Category Archive 'Insects'

23 Jul 2018

“An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles”

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From Fumiko Hirai on Twitter.

The title above is what J. B. S. Haldane (1892-1964) replied to theologians who inquired if there was anything that could be concluded about the Creator from the study of creation.

27 Jan 2015

18 Adorable Bugs


24 May 2012

Ten Most Painful Stings

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Number 9: the Tarantula hawk wasp, Pepsis hemipepsis: “Blinding, shockingly electric. A running hair drier has been dropped into your bubble bath.”

Entomologist Justin Schmidt, who boasts of having experienced the stings of 157 insects, identifies and describes the top ten most painful.

Interesting, but one wonders how certain spiders, like the Australian funnel-web, Atrax robustus, for instance, would compare. Its bite induces convulsions, paralysis, and death, and the victim spouts blue saliva.

The all-time champion painful sting is probably really the one administered by fish of the genus Synanceia, stonefish. Stonefish stings are so painful that victims apparently regularly plead for the injured limb to be amputated.

31 Aug 2010

EPA Let the Bedbug Bite

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Another happy democrat party constituent

The Daily Caller links the recent bedbug epidemic in New York City and other Eastern states, just like the Housing crash, to Clinton Administration policies.

While worst in the Northeast and especially New York City, blood-sucking bed bugs [family: Cimicidae] are making a remarkably rapid resurgence worldwide.

Though not known to spread disease, the itchy welts from their bites and the general distress caused by knowing one is being feasted on while asleep prove a nightmare for many victims.

Eradication can take months and cost thousands of dollars. There’s also the stigma — many high-end New York residences, for instance, keep their bed bug infestations secret to avoid embarrassment.

But why are bed bugs back? Though they’ve been sucking humans’ blood since at least ancient Greece, bed bugs became virtually extinct in America following the invention of pesticide DDT.

There were almost no bed bugs in the United States between World War II and the mid-1990s.

Around when bed bugs started their resurgence, Congress passed a major pesticides law in 1996 and the Clinton EPA banned several classes of chemicals that had been effective bed bug killers.

The debate isn’t over long-banned DDT, since modern bed bugs have developed a tolerance for that chemical. But in the pre-1996 regime, experts say, bed bugs were “collateral damage” from broader and more aggressive use of now-banned pesticides like Malathion and Propoxur.

Now some health officials are clamoring to bring those chemicals back to help solve the bed bug “emergency.” Meanwhile, EPA bureaucrats have downplayed the idea and environmentalists are pushing hard against the effort, citing safety concerns.

The issue has led to a standoff between Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat, and EPA chief Lisa Jackson, who shot down Strickland’s appeals over the issue in a tersely worded letter in June. …

According to research at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, academic headquarters for studying the six-legged beast, some strains of bed bugs can survive, zombie-like, for up to 16 days after being directly sprayed with currently used pesticides.

If you consider that in most instances insects are intended to die shortly after coming into brief contact with pesticide residue, that’s pretty dramatic.

Meanwhile, tests at the University of Kentucky show the EPA-banned pesticides are still deadly effective at bed bug mass murder.

01 Aug 2006

Insects From the Forests of Chiang Mai

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Lantern bug (Pyrops candelaria )

Northern Thailand resident John Moore has a web-site featuring more than 2000 photographs of insects from the nearby forests.

Hat tip to Karen Myers.

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