Walking on water: Insects put on a show

Walking on water: Insects put on a show

Nunu Rizani / Solent News

An ant moves a child’s marble on a table covered with morning dew.

When Indonesian photographer Nunu Rizani noticed a spider crawling along a wet glass tabletop, he was struck by the reflection beneath it, and felt that it was a moment to capture on camera. What resulted is a series of photographs of insects interacting with various objects on that same wet surface.

“I put a twig and marbles on the table glass, let them play and [then I was] ready to photograph their behavior,” Rizani told TODAY.com in an email.

According to Rizani, who has made a hobby of this type of macro photography, focusing on insects with a macro lens often leads to amazing images.  The behavior his tiny subjects have exhibited has sometimes been quite unique.

“Photographing small insects [requires] patience and luck to be able to produce a good picture,” Rizani said.

Nunu Rizani / Solent News

A spider leaves the marble left on the wet garden table and appears to be walking on water.

Nunu Rizani / Solent News

A ladybug dangles on a leaf stem.

Nunu Rizani / Solent News

A spider plays with a marble left on the table by Rizani.

Nunu Rizani / Solent News

A snail hangs from a branch over morning dew collected on Rizani’s table.

Hulett Environmental reminds homeowners of the threats posed by spiders

Hulett Environmental reminds homeowners of the threats posed by brown recluse spiders

Brown recluse spiders are more than just a creepy crawly nuisance – they can pose a real health threat to humans. Hulett Environmental, a pest management company servicing South Florida warns that as the weather changes and cooler temperatures roll in, this dangerous pest might be lurking inside the home.

Unfortunately, brown recluse spiders are starting to make their way indoors in search of dark places to spin their webs. It’s important for homeowners to be aware of this pest and contact a pest professional if an infestation is suspected. These spiders tend to hide in woodpiles, storage boxes, attics, closets and garages.

The brown recluse spider will bite if threatened, injecting a venom that can be dangerous to humans. Most bites cause only a small red mark or open sore on the skin, but in more extreme cases some people may experience allergic reactions.

Experts at the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, recommend storing clothing inside plastic containers and checking shoes before putting them on, as spiders often hide in them. In addition, people should wear heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time.

For more information on brown recluse spiders, visit www.bugs.com

Bedbugs, Spiders, and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

Bedbugs, Spiders, Bats and Other Pests Give Homeowners Nightmares During the Halloween Season

This Halloween, vampires, ghosts and goblins will not be the only ghoulish creatures haunting the night; bedbugs continue to make a startling resurgence in U.S. residences, spider infestations are up, and wildlife pests such as bats plague homeowners across the country.

Scary movies aren’t the only thing giving homeowners nightmares this season. As temperatures begin to plunge, pests everywhere begin to seek respite in the very areas you want them the least – your home.

Pests such as bedbugs are actually very similar to one of our favorite Halloween characters – the vampire.  A nocturnal creature, bedbugs are bloodsucking pests.  As they bite human skin, they inject an anesthetic-like liquid that numbs the skin and allows them to bite undisturbed.  In fact, humans don’t usually wake up when they are being bitten; however, they do find themselves scratching circular, red, itchy welts in the morning.

Luckily, a bedbug bite doesn’t transform you into a bedbug; the way a vampire bite makes you a vampire. In fact, the only good news about bedbugs is that their bites do not transmit disease to humans.

Other ghoulish pests cannot make the same claim.  Bats are the culprits behind 72% of rabies cases in the U.S. between 1990 and 2002; and various species of spiders found in the United States pose serious health threats and require vigilant control procedures.

“Homeowners have an easy way of waking up from this type of house nightmare,” commented National Pest Management Association Vice President of Public Affairs Missy Henriksen. “Pest professionals have the training and expertise to assist homeowners through this type of home horror.”

For further information on these nightmarish pests or to find a pest professional in your area, visit bugs.com and www.pestworld.org.

 

 

Rodent Control Tips

While rodents are unwelcome house guests, the real concern is that these pests can cause property damage and carry disease. Rodents such as mice and rats spread salmonella and Hantavirus by contaminating food and preparation surfaces.  They can also chew through wood and electrical wires, in some cases sparking house fires.

 

It’s much easier to prevent a rodent infestation than to remove them after they’ve turned your home into their new residence. Here are a few steps homeowners can take to keep their homes rodent-free:

  • Seal cracks and holes on the outside of your home to help prevent rodents from finding easy entryways.
  • Keep shrubberies cut back from the house and store firewood a good distance away. The NPMA recommends that you tore firewood at least 20 feet from the home and five inches off the ground.
  • Rodents can hide in clutter, so keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor.
  • Keep food in tightly sealed containers and clean up crumbs and spills.
  • If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe other signs of an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to inspect and treat the pest problem.

For further information on rodents or if you have other questions related to your pest control needs, visit www.bugs.com  

Bed Bugs in Clothing Stores

Tips for Bed Bugs in Clothing Stores

As bed bug continue to make a resurgence, they are showing up in more places, including clothing stores. Bed bugs can easily hitch a ride into a store with shoppers. Follow these tips to avoid bed bugs in stores, and reduce your chances of bringing the pest home with you:

  • When trying on clothing, be aware of any stains that seem unusual. These could be telltale blood spots left by feeding bed bugs.
  • Inspect clothing carefully for bed bugs before purchasing. Even if you choose an item from an undisturbed pile, bed bugs could still find their way onto clothing. Pay particular attention to the inside seams, looking for any signs of sticky white eggs, shed skins and the bugs themselves. Notify the store manager immediately if you suspect the clothing displays signs of bed bugs.
  • Check behind dressing room mirrors and any other crevices where bed bugs could hide – even wall sockets – before trying on clothing.
  • Avoid bed bugs in clothes by hanging your items on hooks, rather than lay them across cushioned seats in dressing rooms or on the carpeted floor. These are safe and popular havens for bed bugs.
  • Keep clothing in the store bag, tied and sealed if possible for the trip home. Shake articles out outside before bringing them into the house/apartment.
  • Immediately launder the clothing in hot water or steam/dry clean delicate items.
  • If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, contact a licensed pest professional for an immediate inspection.

Florida Bed Bug Control Company

West Palm man collapses, dies after winning bug-eating contest

West Palm man collapses, dies after winning bug-eating contest

By Julius Whigham II

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Edward Archbold had a plan to win a female Ivory Ball python. He’d eat enough roaches and worms in a contest Friday and claim his prize.

While he won the contest, however, the 32-year-old West Palm Beach man collapsed outside the Ben Siegel Reptile Store in Deerfield Beach and died later at a nearby hospital, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

Archbold consumed “dozens of roaches and worms” during the “Midnight Madness” contest, which drew nearly 30 contestants, the sheriff’s office said. An autopsy will determine the cause of death.

The store owner insists it wasn’t the food.

Discoid roaches, Siegel told the Miami Herald, are “eaten by people all over the world.” The roaches served up at the contest were domestically raised “for exotic pet feed,” Siegel said, adding that they were “pure, clean protein.”

All the bug-eaters “were entirely aware of what they were doing and that they signed thorough waivers accepting responsibility for their participation in this unique and unorthodox contest,” according to a statement issued through the store’s attorney, Luke Lirot.

Siegel hadn’t met Archbold before Friday night but said he cut a colorful figure as soon as he arrived at the store on West Hillsboro Road.

“He seemed like kind of a wild guy – he was wearing a bandanna, wrist bands and a shirt that said ‘Event Staff,’” Siegel said. “He was brought there by a snake enthusiast. He was trying to win the snake for his friend.”

According to rules posted in an online forum, the prize would go to “the guy or gal that eats the most bugs in 4 minutes without vomiting.”

Archbold was downing discoid roaches and worms one by one and winning the contest. He even updated his Facebook page, which identified him as Edward William Barry, during the competition: “So I nailed Qualifying the quota was 10 roaches in 30 sec. … i did 8 and the 2 that my comp vomited next to me,” he said at one point.

But Archbold started throwing up before he was able to collect the snake that he won for his friend. He collapsed outside the store and was taken to Broward Health North where he was pronounced dead.

The “Midnight Madness” bug contest was the first one at Ben Siegel Reptiles on West Hillsboro Road, although an employee said “customers or close friends will eat them all the time.” Renee, who declined to give her last name, said she has also eaten bugs.

“The horn worm kind of tastes like a melon, but it has a sweet flavor. Crickets don’t really taste like anything, and mealworms have a kind of nutty flavor,” she said. “I’ve eaten the roaches too, but just the baby ones.”

The insect-eating that grossed out observers on Friday night is actually par for the course in other parts of the world.

Edwin Lewis, an entomologist at the University of California at Davis, described the surprisingly enjoyable experience of eating cooked waterbugs in Thailand, which are not too far removed from cockroaches.

Lewis suspected that an allergic reaction could have been the cause of death.

Twitter: @JuliusWhighamThe Miami Herald contributed to this story.

Hulett reminds homeowners to be cautious of unwanted pests as the season changes

Hulett reminds homeowners to be cautious of unwanted pests as the season changes

The fall season is known to many as the time of year when the leaves change, the air becomes crisp and the nights grow longer. But, it is also a peak time for pests to make their way indoors seeking food, shelter and warmth. Hulett Environmental, a pest management company servicing the South Florida warns that homeowners are likely to experience increased pest activity inside the home as the seasons change.

During the fall months, smaller pests including spiders, cockroaches and rodents search for a place to take refuge from the cold winter ahead – and houses are a great option. Unfortunately, these pests usually multiply fast, leading to a greater infestation and pest problem. They can damage homes and can even become a danger to our health

Experts at the National Pest Management Association, a nonprofit organization committed to the protection of public health, food and property from household pests, recommend the following tips to keep pests at bay this fall:

  • Seal cracks and crevices on the outside of the home with caulk.
  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors and repair damaged screens.
  • Replace loose mortar and weather stripping around the basement foundation and windows.
  • Screen vents and openings to chimneys.
  • Store food in airtight containers and dispose of garbage regularly in sealed receptacles.
  • Eliminate all moisture sites, including leaking pipes and clogged drains.
  • Store firewood at least 20 feet away from the house and keep shrubbery well trimmed.

We also encourage homeowners to always be on the lookout for tell tale signs of a pest infestation. If you find rodent feces, hear sounds of scurrying in the walls or observe gnaw marks on wires, it’s best to contact a pest professional to inspect and treat the potential problem.