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INSECT SWARMS

Insect Swarms
These are Locusts

You can now buy insects that you can eat through www.insectedibles.com

take a look at this interesting website.

Sep 2nd 2018

An information video on Ticks

https://www.facebook.com/YearsOfLiving/videos/489512148162663/ticks

Aug 26th 2018

Your Summer May Be Full of Mosquitoes

As you pack your bags for the cottage or campground this weekend, don't forget to bring light clothes with long sleeves — and a truckload or two of insect repellent.

Spring has come and gone, so welcome to mosquito season.

How much we enjoy summer in North America depends a lot on how many mosquitoes there are waiting for us outside. Their bites are itchy and their drone annoying, but there's also concern that mosquitoes carrying dangerous diseases are knocking on our door.

So what makes some years worse than others?

Is it a good year for mosquitoes?

You don't have to be an entomologist (a.k.a. an insect scientist) to notice that the mosquito population size can vary from year to year and place to place.

Last June, I couldn't set foot outside my Ottawa home without being bitten. Meanwhile, Winnipeg was experiencing its lowest mosquito countin four decades.

This year is far from mosquito-free, but I can at least enjoy peace for about 10 minutes before they find me.

What causes mosquito populations to balloon and shrink? In short, it's a combination of weather and climate — mosquitoes are very sensitive to their environment.

Temperature and rainfall are two major predictors of mosquito abundance, and this is for a good reason: These two factors have a massive effect on their survival and ability to reproduce.

How much it rains at one time, when it rains, how long a cold or warm spell lasted and when it happened all matter when it comes to predicting what kind of mosquito season lies ahead.

Mosquitoes like it warm and wet

Mosquitoes, like most insects, are cold-blooded, or ectothermic. Unlike us, their body temperature closely matches the temperature of the environment (air or water) around them. If it is cold outside, they are cold. If it is warm outside, they are warm. Any time spent outside of their comfort zone can slow or stop their development or even cause them to be injured and die.

In order for most mosquito larvae to grow, temperatures need to be above a threshold, which varies, depending on the species, but is typically around seven to 16 degrees Celsius.

Since the larvae are entirely aquatic, they also need a source of standing water (like your flower pot) that will remain until they are ready to emerge as adults.

This means cold or dry conditions that hit at the right time during larval development in the spring or summer can drastically reduce the number of adult mosquitoes looking for a meal a week or two later.

Human hunters, disease spreaders

We love to hate mosquitoes, but the vast majority of mosquito species do not directly impact our lives.

Mosquitoes, like most insects, are outrageously diverse: There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes buzzing about on this planet, and only a handful of those species actively hunt humans.

And even then, only female mosquitoes feed on blood. The much more reasonable males instead drink flower nectar.

Unfortunately, some of these mosquito species are also far from being just a mild annoyance, as they can carry dangerous diseases. In Canada and the United States, we often hear about the threat of West Nile virus, which is carried by local mosquito species and can lead to serious health complications like coma and paralysis in a minority of cases.

One of the best predictors of West Nile infection rates in Ontario is the minimum temperature reached during February. If the coldest temperatures in February are warmer than usual, more people become infected with West Nile virus during the summer months.

In tropical regions, people instead contend with malaria, yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. These viruses are all spread by mosquitoes, are severely debilitating and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.

When Hurricane Harvey hit Texas in September 2017, the flooding increased the mosquitoes' breeding habitat. So, the state sprayed 240,000 hectares around Houston to help prevent an increase in mosquito-borne disease.

Read more: Viruses can cause global pandemics, but where did the first virus come from?

The fact that mosquitoes carry these diseases, rather than the mosquitoes themselves, led the Gates Foundation to label mosquitoes the deadliest animals on the planet.

Two of the worst offenders for spreading disease are the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which typically live in tropical and subtropical regions where it stays warm and humid. The range of these mosquitoes also extends well into the continental U.S., particularly in the southern and eastern states. However, they simply cannot survive northern climates with long and cold winters.

Tinkering with climate

Suitably low winter temperatures typically keep tropical and subtropical insect species from becoming permanently established in areas closer to the poles with cold winters. Over the past few decades, however, climate change has led to documented changes in insect distribution patterns, including the collapse of southern range limits of bumblebees and the northward movement of many insect ranges.

As winters become more mild, the northern limits of mosquito ranges may also be shifting. Movement of the northern range limits are thought to happen because milder winters allow species that can't usually hack it in the cold to squeak through winter alive, reproduce and establish themselves in a new location.

Mosquito trapping programs are active around the globe, precisely because monitoring and responding to mosquito populations is critical to global health. In the last few years (2016-2018), adults of both the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito were found in Windsor, Ont.(near the southernmost point of Canada), which suggests that these dangerous vectors could be a serious health concern in northern climates in the future.

Thankfully, none of the individual mosquitoes caught in Windsor have tested positive for any viruses.

In an era of climate change, it's increasingly essential that we understand what environmental factors determine where insects can and will live, and how well they do. Understanding how insects respond to climate is absolutely critical to our food security and global health.

Only when we are armed with this information can we accurately predict the spread of invasive agricultural pests or disease vectors, like the bloodsucking mosquitoes that even entomologists despise.

 

Aug 4th 2018

How to treat and prevent insect bites this summer

The 7 tips you need to know about treating and preventing insect bites.

Insect bites are the scourge of the summer that no one wants but many have to put up with at home and abroad in the warmer months.

We spoke to media GP Dr Sarah Jarvis about the best way to prevent and treat insect bites this summer.

1.Your body reacts to saliva, not the bite itself

We don't really feel it when an insect sinks its 'teeth' into our skin, but our bodies do react to the bug's spit. Sounds pretty disgusting when you think about it.

"You're not reacting to the bite. But when they bite you, they inject a tiny little bit of saliva. The saliva stops the blood clotting so they can take what they want from you. You don't usually know you're bitten for a little while afterwards, it's not like being stung by a wasp or bee."

Dr Jarvis goes onto explain that the immune system recognises the bug's saliva as a foreign chemical and reacts to it by releasing histamines which causes the redness and itching.

2.Not everyone reacts the same way

Why do some people get bitten while others don't? Underlying genetic factors are estimated to account for 85 per cent of the reasons why some people appear to be tastier to mosquitoes than others. But whether you react to it or not can also depend on how long the insect actually bites you. If there's more saliva in your system, there's a greater chance of an immune response.

"As far as I'm aware there's no evidence it's related to blood type. Though some people have heightened immune responses and those people can be more prone to other allergic reactions too," reveals Dr Jarvis.

3.How to prevent insect bites

Getting bitten by insects is not inevitable if you take precautions. The majority of biting insects are out in the evening, so this is when you need to be most vigilant. If you're particularly prone or travelling somewhere warm, make sure your arms and legs are covered up during the evening and use mosquito nets when you sleep.

The unfortunate exception though, is the Aedes mosquito which transmits the Zika virus.

"Aedes moquitoes tend to be particularly during the day which makes the much more dangerous. So if you're in the relevant area, not only do you need to cover up with woven clothes during the day, you'll need to use a mosquito spray in the daytime too."

4.'Natural' insect repellents aren't going to cut it

People are understandably nervous about harsh chemicals in products and might opt for natural-sounding alternatives like formulations containing essential oils, but Dr Jarvis cautions you could be wasting your money.

"There is no question that DEET-containing repellents (such as Jungle Formula) are more effective on the whole in studies. And certainly if you're going a Zika area, you should protect yourself with at least 50% DEET insect spray."

Dr Jarvis points out that as ever, it's a question of risk vs benefit. And most studies show that DEET-containing insect repellents are very low risk for a large benefit. Because these insect repellents are applied on the skin, it's unlikely a harmful amount of DEET will enter your system.

5.Scratching really does make it worse

It's horribly tempting but scratching that itch won't give you any relief in the long term.

"The more you scratch, the more histamines you're going to release and the more itchy the bites are going to get. You get a real itch scratch cycle. You really do need be conscious that you need to resist the urge," says Dr Jarvis.

Instead apply antihistamine cream to the affected area. You can also take an antihistamine tablet (but don't exceed the recommended daily dose).

6.Keeping cool is vital

The hotter you get, the more prone to irritation and itching you will be.

7. Watch for signs of infection

Occasionally your insect bite will have started to heal, but a few days later it'll be worse again. If it's hot, red and filled with pus, this could mean your bite is infected and you might need antibiotics from your doctor. If in doubt, go and see your GP.

'Some people will have a local reaction, whereas others will find that after it's started to get better, it will start to get worse again and it'll get hot, red and angry. If that happens, then you'll need to see your GP,' advises Dr Jarvis.

If you have swelling or itching anywhere else on your body after being bitten or stung, or if you're wheezing or have difficulty swallowing, you'll need emergency medical treatment. Dial 999 for an ambulance.

 

July 4th 2018

Urgent warning as painful biting horseflies invade Britain

HORSEFLY bites are set to soar as a heatwave sparks an invasion of the painful biting insects.

Sizzling temperatures are set to bring a swarm of the bugs to Britain with a boom similar to those found in Mediterranean countries.

The flies are known for targeting horses but can also chomp down onto humans.

Horsefly bites can be extremely painful, leaving large swollen sores full of pus on the skin.

They can take a while to heal and other symptoms include a large rash, dizziness, weakness, wheezing and swelling.

Conservationists claim horsefly numbers are on the rise this summer.

Ben Keywood, of the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust, told MailOnline:”This year Britain is seeing insect populations more like what you’d expect to see in a Mediterranean country.

“Unfortunately this means we have to put up with the less popular ones as well.”

Horseflies like warm weather and normally appear in June and July.

The bugs are often found around ponds, pools, woodlands, grass and livestock.

Some insect repellents will help keep the horseflies at bay and it’s a good idea to protect yourself if you’re going into rural areas.

Light coloured clothing will also make you less of a target for the flies, which are attracted to dark, moving objects.

The flies don’t normally head into dark areas – so you will be better protected in the shade.

 

April 29th 

Health warnings after toxic caterpillar outbreak in London

An infestation of caterpillars that can trigger asthma attacks, vomiting and skin rashes has appeared in south-east England.

Oak processionary moths, in their larval stage now, have been spotted in areas that include Croydon, Twickenham, Epping Forest, Watford, Ealing and several London suburbs. Other infestations have been spotted in Bracknell Forest, Slough and Guildford.

Hairs on the moths contain toxins that cause severe dizziness, fever and eye and throat irritations, health officials have warned. The caterpillars - which feed off oak trees - have distinctive extremely hairy bodies and should not be touched. Sightings should be reported to the Forestry Commission.

The species derives its common name from the fact it lives primarily on oak trees and moves about in nose-to-tail processions, while the first part of its scientific name – Thaumetopoea processionea – comes from thaumetopoein, the irritating protein found in its hairs.

Contact can cause itching, skin rashes and, less commonly, sore throats, breathing difficulties and eye problems which are triggered if people or pets touch the caterpillars or their nests, or if the hairs are blown into contact by the wind. Nests should not be touched without protective clothing, the commission has warned.

The commission said 150 hotspots had been identified and traps to kill off the caterpillars would be set up over the next few days. Hundreds of others spots around London are to be sprayed with insecticides.

The oak processionary moth is a native of southern Europe but its range has been expanding northwards over the past 20 years and it has become established as far north as the Netherlands and northern Germany. It was first introduced – accidentally – to Britain in 2005 from eggs that had been laid on live, imported oak plants. The current infestation has probably arisen from a similar source, the commission has stated.

Nov 24th 2017

A Finnish bakery is to offer bread made from crushed crickets in a move that is hoped will help tackle world hunger.

Fazer Bakery in Finland said the product, available in its stores from Friday, was the first of its kind.

Each loaf produced will contain about 70 crickets that have been dried and ground, and then mixed with flour, wheat and other seeds.

In 2013, the United Nations estimated that at least 2 billion people eat insects worldwide.

According to the UN, more than 1,900 species of insect are used for food.

The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) began a programme in 2013 to encourage the breeding and consumption of insects.

Juhani Sibakov, head of innovation at Fazer, said the concept had been in development since last summer, but it could not be launched until approved by Finnish authorities.

§  Watch: Should we eat bugs like Angelina Jolie?

Earlier this month Finland lifted a ban on the sale of insects raised and marketed for food use.

Five other European countries - the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Denmark - already allow this.

Mr Sibakov said the bread contains more protein than normal wheat bread.

"It offers consumers a good protein source and also gives them an easy way to familiarise themselves with insect-based food," he said.

The bread will be rolled out initially in stores in the Finnish capital, Helsinki. Sara Koivisto, a student there, said she "couldn't taste the difference", adding: "It tastes like bread."

Fazer, which imports the cricket ingredients from the Netherlands, only has a limited supply. However it said it was working to find a local supplier.

In many parts of the world, insect-eating is common.

In the West, edible bugs are becoming more popular with those who want a gluten-free diet or to protect the environment. Farming insects may use less resources than farming animals.

 

May 24th 2017

Related: Deadly New Disease Coming This Summer (Provided by Wochit)

"Folklore remedies" only put you at greater risk for dangerous diseases.

Scientists already predict Lyme disease to surge this year, but a viral tick "trick" could put people even more at risk.

The popular Facebook video advises dousing the parasites in peppermint oil, causing them to float up and away from the skin. "Death to ticks!!" the caption exclaims. Almost a half million viewers have since shared the post, recommending it to their friends and family.

The only problem? The "tip" directly contradicts experts' advice and actually increases the likelihood of contracting tickborne illnesses, like Lyme and Powassan virus.

"Ticks carry all sorts of diseases," entomologist Dr. Neeta Connally recently told KFGO. "Those are actually salivated into the body when the tick attaches, and so we don't want to agitate the tick in any way that is going to make it salivate more and thereby be more likely to transmit anything." That includes drowning them in peppermint oil, of course.

The Centers for Disease Control also discourages "folklore remedies" like nail polish, petroleum jelly and heat that lift the tick away from the skin. "Your goal is to remove the tick as quickly as possible – not wait for it to detach," the CDC says.

Instead of wasting your essential oils, pull out a pair of fine-tipped tweezers. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull straight up with steady pressure. Then thoroughly clean the bite (and your hands) with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.

To get rid of the pests, put them in a sealed bag or container, or just flush them down the toilet. Of course, if you develop a rash or fever soon afterwards, go to the doctor straight away.

Since the parasites transmit over 10 dangerous diseases to their human (and pet!) hosts, it's important to get immediate care. Early recognition and treatment can decrease the risk of serious complications later on.

Feb 24th 2017

A 10-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after surviving being bitten by one of the world's deadliest spiders.

Matthew Mitchell required what is believed to be the largest dose of antivenom ever administered in Australia - 12 vials in total - after experiencing numerous convulsions.

The youngster from Berkeley Vale in New South Wales was helping his father clear out a shed at their home when he was bitten on a finger by a funnel-web spider which was inside one of his shoes.

"It sort of clawed on to me and all the legs and everything crawled around my finger and I couldn't get it off," he told Australia's Daily Telegraph.

His family rushed him to hospital where he was given the antivenom - an unheard-of amount, according to the Australian Reptile Park, which runs a antivenom milking programme.

"I've never heard of it, it's incredible," the park's general manager Tim Faulkner told the Australian Associated Press on Friday.

"To walk out of hospital a day later with no effects is a testament to the antivenom."

The funnel-web spider is native to Australia and can kill a human in less than 15 minutes.

"It would have been a fatal bite (without antivenom) there's little to no doubt of that," said Mr Faulkner.

"A small child is more vulnerable - but that bite would have killed an adult."

The offending spider was captured and taken to the reptile park, located north of Sydney.

Last month the facility released a video showing people how to collect funnel-web spiders safely.

The park is the only supplier of venom to the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, which provides medical professionals with the antivenom to cure snake and funnel-web spider bites.

To keep up the supply of venoms the staff regularly 'milk' more than 300 snakes and 500 spiders that are included in the programme.

And this picture is a fall of spider webs that happened a few days ago in mid May 2015 in America, harmless to humans in this case just a lot of money spiders.

Dec 20th 2016 Thailand

CHUMPHON: -- An 11 year old boy in Chumpon was hospitalized after he came into contact with rove beetles.

 The mother of the P5 (year six) boy said that he was sleeping with a neon light on last Saturday. She went into his room and saw he had a lot of the beetles (known as duang kon kradok in Thai) over him, reports Thai News Agency.

 The boy brushed some of the insects onto his genitals and also wiped his eye in a panic.

 Next day his penis and testicles had seriously swollen and so had his eye.

 He was admitted to Sawee Hospital. He was unable to urinate and was admitted to the emergency ward. He is now recovering.

 Health officials said that there was a lot of the insects about in at least five districts of the southern Thai town.

 People can spray to keep their numbers down. Spraying should be done where the insects gather, such as near lights, but the insects should not be sprayed on directly.

 Rove beetles are among the largest species of beetles in the world and have been around since the Triassic period 200 million years ago.

Dec 3rd 2016

Venomous spiders from Australia invade Britain

The black widow's cousin, the false widow, has been invading homes after a mild autumn has led to a Warmer weather has led to a surge in venomous spiders invading British homes.

surge in numbers.

The spider, whose bites are more akin to a bee sting compared to its deadly cousin, have been responsible for a number of hospital admissions.

In Devon a father-of-five almost died after being bitten at a holiday camp caravan.

Simon John, 45, and his five month old baby Harrison were bitten during the night by the spider as the family slept during the break in Breen, Somerset.

Two days after he returned home he developed a fever and noticed two nasty red marks on his leg which quickly began to swell.

It had caused an open hole to appear on his leg and the flesh began to rot.

"Doctors had to cut out the rotting flesh away from my leg to avoid me getting blood poisoning, they said I was lucky to be alive," he said.

"If the bite was any higher and reached above my groin, my organs would have shut down completely after two hours.

"Also luckily my baby didn't react in the same way and got better after seeing the doctors."

The spider's bite usually causes numbness and discomfort and only in severe cases causes victims to be hospitalised.

John Tweddle, of London's Natural History Museum, said: "We're expecting the species to continue to increase in its distribution within the UK.

In October an eight-year-old girl was left with a gaping wound after being bitten on her hand in Colchester, Essex.

The spiders are often spotted in autumn and winter when they reach their maximum size.

This week they were also spotted hiding in a lamp shade in Cheltenham.

The RSPCA says people should keep their distance from them.

Insect swarms can be very damaging to crops, locusts can strip a field in a few minutes, biting bugs can be very annoying to humans and stinging bugs are even worse and can prove fatal if the stings are too numerous, hornets have been known to kill an elephant and humans have little chance against a swarm, best advice is to shelter in a building as soon as you can, if you do have to go outside do not wear bright colored clothing as this attracts a variety of these little pests

One bite of a tiny fire ant is very painful and it is enough to make you run, but imagine a swarm, which refers to a group or a colony of insects together, there may be thousands of them, that is scary and they are damaging to human life and crops. The we will provide details and explain to you that you should be aware of the five most dangerous swarms.

 To start with the no.1 most dangerous form is the Africanised honey bee this

Deadly Swarm or to give them the best name that really describes them is killer bees they are more aggressive and venomous compared to average bees, extremely aggressive and the danger lies in their numbers.

Second, Army ants, they don’t have permanent home but they move constantly in colony and pretty much anything that they come across is ripped apart piece by tiny piece with their small but powerful jaws.

Third, Yellow jackets are often mistaken for bees, but they’re actually a species of wasp which means they can sting repeatedly without dying.

Fourth, consider yourself lucky if you live in colder climate then you are unlikely to face Angry Fire Ants, they get their name for their sting, which feels like being burned alive, they latch on with their jaws and inject alkaloid venom that causes the intense pain.

Fifth, locusts which are unlikely to bite humans but they will make you angry by eating or stripping your crops in just few minutes, wasting months of your hard work on your crops.

We will provide safety guidelines to minimize the risk of these swarms.

If a traveling swarm is sighted, then we advise you to leave the area as quick as you can.

Before working on a site then we suggest you TAKE A LOOK AROUND and if there are any visible signs of activity, like a hive or a nest of any sort.  You stay well clear until it is dealt with. Safety comes first, all the time.

WE advise you to wear long sleeve shirts, long pants, boots, and gloves or wear a bee-keepers style hat if you cannot avoid working near bees or wasps areas.

    You must be wise enough to NEVER PROVOKE OR DISTURB them.

 Especially in their hives, as you will have no fun for the pain it will give when you get stung.

Wear light coloured clothes such as khakis, beige, or blue and the we suggest you to avoid brightly coloured clothing as it will attracts the swarms.

If you have a long hair then we recommend you to TIE BACK YOUR LONG HAIR to avoid the bees or wasps from getting entangled in your hair.

A safety reminder from us to be careful when shaking out clothing or towels as the little devils could be inside the folds.

In a situation that you find a bee or wasp in your car, take a thick cloth and cover the threat and carefully let it back outside through an open window.

We also advise you not to startle or attack the pests.


Fortunately with modern communication systems these dangerous situations can be monitored easily and warnings issued by local government, civil defense, police, local radio and television.

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