humans. These bugs are actually quite beneficial to gardeners, as they kill numerous insect pests. These common yard insects can grow to be an inch and a half in length, and they should be welcomed into you yard for the pest control services that they provide.

Another insect that sounds intimidating is the cicada killer. This insect is technically a wasp species and it can grow to the rather large size of two inches in length. These wasps, as their name suggests, capture cicadas in order to plant their eggs within their bodies after killing them with venom. The larva will waste no time consuming the cicada corpse upon hatching. Although these wasps are common in residential areas, they are relatively slow to sting humans when compared to many other wasp species.

Have you ever found an exotic looking bug within your yard that you would have liked to have identified?