Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in Entomology Today, a project of the Entomological Society of America with the goal of reporting interesting discoveries in the world of insect science and news from various entomological societies. To learn more, visit www.entomologytoday.org.
Recently two new Chilean species of stink bugs were discovered and named after Drogon and Viserion, dragons of the TV series “Game of Thrones,” based on A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin.
My colleagues — Mariom Carvajal at the Instituto de la Patagonia, University of Magallanes, and David Rider, Ph.D., at North Dakota State University — and I named these two species because some ornaments of their coloration resemble dragons seen on the TV series. Neoacledra drogon has large dark purple wings and reddish ornaments, whereas Neoacledra viserion has some creamy, ivory-colored patches on its body.
The description of these two new species recently was published in the journal Arquivos Entomolóxicos, and both species inhabit the rainforest in southern Chile.
For us, time to time, it is fun to choose some creative names for the species we describe. In this case, it also may help us to get our “Game of Thrones” fix while we are waiting two long years for the new and final season of this series. In addition, as these species are rare and mostly unknown, giving them notable names can increase awareness and help people get to know a little bit more of our still undiscovered biodiversity.
We believe this effort is going in the right direction, as the species have caught widespread media attention. Subsequently, more people now know that these stink bug species are native to Chile and that they are not agricultural pests like the painted bug or the brown marmorated stink bug, which are currently a big problem in Chile. In this way, it also may help to protect their conservation status, as we hope people will not apply pest control products if they see a few specimens of these little dragons. As of now, N. drogon and N. viserion seem to be quite scarce and possibly restricted to small areas.
Eduardo I. Faúndez, Ph.D., is an entomologist at the Instituto de la Patagonia, University of Magallanes, in Punta Arenas, Chile. His major research areas are systematics of the Heteroptera and medical zoology.
Click the image below to read the report.
J.F. Oakes recently announced its new Pro-Pest UV LED Flashlight, which is rechargeable, more powerful and features a new lower price. The firm says the Pro-Pest UV LED Flashlight is a 3-watt, high-power UV flashlight with a 3-volt battery and on/off switch. LEDs are energy saving and contain no filament to burn out or break. The Pro-Pest UV LED Flashlight can be used to fluoresce rodent urine and to locate rodent habitats. The Pro-Pest UV LED Flashlight comes individually boxed with an AC adapter and a holster.
Convectex’s heaters are designed to eradicate bed bugs in hotels, apartments and single-family homes. The company’s equipment does not require a generator to power it, nor does it need a special vehicle or trailer to transport. Convectex’s heaters allow pest control professionals to perform isolated heat treatments as well as full structure treatments.
The firm also owns and operates the North American Bed Bug Training Center, where PMPs from the United States and Canada are taught to effectively use heat to eradicate bed bugs. Classes are held monthly.
Aprilaire’s new Model 1820 Crawlspace Dehumidifier helps protect against structural damage to the home from mold, pests and rot caused by excess humidity. With a moisture removal capacity of 70 pints per day, a streamline design and a weight of just 56 pounds, it’s an ideal solution for humidity management following pest remediation, the firm says.
In addition to dehumidification, the 1820 also can be programmed to circulate air in the crawlspace, evening out temperature and humidity levels. Energy efficient, effective and easy to install, the Model 1820 is a dehumidifier designed specifically for pest management professionals and the challenging conditions they work in, Aprilaire says.
The Ontario Pesticides Advisory Committee (“OPAC”) announced the official scheduling of OvoControl P. In addition to the federal registration by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (“PMRA”) in Health Canada, Ontario requires an additional regulatory process called “Scheduling” prior to any sale in the province. OvoControl P is now approved under the PMRA Registration #32670 and Class 4 in Ontario and available through distributors. OvoControl P is a ready-to-use bait, dispensed on flat rooftops with an automatic wildlife feeder. This effective and humane technology is especially useful for managing pigeon flocks in larger areas without having to use avicides or trapping programs, the firm says.
Perspexi Labs created Outreach to make it easy for PMPs to gather real-time feedback from customers. Using automated text message conversations, Perspexi Labs says it helps get positive reviews from the happiest customers, and get in touch with the angry ones to turn their experience around.
Outreach automatically sends texts after customer interactions. The customer responds via simple text messages and Outreach collects and analyzes the results. Real-time dashboards show the PMP feedback as it arrives and scores are instantly updated and available. The firm says customers are 7.5 times more likely to respond to a text than an email. When sent within a few hours of your service, response rates of transactional texts average 45 percent, much higher than both email and phone, the company says, and are more convenient and less intrusive for customers.
ReachOut Suite is a field service solution that improves operational efficiency by eliminating paperwork and streamlining processes with mobile-based forms and workflow, manufacturer Fingent says. The company says if your company is using paper forms or spreadsheets, switching to ReachOut can lower costs up to 25 percent. In addition, ReachOut will help PMPs maximize the productivity of their team and increase the billable hours of field service personnel by more than 5 percent.
With GPS-integrated scheduling of incidences, work orders, audits and inspections, PMPs will have full visibility of resource utilization and service delivery effectiveness. Users will be much better able to organize, schedule, track, execute and analyze field services, which will eliminate the need for-large “service windows,” the company says. ReachOut also is particularly well suited for service situations involving sophisticated data collection or checklist-driven procedures, the firm adds.
Field personnel can run ReachOut on their own tablets or smartphones. Once they download their assignment, they don’t have to be online to collect information, add photos, collect signatures or refer to service documents while onsite.
Inert Gas Injection (IGI)
In January, EPA approved IGI Pesticidal CO2 for the fumigation of burrowing rodents and other pests. The product is to be used as a pesticide, used in conjunction with IGI Delivery Systems, for the control and abatement of burrowing rodents and other pests that plague commodities, goods, crop production, and processing and handling.
IFI says the delivery of CO2 is safe, has no negative effect on the environment and has no residual effects. The company adds it is safe to use around children, pets, livestock and is a valuable solution to control damaging pests, particularly burrowing rodents.
The IGI CO2 pesticide, combined with one of the IGI delivery systems, presents a complete solution for pest abatement and management, the firm says. IGI’s delivery systems include the Eliminator and Eliminator II, used mainly for burrowing rodent control. They also can be used in certain fumigation situations. Eliminator products deliver the CO2 into the soil, displacing oxygen, thereby suffocating and killing the pests. Another benefit of CO2 is that when injected into the soil, it also can act as a fertilizer for plant root systems. IGI Fumigations System(s) are ideal for large and small fumigation projects for all commodities that require fumigation for shipping or storage, the company says.
Editor’s Note: This article was excerpted from a single-topic PCT E-newsletter titled “Targeting Cockroaches,” which was sponsored by Rockwell Labs.
Because of their close association with humans, cockroaches have enjoyed a prominent place in human evolution, culture, science and mythology. Legends abound about the strength, prowess and survivability of the cockroach. So what is fact and what is not? We’re here to set you straight! Read the the following statements to find out if they’re true or false...1. Cockroaches can run faster than humans.
Not really. Cockroaches can run about 3 miles per hour, which is about walking pace for humans. If speed were factored by size, the cockroach would certainly have the advantage, but then you’d also have to consider the fact that they have six legs while humans have only two. All that said, however, cockroaches are among the fastest insects in the world.
2. A cockroach can live without its head. This is, in fact, a truth — at least for a week or so. The circulatory system of the cockroach is different than that of humans, so a clot is formed at the site of a wound (or completely severed head), so it would not bleed out as a human would. Additionally, because it has multiple “brains” along the ventral nerve cord that process sensory input or controls motor functions, and it can breathe through holes in its body segments, the cockroach can continue to live until it needs food or water. But without a mouth, it has no way to get this sustenance.3. Cockroaches can swim. Yes, the American cockroach can swim almost 4 inches a second and “hold its breath” for 40 minutes. So, because this cockroach is known to inhabit sewers, it is, indeed, an unfortunate fact that they can come into a home from the sewer system, making their way through plumbing traps and swimming up into toilets.
4. A cockroach bite can hurt – a lot! Yes, this is true too. A study by Cambridge University researchers found that the force of a bite by an American cockroach is five times greater than that of a human, and 50 times its body weight. Thankfully, though, while cockroaches have been known to bite humans, this is not a common occurrence.5. Cockroach milk is a new super food (and one of the most nutritious substances known). True! Researchers in India who analyzed cockroach milk found it to be a complete food, rich in proteins, fats and sugars, and it contains peptides that can impart significant health advantages. In fact, they found cockroach milk to be three times as nutritionally rich as buffalo milk, and four times as concentrated as cow’s milk.
6 . If you have a cockroach problem, it most likely came in with potatoes, so getting rid of the potatoes will get rid of the cockroaches. Uh, no. Although cockroaches certainly could be brought in with any food or item from an infested store or supplier, they are no more likely to be present in potatoes than anything else. Collins Pest Management President Dan Collins said he often hears customers blame a cockroach problem on a potato purchase. Perhaps it is because they’ve heard that cockroaches are attracted to starches or because potatoes are often shipped in net bags. “I don’t know why,” Collins said. “I’ve never really seen them with potatoes, but potatoes seem to have become the default ‘blame game.’”
7. The ultimate factoid: Cockroaches could survive a nuclear explosion. The answer: Maybe. Factoids about cockroaches and nuclear weapons are so common that Discovery Channel’s MythBusters took on the challenge to test its validity. Their finding: “Plausible.” Here’s why: Using German cockroaches as their subjects, the MythBusters exposed three groups of cockroaches to three different levels of radioactive metal cobalt 60 for a month: 1,000 (which would kill a human in 10 minutes), 10,000 and 100,000 rads.
The results: After 30 days: 50 percent of the group exposed to 1,000 rads and 10 percent of those to 10,000 rads were still alive, but all those exposed to 100,000 rads died. Thus, the “plausible” verdict — cockroaches could survive an atomic bomb depending on its intensity. Additionally, since only the German cockroach was tested, which is one of the smallest species, there is plausibility that other species could survive at even greater levels.
A similar verdict was reached by Purdue University Professor of Urban Pest Management Gary Bennett: Will cockroaches be the last surviving creature on this earth? “Who knows — could be true, considering their adaptability,” he said.
So, who started this cockroach survivability rumor anyway? And why? According to the MythBusters episode summary from Discovery, shortly after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, reports came out that cockroaches were among the Japanese cities’ only survivors. Then, the summary states, “during the Cold War, anti-nuclear activists and scientists spread the myth far and wide as a cautionary tale of the atom bomb’s destructive potential.”