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Bumblebees Fly By Their Own Rules

Bumblebees Fly By Their Own RulesAccording to the old urban legend, the fact that bumblebees can fly breaks every law of aerodynamics. Of course, if any physicist honestly believed this, he or she would tell you that it means we needed better laws of aerodynamics rather than more aerodynamic bees. Still, the myth makes for a good illustration of how the bumblebee doesn’t particularly care to fulfill anyone’s expectations of how a bee should behave. Continue reading

The West Nile Isn’t Just A Virus In Egypt

The West Nile Isn’t Just A Virus In EgyptWhile the United States isn’t fortunate enough to be free of mosquitoes, we are at least free of the mosquito species which transmit malaria to humans. Unfortunately, we are no longer free of all mosquito-transmissible diseases, because the West Nile virus landed on our shores in 1999 and it has since spread to every state short of Alaska and Hawaii.

It’s worth saying that the West Nile virus is mostly harmless, and the CDC estimates that up to 80 percent of those infected will never show any symptoms. In other words, it’s a virus which our immune systems are very capable of defeating. In one of every five cases, however, the victim will come down with a fever and additional symptoms such as:

  • A persistent headache
  • Joint pains
  • A rash
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea.

Symptoms will persist for around a week or so, but victims may feel fatigued for several weeks or even months after recovering.

Less than one percent of those infected by the West Nile virus will come down with a much more severe form of the illness. Although it’s most likely to happen to those who are most vulnerable, including the very old, the very young, and those with compromised immune systems, severe symptoms could show up in anyone. In addition to the above symptoms, in cases where the virus reaches the brain you can expect:

  • Meningitis (inflammation of the brain)
  • Stronger headaches
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Coma.

And even if the victim survives all that, he or she may have to live with permanent neurological damage for the rest of his or her life.

In terms of trade-offs, the West Nile virus is at least a better alternative than malaria, which claims hundreds of thousands of lives each year. At the same time, though, it’s much worse than nothing, which was what Americans had to fear from mosquitoes until 1999-2006, which is the length of time it took for the virus to spread from New York to Washington State.

So while no one has ever really wanted to be a mosquito’s evening meal, it’s now more important than ever before to do our best to control mosquito populations. You can do your part by removing or cleaning out any standing pools of water on your property and using bug spray and mosquito lures whenever you spend a decent amount of time outdoors. If you contact a pest control company in your area, they should have additional information and tools which you can use to minimize your exposure to both the annoyance of mosquito bites and the potential for greater harm thanks to the West Nile virus.

4 Ways To Protect Against Ticks

4 Ways To Protect Against TicksTicks can be particularly hard to fight. They don’t have an insect’s ability to fly or a flea’s ability to jump 11 inches straight up, but they still manage to sneak onto the tips of tall grass, drop onto passing animals, and then crawl around until they find a nice bit of exposed skin to drink from. They’re also practically indestructible, their heads are hard to remove once they’ve dug into your skin, and the deer ticks that fill the forests and plains of the East Coast and Midwest carry Lyme disease. Continue reading

4 Ways To Determine Where Fleas Are In Your Home

4 Ways To Determine Where Fleas Are In Your HomeAlthough fleas live entirely off of blood, they don’t spend their whole lifespans on their hosts. In fact, unlike with lice, flea eggs are designed to fall off as the host animal scratches at the itchy flea bites. The eggs then hatch into larvae which survive and grow by eating dried bits of blood and flea feces that also fell off while the host was scratching. Once they grow big enough, the larvae enter the pupal stage and emerge as fully grown fleas, ready to jump up to 11 inches straight up off the floor, bedding, chair, or wherever else they happened to land. Continue reading

What’s The Difference Between Baiting & Treatment?

What’s The Difference Between Baiting & Treatment?The way most home owners deal with pests in the house are pretty simple. With bugs, it’s usually either a spray, or a swatter of some kind. With rodents, it’s normally just some kind of trap with bait. The basic principles are either using some kind of chemical, or physical force, or even a combination of two to deal with a pest problem. Continue reading

Where Do Cobwebs Come From?

Where Do Cobwebs Come From?One of the classic signs of an ancient or neglected house is cobwebs, those thick and dusty piles of spider silk that fill the corners of rooms and the spaces beneath chairs and tables. But what exactly distinguishes cobwebs from ordinary spider webs? Continue reading

Bed Bugs Don’t Only Hide In Beds

Bed Bugs Don’t Only Hide In BedsWhile DDT may have been too environmentally damaging to keep around, one nice thing it did for us back in the day was virtually eliminate bed bugs from the continental United States. However, ever since the chemical was banned, bed bugs have slowly been creeping their way back into hotels and private homes, and so it’s becoming more and more important to identify the signs of an infestation. Continue reading

Getting Rid Of Pests Takes Time

Getting Rid Of Pests Takes TimeIf you see a single house fly, spider or other pest in your home, the usual reaction is to get a swatter, roll up some newspaper, or break out the can of bug spray and, after a few minutes, the problem is solved. When have an infestation of termites, bed bugs or rodents, however, you can’t simply “scale up” your perception of the operation. If you have a serious pest infestation, one treatment taking a longer period of time is not usually going to solve the problem. In the same way that you can’t cook something faster in the oven by just doubling the temperature, exterminators don’t simply bring out an industrial strength bug spray and use it for one hour instead of 10 minutes to solve your problem in one visit. Continue reading

4 Things A Professional Exterminator Always Does

4 Things A Professional Exterminator Always DoesWhen there’s a problem with pests in your home, your choices usually boil down to two solutions; either try to do it yourself, or get some professional help. But what does it actually mean when a professional, like BUGOUT comes to your home? Do professionals do anything differently aside from have access to different chemicals and/or equipment? If you’re serious about hiring a professional team, here’s what BUGOUT does, and here’s what ANY group calling themselves professional should do. And if they don’t, you should be careful. Continue reading

Getting Rid Of Pests Takes Time

Getting Rid Of Pests Takes TimeIf you see a single house fly, spider or other pest in your home, the usual reaction is to get a swatter, roll up some newspaper, or break out the can of bug spray and, after a few minutes, the problem is solved. When have an infestation of termites, bed bugs or rodents, however, you can’t simply “scale up” your perception of the operation. If you have a serious pest infestation, one treatment taking a longer period of time is not usually going to solve the problem. In the same way that you can’t cook something faster in the oven by just doubling the temperature, exterminators don’t simply bring out an industrial strength bug spray and use it for one hour instead of 10 minutes to solve your problem in one visit. Continue reading