Recently making its rounds on the web is the story of a California man who claims a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant served him a fried rat with his meal. Reportedly, Devorise Dixon had bought a three piece chicken tender box from his local Kentucky Fried Chicken and had started eating before then looking down at his food to discover something was off. What was wrong was that the bite Dixon had taken was so nasty that it had prompted to take a closer look and realize that his so called chicken tender was in the shape of a rat with a tail! Furthermore Dixon claims that when he returned the meal to Kentucky Fried Chicken the store manager got a bit freaked out himself and reportedly confirmed it was a rat. From there Dixon took his alleged fried rat picture and story to social media where he made posts that snowballed into somewhat of a viral sensation. Dixon maintains his version of the rat story however Kentucky Fried Chicken has responded via social media to dispute the claims. According to the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise post they are "investigating the issue but had seen no evidence to support the claim". I guess it is not quite tough enough that we have look out for rats and other critters in our homes, but now we have to look out for them in our meals! Just remember if your in Kentucky and you find a rat, fried or otherwise, call the experts in rat and rodent control.
For humans self medicating is a common practice we carry out when we are sick to make us feel better. However in the wild science has found little evidence of self medicating until recently. According to research carried out by scientists at the University of Helsinki in Finland, the black ant (scientific name Formica Fusca) seeks different food after it has been exposed to fungal pathogens. Specifically the ants ingest hydrogen peroxide that they forage for in surrounding damaged plants as well as in other insects and cadavers. In an official statement from the research team, professor of biological and environmental sciences, Dalial Fretak, said the following; "When ants are feeding on the diet containing extra free radicals, they are able to survive infections significantly better. Moreover, the ants also choose the diet including extra free radicals after they are exposed to fungus, but not if they are not,". Furthermore the study found that any healthy ant showing no infectious symptoms experience the same side effect of taking a drug when feeding on hydrogen peroxide. However once infected the free-radical-feeding ants showed about a 20% higher survival rate against lethal fungal disease. Another researcher Nick Bos had the following to add; "It is an amazing discovery that ants have an idea of their health status and seem to adjust the dosage of medicine to that,". Certainly the discovery is amazing as the study was also just recently recognized and published in the international journal, Evolution. Sounds like the ants are getting smarter, good thing us humans are pretty sharp ourselves. If you want to do the smart thing and control the ants and pests at your home contact your local pest control expert.
Infielder for the Cleveland Indians Chris Johnson suspects it was an insect, possibly a spider, that is reasonable for him missing his second straight game. Apparently Johnson was bitten in his sleep by a spider located in at the hotel the Indians were staying at. Johnson reports that initially he had woke up to a small bite on his left hand, from a suspected spider, and was then treated at the stadium that Saturday morning. Then by Sunday Johnson's hand had swollen and sought treatment at a Minneapolis hospital. Johnson's left hand was wrapped and he started a treatment of antibiotics but the Cleveland infielder could unfortunately still miss further time due to the injury. Shortly before the incident had occurred Johnson had been acquired by Cleveland in a trade with the Atlanta Braves, and in six games with the Indians Johnson was hitting a very respectable .429. In regards to the incident Johnson had the following to say; "I tried to get the swelling and infection out of there because I guess whatever bit me, it got infected,” and that he was “Hoping the swelling goes down in a couple days and I can start swinging the bat again". I bet Chris Johnson will be sleeping with one eye open on team road trips from now; and I used to think that all Baseball players had it made, I guess insects and spiders don't care much who you are when they are ready for a bite! If you would like to be rest assured that the creatures of the night are out of your house be sure to contact your local pest control experts.
For the first time in approximately 60 years a Carolina Wolf Spider was found in Ohio. The discovery was made by a group of naturalists during an outing to the Edge of Appalachia Preserve System, which is a nature preserve ran by the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Nature Conservancy in Adams County. According to information provided by the South Carolina State Parks, the Carolina Wolf Spider is the largest wolf spider in North America and is of one of the over 2,200 wolf spider species found worldwide. Some consider the Carolina Wolf Spider to look similar to the poisonous brown recluse, while some regard the spider as looking peculiar and even cute with its orange fangs and thick gray fur. Additionally, the Carolina Wolf Spider is a three to four inch terrestrial spider that lives across the United States and southern Canada and like other wolf spiders has eight eyes that are aligned in three rows. Although they might look similar to a Brown Recluse, Carolina Wolf Spiders are not poisonous. However they do carry venom in their fangs to paralyze insects before eating them. An interesting trait about wolf spiders is that they get their name from their style of hunting whereas opposed to trapping their prey in a web they actually run down their food like a wolf!
As of 2013 Columbus Public Health had received 90 phone calls regarding rats, since that time the city's rat-control efforts expanded to the University district, North Linden, South Linden and Harrison West. According to the vector control program manager Scott R. Whittaker, the warmer weather brings about more rat activity in the city and that furthermore the primary food source for the rats in Clintonville is bird seed. Whittaker believes in a proactive approach to rat-control, by first eliminating rodent food sources as well as clearing out places where rats call home. Admittedly Whittaker also has no issue using pesticide to rid the city of its rodents if necessary as he is well aware of how tricky these pests can be. According to Whittaker "Rate are incredibly smart" and if one observes another being killed by a spring trap they won't fall for the same trick. This is why regular and proactive steps must be taken to combat the rodents in Ohio. Moreover experts believe Dog droppings to be the second most common source of food for rats in Clintonville, thus implying how important it is to pick up after your pets. Specifically a control plan is in effect in which the city will reassess all locations with prior rat activity and if evidence is found all parcels within a 200 foot radius will be inspected for food sources. According to Whittaker 200 feet is approximately the distance a rat will travel in a day. Upon first implementing the program Clintonville residents reportedly responded with a good deal of concern but since the program has settled in the district representatives have heard nothing but positive remarks from the neighborhood.
As of late July 2015 there has been two human cases of West Nile virus in Ohio, one in the Cleveland area and one in the Cincinnati area. The reason most likely stemming from a steady increase in rainy weather, more than a foot of rain in the last six weeks, bringing on an increase of mosquitoes. When water sits in low lying lying areas mosquitoes will breed and feed on the bacteria in the standing water, and unfortunately Ohio is no stranger to the Culex mosquito that transmits West Nile bacteria. In 2014 Ohio had confirmed 11 cases of West Nile and many more are believed to have been overlooked. As of this year Franklin County Public Health traps have confirmed positive West Nile in two parts of Dublin and Central. Experts are urging Ohio residents to be extra careful of mosquitoes and to proactive avoid risk. Among other methods, some of the ways to best avoid mosquitoes is to wear light colored clothing when going outside, and to rid ones property of unnecessary pools of standing water. Furthermore, any standing water that is of use such as bird baths or children's wading pools, should be regularly emptied or cycled. Most times it is best to prevent a problem before it occurs, and as residents of Ohio we must work together to control the mosquito population before further outbreak occurs.
Man may have created the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Great Wall of China, the Empire State building but termites are capable of building mounds so resilient that one is over 2,000 years old! The termite mound was discovered in the Miombo woodland area of central Africa and measured in at 33 feet tall, complete with termite 'air conditioning'. Experts estimate that the mound is about 2,200 years old and was in use for hundreds if not thousands of years. The only other ancient termite mound that comes close in age is one that has been dated 750 years old. Both ancient termite mounds were built by Macrotermes falciger, a native termite to the Miombo Woods in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mounds were analyzed using carbon 14 dating, which is also a technique used to date bones and other natural artifacts. Moreover, researchers from the Ghent University in Belgium and the University of Lubumbashi gathered in the Democratic Republic of Congo to conduct the analysis. Quite interesting, I just hope my regular Cincinnati pest control doesn't include carbon dating any termite mounds!