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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The Age of Zika Virus Is Near – A No-Cure Disease Once Contacted

Aedes aegypti mosquitoZika virus, originated from monkeys in Uganda’s Zika Forest, now spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, is gradually becoming pandemic on a global level.  To date, it has already spread across a number of continents since its discovery, from Africa to Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, France, Brazil, the US, etc.; at least 20 countries are found to have the presence and cases of this catastrophic virus.  In Brazil alone, thousands of people have been infected with this deadly disease.  A worldwide outbreak of this virus is just a matter of time.

Spread of Zika virusThe World Health Organization (WHO) has called upon an emergency committee of disease experts to study this virus and come up with a vaccine which is said to be possibly available for testing in two years’ time and which might not be accessible to the public until a decade later.  At current stage, there is no cure available for this disease and, the worse thing is that there is no rapid diagnostic test to identify whether a person is infected with this disease until the symptoms show.

microcephalyThe symptoms for this disease include dengue fever, joint pain, rashes, bilateral conjunctivitis, sore throat, flu-like aches, et cetera; however, some people display no symptom at all.  The virus can raise a disturbing concern for the pregnant women because, if a pregnant woman is infected with the Zika virus, it can cause microcephaly in the unborn baby and will later affect and impair the brain development of the child when he/she grows up.

transmission cycleSince there is presently no cure for this disease, prevention has become our only defense; and the only way to shun this incurable disease is to have proper mosquito control and treatment.  Common mosquito habitats such as stagnant water must be cleared regularly, wetlands and outdoor areas must be fogged, drains must be treated with larvicidal agent, and so forth.

In a nutshell, mosquitoes bring us not only dengue and yellow fever but other surprises such as the Zika virus as well.  Such deadly virus should not be taken lightly.

Having mosquito problem in your house, office, apartment, or factory?  Call AntiPest (03-8023 1888) today and our pest control professionals will attend to your mosquito problem in no time.

References:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-35425731

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/21/5/14-1960_article

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35370848

 

 

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Beware of Khapra Beetles in Your Bowl of Rice

Khapra beetle (01)khapra beetle (02)Khapra beetle is one of the most destructive pests to stored grain and other cereal products.  Believe it or not, such a teeny-weeny pest can destroy 30 to 70% of your grain and seeds.

One of the shocking cases has it that, back in early 2011, the US customs officials seized a shipment of Indian rice that came in from Saudi Arabia after they had discovered that the rice was infested with live khapra beetles as well as their larvae!  As a result, the questionable goods were destroyed.

Khapra beetles are difficult to eliminate, not to mention the difficulty in controlling the infestation caused by such pests.  This is because khapra beetles are highly resistant to surface insecticides and fumigants.  Moreover, they can live without food for long periods of time; ergo, they are one of the strongest survivors in the insect family.

The presence of khapra beetles in many regions of the world has made them an almost worldwide nuisance.  Fortunately for us Malaysians, to date, there hasn’t been a reported case of serious infestation or outbreak according to the report by EPPO.  However, we have to be made aware that, wherever there are grain stocks around, there is always a possibility that such creepy critter could be lurking nearby.

References:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8242593/Worlds-most-dangerous-pest-found-in-bag-of-rice-at-LA-airport.html

https://www.hungrypests.com/the-threat/khapra-beetle.php

http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/55010#20127201272

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Getting Rid of Fleas

Fleas –Pesky bloodsuckers

Fleas are extremely pesky and external parasites.  This is because fleas have mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood.  They live off the blood from mammals which include us humans, bats and also birds.

These nasty bloodsuckers are one of the best jumpers of all known insects as they can leap 200 times their own body length which is an amazing feat, second only to froghoppers.

It is well known that fleas are tough to kill as they can jump so fast from one place to another that they seem to disappear and appear a few feet away.  Furthermore, the body of a flea is hard, polished and covered with many hairs and short spines.  The tough and tiny body is able to withstand great pressure, likely an adaptation to survive through attempts by humans to eliminate them by mashing or scratching.  This can be disconcerting as even hard squeezing between the fingers is normally insufficient to kill a flea unless you have long nails which can be used to crush the pest.

Eliminating Fleas

Step 1

Having a pet at home has a high likelihood that you would be getting flea attacks.  If your cat or dog is infested with fleas, well, it definitely has to be shampooed.  There should be no problem washing dogs, but, for felines is an entirely different matter as water is like heaven and hell to them.  Anyhow, flea shampoos are readily available in many hypermarkets and pet stores.

 

 

 

 

 

You can simply run a bathtub full of warm or cool water, gently place your squirming pet in the water and use a cup to prerinse it.  Apply soap thoroughly, focusing especially on the areas where the fleas may be.  The biggest mistake you can make is rinsing the soap off right away.  If your dog is whining, just let it whine as it is for the better.  When you see fleas leaping out of your dog’s fur and into the water to be drowned, your dog is flea free and you can proceed to rinse the soap off your pet.

Step 2

The yard is a place where fleas roam freely.  The easiest solution at this stage is to use a flea pesticide which usually comes in a spray bottle that you can spray in your yard.  The best way is to start from the edges of your house and slowly work your way to the middle.  This will keep new fleas from coming into your home.

Step 3

The biggest challenge is to vacuum your house thoroughly as this will suck up any fleas, living or dead.  Other than vacuuming, you could use a flea bomb which will fog your house.  The only drawback of this method is that you have to get out of your house for a few hours for the fogging mist to dissipate.

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Bed Bug Control

Bed bug (01)Bed bug is one of the most difficult pests to control. To completely get rid of them is an almost impossible task largely because of their vast numbers and insanely fast reproduction cycle, plus, they are everywhere! The worst part is, when they are in larval form, they are immune to numerous kinds of treatment. To effectively control them will require a number of endeavors and it can take weeks and even months to see the result, depending on the extent of the infestation; ergo, a one-time treatment job will not do them justice.

bed bugsFor better control of bed bugs, we must first identify and inspect the infestation area. Necessary treatment will be carried out upon detection of the infested area (What sort of treatment are we talking about here? We’ll come to that later below). Items that are infested with bed bugs but cannot be treated must be isolated and placed in a sealed plastic bag until the bed bugs in it are dead (well, the period of time it takes for such isolation and the demise of the bugs varies and can take up to a year!). An alternative is to dispose of the infested things (if they are not so valuable to you), seal them up and place them in the trash can.

There are few methods to treat bed bugs:

(i) Non-chemical treatment – “Expose” the bed bugs to high degree of heat or extreme cold temperature at 0o F. Seal the items infested with bed bugs in a black plastic bag and place the bag under direct sunlight or place it in a fridge for 4 days; if the temperature of your refrigerator is not set to 0o F, it will have no effect in killing the bed bugs. Such methods won’t be able to help you to totally eliminate the bed bugs but their numbers can be reduced.

(ii) Chemical treatment – Engage a pest control professional who will use different kinds of chemical to properly control the bed bug infestation. However, treating bed bugs is a long-term monitoring process which will require cooperation between both parties, i.e. the customer and the pest controller, and each must do his or her part in properly controlling the infestation of bed bugs.

Bed bug interceptor(iii) Gadget – Place bed bug interceptors under the legs of furniture for catching bed bugs and preventing them from climbing up to the furniture as well.

Feel free to contact AntiPest at 03-8023 1888 should you have any bed bug problem.

References:
http://www2.epa.gov/bedbugs/do-it-yourself-bed-bug-control#identify
http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-bedbugs (image source only)
http://www2.epa.gov/bedbugs/bed-bugs-appearance-and-life-cycle (image source only)

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