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Signs of spring

Spring insects are on the way, as this article points out. One insect it did not mention, however, was the yellowjacket. The queens should be making their appearance soon in warmer areas like Northern California... that is, once the cool and wet weather stops.

This "6 Chix" cartoon is so appropriate to our business. We love spring!

Spring_cartoon_color

March 30, 2006 in Bugs in the news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fun Friday bug stuff

We're several days into spring now, although some parts of the country aren't feeling like it.

Here's some random bug stuff for Friday.

Spacebeetleutopia On ABC's "American Inventor" reality show, the judges were treated to some wacky ideas such as "Space Beetle Utopia", a condo-slash-playground for beetles. The inventor claims it's the successor to the ant farm. The judges, however, were not impressed.

Fly Check out this piece of sidewalk chalk art. That's a fly much too big to be caught in our fly trap!

The artist, Julian Beever, creates 3D chalk drawings on pavement -- many of which are optical illusions. More of his amazing drawings are found here.

March 24, 2006 in Amusement | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Debunking an urban bug myth

Just last week I received, from a well-meaning friend, a forward of an alarming e-mail concerning a soda manufacturer's decision to remove the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance it had printed on its cola cans. It was a copy of a message that had been circulating since 2002, and it simply wasn't true. So I had to look up the page on snopes.com and send it back with a note for everyone on the forward list that identified this as an urban legend.

I'm always leery about alarmist e-mails like these, especially concerning consumer products, so I make it a point to check them out because they're usually false.

Case in point: Apparently there's an e-mail going around that warns homeowners against buying mulch from major home improvement chains such as Home Depot and Lowe's, because it may contain material from trees blown over in New Orleans -- trees infested with the Formosan termite.

Here's the text of the e-mail:

If you use mulch around your house be very careful about buying mulch this year. After the hurricane in New Orleans many trees were blown over. These trees were then turned into mulch and the state is trying to get rid of tons and tons of this mulch to any state or company who will come and haul it away. So it will be showing up in Home Depot and Lowes at dirt cheap prices with one huge problem; Formosan Termites will be the bonus in many of those bags. New Orleans is one of the few areas in the country were the Formosan Termites has gotten a strong hold and most of the trees blown down were already badly infested with those termites. Now we may have the worst case of transporting a problem to all parts of the country that we have ever had. These termites can eat a house in no time at all and we have no good control against them, so tell your friends that own homes to avoid cheap mulch and know were it came from.

And here are a few sites that refute this anti-mulch message:

March 10, 2006 in Bugs in the news | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Trap some flies, eat a meal

In a recent online search, I was surprised to find a restaurant in San Francisco that shares a name with one of our best-selling products.

Our RESCUE! Fly Trap is a popular and effective device for capturing flies outdoors.

Untitled220copy Although I have never eaten there, the Fly Trap Restaurant is in the heart of San Francisco and sounds like a good, classic place to have a meal of steak, seafood or pasta. The eatery was established in 1906 and -- judging from the photos -- appears to offer a warm, classy atmosphere with antique furnishings and white linen tablecloths.

What I wanted to know is, what's with the name? I'd be a little hesitant to eat at a place named for a device that catches a pest insect -- an insect which is most unpleasant to have around food. Luckily, their web site answers this question:

"It was back in the days of the Spanish-American War... Proprietor Louis Besozzi placed good food on his tables to attract the customers and a square of flypaper on each table to attract the flies. The presence of the flypaper prompted the G.I.s of 1898 to call the place the 'fly trap'. This uncomplimentary title so enraged Uncle Louie that he finally quit the restaurant business and returned to Italy."

Cousin Henry took over the restaurant after Louie's little tantrum. He actually loved the name, and so it stuck... like flies on flypaper, I guess.

The next time I'm in San Fran, I will have to check out this restaurant.

March 2, 2006 in Flies | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack