Secret Site Map
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Home News Birds May Use Cigarette Butts to Repel Pests

Birds May Use Cigarette Butts to Repel Pests

Bird Management

A team of ecologists discovered that urban birds may be inserting cigarette butts into the lining of their nests in order to repel arthropods.

| December 7, 2012

A team of ecologists discovered that urban birds may be inserting cigarette butts into the lining of their nests in order to repel arthropods.

The scientists published their findings in the journal Biology Letters. Chemicals in the tobacco leaves are known to repel parasitic mites. Researchers examined the nests of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and house finches (Carpodacus mexicanus), measuring the amount of cellulose acetate, a component of cigarette butts. The more there was of it, the fewer parasitic mites were found.

Heat traps were used to see whether the repellent effect of cigarette butts was related to their nicotine content or other features. The traps, which use heat to lure parasites close, were fitted with cellulose fibers from smoked and unsmoked cigarettes.

The devices with unsmoked butts had many more parasites than devices with smoked butts, which contained more nicotine. In nests that contained bird eggs, traps with unsmoked butts caught on average more than twice as many parasites.

Read more at http://www.nature.com/news/city-birds-use-cigarette-butts-to-smoke-out-parasites-1.11952

Source: Nature.com

 

Top news

Mosquitoes 'Smell' and 'Taste' DEET and other Repellents

Mosquitoes not only have a sense of smell for certain insect repellents, but they also have a sense of taste for these chemicals, according to scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

California Movie Theater Closes Due to Bed Bug Concerns

A bed bug infestation has shut down Lodi Stadium 12 Cinemas Sunday afternoon until Tuesday after concerns from customers were raised on the theater's Facebook page.

European Bee Health Levels Improve, Bayer Reports

New field data from nearly 400,000 bee colonies from 21 countries in Europe and the Mediterranean show that overwintering losses of honey bee colonies – a leading indicator of general bee health – are at their lowest level in years.

Ford Launches New Transit Van

Company brings ‘the pick-up truck of Europe’ stateside to replace its E-series platform.

Bees are No. 1 Bug Killer of Workers, Labor Department Reports

Bees were responsible for more workplace deaths (52) than spiders, wasps and ants combined, according to a new U.S. Labor Department report.