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Go to Pests in the News

Ants

These structural invaders are searching for food and moisture around homes, and inside too.  Think of them as nature's army - constantly patrolling and searching. Many pesticides merely scatter and/or splitter their nests or colonies creating an even more difficult situation to control them.  We often hear of homeowners getting so frustrated with ants that they try remedies which are downright dangerous.  It's often crucially important to fully understand the specific type of ant in order to control them. Call in a professional to safely eliminate these pests.

Roaches

Outdoor roach activity will increase with warm temperatures and wet weather. Usually sightings will be on the exterior surfaces of buildings at night. These usually occur around lighted areas especially around front doors and porches. This roach is the smoky brown cockroach which are very capable at flying and are attracted to lights at night time.

Indoor roaches are problems at all times of year should you have an infestation in your property.  What you may see as a few roaches is normally less than ten percent of of the actual infestation.  These insects are incredibly prolific. To achieve control takes a thorough understanding of the type of roach being dealt with and a disciplined approach. Leave a few and they will quickly rebound. Sanitation plays an important role in both elimination and stopping a new infestation.

Spiders

These structural invaders are setting up their webs in protected areas around homes, and inside too, to capture their prey.  Knocking webs down alone won't deter their persistence.  A properly placed application will stop them and their prey from gaining access to your home.

Termites

While working around the yard be sure to watch for signs of termite activity. These include mud tubes on foundations and also damaged wood. Also look for small wings on window sills or doorway threshold. These are evidence of termite activity. Be sure to not allow any structural untreated-wood to come in contact with the soil. Even treated wood should be inspected periodically for signs of activity especially larger dimensional lumber used for support piers.

Mature termite colonies start new colonies by means of swarming, which is the colony's release of alates (winged reproductive termites) in great numbers. Colonies usually take several years of development before they will actually swarm. During this time before first swarms, they focus on building their colony. An indoor swarm means that the termites are likely infesting the structure. It's a good idea to get the building inspected and make a determination of whether or not a treatment is necessary. While working around the house, keep an eye out for mud tubes on the foundation or hollow sounding wood, don't let your guard down just because you haven't had a swarm. Infestations can also start from roof areas where conditions permit alates (swarmers) to start a colony.

The best preventative measure is to have your home inspected annually by a professional. Today's termiticide treatments provide a shorter period of protection lasting only three to seven years but pest control companies have many new effective tools at their disposal to combat this menace that causes over $5 billion dollars in damage per year in the United States alone. 

Again, the most important measure for structural protection from termites is detection which simply involves having a professional annual inspection of your property. As Dr. Waldvogel, Urban Entomology Specialist with NC State University recommends, "Termite control, whether it is through the use of liquid or bait products, is best performed by a licensed pest control professional".

An introduced species of termite, the Coptotermes formosanus, has been found in several areas of our state. A particularly serious infestation appeared in Spindale about ten years ago. It was thought to have been controlled but has evidently spread in that area. The NC Structural Pest Division issued a news release concerning formosans in the Spindale/Ruth areas of Rutherford County on July 1, 2003 and has now updated that release with the following warning on June 14, 2004. In 2000 formosans were found in Rock Hill, SC and they have been infesting structures in Charleston, SC for many years causing millions of dollars in damage. These termites do considerably more damage in a much shorter period of time than native species. It's best to take action when they are found. Formosans can swarm year-round but swarms usually occur in the evening which sets them apart from our native species which swarm in the morning. Should you see termites swarming in the evening it would be very prudent to take samples and have them identified.

Bedbugs

Bedbug infestations are on the rise. Pest control companies have reported a tenfold increase in bedbug service calls in Florida since 1999 and NC State also reports an increase in these insects being sent to them for identification. Bedbugs have been associated with filthy conditions but this isn't so and even upscale hotels can have infestations. The increased use of Integrated Pest Management techniques in pest management are thought to be the cause. Practices such as the use of insecticidal baits, which target specific pests like the cockroaches, leave secondary pests in the ecosystem uncontrolled, allowing them to flourish.

Mosquito

Warm temperatures and wet weather will have mosquito populations proliferating.   There are many steps you can take to help reduce their populations.  Here is a link to the NC State information web site. Many Pest Control Companies also have mosquito control programs. For those looking to control mosquitoes on their own, here is a word of caution from the University of Florida which NC State also says much of the same holds true here, "Recently, there has been a number of products advertised as mosquito traps. One type generates carbon dioxide to lure the mosquito and then sucks it into a bag. Other derivations use octenol as an attractant. The devices range from a few hundred to fifteen hundred dollars in cost. Gas and octenol must be replaced at various intervals. Researchers are currently investigating the efficacy of these units. However, one might want to keep in mind that there are 77 different species of mosquito in Florida, and each of these varies in what host they bite, the time of day they feed, and how far they can fly. One of the species which is a primary biting pest for homeowners is the Asian tiger mosquito. This species is not attracted by carbon dioxide or octenol. At this point, no evidence exists that these traps can play a noticeable role in the decline of mosquito populations".
Note: The FTC has something to say about these devices also --> FTC News Release

EPA Information on Outdoor Residential Misting Systems

 
 

 
 

Saugus elementary school dealing with rodent problem

whdh.com

SAUGUS, Mass. -- There is a rodent problem at a local elementary school.

The rat problem at the Douglas Waybright School in Saugus became apparent right after the Christmas break.

School officials have had exterminators to the school and a special Hazmat team came in to help clean things up.

Town officials believe the problem is under control, but they still want to take more steps to ensure it doesn’t come back.

Health officials immediately got involved with inspecting the school. Almost all of the rats were found in a basement area used for storage that students and faculty do not have access to.

It is believed construction in the area behind the school sent the rodents scurrying for shelter.

Two rats were caught in traps in the cafeteria while all of the other rats were found in the basement.

Health officials said the school took the proactive step of temporarily shutting down the hot lunch program, a move that wasn’t mandated because there was never any evidence of rats in the kitchen.........

Full Article

Salmonella victims angry over no prosecutions

Contaminated peanuts were linked to hundreds of illnesses, nine deaths

msnbc.msn.com

ATLANTA - At the height of the nationwide salmonella outbreak nearly a year ago, FBI agents raided two peanut plants and carried away boxes of evidence. FDA inspectors found roaches, mold and a leaky roof. Then, Congress revealed e-mails from the peanut company's top executive that seemed to suggest the pursuit of profits over ensuring public safety.

Despite the fanfare over the criminal probe of one of the largest product recalls ever, no one has yet been charged in the outbreak, which was linked to hundreds of illnesses and nine deaths........

Full Article

Rat Hobbles Citgo Texas Plant’s Catalytic Cracker

businessweek.com

Citgo Petroleum Corp.’s Corpus Christi East refinery in Texas shut a fluid catalytic cracker after a rat shorted out the power train.

The unit “was shut down to conduct repairs on shorted electrical wiring,” the company said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.......

Full Article

City closes Ford City's Cajun Café

chicagobreakingnews.com

Mayor Daley's Dumpster Task Force today closed the Cajun Café and Grill in the Ford City Mall's Food Court for not having hot water and because its main cooler failed.

This was the second time in two weeks that the Task Force visited Cajun Café. On Jan. 4, inspectors found some isolated mice droppings that were not viewed as an immediate threat to the food supply, according to a news release from the Department of Streets and Sanitation. However. inspectors issued a ticket and ordered the Cajun Café management to correct that issue before they returned........

Full Article

Seafood processor targeted over HACCP breaches

foodnavigator-usa.com

A US seafood processing company could be shut down if it continues to flout Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned.

The Congressional Seafood Company Inc, of Jessup, Maryland, and three of its executives were cited by the FDA for repeatedly breaching HACCP rules in the handling of raw product – including raw, ready-to-eat tuna for sushi and sashimi, fresh and vacuum-packed crabmeat, frozen octopus and shrimp, and molluscan shellfish. The agency said producing foods without flowing HACCP principles posed a serious risk to human health.

The firm was found to have carried out repeated violations of federal regulations including failure to document that fish were refrigerated at appropriate temperatures, failure to keep fish species separate to avoid cross-contamination, failure to meet sanitation standards or keep records of compliance, and failure to verify that imported fish met FDA standards. ......

Full Article

Freezing Temperatures Could Send Rodents Into Your Home  

Exterminators are seeing an increase in business these days

wowktv.com

TEAYS VALLEY -- Just like humans seek shelter from the cold and snow, mice and rats are also looking for someplace warm. In some cases, they head to a house.

"If they can get into a crawl space they can run through your duct work and your electrical wires. If they have the slightest little crack anywhere they will actually chew just enough to where they can get their body through it. A mouse can actually flatten itself to get through a crack," says Andrew Johnson, Manager of Standard Exterminating in Charleston. ......

Full Article

Rats scurry back in hurry 

Downtown reports up, but control program cut in '09 won't return

dispatch.com

Nearly a year after Columbus ended a program that controlled rats Downtown, the rodents are creeping back in.

Rattus norvegicus is burrowing beneath tree lawns in front of parking lots on High Street and eating out of trash containers, said Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of the Capital Crossroads and Discovery districts. "If we're getting reports at one location, it's likely they're at another." ......

Full Article

$1M worth of food seized from Asian restaurant supplier Won Feng Trading Company

nashville.bizjournals.com

More than $1 million worth of bulk food products were seized today from a Nashville company that supplies restaurants.

U.S. Marshals seized the goods Wednesday at the prompting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which had warned Won Feng Trading Company in May that its food storage warehouse and cooked cabbage operation was unsanitary.

The letter said that after an inspection in March, FDA investigators notified manager Xin "Evan" Zheng of multiple instances of rodent feces and urine stains on or near packages of food, food bags that appeared to have been gnawed through by rodents, at least 100 insects (dead and alive) on bags of rice, three decomposed mice in a mouse trap, live birds flying through a produce area and occasionally landing on boxes of eggs, cabbage processing equipment that was designed in a way that made it hard to clean, and improper food handling......

Full Article

Rats invade Florida homes in search of warmth 

10connects.com

Clearwater, FL-- Humans aren't the only ones in Florida getting chilly in this week's unusually cold temperatures. Local pest control companies say they've seen a jump in calls from people complaining about rats and other rodents seeking warmth in their homes.

It seems the disease spreading rodents are not only in search of food, but now are also trying to escape the cold temperatures, squeezing into people's houses through openings as small as a quarter.......

Full Article

FDA finds roaches, listeria at airline caterer

Live and dead roaches ‘too numerous to count’ at the food facility

Associated Press

DALLAS - A company that prepares food for major airlines says it has cleaned up its Denver kitchen after federal inspectors found live and dead roaches and listeria bacteria at the facility.

The Food and Drug Administration warned the company, LSG Sky Chefs, that it could be barred from selling food to the airlines at the Denver airport if it flunks further inspections.....

According to an FDA letter to the company, inspectors who examined the Denver facility found live and dead roaches "too numerous to count" in several areas of the kitchen, including at least 40 live insects in the silverware station.

The FDA said inspectors saw employees touching food with bare hands or while wearing unwashed gloves. They also noted problems with the building, including water dripping from the ceiling into utensil-cleaning areas and holes in walls that could house insects or vermin.....

Full Article

Bug bombs may have killed Williamston infant, coroner says

Baby's mother, brother treated for breathing problems

greenvilleonline.com

Over-the-counter insecticides are likely what caused the death of a 10-month-old Williamston boy over the weekend and left his older brother and mother in the hospital, an investigator said Monday.

However, additional tests that will measure chemicals inside 10-month-old Jacob Whitfield’s body will be conducted over the next several weeks to definitively determine the cause of death, Anderson County Deputy Coroner Don McCown said.

An autopsy discovered no signs of “injury, trauma or neglect,” McCown said.

“At the present time, we’re tentatively leaning toward that, but we’ve still got a lot more to look at,” McCown said.
Emergency workers arrived at Whitfield’s home on 104 Kirsch Drive on Sunday afternoon to find his mother, Elizabeth Whitfield, trying to resuscitate him after the baby suffered breathing problems, McCown said.

Jacob Whitfield later died at AnMed Hospital from cardiac arrest, McCown said.

Later that evening, emergency workers were again sent to the home when his older brother, 2-year-old Kenneth Whitfield, had breathing problems, McCown said.

Kenneth Whitfield was transported to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he remained in critical condition Monday in intensive care, but “things look optimistic,” McCown said.

Elizabeth Whitfield also was treated at the hospital, McCown said. Her clothes were so saturated with chemicals that she had to take a shower and change clothes, he said. She was observed at the hospital but wasn’t critically affected, he said.

The mother told authorities that she had been using indoor insecticides — commonly known as “bug bombs” — to eradicate a roach problem, McCown said.

The singlewide mobile home sits in a thickly wooded area off U.S. 29, he said, and an insect problem was evident.

The mother apparently set off the insecticides “several times a week,” McCown said. A hazardous materials team was called out to the scene, he said.

The mother told authorities that her boys felt sleepy Sunday and took a nap, which is when Jacob Whitfield became unresponsive, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Scott White said.........

Full Article

Atlanta At Risk For Rats?

wsbradio.com

A new report commissioned by one of the nation's largest rodent control companies indicates Atlanta is one of the top cities in the nation at risk for rat infestation.

Rodent researcher Bruce Colvin tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution "Atlanta's high ranking in the latest evaluation stems from greater urban areas of poverty, a very high foreclosure rate and a much lower city spending on structures and highways."

The d-Con study, which used U.S. Census data on unemployment, foreclosure filings, climate and pest control sales; ranks New York number one, followed by Atlanta, Houston, Louisville, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, San Antonio, Milwaukee and Detroit........

Full Article

Cue The Pied Piper: Rats Are On Their Way

Boston's Age, Dense Population Put It At High Risk Of Rise In Mice, Rats

www.thebostonchannel.com

BOSTON -- As leaves begin to fall from the trees, and cooler temperatures send animals looking for winter shelter, Boston-area homeowners may notice unwelcome company scurrying through their homes.

Boston has been ranked by independent pest control analysts as the seventh worst city for rodent infestation.

The 2009 Rodent Risk Report said that an estimated 21 million homes nationwide could be invaded by mice or rats.

The city's main drawbacks are its age and dense population. Older buildings tend to have more openings where rodents can sneak in and nest, said researchers. The higher the population, the more buildings there are, which requires more constant maintenance to keep pests out.

Although Boston is still in the top 10, researchers said that the city has made improvements in infrastructure that have moderately reduced the risk that rodents will have ready access to buildings and homes. In 2007, Boston was ranked No. 2, behind New York City, for rodent risk. This year, New York remained No. 1, while Boston dropped five spots.......

Full Article

102 Brown Recluse Spider Bite Cases In 2009

Bites Cause Swelling, Pain

www.wsmv.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It's happening all across middle Tennessee: A spider roughly the size of a quarter is causing sickness and injury to a surprising number of people.

Not everyone who is bitten by this spider experiences serious medical problems. But from Hendersonville to Coffee County, Nashville to Goodlettsville -- the brown recluse is leaving its mark.

"We've had some patients who are healthy otherwise that may come in with extreme tiredness, shortness of breath. They feel like they can't get any air," said Dr. John Benitez, director of Tennessee's Poison Control Center.

Benitez said this spider's venom is no joke.

"It starts digesting the tissue a little bit, so that starts setting up an inflammation," Benitez said. "You may see some redness, little bit of swelling that gradually progresses."

One bite can make a person very sick.

"Now my fear is will I ever be able to lay down again?" said Angel McPherson, who was asleep in her bed when she felt something crawling on her face and smacked it with her hand.

"He said, 'Oh, here's the fang,' and they removed it. I'm thinking, I mean, I was in shock," said McPherson........

Full Article

Woman mistakes rat in bed for cat

www.nzherald.co.nz

A dozing Marlborough woman reaching out to pet her three-legged cat found instead a large, aggressive rat in her bed.

The water rat, which had somehow got into Lynne Henderson's motor home at Spring Creek Holiday Park on Tuesday, immediately latched onto the woman's face.

The rat fled when the woman's husband Neil turned on the lights, the Marlborough Express reported.

He managed to shoot it once with an air rifle, causing the unwelcome night-time visitor to make "a hell of a squeal", Mr Henderson said.

Mrs Henderson required hospital treatment for a pierced lip after the incident.

"It was about nine inches long, very round and cuddly ... well, violent, actually," Mr Henderson said.

Full Article

Ants ignore President Obama’s pleas not to bug him

www.bostonherald.com

President Obama has decreed that he intends to enjoy a relaxing vacation on Martha’s Vineyard this week.

But the Leader of the Free World chose the worst time to come to the island if he didn’t want to be bugged. Because the Vineyard is currently over-run with ants!

“It’s the worst I’ve seen since the ant explosion of 1997,” said exterminator Dan Simski of Griggs & Browne Pest Control Services, who has received dozens of calls from freaked out Vineyard vacationers and homeowners in recent weeks.

“They’ve been calling and yelling that there are ants all over the place,” Ed Simski says, who’s been eradicating insects on The Rock for more than 15 years.

Simski said the deluge of wet weather this spring and summer most likely set off the pest population explosion. “And some years, there are just more ants,” he said.

The bug hunter added that the Vineyard, because it is surrounded by water, often doesn’t get a deep freeze in the winter, which would kill insects. And since the island is namely made of sand - “It’s really just one big beach” - it’s a regular Club Med for Ants.

Simski said he has no idea what the bug situation is up at Blue Heron Farm, the Obama family’s posh $35,000 a week rental. But he presumes at that price, they have retained the services of a good exterminator.

File Under: Buggin’ Barack.......

Full Article

Bedbugs Are the New Mold, Vexing Real Estate Lawyers and Clients

www.abajournal.com

At one time, home buyers fretted about toxic mold, but now they have a new worry—bedbugs.

The problem is so widespread in New York City that some lawyers have begun adding sellers’ representations about bedbug-free condo and co-op units into the sales contracts, the New York Times reports.

“Complaints about bedbugs have risen sharply over the last few years in New York, according to city officials, and no neighborhood in the city has been spared,” the story says. “While the pests do not pose a dangerous health risk, they inflict considerable psychological distress on their unwilling hosts. Moreover, the uninvited guests can be excruciatingly difficult and costly to evict.”

Eva Talel, a real estate lawyer at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, told the newspaper that her firm’s real estate group has been getting at least two calls a week from condo boards worried about bedbug infestations. Condo and co-op boards, she said, are becoming aware that bedbugs know no boundaries. “For a lot of years, people thought this was confined to rentals or housing projects or fleabag hotels,” she said.

One lawyer who represents home buyers told the Times it’s a good idea to check the condo board minutes for references to bedbugs, although the newspaper acknowledged that sometimes the minutes avoid mention of the problem to protect home values. The lawyer also recommended a good inspection.......

Full Article

TANK Checking Buses For Bed Bugs

www.wlwt.com

There's fear in the Tri-State that the bed bug crisis is going mobile as transit workers search for the unwanted critters on buses.

Cincinnati has one of the worst infestations of bed bugs in the nation. The dread scourge is found in homes, schools, libraries and even hospitals in the area.

However, workers with the Transit Authority of Northern Kentucky said bed bugs have yet to be found on any bus.

TANK has exterminators checking buses for the little blood sucks over concerns that riders could be carrying some riders of their own.......

Full Article

Bug bomb vapors ignited to cause explosion in Lebanon row home

Patriot-News

Vapors from as many as 31 cans of aerosol bug bombs found inside 1103 Lehman St. were believed to have been ignited from the pilot light of a gas stove around 10:15 a.m.Thursday, blowing out the balcony wall of the building and injuring five, city officials said.

There were 17 cans of bug bombs found on the second floor, 12 cans on the first floor and two in the basement, said David Eggert, deputy Lebanon fire commissioner.

One can should be used for every 25 square feet, said Barry Fisher, Lebanon fire commissioner.

The bug bombs were being used because landlord John Light had been issued code violation notices for roach and bed bug infestation, Eggert said.

Tim Balsbaugh, a second floor tenant, said he was getting ready to set off the bug bombs for his landlord, when another tenant, Dennis Morgan, grabbed some and took them into his apartment. "He was not supposed to be setting them off yet," Balsbaugh said.

Balsbaugh was released after treatment at Good Samaritan Hospital for breathing difficulties.

Karen Light, a second floor tenant, was on the ground, Balsbaugh said. She was listed in good condition in Hershey Medical Center Thursday, and Morgan was in fair condition, said a hospital spokeswoman.

"We're all lucky," Balsbaugh said. A total of eight people lived in the building's three units, he said.......

Full Article

DHS Squashes Bed Bug Claims

www.ny1.com

City officials are investigating claims that part of a municipal building is infested with bed bugs.

An anonymous caller told NY1 that workers on eight floors of the Department of Homeless Services building on Beaver Street have been getting bitten by insects since Monday.

In response to the report, the DHS said, "We immediately began taking corrective action, and are extending it to all premises occupied by DHS. We are aggressively addressing the situation with an expert contractor and building management. No DHS employee has reported bites received from our building."

Full Article

Man sues Milford hotel over bed bug bites

connpost.com

MILFORD -- A New York man who stayed one night at a city hotel is suing the hotel over bedbug bites he said he got there two years ago.

According to a lawsuit transferred this week to Milford Superior Court from New Haven Superior Court, Luis Jorge, of Glendale, N.Y., is seeking more than $15,000 from the Howard Johnson Hotel, at 1052 Boston Post Road.

The suit claims that, on June 10, 2007, Jorge checked into the hotel for a seven-day stay. He went to bed that night, only to be awoken by "discomfort on both of his arms and his legs" and the subsequent realization that "he had been severely bitten by bedbugs." The bites covered most of his body and caused inflammation, sleeplessness, panic attacks and "severe emotional distress," the lawsuit states.

It also claims that Jorge incurred medical expenses and lost "enjoyment of life's activities" both then and in the future.

"It really is the 'Ick' factor here," said Jorge's attorney, Maria A. Cahill.

Cahill said her client -- who was in town to attend a class on home inspections in New Haven -- continues to suffer from insomnia and anxiety due to his encounter with unwanted bedfellows.

David G. Hill, the hotel's Hartford-based attorney, said he is viewing the suit as frivolous as he awaits more details in the next week or two.....

......The lawsuit begs to differ, claiming the motel failed to properly inspect and clean the room, and additionally neglected to warn Jorge of the tiny terrors inside.......

Full Article

US marshals raid filthy food plant in wake of FDA clampdown pledge

foodqualitynews.com

US marshals have raided a rodent-infested food processing plant in Louisiana and seized goods worth $72,000 – just 24 hours after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vowed to get tough on companies that flout safety laws.

The Food and Drug Administration ordered the marshals to confiscate an assortment of food products from Bearden Sandwich Company Inc., trading as Southern Belle Sandwich Company, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for violation of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Health hazard

Food products, including tuna salad sandwiches, were impounded Friday after being “prepared, packed, and held under unsanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to the public’s health”, said a FDA statement. The tuna fish salad sandwiches were also found to have been processed under conditions that breached Seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

The action came after a recent probe found evidence of “widespread and active rodent and insect infestation, filthy conditions, and poor employee practices, such as allowing food-processing utensils to lie on the floor near live insects”, said the agency.

“When FDA investigators find violations inside a company’s facility, we will do what is necessary to keep insanitary and potentially harmful products out of consumers’ hands,” said Michael Chappell, the FDA’s acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “Companies that are not complying with our laws will be subject to enforcement actions.”

The company distributes products to convenience and retail stores in southern Louisiana, as well as parts of Florida and Alabama.

FDA promises crackdown

News of the raid was released just a day after FDA chief Dr Margaret Hamburg pledged to act “swiftly and aggressively” against food processors and manufacturers that defy safety rules.

Speaking on Thursday, Hamburg said the agency, which she joined as Commissioner two months ago, would be swifter in warning companies about safety violations. She added that where there were perceived risks to public health, the FDA would consider “immediate action - even before we have issued a formal warning letter”.

“The FDA must show industry and consumers that we are on the job,” she said. “We must publicize our enforcement actions – and the rationale for those actions – widely and effectively. This will increase public confidence, encourage compliance, and educate patients and consumers about potential risks. Companies must have a realistic expectation that if they are crossing the line, they will be caught, and if they fail to act, we will.”

Full Article

Daley’s Dumpster Task Force closes Mayflower Foods

www.wbbm780.com

An inspection by Mayor Daley’s Dumpster Task Force has resulted in the closing of a popular Asian specialty market in Chinatown.

Inspectors visited Mayflower Foods, 2014 S. Archer Ave, Tuesday and found conditions so bad they immediately closed the business, according to a press release from the city Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Signs of an active mice infestation, including more than 300 mice droppings in the main selling area and in an upstairs storage area, as well as bags of brown rice and dried bean curd that had been gnawed into and contaminated, lead to the sinking of Mayflower.

Inspectors also reported flies inside a package of dried fish product, a cooked shrimp noodle dish stored at an unsafe temperature and an absence of required labeling on food products from Vietnam.........

Full Article

Rat Bites Killed Baby

www.nola.com

The 3-month-old girl found dead in her Westwego, La. home last week died of blood loss from the numerous rat bites she suffered, the Jefferson Parish coroner's office announced Wednesday.

The family places blame on the landlord, whom apparently refused to repair the home........

Full Article

National Online Bed Bug Registry locates hotels with dreaded infestations

examiner.com

We all know the old adage: "Good night, don't let the bed bugs bite." But who would imagine that there is a growing pest problem in some of the leading hotels where beg bugs are being identified and reported?

A new web site, www.bedbugregistry.com, is a useful tool to see up-to-date information from recent attacks at hotels and other locations around the country. The web site depends on visitors to report their bed bug experiences, sometimes even divulging the exact room number where the attack occured. The site lists bed bug attacks by city, area, hotel name, and even provides a new email alert sent to your personal website address when addresses near you report bed bugs.......

Full Article

Motel guests covered with bed bug bites

www.wavy.com

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - A 5-year-old little girl with long curly brown hair and pink flip-flops stood in the parking lot of the Midtown Motel pointing out the dozens of tiny bites all over her body.

Her family's motel room was infested with bed bugs, according to her father.

"I've been bit up," the child whispered.

The red bite marks covered her little arms, legs and face.

The problems at the Midtown Motel in Newport News were apparently so bad, so unsanitary, Newport News police officers, firefighters and city health inspectors responded to the motel.

They talked to tenants like Kelly Jordan who has been living at the motel for the last two weeks.

"It's real bad. I mean, I am just itching every night. We have no where else to go. This is our only option," said Jordan.

Even the motel's own maintenance man, Kevin Starllings, said the place is not fit for humans.

"We peeled back the corners of the mattresses and bugs ran out like roaches," said Starllings.

The maintenance man and many of the tenants say the infestation of bed bugs is not the only problem. They say the air conditioning does not work, there is black mold growing in the motel and most of the rooms do not have smoke detectors which are required by law.

Starllings says the owners of the motel refuse to spend any of the money they make off the tenants to clean the place up and make it safe.

"He won't buy freon so the people can be cool," said Starllings. "He don't spend money on nothing, but every time you turn around he is taking a vacation with his family."

The motel owner, Sanjay Burt, at first insisted there are no problems, even as police officers and health inspectors stood in the parking lot speaking with motel tenants covered in bed bug bites. Then, he blamed the tenants for creating the bug problem and stealing the smoke detectors.

"Look at how they live," said Burt......

Full Article

Holiday Inn Select by O'Hare sued over bed bug infestation

www.chicagonow.com

Last summer, I had my first ever experience with what I think were bed bugs. It was bad. Real bad. A bunch of us were staying in a lodge on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and I was unlucky enough to have the bunk with the bedbugs. I changed mattresses twice, maybe three times, but each time the bugs moved with me.

So I can sympathize with the plaintiffs in today's case. And as a result, I will not tag this entry frivolous or for real. We are not playing that game today. This is for real. Bed bugs are evil, insidious creatures.

The plaintiffs in this case understand this, because they rented a room at the Holiday Inn Select in Rosemont, and got a room that was infested with bed bugs. As a result of spending a night with the bedbugs, they "suffered physical and psychological injuries, requiring them to incur medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability and loss of wages."

Those are some pretty bad injuries. I wouldn't say that after my bedbug experience I had psychological injuries, but I sure do have some semi-embarrassing candid photos from that week tagged on Facebook, in which I'm constantly looking at my hands. There were so many of these photos that one friend noticed and left a comment asking why I was persistently

staring at my nails. Not my nails, dude. Bedbug bites, all over my fingers.......

Full Article

Fly Infestation Closes North Side Dunkin' Donuts

Fly Infestation Called One Of The Worst In A Long Time

cbs2chicago.com

A Dunkin' Donuts/Baskin-Robbins in the North Side Uptown neighborhood was closed down Thursday after flying insects were discovered all over the restaurant, including on doughnuts and bagels.

Inspectors from Mayor Daley's Dumpster Task Force checked out the restaurant at 5130 N. Broadway after receiving a tip that buzzing sounds could be heard inside, according to a release from the city Dept. of Streets & Sanitation.

When inspectors went inside, they found more than 180 flying insects "virtually everywhere," the release said, including crawling on 25 batches of doughnuts and bagels, on the ceiling-mounted menu, in the food sales and storage areas, and in the women's restroom.

"It was one of the worst fly infestations our inspectors have seen in a very long time," according to Matt Smith, spokesman for Street & San's Bureau of Rodent Control, which operates the task force.

"In the words of one inspector, things were completely out of control," he said.

The owners were cited for inadequate pest control and failure to protect food from cross-contamination, both critical violations, according to the release.

The restaurant will be allowed to reopen only after proving they have cleaned and pest-proofed the building, and improved cleaning and pest control programs, the release said............

Full Article

Super colony of ants in NZ

www.nzherald.co.nz

A global "mega-colony" of Argentine ants is spreading through New Zealand, with evidence the pests are forming inter-nest alliances to dominate native species.

The ants, which have invaded all continents except Antarctica thanks to human movements, are so closely related that nests refuse to attack each other, co-operating instead to overrun native species.

Infestations of the 3mm, honey-brown pests were first reported in New Zealand in 1990. Now researchers say colonies from Northland to Christchurch come from such a small genetic pool that they treat each other as long-lost relatives.

They are part of the global colony of Argentine ants that has been reported in a study by the University of Tokyo. In Europe, the mega-colony stretches over 6000km along the Mediterranean coast; in the US, the colony stretches along the California coast for some 900km; and in Japan, a huge colony has been built on the country's west coast.

"Our research found Argentine ants from three continents were rather friendly, and not hostile towards each other," researcher Eiriki Sunamura told the Herald..........

Full Article

Bug bombs blast apartment

www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com

It seems a large explosion that blasted through a Citrus Height apartment complex on Sunday was caused by improper use of a bunch of bug bombs.

“Thank goodness no one was hurt in the explosion that was preventable had the tenant followed label instructions,” says Department of Pesticide Regulation Director Mary-Ann Warmerdam. “I can’t emphasize enough the importance of following instructions for any pesticide product.”

One 6-ounce or 8-ounce fogger is enough for an apartment and other small living spaces. Too many foggers will not control pests better than using the amount recommended, she says. .....

According to the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire Department, one of the tenants in the Citrus Heights apartment complex set off at least 10 foggers to control a cockroach infestation in his unit. Three families were left homeless by the explosion fire investigators determined was ignited by a refrigerator.........

Full Article

Bed Bugs At Disney Resort Ruins Family's Vacation

cbs2chicago.com

They are smaller than your fingernail and come out at night. By the time you see them, it may be too late. That's the case for a suburban family who says they were attacked by bed bugs inside their hotel room at a popular Disney resort. CBS 2's Pamela Jones reports.

The family says they wanted a trip to remember. And they got that. But now, they're warning people to check the beds in their hotels when they check in.

The home video shows that it started as a happy Disney World vacation. But the family says it ended in a red, itchy mess.

Melissa Pecina said bumps appeared after bed bugs attacked her in her hotel room.

"And I had a lot of them," Melissa said. "I think I counted over 200 at one point." .........

Full Article

Scientists Use Bed Bugs' Own Chemistry Against Them

www.nzherald.co.nz

Scientists here have determined that combining bed bugs’ own chemical signals with a common insect control agent makes that treatment more effective at killing the bugs.

The researchers found that stirring up the bed bugs by spraying their environment with synthetic versions of their alarm pheromones makes them more likely to walk through agents called desiccant dusts, which kill the bugs by making them highly susceptible to dehydration.

A blend of two pheromones applied in concert with a silica gel desiccant dust proved to be the most lethal combination.

In the past decade, bed bugs have become an increasing problem in industries ranging from agriculture and housing to travel and hospitality, so much so that the Environmental Protection Agency hosted a National Bed Bug Summit in April of this year.........

Full Article

Rat poison drops will make islands safe for rare birds

www.nzherald.co.nz

Helicopters will begin dropping poisoned rat-bait on Rangitoto and Motutapu islands in less than a fortnight as the Department of Conservation prepares to repopulate them with rare birds including the kiwi.

The bait drop is the latest stage in more than a decade's work to turn the islands into a bird sanctuary.........

Full Article

Scientists ID lethal virus in Africa

The Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Scientists have identified a lethal new virus in Africa that causes bleeding like the dreaded Ebola virus.

The so-called Lujo virus infected five people in Zambia and South Africa last fall. Four of them died.

It's not clear how the first person became infected, but the bug comes from a family of viruses found in rodents, said Dr. Ian Lipkin, a Columbia University epidemiologist involved in the discovery.

"This one is really, really aggressive," he said of the virus.

A paper on the virus by Lipkin and his collaborators was published online Thursday in PLoS Pathogens.........

Full Article

Evansville man dies from apparent spider bite

www.courierpress.com

A 42-year-old Evansville man has died from an apparent spider bite, officials said Tuesday.

Keith E. Reed was found dead in bed in his Evansville home Monday morning with a bite on his leg consistent with that of a brown recluse spider, said Vanderburgh County Coroner Annie Groves.

The cause of death is preliminarily listed as a spider bite while officials await further tests to confirm it. But Groves said there were other indicators.

Reed had been camping in the last couple weeks at Scales Lake Park in Boonville, Ind., telling his wife later that he believed he had been bitten by something, Groves said.

Reed sought medical attention for the bite but only a couple days before he died, Groves said. The venom had likely already gotten into his bloodstream by that point, she said.

Presuming the tests verify the spider bite as the cause, Groves said it would mark the first such death in Evansville she could recall..........

Full Article

Squirrel blamed for massive P.E.I. blackout

www.cbc.ca

The fire at a substation outside Charlottetown that knocked out power to half of P.E.I. at the end of April was caused by a squirrel, says Maritime Electric.

The squirrel got into the West Royalty substation and gnawed on some wires. The resulting fire eventually led to 55,000 customers being without power and caused $200,000 worth of damage.

"Normally a squirrel wouldn't be able to do that type of damage, maybe a circuit or two, and a small outage, but … we [also] actually had a failure of a piece of equipment," said Maritime Electric spokeswoman Kim Griffin.

"The investigation is still underway in that we're still trying to figure out which happened first."

Griffin said the utility has learned some lessons from the experience, and will be tightening up rodent control at its facilities.

"In some areas where there may be an opening, or anyone who has had problems with even squirrels in their own home, they know the damage that occurs once they get inside," said Griffin.

"It appears that the squirrel was inside, we're not sure for how long, but in terms of being able to get in and do a substantial amount of damage on our wires, it was that as well as a system failure itself."...........

Full Article

Maggots infest Fresno County morgue

www.fresnobee.com

Fresno County Coroner David Hadden said Wednesday that a maggot infestation at the county morgue is making working conditions there "intolerable," and criticized county supervisors for delaying plans for a new facility.

Supervisor Judy Case said uncertainty over the budget has slowed progress on what she called the county's top capital project.

Morgue employees, meanwhile, talked about the maggots, which they say quickly turn into swirling black flies that swarm throughout the autopsy area.

"They're everywhere," Deputy Coroner Kelly Wiesel said. "They dive-bomb you and, eventually, they just drop dead on the floor."

Wiesel said that while morgue workers encounter maggots and flies when they are sent to death scenes, "these are homegrown."

Dr. Michael Chambliss, an assistant pathologist, said he and another worker thought the infestation was localized until they moved equipment.

"It was like an army of maggots all along the wall," he said. "You can see them everywhere -- along the baseboard, coming out of the wall.

"They're in your hair, bouncing on your face, bouncing on your clothes." He added that it is difficult to keep flies out of bodies pathologists are examining.

On a tour of the morgue, a facility built in the 1940s, Hadden pointed out dead and dying insects and cracked linoleum, which he said was a perfect breeding area for pests and bacteria. At one point he admonished a television cameraman who put down his equipment nearby.

"Don't put anything on the floor!" he said, wincing...........

Full Article

FDA: More than $1.5 Million of Adulterated Food, Food Ingredients Seized

www.qualityassurancemag.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  At the request of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Marshals today seized more than $1.5 million worth of food products, including herbs and botanicals, stored under filthy conditions at the American Mercantile Corporation of Memphis, Tenn.

During an inspection of American Mercantile in March, FDA investigators discovered evidence of extensive rodent and insect infestation throughout the company’s warehouse. The company failed to correct these problems.  Acting on a warrant issued by the United Stated District Court in Memphis, U.S. Marshals seized all FDA-regulated food products exposed to rodent and insect contamination at the facility. The seized products violate the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act because they were held under insanitary conditions under which they may have become contaminated with filth..........

Full Article

If pigeon poop caused part of a St. Paul parking ramp to fall, population-control plan could benefit

www.twincities.com

After a chunk of the facade fell off the Alliance Bank parking ramp and landed near the front door of Hunan Garden on Saturday night, Bob Kessler suspected the culprit was pigeon poop.

No one was hurt when the 15-by-2-foot section dropped, raining plaster, baby pigeons and heaps of droppings onto the sidewalk at Sixth and Cedar streets in St. Paul.

The collapse actually could help Kessler, head of St. Paul's Department of Safety and Inspections, persuade downtown building managers to buy into the city's soon-to-be-proposed Downtown Pigeon Control Project.

"The idea is to have a humane pigeon-control program that will reduce the population so we can better manage damage from their droppings," he said. "This is like the sky fell on somebody.".........

Full Article

Louisiana Woman Sues Walmart Over Rogue Rodent Attack

www.foxnews.com

NEW ORLEANS —  A south Louisiana woman claims in a lawsuit that a nutria known as Norman ran at her in her local Walmart, scaring her into a panic attack and a foot injury that required surgery.

Employees at the Walmart in Abbeville not only knew a wild animal was at large in the store, but had given it a pet name and negligently failed to warn people about it, Rebecca T. White and her husband, Randal, allege in a state court lawsuit.

Nutria are rodents with bright orange buck teeth. Weighing up to 18 pounds, they look like small beavers with rat-like tails. Would-be fur farmers in 22 states imported large numbers in the 1930s and ’40s, then let them go when they proved unprofitable. They proliferated in south Louisiana, where many residents call them nutria-rats or neutral-rats.........

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As rats infest Allston-Brighton, neighbors plan to fight back

www.wickedlocal.com

Allston-Brighton - One woman said a rat sat up to look at her while she was walking in front of her house in broad daylight. Another said she walks in the middle of the street when taking her terrier out at night to avoid rats scurrying past her legs like they do when she stays on the sidewalk. One family has spent $30 a week on rat poison, only to have the rodents come back two weeks later.

Allston-Brighton residents voiced their frustrations with the area’s rat population at a community meeting Wednesday, with the hope to catalyze neighborhood-wide efforts to combat infestations of the big, beady-eyed rodents.

John Meaney, the city’s principal inspector and rodent control authority, explained that overflowing trashcans and careless littering perpetuate the rat problem and can bring them into new areas, he said.

“We’re not ever going to get rid of rats, but we can try to control it,” he said.

The rat problem in Allston-Brighton exists mostly at the surface due to garbage and abandoned buildings, rather than underground in the sewer system, Meaney said. Unoccupied buildings and properties create a haven for rats to nest and breed........

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Scientists move to identify caterpillars plaguing NW China pastureland

news.xinhuanet.com

URUMQI, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Experts from Beijing have joined other Chinese scientists in trying to identify the mystery caterpillars that are destroying pastures in the northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

"We are waiting for the caterpillars to change into chrysalides, and will be able to identify them only after moths are produced," said Gao Song, a researcher with the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Gao arrived in Xinjiang on Monday to observe samples of the 2-cm thorny green caterpillar with black stripes at a laboratory of Xinjiang Agricultural University. He and his colleagues were expecting to identify them from the size, color, wings and genitalia of the moths.

"The mystery may remain unsolved for months if the caterpillars choose to estivate in the hot, arid summer and postpone their metamorphosis until the fall," he said Thursday.

Su Hongtian, an expert with Ministry of Agriculture, has taken samples of the caterpillars to Beijing, where he hopes to use DNA technologies to identify their species.

"If their DNA data is not in the existing databank, we, too, need to wait until moths are produced," said Su.

The caterpillars have damaged 8,000 hectares of grassland in Usu and forced nearly 20,000 head of livestock and 50 herding families to leave.

It was the worst plague of caterpillars in three decades in the city about 280 km west of the regional capital of Urumqi........

Full Article

Bed bug resurgence leads to legislator’s call for federal action  

www.rockymounttelegram.com

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield has introduced legislation that would shift millions of federal dollars to identify, combat and eliminate bed bugs.

The parasite has grown from cliche to certifiable pest the past few years, and Butterfield says the federal government must take action to exterminate the problem before it gets worse.

Bed bug infestations have risen considerably throughout the nation and in North Carolina the past few years after the insect was nearly eliminated during the last half of the 20th century. Butterfield’s bill – dubbed the “Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite Act” – would use $50 million from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s budget to help states inspect for and terminate bed bugs in multi-family housing and hotels.

Wayne Cross, an exterminator with Dodson Bros Exterminating Co. in Rocky Mount, said he has seen a spike in bed bug activity in Eastern North Carolina in recent years.

Cross said treating a bed bug infestation is both difficult and expensive. He called the insects “the biggest problem” facing the hotel and apartment and extermination industries.......

Full Article

IPM Reduces Cockroaches and Allergens in Schools, New Study Shows 

www.pctonline.com

LANHAM, Md. – For years, scientists have associated growing asthma rates among children with exposure to cockroach allergens, especially among inner-city children. A new study in the May issue of Journal of Medical Entomology entitled “German Cockroach Allergen Levels in North Carolina Schools: Comparison of Integrated Pest Management and Conventional Cockroach Control” shows that using integrated pest management (IPM) to control cockroaches is more effective at reducing cockroaches and their allergens than conventional methods which do not use IPM.

Unlike conventional pest-control methods, which often involve periodic spraying of insecticides on a predetermined schedule, IPM involves close monitoring for signs of specific pests, combined with baits and traps to control them. The authors of this study compared two school districts using the conventional method with one school district using IPM, and found that the one using IPM had much lower concentrations of cockroach allergens and zero cockroaches caught in pre-set traps.

“North Carolina schools are mandated to convert to IPM by 2011, so these findings give credibility that IPM has superior and longer-lasting results than pesticide use alone,” said Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya, one of the authors. “In fact, the study was so convincing that the two school districts using conventional pest control quickly made the switch to IPM.”

The authors also state that besides being more effective and ecologically superior to conventional pest control methods, IPM has long-term economic benefit as well.

“The monetary costs for IPM might be higher initially, but it pays for itself down the road and provides a healthier school environment,” Nalyanya says........

Full Article

Giant Spiders Invade Australian Outback Town

www.timesonline.co.uk

Scores of eastern tarantulas, which are known as “bird-eating spiders” and can grow larger than the palm of a man’s hand, have begun crawling out from gardens and venturing into public spaces in Bowen, a coastal town about 700 miles northwest of Brisbane.

Earlier this week locals spotted an Australian tarantula wandering towards a public garden in the centre of town where people often sit for lunch. They called in a pest controller, but not before using a can of insect spray to paralyse the spider. The spiders have been pushed out of their natural habitat over the past month by heavy, unseasonal rain.......

Full Article

Rats prompt city to close North Side bar

www.chicagobreakingnews.com

Investigators from Mayor Daley's Dumpster Task Force closed a North Side bar and grill late Friday afternoon after finding what they called an active rat infestation that put customers at risk and required immediate closure.

The Task Force received a complaint about uncontained garbage at the Mad River Bar & Grill, 2909-2911 N. Sheffield Ave., but found the unchecked presence of rats that presented the bigger problem, according to a release from the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

More than 300 rat droppings were found over two floors including in the kitchen area, the DJ and bar areas, and in storage areas. Inspectors also saw numerous holes and openings that would have given the rats numerous sites in which to nest, according to the city. ........

Full Article

UNDER ATTACK BY RATS - Residents send SOS to authorities

www.jamaica-star.com

Residents in Tower Hill and Moyhall, St James, are fearing a leptospirosis outbreak as rats and other rodents have begun to overrun their communities.

Owen Parnell, a pastor at a local church in Moyhall, said the rat infestation is as a result of a garbage-clogged gully that runs adjacent to both communities.

"There is no designated area to dump garbage in the respective communities and the garbage truck does not come in the area, so persons have resorted to dumping the waste in the gully and this is now creating a health hazard. We are literally living in fear of getting leptospirosis because of what is happening," the concerned pastor said..........

Full Article

Bed Bugs Force 12 Residents From Hotel

www.wgal.com

HARRISBURG, PA. -- Tenants of a Harrisburg hotel have been forced out because of a bed bug infestation.

"They're just forcing us out. I don't think they should force you out," said tenant Donald Walborn.

Tenants in the hotel above Tara Station restaurant and bar on Fourth Street had to be decontaminated in a hazmat mobile shower unit.

City code inspectors visited the hotel Wednesday and discovered the bugs.

About a dozen people live in the hotel and some thought the city's response was an overreaction.

"They're just forcing us out. I don't think they should force you out," said tenant Donald Walborn. "If you feel comfortable in a place and they force you out, I think it's wrong."

Officials closed a Harrisburg hotel and restaurant after investigators discovered an infestation of bed bugs.

The American Red Cross is helping the displaced tenants find a place to stay.

The hotel must now be fumigated, which may take weeks. Officials also closed the restaurant on the first floor of the building as a precaution.

Police Chief Charles Kellar said the inspectors themselves were infested with the bugs during their investigation. They were sent to Harrisburg Hospital for decontamination.

"This is absolutely a circus," said Wali Mohmand, owner of the hotel. He believes the city crossed the line in its response.

"One had a cuff, and she undid the cuff of her pants, and a lot came out of there. One guy said it looked like the walls were moving," said Kellar.

The hotel's owner, Wali Mohmand, was on the scene Wednesday, and he said authorities are overreacting.

"I don't see the reason having gone to the hospital and making a big deal of it," said Mohmand. "The building has updated sprinkler system, electric, plumbing. Everything is up to code."

Mohmand told News 8 that an exterminator sprayed the building Tuesday and it was fine.

Tenants Claim They Are 'Comfortable'

The city began debugging the hotel after the current tenants had left.

One former tenant said the order was a long time coming.

Current tenants, however, had a much different reaction.

Tenants were ushered through a mobile hazmat shower unit to be decontaminated.

They said they are comfortable in the hotel, even if there are bugs and even if the hotel's owner is also blaming them for attracting the bugs.

"I'm not their maid, they have to clean after themselves," said Mohmand.

Mohmand said the city overstepped its bounds with its response to the situation.

"Ask an average person what you do with bed bugs," said Mohmand. "Do you call a hazmat team? Seriously."

The tenants were taken to a nearby shelter and were given new clothes.

The hotel is due for two more exterminator sprayings.

The health department will decide on Thursday if the hotel will remain open...........

Full Article

'Eaten Alive': Mice Chew War Vet's Head 

SkyNews

An 89-year-old war veteran has been found covered in blood after mice chewed his head at an Australian nursing home.

The man was discovered in a state of distress at the state government-run nursing home in south west Queensland.

Local MP Ray Hopper likened the situation to the Third World.

"I'm told by the elderly man's daughter that the poor old fellow had been trying to brush the mice away as they continued chewing his ears, head and neck," he said.

"He was so stressed that doctors put him on morphine to calm him down. He nearly died on Saturday night. He was being eaten alive."

The attack came to light when the man's daughter complained to the MP.

Queensland's Health Minister Paul Lucas has apologised to the victim and his family, and offered to relocate other residents of the facility.

The man's daughter said her father was unaware the mice attack took place.

"Because of his age, he's bed-ridden and he has limited communication ability," she said.

The woman told of her disbelief after seeing the injuries on Sunday. "It wasn't just a little nip. It wasn't nice at all," she said.

She added how her family still had complete faith in the nursing home staff, who have had a close relationship with the man during his two years there.

But Australia's Ageing Minister Justine Elliot has ordered an investigation into the procedures and processes at the home in Dalby, 130 miles west of Brisbane.

Karingal Nursing Home, an 80-bed facility with 22 residents over the age of 90, cannot operate without accreditation.

Extra staff and pest control contractors have been called in to deal with the vermin, a Queensland Health spokeswoman said...........

Full Article

Australia orders probe into mouse plague  

AFP

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australia ordered an investigation into a nursing home where elderly and bed-ridden residents were gnawed by a swarming plague of mice.

An 89-year-old war veteran was found bleeding from bites to his ears, neck, head and hands after being attacked by the mice as he lay in bed at the facility in the northeastern state of Queensland.

The old man was so distressed that doctors had to sedate him with morphine, said Ray Hopper, the local member of parliament.

"The top of his ears were severely chewed and he had bites to his head and neck," Hopper told the Australian Associated Press.

"His hands were covered in blood because he was trying to get the mice off him. We are talking about a health facility overrun by vermin. It's atrocious," he added.

Ageing Minister Justine Elliot said she understood there had been a second attack, and had asked accreditation authorities to investigate the staff response to the rodent plague.

"My immediate concern remains for the health, safety and well-being of residents living in the home," Elliot said in a statement.

"These reports are extremely disturbing and traumatic for residents and their families."

If health and safety standards at the 80-bed home were deemed inadequate, Elliot said she would make "no apologies" for shutting it down.

Queensland Health spokesman Stewart Gordon said authorities were doing everything in their power to get rid of the mice, including boosting nursing staff numbers and increasing cleaning staff.

The home, Karingal, is home to 70 high-dependency residents, including 22 who are over 90 years old.

Nurses at the home are horrified by the mouse infestation and believe the home should be shut down if authorities cannot contain the rodents, a nurses' union official said.

"The nurses certainly feel devastated," said Queensland Nurses Union secretary Gay Hawksworth, adding that additional staff had been rostered to ensure proper cleaning and protection of residents.

"If they can't contain the plague, then the next step would be to close the place down," she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation..........

Full Article

Video: Top Five Health Scares   

www.myfoxphilly.com

PHILADELPHIA - In the past two decades, fear of viruses and strange illnesses spreading to pandemic proportions made headlines several times.

We take a look back at the top five health scares.

At five, Hantavirus was first recognized in its current form in the early 90s in the southwestern United States.

Rodent control became the strategy for preventing it.

At four is Mad Cow Disease.

By earlier this year, it had killed 164 people in Britain and 42 elsewhere.

The number of cases is expected to rise because of the disease's long incubation period, but is no longer cause of widespread panic.

Number three is 'Avian' or bird flu.

Since it first infected humans in the 1990s, study of the virus has prompted changes in poultry farming, flu vaccination research, and pandemic planning.

Two is SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

Within a matter of weeks in early 2003, SARS spread from China to 37 countries.

It caused nearly 800 deaths, but now is considered rare.

Number one is West Nile Virus.

In the past decade, we've come to expect hundred of cases a year in this country.

In 2007, there were 3600 cases reported and 124 deaths..........

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NKU dorm treated for bed bugs   

news.cincinnati.com

HIGHLAND HEIGHTS – The bed bugs bit at Northern Kentucky University’s Callahan Hall – to the cost of $10,000 in fumigation and displacing 12 students for 48 hours.

“One of the common myths associated with bed bugs is that they only affect dirty or unkempt places,” said Peter Trentacoste, director of University Housing. “Bed bugs do not discriminate. They can affect a five-star hotel as easy as a one-star hotel. The tri-state is currently heavily burdened by this problem so it should come as no surprise that NKU Housing has handled a small number of cases this year.”

Trentacoste said the source of the bed bugs is unknown.

“It was difficult in this case to identify a source room since we had multiple rooms report the issue at the same time,” said Trentacoste. “As far as where the bugs originated, it’s likely that they were brought in by someone from a location off campus.

“Nationally, a primary source that seems to be named is spending the night in an infested hotel room.”

Two rooms were found to have bed bugs but the university followed their pest control company’s advice to treat the entire floor of Callahan Hall.  .........

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2009 banner year for termites, experts say  

www.news-press.com

It's not exactly the biblical plague of locusts, but this is termite swarming season in Southwest Florida, and by many accounts, it's a bad one.

Specifically, we're talking about subterranean termites, whose swarming season runs from February through May, with a peak in March and April.

"This has been the biggest year since I've been in business," said Conrad Burns, owner of Burns Pest Eliminators. "The swarms are bigger, more compact and more numerous. Frankly, I don't know why."

Three kinds of termite inhabit Southwest Florida, subterranean, dampwood and drywood, with subterranean being the biggest threat to homes (though when a house is tented for termites, it has been infested by drywood termites).

Dampwood and drywood termites swarm in the summer.

Southwest Florida has two kinds of subterranean termites, which cause more than $2 billion in damage a year nationwide: native Eastern subterraneans and nonnative Formosan subterraneans.

While there are more than 2,800 termite species worldwide, the Formosan subterranean termite is the most widely distributed.

Scientists first described it during the early 20th century in Taiwan.

By the 1960s, it had reached the United States, and in 1980, a colony was found at a condominium in Broward County.

A colony of native subterranean termites can have several hundred thousand individuals, while a colony of Formosan termites can contain several million.

"The Formosans tend to have larger colonies," said Mike Page, chief of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Entomology Bureau. "Therefore, the damage has a high potential of being greater. It's not that they eat more - that's a false assumption - but their colonies are larger and can do more damage." .........

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Campus housing tries to kick out unwanted guests  

The Journal

While students were away during Spring Break, Sentinel Pest Control paid UIS a visit in hopes of evicting some unwelcome guests in campus housing: bed bugs.  At the Student Government Association meeting on April 5, John Ringle, Director of Housing, addressed the “bed bug” problem in campus housing. 

“We have been dealing with this, off and on, since October 2007,” Ringle said.  The bed bugs have been found in mattresses and bed linens in apartments on campus.   The insects have especially targeted residents in Clover Court, though exterminators have also made visits to Larkspur and Sunflower courts.  .........

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FDA pressures New Jersey company to recall peanuts 

www.reuters.com

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. marshalls served a warrant on a New Jersey company that has refused to recall peanut products at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The FDA said Westco Fruit and Nuts Inc., an Irvington, New Jersey-based company, has refused to provide access to distribution documents and declined to recall products after an FDA request. The warrant seeks access to the records.

The FDA said the company, which produces and distributes peanuts and peanut products, received shipments from the Peanut Corporation of America, a Georgia company that went into bankruptcy and closed two plants in Georgia and Texas after inspectors traced the salmonella outbreaks to them.

"FDA's enforcement action against Westco Fruit and Nuts is an appropriate step toward removing potentially harmful products from the marketplace, especially when, as in this case, a company is unwilling to share information FDA needs to ensure food safety," the FDA's Michael Chappell said in a statement.........

Full Article

Peanut plant in salmonella outbreak fined $14.6M 

http://hosted.ap.org

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- The shuttered Texas plant owned by a peanut company blamed in a national salmonella outbreak that sickened nearly 700 people was fined a record $14.6 million on Thursday.

The state fined Plainview Peanut Corp. LLC over violations that include unsanitary conditions, product contamination, illnesses linked to peanuts from the plant and operating for almost four years without a food manufacturer's license, the Texas Department of State Health Services said.

Spokesman Doug McBride said the fine was the largest ever levied by the department.

"We felt the assessment of the administrative fines needed to be done regardless of financial situations," he said, referring to bankruptcy filings by the plant's owner, Peanut Corp. of America. "If there is a violation, the penalties need to be assessed, period."........

Full Article

Food safety revamp urged 

www.latimes.com

Atlanta -- Food safety in the United States is no longer improving, highlighting the need to reevaluate the way an American meal makes its way from farm to table, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Rates of salmonella have shown the least improvement of several food-borne illnesses that the agency tracks, according to its annual report released Thursday. The agency also announced that in response, it would increase capacity at its division overseeing incidents of food poisoning.

"Progress has plateaued," said Robert Tauxe, deputy director of the CDC's Division of Foodborne, Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases. "This indicates to us that further measures are needed to prevent more food-borne illness."

The CDC data come as Congress considers legislation that would reshape the food safety system and require more preventive action. The issue has gained President Obama's attention and driven proposals to create an agency dedicated solely to food safety outside the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Food poisoning strikes 76 million Americans every year, with 300,000 ending up in the hospital and 5,000 dying, the CDC says. Salmonella infections can be fatal in the young and elderly.

Officials last month recalled 1 million pounds of pistachios suspected of salmonella contamination. A peanut-linked salmonella outbreak has sickened hundreds and killed nine since late 2008. As of Wednesday, 3,900 peanut-linked products had been voluntarily recalled by their producers.........


Full Article

Pistachio Recall Signals Tough Stance on Safety 

www.nytimes.com

WASHINGTON — As the nation’s second-largest processor of pistachios agreed Monday to recall its entire 2008 crop despite no confirmed illnesses, the Obama administration issued a tough warning to all food makers that sloppy manufacturing practices would no longer be tolerated.

With the warning, the administration signaled that it was substantially changing the way the government oversees food safety. Food-handling practices that in the past would have resulted in mild warnings may now lead to wide-ranging and expensive recalls, even before anyone becomes ill from contaminated food.

“The food industry needs to be on notice that F.D.A. is going to be much more proactive and move things far faster,” said Dr. David Acheson, associate commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration. “We’re going to try to stop people from getting sick in the first place, as opposed to waiting until we have illness and death before we take action.”........

Full Article

Gwyneth Paltrow Bummed By Rat Infestation

www.theinsider.com

Gwyneth Paltrow had to call for pest control because of a rat infestation at her L.A. home, according to Contact Music.

The Hollywood star and hubby Chris Martin of Coldplay are renting an apartment near her mother Blythe Danner as she’s working on Iron Man 2. However, the apartment was infested by rodents, according to the Daily Mirror. How gross!

Paltrow’s friend dished:

“Gwyneth wanted everything to be perfect. She was so excited about moving to L.A. with the family and to be closer to her actress mum. It will be the first time in ages that she, Chris and the children will be living together as a family.

But her stomach turned at the thought of rats running around. She didn’t want her homecoming ruined by those horrible creatures. Being an animal lover, Gwyneth didn’t want the vermin harmed, just removed.”........

Full Article

Rats at a Greenwich Village KFC Taco Bell 

Fox News 5

Video........

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Rats Take Over KFC/Taco Bell   

Fox News 5

Video........

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Dead Rodents, Chewed Bags Found At Target 

Channel 11 News

Video........

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Rodents take over Pinkberry!!

Channel 7 Eyewitness News

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Rat Problem Along Ala Wai Canal

KHON2.com

The Ala Wai Promenade has joggers, walkers and *rats*.

"That's pretty much rodent burrow alright. From the size of it, it looks like it's been going on for quite some time," says Sheryl Garcia, Kamaaina Termite & Pest Control manager.

Dug out holes - big ones, and lots of them.

"Oh yeah, they're really huge, not what you would normally see. That's pretty bad, it is," says Garcia........

Full Article

WRAL Investigates: Providers violated food safety codes

WRAL.com

RALEIGH — Outbreaks of salmonella and recalls of food from stores, most recently associated with hundreds of products containing peanut butter, have raised concerns about the how safe foods are and about the measures in place to keep them safe.

Since Aug. 1, inspectors with the state Department of Agriculture’s Food and Drug Protection Division have written letters to 34 bakeries, grocery stores and food processors, including some locally, directing them to address problems, many of which posed serious health risks.

At an IGA at 2971 Wendell Blvd., in Wendell, for example, inspectors found 11 decomposing mice below a shelf displaying bread, bagged stuffing and ice cream cones and 10 others in a storage room, according to a March letter. It goes on to describe finding thousands of rodent droppings in the facility.

In another case, at a Lowe's Foods at 2900 Millbrook Road in Raleigh, inspectors seized more than 3,200 food items from shelves after finding hundreds of live and dead weevils on products, according to a September letter. At the same store in 2007, inspectors found rodent droppings on and inside boxes in a storage room.

At the Rite Aid at 1910 Falls Valley Drive in Raleigh, a peanut butter cup came out of the package with a worm on top of it. An inspector also found moth larvae on the retail shelves, according to an August letter. Twenty-seven packages of candy were seized for moth infestation.

Each company says it has since resolved its problems, though inspectors continue to work with IGA to make sure the problems do not occur again, its owner says.

Joe Reardon, director of the division, says the agency's goal is to inspect all grocery stores once a year.

With 27 inspectors, though, Reardon says it is a struggle to get to each of the 9,000 facilities they inspect on the schedule he’d like.

"Grocery stores – we'd like to be in every 12 months," Reardon said. "Many cases today, that's every 18 months. Many of the facilities we'd like to be in every six months – it's 9 or 12 before we get in there."

Last year, the department asked lawmakers for six more inspectors, but funding for the positions was denied.......

Full Article

Coast Mountain denies buses infested with bugs

Regular transit user spooked by 'body louse' on Hastings Street bus

Vancouver Courier

Kara Ardan was sitting near the back of a Hastings Street bus earlier this month, when something on the seat in front of her made her jump to her feet.

"I just saw something move," she said. "It was probably a body louse. A good sized one, too. There were a few of them just hanging out there on the back of the seat."

The sight made Ardan, who's been a regular transit user for 20 years, wonder what else lurks in the spongy layers of the fuzzy, dark blue seats on TransLink buses. "Head lice, body lice, bed bugs, you name it are riding around this city without a bus pass, and it's costing all of us," Ardan said. "Those seats are soaking up and containing more nasty bacteria, critters and body fluids than any bathroom."......

Full Article

Mouse problem addressed at Pelham Apartments

metrowestdailynews.com

FRAMINGHAM — ...Within the last year, Corcoran Management Co., which manages Pelham, has performed 265 internal inspections for mice in an attempt to curb complaints and get a handle on the problem.

Residents have complained about the critters scurrying in their walls and under their beds.

Ethan Mascoop, public health director for the town, said this week that "There's been rodent complaints for quite a long time.

"In the past, the management team has been less than effective in eradicating the pests and had collected a number of health code violations," said Mascoop.

Mice present a structural, fire and health hazard, said Mascoop, as they constantly gnaw on anything and everything, including electrical wires, to keep their incisors, which grow rapidly, ground down. As a result, they ingest some inedible materials. To cleanse their systems, mice vomit often, said Mascoop.

In addition, mice defecate a couple times per minute, which can spread pathogens. And they urinate almost constantly, said Mascoop.

"They're gnawing, vomiting, urinating, defecating. Really great stuff from a public health perspective," said Mascoop.

The mice complaints reached the Board of Health, which held a meeting with Corcoran Management officials last month and threatened to fine them $300 daily for every unit.

With at least 540 apartment units those fines could add up quickly.

"We got their attention," said Board of Health Chairman Mike Hugo last week.

....With wetlands nearby and piles of trash festering curbside on collection day, the Pelham environment has been prime for mice....

....Corcoran is also threatening a $100 fine on residents who do not comply with a plan to reduce the mice population. The company will also be reinforcing apartment leases which call for "good housekeeping."....

....Heating ductwork may have exacerbated the problem and made it easier for the mice to move from unit to unit....

....Now the management company is setting 78 bait stations in hopes of putting a dent in the local critter population....

They plan on restocking the bait stations monthly.

Dumpsters are slated to be installed this spring to reduce the amount of curbside trash.

Multiple calls to Corcoran Management Co. were not returned.”......

Full Article

City Establishes Bedbug Advisory Board

cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com

New York City will establish a 10-member bedbug advisory board to tackle a growing infestation of the blood-sucking insects, under legislation that Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed on Wednesday.

In doing so, New York City follows the example of cities like Toronto and Cincinnati, which also formed task forces to come up with holistic strategies to fight bedbugs.

The Bedbug Advisory Board will have nine months from its appointment to report its findings.

“Despite all of our efforts, there is currently inadequate data to understand the full extent of the bed bug problem in the city,” the mayor said in a statement. “The creation of the Bedbug Advisory Board, comprised of experts in the pest management, entomology, and public health fields and representatives from the Departments of Health and Mental Hygiene, Consumer Affairs, Sanitation, Information Technology and Telecommunications, and Housing Preservation and Development will examine the bedbug problem in further detail, systematically evaluate, study, identify and develop appropriate strategies to control and eradicate the bedbug problem in the city.”......

Full Article

Newark Ag Officials Find New Bug

www.farmfutures.com

Import of Israeli thyme turns up a first-ever pest trying to piggy back its way into the United States.

Border inspectors of food products have to keep a vigilant eye out for invasive species or new pests that could end up causing plenty of damage. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Protection agriculture specialists at Newark Liberty International Airport were doing their jobs last week when they discovered a plant bug - Hallodapus sp (Miridae) - on a commercial shipment of thyme from Israel.

This new bug - called a plant bug - was trying to slip into the United States on a shipment of Israeli thyme. Ag inspectors caught the new-to-the-U.S. pest before it could enter the country.

This is the first discovery of this insect in the United States. The species is described as a quarantine pest that had the potential to cause economic damage to a trillion-dollar ag industry. The plant bug was forwarded to a USDA laboratory for identification and a final report confirmed the pest's identity.

Discovery of a new pest is nothing new to these ag specialists, according to a press release. In 2008, Newark specialists found 14 pests and diseases that have never been encountered in the U.S. This latest discovery of a quarantine pest puts the total to 6 newly encountered pests in the United States in FY 2009. USDA officials concluded that these interceptions were indeed first time finds not native to the United States and each discovery emphasizes the importance of the agriculture specialist’s critical mission within CBP......

Full Article

Bed Bug Infestation Plagues Apartments

www.theindychannel.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- An infestation of bed bugs in a downtown apartment building is under control, but far from over.

Federal regulators will meet in Indianapolis next month to discuss the public health risk posed by the insects at Lugar Tower, Call 6's Rafael Sanchez reported.

At the height of the infestation two years ago, 42 apartments were found to have bugs in furniture, bedding and clothing. That number has dropped to eight apartments now, housing officials said.

"The problem is embarrassing, but we have made significant progress," said Indianapolis Housing Authority Housing Director Michael Robinson.....

Full Article

Bee Attack Blamed For The Death Of Two Dogs

cbs4.com

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) ― An attack by thousands of bees is being blamed for the deaths of two dogs in one Ft. Lauderdale neighborhood.

A local pest control was called to exterminate a massive hive next to a home in the 45 hundred block of SW 24th Street. William A Sklaroff, better known as 'Willie the Bee Man', said he estimated there were more than 60 thousand bees residing in the hive. He added that he couldn't tell whether they were Africanized bees without proper testing.

Alina Alvarez, who lives in the home next to where the hive was found, said when the bees attacked her two dogs a man ran to their rescue but couldn't save them.

"I feel very badly for everybody," said Alvarez. "I feel very sorry. I've lost two dogs and my neighbors have been bit. I really feel bad about the whole situation.".....

Full Article

Trains cancelled after rats chew through cables

www.abc.net.au

Rats caused seven trains to be cancelled on the Ballarat line last night.

V/Line says the rodents chewed through signaling cables at Ballan, north-west of Melbourne.

Spokesman Daniel Maloney says some commuters were transferred to buses at Ballan, while others caught buses at Southern Cross station.

He says the drama caused delays of up to half an hour.

"When the weather starts to get bad all manner of weird and wonderful creatures can take refuge in and under the train lines," he said.

"And in the case of last night it appears as though it was rats that basically ate their way through the fibre optic cable and that basically meant we had crews working until about 1:30 this morning to return the normal signaling system."......

Full Article

Bedbugs invade beds in the Bay Area

abclocal.go.com

BERKELEY, CA (KGO) -- There's an invasion hitting the Bay Area and cities across the country. And if you don't hear much about it, it might have to do with the stigma associated with the problem, because the invaders are bedbugs.

A Berkeley man suffered scars from the bedbugs he said attacked him at local homeless shelter.

Housing director Drew King oversees the shelter in downtown Berkeley, which is about to spend close to $50,000 to eradicate the pests. He's also learned the shelter isn't alone.

"We looked through the Internet and found bedbug task forces in place," said King.
 
"They're kind of reddish brown, kind of roach-like in appearance, kind of flat like a roach," said the man.

The bedbugs, which were all but wiped out by the 1950's, appear to be storming back.

Entomologist Vernard Lewis studies the pests in his lab at the University of California, and says the banning of strong pesticides like DDT may have let the species off the ropes.

And it's also left experts struggling to control outbreaks in homes and hotels across the country. ......

Full Article

Recession good for mice and cockroaches 

www.walletpop.com

While many lose, somebody always benefits in a recession: Debt collectors, movie theaters, and sometimes diners who can find a good deal. Add to that list mice, cockroaches and other such pests.

Residential and commercial pest control industry customers are saving money by cutting back on regular exterminations, which can lead to more vermin later, according to a New York Times story.

Restaurants may not be cutting back because they face steep fines if health officials find violations, but apartment landlords and office buildings are cutting back services, exterminators told the Times.

The story quoted Robert Agatowski, who owns an extermination company in Manhattan, who talked with a general manager of a business:

"He said, 'It's very simple. I don't know if we can make the rent or the payroll,'" Agatowski said. "'So in other words, you're out. We'll step on the bugs and kick the mice.' The exterminating almost becomes like a luxury item."

I don't care what the cost. Getting rid of mice and cockroaches isn't a luxury. The pests will multiply if not taken care of regularly, the exterminators said.......

Full Article

Dead mice found at salmonella U.S. peanut plant

www.reuters.com

* FDA finds dead mice, droppings at Texas peanut plant

* CDC sees new cases seen as consumers eat recalled foods

* Senators introduce bill to expand FDA food safety powers

(Updates throughout with FDA inspection report)

CHICAGO, March 3 (Reuters) - Dead mice and rodent droppings were found throughout a Texas plant run by a company whose peanut products caused one of the biggest food recalls in U.S. history, food inspectors reported on Tuesday.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors who for the first time visited the Plainview, Texas, food processing plant run by Peanut Corporation of America were clearly disgusted by what they found last month.

"Effective measures are not being taken to exclude pests from the processing areas and protect against the contamination of food on the premises by pests," the report reads.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 677 people in 45 states have been sickened in the outbreak of salmonella food poisoning, which is still going on, and which has been traced to two of the company's plants in Georgia and Texas.

So far, more than 2,833 products have been pulled from store shelves since mid-January, although not brand names of peanut butter, which are not affected.

The FDA inspectors found plenty of potential for contamination, including:

* A dead mouse stuck to a glue trap. "The mouse appeared to have died recently," the report reads.

* "What appeared to be rodent excreta pellets too numerous to count were observed in the cabinet under the sink in the south most kitchen."

* "In the cabinet north of the dishwasher ... I counted approximately 27 rodent excreta pellets."

* "Another dead mouse was found just outside the south most doorway of the kitchen. ... This mouse also appeared to have recently died."

* "What appeared to be a bird's nest was observed in the wall/ceiling metal support beam at southwest corner of the mezzanine area."

* Processing machines had buildup of "gooey" peanut paste.

Numerous roof leaks.

The recall is the latest in a series involving tainted lettuce, peppers and spinach that have eroded public confidence in food safety and renewed calls for change at the FDA.

A bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation on Tuesday that would widen FDA powers to control food safety......

Full Article

Bed, bugs and beyond disgusting

www.chicagotribune.com

When Lisa Tousant woke up one morning in August with itchy, red splotches on her elbow, she thought she had been bitten by a mosquito. A few days later, she found more strange, swollen spots up and down her arms and legs.

"You get to scratching and scratching. I almost dug a hole in my arm, that's how bad they were," said Tousant, a 41-year-old city worker who lives in Rogers Park. After scouring her tidy one-bedroom apartment with ammonia in an attempt to wipe out the mysterious scourge, she inspected her mattress. "I pulled the sheets back and turned on the light, and there's the bugs."

Bedbugs -- those nocturnal bloodsuckers -- are on the march in Chicago. After being nearly eradicated in the United States by DDT in the 1950s, the creatures have launched a comeback. Reports of the bugs spiked locally last summer and have been rising ever since. Prompted by an outcry from angry, itchy citizens, city officials next month will train 45 building inspectors to spot the critters. A coalition that includes the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, the Safer Pest Control Project and Ald. Joe Moore's (49th) office is lobbying for a coordinated response that would educate school nurses, establish citywide tracking and launch an aggressive public-awareness campaign.

"It's not at epidemic proportions, but it could be. It certainly is moving in that direction, and that's why the city has to move proactively," said Moore, whose ward has been called a hotbed for the infestation. "We don't want to let this get out of hand.".......

Full Article

Roaches and Mice Thrive in a Recession

cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com

Brace yourselves for more fun news: recessions, it turns out, while bad for humans, may be good for cockroaches and mice.

Veterans in the pest control industry said that their customers, both residential and commercial, appear to be sacrificing on regular exterminations as a cost-cutting measure. While restaurants are bound by the threats of steep fines, apartment landlords and office buildings are cutting back services, the exterminators said.

Robert Agatowski, with Control Exterminating Company on East 33rd Street in Manhattan, recalled a recent call from a general manager of a business.

“He said, ‘It’s very simple. I don’t know if we can make the rent or the payroll,’” Mr. Agatowski recalled. “‘So in other words, you’re out. We’ll step on the bugs and kick the mice.’ The exterminating almost becomes like a luxury item.”........

Full Article

London bed bugs 'rise by up to 1,500%'

www.croydonguardian.co.uk

Bed bug infestations in London have increased by as much as 1,500 per cent in some areas, council figures have shown.

Beds Bugs Limited, a pest company which collected figures from 22 London councils, warned that the capital could be returning to 1930s conditions if the bugs continued to spread at the current rate.

In the 1930s one in three homes suffered from a bed bug infestation, the firm said.

Freedom of Information requests sent out by the company showed that reported bed bug infestations rose from less than 1,000 cases in 2003 to more than 3,000 in 2007.

“There is a growth of between 300 per cent and 1,500 per cent in some parts of London,” said David Cain of Bed Bugs Limited.

“If we don’t grasp the extent of this problem today then it will only be a matter of time before we get back to 1930s levels of one third of all London dwellings being infested with bed bugs.”........

Full Article

Bed Bug Infestation

www.cbs3springfield.com

The tenants of a Springfield apartment complex say they've been living a nightmare. They no longer feel safe or at ease in their homes. The reason an infestation of bed bugs.

For the past 6 months tenants at this Springfield apartment complex off Locust street have been itching and complaining.

Blanche Delbridge said, "I'm eaten up and my hair fell out."

All thanks to their unwelcome guests, bed bugs. Blanche Delbridge has bites all over her body.

Delbridge said, "They are worse than jaws I swear they are worse than jaws, they eat you up, you burn from them and you can't sleep."

She says she's fed up with her landlord's lack of action. And it's not just her. Catherine Fickling lives upstairs. She says the bed bugs are causing her both physical and mental stress........

Full Article

Bed bugs make a comeback in Illinois  

www.connecttristates.com

QUINCY, IL -- Bed bugs are making a comeback in Illinois, at least according to the Department of Public Health.

The department has seen an increase in the number of calls from the public and from local health departments about bed bug infestations.

KHQA's Rajah Maples checked in with the Adams County Health Department Friday afternoon to find out if that's the case in our area.

Director of Health Protection Jerrod Welch told her the department hasn't heard of any bed bug problems in the area.

But he says it's not usually reportable to the health department.

That's because Welch says bed bugs don't transmit disease and are more of a nuisance rather than a health risk.

If someone suspects they have bed bugs, he advises to call a pest control expert to determine if there's an infestation.......

Full Article

Bees take over in Katy 

Woman allergic to insects can't go near infested house

www.chron.com

The bees live here, now.

Tangela Perkins has been staying at a neighbor’s house ever since her 8-year-old daughter found bees crawling in her bed a few days ago.

Perkins is used to falling asleep to the sound of buzzing. The hive beneath the floorboards is so huge it occasionally rattles the floor.

Now that the insects have breached her interior walls, Perkins says, enough is enough.

Displaced from her own home and invoking the ire of her Katy neighbors, Perkins realizes the bees are a problem. But she doesn’t know how to get rid of them.

Bees have plagued her home on Pleasant Stream off and on for five years, although never to such an extent. Honey drips from the walls now, onto her front door......

Full Article

New York bedbug complaints increase 34% in a year

nydailynews.com

New York's bedbug infestation is getting worse, with almost 10,000 complaints to the city last year - one-third higher than the year before.

"There are lots and lots of people who are having a devastating experience with bedbugs," said Renee Corea, who helped start the coalition New York vs. Bed Bugs after being bitten. "We are already regarded as the most highly infested city in the United States."

New Yorkers called 311 with 9,213 bedbug complaints in the last fiscal year, up 33.7% from the year before, according to records that Corea's group obtained through a Freedom of Information request.

That probably understates the problem, Corea said, because uncounted numbers of New Yorkers call exterminators instead of phoning 311......

Full Article

Destructive beetles found on cargo ship docked in Everett

 The ship, which had Khapra beetles on board, was not allowed to off-load any cargo at the Everett Port.

HeraldNet

EVERETT -- The tiny bugs are just what specially trained customs inspectors hope to find.

In crevasses and corners, in pantries and bins of food, U.S. Customs officials carefully look through ships, trucks and trains coming into the United States to keep dangerous critters from crossing the border.

"They know where to look and how to look," said Susan Spinella, an agriculture program manager for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Seattle.

Earlier this month, agents found an infestation of the potentially destructive Khapra beetle -- Trogoderma granarium -- aboard a cargo ship at the Port of Everett......

Full Article

Dead rodents, excrement in peanut processor lead to recall

CNN.com

The Texas Department of State Health Services on Thursday ordered the recall of all products ever shipped from the Peanut Corporation of America's plant in Plainview, Texas, after discovering dead rodents, rodent excrement and bird feathers in the plant.

The plant produced oil-roasted and dry-roasted peanuts, peanut meal and granulated peanut.

The order, which applies to products shipped since the plant opened nearly four years ago, came a day after the discovery of filth in a crawl space above a production area during a health services inspection, Texas Health Department Press Officer Doug McBride told CNN in a telephone interview.

The plant's ventilation system pulled debris "from the infested crawl space into production areas of the plant resulting in the adulteration of exposed food products," a health department news release said. .....

Full Article

'Killer bees' discovered in traps in St. George, Kanab areas

Deseret News

ST. GEORGE — So-called killer bees have arrived in Utah.

Washington County authorities confirmed Wednesday that Africanized bees have been found in Utah's Dixie, something public safety officials have been worried about — and preparing for.

"We figured it was an eventuality that was going to come to pass," Washington County Emergency Services director Dean Cox told the Deseret News. "We've got the Virgin River corridor, which is a superb conduit for them."

Washington County Commissioner Alan Gardner said Africanized honeybees were discovered in seven traps near St. George and Kanab.

Though the presence of the bees is not believed to be widespread, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food spokesman Larry Lewis cautioned the public to approach all bees with caution and respect......

Full Article

Bedbugs force dorm fumigations
Students irked by University response

The GW Hatchet

Students reported a bedbug infestation on the ninth floor of New Hall last week, prompting the second series of fumigations in residence hall this semester.

New Hall residents Nik Alexoff and his three roommates were notified Wednesday afternoon of the infestation on their floor and that bedrooms would have to be treated. Previously, at least three rooms in Ivory Tower were fumigated this semester after a room of girls reported bedbugs.......

Full Article

Don’t let the bedbugs bite: Infestations increase in dorms nationwide, expert says cleanliness not a factor 

Kentucky Kernel By Travis Walker and Stephanie Ingolia

Bedbugs are becoming a problem in dorm rooms across the nation and the bad news: They are hard to prevent.

“We can’t really prevent (bedbugs) because there are so many ways of bringing them in,” said Ben Crutcher, associate vice president for Auxiliary Services at UK.

During the Spring 2008 semester, there was a bedbug incident in Blanding Tower, Crutcher said. That is the only case of bedbugs in a UK residence hall that Crutcher has heard of, but there have been a number of incidents in the UK-owned Cooperstown and Shawneetown apartments, he said......
Full Article

Cockroach Allergens Continue to be a Major Trigger of Asthma, Especially in Children

National Pest Management Association

FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--With a projected $1B spent on the professional cockroach management services in the United States each year, this insect is one of the nation’s most prevalent and potentially hazardous pests. Cockroaches can spread nearly 33 different kinds of bacteria, six kinds of parasitic worms and at least seven other kinds of human pathogens. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) warns that as these pests come indoors, their droppings and shed skin lead to allergen accumulation and subsequently, the potential increase for asthma attacks, notably in children.

Recent medical studies have shown that cockroach allergens are responsible for numerous allergic reactions and are one of the leading causes of school absenteeism. In fact, the World Health Organization reported in its 2008 book, “Public Health Significance of Urban Pests,” that children who are not only sensitive to cockroach allergens but also, exposed to high levels of such allergens are 3 times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than other children.

"Cockroach allergens – whether present in homes, schools or other public facilities – pose significant health risks for all humans, especially children," says Greg Baumann, senior scientist for NPMA. "As a major trigger of asthma, which the American Lung Association deems the most common chronic disorder in children, cockroaches are pests that must be properly controlled to prevent the build-up of allergens and the spread of bacteria.".....
Full Article

Pueblo dealing with bed bug outbreak 

www.koaa.com

The Pueblo City-County Health Department has issued an advisory about bed bugs, following multiple cases of people complaining of bites or rashes. The rashes turn out to be clusters of bed bug bites. The bugs have been found in people's homes, as well as in hotel rooms.

The bugs are getting into people's homes in several ways--including used mattresses or furniture, and in the suitcases of travelers. Heather Maio, environmental health division director said, “Bed bugs do not require unsanitary conditions, and bed bugs do not discriminate between economy and luxury as they can exist in the cleanest homes, apartments, hotels or motels.”   ......
Full Article

Mice Infestation Forces Closure Of Pilsen Grocery 

www.havenews.com

CHICAGO (STNG) ― What was described as a "very active" rodent infestation led city inspectors to shut down a Pilsen neighborhood grocery on the Near Southwest Side on Tuesday.

Mayor Daley's Dumpster Task Force closed the La Adelita grocery at 2058 W. 19th Street, due to problems related to the mice infestation, according to a release from the Department of Streets & Sanitation.

Inspectors visited the grocery to follow-up on complaints and found more than 285 mice droppings in the food preparation and basement storage areas, including inside a compartment that housed a saw for cutting large pieces of meat, the release said.

Inspectors also found five decaying mice inside the shelving in the food selling area, the release said.  ......
Full Article

Sonic Drive-In permit threatened with suspension over cockroach infestation

www.havenews.com

The Sonic Drive-In in Havelock got a 96.5 on their food service establishment inspection but that wasn’t good enough to keep the health department from threatening to pull their permit.

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Environmental Health issued a notice of intent to suspend or revoke permit on January 30.

The restaurant is located at 1301 East Main Street

Environmental Health specialist Scott Martin cited an infestation of cockroaches as the main reason for the citation.   . ......
Full Article

Bed bug infestation angers residents in Spring Valley apartment complex

The Journal News

SPRING VALLEY - Some residents of the Spring Valley Commons are furious that their apartments have become infested by bed bugs, resulting in illness, lost work and thousands of dollars in costs to replace clothing and furniture.

One resident, local activist Cassandra Edwards, said she starting "breaking out" last fall. Edwards, who suffers from lupus, thought her disease might have been taking a greater toll. But doctors weren't able to pinpoint the problem. At one point, they told her she might have cellulitis - a potentially serious skin infection - and prescribed her multiple antibiotics that pushed her weight up about 100 pounds.

Then, one morning when she woke up, she saw a bug on her body. She lifted her mattress, and what she saw made her skin crawl.

"My bed was full of them," she said.  . ......
Full Article

Bedtime worries put to rest

Reports of residence hall bed bugs appear to be unfounded

www.thedailyaztec.com

Good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite! It’s more than just a cute bedtime saying. Bed bugs are real, they do bite and they have recently been seen on the San Diego State campus.

The extent to which there is any kind of a bed bug problem at SDSU is unclear, but university administrators in a number of departments have said there is no problem that they are currently aware of.

Just as recently as the past few months, though, at least one area on campus had to be treated for the pests.

Dr. Sandy Jorgensen-Funk, director of Counseling and Psychological Services, said there was an isolated case in October in which a bed bug was seen on one of the egg chairs available to students who come into the office for services.

“We immediately shut down the chairs,” Jorgensen-Funk said, “so that they weren’t used by students, as soon as we found this out.”  . ......
Full Article

Good Night, Sleep Tight

www.washingtoncitypaper.com

The District is just now waking up to a bunch of little problems under the sheets.

Don Wilder remembers the night he found his own blood on his sheets. Itchy red welts had been appearing on his arms and legs for six months.

His doctor, dermatologist, plastic surgeon, and psychiatrist all had different theories—so he tried prescriptions and rubbed Bactine and lidocaine lotion on his skin. But the red marks only spread. “Literally hundreds” of them dotted his legs that night in October 2005, he says, when he lifted his sheet to find blood “all over.” . ......
Full Article

Vermin infestation shuts Loblaws store 

www.TheStar.com

Initial cleanup efforts fail to appease health department: 'It's a bad one,' inspector says.

The Dupont and Christie neighbourhood will be without a Loblaws for the foreseeable future after city health officials shuttered the store Monday night for "heavy" vermin infestation.

The store "will remain closed until further notice," said a statement released last night by Loblaw Companies Ltd., the store's parent company. "Rigorous steps are being taken to thoroughly complete the action items requested by Toronto Public Health."

On Monday, a health inspector discovered an infestation of mice and rats, including droppings in food preparation areas, at the store at 650 Dupont St. ......
Full Article

Bed Bug Extermination [by homeowner] May Have Led to Fire

www.local12.com

WKRC TV Cincinnati - Cincinnati,OH,USA  -- Investigators say an attempt to get rid of bed bugs may have contributed to a fire that damaged a Bond Hill home.

Fire crews were called to the house on Scottwood Avenue just after 10:30 last night. They found heavy smoke on the second floor and quickly got the fire under control.

Investigators believe the resident was treating a bedroom with a mixture of alcohol and bug killing solution. A cigarette may have ignited fumes generated by the mixture.
Full Article

Mice Start Deadly Fire That Kills 100 Cats at Shelter

arkansasmatters.com

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Canadian authorities say mice were responsible for starting a fire that killed about 100 cats at an animal shelter.

The "Toronto Star" reports the 250-thousand-dollar blaze is still under investigation, but preliminary reports suggest it began from mice chewing through electrical wires......
Full Article

Killer mice eat baby albatross on remote island

cnn.com

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Predatory mice are threatening the albatross population on a remote south Atlantic island and have caused the birds' worst nesting season on record, a British bird charity says.
Baby albatross on a remote Atlantic island are threatened by killer house mice.

The research from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds indicates bad news for the Tristan albatross, whose only home is Gough Island in the middle of the south Atlantic. House mice not native to the island are threatening the Tristan albatross with extinction, the RSPB said.

The mice are also threatening the native population of bunting, one of the world's largest finches, the RSPB said.

"Without removal of the mice, both the albatross and the bunting that live there are doomed to extinction," Grahame Madge, a conservation spokesman for the RSPB, told CNN......
Full Article

Barbados issues another warning on leptospirosis

caribbeannetnews.com

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (BGIS): The Ministry of Health is reminding members of the public of the need for continued vigilance in the wake of increasing numbers of persons being affected by leptospirosis.

This advice comes from Senior Medical Officer of Health, Dr Karen Springer, who noted that the figures for this year continue to climb. She confirmed a significant increase in the number of cases recorded over the past two months totaling 13.....

“The disease can also be prevented if individuals avoid contact with the urine of infected animals and with any bodies of water that could be contaminated. Although rats and mice are known as the main carriers of leptospirosis, the disease is also associated with pigs, horses, cattle and dogs,” she said.....
Full Article

In bacteria, vet sees key to human ills

Sarah Avery, Staff Writer, News and Observer, Raleigh, NC

A notion struck Betsy Sigmon on the way to the hospital to tend to her 13-year-old son Jason.

The youngster, who was admitted after suffering weeks of excruciating headaches, had been bitten by a tick days before he grew sick. While blood tests showed no hint of a tick-borne infection, the idea nagged at her.

So Sigmon called Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, a veterinary researcher at N.C. State University. Sigmon, herself a vet, knew Breitschwerdt studied tick-borne diseases.......

At the heart of Breitschwerdt's research is a pathogen carried by insects -- a bacteria known as Bartonella. Spread by biting pests such as fleas, lice, sandflies and possibly ticks, Bartonella are difficult to detect in human blood. As a result, Breitschwerdt thinks the bacteria are taking an unacknowledged toll on human health.

"I believe it's a silent epidemic," says Breitschwerdt, who is also an adjunct professor in infectious diseases at Duke University Medical School.''......

Full Article

Eek! Family finds dead mouse in cheese

CBC News

Finding a mouse in your cheese has a very high 'ick' factor, CFIA acknowledged. (submitted by Atkinson family)

While slicing some cheese for his children, a father in western P.E.I. recently uncovered a dead mouse in the middle of the block.

"This would have been the very last thing I would have expected to find… in a block of cheese, which I buy every time I do groceries," Deborah Atkinson of Miscouche, just west of Summerside, said of her husband's discovery.

Atkinson said her family loved Maple Dale's Caribbean brand cheese from Ontario, which has hot peppers and sun-dried tomatoes in it. A couple of weeks ago, while her husband was cutting slices from the last block he bought in Summerside, he gave his four-year-old daughter a couple of pieces to munch on.

He made the unpleasant discovery a few cuts later........
Full Article

Plague emerges in Grand Canyon, kills biologist

By Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY

One day last October, Eric York lugged the carcass of an adult mountain lion from his truck and laid it carefully on a tarp on the floor of his garage.

The female mountain lion had a bloody nose, but her hide bore no other signs of trauma. York, a biologist at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, found the big cat lying motionless near the canyon's South Rim. He was determined to learn why she died.

WILL WE SEE IT COMING?: Experts say next epidemic will come from animals

Because the park lacks a forensics lab, he did the postmortem in his garage, in a village of about 2,000 park employees.

Epidemic experts can only speculate about what happened next. When York cut into the lion, he must have released a cloud of bacteria and breathed in. On Nov. 2, York was found dead, a 21st-century victim of plague, the disease that in the Middle Ages turned Europe into a vast mortuary. He was 37.......
Full Article

Experts predict next epidemic will start in animals

www.usatoday.com

Published: October 21, 2008

Ever since Surgeon General William Stewart famously declared in the late 1960s that it was time "to close the book" on infectious disease, new outbreaks have come in waves, among them: Legionnaire's disease, hantavirus, West Nile virus, bird flu, salmonella, drug-resistant tuberculosis and AIDS.

In a typical year, infectious diseases kill about 57 million people, 26% of all deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Three diseases — AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria — account for about 6 million deaths. A pandemic inevitably would send the toll much higher. ......

....Scientists aren't willing to sit back and wait for the next deadly surprise. Given the likelihood the next epidemic will start in animals, human and veterinary infectious disease experts, once worlds apart, have conceptually merged their approach into what they call "one health.".....

Full Article

City shuts Chinatown Market

chicagobreakingnews.com Published:October 24, 2008

The city today shutdown the Chinatown Market, 2121 S. Archer Ave., due to an active rat infestation and for congested and unsanitary conditions.

On Friday inspectors from Mayor Daley's Dumpster Task Force followed up on a complaint about the market and found that conditions were unsanitary both inside and out, according to a news release from the Department of Streets and Sanitation.

More than 130 rat droppings were found over two floors including on top of potato starch containers, on shelving, under a live fish tank, and in 17 other locations. Interior conditions were found to be both cramped and unclean. Exterior conditions revealed an accumulation of junk and materials, according to the release......
Full Article

Parents of child bitten by rat held for probation violation

By John Harbin
Times-News Staff Writer

Published: Saturday, October 25, 2008

The parents of a toddler attacked by rats in 2006 are in the Henderson County jail after being picked up for skipping probation.

Henry and Cathy Hollenbeck were taken into custody Thursday after they were found hiding at the home of Cathy’s mother on Highland Lake Park Drive, said Henderson County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Charlie McDonald......
Full Article

Rats - nobody wants them around - especially in your home or your car.

01:59 PM CDT on Saturday, October 25, 2008

By STEVE STOLER / WFAA-TV

But one Frisco neighborhood says the rodents are moving in and you can't ignore the evidence they leave behind.

Rats have been filmed running along the brick wall and trees separating the neighborhood from El Dorado Parkway.

"During the day, during the morning, during the night, you can count them," said Grant Tucker, a Frisco homeowner.

We watched the rats scurry across the alley and go under wooden fences into neighbors' backyards.

"At night, you can actually hear the rats squeaking and rustling through the bushes outside the front window," said Tucker.

But it was in the driveway behind Tucker's house that the rats did most of the damage........
Full Article

Hundreds of schools plagued by pests

Sep 22 2008 by Moira Sharkey, Western Mail - WalesOnline.co.uk

RATS, mice, flies and ants in kitchens plus nursery and reception classrooms are among a shocking list of pest control cases to have plagued Wales’ schools during the last academic year, the Western Mail can reveal today.

More than 450 pest control call-outs were made to schools in Wales plagued with vermin within nine months, our investigation found.

It revealed hundreds of incidents of vermin found in staff-rooms, classrooms, kitchens and playgrounds. In one case – at Romilly Junior School in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan – a child was allegedly bitten by a rat while playing football........
Full Article

Rodents close city food court -
Licenses for 10 City Market vendors were pulled after an inspection Friday.

The Roanoke Times - Mike Gangloff and Mason Adams

A vendor at the Roanoke City Market tapes a makeshift "closed" sign to the Salem Avenue entrance door of the building.

The food court in the Roanoke City Market Building is closed because of rodents.

The city-owned food court's failure to open Saturday was something of a daylong mystery and the latest twist in recent discussions of the future of the 86-year-old building and its food court. The talk has taken on fresh urgency as the brand-new, nationally touted Taubman Museum of Art, just across Salem Avenue, prepares to open in November.

Would-be customers peered into windows. City officials offered general statements about "fall cleaning" and "possible violations." Workers carried 2-by-4s and other construction materials into the market building and said they'd been told not to talk about what was going on. Vendors said they didn't want to talk because it might jeopardize their businesses.

But on Saturday evening, Virginia health department spokesman Robert Parker confirmed that licenses for all 10 food court vendors were pulled after an inspection Friday found "a rodent control problem.".......
Full Article

Black widow spider sidelines Belding teen

MLive.com

BELDING -- Brad Gregory was happy to help his grandparents unpack their new Maytag dishwasher.

The reward for his efforts? A bite from the highly venomous southern black widow spider -- a rare visitor to Michigan. It has one of the most potent venoms secreted by an animal.

Gregory, 17, still was feeling pain Saturday after being bitten on his right forearm Sept. 7.

"It hurts in my back and abdominal area," he said in a tone made groggy by the pain and medication.

He was rushed to the hospital after discovering he had been bitten by one of the spiders that built a nest in the dishwasher's box.......
Full Article

First 2008 Case of West Nile Virus in Escambia County

Florida Dept of Health

ESCAMBIA COUNTY (FL) – The Escambia County Health Department is issuing a Health Alert for West Nile virus following the report of the first adult case of West Nile Virus since 2006.

Residents and visitors are urged to take the necessary precautions to avoid being bitten by an infected mosquito........
Full Article

Cockroaches 'Rain Down' On Officer, Cover Child In House Of Filth - Police Report Reads Like Horror Novel

Local6.com

LEESBURG, Fla. -- Thousands of cockroaches rained down on an officer and were spotted crawling over an infant inside a Central Florida house of filth.

Officers checking the home of Debra Chappell and James Seevers in Leesburg found the couple and a 2-year-old living in the home described as not being fit for animals.

The police report about the house reads like a horror novel, Local 6 reported.

The report described thousands of cockroaches swarming inside the structure. An officer wrote that he had to jump back when he opened a refrigerator because of the number of "roaches that rained down on him."

Roaches were also inside the cupboards and crawling all over the child in her crib.......
Full Article

500,000 bees infest three Florida homes

AP - Wed Sep 17, 2:30 PM ET

Residents of a neighborhood in North Miami, Florida were forced to call a bee expert when they discovered that their homes were infested with hundreds of thousands of bees.. ....
Full Article

Woman dies from Weil's disease after rat scratch in garden

scotsman.com - 14 September 2008, By Kate Foster

A WOMAN has died from a rare disease after she was scratched by a rat in her garden.

Carol Colburn was trying to free the rodent from her bird feeder when she suffered scratches and cuts to her fingers. Four days later she fell ill with flu-like symptoms and within 48 hours she had died.

Colburn, 56, had contracted Weil's disease, a severe form of leptospirosis which is caused by bacteria found in the urine of wild animals. Weil's disease, which affects around 10% of leptospirosis victims, causes jaundice and liver damage. ....
Full Article

Bee swarm kills six in car smash and sting

Reuters

BEIJING - Three people were stung to death after a truck carrying dozens of bee hives overturned in northeast China and three more were killed on the road as they tried to steer clear of the swarm, newspapers said on Thursday.

The bee-hive truck collided with a farm vehicle on Wednesday and overturned near Changchun, the capital of Jilin province, the China Daily said.

Pictures showed thousands of bees swarming around the accident site as workers, wearing protective clothing, cleared the debris.

The East Asia Economy and Trade News said three more people were killed hours later when two trucks collided as they tried to avoid the swarm ....
Full Article

Elderly Florida Man Killed by Fire Ants After Tropical Storm Fay

Thursday, August 28, 2008 Associated Press

CHULUOTA, Fla. — An elderly man was killed when a floating colony of fire ants washed into his home after Tropical Storm Fay and bit him multiple times.

Authorities said the man was bitten Tuesday and died at the hospital the next day. His name was not released. Seminole County officials said the man was allergic to the ant bites.
Full Article

Bed Bugs Move into Dorms

August 21, 2008 USA Today, by Greg Toppo

Just as they've made an itchy, scratchy comeback in hotel rooms, bed bugs increasingly are appearing in dorm rooms, say college officials and pest control experts, who are busy devising ways to eradicate the bloodsuckers.

Blame an increase in international travel, bigger bed bug populations worldwide, new protocols that discourage widespread spraying, and possibly even tougher bugs that are resistant to pesticides. ...
Full Article

Rodent control, cleanup and hantavirus

theolympian.com

Hantavirus has been in the news this week. It is the suspected cause of death of Ellensburg police officer Nelson Ng, who died Aug. 15. His death has prompted a flurry of inquiries about hantavirus.  ...
Full Article

Two New Yorkers Test Positive For West Nile

emaxhealth.com By: New York City Health Department - Tue, 08/19/2008

The Health Department confirmed the season’s first human cases of West Nile virus in a 73-year-old Queens woman and a 60-year-old man from the Bronx. In response to the cases and the growing number of mosquitoes testing positive for the virus, the Health Department urged resident to take steps to prevent infection..   ...
Full Article

Hantavirus suspected in police officer's death

SeattlePI.com By LISA STIFFLER P-I REPORTER

It's unknown how Ellensburg man caught rare disease

Hantavirus, a virus carried by infected rodents, is the suspected cause of death for an Ellensburg police officer.

In Washington, the ailment most frequently comes from deer mice. People become sick after breathing dust or air contaminated with mouse droppings, urine or saliva. The associated human disease, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, is rare, but often fatal.   ...
Full Article

Rat may be on menu in Indian canteens 

News.scotman.com   Published Date: 20 August 2008 By Ethan McNern

One of India's poorest states is considering adding rat meat to the menus of government-run canteens, to provide cheap protein amid rising food prices.

"People in different parts of the world eat lizards and dogs. Why not rats?" Jeetan Ram Manjhi, the tribal welfare minister in Bihar state, said yesterday.

While the suggestion – there are no firm plans to start marketing rat meat just yet – may seem repulsive to many inside and outside India, eating rats is not unheard of in Bihar, most of whose 80 million people live mainly off the land as tenant farmers.  ...
Full Article

Man Mistakes Gunshot Wound For Ant Bite 

KFOXtv.com - El Paso,TX,USA 

A man who woke up in the morning thinking he had been bitten by an ant had actually been shot. The 19-year-old Anthony, NM, resident went to ...
Full Article

Father and daughter bit by snake in Elon 

By Emily Hohenwarter/ Times-News

Snakes really bite.

Shae Joyce of Elon knows this first-hand. Her husband, Mark, and their 3-year-old daughter, Abigail, both were bitten by a copperhead July 12 on the sidewalk in front of their home. Mark and Abigail were taken to Alamance Regional Medical Center for treatment.

Joyce said she's heard of other copperhead sightings and bites in the Elon area. A child of one of her friends was bitten on the playground behind the Joyces' house in May. She thinks there's a snake problem in her neighborhood this year.

It's hard to say if Elon in particular has had more snakes this summer, but in North Carolina snakes are on the move because of the state's dry spell  ......
Full Article

Girl's death prompted focus on mosquito-borne illnesses 

By TERRY RINDFLEISCH | La Crosse Tribune

Most people didn’t know or won’t remember Dawn Lyn Torgerson.

But Dave Geske, La Crosse County’s mosquito control officer for 31 years, thinks about the 3-year-old girl all the time. It’s the reason he continues the all-out battle against disease-carrying mosquitoes that cause the La Crosse strain of encephalitis. David Geske, center talks over the daily strategy for the day.Dick Riniker photo “People need to remember this little girl,” Geske said. “She saved lives. Hundreds of people were spared from this trauma.” ......
Full Article

Woman finds black widow spider in grape bag

Jodie Sinnema, The Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - All week, Amanda Hammond had been picking tiny clusters of grapes out of the bag in her fridge, washing them and popping them into her mouth.

On Tuesday, she set the last of the grapes in a bag on her desk at work, then saw something black and shiny crawling in the bag.

"I absolutely hit the roof," said Hammond, who found a live black widow spider in the red seedless grapes she bought at the Sobeys store on Victoria Trail and 135th Avenue. "I screamed." ......
Full Article

Mouse hunt: Mice, 1; shooter, 0

By Linda Williams/TWN Staff Writer Article Launched: 07/11/2008 12:20:58 PM PDT

An unidentified 43-year-old Potter Valley woman and a 42-year-old Clear Lake man were injured in the early morning hours of July 3 when a mouse hunt took a dangerous turn for the hunters.

The incident began when the woman, carrying a 44-caliber revolver in a shoulder holster, decided to use her weapon to eradicate some mice scurrying along the floor in a small travel trailer in Mendocino County on Highway 20 near the Lake County border, say police. When she attempted to draw her pistol, it apparently fell to the floor, accidentally discharging one round, according to Mendocino County sheriff's reports.

The bullet apparently went through her right kneecap, across the room, across the groin area of the Clear Lake man, striking a dangling set of keys on his belt loop, ricocheting downward into the man's pants, between his pants and underwear before coming to a stop in the pants coin pocket. Deputies recovered the bullet.

The woman had a through and through wound to her kneecap and was transported by ambulance to Ukiah Valley Medical Center and the man received a superficial groin area wound and refused treatment.

No arrests were made and the case has been forwarded to the Mendocino County district attorney for review. No information was released about the condition of the mice.
Full Article

Dead mouse found

Chicago Tribune - By Mike Hughlett | Tribune staff reporter

A Lincoln Park Whole Foods supermarket remained closed Friday after city health inspectors once again found mouse droppings, as well as a dead mouse in a  ...
Full Article

Utah woman says Mid East native spider made self at home

The Associated Press

OGDEN - This was no itsy-bitsy spider. An Ogden woman says she found a camel spider scurrying across her living room floor. If she's right, it would be unusual because that species is not native to Utah or even this hemisphere. Camel spiders can grow up to 6 inches long and are native to the Middle East.     Lynnelle Carson says she thought it was "kind of cool" at first when she saw the big spider, but that changed when the creature reared up at her as she tried to pick it up.     Carson did get a picture and sent it to an extension agent, who try to determine whether it really was a camel spider or just a big specimen from a more local arachnid family.
Full Article

Summer brings out the sting in bee colonies

AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) -- Experts warn bees can be more aggressive during the summer.  Bee removal experts are getting a lot of calls from Central Texas residents.

"Right now is when they're really hitting their peak," said expert Brandon Fehrenkamp.

Bees will do anything to protect and defend their hives, Fehrenkamp said.  The best thing to do if bees are attacking you is to go indoors, since the colony won't follow you inside your home.

Full Article

A Mendocino County woman who was trying to kill mice in her trailer with a gun ended up shooting herself and another person.

POTTER VALLEY, Calif. —  The 43-year-old woman pulled out her .44-caliber Magnum revolver after she saw the mice scurrying across the floor of her trailer on Highway 20 in Potter Valley, sheriff's officials said.

But she accidentally dropped the gun, which went off as it struck the floor. The bullet went through the woman's kneecap, bounced off the keys sitting on the belt loop of a 42-year-old man in the trailer and grazed the man's groin before ending up in his coin pocket.

Authorities did not release the shooting victims' names.

The mice escaped the shooting unharmed.

Full Article
Oh, honey! Couple find 60,000 bees in wall of home
Tenant saw honey ‘seeping out of the wall’ and got a swarm reception
MSNBC.com Published: June 19, 2008
Mark and Amy Jones discovered their home in Concord, N.C., had 60,000 clandestine tenants living rent-free — but instead of taking the squatters to court, they found them new accommodations. ...
Full Article
Uninvited skunk causes stink aboard airliner
Passengers flee, flight delayed after animal lets loose in cargo hold
AP Published: June 20, 2008
MIAMI - An uninvited passenger created a smelly situation on a plane in Miami.

American Airlines Flight 915 from Miami to Bogota, Colombia, was delayed Wednesday night after a skunk was found in the back of the cargo hold, discharging its foul odor throughout the aircraft, airline officials said. ...
Full Article
Ant Invasions On The Rise Following Floods
MyFoxKC.com Published: June 11, 2008
Kansas City KA  - Flooding isn't the only threat brought about by the recent heavy rains.  The oversaturated ground has also brought out record numbers of ants. ...
Full Article
Oregon Home Infested with Almost 800 Rats
KTVB.com
Published: June 12, 2008
SUTHERLIN, Ore.  - Police Chief Tom Boggs informed the Sutherlin City Council this week that a pest-removal company has trapped and removed 788 rats from an infested house. .....One neighbor, Mary Pirkey, told the council the house needs to be burned down. But the chief told her the owner of the infested house has rights, too. ....
Full Article
Mom finds snake coiled on baby's leg in crib
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 10, 2008
BRENTWOOD, N.Y. - A Long Island animal shelter is a temporary home for a 1-foot-long snake that a mother found coiled on her 7-month-old daughter's leg as the baby slept in a crib.
Full Article
Pennsylvania: That Scratching Sound? Why, It’s Big Beetles in the Mail
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: May 15, 2008
Customs agents seized more than two dozen giant beetles from a package after postal workers heard the insects making scratching noises. The bugs arrived last week from Taiwan ..
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Full Article
Subways' Blood-bug Invasion
May. 8, 2008 New York Post
Don't let the bedbugs swipe! The blood-sucking insects aren't just living with New Yorkers at home - they're on the subways, too, according to one of the city's leading bedbug authorities. At a recent Department of Housing, Preservation and Development forum on the subject, a city bedbug educator admitted to seeing the pests on benches in subway stations - in one case, catching a ride on an ...

Full Article

Cleveland airport officials want to keep dirty birds off passengers
May 1, 2008 The Plain Dealer
Cleveland wants to keep certain air travelers from doing their business at Hopkins International Airport. Airport officials repeatedly have tried - and failed - to chase away starlings and other birds that roost beneath glass overhangs at drop-off and pickup areas and poop on passengers. Now, they want City Council to pay $110,000 to install nearly invisible nylon netting designed to keep the filthy frequent fliers away. 

Full Article

Paris rat-catchers tackle rodents
April 28, 2008 BBC News
The French capital has launched its annual effort to reduce the number of rodents roaming the streets. The city, with its canals, river and restaurants is something of a rodent paradise, experts say. There are four times as many rats as humans in Paris - perhaps eight million in total, according to the council.

Full Article

Rodents Caused Nevada Canal Flood, Report Says
PCTOnline March 31, 2008 FERNLEY, Nev. 
Burrowing rodents caused a century-old irrigation canal to fail and flood a rural Nevada town in January, a team of scientific experts concluded in a report for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation made public Thursday night. Muskrats, beavers, gophers and other rodents dug holes as deep as 25 feet into the earthen canal embankment over the years, according to the report.

Full Article

Flea Swarms Cover Neighbors Head To Toe In Central Fla. Community 
Local6.com February 19, 2008 FERNLEY, Nev. 
DELTONA, Fla. -- Swarms of fleas from an abandoned Central Florida home are spreading throughout a neighborhood, covering some homeowners' head to toe when they step outside.

Full Article

Giant Fossil Rodent Found in Uruguay Weighed More Than a Car
January 15, 2008 - By Bill Faries - Bloomberg News
A fossilized skull found at a beach in Uruguay belongs to a newly identified species of rodent that weighed more than a ton and roamed the estuaries of South America alongside saber-toothed tigers.

``Some of the living giants in Africa, the hippopotamus and the elephants, get this big, but there aren't many land creatures that are larger,'' said Ernesto Blanco, who teaches biomechanics at the Universidad de la Republica in Montevideo, Uruguay. .......
Full Article

Mite Bites Plague Fayetteville
Nov. 2, 2007 - Family Fayetteville — Imagine waking up to something biting you all over. That scenario was a reality for one local family, who said their house was infested with bugs that were hard to kill.

Piles of clothing, blankets and kids’ toys marked "contaminated" told of the nightmare that has plagued the Kounas family for the past five weeks. The problem started with birds.

“It’s gotten so bad, we were throwing things out,” said Michelle Kounas. “I felt like something was in my hair, and there was a burning sensation.”

Kounas said she and her two children were covered in bites......
Full Article

Enormous Spider Web Found In Texas
September 13, 2007 -- Science Daily —
An arachnaphobe’s worst nightmare, the gauzy, insect-laden web drew more than 3,300 curious visitors over the three-day holiday to this 376-acre park on the shore of Lake Tawakoni, 50 miles east of Dallas. On Labor Day, the park recorded 1,275 people visiting just to see the web.

“When I first saw it,” said Park Superintendent Donna Garde, “I was totally amazed. What ran through my mind was that this looked like something out of a low-budget horror movie, but I was looking at something five times as big as what you’d see on a Hollywood set.”......
Full Article

Snake Bites Toddler At Charlotte Park
July 31, 2007 CHARLOTTE, N.C. --
A 15-month-old boy was rushed to the hospital after being bitten by a python in a popular Charlotte park.

Christine Abdelmonem and her son, Adam, were picnicking in Freedom Park Monday afternoon when the toddler went to go play near some ducks. That's when Christine says she felt something tug on her son's leg.

She looked down and saw a 3-foot ball python grasped onto her son's right calf.......
Full Article
City Of Cincinnati Battling Bed Bug Problem
Jul 30, 2007 Cincinnati, OH --
The Society of St. Vincent DePaul successfully helps clients by providing food and help with things like utilities, but there's a problem that keeps bugging the agency . . . bedbugs.

The Cincinnati Health Department is trying to tackle the growing growing problem in the city.

The health department said it has received nearly 200 complaints from residents so far this year.

"We actually do home visits to people who need assistance and find people who basically are going into apartments that are empty," said the Society of St. Vincent DePaul's executive director, Liz Carter. "It's because people have bed bugs and they've just cleared out their apartment of all their upholstered furniture, sleeping on the floor. They don't have a couch to sit on." ......
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Woman Finds 3-Foot Python in Cabinet
Jul 25, 2007 FORREST CITY, Ark.
Firefighters helped remove a three-foot python from a home after a woman collecting plastic bags for a food pantry found it while cleaning a cabinet.

Lula Sain called a neighbor for help, but "when he came in and saw it, he almost jumped out of his skin." Fire Capt. Jimmy Sandage eventually collected the non-venomous snake.

"Once I walked in and saw it, I knew it was a python. It had wrapped itself up into a ball, and you could barely see the head. It never gave me any problems," Sandage said......
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Residents: Tree That Crushed Cars Was Termite-Infested
July 20, 2007 Los Angeles --
Workmen spent much of the night removing the remnants of a large tree that split apart in Panorama City, crushing two cars.

Residents say they were startled, but not surprised. The tree came down on Burton Street in Panorama City about 4 a.m. Friday morning.

Residents say the tree was infested with termites, and they had complained to City Councilman Tony Cardenas' office that it posed a danger to anyone living nearby.

While two cars were destroyed, no one was injured in the tree crash which also brought down power and telephone lines......
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A Hollywood man is in critical condition after being bitten by a venomous snake.
July 3, 2007 HOLLYWOOD, Fla.
Officials said they believe an eastern diamondback rattlesnake bit the man on Sunday evening.

But the man didn't receive treatment until family members took him to Hollywood Memorial Regional Hospital on Tuesday.

"He's got swelling, discoloration to his arm where he reported being bitten, and he is having some bleeding disorders," said Jeffrey Robb with Miami-Dade County's Venom Response Unit.

The man will be treated with anti-venom, but doctors said he could see some long-term effects, like kidney problems, because of the delay in treatment.....
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No Sign Of Large Killer Snake In Bucks Co.
Jun 16, 2007 (CBS 3) BRISTOL TOWNSHIP, Pa.
Although Bucks County officials spent Friday evening searching for a large snake, it is still on the loose. The snake is suspected of eating several small pets and has residents on edge.

Bristol Township officers caught a nine-and-half foot snake Wednesday, but another spotted Friday morning, remains on the loose.

Officers believe the roaming reptile, growing in length and legend, is either a Boa constrictor or a python.....
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Doctor Finds Spiders in Boy's Ear
May 5, 2007 ALBANY, Ore.
 --These guys weren't exactly Snap, Crackle and Pop. What began as a faint popping in a 9-year-old boy's ear -- "like Rice Krispies" -- ended up as an earache, and the doctor's diagnosis was that a pair of spiders made a home in the ear.....
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Bedbugs Are Biting In Some District 30 Schools
01/17/2007 BY RICHARD GENTILVISO - Queens, New York -
The first report of bedbugs in the district was on Oct. 5, 2006. Since then, an integrated pest management program recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Administration has been followed in classrooms where bedbugs have been found..... 
 Full Article

Rats surface in toilets in one Midtown area
01/07/2007 By Andrea Kelly and Erica Meltzer - Tucson, Arizona
Residents in one Midtown neighborhood are learning to look before they sit.

You think roaches coming out of the sewer are a problem? For the past 10 years, small white rats have been swimming their way up into toilets in the Blenman-Elm Neighborhood, just east of the University of Arizona.... 

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School teacher Kate Poole called for help when she found her toilet was blocked – and couldn't work out why.
12/14/2006 The Daily Telegraph  By Nigel Adlam in Darwin
A plumber peered into the porcelain bowl – and found a huge snake looking back at him..... 
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Woman bitten by spider loses 10 lbs. of skin
12/12/2006 HERMISTON, Ore.
A small spider bite turned out to be a big problem for Cindy Pettey.....
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'SNL' star sues over bedbugs in her loft
11/3/2006 NEW YORK (AP)
When Saturday Night Live performer Maya Rudolph and her family moved into their new apartment, nobody warned, "Don't let the bedbugs bite." .....
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A 10-year-old girl who was diagnosed with Indiana's first confirmed case of rabies in nearly half a century died Thursday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Nov 2, 2006  INDIANAPOLIS
Shannon Carroll had been bitten by a rabid bat in June and had been hospitalized since early October, said Riley Hospital for Children spokeswoman Jo Ann Klooz said.

More than 30 of the girl's relatives, friends and classmates were offered injections to prevent the spread of the disease. Some parents whose children attend the girl's school in Bourbon, 25 miles south of South Bend, worried about possible exposure since rabies can stay dormant for more than a year.

Rabies is a viral disease transmitted to humans and other animals through saliva, usually in a bite. It attacks the brain and nervous system and typically leads to death once symptoms appear.

Human-to-human transmission of rabies is possible through direct contact with saliva, health officials said.

State records show Indiana's last human rabies case was in 1959.

 Full Article

A western Iowa woman is recovering from the shock of finding a drowned bat in her tea mug — after she sipped from the cup all day.
Sept 25, 2006 CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa
The brown bat, about the size of two tea bags, was found a few weeks ago by a 60-year-old Woodbury County woman, said Chuck Cipperley, an environmental director for the Siouxland health office in Sioux City.
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