Archive for August, 2012
Posted on August 31, 2012 with No Comments
Matt Frye is the staff entomologist at J.P. McHale Pest Management in Buchanan, N.Y. He is a member of the Entomological Society of America and the Copesan Technical Committee and can be reached at email@example.com.
The following article, Where Do Pests Come From, was written by Matt Frye and published in Pest Control Technology on August 31, 2012.
Pest management in the 21st century is based on the premise that unwanted organisms can be excluded or eliminated from our living and working spaces. Pests, like all living organisms, require food, water and shelter to survive. Remove those conditions, and you are one step closer to living in a pest-free environment.
In its simplest form, a pest is anything that reduces the availability, quality or value of human resources — and that includes health. Because the idea of a pest is subject to interpretation, it is possible for the same organism to be a nuisance in one context and advantageous in another. Take the ladybug, for example: it can be an unwanted overwintering pest inside buildings during colder months, or a beneficial predator in agricultural food crops.
A Recipe for Pests? Early attempts to understand pest origins stemmed from the idea of spontaneous generation. The prevailing belief for nearly 2,000 years, spontaneous generation suggested pests were created by unsanitary conditions. One proponent, Jan Baptist van Helmont, went so far as to provide recipes for pests. His notes indicate his belief that a piece of soiled cloth mixed with wheat would produce a mouse in 10 days, and rotting meat created maggots.
To disprove spontaneous generation, Italian physician and naturalist Francesco Redi performed experiments in the 17th century to show that meat was not, in fact, the source of maggots. In his experiments, meat left in open containers was soon infested with maggots, where meat in gauze-covered jars was not infested. Redi’s experiments demonstrated that flies were responsible for the appearance of maggots on rotting meat, and that these “pests” were naturally occurring organisms. By excluding flies, Redi prevented infestation.
A Simple Answer. So where do pests come from? The answer, simply, is nature. The organisms we consider pests are naturally occurring species that live and survive in our world. Each species has its own role or function within the ecosystem and interacts with other living and non-living components of the environment. Organisms are adapted to exploit resources in a way that reduces competition with other, similar species.
An interesting example of this phenomenon is the common bed bug, an organism that prefers to feed on human hosts. Evidence suggests that this insect shared a common ancestor with the bat bug, which as its name suggests, feeds on bats. By switching to a new host, the bed bug no longer had to compete for food with bat bugs, making it an important and reviled pest today.
Other pests, however, can be pre-adapted to exploit human conditions. Insects that feed on dried plant material, for example, are well equipped to survive in crop debris, grain silos, production plants, grocery stores and our homes. In this way, humans make food acquisition for these pests much easier than finding scattered seeds on the forest floor. An abundant and predictable food source is one reason our environments are attractive targets for pest species.
Solving the Problem. Recognizing that pests are natural living organisms with specific but unique requirements means that professionals can apply this information to provide a more targeted approach to pest control. Informing customers about pest biology will reinforce important Integrated Pest Management practices of exclusion and source elimination as well. Clients may be more willing to comply with sanitation and structural repairs if they see the direct link to pest issues. Ultimately, educating clients about pest origins offers professionals the leverage needed to implement effective and successful strategies.
Posted on August 30, 2012 with No Comments
A total of 1,590 cases of West Nile virus, including 66 deaths, were reported through late August this year in the United States, the highest human toll by that point in the calendar since the mosquito-borne disease was first detected in the country in 1999, health officials said on Wednesday.
According to the CDC, “all 48 contiguous states have reported cases of West Nile virus in birds, which act as hosts; in mosquitoes, which transmit it by biting birds and then mammals including humans, or in people. Only Alaska and Hawaii have been spared. And 43 states have at least one human case.”
THE HOTTER THE WEATHER, THE FASTER THE VIRUS
A spokesperson from the CDC saids “There is no treatment for West Nile infection, and no vaccine. The disease is transmitted by Culex pipiens mosquitoes, also known as common house mosquitoes, and the only preventive measure is to avoid being bitten. People can reduce their risk by eliminating the small pools of standing water – in bird baths, outdoor flower pots and the like – where C. pipiens breed.”
Public health experts and entomologists are baffled about why 2012 is such a big year for West Nile but it is likely contributed to the heat wave or warmer temperatures that have been plaguing the United States.
J.P. McHale Pest Managmenet Inc. offers a Vector Intervention Program to residents of New York, New Jersey and portions of Connecticut.
If you have a pool, kids, love gardening or just enjoy spending time outdoors you need the VIP treatme
nt. This premier service will help protect you from diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes, and rodents. We target these creatures where they breed and harbor. One of our more popular services, as it will protect your family from the many diseases these pests carry including:
- West Nile Virus
- Lyme Disease
These pathogens are transmitted to people by insect bites, inhalation or by contact with surfaces that have been exposed to diseases. It is vital every family living in the tri-state area protect themselves. We can help!
Because these health risks emerge at specific times, treatments are performed at your home and property each month beginning in April and continuing through October.
Please contact us if you are interested in our Vector Intervention Program.
Posted on August 30, 2012 with No Comments
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that a private homeowner in the City of Schenectady reported a suspected infestation of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid to the USDA Forest Service. The infestation was later confirmed by DEC Forest Health staff.
The hemlock woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae) is native to parts of Asia and was first discovered in New York in 1985. It is in the family Adelgidae, which is related to aphids. The adelgid uses long mouthparts to extract sap and nutrients from hemlock foliage, this prevents free growth, causing needles to discolor from deep green to grayish green, and to drop prematurely. The loss of new shoots and needles seriously impairs tree health. Infestation is usually fatal to the host after several years. Valued plantings of the shade-loving eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) can be ravaged by the hemlock woolly adelgid, and the natural stands of hemlock in the forests and parks in upstate New York would be greatly affected if the pest spreads to those locations. The wind, birds, other wildlife and the movement of infested host material (wood) by humans are all factors in the dispersion of the adelgid.
From the first discovery of the hemlock woolly adelgid in the Hudson Valley in the 1980′s, the insect has spread north and west to the Catskills, the Capital Region and even the Finger Lakes and other parts of westertn New York. Currently 25 New York counties are infested with the hemlock woolly adelgid.
Posted on August 30, 2012 with No Comments
Is your child taking a class trip this school year?
You may want to mention to your child’s teacher to inquire about The Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Reportedly bed bugs have been found in 3 areas of the museum, leaving workers feeling a bit uneasy.
Posted on August 28, 2012 with No Comments
Health officials say hantavirus has now killed two who have visited the park since June. A second man has died of hantavirus following a visit to Yosemite National Park, the Associated Press reports.
Health officials announced the man’s death is one of four hantavirus cases currently under investigation. Another man died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome earlier this month. Park officials are warning visitors who stayed in tent cabins at Curry Village from mid-June through the end of August to beware of hantavirus symptoms, including fever, aches, dizziness, and chills, according to the AP.
The first man stayed in Curry Village in June, officials have said, though it is not clear if the second man lodged in the same location.
Hantavirus is primarily carried in the United States by the deer mouse, though the disease is considered rare, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Read the full story here.
Posted on August 27, 2012 with No Comments
In case you missed it, we are sharing this information from the National Pest Management Association to all those in the Pest Management Industry.
WEST NILE VIRUS: WHAT PMPs NEED TO KNOW
Wednesday, September 5
1:00 p.m. ET
Presented by Dr. Joe Conlon, Technical Director, American Mosquito Control Association
2012 is shaping up to be one of the worst years for West Nile Virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1,100 illnesses have already been reported, with more than 40 deaths. In an average year, fewer than 300 cases are reported by mid-August.
Pest management professionals from around the country are fielding questions from clients about West Nile Virus and the mosquitoes that transmit it. In this timely webinar, you will learn about West Nile Virus, its disease cycle, the mosquitoes carrying the pathogen, and what to tell your customers about this important arbovirus.
Posted on August 23, 2012 with No Comments
The nation is heading toward the worst outbreak of West Nile disease in the 13 years that the virus has been on this continent, federal health authorities said Wednesday.
It is still unclear where and how far cases will spread. Dallas declared an emergency last week, and West Nile deaths have been concentrated in Texas and a few nearby states, including Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma, as well as South Dakota.
In 2012, there have been 1,118 cases and 41 deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Lyle R. Petersen, director of the agency’s division of vector-borne diseases, said Wednesday in a telephone news conference.
With West Nile Virus, it takes three days to two weeks after a mosquito bite for symptoms to start. There is no vaccine, and no drug that specifically targets the virus, so health authorities advise people to avoid getting bitten.
Posted on August 22, 2012 with 1 Comment
TWO horrified travelers who claim they and their families were bitten by bed bugs at an “infested” suburban hotel are suing for $250,000.
Pamela April and Char’o Safford say they suffered numerous bumps and bites from the pest during their stay at Chicago’s Hickory Ridge Marriott Hotel.
The women stayed at the now closed hotel with their children between August 5 and 15 and claim they were covered in bumps over their skin during this time, the Chicago Tribune reported.
According to the lawsuit, the bites were later diagnosed as “numerous bed bug bites from a significant infestation”.
Ms April said she was also later contacted by the hotel who confirmed bed bugs had been found in her room, Fox Chicago reported.
Posted on August 21, 2012 with No Comments
A California tourist has died after contracting hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare disease carried by rodents, the Associated Press reports.
The disease could be linked to a popular lodging area in Yosemite National Park. The man stayed at Curry Village in June, and officials have reported that a woman who also stayed in a canvas tent cabin about 100 feet from him on overlapping days has become seriously ill, according to the AP.
The virus was found in the feces of deer mice in the lodging area of the cabins, according to tests by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health officials. The deer mouse is the primary reservoir for the virus in the United States; rodents shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva, and it is primarily transmitted to humans when they breathe air contaminated with the virus, according to the CDC.
“There’s no way to tell for sure, but state health officials feel (the victims) may have contracted it here in Curry Village,” Scott Gediman, a park spokesman, told the AP.
The man, who was from Alameda County in the San Francisco Bay area, would be the first person to die from the disease contracted in the park, though two others were stricken in a more remote area in 2000 and 2010, officials told the AP.
Read more on this story at ABC News.
Posted on August 21, 2012 with No Comments
Two women filed a lawsuit Monday in Cook County Circuit Court againstMarriott International Inc.and a now-closed hotel in Lisle after claiming they and their respective children received numerous bedbug bites while staying at the hotel last August. Pamela April, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Char’o Safford, of Chicago, are suing Marriott and the former Hickory Ridge Marriott Conference Hotel, 1195 Summerhill Drive, Lisle, for failing to provide guests with sanitary rooms, inspect rooms, recognize signs of bedbug attacks and exterminate the bugs, among other claims.
April, Safford and the two children stayed at the suburban hotel from Aug. 6 to 15, 2011, according to the lawsuit. During her stay, April noticed bumps and bites all over her child’s arms, hands, back, legs and scalp while helping him get dressed, according to the lawsuit. She brought this to the attention of the manager, who asked if April had made a request for clean sheets, the lawsuit says. The two women and both children were diagnosed as having “numerous bedbug bites from a significant infestation,” according to the lawsuit. Shortly after their stay at the hotel, April and Safford were contacted by a Marriott Claims Services Corp. adjuster confirming the presence of bedbugs in the room they had been staying, the lawsuit says.
The 10-story Hickory Ridge Marriott Conference Hotel closed in late 2011.