A poisonous spider from Australia is spinning its web across Japan, with sightings of the pesky arachnid increasing to about half of the country’s prefectures.
On Wednesday, the environment ministry warned the public to be on the lookout for the redback spider, which has been spotted in 23 of the country’s 47 prefectures. The creepy crawler has been invading Japan in growing numbers since one hitched a ride on a shipping container from Australia in 1995.
The redback spider, distinguished by the fireball marking on its black back, has become a seasonal pest in big port regions in western Japan like Osaka and Fukuoka. But the ministry said the migratory spider has become more ambitious, reaching farther into Japan, from Miyagi prefecture in the chilly northeast to the beaches of Okinawa in the southwest.
Smaller than a thumb tack, the redback injects a potent neurotoxin when it clamps down on a victim’s skin. Victims could suffer from nausea, headaches, heavy perspiration and chest pains. An anti-venom discovered in 1956 has helped cut fatalities from the spider’s lethal bite, and so far no deaths have been recorded in Japan. However, anti-venom had to be administered to an 86-year-old woman in Fukuoka in early September, after she was bitten by a redback hiding in her shoe.There have been over 100 sightings of the spider in Fukuoka city so far this year.
The redback has been recorded in 18 prefectures until now, according to the National Institute for Environmental Studies. It is also creeping closer to Tokyo. The industrial city of Kawasaki, located in neighboring Kanagawa prefecture, had its first sighting ever on Monday. The city raised an alert after one spider and three eggs were discovered in a private home on Monday.
Authorities have warned the public not to touch the spider, which is relatively passive when left alone and can be killed with pesticide. Redbacks thrive in warm temperatures and tend to pop up from June to October, but the spiders have been found to be hanging about longer in recent years, taking refuge near heat-emitting appliances like vending machines.
Here are some fun facts:
1. Dragonflies can fly 36 miles (58k) an hour.
2. A click beetle plays dead by lying on its back, then snaps a hinge, [licks his body up in the air, and scuttles away to live another day.
3. Some caterpillars store poisonous chemicals in their brightly-colored bodies that make birds sick.
4. Glowworms have a blue light that shines from their abdomens in attracts smaller insects for food.
5. Queen bees lay over 1,000 eggs a day; queen termites lay over 30,000 eggs a day.
From the NPMA’s Bed Bugs in America Survey:
- One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel
- Americans who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes. The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.
- Bed bugs are found in all 50 states. Specifically, the pests were encountered by 17 percent of respondents in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West.
- Most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and believe that infestations in the United States are increasing. Nearly 80 percent are most concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels; 52 percent on public transportation; 49 percent in movie theaters; 44 percent in retail stores; 40 percent in medical facilities; 36 percent in their own homes; and 32 percent equally pointed to places of employment and friends’ homes. The fear of getting bitten topped the list of concerns.
- As the public’s awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation: 27 percent have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip; 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs; 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip and 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.
- Sixteen percent of survey respondents inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes; 15 percent have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing and 29 percent have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store.
- Of the 13 percent of respondents who said they knew someone who had a bed bug infestation in their home, 40 percent said they avoided entering the infested home and 33 percent discouraged those who had the infestation from entering their own home.
- Despite the availability of information, most Americans still have misconceptions about bed bugs. Nearly half of respondents incorrectly believe that bed bugs transmit disease. However, research conducted to date has shown that bed bugs do not transmit disease to their human victims, although some people may experience itchy, red welts; 29 percent inaccurately believe bed bugs are more common among lower income households, and 37 percent believe bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes. Bed bugs do not discriminate in regard to household income and are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions.
Other NPMA Bed Bug Facts:
- Bed bugs can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in a lifetime.
- Bed bugs can survive for seveal months without eating.
- Bed bugs can withstand a wide range of temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bed bug draw blood for about five minutes before retreating to digest.
- Bed bugs hatchlings are so small they can pass through a stitch-hole in a mattress.
- Bed bugs can ingest seven times their own weight in blood, which would be the equivalent of an average-sized male drinking 120 gallons of liquid.
- Bed bugs are found in all 50 U.S. states.
3 Keys to a Successful Heat Treatment:
- Bring Heat. Electric bed bug heaters are placed within the space; introducing and recirculating heated air with a target temperature not to exceed 135°F.
- Monitor. Temperatures are monitored in real time from a remote location using wireless sensors to ensure lethal temperatures are reached without damaging the space and its contents.
- Move Air. High temperature fans move heated air throughout the space to reach insects in cracks and crevices or high infestation zones.
Advantages to Heat Treatment:
- Heat Treatment works where chemicals fail. No toxic fumes, no residue.
- Kills every life stage from egg to adult.
- Unlike chemicals bed bugs are attracted to heat – they won’t simply move to re-infest another day.
- Infested items will not need to be thrown away.
- Our trucks are discrete and the process is completed in one working day.
Heat Treatment is a proven non-chemical method of killing bed bugs. All life stages (adult, larva, and eggs) die within minutes at a temperature of 120 degrees F. Using 460 volt electric heaters powered by a trailer mounted diesel generator. Heat Treatment introduces temperatures greater than 120 degrees F(lethal temperature) and less than 140 degrees F (content damaging temperature).
Heat Treatment monitors temperatures in real time with 24 wireless sensors placed in treated areas to ensure lethal temperatures are reached throughout the area and its contents. High temperature blowers are positioned to move the heated air throughout the space, through mattresses, baseboards, cracks and crevices.
Depending on room furnishings, floor surfaces, clutter and square footage the treatment will take between 7 and 12 hours.
California bed bug control
Epic Hornet vs. Honey Bee Battle
A gang of 30 Japanese hornets slaughter 30,000 European honey bees in the most intense battle between insects since Honey I Shrunk The Kids.
Checkout this funny pest Meme below! 🙂
USDA Awards $33 Million for Pest Management Research
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded more than $33 million to support research and extension activities addressing pest management issues that have human health, environmental and economic consequences across the nation. The awards were made by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
Fiscal year 2012 pest management awards were funded through 10 programs:
• Regional Integrated Pest Management Centers
• Regional Integrated Pest Management Grants Program
• Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP)
• Pest Management Alternatives Program
• National Plant Diagnostic Network
• Methyl Bromide Transitions
• Minor Crop Pest Management (IR-4)
• Expert IPM Decision Support System
• Extension Integrated Pest Management Coordination and Support Program
• Promoting Integrated Pest Management in Affordable Housing
Click here for a complete list of individual awards.
Download “The Pest Detectives,” a free children’s eBook that teaches children about bugs, entomology and the pest management profession.
Experts at McCauley Brothers propose several tips to avoid termite infestations:
- As most termites are attracted to moisture, avoid water accumulation near your home’s foundation. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
- Quickly repair house damage from a leaky roof or window as termites can thrive in this moisture.
- Never bury wood scraps or waste lumber in the yard, especially near the building. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building.
- Most importantly, eliminate any wood contact with the soil. Maintaining a 1-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal.
Recognizing the destruction termites can cause, it is important to be aware of infestation warning signs:
- Swarming of winged forms in the fall and spring – termites can easily be confused with flying ants.
- Evidence of mud tunneling in, over and under wood structures
- Wooden structures exhibit darkening or blistering
- Damaged wood becomes extremely thin and can be easily punctured by a knife or a screwdriver
“As termites are known to cause over $5 billion dollars in damage each year, virtually all experts recommend calling a pest professional to protect one of your most important investments, your home, from termite infestation,” says Missy Henriksen, NPMA vice president of public affairs.
Professionals offer the specialized skills necessary to rid a home of termite infestation: knowledge of building construction, an ability to identify termite species and the knowledge of applicable methods of termite control.
For further information, visit pestworld.org and http://www.mbpest.com