New Medicine Developed to Protect Dwindling Bee Population from Disease

Bumble BeeTo help protect the swiftly dwindling bee population across the world, Swedish scientists and researchers recently developed a new method to protect the bees from diseases. Large populations of bees have been going missing in parts of Europe and the United States. Microbiologists at the Lund University have created a patented treatment made from stomach bacteria of healthy bees as well as lactic acid. Known as SymBeeotic, the team describes the medicine as a major boost to the immune system of bees and is hoping to reduce the rate of deaths. Working on the project, Dr Alejandra Vasquez commented that the product is an active protection from both European and American foulbrood diseases.

Being one of the most deadly diseases for bee population, SymBeeotic tackles the foulbrood bacteria by boosting immunity. The team also added saying that the medicine will be most effective if beekeepers provide their bee cultures with SymBeeotic instead of using antibiotics. The research and development of SymBeeotic has been ongoing for almost ten years and will soon be launched in an annual beekeeper conference in Russia. Co-researcher from Lund University, Dr Tobias Olofsson added that SymBeeotic was the only existing medicine that boosted the natural immunity of bees. Over time, the use of antibiotics often makes them resistant to the effects and more vulnerable to infections from foulbrood.

Why are the bees disappearing?

Honey bees are at a common threat from many sources, including fungal diseases, bacteria, and virus, parasites, pests as well as pesticides. It has been established that since 2006, beekeepers in North America have noted a loss of 30% to 90% in their colonies. The case is similar in many other parts of the world including South America, Central America, Asia, and Europe.

However recently, a new epidemic in bee population has severely affected its presence. CCD, also known as Colony Collapse Disorder results in large populations dying one after another. Some of the main reasons for this sudden change in bee populations include stress, malnutrition, and pollution. This increase in undesirable environments slowly weakened the immune system of bee populations around the global that made them more vulnerable to disease. Other speculated reasons for this sudden decrease in bee populations include man made devices, cell phone radiations, and the advent of genetically modified crops that are not deemed safe for bees.

Why do we need bees?

The impact of honey bees in human lives is far more extensive than imagined. Most crops and vegetation are maintained and furthered through pollination from bees. Without bees, these crops would remain as is and would fail to reproduce. Agricultural crops all over the world rely on bee populations as they facilitation pollination for well over one hundred varieties of fruits and vegetables. The limited growth as well as food supplies would cause global emergencies, leading to starvation. This decrease in bee population can cause a sudden imbalance in food production and cause failure of hundreds of species of nuts, fruits, and vegetables.

While scientists are doing their part in developing new medicines to prevent bacterial and viral diseases in bees, communities and neighborhoods can also make an impact. By taking a proactive stand and helping restore bee colonies, children and adults in the community can preserve and protect bees. Planting bee-attracting crops like vegetables and flowers, sponsoring researches and supporting local beekeepers are simple yet effective ways of making change. You can also join local associations and remain aware of how you can combat colony collapse disorder and protect honey bees. Slowly becoming a global epidemic, bee deaths are becoming alarmingly common all over the world and extensive measures taken immediately are the only way to preserve what is left of honey bee populations.

Don’t seal up bee or wasp holes! You’ll be sorry!

iStock_000026506826_Large-1024x682Every summer, we get calls from homeowners with the same ol’ story. “A few days ago, I had some bees drilling into the side of my house, so I sprayed them and then sealed up the hole. I thought that would take care of them. Now, I’ve got 1,000 bees in my bedroom and part of my ceiling is on the floor! I didn’t know bees could eat through drywall.”

This is such a common mistake that Griffin Pest Solutions gets these calls a couple hundred times each season from frantic homeowners who can’t even enter their home.

Attention homeowners! If you see bees, wasps, or yellow jackets going into a small hole in the side of your house or under the eaves, etc… but you can’t see their hive or nest, DO NOT SEAL UP THE HOLE! These insects will find a way out. They are good chewers and the drywall in your home is easy for them to chew through. By plugging up their exit, you force them to look to find another way to escape. That usually forces them to chew their way inside your home and that puts you on the outside.

Be safe. When you encounter something like this, call a professional.

10 Bed Bug Truths and Myths

bed-bug-illustration_450x822Like many of you, I have Google Alerts set up for my industry, particularly for hot topics…like bed bugs. Let me tell you…the more news stories and blogs I read/see about bed bugs, the more I get peeved about bad bed bug information. So I’m going to set the record straight!

Myth #1 – Bed Bugs Are A Myth
Bed bugs are NOT a myth. They are real creatures whose meal of choice is human blood. Consider them the vampires of the pest world. And no, garlic will not keep them away.

Myth #2 – Bed Bugs Are Too Small To See
Adult bed bugs are the size, shape and color of an apple seed. Break out your bifocals if you need to. Trust me, you can see them.

Myth #3- Bed Bugs Are A Sanitation Issue
Take 2 houses side-by-side. One is occupied by an obsessive compulsive neat freak and the other is so full of garbage and junk it would be better to burn it down than empty it out. They are equally likely to get bet bugs. Bed bugs are not a sanitation issue. They are a human issue.

Myth #4 – If You Throw Away Your Mattress, You Will Get Rid Of Bed Bugs
Bed bugs will not magically go away just because you throw out your mattress. Bug bugs generally they live within 10 feet of where you sleep. In fact, if you throw out your mattress, you have likely spread the problem by dragging your mattress down the hallway and depositing bed bugs along the way.

Myth #5 – I Can’t See Them So I Must Not Have Them
Bed bugs are nocturnal…meaning they come out at night to feed. So unless you are jumping up in the middle of the night and turning on the light, odds are you won’t see them…until it is too late. Bed bugs can hide anywhere including in furniture cracks, behind picture frames, in electrical outlets, in books, clothes, stuffed animals…you name it. Go ahead; draw a 10 foot radius around your bed.

Myth #6 – I Don’t Have Any Bug Bites, So I Must Not Have Bed Bugs
More than 50% of people who are bitten by bed bugs never show any signs of being bitten. So just because your husband has welts all over his body and you don’t, doesn’t mean you aren’t the meal of choice. Trust me. Bed bugs are not that picky.

Myth #7 – Over-The-Counter Pesticides Will Solve My Problem
It is well documented that bed bugs are becoming increasingly resistant to pesticides. Even pest control companies have to change up their arsenal of what they can use to help solve bed bug infestations. You’re kidding yourself if you think some powder or spray you bought at a big box store is going to do the trick. You’ll be wasting your time and money…not be mention your blood. And one more thing; more is not always better. If you insist on trying this method, please, please, please follow the label.

Myth #8 – Any Pest Control Professional Can Solve My Bed Bug Problem
In this instance, cheaper is not always better. We have quoted lots of bed bug jobs and not gotten them because we weren’t the cheapest. Many times those people have called back to hire us later because the cheap guy didn’t get the job done. Save yourself some money, frustration and blood. Go with experience when it comes to bed bugs.

Myth #9 – Bed Bugs Cause Diseases
There is no known evidence that bed bugs cause disease. There is both good and bad in this statement. If bed bugs did transmit diseases, the government would quickly make bed bugs a priority. But because they simply feed on humans and infest homes, apartments, hotels, movie theaters, schools, hospitals, buses, etc. it’s really no big deal.

Myth #10 – Bed Bugs Are Contributing to Global Warming
Seriously? I couldn’t believe this when I read it! So when bed bugs were infesting the earth back in the 1930’s and ‘40’s, where was the global warming?

Bed Bug Travel Tips

commercial pest control hospitalityWith so many people traveling over the summer months, we thought if best to offer a few travel tips to help reduce your risk of getting bed bugs. Bed bugs are excellent hitchhikers and travel on your belongings. The more you can minimize your possible contact with them, the less likely it is that you will bring them home with you.

1) Do Your Research – Before you book your hotel, check out sites like or to see if anyone has posted bed bug issues at your hotel. If they have, choose another hotel. Just because your hotel is not listed, does not mean they are without bed bugs. They may still have an issue, but no one has posted anything yet.

2) Pack a Flashlight – Our entire staff travels with flashlights. It’s your best tool in helping to determine if your hotel room has bed bugs. When you arrive at the hotel, if possible, leave your luggage in the car when you check in. Take your flashlight and inspect the mattress and bed. Remove the sheets and look for small rust dots (about the size of pencil eraser head). These will be blood stains. If you see nothing on the mattress, check behind the headboard. If you can take it off the wall, or shake it, go ahead. If you see the rust spots, insect skins or insects, inform the manager and check out!

3) Don’t Put Luggage on the Bed – No one from our office will put their luggage on the bed, furniture or luggage rack. Our suitcases go in the bath tub. I admit, it’s not very convenient, but better safe than sorry. My luggage never leaves the bathroom.

4) Pack Giant Zip Lock Bags – All of my clothes go into a giant zip lock bag before my trip home….even if I didn’t wear them. You can get a box at any grocery store for under $5. Don’t skimp…the bags must seal tight!

5) Don’t Bring Your Luggage in Your House – Once you get home, don’t bring your luggage in your house. You will need to remove everything from your luggage and vacuum thoroughly, inside and out. Vacuum, remove the vacuum bag, seal it tight in a plastic bag and throw it in your outside garbage. If you can make a stop at the car wash with a coin operated vacuum, on the way home, do it!

6) Dry Your Clothes – Take your zip lock bags and empty them directly into your dryer. Set on the hottest setting and leave clothes in there for at least 30 minutes. Don’t fill the dryer too full. You need the hot air to circulate. Shoes too if they can tolerate it (like sneakers). No need to wash clothes first. It will do no good.

This all may seem obsessive and extreme…but trust us; it is well worth the hassle. These simple steps could save you not only from red, itchy welts which can be caused by bed bug bites…but also save you thousands of dollars in bed bug extermination costs.

The Dangers of Do-It-Yourself Bed Bug Products

pest control workerBed bugs are everywhere in the news and consumers are looking for solutions. They’re searching the internet for that magic bullet. Of course the internet is full of answers, but doesn’t distinguish between good and bad choices. The bed bug pandemic is a perfect opportunity for scam artists to take advantage of people who are desperate for help. So keep these tips in mind for when you can’t sleep tight.

Ordering pesticides off the internet is a bad idea. DON’T DO IT!
◦You have no way of knowing what you are really buying.
◦Pesticides banned in the US are often still available in other countries.
◦Sellers may intentionally misrepresent their products as bed bug solutions, when in fact; they are worthless in controlling bed bugs.
◦Some products should not be used indoors or around people or pets.
◦At one time, DDT was effective at killing bed bugs, but now DDT is ineffective against many of the current bed bug strains.
◦Most insecticides are not effective at killing bed bugs, or they kill bed bugs very slowly.

If you do choose to try an over-the-counter pesticide for bed bugs, or any other insect, please remember…the label is the law and the label matters. The label is there to ensure your health and safety.
◦If the product is not labeled for bed bugs or not labeled for the treatment area, do not use it. Doing so puts people and pests at risk.
◦Over-application or misapplications are real problems. Follow the label exactly. More is not always better.

There are safe and effective ways to eliminate bed bugs. We encourage you to contact a pest management professional in your area who will outline all the options available to you.

Why Should I Use a Bed Bug Detection Dog?

fleasAs the bed bug epidemic continues to grow, bed bug detection dogs will begin to play a larger role in bed bug detection and elimination. So what makes these dogs so special and why would you want to use one?

•A Powerful Nose – A dog’s nose generally has between 125 and 220 million smell-sensitive receptors making their nose nearly 100 million times more powerful than the human nose. Dogs can be trained to detect just about anything including explosives, blood, plants, produce, currency, cancer, mold, and even insects.

•Speed – Because a dog’s nose is so powerful, they can search a small apartment for bed bugs in a just a few short minutes. If a human were to inspect the same apartment for bed bugs, it could take 1 to 2 hours, depending on the thoroughness of the inspection.

•Accuracy – Bed bugs are small and can hide anywhere, even in electrical outlets. Humans are known to be only about 30-35% accurate in finding bed bugs during an inspection. However, well trained bed bug detection dogs are between 90% and 95% accurate in finding bed bugs. In addition, they can pinpoint the exact location of the bugs.