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!
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!
Spiders Among Us
All homes have cracks and crevices, dark places, and crumbs lying about – even the cleanest ones. And these are the features that real-estate searching arachnids crave. So if you want to reduce the presence of spiders in your space, take note of a few hints from the experts.
Only three types of spiders bite with venom that can injure humans, and they are the infamous black widow, the shy brown recluse and the hobo spider. Any of these lurking around your home should be disposed of, including destroying the eggs so they won’t reappear. A good method for this is to vacuum them up and then make sure all contents with the vacuum bag are killed.
The brown recluse is a small, spindly spider that lives in dark corners and is particularly fond of sheds and garages. Their bite is painful and will produce a significant lesion with skin necrosis. It can be treated with antibiotics, but even with treatment often takes a long time to heal. To reduce encounters with this venomous creature, remove old boxes from your shed and use sealed plastic containers instead. Be aware of providing a dark, lonely habitat and they will be less likely to move in.
The last of the three is the lesser known hobo spider. Similar to the brown recluse in appearance, habits, and bite, it can be handled in the same way: minimize dark corners and shady places in your home and garage.
Perfection Pest ( Kentucky Pest Control Eperts) celebrates the important role of pest professionals
This April, Perfection Pest is proud to celebrate National Pest Management Month, a public observance formally recognized each year by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) to acknowledge the pest management industry’s commitment to the protection of public health and property from household pest threats. Additionally, as spring is an especially busy time for pest-related activity, Perfection Pest encourages homeowners to take proactive pest proofing steps in the coming weeks.
“We are proud to be members of an industry which plays an important role in people’s everyday lives and are committed to helping homeowners protect their homes and ensuring public places and residences are free of disease-carrying pests,” said Tim Leatherman, Owner at Perfection Pest.
“As pests emerge from their overwintering spots, we encourage the public to tackle simple home improvement and landscaping projects that will make a big difference in staving off infestations during the warmer months,” added Leatherman.
Perfection Pest Experts recommend the following tips to pest-proof the home this spring:
- Seal any cracks on the outside of the home with a silicone-based caulk, including entry points for utilities and pipes.
- Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the foundation and windows.
- Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house.
- Repair fascia and rotted roof shingles.
- Keep mulch at least 15 inches from the foundation.
- Eliminate sources of standing water around the house, including birdbaths and in clogged gutters.
- Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry.
- Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
- Avoid leaving pet’s food dishes out for long periods of time.
- Contact a licensed pest professional if an infestation is suspected.
For more information on common household pests or more pest-proofing tips, please visit www.perfectionpest.com