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How Apples Solved the Mystery of Life

Many Seattle, WA residents enjoy picking apples from the boundless apple trees that the state is famous for, but what they probably don’t know is that the popular fruit is helping to answer a question that has puzzled scientists for decades. A recent apple-related discovery has both baffled and delighted researchers. For the first time in history, scientists have been able to observe the process of evolution in a fruit fly, as well as how it prompted three types of wasps to evolve into entirely new and separate species – all with the help of apples. In the mean time, Eden Pest is continuing to do our part in controlling the pests that invade our homes.

It All Started with an Apple Maggot
Biologists from five American universities have observed that ongoing evolutionary changes in a fruit fly species are causing corresponding changes in three separate types of predatory wasps. The Rhagoletis pomonella, which is commonly known as the apple maggot, was a significant nuisance for apple growers in the 1850s. Previous studies have revealed that changes in its mating and feeding habits have driven it to evolve into two completely different species. The recent research identifies the existence of an evolutionary process called sequential speciation, which is based on the theory that adaptation of one species doesn’t occur as an isolated process. The new species of fruit fly that is developing from the apple maggot has created an opportunity for the predatory wasps to exploit. When the wasps’ menu changed, they changed with it.

Why Are Changes in Fruit Flies and Wasps Important?
The evolutionary changes observed in the study are known as sequential, or cascading, events. Biologists believe that the process could help explain why organisms like plants and insects are naturally more diverse than other lifeforms and how the diversion of species could occur in a relatively short time. Perhaps these discoveries could eventually help humans better control insect populations, or even influence their evolution directly. In the meantime, we’ll have to rely on traditional extermination methods to maintain a careful ecological balance.


Call Seattle, WA Pest Control Experts for Species that Never Seem to Change

Although the emergence of new insects is fascinating, here at Eden Pest we are busy dealing with stubborn bugs like roaches, which never seem to try to improve themselves. Until our most annoying insect pests evolve into a less damaging and more pleasant form, you can rely on quality extermination services to keep them under control. Contact us to schedule an inspection today.

Eden’s Cody Pace Interviewed on ‘Around the House with Handyman Bob & Eric G.’

Cody Pace headshot

At Eden Pest, our team is serious about educating the public about residential pest control and insects. We are proud that our very own Cody Pace appeared on the popular radio show “Around the House with Handyman Bob and Eric G.” on September 26, 2015. During the show, Pace discussed the “Pestaurant” event at OMSI’s Harvest Festival and entomophagy. Entomophagy is the practice of eating insects. He explained that there are over 1,900 edible insects, which are all a good source of protein and nutrients. According to Pace, edible insects tend to be the most common types, such as ants, locusts, crickets and grasshoppers. He also explained the benefits of eating insects for humans and the environment.

Educating Communities about Oregon and Washington Pest Control

Pace is passionate about educating the public regarding pests and insect biology. He often does presentations at seminars, schools and events for community professionals. One of his educational talks, for example, was to property and apartment managers who were part of a housing authority.

In 2010, Pace, along with Eden’s Stan Dawkins and Ben Danielson, became an Associate Certified Entomologist through the Entomological Society of America. At the time, the Washington and Oregon pest control experts were among the 343 certified entomologists in the U.S. There were also the only ones in the state of Washington, making them valuable resources in the Pacific Northwest.

At Eden Pest, community outreach and public education is one of our priorities. Never hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts if you have any questions about residential pest control or would like to set up a complimentary inspection.

Eden & Alpha Host Portland’s First Pop-Up ‘Pestaurant’

Front of OMSI with logo There are over 1,900 edible bugs on the planet. Washington and Oregon pest control experts state that bugs are a great source of protein and healthy fats, produce less methane gas than livestock, take up less room to rear, and are less likely to transmit diseases to humans than other sources of protein. On September 27, 2015, Eden Pest and Alpha Ecological Pest Control hosted a “Pestaurant” at OMSI’s Harvest Festival as part of the food science demonstration on the main stage.

Making Bugs Tasty

With the help of Ryan Morgan, executive chef of Bon Appétit at OMSI, Eden Pest and Alpha Ecological showed visitors how to create nutritious meals that also taste good. The menu included:

  • Ants on a log: Celery sticks filled with almond butter and garnished with ants
  • Waterbugs
  • Giant centipedes
  • Rhinoceros beetles
  • Crickets: Visitors tried them on a cracker with almond butter
  • Chocolate chirp cookies made with cricket flour, which contain 15 percent protein
  • Salted silkworm pupae: Some tasters thought they tasted like Corn Nuts
  • Sweet chile grasshopper canapés: Crackers with a sweet chile jelly spread topped with grasshoppers
  • Grasshoppers: Some tasters thought they tasted salty, while others didn’t think they had much flavor
  • White chocolate-covered super worms
  • Tarantula

About 80 percent of the world’s population regularly consumes insects by choice. The Oregon and Washington pest control experts at Eden and Alpha demonstrated that pests aren’t always a bad thing. During the “Pestaurant” event, Eden and Alpha donated $1 to the Portland Public School’s meal program for every bug eaten. In addition to keeping your home or business safe, Eden’s priority is to give back to the community. Learn more about the causes we support.

Never hesitate to contact Eden about any of your pest control needs.



[Photo by: thekirbster via CC License]

Pest Control News: Fumigation Gone Wrong & Why You Should Turn to Integrated Pest Management

Lady beetle on leaf

In spring 2015, a Delaware family staying in a luxury villa in the U.S. Virgin Islands fell ill after they were exposed to methyl bromide, a harmful pesticide. A few months later, a 10-year-old boy was hospitalized for two weeks after his family hired an exterminator to fumigate their south Florida home. The boy’s exposure to the sulfuryl fluoride caused acute poisoning. Green pest control companies often hear about unfortunate situations such as these, as poison control centers across the country receive over 90,000 pesticide-related calls per year. Washington and Oregon pest control experts remind the public that there are solutions that work more effectively than harmful toxins and are safer for the environment and your family.

Integrated Pest Management

Integrated pest management, or IPM, is a type of green pest control that identifies the source of an infestation and determines a property’s risk and the most effective tactics. Oregon and Washington pest control companies that practice IPM use strategies such as:

  • Physical exclusion
  • Removing nesting sites
  • Modifying habitats
  • Monitoring pest populations
  • Communicating with and educating clients

Physical exclusion is one of the best pest control methods because it’s simpler to keep pests out of a building than it is to remove them. Exclusion methods include sealing a building’s entry points, removing organic matter near a building, and eliminating food and water sources. IPM tactics work with nature instead of against it to prevent re-infestations. When green technicians must use chemical treatments, they use those with the least toxicity in strategic remote strategic locations.

When you experience a pest infestation on your property, look to green pest control instead of extermination. Eden holds a Green Shield Certification and uses its Natural Choice Program to provide clients with lasting pest control. Contact Eden today to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

[Photo by: NY State IPM Prgram at Cornell University via CC License]

Rise in Plague Cases: Increasing Rodent Pest Control Measures

rat sticking head out of pipeOnce thought of an epidemic that only existed in history books, the incidents of the plague have been on the rise in the U.S. during the last few years. At the time of publication, there were four reported human cases of the plague in Colorado in which only two patients survived. In the middle of the month, a California child tested positive for the disease following a visit to a national park. Researchers suspect that increases in rodent populations and a lack of predators may be the cause behind the latest plague incidences. This news has Oregon and Washington pest control experts on alert as they face the possibility of the plague crossing state lines.

The Plague-Rodent Connection

The plague naturally exists in the Western U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacterium infects fleas, which then infect rodents. Humans fall ill with the plague in a variety of manners:

  • Infected fleas bite and infect rodents, which then infect pets or humans
  • Fleas bite rodents that died from the plague and then bite other rodents, humans or pets
  • An infected rodent transmits the plague when it bites an animal
  • Infected animals bite humans
  • Infected pets cough infectious droplets around humans
  • A human handles rodents or animals that are dead or alive and infected with the plague

The plague is simple for doctors to detect. When it’s caught early, the plague is treatable with medications and the proper medical care.

Rodent Pest Control for Your Home

  • Keep clutter to a minimum.
  • Avoid keeping food out in the open.
  • Wash dishes as soon after meals as possible.
  • Use lids on trash cans.
  • Store food in glass or hard plastic containers with lids.
  • Keep your yard manicured and weeded.
  • Cut back tree branches that overhang your home and bushes that are close to your home.
  • Store seasonal items in lidded plastic storage containers instead of cardboard boxes.
  • Promptly fix leaks in and around your home.

If you notice signs of a rodent infestation in your home, call the Washington and Oregon pest control experts at Eden. Because rodent waste can be contaminated with dangerous pathogens, it’s best to leave the cleanup to the experts.

Washington Pest Control News: Jail Bed Bug Infestation

Adult bed bug next to eggEvery state in the U.S. is equally affected by bed bugs. The media depicts the pests in shows like “Orange is the New Black.” The unfortunate reality is that Washington bed bugs have found their way into Northwest jails. In early August 2015, inmates at the Snohomish County jail reported an infestation in dorm A. This is the second infestation since 2013. Considering the number of different people who stay in the dorm, Washington bed  bug control specialists state that it’s easy for bed bugs to hitchhike into the jail and remain hidden until their numbers grow in size.

Bed Bug Pest Control: DIY Inspections

Bed bugs are everywhere and sometimes in the most unlikely places. When buying or accepting second-hand items, prevent an infestation by inspecting every items—particularly furniture items—before bringing them into your home. As a rule of thumb, only purchase new mattresses and box springs.

During your travels, place your luggage on a table, desk or luggage rack. Then inspect your hotel room for bed bugs. Places to look include in closets, curtains, furniture, behind headboards, in the bed sheets and around mattresses and box springs.

What to Do if You Have a Bed Bug Infestation

  1. Call a pest control professional that specializes in Washington bed bugs, like Eden. Our specialists will tell you about the steps to take as you await our arrival.
  2. Clean and remove clutter in your home.
  3. Remove bedding, upholstery (if possible), curtains and stuff animals in the affected areas. Wash them in hot water and dry them using the hottest temperature setting possible.
  4. Place affected mattresses, furniture and other large items in special bed bug bags for disposal.
  5. Vacuum your home.

Bed bug control isn’t simple to combat on your own. If you encounter bed bugs or suspect that you have an infestation in your home or place of business, call the experts at Eden. Our specialists use the latest, earth-friendly techniques to find and control bed bugs. Contact Eden today to learn more about the signs of bed bugs infestations or to schedule a free inspection.

Oregon Pest Control News: August 15 is Native Bee Conservation Awareness Day!

bee sitting on back deckThis summer, Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that August 15 was Oregon Native Bees Conservation Awareness Day, stating, “Oregon’s native bees are essential pollinators in ecosystems that support the reproduction of flowering trees and plants, including the fruits and seeds that are a major part of the diet of approximately 25 percent of all birds and mammals.” Oregon is the first state to formally acknowledge the importance of protecting some of the world’s more important pollinators.

Portland Pest Control on the Importance of Pollinators

A June 2015 study published in Nature Communications reported that wild bees in the global food system are worth about $3,000 per hectare of pollinated agricultural land. Bees and insects are responsible for pollinating two-thirds of the most important crops in the world. Incidentally, the agricultural value of wild bees is now on par with that of honey bees.

Making Oregon Pest Management Friendlier to Pollinators

Oregon pest control experts hail Governor Brown’s proclamation as a victory after the state experienced population declines in recent years. As the population of honeybees continues to experience instability, native bees are vital to agriculture throughout the state.

In 2013, a couple Oregon cities experienced massive colony die-offs. To help protect the bee population, the Oregon Department of Agriculture banned the use of insecticides containing imidacloprid, a type of neonicotinoid that researchers continually link to pollinator declines. In addition to being fatal, imidacloprids negatively affect bee foraging habits, navigation and reproduction.

If you find a colony of bees, wasps or hornets on your property, contact an Oregon pest control service like Eden. Do not use pesticides to get rid of them or try to control them on your own. The specialists at Eden carefully remove pollinator colonies and relocate them to an area where they’re welcome and beneficial. Contact Eden today to learn more.

Oregon Pest Control News: Farmers Turning to IPM to Reduce Pesticide Use

pile of hazelnuts (filberts)Each summer, filbert moth larvae hatch and burrow into filbert shells, eat the nut and use the shell as safe place to develop. This damaging act can render an entire crop inedible, as it only takes three bad nuts to fail a quality test at a processing facility. To prevent the larvae damage, Eugene farmers used to spray filbert, or hazelnut, trees with pesticides. While the chemicals helped reduce the moth population, they also affected the city’s quality of drinking water.

Eugene Pest Control, Oregon Farmers Experiment with Pheromones

To protect the water source, farmers in Eugene’s McKenzie River Valley took green steps with the help of the Eugene Water & Electric Board, Oregon Hazelnut Commission and Oregon State University in 2012 to control hazelnut moth larvae. They implemented “mating disruption” techniques that use pheromones that confuse moths as part of a three-year integrated pest management (IPM) experiment. So far, the farmers reduced the use of pesticides by up to 75 percent.

To practice environmentally friendly pest management, Oregon farmers used communication pheromones to lure filbert moths into traps. The traps alerted the farmers when infestations were critical. After receiving an alert, a farmer could choose to use a pheromone distribution system or pesticides. For the distribution system, farmers used pheromones to confuse male moths, as they had a harder time pinpointing the location of female moths.

The Eugene farmers report that they prefer the green pest control method over the use of pesticides because it protects the environment, does not leave a residue on the nuts, costs less, takes less time to implement, and protects beneficial insects.

IPM Produces Welcome Results

Since using mating disruption, many Eugene farmers have cut back their dependence on pesticide sprays. Some use chemicals around the perimeter of orchards, as the moths sometimes lay eggs on nearby trees. Other agricultural industries have experienced success using IPM as well, such as apple, pecan and peach growers.

IPM isn’t just for farmers. You can easily implement the techniques in your home and garden to prevent and control pest infestations. To learn more about how to get started, contact the pest management experts at Eden.

Light Bulbs Insects Aren’t Attracted to? Welcome to the Future of LED Lights

Moth on a lightbulb outsideLights with blue and white wavelengths are great for light therapy, helping you feel more awake…and attracting bugs. Oregon and Washington pest control service companies are buzzing about the findings that researcher Travis Longcore with the University of Southern California discovered during a study with the electronics company Royal Philips.

Discoveries in Pest Control, Oregon and Washington Experts Bring Good News

In his experiment, Longcore went to the the Santa Monica Mountains and placed bowls of soapy water under tune-able blue, green, white and red LED lights, as well as standard off-the-shelf LED lights of the same colors and standard compact fluorescent bulbs. He found that the fluorescent lights, which emit violet and ultraviolet light, attracted the most bugs. The tunable-LEDs attracted about 20 percent fewer bugs than the regular LEDs.

As many people find blue and white LED lights to be too bright, unflattering or “cold,” engineers are working on developing an LED that gives a warmer-looking glow. This warm glow could be the solution to detracting bugs.

Outdoor Lighting Tips to Discourage Pests

  • Use lower-wattage light bulbs
  • Use sodium vapor or halogen bulbs instead of fluorescent or mercury vapor bulbs
  • Use yellow light bulbs instead of those that emit white light
  • Avoid hanging lights directly above doors to keep them away from the threshold
  • Use a shade over outdoor lights so they’re less visible to insects from longer distances
  • Use motion-activated lights at the front door, driveway and other places on your property that don’t need a light on for continuous periods
  • Light several citronella candles before it gets dark if you plan to be outdoors

It’s natural to see larger insect populations during the summer months. By using the right lighting, you’ll be able to enjoy your time outdoors more and practice green pest control at the same time. If you think you have a pest infestation on your hands, schedule a free consultation with Eden today.

Have You Seen an ‘Old-House Borer’ Beetle?

Old house borer beetleThe Oregon Department of Agriculture wants to know if you’ve seen an “old-house borer” beetle (Hylotrupes bajulus). First detected in 2013, Oregon pest control service companies warn that this beetle is not like others that feed on stressed or dead trees; it eats dry seasoned wood. In regards to pest control, Oregon researchers have only seen the beetle in The Dalles. It was in a cherry orchard, but there were no signs of an infestation.

Information about ‘Old-House Borer’ Beetles

The “old-house borer” beetle loves to eat lumber that’s 10 years old or younger, particularly conifer lumber and softwoods that are free of varnish or paint. Despite its name, the species are more common in new homes than old ones. In northeastern and eastern U.S. states and Europe, the beetles are one of the most harmful wood-boring insects.

The “old-house borer” beetle is originally from North Africa. It is the only Cerambycid beetle that re-infests wood. Beetle pest control professionals state that the insects live between 2 and 10 years, depending on the type of wood in which larvae hatch, its moisture content and environmental conditions.

The beetles are most destructive in their larval stage, as this is the time when they feed on wood. Once they become adults, the beetles bore holes that are up to 3/8 inch in wood to escape. Adults are most active during the summer, when they look for untreated wood in which to lay eggs.

‘Old-House Borer’ Beetle Identification

Adult “old-house borer” beetles are brown to black in color. They sometimes appear grey because of furry looking grey hairs on the upper body, particularly the wings. The beetles also have two raised areas that look shiny behind the head, which may look like eyes. Adults are 5/8 to 1 inch long.

“Old-house borer” beetle damage looks similar to carpenter ant damage from the outside of lumber. Unlike carpenter ants, which carve smooth chambers in wood, the young beetles leave tunnels packed with sawdust. The holes that they create are about ¼-inch in diameter or smaller and have fine wood powder around them.

Using pesticides to control “old-house borer” beetles may harm you than it harms them. If you think you see an “old-house borer” outside or in your home, trap it (if you can) and contact Eden. Eden will identify the insect. If it is an “old-house borer,” technicians will contact the Department of Agriculture. If you notice damaged wood in your home or property, it warrants the need for pest management. Oregon residents should get in touch with Eden for a free inspection. Call to schedule an appointment today.