The Children’s Toy That Captures Insects

No matter how old you may be, you must remember the toys that you had as a child, and you likely still remember which ones were your favorite. In fact, it is not uncommon for adults to purchase toys these days. This is especially true when it comes to toys that make adults feel nostalgic about their childhoods. One toy that was popular in the sixties, and then reintroduced in the nineties as a result of demands made by nostalgic fans, was the product known as “Creepy Crawlies.” This product was famous for making children comfortable with insects, as the product allowed kids to create their own gummy objects that looked like insects. However, this is not the only insect-related product to be sold in toy stores. As it happens, insect-themed toys are more popular than most people would assume. Since it is well known that kids are more well-disposed toward insect encounters than many adults, one toy company has created a product that allows kids to capture their own insects for scientific study.

A toy called “Bug Off” is designed to allow kids to capture the insects that they find while spending time outdoors. The product is shaped like a handheld vacuum and it works much like a vacuum as well. The toy is used to suck insects into a chamber where several insect specimens can be collected for later examination. The vacuum mechanism does not hurt the insects, and it is activated by the pull of a trigger. This product may be beneficial to a child’s academic development, as the toy encourages exploration into insects. For example, the chamber where insects are collected is fitted with a magnifying glass that allows kids to examine the captured insects up close. The product also comes with tweezers in order to enable kids to carefully and safely remove captured insects from the chamber. Ideally, after examining the insects, kids would develop an interest in identifying insects by noting particular physical features.

Do you think that more children’s toys should encourage a child’s natural curiosity concerning insects?

The Many Different Ways In Which Insects And Spiders Can Kill Humans

As you already know, many spiders and insects use venom to defend against predators and disable prey. While arthropod venom is highly effective at killing small insects, venom does not have a fatal effect on humans. Numerous arthropods have adapted the ability to inject venom into the animals that pose a consistent threat to their survival. For insects and spiders, the most significant predatory animals are other insects and spiders, not larger sized mammals. Therefore, arthropod venom is not typically strong enough to kill a human. However, there is a small handful of arthropods that are downright deadly to humans, and history is full of examples that demonstrate this fact. As it turns out, venom is not always a factor in insect-related deaths. You would be surprised at the number of ways in which people have died as a result of insects and spiders. 

You have probably heard the popular children’s nursery rhyme about an old lady’s dubious survival following the seemingly deadly act of swallowing a fly. Well, as it turns out, swallowing a fly can be deadly, as two cases from the late 1800s demonstrates. During 1894 in St. Louis, a young child, Eugene Dixon, swallowed a fly while laughing in his home. An hour later, Eugene fell violently ill. This illness lasted for five days until Eugene died in a state of tremendous pain. The cause of his illness is still a mystery, but doctors considered the filthy fly as a cause.  One year later, in 1895, a sixty year old man, Daniel Miller, died after accidentally swallowing a fly. In this case, doctors theorized that the man was poisoned by a chemical that the fly had picked up from a sticky fly trap.

Deaths by insect also occur as a result of creepy crawlies entering our orifices. For example, during 1907 in Atlantic City, a nine year old boy, Summers Braddock, died after enduring months of severe head pains. An autopsy later revealed that the boy had a large beetle wedged deep within his ear canal. In 1871, within the town of Ashley, Pennsylvania, a two year old died under what had initially been considered mysterious circumstances. An autopsy revealed a large horned beetle in the baby’s digestive tract. Doctors believed that the baby’s mother unwittingly served the baby water from a glass that contained the beetle.

People have even died as a result of butterfly activity, albeit in indirect ways. One incident that occurred in 1899 Connecticut involved a young girl’s fatal fall from a balcony. This fall came as a result of the girl’s attempt to snatch a picaresque butterfly. A boy living in 1907 Kentucky died after a moth became lodged within his windpipe. Sadly, the boy asphyxiated as a result of the blockage. Other insects, such as ants, maggots, bed bugs and roaches, have also been implicated in a number of deaths over the course of human history. So don’t let anybody tell you that insects are harmless.

Have you ever experienced anxiety over the presence of a nearby spider or insect?

You Would Not Believe How Many Insects Are Consumed Each Year By Birds

There exists many predatory insects that pose a serious threat to vulnerable insects, but insects rarely win fights with larger predators, mammalian or otherwise. Insects, due to their small size, do not stand a chance of survival against animals like birds. As far as insects are concerned, birds are a source of terror. Birds are a major consumer of insects, and scientists have recently determined the amount of insects that are consumed by birds in a year. You can imagine how much one single cricket or ant weighs, so imagine how many individual insects are contained within four hundred and fifty to five hundred and fifty tons of insects. This massive amount of insects are eaten every year by birds.

Four hundred and fifty to five hundred and fifty tons is roughly equal to twenty quadrillion individual bugs. This is a big number, and it is astonishing to learn that birds are responsible for consuming such a massive amount of bugs. This finding was uncovered by a study that focused on the ecological benefits that birds provide. Specifically, the role birds play in keeping plant and insect species under control. According to Martin Nyfeller, a scientist working for the University of Basel in Switzerland, birds and bugs, such as spiders and ants, contribute greatly to natural forms of insect pest control. The researchers were motivated to conduct this particular study in order to show the public how important birds are for controlling populations of undesirable insect pests. Other groups of predators, such as  bats, primates, shrews, hedgehogs, frogs, salamanders and lizards, are also valuable insect predators, but these particular animals are less effective at killing insect pests that consume plants. According to the researchers, all the birds in the world consume as much energy as a megacity, like New York, and this energy comes in the form of insects.

Do you believe that people should have a greater appreciation for the pest control services that many animals provide for humans?

Camping Safety 101: How to keep bugs and wildlife from crashing your campsite

Camping is certainly one of summer’s most beloved activities, yet venturing into nature can have its dangers when it involves coming into contact with harmful insects and company. To keep this pastime an enjoyable one, iPest Solutions reminds camping enthusiasts to implement proper precautions when taking on the great outdoors.

Appreciating nature is part of the camping experience, but admiring it in a safe and responsible way is best for a more enjoyable camping trip. Coming into direct contact with certain insects and wildlife has its risks. Mosquitoes and ticks, for example, are vector pests that feed on blood and can transmit serious illnesses such as West Nile virus, Zika and Lyme disease through their bites. And, wildlife could become aggressive if they feel threatened, while animals such as raccoons and bats could be potential carriers of rabies. The best bet is to avoid contact with these animals as much as possible. That’s why I know some people who just prefer getting a camper van and camping that way, some say it just makes things easier. But I have a strong suspicious that some people like it because they can use a RV battery, which makes camping more convenient for them.

To help keep the campsite a bug- and animal-free zone, iPest Solutions recommends adventurers follow these tips:

  • Ahead of camping, apply insect repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient such as DEET or Picaridin, and repeat applications according to the product label.
  • Wear long sleeves, pants, socks and closed toe shoes to help avoid mosquito and tick bites. Do a thorough check after hiking in woods or tall grasses.
  • Yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to fragrances from shampoo, perfume and candles — not to mention food and drink. Avoid using scented items and pour beverages into clear plastic cups rather than drinking from cans.
  • Prior to camping, check tent materials and repair any holes that can serve as points of entry. Keep tents closed at all times unless going in or out.
  • Keep all food and beverages packed in secure coolers and containers. If you are looking for a premium water cooler for your camping trip, check out a site like where you can find high end rotomolded coolers suitable for any camping experience. Be sure to seal utensils and dishware immediately after use.
  • Dispose of beverage bottles and cans in tightly closed garbage receptacles. Keep garbage containers sealed and away from the sleeping grounds.
  • Do not attempt to feed, lure or pet wild animals.

For more information, please visit

Using Perfume, Cologne And Scented Soaps Can Attract Biting Insects

Using Perfume, Cologne And Scented Soaps Can Attract Biting Insects

There is probably not a single person in the world who has not, at some point, made an effort to attract members of the opposite sex. In order to improve one’s appearance, a range of options are available, such as exercising, eating right, stylish haircuts, maybe tattoos, and, of course, perfumes and cologne. Although the scent of cologne and perfume may successfully attract the opposite sex, there are some major downsides involved with the use of perfumes, colognes, and even scented soaps and shampoos. If you are fearful of contracting an insect-borne disease, then bypassing the perfume or cologne may be a wise idea according to scientists. As it turns out, scented chemicals attract several types of insect-pests, such as mosquitoes.

It seems that mosquitoes are becoming more and more dangerous to humans as time goes on. Due to the increasing spread of awareness concerning mosquito-borne diseases among the world’s citizenry, just about everyone over the age of three should know that areas of standing water can be hazardous to humans during the summer season, as they attract mosquitoes, many of which carry diseases. According to  Margaret Harris, assistant professor of health for the University of Arkansas’ Division of Agriculture, mosquitoes are attracted to the scents of perfume, cologne and heavily scented soaps just as much as they are attracted to areas of standing water. Since mosquitoes gravitate toward standing water in order to constantly mate, you can understand how appealing artificial scents are to the bloodsucking pests. Surprisingly, mosquitoes are not the only dangerous insects that gravitate toward perfumes and cologne. The well known arachnid pests that spread lyme disease, ticks, have been known to move toward people wearing artificial scents. Fleas and chiggers also fancy people’s attractive scents. If you insist upon applying perfume, cologne or other scented products this summer, then taking other precautions against insect-borne disease is in order. These precautions include long-sleeved clothes, and mosquito repellent. According to Dr. Harris, mosquito repellent that contains less than ten percent DEET should be avoided, as such low levels are largely ineffective when it comes to repelling dangerous insects.

Have you ever noticed that more insects gravitate toward you on days when you apply artificial scents, like perfume and cologne?

Summer Season Calls for Increased Protective Measures Against Mosquitoes and Ticks

One of the best ways to fight off mosquito and tick bites and subsequent disease transmission is to apply insect repellent before going outside. Yet, many people don’t make it a priority to protect against these biting pests by taking this simple action. And those who do may not realize that there is a correct way to use repellent in order for it to be effective.

Another great way to avoid contact with mosquitoes specifically is to remove any standing water around the yard to deter mosquito breeding. A licensed pest control professional can work with a homeowner to help identify these hot spots.

To properly apply insect repellent for maximum protection against mosquitoes and ticks, follow this five-step method:

  1. Look for a product containing an active EPA-registered ingredient, such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535.
  2. Read the product label and follow the instructions carefully. If sunscreen is also being worn, repellent should be used over top of sunscreen.
  3. Shake the product well. Then, hold it about 6-8 inches away from exposed skin and spray evenly in a sweeping motion.
  4. Spray the palms of hands to apply the repellent to the face and ears, being sure to avoid eye and nostril contact.
  5. Apply the repellent over clothing, which should completely cover feet and ankles.

The Volkswagen Company Threatened Legal Action Against An Artist Who Paints Beetles

The Volkswagen Company Threatened Legal Action Against An Artist Who Paints Beetles

You may think that the topic of insects could not possibly make for an interesting conversation. After all, how many times have you become excited by a news story about the olfactory system of crickets, or the jumping frequency of grasshoppers? Many people do not care to learn anything more about insects than they already know. Lately the media has been releasing stories about edible insects, and sadly, this topic has probably generated more public interest concerning insects than has ever existed before. However, you may be surprised to learn that a variety of court cases involve insects. Obviously, there are court cases that involve landlord and tenant disputes over bed bug infestations; or court cases between homeowners and real estate companies concerning undisclosed termite infestations. These types of cases are frequent, but a recent insect-related legal dispute will surprise you in a few different ways. If you are a fan of the Volkswagen company, then you may be disappointed to learn that they do not want you publicly displaying photographs, works of art, or any other medium that depicts beetles. In this case, the word “beetle” does not just refer to the Volkswagen Beetle, a model of car that the company has produced for several decades; instead this particular case specifically refers to the insect group known as “beetles”. Recently, an artist was forced to hire a lawyer after Volkswagen officials demanded that she remove her artwork from a website. The artwork depicts beetles of many different species.

The car company must have believed that their production of the lovable and classic Volkswagen Beetle gave them ownership over all beetle insects as well. The artist is also a scientist who has studied insects, but she prefers to mix her passion for art and science by painting detailed portraits of certain beetle species. One morning Muddles received a message from Volkswagen that demanded that she remove her beetle paintings from the website known as RedBubble. This website is used by people who are trying to sell their artwork. Apparently, Volkswagen assumed that Muddles was trying to profit off the Volkswagen Beetle. For the next year, and after hiring a lawyer, Muddles continued to receive takedown requests from the car company. She even sent a letter to the company and the website that explained her situation. Eventually, the take down letters turned into apology letters, and Muddles continued her tasteful artistic depictions of dung beetles.

Do you think that the car company was making a mistake, or do you think that they really took offense to Muddles’ artwork depicting beetles?

Waco Texas Bee Removal

Don’t Get Stung By Summer’s Stingers | Pest Control Waco

While summer is an especially ideal time for fun, relaxing activities in the yard, it is also the season during which stinging insects thrive. These insects can be very dangerous and should always be handled by a licensed pest control professional, especially when it comes to nest removal when bees and wasps may attackWaco Bee Removal

According to the NPMA, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room annually. iPest Solutions is committed to help reduce this number by educating homeowners on how to protect themselves with these tips from the NPMA:

  • Seal cracks and crevices: Seal all visible cracks and crevices to keep these pests from moving indoors, and regularly inspect around the yard and along the perimeter of the house for nests.
  • Keep food covered: During a picnic or cookout, cover all food when outside and be sure to keep tight fitting lids on trash bins.
  • Avoid excessive use of fragrances- If spending long periods of time outdoors, avoid excessive use of perfume or cologne, as yellowjackets and other stinging insects are attracted to sweet-smelling fragrances. When possible, choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions and sunscreen is also ideal.
  • Adjust wardrobe: Avoid wearing dark colors and floral prints, since these patterns can attract stinging insects. Wear closed-toe shoes, especially in grassy areas where hornets and other pests often nest.
  • Remain calm, cool and collected: Do not swat a nearby pest or flail in panic—these movements may actually provoke an attack. Instead, remain calm and slowly walk away from the area. The insect should fly away without causing any harm.

For more information on stinging insects, please visit


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