The Week in Pests for December 14, 2012
Here's what the web was bugging out about this week.
The Smithsonian reported that Nefi the Spidernaut died after 100 days in space. The jumping spider went to space as part of a microgravity experiment. Scientists tested the spider's ability to adapt to hunting techniques with a lack of gravity. Nefi will now be kept as part of the Smithsonian's collection.
Cigarette butts as a form of pest control? It's working for urban birds. The birds incorporate butts into their nests to deter parasites. The house finch and house sparrow are even using butts to insulate their nests. Researchers explained that, "Because urbanisation changes the abundance and type of resources upon which birds depend … results are consistent with the view that urbanization imposes new challenges on birds that are dealt with using adaptations evolved elsewhere."
Libraries are becoming the next target for bed bugs looking to hitch a ride home. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in the spines of hardcover books. Libraries aren't the only places bed bugs are appearing. Retail stores and offices are battling the bug as well. If you're planning to check out books soon, avoid best-sellers as they've spent more nights on bedside tables than older books.
The brown marmorated stink bug is heading west. The bug has been a problem for East Coast states for several years, and is now expanding. Travelers are bringing the bugs into Texas. Entomologists worry that if the bug becomes established it will destroy field crops like soybeans, pecans and cotton. If you do see a stink bug, vacuum it up and dispose of the bag. If the odor does get on your skin, check out this video on how to get rid of the smell.
Blogger Daniella Martin writes about her experiences with edible insects. While bugs aren't a staple of the Western world's diet, many people around the world eat bugs every day. If you're feeling adventurous, Martin lists a few at-home recipes to try like a Bee-LT sandwich, which contains bee larvae.
If you're looking for pest control solutions, try our DIY section for all things pests.