8 Pest Control Myths Busted

Ants Actually Social Distance!

If Your House is Clean, You Won’t Have Pests 

While keeping your house free of clutter, left-over food/crumbs, or general messes definitely helps to prevent most pest problems, not all pests are drawn to these conditions. Pests such as termites, carpenter ants, and carpenter bees are drawn to the wooden fixtures of your home, which has nothing to do with messiness. Similarly, rodents may be drawn to the basic warmth and shelter of your home as opposed to a mess. Moreover, bed bugs don’t discriminate one home from another – no matter the cleanliness, they will infest any place they can travel to.

So, while cleanliness is helpful for general pest prevention, it is not sure-fire and professional assistance is vital for truly keeping pests at bay.

Cheese is the Best Rodent Bait

Save the delicious cubes of cheese for yourself! While some mice and rats do like cheese, it’s not the best bait choice. Cheese has a tendency to dry up and smell, and it’s also not the preferred food of most rodents. Rodents naturally eat seeds/nuts, and also have a bit of a sweet tooth, making peanut butter a great choice for attracting these creatures to bait boxes. You can also observe the rodents in your home and see if there is a particular food they gravitate towards in your own pantry. Using that food is fantastic bait because there’s no doubt that the rodents in your home are drawn to that particular food.

Stinging Pests Only Sting You if Provoked

While most bees, and wasps do not sting unprovoked, there are a few exceptions. Yellow jackets, for example, are very territorial and do not die after stinging, like their bee cousins, so they are far more likely to sting without provocation. They can also sting repeatedly and have a tendency to bite their victims as well. Hornets also tend to be very aggressive and will protect their nest violently if they feel that you get too close. As such, it is always recommended that you are cautious around these stinging pests and call for professional intervention if you are having a problem with them.

Only Extremely Powerful Chemicals Repel Pests

Just because a chemical is hard on pests, it doesn’t mean it needs to be hard on you or the environment. In fact, powerful pesticides that were used for pest control in the past caused significant damage to the environment and sometimes caused rather severe health problems for people who were exposed to the chemicals. Our treatments today are clean and eco-friendly, not posing a risk to you, your family, or your pets, yet are tough and effective on pests.

Bed Bugs Aren’t A Big Problem Like They Used to Be

A pesticide known as DDT was once widely used to combat the vampiric bedtime pests. Bedbugs had been prevalent in the United States through the Second World War but were virtually eradicated using DDT. As such, they seemed to become a type of folklore with sayings like “sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite,” being used frequently but without any actual substance to the verse. Starting in the late 1990’s the pests reemerged however. DDT had been declared a dangerous pesticide as was found to be detrimental to the health of people and pets as well as having caused a lot of environmental damage. As such, it had been discontinued and while we were developing safer tactics, the resilient bloodsucking arachnids increased in population once again. Bed bugs are professional hitchhikers and are now rapidly spreading throughout the United States, breeding quickly and becoming a massive infestation problem.

Seeing Bugs Means You Have an Infestation

Yes – seeing lots of bugs does generally mean you have an infestation, but that doesn’t mean that a lack of spotting bugs conversely means that you do not have an infestation. Many pests are experts of remaining hidden such as bed bugs, cockroaches, termites, etc. So, while seeing bugs is a great sign, it is important to be aware of other signs of infestations which can include: pest droppings, holes in wooden structures, stored food that has been gnawed into, etc.

Daddy-Longlegs are the Most Venomous Spiders, They Just Can’t Bite You

There are actually two spiders that tend to be referred to as daddy-longlegs: Opiliones and Pholcidae. Opiliones are the actual daddy-longlegs and do not in fact have venom glands. Furthermore, they do have the ability to bite through human skin (which is another persisting belief of the myth) but are extremely reclusive, hiding under rocks, in wood piles, etc. which means that it is actually rather unlikely that people often run into these spiders. Pholcidae’s on the other hand are more common and are referred to as “daddy-longleg spiders.” While these arachnids are known for having short fangs, this does not mean that they cannot penetrate human flesh. However, there are no recorded cases of a daddy-longleg spider biting a human with devastating effects. They do have venom, but the severity and potency of the venom has not been tested on mammalian beings and therefore has an unknown effect. So, for opiliones this is undoubtably incorrect, and for pholcidaes the information is not founded on any data – making this claim an utter myth.

Cockroaches Could Survive Nuclear Apocalypse

These extremely resilient insects seemingly could survive anything. They are massively difficult to get rid of and have been known to endure situations that would kill almost every other living being on Earth. However, it’s a myth that they can survive nuclear holocaust. The misconception is partially due to the true and tested resistance that cockroaches seem to have towards radiation. When exposed to radioactive waves in scientific tests, it was discovered that cockroaches are able to survive well beyond the limit for humans and even survive for longer periods of time following the exposure. However, all of the roaches did eventually succumb to the effects of the radiation and some even died during the tests when exposed to more extreme levels of radiation.

However… these tests were not deemed conclusive in regards to the survival of the species as a whole, as it was never tested to see if, prior to succumbing to the radiation, the roaches could produce viable eggs that could carry on more generations of the insect. If this is possible, it would ensure the continued survival of the species, thereby meaning that roaches could still potentially survive a nuclear blast… in a roundabout way…

Citations

Daddy Long Legs (N/A) University of California Riverside. Department of Entomology. Available at: https://spiders.ucr.edu/daddy-long-legs (Accessed: May 2020).

Stanton, K. (2019) Could Cockroaches Survive a Nuclear Apocalypse?, Earth Sky. University of Melbourne. Available at: https://earthsky.org/earth/would-cockroaches-survive-nuclear-apocalypse (Accessed: May 2020).

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