In recent years, food and beverage processing industries have become subject to intense scrutiny of regulatory agencies, government institutions, and third-party auditors. As a result, managers of food processing plants have started to pay more attention to the many hazards posed by physical, chemical, and microbial contaminants.
Flies, cockroaches, rodents, and ants are known carriers of disease and pathogens, and many food and beverage processing plants have various procedures in place to identify, treat, and prevent infestations. However, not many of them think of birds as a pest, despite the fact that they carry dozens of bacteria, parasites, and disease-causing pathogens that are just as dangerous to food safety and human health.
The three most notorious pest birds – sparrows, pigeons, and starlings – are common in and around industrial and commercial facilities such as food processing plants, restaurants, and grocery stores, because many of them offer food, water, and safe harbor.
Compared to other regions in North America, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador has always had a relatively small tick population, with no permanent colonies living within its boundaries. The first sightings of ticks carrying the bacterium that causes Lyme disease took place in Cape Broyle in June 2001, and reports of people contracting the virus have been sporadic ever since.
But the situation has recently started to change, according to the province’s chief veterinary officer Hugh Whitney, who says they are finding more and more of the parasites every year, and a significant percent of them are Lyme disease carriers. “Fifteen years ago, we’d only talk about southern Ontario for Lyme disease in Canada,” Whitney declared for CBC Radio’s St. John’s Morning Show. “It’s considered to be a disease that is moving further north.” Having already settled in regions such as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, black-legged ticks are currently marching towards Prince Edward Island, which is expecting increased numbers this year.
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.