Opossums Get a Bad Rap

Opossums don’t tend to be everyone’s favorite wild animal neighbor, with many considering them to be nothing more than really big rodents. But, these critters aren’t so bad. They are blamed for everything from killing chickens to knocking over someone’s garbage cans, but these rather quiet critters are easy to send on their way and rarely present any kind of real threat to us.

Most people complain about opossums just being around even if they haven’t caused any actual damage. While they don’t generally kill chickens or knock over garbage cans, they are more than happy to help clean up the mess made by others, usually sticking them at the scene of some other animal’s crime. The most an opossum will do to scare away a curious human is hiss at you and then play dead if that doesn’t work. You can easily keep them out of your yard or near your house by simply making sure your garbage cans have tight lids, not leave any food lying around outside including pet food or fruit that has fallen from any nearby trees, and keep any sheltered areas such as under your house securely closed off with wire or fencing. If you think a mother opossum nay be making a home for herself and her babies under your deck or patio, the best thing to do is wait until she leaves her den (around two hours after dark), which she will do while taking her babies with her as mother opossums don’t go anywhere without their babies, and then loosely block up the hole she uses to get in and out with straw or netting. This will allow anything still inside to find a way out, but keep any outside critters from getting back in. However, if you think you might need more than this to get these critters out of your home, make sure to call wildlife rescue to come and take care of it safely.  Do not put yourself in any danger that might arise, and leave the hard work to the professionals.

Have you ever had to get rid of opossums on your property? What did you do and how did you end up getting rid of them?

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Bumblebee Fanatic Helps Get A Certain Type Of Bee Onto The Endangered Species List

A distinguished emeritus professor from the University of California at Davis has been credited with being a large part of the effort to put the rusty-patched bumblebee on the endangered species list. The man’s name is Robbin Thorp, and he looks a lot like the old man from Jurassic Park, so the brilliant and aging academic looks exactly like how you would picture him.

The rusty-patched bumblebee is the first bee that the US Fish and Wildlife Service has place on the endangered species list within the continental United States. Seven years ago Thorp co-authored the petition to get the rusty-patched bumblebee onto the endangered species list. In 2016 the US Fish and Wildlife Service proposed creating protective measures for the bumblebee. Finally just two weeks ago, at the beginning of the year 2017, the bee was listed as endangered.

The rusty-patched bumblebee once thrived in twenty-eight states, but now the bee’s population has declined by ninety percent. Many experts believe that the bee should be preserved no matter the cost since rusty-patched bumblebees are efficient pollinators, and they contribute to our food security as well as to maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

Have you ever heard of the rusty-patched bumblebee? Why would losing one bee species be a serious problem when there are so many more species of bees still thriving in the world?

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The Farmers New Tool In The War Against Slugs

Even though insecticides work great for farmers, they may have a new tool at their disposal for ridding their crops of damaging slug life. You may not have realized that slugs have been known to cause problems for many a farmer, and although we hear more about spider and insect pests, slugs are still a force to be reckoned with on just about every farm.

A certain type of nematode has been proven to infect and kill crop damaging slugs. This nematode has been available to farmers in Europe for the past twenty years. However, the nematode is not yet approved for use by farmers in the United States.

Although the nematodes have proven useful on many different types of crops in the past, researchers are specifically interested in how well nematodes kill slugs that infest maize crops. It was determined that using nematodes as anti-slug remedy was highly effective, but other chemicals would have to be added to the crops along with the slugs in order to obtain optimal results.

Have you ever heard of people using live organisms as insecticides?

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Can Hedge Apples Really Repel Spiders?

There is a common belief, especially in the Midwest, that hedge apples from the Osage orange tree can successfully ward off spiders. Although the practice differs, most people put these hedge apples around their walls during the fall in order to ward off spiders. So does this method actually work?

It turns out that hedge apples don’t work to ward off spiders even in the slightest. First of all, most, if not all, of the spiders that you encounter inside of your home actually live in your home full time, and outdoor spiders stay outdoors, so there are not even any spiders that invade your home to begin with. Second of all, spiders rarely show any signs of being able to detect airborne odors, and that includes the supposed anti-spider aroma of hedge apples. Some people who practice this silly method claim that it is not spiders but actually roaches that die near hedge balls. Save yourself the time and stick with the raid.

Have you ever resorted to any method of killing spiders that is similar to the hedge apple method?

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The World’s Largest Insect Farm

Ynsect is one of the world’s biggest farmers if insects, and is planning on increasing their output in the coming year. The new approval of using insects for fish feed by the EU has come at the perfect time for Ynsect. The company has raised a total of $37 million over the last three years from public and private sources, which they are now planning to use to increase their capacity at their pilot center in Jura, France. They are planning on building the largest insect farming unit in the world. This monstrous facility will have the ability to produce a minimum of 20,000 metric tons of insect protein in a single year.

Ynsect is best known for their product “TMP” (Tenebrio molitor protein), which is an insect protein meal made out of mealworm larvae. TMP is not just any ordinary animal feed made out of insect protein. It is actually the only insect protein produced that considerably improves the animal’s growth and health. Not only does Ynsect’s insect protein meal actually improve the health of the animals consuming it, but the company also uses special software connected to sensors that ensure that the insects they are farming have the highest possible welfare standards. I don’t know about you, but this is the first I’ve heard of an insect farmer actually caring about the living conditions and welfare of the insects they are farming.

Would you support buying from an insect farming company like Ynsect, that has such high standards for the welfare of it’s insects, as well as the quality of it’s insect meal? Would you feed your fish with their insect protein meal?

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Which Spiders Cannot Make Webs?

When you hear the word “spider” there is a good possibility that an image of a spider web pops into your head. However, web spinning may not be as common as you assume, as only about half of all known spider species create webs to catch prey.

The spiders that don’t spin webs instead feed themselves by actively hunting for their prey, instead of sitting around lazily by a web. Among those spiders that hunt for prey are the jumping spiders, ground spiders, sac spiders and some species of wolf spider. Other non-web spinning spiders don’t hunt their prey, but instead sit in wait for their prey, and these types of spiders include crab spiders and trapdoor spiders.

Hunting spiders do, in fact, use silk, but not to make webs. Instead hunting spiders use silk to nourish the egg sac or, in some cases, to build a shelter.

Have you ever seen a spider shelter made from spider silk in the wild?

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One Of The Most Dangerous Insects In The World Has Been Found On US Soil

A shipment of beans that arrived in the United States at Port Huron contained remnants of a highly invasive insect pest that is native to India. The shipment was first inspected by US border patrol agents. An official representing the US Customs and Border Protection mentioned that the particular shipment of beans, known as mung beans, has been listed as a high-risk export since the dangerous insects pest being discussed are attracted to mung beans.

The remains of the invasive insect were not immediately identified until a few weeks later when entomologists working for the United States Department of Agriculture identified the remains as belonging to the destructive khapra beetles. The khapra beetle is native to Southeast Asia, and they are often found infesting stored food products. The khapra beetles are considered to be among the one hundred most devastating invasive insects in the world. Any shipment bound for the US from southeast Asian regions are now thoroughly searched, and even a shipment containing a single partial remain of a khapra beetle is denied entry to the United States.

Has there been any other invasive insect/s that have migrated to the US via shipping freighters? And if yes, what type of insect/s?

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