Bug Archives: Health

Safeguarding Your Home Against Allergies and Asthma

Each year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America designates May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.  This is an ideal time to educate the public about triggers, prevention and treatment measures for asthma and allergic diseases. In recognition of this important observation, reminds people that a few simple pest prevention measures can go a long way in combating allergies and asthma this spring.pest-library-map

Common household pests, such as cockroaches and stinging insects, can pose a significant threat to asthma and allergy sufferers. Cockroach droppings, saliva, shed skins and other body parts contain allergen proteins known to cause allergy flare-ups and increase asthma symptoms, especially in children. In addition, stinging insects send more than 500,000 people to the emergency room each year due to serious reactions from the pest’s venom.

“Many people blame their sneezing and runny noses during the spring season on pollen and grass, however, household pests are often culprits as well,” said,at . “It’s important for people to make an effort to keep the home free of potential triggers, and the first step is practicing good sanitation.”

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends the following tips for safeguarding homes against common indoor allergens caused by pests:

• Exclude pests by sealing cracks & gaps on the outside of the home. Pay attention to utility pipe entry points.
• Vacuum at least once a week using a vacuum with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate) filter.
• Keep food sealed and stored properly, and clean kitchen floors and counters daily.
• Dispose of garbage regularly and store in sealed containers.
• If allergic to stinging insects, learn how to use an epinephrine kit and carry it with you at all times.
• Should you experience symptoms of an allergic reaction following a stinging insect encounter,
such as tongue and throat swelling, wheezing, dizziness, or shortness of breath, call 911.
• If you suspect an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional to safely remove the threat.

For more information on pests, please visit http://www.a1exterminators.com/

Insects Wings Found to Have Natural Antibiotics

Cicada wings used as antibiotic to kill bacteriaScientists have discovered that cicadas, a locust-like insect, have wings that naturally kill some bacteria on contact. This could potentially be used to keep public surfaces, like handrails, clean.

The clanger cicada keeps bacteria away because of the small spikes that kill bacteria by ripping them apart on contact. Scientifically speaking, the spikes are a layer of nanopillars, which cover the span of the wing’s surface. The bacteria lands, sticks to the spikes, and sinks into the crevices between them; it tears if the strain is too much.

This cicadas’ wings is one of the first surfaces in nature that have such an incredible power. A power that could potentially be used to help kill bacteria on public surfaces by incorporating the nanopatterns from the insect’s wings into the design of the new surfaces.

Full Article on Yahoo. More information on PubMed.

Getting Rid Of Bugs, Try Eating Them??

Gross or great? Unexpected delicacies from around the world

Published July 23, 2012 / The Daily Meal

In the field of adventurous eating, those seeking flavor-packed thrills are often ready and willing to sample the world’s most exotic cultural delicacies and outrageous ingredients.
However, there are some foods out there that push those with even the most fearless palates to the outer limits of their culinary comfort zones. Considered delicacies in some parts of the world, these dishes prey on the phobias of the squeamish and even make some courageous eaters cringe.

Teriyaki Cockroaches
Hissing cockroaches are one of the the largest species of cockroach, and sometimes can grow as large as 7.5 centimeters. At the Gene Rurka Farm in New Jersey, these crawling critters are injected with honey and soy sauce, fried, and served as a crunchy treat.

Chapulines, or grasshoppers, elevate bug-eating to a gourmet delicacy. Eaten predominantly in the Oaxaca region of Mexico, chapulines are high in nutrients and provide a cheap source of protein. Classic chapuline recipes incorporate tortillas, chile, garlic, and lime juice.

Chapulines must be thoroughly cooked before consumption, as they sometimes carry nematodes that can infest the human body. Buy these crunchy critters at the Benito Juarez Market

Fried Tarantula
A delicacy of Cambodia, fried tarantulas are consumed primarily in towns such as Skuon, where they are sold in stalls at food markets. Crispy tarantulas with lime and kampot black pepper dip is served at Friends in Phnom Penh.

Locals began eating the eight-legged creatures in order to stave off famine during the reign of Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. These edible spiders are fried in oil and contain gooey insides with a crunchy exterior.

Squirrel Brains
Squirrel brains are a regional delicacy in Appalachian regions in Kentucky. Popular recipes include scrambling squirrel brains with eggs or including the meat in a stew known as burgoo.

In recent years, however, doctors have warned against squirrel consumption because of the possibility that squirrels carry a variant of fatal mad cow disease.


A Burrowing Microscopic Mite Can Lead To Scabies

Scabies is one of those terms that sounds like it must mean something disgusting. Actually, it is an itchy skin condition caused by a microscopic mite. Scabies has been around for more than 2,000 years and was the original inspiration for the phrase “the seven-year itch.” The female mite burrows into the skin, laying eggs as it tunnels. The body develops an allergic reaction to the mites and their waste products, causing extreme itching.

The classic symptom is severe itching, especially at night or after a warm bath. The mites are generally too small to be seen with the naked eye, but your doctor may take a skin scraping to view under the microscope.Fortunately, the treatment of scabies is relatively simple. The therapy of choice is the prescription cream permethrin, also known as Elimite. Note that while there are some over-the-counter products containing permethrin available for treating lice, they are not as strong as the prescription form and are not recommended for treating scabies.Apply the cream to the entire body, even areas without rash, making sure to get between the fingers and toes and under the nails. Leave the cream on for 8 to 12 hours, usually overnight, and then wash off completely. A second application one week later may be necessary. The mites can survive only for a few days off of the body, so wash towels, sheets and recently worn clothes in hot water.Even though the infestation is cured, the itching and rash may persist for several weeks after treatment. An oral antihistamine like Benadryl and a steroid cream such as hydrocortisone can provide some relief. Scabies is highly contagious and spreads from direct, prolonged, person-to-person contact. It takes about a month for symptoms to develop after exposure to the mite, so go ahead and treat the entire family before the rash appears.

Florida, Hawaii, Europe, And Bedbugs… No Thanks!

We are in the middle of Summer now and people are still getting on those planes heading all over. And like all vacations you have your worries, luggage loss, money loss, someone gets sick, you lose your phone, there was a mistake and your hotel is fully booked, anything can happen. But what about the bedbug worry??? This one is a real stinker, one that can come home with you, ruining your vacation and the days, or longer after. It is smart to be prepared, be as prepared as possible before, during and after a vacation.



Unfortunately these pests don’t differentiate between a 5-star hotel or a cheap low amenity motel. To them, a bed is a bed as long as a blood meal is sleeping in it. A 2011 NPMA and University of Kentucky survey found that 80 percent of pest professionals have treated bed bugs in hotels and motels.  Most travelers will stay in a hotel at one point or another during their vacation, putting themselves at a higher risk of picking up these hitchhiking bugs. Once inside a hotel, they spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage. In a hotel, bedbugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, because they can crawl through the walls between rooms.

What To Look For:

  • Place your suitcase in the bathroom as that is the safest place for it. Bed bugs are least likely to hide in a bathroom.
  • Pull back the sheets and inspect the mattress seams, particularly at the corners, for pepper-like stains or spots or even the bugs themselves. Adult bed bugs resemble a flat apple seed.
  • Check behind the headboard, inside couch and chair cushions.
  • If you see anything notify management immediately!
  • If you do need to change rooms, be sure that you do not move to a room adjacent and/or directly above/below the suspected infestation.  Bed bugs can easily hitchhike via housekeeping carts, luggage and even through wall sockets. If an infestation is spreading, it typically does so in the rooms closest to the origin.
  • Even if you determine your room is clear of any bed bugs, consider placing your suitcase in a plastic trash bag or protective cover during the duration of your trip to ensure that bed bugs cannot take up residence there prior to departure.

When You Return Home:

  • Inspect your suitcases before bringing them into the house. Your neighbors may give you strange looks, but better safe then sorry. Take the opportunity to educate them as to why you’re unpacking your suitcase on the front porch. You might save them from a bed bug infestation in the future.
  • Vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before storing it. Consider using a garment hand steamer to steam your luggage, which can kill any bed bugs or eggs that may have hitched a ride home.
  • Wash and dry on high heat all clothing your brought on vacation, even if you did not wear them, this will kill anything on them.
  • Keep clothes that must be dry-cleaned in a plastic bag and take them to the dry-cleaner as soon as possible.

So, Do You Have Bedbugs?

Maybe you didn’t check the hotel room as thoroughly as you thought or perhaps you were too tired to vacuum your suitcase.  Perhaps you did everything right but a few days after you came home, you wake up with red itchy welts on your body and notice the telltale pepper-like stains on your sheets. A few bed bugs snuck by you and have made themselves at home. Don’t panic! Although bed bugs are a difficult pest to treat, pest professionals like A1-Exterminators have many treatment options available to them and are successful in eliminating infestations.

The key is to begin treatment as soon as infestation is suspected or discovered. Bed bugs are not a DIY pest, treatments should be left to licensed and experienced pest professionals, like A1 Exterminators. If you suspect a bed bug infestation contact us at 1-800-525-4825 today!