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Hot Peppers Tested as a Rodent Deterrent

Hot Peppers Tested as a Rodent Deterrent

MISSOULA, Mont. — Researchers in Montana are testing hot peppers to see if they will deter deer mice from eating grass seeds, the Helenian.com reports.

Dean Pearson, a research scientist with the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station, is toying with ways of attaching the powder derived from the bhut jolokia pepper – one of the hottest known to man – with the seeds of native plants used in restoration work.

“I’ve done work to show that mice can have a big impact on seeds,” said Pearson. “When they put the seeds down to plant, the rodents come and eat them up. So we’re looking to use a cheap and dirty method to protect seeds from mice.”

That cheap and dirty method involves the bhut jolokia pepper, which is used in parts of India to keep elephants away. It also has been considered as a non-lethal weapon to flush criminals and terrorists from hiding places.

One man who ate a bhut jolokia pepper on a dare allegedly spent hours vomiting, sweating and hallucinating. Pearson said such reactions to the pepper pertain to mice and men alike, along with all other mammals, making it an effective deterrent.

Peterson added that he and his team have experimented with waxes and oils, each of which have shown effectiveness, but also have drawbacks.

Click here to read the entire article.

Source: helenair.com

Avoiding the Ravages of Pests During the Zombie Apocalypse

Avoiding the Ravages of Pests During the Zombie Apocalypse

Pest management professionals Rose McMillan and Allie Taisey contributed the following article on pest preparation that is running as part of CDC’s Zombie Preparedness campaign.

Editor’s note: The  Centers for Disease Control and Preparedness is in the midst of a Zombie Preparedness campaign — a fun new way to engage audiences with preparedness messages. The following article — a collaborative effort from pest management professionals Rose McMillan and Allie Taisey — part of this campaign. To learn more visit about CDC’s Zombie Preparedness campaign, visit www.cdc.gov/phpr/zombies.htm.

Have you ever watched a zombie apocalypse on screen and wondered how the characters might deal with the mundane issues that come up in everyday life? For example, how come no one’s hair grows longer and men don’t have long beards? Being a pest control professional, I also think about the not-so-glamour’s realities of pest control in an apocalyptic world.

Yes, surviving the zombie apocalypse is going to be tedious. But it will be even worse if you fail to take precautions against pests. After all, you won’t be able to call up your local pest control company or stop at a store for pest control supplies. As you prepare for the inevitable zombie apocalypse, it’s imperative that you consider the risks of pests thwarting your best-laid zombie apocalypse plan.

I’ve created the following pest control guide to surviving the zombie apocalypse:

Keep Your Food Safe

Food is going to be hard to come by once zombies start roaming the earth. Protect your provisions from pests. Certain items, such as canned goods, will stay good for a long time without any potential pest ramifications. Cereal, grains and other similar foods are a completely different story. Before you store these items in preparation of the ever impending zombie apocalypse, you should remove them from their regular packaging and place them into airtight containers. Doing this will keep moisture out, and it will also keep your food from being infested with roaches or meal moths. Hard plastic containers are a safer bet than bags because they will also keep rodents out too. To make it easy to move in a hurry, all of your food containers can be placed inside of a tote with handles. Even with these precautions in place, you should still place some pest monitors and do a regular inspection of the area where you are storing your apocalypse supplies, just to be on the safe side.

Keep Your Blood to Yourself

If your apocalypse plan involves heading to the woods, then you must avoid areas that have stagnant water. These waters are a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The last thing you want to deal with while a zombie is chasing you is the fever, body aches, and disorientation that can accompany Dengue and the West Nile Virus.

Avoiding Bed-Bug-Induced Insanity

Sufficient sleep is essential for peak mental performance, a major factor in emergency survival.
Unfortunately, bed bugs are likely to proliferate during a zombie apocalypse, robbing you of sleep and sucking your blood—which will doubtlessly attract zombies. If you perform a basic pest inspection and notice bed bugs, their shed skins, or stains on your bedding and furniture, call a professional before they close their doors and head for the hills. Something you should do before a post zombie apocalyptic world, is install monitors for bed bugs and inspect often.

Pack if Possible

If you are allergic to bee stings, make sure that you have some EpiPens in your emergency bag. A good repellent isn’t a bad idea either. No matter how much of a thriller shows like the “Walking Dead” may be, mother nature will continue to exist. That means the ticks, biting flies, chiggers and gnats will be competing with the zombies to find you.

Exclude the Zombies and the Pests

Before a zombie apocalypse happens, seal crevices around the outside of your house, make sure screens are in place, and install door sweeps. Any gap that could fit an insect or mouse should be covered to prevent the pests from getting in and your sweet-zombie-attracting odor from getting out. While you’re at it, trim any bushes and trees that are touching your home. You’ll take away the bridges that pests use to get on your home AND reduce the number of places where zombies can hide.

As you can see, pest control during a zombie apocalypse is critical, but doable. With preventative measures and a regular pest inspection routine, you’ll have a much better chance of getting through the zombie apocalypse alive instead of undead.

Death Toll From WNV Tops 200

Reuters.com: Death Toll From WNV Tops 200

The U.S. outbreak of West Nile virus has killed 219 people this year, after another 36 deaths from the mosquito-borne disease were reported last week, government figures showed Wednesday.

In what is the second-worst year on record for the disease, the total number of cases of West Nile virus across the United States grew to 4,725, with 194 new cases reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Although the pace of new cases has slowed since the outbreak’s peak in the late summer, new cases continue to be reported, particularly in states where warm temperatures persist. This year’s outbreak has trailed only 2003 in total cases.

Just over half of the cases reported to the CDC this year have been of the severe neuroinvasive form of the disease, which can cause meningitis and encephalitis.

The death toll from West Nile is now the highest since 2003, when 264 deaths were reported. The highest number of deaths from West Nile was 284 in 2002.

CDC officials have said deaths often lag weeks to months from the time of infection because of lingering illness.

Almost 70 percent of the cases have been reported in eight states: Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, South Dakota, Michigan and Oklahoma.

More than a third of all cases have been reported in Texas, with Dallas-Fort Worth at the center of the outbreak.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has reported 1,683 cases and 77 deaths, including 915 cases and 36 deaths in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

A 520-million-year-old fossil has provided evidence that complex brains evolved much earlier than previously thought

A 520-million-year-old fossil has provided evidence that complex brains evolved much earlier than previously thought. The 7.6-centimetre preserved skeleton belonged to Fuxianhuia protensa, an extinct invertebrate related to today’s spiders and insects, and contains remnants of optic nerves connected to a three-segment brain. This is the earliest known fossil to show a complex brain, according to the paper published in Nature.

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A little Friday humor for you to enjoy…and remember to call the experts!

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