17-Year Olds Out on the Town

Most of us know the cicada from its buzz, or from their brownish husk of a shell found clinging to a tree trunk or branch. But for students in a class at Kansas University, this season is a rare opportunity to study these bugs after 17 years underground.

These tiny creatures that take up no more space than the tip of the pinky live much longer than most insects, yet their lives occur almost entirely beneath the earth. This spring, they emerge with a “gentle buzz” according to residents near the university, in Lawrence, Kansas.

This “periodical” cicada only comes out once and what make them special for the is how in tune they are with each other. They are synchronized to emerge from the earth, after their nearly twenty year hibernation, at the same time.

“How do these things do it? How do they know when it’s time to come out?” Hagen asked. “What does this pulse of nutrients in the form of dead cicada bodies do for our trees?” Dr. Robert Hagen, a professor of environmental studies, teaches the class — also periodic — called “Biology of Cicadas.” His students are privileged to study the habits of these flash-in-the-pan creatures at Armitage Education Center, near Lawrence, throughout the spring.

After all the buzz (literally) the cicadas don’t overstay their welcome. They die out before the next season or, commonly, are eaten by birds and rodents. Because these bugs don’t have natural defenses, like spines or odor, this is “a great year to be a bird,” says Dr. Hagen.

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Anyone for ant-flavoured gin?

Anyone for ant-flavoured gin?

The Cambridge Distillery have created the worlds first gin infused with the ‘essense’ of ants

The drink you never asked for is finally here: gin flavoured with ants.

Miles Irving, a professional forager, collected over 6000 red wood ants and placed them in a strong ethanol solution, before distilling it to make an ant concentrate.

The gin is the first in the world to be made using insects, and each £200 bottle contains the “essence” of 62 ants.

Red wood ant distillation, one litre a time (Anty Gin)

The ants were chosen for their citrus flavour, caused by the formic acid they produce.

William Lowe from The Cambridge Distillery said: “The reason people use ants is they have a very specific flavour which is best described as a citrus flavour. We did a lot of research and found that the reason ants taste like citrus is because they spray formic acid as a method of defence.”

“Hundreds of years ago formic acid was made by distilling ants, and so that’s what we decided to do.

They mixed botanicals like stinging nettle, wood avens root and alexanders seed to mix with the distilled ant solution.

“The result is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind gin that is being very well received worldwide. People are astounded at how good it tastes. It’s expensive because it’s so labour intensive – Anty Gin was almost a year in the making.”

“We want eyebrows to be raised. The whole point of Anty Gin is to open people’s eyes to the possibility of insects being used as a viable source of food and flavour.”

There only 99 bottles of the unique gin on sale, available from the Anty Gin website. Via

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So Long Sugar Ants

“Sugar Ants” can be used to describe any number of ants, but most particularly, Argentine ants or rover ants. Sugar Ants get their name because, you guessed it, they are fond of sweets. So much so that in their natural habitat they often herd honey dew producing bugs such as aphids.

In our homes, we see trails of tiny ants on our kitchen counters or floors, chances are, they are Sugar Ants. What can you do about them? Your best bet is to call in a professional to terminate the ants. Then, as said in an article on Sunherald.com, “get rid of what’s attracting them. What may seem to be a few loose granules of spilled sugar to you is a feast to foraging ants, especially ones as tiny as rover ants. The same can be said of crumbs from baked sweets—anything made with sugar.”

To sum it up, keep your sweets to yourself to keep Sugar Ants away!

 

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New York Man Burned Trying to Kill Bed Bugs | Chicago Bed Bug Control Company

Don’t Try This at Home: New York Man Burned Trying to Kill Bed Bugs

Bedbugs can be one of the trickiest types of pests to terminate and calling in a professional exterminator to do the job is key.

A man in Eastport, NY learned this the hard way when trying to kill bed bugs inside of a rental car.

According to ABC News, Scott Kemery soaked the interior of the car with alcohol after someone told him this would kill the bedbugs.

After pouring the alcohol he sat inside the car and lit a cigarette, which started the blaze.

Kemery fled, abandoning the flame-engulfed car, the heat from which also damaged several other cars parked nearby.

It’s been reported Kemery suffered burns from the event.

Do not try this at home! Calling an expert is always the best option for pest control needs.

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Wolf Spider Fail!

Wolf Spider Fail!

Spoiler alert: if you have arachnophobia you may not want to continue reading! A man in Australia spotted a wolf spider on his kitchen floor and did what many of us would do: grabbed a broom and attempted to squash and kill the spider.

However, this man was in for the shock of his life when he hit the spider and hundreds of baby spiders were released. What caused this? The wolf spider was pregnant, and the impact of the broom caused the baby spiders to release.

The man then frantically uses the broom to contain (and squash!) as many of these tiny eight-legged creatures as possible.

Watch all the gory details on Fox Now 6.

Have you ever encountered a situation like this? Think twice before squashing a spider—they may be expecting!

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The Terror of Termites!

The Terror of Termites

Termites can wreak havoc on homes and cause stress and financial strain to homeowners. In fact, it is estimated termites cause around $5 billion in home damage each year! That is a lot of money spent and with precautionary steps, much of it could have been avoided.

In this video by Pestworld, learn some precautionary steps you can take to prevent termites. For instance, termites are attracted to moisture, so eliminating dampness around the home is key. Repairing things like leaky pipes right away is crucial, as is ensuring cracks are addressed in a timely manner. Mulch is also attractive to termites so if you use it, keep it as far away from your home as possible.

What’s the number one thing to do? Call in a pest control company that specializes in termites to evaluate your home for signs of termites or potential scenarios that can cause termites. Termites don’t mess around, so neither should you!

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3 Pest Control DIY Mistakes

Bait your mousetrap with cheese.

FICTION. Thanks to television, cheese seems to be the food lure most often thought of for mice. Remember the old cartoon where Tom the Cat frequently tried to attract Jerry the Mouse to mousetraps with cheese treats? Silly Tom. He might have been more successful if he knew that mice prefer peanut butter.

Use bay leaves to keep pests away.

FACT. To protect your cooking supplies, place a bay leaf in or around your flour, rice, and other dried pantry staples. Some people prefer to place the leaves directly in contact with the food, while others favor taping the leaves around the canisters. Caution: While bay leaves are a deterrent, they are not a substitute for properly cleaning the pantry of spilled products.

Put a penny in a bag of water to repel mosquitoes and flies.

FICTION. This notion is so wrong. In fact, it’s actually backwards. Research has shown that shiny pennies might actually do more to attract insects then repel them. Keep your change in your pocket.

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