pest control

12 Stories

Brazil's New Weapon Vs. Zika: Gamma Rays

Officials hope by sterilizing male mosquitoes they can curb spread of virus

(Newser) - With the 2016 Olympics in Rio right around the corner, Brazil is bringing in the big guns to fight Zika—specifically, a gamma ray device to sterilize the mosquitoes that carry the virus, Reuters reports. A nonprofit group will breed up to 12 million of the male insects a week... More »

Man Finds Giant Wasps' Nest in Bed

Swarm took over spare bedroom in British home

(Newser) - A British man visiting his mother discovered her spare bedroom was already in use—by thousands of wasps that had chewed up the mattress and pillows to make a 3-foot-wide nest on the bed. Pest controller John Birkett says a small window in the bedroom had been left open and... More »

USDA: Time for 'Sea Change' in Fighting Pests

Officials release list of top 15 threats

(Newser) - Pests are causing billions of dollars of agricultural damage—the Asian citrus psyllid alone has cost Florida growers $4.5 billion—and it's time for a "sea change" in how we deal with them. Today, the USDA is releasing its list of the top 15 pest threats, USA ... More »

One of World's Last Rat-Free Zones Finds ... Rats

Alberta scrambles to stamp out Medicine Hat rats

(Newser) - Alberta has fought hard for more than 50 years to keep itself one of the few rat-free zones in the populated world, but that status could now be in danger. A rat colony has been found in a landfill near the town of Medicine Hat and authorities fear there could... More »

Australia Fighting Rats —With Rats

Native species summoned to take out non-native invaders

(Newser) - In the what-could-possibly-go-wrong department: Australia hopes to rid the Sydney Harbour area of black rats by introducing a different species of rat into the area, reports Reuters . The black rats are non-native invaders that probably arrived by ship 200 or so years ago, and they're a huge nuisance near... More »

Experts Swarm Bedbug Summit

Leaders in battle against bloodsuckers meet in Chicago

(Newser) - These are boom times in the bedbug control business and dozens of scientists, exterminators, and inventors have flocked to a summit this week on dealing with the resurgent pest. At the first-ever North American Bedbug Summit, being held in a suburban Chicago hotel, dozens of vendors displayed ways to trap,... More »

Bedbug Dogs Sniff Out Bloodsuckers

Trained hounds in high demand as infestations rise

(Newser) - The resurgence of an old pest has created new jobs for dogs. Bedbug infestations have soared in American cities over the last four years, creating boom times for exterminators, especially those using canny canines trained to detect the tiny suckers. Handlers say the dogs can expertly sniff out infestations and... More »

Pesticide-Busting Brit Super Rats Spark Health Concerns

(Newser) - Britain's surging rat population is becoming immune to common poisons, spurring public heath concerns and calls for stronger pesticides, reports the Guardian. Rodents in at least two towns are impervious to normal control methods. In addition, years of mild winters and wet summers have boosted vermin populations by 66% in... More »

US Goes to War on ... Bedbugs?

Feds convene summit to scratch evidently pressing itch: Milbank

(Newser) - Wondering a bit about federal priorities “in an age of bin Laden and Ahmadinejad,” Dana Milbank headed yesterday to an Environmental Protection Agency summit on the blood-sucking menace of bedbugs, he writes in the Washington Post. With reps from agencies including the Pentagon on hand, an entomologist opined... More »

Masked Bandits Infiltrate 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

(Newser) - As President Obama settled in to his new home, a band of varmints rode in on his coattails, the Washington Post reports. One large raccoon and several smaller ones are roaming the grounds, according to the National Park Service, which is tasked with relocating the varmints. “The idea of... More »

Scientists Master Fly-Swatting

To defeat a 100 milliseconds reaction time, stealthy swatting is crucial

(Newser) - Scientists using high-speed cameras have figured out why it is so difficult to swat pesky houseflies, the Independent reports. A fly's tiny brain can detect a threat, adjust flight course, and take evasive action in 100-thousandths of a second. The researchers, writing in the journal Current Biology, recommend thinking one... More »

Forget Scarecrows: Falcons Keep Pesky Birds Away

Farmers nationwide fight feathers with feathers

(Newser) - On the heels of new federal regulations, US farmers are deploying falcons to stop smaller fowl from destroying their crops, the AP reports. Indigenous birds of prey may be used in place of older methods like pyrotechnics, propane cannons, and straw men in overalls to keep pest birds from eating... More »

12 Stories