Arizona State University is currently holding its fourth annual Ugly Bug Contest and the winner at the moment is the Flower Beetle! The Flower Beetle?!? No way!
They are expecting over 35,000 votes in the contest this year’s western-themed contest, “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugliest Bug Contest.” The insects must compete in all three categories of the title, since the benefits they bring can mitigate their unappealing aesthetics.
Bed bugs are competing against such strong contenders as the Damsel Bug, the Green Lacewing, the Seed Beetle and the Flea Beetle, among others. I personally don’t see how any bug named a “Lacewing” can be all that ugly but there are electron microscope pictures of all the contestants on their website, so go see for yourself.
A new feature in this year’s contest is the addition of “Six-Legged Recipes” which include information about cultures which commonly eat bugs and some “fun” snacks like “Bug Bars” and “Chocolate Covered Crispies.”
Voting is open until December 15th, so head on over to ASU’s site and let them know that Bed Bugs are the ugliest critters on the list!
Bed bugs were almost wiped out in the United States by the use of DDT. Since the 1950’s however, they have become resistant to the insecticides we use today and spread more easily because of the ease of international travel.
Today, 20% of the American population will admit to either having had bed bugs or knowing someone who has. The incidence of bed bug infestation has increased 500% in the past two years. Heat treatments are the only way to kill all bed bugs, larvae and eggs in one safe, chemical-free treatment. Alliance Environmental Group offers ThermaPureHeat to treat bed bugs in any structure.
Even though lead paint and leaded gasoline have been banned for over thirty years, lead poisoning remains one of the most common pediatric health problems in the US, while being the most preventable. In some communities, over 50% of the homes and apartment buildings were built before 1978 and present at lead poisoning risk to this day.
Sadly, according to the CDC, the risk is highest for minority and low-income children, who are more likely to live in these older residences. The distribution of lead-based health risks and effects is significantly out of balance, falling primarily on these populations.
The risks of lead poisoning include:
* Learning disabilities
* Hearing and visual impairment
* Developmental problems
Children with high levels of lead grow up to have more challenges as well.
Lead poisoning education programs are great for what they are, but rely on families to do the repairs and remediation themselves, which may not be financially viable, especially in today’s weak economy.
The Economic Policy Institute reports that “every $1 spent on controlling lead results in a return of $17-$221” in reduced costs and increased earnings for each child who is protected from lead poisoning. If you live in a house or apartment built before 1978 and have not already tested for lead paint and lead dust, now is a great time to make sure that your home is safe for your family.
If you need help with testing, prevention, clean up after construction or renovation or lead paint removal, please call on Alliance Environmental Group.
Bed bugs have developed resistance to the most common insecticides used to control their populations—pyrethroids. The pests have developed multiple genetic mechanisms to defeat the neurotoxins which are the active ingredients in these chemicals.
The Virginia Tech Vector-Borne Disease Research Group has found genes in the bed bug transcriptome (genes that are expressed) which produce enzymes used to deactivate and break down insecticides. The production of these enzymes is much higher in the bugs with these genes than in a control population. The team also found a mutation in the target gene for pyrethroid insecticides which enhances the resistance of the bed bug nervous system to the chemical’s toxic effects.
The scientists tested a highly resistant population of bed bugs from Virginia against a non-resistant strain from New Jersey that has been raised in the lab since the 1970’s and found that the resistant bugs required 5200 times more of one insecticide and 111 times more of another to kill the insects.
It’s no wonder bed bugs are harder and harder to wipe out and we hear so many stories of thousands of dollars spent by home and business owners attempting to eradicate infestations only to have the bugs come back again and again.
A much safer and effective solution to a bed bug infestation is a heat treatment. Adult bed bugs, larvae and eggs are all killed at temperatures of 150°F (65°C). Alliance Environmental Group can treat anything from an entire structure to a specific area with ThermaPureHeat(r). Heat treatment requires no food bagging, no waiting time to re-enter the structure, no odor or chemicals and causes no harm to people, animals or your relationship with your neighbors.
If you discover a bed bug infestation in your home or office, keep calm and call in a professional. Alliance Environmental Group is here to help!
If you discover that you have bed bugs, stay calm and call in a professional. It will all be over soon.
Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for Alliance Environmental Group and AirTek Indoor Air Solutions. She welcomes your comments! For more news and tips, visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on indoor air challenges, “Like” us at AirTek on Facebook!