The beginning of June marks the unofficial start of the mosquito season in Canada, with large groups of tiny vampires preparing to invade picnics, barbecues, and other outdoor activities. Heavy rainfall, coupled with rising temperatures, will cause mosquito populations to explode in the following weeks, entomologists expecting to see multiple distinct peaks between June and September.
Although, in Canada, we often joke that the mosquito is our national bird, mosquitoes are not a laughing matter in most parts of the world. Despite their size and fragility, they cause more human deaths – about 725,000 every year – than some of the biggest predators on the planet, such as sharks, wolves, lions, elephants, and crocodiles, combined. By comparison, sharks only kill ten people a year, crocodiles 1,000, and snakes 50,000.
The reason mosquitoes cause most human suffering on the planet is because they are effective carriers of pathogens that may cause devastating diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, various forms of encephalitis, and the notorious West Nile virus.
Turning your rocky backyard into a lush garden with verdant trees and flowing fountains can provide more than a huge street-side impression. Done right, landscaping can help you repel the nasty intruders that take over your property in the warm season and force you to seek cover indoors.
Pests can find an optimal environment in your landscaping elements, as they usually provide the food and moisture they need for reproduction and growth. The longer they go unnoticed and are free to spread throughout the property, the greater the chances they will eventually find their way inside your home. Reviewing your landscaping design is often a much cheaper yet often overlooked method of preventing insect pests from entering your facility than waiting to treat an actual infestation. Let’s take a look at some of the measures you can apply to beautify your property without harboring pests.
One effective way to fight back against mosquitoes, slugs, flies, and gnats naturally is planting selected flowers, shrubs, and herbs in your garden or on your patio.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology has reconfirmed that close contact with cockroaches can significantly increase the risk of disease. This time, researchers from the University of California have established that allergens from cockroaches may have certain biochemical and physical properties that target the optic nerve, enhancing the development of glaucoma.
In the study, sufferers of glaucoma exhibited significantly higher levels of a specific type of allergic antibody called immunoglobulin E (lgE), produced by the body in response to cockroach and cat allergens.
Data was collected from 1,678 participants, aged between 50 and 60 years, who were previously tested for allergies caused by dust mites, rodents, cockroaches, cats, and dogs. While 5.1 percent of the people analyzed were diagnosed with glaucoma, 14.3 percent showed significantly elevated levels of lgE to cats and 19.1 percent to cockroaches. Researchers believe that their findings may reinforce the possibility that the immune system plays an important role in the development of glaucoma.
Damp is a silent enemy that moves slowly but surely to destroy your property, wreak havoc on your health, and make your home an open site for pests. It can appear immediately after flash flooding or it can be slow to emerge, sometimes taking years before becoming visible. The usual signs of dampness include, but are not limited to: musty odors, stains on ceilings and walls, mold and mildew, forming particularly in rooms with excess moisture such as kitchens and bathrooms, rotting wood in the structure of the house, and damp and moldy clothes and fabrics.
Once spotted, most homeowners start looking for a quick fix for their moisture problem, when there’s seldom a silver bullet for damp elimination. Treating moisture problems depends primarily on the type of damp affecting your home (because yes, there is more than one) and should be carried out only after detecting the source of the problem.
Ants are some of the most prevalent pests in urban environments.Click To Tweet
They invade homes, gardens, parks, restaurants, hospitals, schools, and offices – any environment that provides food and water is good enough for the little critters. Once set up, the intricate colonies are tremendously difficult to eliminate and constitute a serious challenge for residential and commercial property owners.
However, urban ants are not all that bad. In fact, the diversity of the total ant species in an ecosystem can accurately indicate the overall environmental health, keeping the entire ecosystem in balance. They are soil makers, seed sowers, and nutrient recyclers, and they are sometimes as interesting as they are troublesome. Here are three fascinating things you probably didn’t know about urban ants.
#1. They Love Junk Food as Much as Humans Do
Ever dropped an ice-cream cone or a piece of doughnut on the pavement and didn’t bother to pick it up?