Year of the Pest: 2013’s Top Pest Moments

2014 is now in full swing, and it’s hard to imagine that we’ve only rung in the New Year two weeks ago! A new year means a clean slate — but that doesn’t mean we should forget the lessons we learned the year before. While 2013 brought both great achievements and sad moments for humans across the globe, it was also a big year for another group of the planet’s inhabitants: pests.

5. Pests becoming resistant to GM Crops The production of genetically modified crops still remains a hotly contested issue, with both sides citing its benefits and risks. One of the cited benefits, however, has recently been called into question, as more than 50% of insects belonging to 13 major species of crop-consuming pests have developed a resistance to a gene found in GM crops that make them toxic to insects.

4. Roaches Mutate to Resist Sugar Traps Store-bought traps lure insects like ants and roaches in with glucose laced with poison that will eventually kill the insect. However, roaches may have begun to see through this trick; a group of American researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered a mutation in the common German cockroach that is causing sweet substances like glucose to trigger a bitter response, discouraging them from consuming the poison.

3. Nearly 40 Million Bees Die in Ontario 2013 marked a huge decline to an already dwindling population of honeybees. A honey company in Elmwood, Ontario has lost more than 600 hives that once housed over 37 million bees. Scientists and have cited pesticides as the cause, prompting Health Canada to take regulatory action.

2. Britain’s Most Venomous Spider Invades Secondary School A British secondary school was invaded in late October 2013 by a large number of False Widows, Britain’s most poisonous spider, whose venom can cause severe swelling, chest pains, and other medical complications. The school was closed for several days as pest control professionals were called in to fumigate the school. No injuries were reported.

1. New Bed Bug Trap Invented A new “pitfall” design coupled with the use of CO2 provided by the fermentation of yeast and sugar has been developed by researchers in an attempt to improve bed bug control technology. While research is still undergoing, laboratory tests have shown that the yeast and sugar lure caught nearly three times more bed bugs than the market leader’s home bed bug trap. Because of the availability of these materials, we can expect to see significantly cheaper and more effective bed bug traps in the near future.

For more information on pests and pest control services in Canada, check out the latest pest guides on Truly Nolen Canada’s website.