Ecuadorean authorities say the unique bird and reptile species that make the Galapagos Islands a treasure for scientists and tourists must be preserved — and that means the rats must die, hundreds of millions of them, according to an article on NBCMiami.com.
A helicopter is to begin dropping nearly 22 tons of specially designed bait on an island Thursday, launching the second phase of a campaign to clear out by 2020 non-native rodents from the archipelago that helped inspire Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. The bait, developed by Bell Laboratories in the United States, is contained in light blue cubes that attract rats but are repulsive to other inhabitants of the islands. The one-centimeter-square cubes disintegrate in a week or so.
The invasive Norway and black rats, introduced by whalers and buccaneers beginning in the 17th century, feed on the eggs and hatchlings of the islands' native species, which include giant tortoises, lava lizards, snakes, hawks and iguanas. Rats also have depleted plants on which native species feed.
The rats have critically endangered bird species on the 19-island cluster 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from Ecuador's coast.
"It's one of the worst problems the Galapagos have. (Rats) reproduce every three months and eat everything," said Juan Carlos Gonzalez, a specialist with the Nature Conservancy involved in the Phase II eradication operation on Pinzon island and the islet of Plaza Sur.
Phase I of the anti-rat campaign began in January 2011 on Rabida island and about a dozen islets, which like Pinzon and Plaza Sur are also uninhabited by humans.
The goal is to kill off all nonnative rodents, beginning with the Galapagos' smaller islands, without endangering other wildlife. The islands where humans reside, Isabela and Santa Cruz, will come last.
Previous efforts to eradicate invasive species have removed goats, cats, burros and pigs from various islands.
|Ultra Safe Pest Management welcomes Aerosmith.|
Editor’s note: Boston's Ultra Safe Pest Management was “thrown a curveball” when former neighbor Aerosmith showed up for an unannounced free concert outside the company’s Commonwealth Ave. office. Ultra Safe recounted the day’s events in the following article submitted to PCT.
BOSTON, Mass. — Monday mornings are usually anything but quiet at Ultra Safe's Commonwealth Ave office. "Monday's are hectic to say the least," said Vic Palermo, Ultra Safe President. "Despite being a 24-hour service company, I think many of our customers wait until Monday to call in."
In addition to large call volume, Palermo says that Mondays always seem to throw a “curveball at us in some shape or form."
Monday Nov. 5, 2012, would set a new standard for craziness! In the weeks leading up to [that date], rumors were swirling that the rock band Aerosmith was going to be performing a free concert somewhere in their native hometown of Boston, Mass, to promote the release of their new album.
It was Friday afternoon when the announcement was made on TV and radio Stations across the city: "Boston's Bad Boys, Aerosmith will play a free concert at 1325 Commonwealth Avenue, right in front of their very first apartment. It will take place at noon on Monday," read one headline.
|Aerosmith rocks out in front of its old Commonwealth Ave digs.|
"I was like, ‘What did they just say?’ A quick Internet search confirmed I wasn't hearing things. They were talking about the building right next door. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, this place is going to be a zoo on Monday!"
When Palermo left his office Friday evening, he could already see media gathering out front. "As I drove in early Monday morning, the streets were already being blocked off around our shop. I had to park three streets away. Approaching on foot I noticed that police officers were blocking foot traffic from our side of the street. They only let me pass after I told them that I worked in the building."
|Aerosmith brought out celebrities like Tom Brady, shown here chatting with Aerosmith's Brad Whitford.|
Palermo said the band played about eight to nine songs on the back of a flat bed truck. "They sounded awesome! I was really impressed by the sound quality. At one point I went back into the office to check on things. We could still hear the music loud and clear from inside of our office. I remember talking to a customer on the phone with the song ‘Back in the Saddle’ cranking in the background. The customer was like, ‘Wow the radio is loud in there huh?’ I said, ‘No, that's Aerosmith playing a live concert out front.’
Palermo and the rest of his staff at Ultra Safe, will never forget the Monday that one of the greatest bands of all time rocked their Commonwealth Ave. office!
This year's program offers a mix of in-depth management sessions, interactive hands-on training and technical courses featuring the latest research, the organizations said.
NPMA highlighted the following reasons to attend:
- More than 15 sessions with the opportunity to earn recertification credits.
- A variety of formats including technical training, business workshops and keynote sessions with industry experts.
- An exhibitor showcase featuring new tools and technologies.
- Networking with over 150 pest management professionals from the region.
Learn more about the conference and register here.
FAIRFAX, Va. – The Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) announced the release of its free e-book that teaches children about bugs, entomology and the pest management profession. The digital book, “The Pest Detectives,” is written by Susan Carraretto, author of the popular mom blog 5MinutesforMom, and is illustrated by Colleen Madden.
“The Pest Detectives” follows the adventures of Millie, an 8-year-old budding-entomologist, as she solvesreal-life pest mysteries with her father, a pest professional. Readers can join Millie as she shares stories of past pest investigations logged in her scrapbook, and as she embarks on a new case to determine the secret behind Mrs. Romero's pest problem. Along the way, Millie educates readers on a variety of pests and offers prevention tips through colorful illustrations and stories.
“Members of our industry can all agree on the importance of teaching children about the fascinating world of insects and the vital role pest management professionals play in keeping our families and homes safe from the property and health risks posed by household pests,” said Missy Henriksen, executive director, PPMA. “The Pest Detectives” is the latest addition to the growing library of educational resources available for consumers on Pestworld.org.
Author Susan Carraretto founded 5MinutesforMom, rated a Top Family Blog by the Wall Street Journal, with her twin sister Janice.
“Creating this e-book in partnership with the Professional Pest Management Alliance has been a wonderful experience,” said Carraretto. “I wanted to write something my kids would enjoy reading and I love how the story and visualization of Millie came to life through the illustrations.”
“Susan is an exceptionally strong writer who knows how to captivate her audience and we were really excited to work with her to share a glimpse of what a day in the life of a pest professional can entail,” Henriksen added.
The e-book is available for free on the PPMA-funded NPMA consumer website, PestWorld.org, in the iBookstore and the Barnes and Noble Nook store. It is also available in the Amazon Kindle Store. Paperback versions of the e-book will soon be available for purchase at the NPMA Bugstore.
PPMA Guardians and Contributors will all receive a complimentary version of the printed book and can post an exclusive web badge on their web sites offering the e-book to their visitors.