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In The News

Current Events And Things In The News

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As we approach the New Year you may find this to be the perfect time to update your home. Out with the old and in with the new; or in with more old. Antiquing and visiting flea markets can be a great way to update your space while bringing some new life into your home. While this may be a more wallet friendly option, it can sometimes be a pest friendly option as well.

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Bed bugs, termites and other pests can often go unnoticed deep in the nooks and crannies of furniture. Eggs can also sneak their way into your home, going unnoticed until it is too late. In fact, the rapid growth of bed bug infestations in North Carolina has prompted some to ban selling furniture and mattresses for the time being.

 

For more on this story, click here

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Posted by on in In The News

Have you ever snuck a banana past the customs check point at the airport? Shame on you! It may seem harmless to smuggle just one little apple into a country; after all, what if you need a snack on the way to the hotel? On the contrary, officials in New Zealand are shaking their heads after an illegal piece of fruit left them with an expensive pest control bill.

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"We assume that what's happened is that someone has brought a piece of fruit in. It could have been through the airport, or the port.” This seemingly innocent task carried in fruit flies, an invasive pest that cost them nearly NZ$1m per insect killed, which is the equivalent to $668,000. Worth every penny, considering a potential outbreak could put New Zealand's agricultural industry and unique eco-system at risk.

 

So the next time you try to sneak a fruity snack into a foreign country, think of this story and maybe you’ll reconsider. 

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Scientists are studying different types of beetles and moths with hopes that they might help us better understand climate change. A previos long term study revealed migration changes and behaviors among several species, revealing to scientists, as the climate changes so does their habitat and conditions in which they survive. This change in migration is creating invasive species and potential harm to ecosystems. Can insects predict climate change? Not exactly. Learn more here

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It is never a nice feeling to walk into your kitchen and see a cockroach scurrying across the floor. Common reactions include disgust, fear, screaming, crying and throwing shoes or other nearby objects hoping it will evaporate into thin air and never come back. Most people hate cockroaches. Most people, excluding scientists.

Cockroaches have long been attributed to making us sick. Their presence in our homes is a common allergen, especially among children, and their ability to spread diseases has made them one of the most loathed pests. However, now these yucky bugs are serving as a form of inspiration in the scientific world. We’ve shared videos in the past or robotic cockroaches that are being used by the military but it doesn’t end there.

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The insects that can make a stomach churn with just one glance are now being recognized for their healing properties. Their ability to thrive in filthy environments could help scientists in the development of drugs to combat E. coli and MRSA. Some other remedies like cockroach syrup, cockroach tea and powdered cockroach cream are also being used to treat human ailments from tetanus to topical burns. A cockroaches’ range of motion and able legs are also inspiring the design prosthetic legs and hands for humans.

 

Who knew these pests could actually be used to our benefit?

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Posted by on in In The News

If bugs are communicating in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? The answer is a little bit complicated. Even when insects are communicating within earshot of humans, we probably won’t hear them. While some insects, like cicadas, are loud and their noises are indeed heard by humans, many insects communicate via vibrations. Saint Louis University evolutionary ecologist, Kasey Fowler-Finn, has been studying treehopper communication patterns in Missouri and Illinois.

 

Click here to learn more about treehopper communication and to hear this interesting language for yourself. 

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