Bees, Hornets, Wasps and Yellowjackets

Bees, Hornets, Wasps and Yellow Jackets

  • Upside: They pollinate plants and flowers and help give us fruits and vegetables. They also eat other harmful pests such as grubs and flies.
  • Downside: They dole out painful stings and give us anxiety about being stung. Unfortunately, millions of Americans are at risk for suffering severe allergic reactions.


Although typically a source of great anxiety for fear that they might sting you, in fact, bees and yellow jackets rarely do sting unless provoked. So, the number one rule is not to panic and swat at a bee when it comes for a visit. If it lands on your skin, just blow gently rather than smack at it. There are more aggressive species, particularly wasps that can sting in painful attacks if they feel threatened or you wander too close to their nest. While painful, most insect stings usually result in a limited local reaction, with pain and swelling. Unfortunately, about 3 percent of people have more widespread allergic reactions, with rash and hives. The most extreme cases of allergic reactions are called anaphylaxis and symptoms include tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness or even life threatening shortness of breath and drop in blood pressure. If these symptoms arise, call 911. If you are allergic to stinging insects you should know how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.

If stung and the stinger is still in place, first remove the stinger. Then clean the area with soap and cold water and apply ice. Benadryl and over-the-counter 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment may help calm the reaction. Consider taking a pain reliever as needed.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment Parents, Students on Alert After Bed Bugs Found at CPS Elementary School Parents, Students on Alert After Bed Bugs Found at CPS Elementary School

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) – A bed bug scare has some parents at a Southeast Side elementary school angry and demanding answers. When school let out Monday at O’Keefe Elementary, some of them were just finding out about it for the first time.

“I’m upset because I knew nothing about this. This is my first time hearing it. If this happened Friday, I should have been notified,” said Quintana Jones, whose son is in third grade at O’Keefe.

On Friday, the school sent home letters to some parents in one 3rd grade classroom alerting them to a possible bed bug problem. Two children from that class were sent home after the school nurse found bites on their arms. That room was specially cleaned over the weekend.

“We pulled all of the carpet out of the classroom. We had everything treated and inspected. There should not be an issue at the school,” said Dr. Jasmine Bankhead, the school principal.

But for some parents, cleaning just one room didn’t seem adequate.

“But what about the rest of the building? The kids are changing classes for gym, art, music, lunch, breakfast. They’re not just confined to that one classroom,” said Melanie Busch, whose twin sons are in the classroom with the possible bed bug problem. “The whole school needs to be exterminated and exterminated properly for bed bugs.”

The concern is that if the kids weren’t confined to one room, then maybe the bugs weren’t either.

“I told my kids when they come to school, make sure you shake stuff out before you come home,” said Alberta Craig, who runs a day care, and whose grandchildren are in the impacted classroom.

Some parents felt the school was trying to hide the problem, but the principal assured them that was not the case.

“I’m very concerned. That’s why we’re actively working to make certain to identify if there is an issue. We were trying to be proactive, but we don’t want to over react,” said Dr. Bankhead. “We don’t have a confirmed case of bed bugs.”

Dr. Bankhead said if bed bugs are confirmed at the school, she will notify all the parents.

For more information about what to do if you think you might have bedbugs, the Illinois Department of Health has some tips.

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Butterfly alphabet!

Behold the butterfly alphabet!

Nature photographer Kjell Bloch Sandved noticed one day that many of the butterfly wings he photographed strongly resembled letters and numbers. So he searched, and managed to find all 26 letters in the English language plus the numbers 0-9 in the wings of butterflies.

Check out the full alphabet on his website:

Story via ScienceAlert.

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Pest Identification | Test your Bug Knowledge!

Order Plecoptera  Stonefly adult, its immature stages develop in the water, usually cold flowing streams

Order Hemiptera Family Membracidae Nymphal & adult stage present in photo Platycotis vittata associated with oak, many times nymphs tended by ants for the honeydew they produce.

Order Araneae Family Lycosidae (wolf spiders) Hogna probably carolinensis one of the commoner wolf spiders, great predator, not a people eater.

Order Diptera Family Tipulidae Crane fly

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‘Blackfish’ Team to Make Documentary on New York City Rats ‘Blackfish’ Team to Make Documentary on New York City Rats

Rats are coming to a multiplex near you.

Dakota Group and Submarine – the producers behind the controversial Sea World documentary Blackfish – have optioned the rights to Robert Sullivan’s international best-selling book Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants and will adapt into a feature-length documentary.

Production will begin early next year, with Sullivan serving as an advisor on the film. He also will share his extensive archive of research materials that didn’t make it into the book.

The project was announced at the Toronto Film Festival.

The film will examine the enigmatic and oft-despised creature against the backdrop New York. One of the most resilient animals known to man, rats are known for causing great plagues and also are responsible for some of the greatest scientific discoveries.

With an unimaginable army of rats living beneath the streets and sidewalks of New York (some estimate more than 8 million), it’s something that everyone living in the five boroughs confronts regularly.

Like the book, the film will feature facts about rats (they can have sex 20 times a day and produce thousands of offspring) as well as portraits of city dwellers, exterminators, trash collectors, city officials, Nobel-winning scientists, ethnographers, scholars and historians, along with showing some of the most notoriously rat-infested areas of the city. The documentary also will track their migration to America centuries ago, coming from London, Norway and Holland aboard ships.

New York City rats were particularly pesky this summer, becoming a scourge in even the poshest neighborhoods of Manhattan.

The deal was negotiated by David Koh and Stanley Buchthal on behalf of Dakota Group and Submarine. Paul Brennan of Bruns Brennan Berry and WME repped the author.

Koh, Buchthal and the Brauns are producing.

“We have been obsessed and terrified by rats living in New York City over the years, and when we read Robert Sullivan’s book, we couldn’t put it down,” said Koh, Buchthal and the Brauns, the producers behind the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove. “We look forward to collaborating with (Sullivan) and bringing his highly entertaining and scholarly book to the big screen.”

Added Sullivan: “I love that (Dakota Group and Submarine) are able to take a theme and explore it to great and reverberating depths. In their hands, Rats will take us to great places. I myself am getting ready to travel deep into what a city is and how we think about ourselves as creatures, among other things.”

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Preventing Pest Populations

  1. Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of the facility including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  2. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
  3. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed.
  4. Inspect boxes, bags and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking pests.
  5. Don’t allow food to sit on counters or shelves in open containers.  All food and water sources should be kept sealed unless currently in use.
  6. Clean all food spills regularly.
  7. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  8. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
  9. Never store food on the floor.  Always lift it up on shelves so that rodents and insects do not have easy access.
  10. Comply will all regulations regarding pests in food service facilities.
  11. A licensed and qualified pest professional is your best resource to ensure these steps are completed properly.
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Never Forget ~ 9/11

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