Weird Habits of Cockroaches & Their Hidden Powers

Though cockroaches are our everyday pests, they are not as common and simple as we think they are, for the bizarre facts about them add a layer of mystery and complexity to their existence as well as the ways they affect our lives.   Get ready to be thrilled at the following secrets that cockroaches don’t want you to know.

headless-roach(i) This isn’t Twilight Zone.  Believe it or not, a headless cockroach is not a lifeless bug!  If you cut off its head, its body is still alive and kicking, and it can survive for weeks without its head because of its simple circulatory system; it can breathe through tiny holes in its body.  However, a headless roach will eventually die of starvation simply because it has no mouth to eat.

smart-roach(ii) If you think cockroaches are brainless little bugs, you are sorely mistaken.  Cockroaches can develop memories.  They learn to associate specific odors with sugar solutions.  They remember things just like we do (How creepy are they?).

(iii) Not you, not even a professional runner can ever outrun a cockroach.  Born without trained professionalism of an athlete, a cockroach can naturally run 3 miles per hour, well, that’s not record-breaking … but its six highly flexible legs and lightning reflexes will make you sweatily hard to catch up with them.

drinking-roach(iv) Cockroaches are alcoholics!  They love the taste of a good brew.  Offer them a glass of beer and they’ll enjoy a good time.

(v) This is something that cockroaches hate to share with you.  They are filled with protein, highly edible and are delicious!  They are served as popular snack and meal in Asian countries (try Thailand).  You can fry them, toast them, boil them, and even saute them.  Anyway, bon appetit!

fried-roaches

References: 
https://www.abchomeandcommercial.com/blog/5-secrets-cockroaches-dont-want-you-to-know/  
http://durbancentral.blogspot.my/2011/01/grand-cockroach-showdown.html (image source)
http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-11-08/im-a-celebrity-2013-7-places-to-try-bushtucker-trials (image source)
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2w473t (video & image)
http://www.huffingtonpost.kr/2015/02/10/-_n_6658162.html (video & image)

 

 

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Everything You Need to Know about Zika Virus

whole-pictureZika is a virus transmitted by an aedes mosquito which in turn spreads diseases such as breakbone fever and chikungunya through bite in the human flesh.  Symptoms of Zika virus include fever, joint pain, vomit, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, rash, and headache; worst of all, it can cause microcephaly which affects the unborn baby’s brain growth in a pregnant woman (after the mother is infected with the virus).

To avoid contacting Zika virus, take heed of some of these useful prevention tips:  (i) To avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirt and long pants to cover your skin as much as possible.  (ii) Use mosquito nets to cover your bed when you sleep.  (iii) Close your doors and windows during nighttime.  Also make use of window screens.  (iv) Remove mosquito breeding grounds by emptying containers (for e.g. flowerpot, bucket, etc.) that store water and cleaning and keeping the surrounding areas of the house dry.  (v) Use mosquito repellent.  (vi) Engage a professional pest control company.

aedes-mosquitoAs of today, there’s no treatment and vaccine for Zika virus.  If one is infected with the virus, all (s)he could do is:  (i) consult a doctor and get hospitalized, (ii) drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and (iii) get plenty of rest.  No matter what, prevention is always better than cure.

Having mosquito problem?  Call AntiPest today (03-8023 1888) for a free and non-obligatory inspection of your premises.

References:
http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/aquatic/aedes_aegypti.htm (image source only)
http://millionpictures.co/article/4534/zika-virus-symptoms-preventions-treatment/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f18y57qex4k
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Shocking Facts About Pests

Believe it or not, an enormous number of pests in this world exhibit strange and unusual characteristics, whether they be biological and behavioral, that many of us have not heard of. To name a few, let us look into some of the pests and get to know their peculiarities.

pest-01(i) If you see a headless cockroach moving around in your house, do not be alarmed. When a cockroach’s head is cut off, it is still able to survive for at least nine days. When the time is up, it will naturally die of starvation simply because it can’t eat without its head.

pest-02(ii) If you see a praying mantis turning its head 360 degrees around, there is no need to call an exorcist because, that is its biological and “unnatural” capability. Other than its head-spinning ability, a praying mantis has only one ear. On top of that, before it feasts on a prey, it will first clasp its prey with its forelimbs, hold it up as if in prayer to some kind of holy or unholy being before gulping it. Perhaps that is where it earned its name.

(iii) Do you know that, out of every four types of animal on Earth, one of them is of beetle species?

(iv) Do you know that, almost all the beds that people sleep on contain an average number of six million dust mites? In conclusion, you are not alone when you sleep. The good news is, these mites don’t snore. Enough of heebie-jeebies?

(v) Speaking of all-out grossness, houseflies regurgitate their undigested food only for re-ingestion! It is pretty evident that they waste no food at all and leave no dining tables unturned.

pest-03(vi) Amazon ants like to enslave the progeny of other ants by plundering their larvae. The reason being that, they are heavily dependent upon these enslaved offsprings for survival because fighting is the only talent the Amazon ants are good at.

(vii) Aphids conceive when they are born, and they give birth immediately after ten days.

References:
https://www.abchomeandcommercial.com/blog/10-shocking-weird-bug-facts-to-keep-you-awake-at-night/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/leahahaha/34544672/ (image source)
http://i.imgur.com/XVxHJ.jpg (image source)
http://searchfreezone.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Aphid-giving-birth.jpg (image source)
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Termite Identification & Treatment

Termite is one of the most calamitous pests ever compared with other types of common pest.  The damages caused by termites are so disastrous that they can affect us and our property financially, structurally as well as emotionally.  They masticate through wood and things made of wood in our house, office building, plants, and the like.  What is more horrendous is the fact that termites reproduce at a ridiculously accelerative rate within a short period of time.  A termite queen can lay up to 30,000 eggs in a single day and, in a month’s time … well … you do the math.  A soldier termite can live for 1 to 2 years whilst the life span of a termite queen is 10 years and above!

termitesHow do you know if there’s termite infestation in your home?  Some tips as below:

(i) Mud tubes or trails spotted on exterior walls and along door frames.  This is an indication that termites have emerged from the soil and into your dwelling.

(ii) Tap on a wall and, if it sounds hollow, this can only mean that termites have already consumed the inside of your wall.

(iii) Look for frass that shapes like pellet in your house.  This belongs to none other than a termite.

(iv) Look for winged or wingless, ant-like, brown- or white-colored insect with a body length of between 1/8 inch & 1 inch … it is the infamous termite!

SentriconWhat are the methods for treating termites?

(i) Sentricon Baiting System

Sentricon IGYour premises will be inspected for signs of termite infestation.  Upon detection of termite activity, Sentricon baiting station will be installed at the infested area.  Termites will feed on the active ingredient within the station and subsequently induce other nest mates to follow suit; the feeding process will continue and spread to other termites in the colony.  In time, the entire termitarium will die out and, thus, mission accomplished!  Installing this system requires no drilling of holes, hence, your flooring and walls are safe and intact.

(ii) Chemical Soil Treatment

This conventional method requires that holes be drilled into the concrete floor and slab joints followed by pumping of chemical through the holes and into the soil.  After this, all holes will be patched up and sealed.

 Having termite problem?  Wait no further.  Call AntiPest today at 03-8023 1888 for a free and non-obligatory inspection of your premises by our pest control professionals.

References:
http://killtermitesguide.com/what-do-termites-look-like/ (image source)
http://www.npr.org/2015/03/25/395287156/super-termite-could-be-even-more-destructive-than-parent-species (image source)
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Cancer-Treating Beetle

Insects are usually known to have caused more harm than good to human beings and plants.  But, a medical study done by the American researchers has discovered that one type of insect known as the blister beetle from the family of coleoptera possesses cancer-fighting ability.

Blister beetles, also known as Spanish flies, vary in body color from one to the other.  Some are bright green in color, some are red, yellow, black, and some even have a mixture of two or more colors.  This kind of beetle feeds on honeysuckles, soybeans, potatoes, garden vegetables, fruits, and olives.  Southern regions of Europe and the Western parts of Asia are where these beetles inhabit.

Blister beetles contain cantharidin, a poisonous substance that can cause vomiting, blistering and pain.  However, such substance was extracted and used as aphrodisiac in the olden days.  In the modern era, cantharidin is now used as counteragent in traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medical practices to produce cantharides as counterirritants against warts, in treating kidney damage, diarrhea, urinary tract problem, burns, scalds, insect bites, and even used for treatment of cancer.

Due to the fact that cantharidin has the function of blocking a number of proteins and inducing apoptosis in the body, it serves as a highly potential treatment solution for all kinds of tumor and even the stubborn ones (those that do not respond well to other medicaments).

References:
http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/cancer-articles/cancer-treatment-from-an-unlikely-source-insects
http://www.answers.com/Q/What_does_the_blister_beetle_eat

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Orthodox & Unorthodox Ways to Ward Off Your Buzzing Mosquitoes

Mosquito awayThere are a number of conventional and unconventional DIY methods to render those vexatious and disease-ridden mosquitoes back away from you and your family.  Check them out below.

(i) Avoid wearing dark-colored clothes because mosquitoes are attracted to them.

(ii) Stay away from beer in that mosquitoes crave for beer drinkers, in particular.  To be utterly safe, stay sober at all times and avoid any alcoholic beverages.  At any rate, treat this as an urban legend.

(iii) Mosquitoes love to come out from dusk to dawn.  So it’s best to stay indoors protectively when night falls.

Mosquito(iv) Mosquitoes are attracted to floral scent emitted by the nectars of plants.  Hence, it is best to stay away from places grown with fragrant flowers.

(v) Rub orange and lemon peels all over the exposed areas of your body to keep the mosquitoes away.

(vi) Grow some specific mosquito-repelling plants in your yard.  Plants that mosquitoes hate are Citronella, Lemon Balm, Catnip, Marigold, Basil, Lavender, Peppermint, Garlic, Pennyroyal, Rosemary, and Geranium.

Having mosquito problem?  Call AntiPest (03-8023 1888) today for your practical and professional mosquito solution.

References:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/eau-de-repellent-victorias-secret-perfume-turns-off-mosquitoes/
http://www.completelyyou.com/blog/well_being/how_to_repel_mosquitoes_naturally/index.html#.VyODH7Rf1EY
http://www.naturallivingideas.com/11-plants-that-repel-mosquitoes/
https://columbiamosquitosquad.wordpress.com/category/barrier-sprays/

 

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How to Get Rid of Centipedes

Centipede is one of the grossest insects to many people.  Their sole appearance is visually disturbing enough, not to mention having them crawl on your skin and evoke your hair-raising feeling and spine-tingling terror.

Centipedes are easily spotted in gloomy, damp places such as bathrooms, drains, cellars, and the like.  Despite their distractive appearance, their presence can somehow be beneficial to your surroundings as they feed on other insects and thereby keep your house “clean” and free of other pests to a certain extent.

Anyway, if you simply can’t bear the sight of centipedes, the following are what you can do to reduce their numbers or get rid of them:

(i)  Seal off the unnecessary entry points whenever and wherever possible to prevent them from coming in.  Caulk gaps in the window or door frames via the use of, say, weather stripping, for example, and close any cracks in the walls.

(ii)  Keep the normally wet areas (such as lavatory and kitchen) as dry as possible after use.  Wipe the moist surfaces and areas (e.g. sink, drip from spigot) with a cloth in the kitchen and mop the washroom’s floor clean and dry after your business.  For better result, keep the outside boundary of your house clean and dry (make it a 1- to 2-foot perimeter).

(iii)  Getting rid of other insects (such as cockroaches, larvae from carpet beetles and silverfishes) inside your home will minimize the intrusion of centipedes because such act can greatly reduce their food source (i.e. other insects).  You can use insecticides or engage a pest control company to help you eliminate these other pests in your house.

(iv)  For a direct and immediate result, you can pour hot water (with extreme heat) on them.

References:  
http://www.ehow.com/how_10022430_treat-centipedes.html
http://www.ehow.com/info_8514187_do-keep-getting-centipedes-bathroom.html
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The Return of Dengue Fever & How to Prevent Them

Following weeks of dry and almost no-rain weather, the fear of the inevitable has struck again right into the hearts of us fellow Malaysians – the outbreak of dengue!  Such fatal widespread disease cases have increased at a horrifying rate throughout the years, ranging from 6,000 cases in 1995 to over 43,000 cases in 2013; 92 deaths were reported in the Year 2013 but, in 2014 from January 1st to 22nd alone, there were 6,155 reported dengue cases with 22 deaths up until February 2014.  This deadly epidemic disease is now back and the number of cases is soaring high, let alone the rising death toll.

Despite the always intensive control measures undertaken by the Health Ministry to attempt to contain the virus and to prevent the situation from being worsened (say, fumigation on the streets, residential areas, construction sites, sewage areas, and so forth), the virus can, however, never be completely eradicated so long as there are mosquitoes roaming about.  To effectively minimize and control such health hazard will require the cooperation of both parties, i.e. us and the government, because, only through this way can the result be improved; after all, a tug-of-war requires two teams to pull each end of a rope in order to justify the name of the game.  Hence, besides the government, society at large plays a major role in this as well.

The following are what we can do to help curb the said pest problem:

(i) As we all know, mosquitoes are synonymous with filth in that insanitary and dank areas are their favorite breeding grounds.  Therefore, maintaining a sanitary environment is important — Trash and other waste materials must be properly disposed of; water closets must be kept clean and reasonably dry at all times when not in use; and take heed of stagnant water areas such as a pond, bucket of water, flowerpots, et cetera, for they must be managed well (Empty and change the water in flowerpots, water storage containers, receptacles, vases, and the like regularly on alternate days).

(ii) Periodic organization of public cleaning campaigns is highly encouraged and recommended.  Street cleaning and disposal of scattered garbage piles can be an effective solution to minimizing the dengue problem.  Concentrate on garbage dumps and moist areas for these are the hotbeds for mosquito breeding.

(iii) To avoid infection with breakbone fever as a result of Aedes mosquito bites, it is advisable to use mosquito repellent often and to wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants as added protections.  Moreover, installing mosquito screens in windows and covering your bed with mosquito net when you sleep will help to reduce the risk too.

(iv) Engage a professional pest controller for a more thorough and complete mosquito control solution.

We must disencumber the luxury of our complacency and start acting now before the situation gets even worse.

Contact AntiPest (03-8023 1888) today for a free and non-obligatory consultation and inspection to safeguard the health of your family and your loved ones.  Kindly visit our website at http://www.antipest.com.my for more information.

References
http://www.thestar.com.my/Lifestyle/Health/2014/02/09/The-dengue-menace/
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/dengue-deaths-soar-in-malaysia
http://www.dengue.gov.sg/subject.asp?id=101
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Tips on Getting Rid of Dust Mites

Dust mites are one of the most common bugs that invade our everyday lives.  You may not be visually aware of their existence but they are almost everywhere on your bed and sofas in your house; this is because they are extremely minute in size and their microscopic, spiderlike body is barely visible to the naked eye; consider this our lucky trait because, if we were able to see them, we would be startled by their sheer numbers in that they swarm in millions.

Dust mites live in warm-weathered conditions (with temperatures of 70 Fahrenheit and above) and they also crave for humid environment (humidity level: 75-80%).  Places where these tiny little creatures can be found include mats, bedding, upholstery, curtains, stuffed animals, etc.  They love to feed on flakes of dead skin shed by humans and animals.   A lot of people are allergic to dust mites and the allergy symptoms can include skin itchiness, runny nose, red spots on the skin, watery eyes, and even asthma.

Getting rid of dust mites completely is not possible due to their massive numbers.  However, you can somehow reduce their numbers by adopting the following methods:

(i) Wash all your bedclothes (blanket, bedsheet, mattress pad, comforter, pillow cover, etc.) on a weekly basis in hot water with temperature of no less than 130-degree Fahrenheit to kill off the mites; after this, dry the bedclothes in a hot dryer.  Non-washable material can be placed in the fridge overnight for 48 hours because dust mites can also be killed via extreme cool temperature.

(ii) When not in use, encase your pillows and mattresses with anti-allergen, dust-proof covers; use the covers made of plastic if possible, for dust mites cannot survive in plastic material.

(iii) Equip your room with a dehumidifier to control the level of humidity.  Maintain a humidity level of 50% or below.  It’s best to go for a level at 35%.

(iv) To better control the infestation of dust mites, it would be best to remove the carpets and install the bare floors with tile, wood or linoleum and to replace curtains with roll-up window shades.  Furthermore, replace any wool and fabric bedding with synthetic material.  For example, use pillows made of polyester fibers in lieu of kapok.

(v) Clean the floors with a damp mop or rag and vacuum the carpets and upholstered furniture once or twice a week.  Use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter because this type of vacuum cleaner is powerful enough to contain the allergens and prevent them from escaping through the vacuum’s exhaust; furthermore, it is also able to pick up the feces as well as the eggs of dust mites .  Be sure to wear a mask when you do vacuuming to avoid accidentally inhaling allergens.

(vi) If you have a furry pet, say, a dog, groom it regularly.  Brush your dog’s fur and wipe its coat with a damp washcloth, especially when it just enters the house from the garden.

For other pest problems, kindly visit our website at http://www.antipest.com.my or call AntiPest (03-8023 1888) today.

References:

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20276

http://www.wikihow.com/Get-Rid-of-Dust-Mites

http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/dust-allergies

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Insects – Our Next Best Food Source

bugs as food (03)Following the overpopulation of earthlings from year to year, it is predicted in the 2013 report by the Food and Agriculture Organization that, by 2050, food production will have to be increased by 70% to meet the demands of 2.3 billion growing populace!  The aching question now concerns the gradually declining food resources.  How are we going to produce an additional 200 tonnes of meat to feed the ever increasing mouths on Earth?  Addison Lilholt, a renowned science teacher at Green Woods Charter School, has the answer: the addition of insects to the existing food group.

bugs as food (01)There are way more insects on Earth than humans in that the reproduction rate of the former transcendently surpasses that of the latter.  Because of this factor, insects have become an untapped food resource due to the fact that, not only are many of them edible, a vast number of the species provide high amounts of unimaginable nutrition, proteins and even calcium.  Countries like Thailand, where the people have already adopted the culture of eating insects like cockroaches, crickets, and the like.  Such “trend” is nothing to be alarmed of … It is the same conception when we were first introduced to the world of Japanese sashimi … of eating completely raw seafood back in the early 90s.

bugs as food (02)

In some countries, you can find insect ingredients and food in some of the grocery stores and dining places.  There are crackers and bread baked with cricket flour (crickets have lots of calcium in them, plus, they are gluten free), expensive canned ant eggs that taste like caviar, crispy mealworms that taste like French fries, tarantulas taste deliciously like soft-shell crabs, et cetera.  But there’s only one way to eat the bugs – they must be fully cooked.

Reference:

http://www.phillyvoice.com/eating-insects-food-trends-bugyum/

 

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