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?
Aside from areas where medical procedures are performed, hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities are made up of an extended network of non-medical office and service buildings. Kitchens in hospitals are very much alike large commercial kitchens in restaurants, operating similar equipment and being governed by much of the same safety guidelines. In terms of design and organization, patient rooms are no different than hotel rooms, while the vending machines, lobbies, locker rooms, and gift shops found in hospitals can also be found in several other types of buildings.
And just like restaurants, hotels, and other commercial facilities, healthcare facilities provide all the necessary conditions – food, water, and shelter – for insects and rodents to thrive.
Environmental factors that facilitate the entry of pests in healthcare facilities include:
Environmental factors facilitating the survival of pests include:
Environmental factors that encumber the eradication of pests include:
While there may be a wide range of pests, rodents, and arthropods commonly associated with the health care industry, there are no unique hospital pests.
Saving up money for months, taking time off of work in advance, or buying a new suitcase are no longer the biggest stresses of people planning a summer vacation this year. The possibility of bringing home the nasty miniature vampires we call bed bugs is a far bigger worry among travelers lately, as news about the persistence and ever-growing resilience of the hard-to-eradicate pests continue to make the headlines.
But while it’s well-known by now that hotels and motels are some of the little critters’ favorite hangouts, and most people are equipped to limit critter trouble during their stay, rarely do they think about the presence of bed bugs in the cars they rent. Just last week, a Long Island man set his rental car ablaze while attempting to eradicate bed bugs inside the vehicle.
Newsday reports that the 44-year-old man doused the entire car with rubbing alcohol, then climbed inside and lit a cigarette.
They’ve become as sure a sign of spring’s arrival as the chirping of the birds and the blossoming of trees. The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) has only been on the continent for a couple of decades, but has managed to hitch rides in nearly all US states and Canadian provinces.
The first official detection of the bug in Canada came in 2012, when a homeowner in Hamilton found one on his property. Since then, the presence of the invasive species has been confirmed in Toronto, Vaughan, London, Ontario, Fort Erie, Ottawa, Windsor, and several other provinces. US authorities have confirmed the stink bug’s presence in 36 states and the District of Columbia, posing serious agricultural threats in six states (Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and Virginia), and nuisance problems in thirteen others (Washington, Oregon, California, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, Ohio, New York, and several others).
For nearly 40 years, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) has been celebrating April as the National Pest Management Month, an occasion created to “honor the professional pest control industry for playing a key role in in protecting both health and property from significant pest-borne threats.”
The National Pest Management Month’s goal is to raise awareness about the serious health and property threats posed by common household pests such as ants, termites, rodents, and stinging insects. Additionally, April marks the beginning of the pest season, offering an excellent opportunity for homeowners to take preventative measures against pest insects along with cleaning, landscaping, and other spring chores.
Also taking place in April, the Bed Bug Awareness Week (20-26 April) is a campaign created by the National Pest Management Association in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help homeowners learn more about how to detect, treat, and prevent bed bug infestations.