Red wasps have a new enemy
Just when you think the news about our new W·H·Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets can't get any better, our scientists go and add two new species to the list, after some extensive testing in the mid-South this spring. And they're both red wasp species -- which anyone in the southeastern U.S. knows is a real coup. Here's our press release:
New W·H·Y Trap catches two red wasps, bringing species count to 20
Spokane, WA, June 30, 2008 -- Red wasps, a significant pest problem for residents of the southeastern United States, will finally meet their nemesis in 2009: the new W·H·Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets.
Scientists at Sterling International recently added two red wasp species -- Polistes carolina and Polistes perplexus -- to the long list of insects caught in the new W·H·Y Trap from RESCUE!. Their addition brings the total count of targeted wasp, hornet and yellowjacket species to 20.
When the W·H·Y Trap lands on retail shelves in spring 2009, consumers will have one answer for these stinging, nest-building, backyard-invading insects.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a sting from a red wasp feels far more painful than stings from other species of paper wasps. Red wasps are also known for building some of the largest nests of any wasp species.
The W·H·Y Trap will catch the queens of each species in the spring before they build nests, and will capture the foraging workers throughout summer and fall. Refill attractants will be available so the trap can be used for multiple seasons.
As with other RESCUE! products, the W·H·Y Trap uses attractants rather than killing agents. Once lured inside, the insects die naturally.
Since 1982, Sterling International, Inc. has created insect traps and attractants as an alternative to sprays. Based in Spokane, Washington, the company sells its RESCUE! brand Fly Traps, Yellowjacket Traps and Japanese & Oriental Beetle Traps through home improvement centers, hardware stores and lawn & garden retailers throughout the U.S. and beyond.
Do you live in an area with red wasps? Have any red wasp stories you'd like to share? Feel free to add a comment.
Video of the week: Red wasp in slow motion
The red wasp is the star of our video of the week. You can see it here flying in super slow motion, landing on a side of a house and taking off again. Note how the back legs dangle down while in flight -- a surefire way to tell wasps apart from hornets and yellowjackets.
Monday here on the BugBlog, we'll have an announcement concerning red wasps. Stay tuned!
Rescue your roses from Japanese Beetles
It's Japanese Beetle season again. I can almost hear the chomping sound on the ornamental plant leaves as we speak.
In case you don't want to use the JBWMD (Japanese Beetle Weapon of Mass Destruction) employed by this guy...
...Or hire ninjas to karate-chop the Japanese beetles off the petals as illustrated in the TV spot below, you can go with the smarter way to rescue your roses (and other ornamental plants): the RESCUE! Japanese Beetle Trap.
Video of the week: Yellowjackets check in, but not out
It's all about the body count.
That's the great thing about our insect traps: you get to see the results in the form of a body count -- that is, the number of bugs caught in the trap.
I know of people who like to sit and enjoy a beer on their deck while watching the yellowjacket trap fill up. Then there are the customers who send us photos of their traps with insects inside because they're so impressed at how well it works. We love these people!
Then there are the very ambitious ones, who get 8 minutes of footage of the yellowjacket trap with their video camera, put it to Eagles music, and post it on YouTube...
Poop at the pump... could bug excrement power our cars?
With gas at $4 a gallon and politicians bickering about whether to drill here in our country, some scientists are getting creative about new ways to replace $140-a-barrel oil from Saudi Arabia.
A Silicon Valley company led by a former Shell executive and funded in part by Sun Micro-systems' co-founder is genetically altering microscopic bugs to make them excrete crude oil.
'Monster' yellowjacket nest in Georgia
No, not those yellowjackets.
I'm talking about the ones that sting and bite you.
Here's the first "giant yellowjacket nest" story of the year. This one's out of southern Georgia. A couple who raises honeybees is concerned about the car-sized yellowjacket nest they found amid some cypress trees rising out of a pond near their farm.
This reminds me of a post I made two years ago about a similar story -- also in Georgia -- which I entitled "Yellowjackets build waterfront condo".
Sterling awarded grant to develop mosquito repellent
Right on the heels of our big announcement last month about the new W-H-Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets, there is another exciting development in the works from Sterling International, creators of RESCUE! Pest Control products.
Here is the news we're releasing today:
Sterling International awarded Defense Department grant for mosquito repellent research
SPOKANE, WA, June 11, 2008 -- Ever feel like a human mosquito magnet when you want to enjoy the outdoors? Within a few years, you may be able to pin a small device to your clothing that creates a long-lasting "force field" and prevents mosquitoes from ever landing on you.
Sterling International, the manufacturer of RESCUE! traps for yellowjackets, flies and Japanese beetles, has been awarded a Phase II grant of $730,000 from the United States Department of Defense Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) to develop a spatial repellent for mosquitoes.
In contrast to a topical repellent which is sprayed or rubbed on skin, a spatial repellent is a compound that dispenses into the atmosphere of a three-dimensional area. It creates an invisible barrier that inhibits the ability of an insect to locate and land on a target, such as humans or livestock.
Sterling's Phase I proposal, approved with a $70,000 grant in 2007, was to develop a lightweight, waterproof and portable "Personal Insect Repellent Device" impregnated with a spatial repellent. The device can be attached to a soldier's field uniform to provide long-lasting, whole-body protection against bites from insect disease vectors (mosquitoes and biting flies) and other biting arthropods (e.g. ticks) for at least one month of continuous use.
Sterling's work in Phase I, which concluded in April of this year, showed enough scientific evidence to support the feasibility of the spatial repellent concept, and enough merit to take the project to the next level with the larger SBIR grant. Sterling's scientists, led by Dr. Qing-He Zhang, found a number of potential repellent formulas -- all from natural materials -- and came up with a releasing device concept and prototype.
The Phase II objectives involve formulating the most promising insect repellent mixtures discovered in Phase I, determining the optimal release rate, designing and testing several prototype devices, and manufacturing enough prototypes for field evaluations by the military.
Phase II work will commence on October 1, 2008 and span two years. Sterling is adding a third Ph.D. scientist -- another chemist -- to its seven-person R&D Department to help with this project.
Sterling's plans are to eventually make the personal insect repellent product available to consumers. "A small, wearable device that keeps mosquitoes from landing on humans and lasts an entire month obviously has strong commercial potential beyond use in the military," says Rod Schneidmiller, founder and president of Sterling International. "Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy camping, hiking and hunting will have a need for this product, as well as people who are exposed to vector-borne diseases in developing countries."
Since 1982, Sterling International, Inc. has created insect traps and attractants as a safe and environmentally responsible alternative to sprays. Based in Spokane, Washington, the company sells its RESCUE! Fly Traps, Yellowjacket Traps and Japanese & Oriental Beetle Traps to consumers through home improvement centers, hardware stores and lawn & garden retailers throughout the U.S. and beyond. The newest RESCUE! product, available spring 2009, is the W-H-Y Trap for Wasps, Hornets & Yellowjackets.
A long-lasting mosquito repellent that you pin onto your clothing rather than a lotion or spray, which can wash off your skin easily. Pretty cool, no? Tell us what you think by posting a comment!