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In An Effort To Rid Her Business Of Insect Pests Without Professional Assistance, A Woman Blew Up Her Salon

Discovering that your home, business or rental property is infested with insects is always a bummer, but making the situation worse by introducing new problems is certainly the last thing that anybody would want to do in such a situation. One great way to start things out on the wrong foot when dealing with an insect infestation is to convince oneself that the insects can be eradicated without professional assistance and with commercially available pesticides. Of course, some insect situations within a house can be handled by non-trained homeowners, but if the infestation is substantial and extends to areas of a home that are inaccessible, then calling upon the services of a pest control professional is in order. It is not uncommon for disasters to occur when homeowners and tenants attempt to eradicate insect infestations themselves. For example, not long ago, a business owner discovered that her hair salon had become infested with numerous insects of different species. In a desperate attempt to remedy the situation herself, she literally blew up her salon. But luckily, she successfully eradicated the insect pests.

A New York City woman purchased and activated 20 insect pest foggers within her hair salon in order to eradicate an extensive insect infestation within the business. Although the initial attempt at eradication via fogger managed to kill several of the insects, the foggers also revealed the true extent of the infestation, which was more widespread than she had realized. Since an even greater number of insects arrived to replace the ones that had just been killed, the salon owner proceeded to set up a few dozen additional bug foggers to seal the deal. Unfortunately for the amatuer pest control operator, the woman left the pilot light in her stove on, which ignited the flammable aerosol released by the several dozen fogging machines.

The resulting blast certainly eradicated the insect pests, but the building’s windows were blown out on a total of three stories and 12 people sustained injuries. One building resident described running from the flames in an attempt to escape the building alive. Not surprisingly, this particular incident is nothing new, as non-professionals blow up their homes or other structures 500 times every year in the US in ill-conceived efforts to eradicate insect infestations with flammable fogging machines.

Do you believe that it is ever permissible for a non-expert to attempt a DYI pest eradication method?

How Are Insects And Spiders Trained To Perform In Movies And TV?

How Are Insects And Spiders Trained To Perform In Movies And TV? Waco Ant Control

We have all seen movies and TV shows that feature creepy insects or arachnids. In many cases, creepy-crawlies are created on the big screen by resorting to computer generated imagery. In movies that were made before computer graphics were in use, robotic insects and spiders were often created. However, sometimes directors insist upon using real-life insects and spiders for their movies. In these cases, directors must call upon experienced arthropod trainers. These trainers are most often well educated in the field of entomology. It is the job of spider and insect trainers to make sure that the arthropods perform properly in different scenes and to make sure that the actors and crew are safe from potentially dangerous specimens.

Steven Kutcher is an entomologist who has been training spiders and insects for movie roles for several years. Kuther has worked on more than one hundred major motion pictures including Spiderman, Arachnophobia and Jurassic Park. Kutcher insists that he does not “train” arthropods for movies as much as he “controls” them. According to Kutcher, there is not enough time to train arthropods for movies, so he learns to control their movements instead. For example, if a scene calls for a group of spiders to swarm toward a person or object, high speed winds can be used to facilitate the spider’s forward movements.

For one film, Kutcher was tasked with making a spider crawl across a room and into a slipper. In order to pull this off, Kutcher placed vibrating wires within the slipper. Kutcher knew that the spider species was attracted to vibrations, so his wire contraption successfully led the spider directly across the room and into the slipper. In some scenes, Kutcher has to ensure an actor’s safety when a dangerous arthropod is supposed to crawl on a character. In one movie, a scorpion had to crawl on an actor’s shoulder. In order for Kutcher to protect the actor from scorpion stings, he placed a cap over the scorpion’s stinger. Some spider species can be prompted to move forward by tapping on their back legs, and they can be made to stop by covering their eyes. For Kutcher, the most enjoyable aspect of his job is making the actors and crew less frightened of spiders and insects.

Is there any other job in the field of entomology that you believe would be more enjoyable than Kutcher’s job?

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Is It True That Scorpions Sting Themselves To Death When Confronted By Fire?

For centuries, the claim that scorpions commit suicide via their own stinger when surrounded by fire has been spread among people of all cultures. Apparently, a scorpion, when confronted with an insurmountable threat, such as a ring of fire, will sometimes opt to take its own life. But is this claim true? Can a scorpion commit suicide? Can a scorpion willingly sting itself? The answers to all three of these questions is a big “no”. At least this is the answer given by entomologists, biologists and numerous other experts concerning the topic of scorpion suicide. Despite expert claims to the contrary, some people today, upon catching a scorpion, will sadistically light a ring of fire around it solely to witness the arachnid sting itself to death rather than suffer a painful demise. There is a surprisingly large amount of anecdotal reports that describe this suicidal behavior in great detail, and in the past, many scientists insisted that scorpions sometimes do, in fact, commit suicide in certain dire situations.

Scorpions are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, terrestrial animals to exist on the planet. Therefore, scorpions are uniquely adaptable and hardy creatures. In fact, scorpions can even survive the radioactive fallout that results from nuclear blasts. Considering the evolutionary success of scorpion species, the idea that they evolved suicidal behaviors is ridiculous. Another clear problem with the “fire myth” is the fact that a scorpion species is, obviously, unharmed by its own venom, and even the venom of other scorpion species. Despite the glaring logical problems concerning this myth, researchers puzzled over this alleged phenomenon for centuries. Back in 1887, a Professor of Biology, Alfred Bourne, at the Presidency College in Madras, aimed to settle the question of scorpion suicide once and for all. In the study, Bourne mentioned several prominent scientists of his time who were convinced that scorpions sometimes commit suicide when surrounded by fire. As for all of the modern anecdotal reports that can be found online claiming that scorpion-suicide is real, experts say that the purported self-stinging is actually the scorpion reacting frantically and spasmodically to the heat of the fire.

Have you ever heard the “scorpion suicide” myth before? If you have, then did you believe it to be true? Do you still?

Seven winter pest-proofing tips

It is a common misconception that when the temperature drops pests will simply disappear until the spring. The reality is that many pests synonymous with warmer weather, like mosquitoes, ticks, ants and termites, can survive well into the winter and some may even look to our homes for a warm place to stay.

iPest Solutions recommends the following tips for keeping cozy by the fire without any interruption from winter pests:

  • Trim back trees to prevent access to the underside of the roof overhang.
  • Declutter the basement, attic and any utility rooms to remove harborage sites for rodents.
  • Repair loose mortar and replace worn weather-stripping around doors and windows.
  • Store food in a sealed container and keep crumbs off of the floor.
  • Seal any and all cracks or gaps on the home’s exterior with a silicone-based caulk, steel wool or a combination of both.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home on a raised, covered structure. Inspect pieces of firewood for signs of pests before bringing inside for use.
  • Partner with a licensed pest control professional to inspect the home and address any pest problems.

Another way to prevent a winter pest invasion is by avoiding ice dams. These dams can cause moisture problems in homes, which attracts rodents and cockroaches, among other pests. If a homeowner suspects an infestation of any kind this season, iPest Solutions is only a phone call away.

For more information on how to prevent pests from invading homes this winter, visit www.wacopest.com

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Mouse Species Allows Itself To Be Stung Repeatedly

There exists around seventy scorpion species that dwell in the United States. These arachnids are widespread in the desert regions of the southwest US, but many relatively harmless scorpion species can also be found in states along the southeast and even into the mid-east US. Of all the scorpion species that exist in the US, the most venomous is undoubtedly the Arizona bark scorpion. This species, which is often referred to as simply “bark scorpion,” is the only species in the US that is truly considered to be potentially deadly to humans. In fact, the bark scorpion is one of the most venomous scorpion species in the entire world. This scorpion species is most abundant in the state of Arizona, but these scorpions are widespread in the region ranging from southern California to western New Mexico and down into Mexico. What is perhaps more amazing than this scorpion’s venomous sting is the mouse species that willingly allows itself to sustain repeated stings from this scorpion. This mouse species is not only unharmed by repeated bark scorpion stings, but it also proceeds to feed on these scorpions by first consuming the stinger before moving on to the bulb containing the typically deadly venom. So why and how does this mouse species tolerate these stings?

The particular mouse species being discussed is commonly known as the grasshopper mouse, and strangely enough, bark scorpion venom allows this mouse to avoid pain rather than experience pain. Amazingly, the brain of a grasshopper mouse has evolved to make use of bark scorpion venom as a painkiller. After happily sustaining several stings, a grasshopper mouse proceeds to eat the entire scorpion before consuming its venom bulb in an effort to make the most of the arachnid’s valuable venom. Obviously, grasshopper mice dwell within the same desert region where its prey, bark scorpions, also dwell. The grasshopper mouse likely evolved this neurochemical trick in order to survive in a habitat where scorpions had been a constant threat. Ironically, a few genetic mutations converted this mouse species from a scorpion prey animal to a scorpion predator, and the worst kind of predator, as bark scorpions are defenseless against their attacks.

Have you ever heard of any other animal that is curiously unaffected by otherwise harmful insect or arachnid venoms?

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You Won’t Believe Why Women Are Gluing A Well Known Killer Scorpion Species To Their Fingernails

During the early summer of 2016, a dangerous fashion trend swept the country of Mexico, and this trend has yet to die-off. This fashion trend entails gluing baby scorpions to fingernails, and these baby scorpions are not just any scorpions, they are actually one of the most deadly scorpion species in the world.

There currently exists around 2,000 scorpion species that have been documented, and 221 of these species can be found in Mexico. Of these 221 species in Mexico, only 8 are known to possess venom that is strong enough to kill an adult human. Although it may be hard to believe, but the Durango scorpion is one of these deadly species, and this is the same species being used by women as a decorative fingernail ornament. This means that there exists 213 non-deadly scorpion species native to Mexico that could have been chosen as a fingernail decoration, but for some reason, the deadly Durango scorpion is the species that Mexican women prefer to have glued to their nails as a mark of beauty.

While a mere 8 deadly scorpions may not seem like a high number, it should be known that the rate of deadly scorpion stings is particularly high in Mexico. In 2008, the number of documented scorpion stings reached 53,840 in Mexico, which far outnumbers the rate of scorpion stings that occur in just about every other country on earth. The Durango scorpion is not only one of the most deadly scorpion species in the world, but its venom kills sting victims within a period of 15 short minutes. This is astounding considering that other deadly scorpion stings often take hours to kill an adult human. Given the short amount of time in which this species kills a human, antivenom is often not administered to victims in enough time to save their lives, making the Durango scorpion responsible for a particularly high proportion of scorpion related deaths. Mexican women would really be better off sticking to simple nail polish.

Do you known of any other arachnid species that can kill its bite or sting victims within a matter of minutes?

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Can Scorpions Be Found Dwelling In The Midwest United States?

Scorpions are one of earth’s oldest living animals, as fossil evidence suggests that they have existed on earth for nearly half of one billion years. Not only does this make scorpions the oldest living arachnids, but it also makes them the oldest living terrestrial predators, as they are believed to be among the first animals to emerge from their former ocean habitat. Considering the advanced age of scorpions on the evolutionary tree of life, it is no wonder as to why they have become one of the most diverse and widespread of all arachnid groups. Although scorpions are typically associated with the arid desert landscape that makes up much of Arizona, New Mexico and southern California, there a numerous scorpion species that exist elsewhere in the United States. Luckily, non-desert dwelling scorpion species are mostly harmless and prefer to hide beneath rocks before emerging at night to hunt prey. Many people may be aware of the fact that scorpions exist within states like Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina and even North Carolina, but it is not commonly known that wild scorpions can also be found within the states of Virginia, central Kentucky and even Illinois. This makes scorpions native to the heartland states, where residents would never expect to spot a wild scorpion.

The scorpion species officially known as Vaejovis carolinianus, and more commonly known as either the “southern unstriped scorpion” or “southern devil scorpion,” can be found in the western portion of North Carolina. Two other scorpion species,  Centruroides vittatus and Centruroides hentzi, were introduced to North Carolina accidentally some years ago, and they still maintain a presence in the state to this day. However, what is most surprising is the fact that one scorpion species can be found within the state of Illinois, which is located in the center of the United States. This species is known as the the striped bark scorpion (Centruoides vittatus), which is a different species than the Arizona bark scorpion, which is the most venomous scorpion species in the US. Luckily for midwesterners who fear scorpions, it is highly unlikely for anyone to encounter this species considering its small size and reclusive habitat.

Have you ever stumbled upon a scorpion species in the midwest or eastern region of the US?

 

Waco Scorpion Control

Amazon Is Selling A Therapeutic Scorpion Venom That Has Been Used With Success In Cuba For Several Years

Many cultures around the world regard certain types of scorpion venom as an effective form of medicine for treating a variety of conditions. The medicinal value of scorpion venom is no longer being dismissed as an ineffective type of alternative medicine by western medical researchers, as this blog has already described how western researchers are developing venom-based cancer treatments. However, scorpion venom has been traditionally used to treat numerous medical conditions, not just cancer. Western researchers remain skeptical when it comes to the effectiveness of scorpion venom at-treating a wide range of medical maladies. Due to this skepticism on the part of American medical researchers, the United States is trailing other countries when it comes to the development of venom-based medicines. For example, for nearly a decade in the island country of Cuba, pharmaceutical drugs containing scorpion venom have been manufactured and prescribed to thousands of Cuban citizens in order to effectively treat a variety of medical conditions. The key to Cuba’s success with venom-based drugs is due to their access to a native scorpion species that does not exist anywhere except for the Caribbean and Central America. This scorpion species is commonly known as the blue scorpion, and its venom is of unique value for treating inflammation, pain, arthritis and possibly tumors.

Since 2011, the Cuban pharmaceutical firm Labiofam has been using venom from the blue scorpion species to develop a homeopathic medicine called Vidatox. According to Labiofam’s Business Director, Carlos Alberto Delgado,Vidatox sales have been increasing by 10 percent annually, and the drug is also being sold in 15 different countries worldwide. The company is currently negotiating to have the drug marketed in China. In Cuba, the tens of thousands of citizens who take the drug pay no more than one dollar for a prescription,but in other markets, the cost of Vidatox is often one hundred times this amount. For example, if Americans want a bottle of Vidatox, they will have to pay 140 dollars for a months supply on Amazon. Numerous Cubans also stand by the medicinal value of blue scorpion venom for treating cancerous tumors.

Would you consider blue scorpion venom treatments if you had terminal cancer?

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American Troops In Afghanistan Are Forced To Contend With Dangerous Scorpions

The dry desert landscapes located in the middle east are well known for containing numerous scorpion species. While native middle easterners may be familiar with many of the most venomous scorpions that exist within the region, non-natives in the region usually are not. Unfortunately, antivenoms that treat stings inflicted by middle eastern scorpion species are relatively lacking. Therefore, it is important for foreigners to be on the lookout for scorpions in the middle east, as the health consequences of a native scorpion sting can be serious, and in some cases, life threatening. Not surprisingly, many American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have fallen victim to dangerous scorpion stings, as most American troops were not aware of the scorpion threat before deployment.

American troops that were stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War in the early 90s quickly learned that scorpions were an ever present threat in the region. In one year 2,400 American troops out of 100,000 suffered scorpion stings while on base in Saudi Arabia. This is a whopping amount considering that only 16 out of 100,000 people in the nearby country of Oman suffer scorpion stings every year. The highest recorded rate of scorpion stings in the middle east is 1,000 out of 100,000. Considering these numbers, it is easy to conclude that American troops may not have been made aware of the scorpion threat prior to deployment.

During the more recent war in Afghanistan and Iraq, scorpion sting rates among American troops likely remained high. Although no official statistics have been produced, soldiers returning to the US from the middle east self-reported spider and scorpion stings equaling 46.1 out of only 10,000. The probability of an American soldier sustaining a scorpion sting varies depending on location, season and rank.

One of the most venomous scorpions native to the middle east is the fat-tailed scorpion. The Buthidae scorpion family includes the fat-tailed scorpion as well as many other highly venomous species. A sting from one of these species can result in shock, respiratory failure, pulmonary edema, coma and/or death.

Do you known someone who sustained a scorpion sting while deployed overseas?

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A Couple Finds A Scorpion Within A Box Of Sainsbury’s Blackberries In The UK

Nobody likes a scorpion in his/her package of store-bought blackberries, but this is exactly what one UK citizen, James Green, received after purchasing a box of blackberries from the popular supermarket known as Sainsbury’s. Major corporations, like Sainsbury’s, do not like admitting to the existence of potentially dangerous arthropods within their product packages, but managers working at a Sainsbury’s in Wigan had no choice but to admit guilt after being confronted with the scorpion-contaminated product. In response to this unfortunate discovery, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson has announced an investigation into the matter.

After finding a scorpion with its pincers and stinger still attached within a box of Sainsbury’s-brand blackberries, James Green and his wife placed the specimen within a plastic container. The scorpion was only a few centimeters in length, and James is guessing that it originated in Mexico, as the blackberries contained within the package were grown and packaged within the country. James had eaten almost every blackberry from the package before realizing that it contained a scorpion. Luckily, the scorpion was dead, otherwise James would likely have sustained a sting. However, in most cases, arthropods die while being transported within shipments of food products, as the absence of a nourishing environment makes even the hardiest of arthropod species, like scorpions, ill suited for overseas transport.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson claimed that it is incredibly rare for customers to find arthropods within their Sainsbury products, and the customer who recently found a scorpion in a box of blackberries had been approached with a generous offer of goodwill for his trouble. However, Green claimed that this “gesture of goodwill,” as the Sainsbury’s spokesperson put it, consisted of a compensation offer of 15 pounds. Unfortunately, James and his wife did not become rich as a result of this incident, but they could have asked for more than 15 pounds.

Have you ever encountered a terrifying arachnid only to learn that it was dead?