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Bee Aware: Humane Bee Removal Helps Us All

Bee Aware: Humane Bee Removal Helps Us All

We’ve all experienced that twinge of dread when we notice increased bee activity near our homes, especially when we find them inside the house! Besides the fear of a bee sting, the weight of honeybee colonies and seeping honey, wax and waste can cause serious structural damage to a home. For these reasons, we want to remove bees that come a little too close for comfort. But it’s important to ensure that honey bees are removed in a way that doesn’t harm them — and you don’t even have to be an animal or nature lover to understand why.

Of all insects on Earth, honey bees are among the most necessary for human survival. Here’s something that might surprise you: one out of every three bites of food you consume comes from a plant that’s visited by pollinators like bees. Honey bees, in particular, are responsible for pollinating countless essential crops. Much of our food supply wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for these clever pollinators. If bees die out, which, due to colony collapse disorder and other stressors, is a real possibility, humans will suffer too!

Even when honey bees invade your home or property, they need to be removed with care. Extermination and pesticides are not options. Killing bees is terribly harmful to the environment, both on a local and global scale. Every hive and every single bee plays a vital role in the ecosystem.

What it Takes to Save the Bees

If you find a hive or any sign that bees are nesting inside your house, or close to it, the absolute best policy is to relocate the hive. Anyone who is working close to bees must wear protective gear that covers all exposed skin, including the face and neck. The task of humanely removing bees from a house or property really does require specialized clothing that provides not only full head and face protection, but ventilation and visibility as well. Because humane bee removal requires special equipment and clothing, as well as the expertise to deal with tricky situations that arise, it is a task best left to professionals.

Humane Bee Removal

Certainly bees are unwelcome in your home. But because they are critical to the ecosystem, and they’re protected by the Indian Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, mindlessly killing the bees with toxic chemicals is not an option. PCI’s technicians have the training and expertise that allows them to delicately displace the bees from the hive. Once the hive is removed, the bees are forced to relocate. All of the methods used to remove the bees from your home and property are eco-friendly.

With a bit of knowledge and awareness, we can all work together to protect the honey bee population. By relocating the hive, you’re essentially giving the bees a second chance to live, a second chance to thrive, and a second chance to provide for our ecosystem in ways that only the honey bee can.

Author bio:

Greg Long, Beekeeper and Communications Coordinator at organic honey supplier GloryBee, has nearly completed his three-year journey to becoming a Master Beekeeper. He’s currently enrolled in Master Beekeeping apprentice classes through the Oregon State Master Beekeepers’ Program.

See Fire Ants Create Towers From Their Own Bodies

See Fire Ants Create Towers From Their Own Bodies

To gain insights on how to program swarms of tiny robots, scientists are studying one of nature’s most cohesive species—fire ants.

When the insects work together, they’re a force to be reckoned with. The small creatures are capable of using their bodies to create towering structures of more than 30 stacked ants and buoying themselves into a raft so buoyant it stays afloat even when a human hand forces it under water.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have been working for years to analyze how ants socially and physically form such elaborate globs without a leader or a discernable overall plan.

In a study recently published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, high-speed cameras show ants banding together to form a tower around a slippery rod. The coordination results in a bell-shaped structure, similar to that of the Eiffel tower.

Scientists had previously observed ants creating these towering structures from their own bodies, and the video offers a fresh look at the phenomenon.

The process to create these towers is less of a delicate dance and more trial and error. According to the study, an individual ant is capable of supporting as many as three other ants, which it connects to using sticky pads on its feet.

If an ant takes on more weight than it can bear, the ants fall away from the tower like a cascading avalanche. By continuously scrambling over each other, the ants are able to eventually build a solid base, building on each other from the bottom up.

Scientists believe this behavior is used as a temporary structure after events like floods. Scaling tall structures allows them to hunt for empty spaces in which they can create new homes.

Because the ants are continuously sinking, they must repeatedly climb over each other until they reach shelter, making their towers dynamic rather than static.

“The ants are circulating like a water fountain, in reverse,” one of the study’s authors told Nature.

Unsinkable Ants
The dynamics of their static structures was discovered by the same research group in 2014 when they studied how ants formed such robust raft structures.

By swirling a bunch of ants into a cup, the ants naturally formed a dough-like ball by grabbing onto each other with their sticky legs. Forming perpendicular to one another, the ants were able to evenly distribute their weight, creating a raft that floated even when one of the researchers fully submerged it in water.

While not known to be particularly intelligent as individuals, ants are adept at collectively working and communicating through a complex system of pheromones and sounds inaudible to the human ear.

Researchers hope that small robots can be programmed to form rafts and bridges of their own.

“Imagine robots that need to construct a barrier or patch a hole during a disaster response,” one of the 2014 study’s authors told Nature.

Source: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

H1N1 bigger killer than dengue and malaria in Maharashtra

H1N1 bigger killer than dengue and malaria in Maharashtra

Mumbai: The H1N1 influenza virus which entered the list of infectious diseases with a global pandemic in 2009, has overtaken dengue and malaria to become the biggest killer among seasonal ailments in Maharashtra.

Since its appearance, the viral infection has claimed nearly 2,500 lives in the state, about five times the fatalities caused by dengue and three times that of malaria in the same period. The viral infection is now next only to tuberculosis and AIDS in the state’s list of top contagious killer diseases. TB and AIDS together are responsible for more than 10,000 deaths in the state annually.

While annual death toll of dengue and malaria have reduced to double digits over the years, H1N1, initially called swine flu, has managed to spring a surprise almost every alternate year, killing hundreds. In the first half of 2017 alone, 247 people died of the airborne disease in Maharashtra, including 10 in Mumbai. Three deaths occurred in the last week, two of the victims being a pregnant woman and another a TB patient.

Dr A C Dhariwal, director of National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said HINI “has indeed changed the way we used to tackle viral fever in the country. Apart from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala are also badly affected”.

In January-June this year, H1N1 claimed more lives in Maharashtra than malaria which has caused one fatality and dengue two.

The resurgence comes after a lull in 2016 when far fewer deaths (26) were reported. In 2015, the state had witnessed its worst outbreak with 905 deaths.

Experts say its mode of transmission—through infected droplets released into the air—makes control or prevention almost as challenging as in the case of tuberculosis. “In dengue and malaria, we can attack the vector and control the disease. But your combat tools are limited when the fight is against an airborne disease that provides a limited window to treat,” said Dr Satish Pawar, head of Directorate of Health Services (DHS), Maharashtra.

Pawar says tuberculosis, except the cerebral type, takes at least a few years to take a life-threatening form, whereas H1N1’s progression is exceptionally rapid. “Doctors often tend to wait for test reports, which is costing us lives,” he said, explaining why a viral disease is causing such a high number of casualties. In addition, he says, mostly people with underlying health problems are succumbing to the disease.

Infectious disease expert Dr Om Srivastava said clinical challenges of treating H1N1 are unique. “The antiviral oseltamivir works for most cases, but some patients who deteriorate despite treatment,” he said, adding dengue and malaria no longer pose the threat they did even a few years ago. “Dengue has less than 1% mortality and less than 3% hospitalisation rate if all basics of treatment are followed. In H1N1, however, mortality could go up to 20% if treatment has not been started in the first five days,” he said.

Epidemiologist Dr Pradeep Awate though feels much of the hype around H1N1 is because of enhanced surveillance. “We keep a count of every single case and death. In my personal opinion, TB is a much bigger public health problem, and if drug-resistant cases keep growing we may have to go back to the TB asylum era,” he said. “But of course it’s true that influenza surveillance began only after H1N1,” he added.

A senior physician from KEM Hospital said, “All these decades we lost countless lives to seasonal influenza, but didn’t know the magnitude. These numbers should force the government to design vaccination plans and build awareness campaigns around coughing etiquette or hand-washing,” the doctor said, adding the government needs to allocate more funds for influenza control.

Source: THE TIMES OF INDIA

Beware of repeated dengue afflictions

Beware of repeated dengue afflictions

Docs Warn That Fatality Risk Increases Due To Reaction Between Antibodies Present In The Body From Primary & Secondary Infections
Even as dengue ravages Kerala, health experts are confused by the uncommon traits and complications that were recently observed in patients.

The pattern of dengue deaths also indicates that mortality rate was high among patients who were repeatedly diagnosed with the disease.

If a person gets dengue for the first time (type-I), proper rest and medication will help in combating fever and antibodies will be generated in the body that will give life-long immunity against the type-I variety. But, when the same person is exposed to mosquito bites and gets dengue (type-II or type-III), a new set of antibodies will be generated in the body. Antibodies generated in the primary infection and secondary infection react, resulting in grave complications that may even lead to the death of the patient.

Through virus uptake and replication, type-I antibodies will intensify and complicate the typeII virus by a process called antibody dependent immune enhancement. “When a person is tested positive for dengue, prescribed antibiotics will only treat the symptoms of fever and not the virus.Like any other viral fever, dengue virus will subside and antibodies will be generated in a week. When a person is affected by dengue twice or thrice, the reaction of subsequent antibodies will lead to internal bleeding and cause dengue haemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome that may lead to death,” said associate professor of community medicine at Thiruvananthapuram medical college Dr Althaf A.

The scattered information and diagnoses are yet to be compiled and analysed by authorities. Sources in the health department said there was no proper database or research on such complexities.

“When autopsy was conducted in a suspected case of dengue death in 2013, we found that the person was suffering from West Nile fever, a mosquito-borne disease. Similarly , all reported deaths might not be due to dengue. We are unable to contain deaths as scientific analysis and research are lacking,” said Dr Althaf.

There are four different strains of dengue and for a person repeatedly afflicted with dengue, the risk factor goes up. “Severe internal bleeding or blood loss can occur due to the reaction of antibodies already present in hisher body . This is a matter we have to address through research,” said former state nodal officer (communicable diseases) Dr Amar Fettle.

Genetic mutation in disease causing virus is also suspected to be one of the major reasons for the increase in fatalities, said experts. “The spontaneous changes in genetic coding of dengue causing virus can be one of the reasons for the complications.Similar to the mutation seen in H1N1 virus, dengue causing virus is suspected to have undergone genetic mutation. H1N1 virus was seen only in animals at first, it later it was transmitted to humans and by 2008, due to mutation, H1N1 virus was transmitted from one human to another,” said Dr Althaf.

Doctors, who treat dengue, have also no ticed the change in symptoms. “Many patients who seek treatment for diarrhoea; throat pain and vomiting are later diagnosed with dengue. The symptoms were high fever, back and abdominal pain. It is not the same now,” said a doctor at the general hospital in the capital on condition of anonymity .

“The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for the outbreak.These mosquitoes can cause chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika fever.Our environment is very receptive to these diseases and we are vulnerable,” he said.

Dengue cases have risen in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Alappuzha, Palakkad, Malappuram and Kozhikode this year and the disease has become round-the-year problem over the past three years.

Source: THE TIMES OF INDIA

BMC inspects Govt. buildings,finds mosquito breeding in 1000+ water tanks

BMC inspects Govt. buildings,finds mosquito breeding in 1000+ water tanks

Mosquito breeding detection has reduced to eight per cent across government buildings in the city, the latest inspection conducted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) insecticide department has found. Of the 6,232 government buildings inspected for breeding sites, 1,858 water tanks were found to be non-mosquito proof.

“Until last year, we saw that only 85 per cent institutions ensured that their tanks were mosquito proof. This is the first time that the compliance has reached 92 per cent,” said insecticide officer, Dr Rajan Naringrekar. The intensive drive comes ahead of monsoons, with which vector-borne diseases, specially malaria and dengue, record a spike.

According to a BMC report, maximum breeding was found in Public Works Department buildings with 536 non-mosquito proof spots, Central Railway with 446 such spots and the Central Public Works Department with 252 breeding spots. While the Western Railways owns 636 buildings, it has only 3.7 per cent tanks that have no mosquito proofing. On the other hand, Central Railway has 577 premises, of which 23.5 per cent had breeding spots.

In May, the BMC conducted inspections across 23,135 water tanks in government-owned premises. Of these, 21,277 had been mosquito-proofed, and 1,858 remained unprotected. “Not only government agencies, residential societies also need to routinely ensure that the premises are free from mosquito breeding. Since Aedes aegypti breeds indoors, our department cannot go everywhere to clean the breeding spots,” Naringrekar said.

According to civic officials, with detection of three Zika positive cases in Ahmedabad and frequent commute of residents between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, efforts to kill Aedes Aegypti mosquito and prevent its breeding have strengthened. Aedes aegypti is a common vector for both dengue and zika infections. While cases of dengue have steadily increased in the city since 2011, Zika is yet not considered a threat in Mumbai, officials claim.

Between January and April this year, the insecticide department inspected buildings of 65 government agencies. A notice was first served to government buildings in April where mosquito breeding sites were found with the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA), Mumbai Port Trust, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and airport jurisdiction owning maximum buildings in the city and recording maximum cases of mosquito breeding.

An inspection across residential societies and private corporate offices found Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding in 1,997 spots from where the BMC insecticide department collected fine of Rs 14.3 lakh after serving 4,746 notices. While government buildings were initially served a notice, the BMC is now set to serve final notices under Section 381(B) of the Mumbai Metropolitan Act to those who defaulted in making water tanks mosquito proof. Fine under the act starts at Rs 2,000 and extends up to Rs 10,000.

Source: The Indian Express

FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, a female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus, acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute of Sao Paulo University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A Utah man who mysteriously contracted Zika from his infected father may have got it by touching his dad's tears or sweat with his bare hands, according to new research unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, that found the unusual transmission method was likely caused by his dying father having 100,000 times the normal level of the virus. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2016, file photo, a female Aedes aegypti mosquito, known to be a carrier of the Zika virus, acquires a blood meal on the arm of a researcher at the Biomedical Sciences Institute of Sao Paulo University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A Utah man who mysteriously contracted Zika from his infected father may have got it by touching his dad’s tears or sweat with his bare hands, according to new research unveiled Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, that found the unusual transmission method was likely caused by his dying father having 100,000 times the normal level of the virus. (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

Mumbai:53 year old woman dies of lung infection from fungi in pigeon droppings

Mumbai:53 year old woman dies of lung infection from fungi in pigeon droppings

Last year, when 26-year-old Naitik Zota took his mother Jayshri (53) to a pulmonologist following a severe about of breathlessness, the doctor confronted him with a bizarre question: Do you have pigeons in the vicinity of your home? When Zota told him about the presence of a kabutarkhana next door, the doctor advised him to place nets on the windows of his home, and move Jayshri to a room that wouldn’t be frequented by the birds. The advice, unfortunately, came late.

A few weeks later, Jayshri died of a lung infection, which the doctor alleges was the result of harmful fungi present in pigeon droppings.

Several residents of Neelkamal Cooperative Society in Borivli East, where Jayshri lived, say they too have been victims of ill health for the last eight years since the kabutarkhana came up close to their homes. They have complained of lung infection, breathing problems and asthma. After repeated complaints to local bodies fell on deaf ears, the society members filed a complaint with the BMC health department last month, demanding immediate action against the growing menace. But, the BMC is yet to act on their complaint.

Last year, when 26-year-old Naitik Zota took his mother Jayshri (53) to a pulmonologist following a severe bout of breathlessness, the doctor confronted him with a bizarre question: Do you have pigeons in the vicinity of your home? When Zota told him about the presence of a kabutarkhana next door, the doctor advised him to place nets on the windows of his home, and move Jayshri to a room that wouldn’t be frequented by the birds. The advice, unfortunately, came late.

A few weeks later, Jayshri died of a lung infection, which the doctor alleges was the result of harmful fungi present in pigeon droppings.

Several residents of Neelkamal Cooperative Society in Borivli East, where Jayshri lived, say they too have been victims of ill health for the last eight years since the kabutarkhana came up close to their homes. They have complained of lung infection, breathing problems and asthma. After repeated complaints to local bodies fell on deaf ears, the society members filed a complaint with the BMC health department last month, demanding immediate action against the growing menace. But, the BMC is yet to act on their complaint.

At Jaslok, Dr JR Shah, consultant pulmonologist, attribute her illness to pigeon droppings. “But, by then, my mother’s lung capacity had decreased by 40 per cent,” said Zota of his mum, who succumbed a few weeks later. “In severe cases, patients develop interstitial fibrosis that causes irreversible scarring of the lungs, like it happened with Jayshri. It affects the exit and entry of air to the lungs. This happens when a person lives in close proximity to pigeons or hens. I get five to six such cases every year,” said Dr Shah, referring to what’s probably a city-wide menace.

Residents at risk
“The kabutarkhana is causing health problems and many people are suffering from respiratory diseases. The physicians to whom these people consulted have opined to get rid of the pigeon feeding that starts every morning (sic),” reads the complaint copy. More than 40 residents have also submitted a petition.

Hitesh Upadhayay, a resident of the society, said that around three months ago, his wife suddenly developed trouble breathing. “There is a Jain temple inside the society where devotees come and feed the pigeons. The feeding continues till late evening,” said Upadhayay.

Medical experts recommend that patients with low immunity or history of respiratory problems should stay away from pigeon breeding grounds.

Dr Balwant Samant, a retired professor with KEM Hospital, explained that the problem is caused due to exposure to the soil, where the pigeons leave their droppings. When the droppings dry and scatter in the soil, microscopic fragments from it break away and become airborne. “These particles contain dormant fungi and bacteria that people around end up inhaling. It gets inside the lungs and becomes a breeding ground for infectious agents.”

BMC clueless

In 2016, when the issue raised in a BMC meeting, authorities had proposed to add fertility control pills in pigeon food to control the population. There has been no progress so far.

A senior health officer from the BMC, said, “People consider feeding pigeons a religious act. Most kabutarkhanas in the city are illegal, and usually near places of worship. We have been dissuading residents from feeding pigeons.”

When mid-day reached out to Dr Padmaja Keskar, health officer, BMC, she said she would look into the matter.

Source: MidDay

Battle mosquitoes vigorously

Battle mosquitoes vigorously

India’s dengue deaths have long called for controlling mosquitoes through source reduction at breeding sites.

The WHO report describing the first Zika virus cases is important as it provides evidence of the virus circulating in India. While the Gujarat government says there’s no need to panic over the state’s three occurrences, it’s clear India must take greater precautions, more in areas where the Aedes mosquitoes are significantly present. The virus, which has no cure or vaccine but is not known to be deadly like dengue, was first found in India in 1964. It is known since 2015 that a virulent version, which swept the world and affected the Rio Olympics last year with some athletes withdrawing, could be headed for India as the more benign strain was within some people, and could prepare genetic grounds for the second coming.

Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and chikungunya have taken more lives than other forms of pestilence. India’s dengue deaths have long called for controlling mosquitoes through source reduction at breeding sites. And yet the Gujarat CM took the pedantic line that there was no Zika patient in his state now as the three known cases were already treated. As none of the three had travelled abroad, it is likely the infection was picked up locally. However, the presence of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which are active during daytime, and the general overcrowding, lack of hygiene and very warm summers are known to be grounds for an expanding threat. There has fortunately been no case yet of microcephaly (small head and brain in new-borns), but the war on mosquitoes must be fought with increased vigour.

Source: DECCAN Chronicle

Insects resist genetic methods to control disease spread, study finds

Insects resist genetic methods to control disease spread, study finds

The research, reported in the journal Science Advances, combines advanced genetic and statistical analyses to show how certain genetic and behavioral qualities in disease-carrying insects, like mosquitoes, make these species resistant to genetic manipulation.

This resistance could complicate attempts to use CRISPR-Cas9 in the fight against malaria — a deadly mosquito-borne disease that threatens over 3 billion people worldwide — or crop blights such as the western corn rootworm, an invasive species that costs the U.S. about $1 billion in lost crops each year.

The discovery of the CRISPR-Cas9 system — or simply “CRISPR” — in the early 2010s introduced an unprecedented level of accuracy in genetic editing. Scientists can use the method to design highly precise genetic “scissors” that snip out and replace specific parts of the genome with sequences of their choosing. Two English scientists were the first to show the method could spread infertility in disease-carrying mosquitoes in late 2015.

“We found that small genetic variation within species — as well as many insects’ tendency to inbreed — can seriously impact the effectiveness of attempts to reduce their numbers using CRISPR technology,” said Michael J. Wade, Distinguished Professor of Biology at IU Bloomington. “Although rare, these naturally occurring genetic variants resistant to CRISPR are enough to halt attempts at population control using genetic technology, quickly returning wild populations to their earlier, ‘pre-CRISPR’ numbers.”

This means costly and time-consuming efforts to introduce genes that could control insect populations — such as a trait that causes female mosquitoes to lay fewer eggs — would disappear in a few months. This is because male mosquitoes — used to transmit new genes since they don’t bite — only live about 10 days.

The protective effect of naturally occurring genetic variation is strong enough to overcome the use of “gene drives” based on CRISPR-based technology — unless a gene drive is matched to the genetic background of a specific target population, Wade added. Gene drives refer to genes that spread at a rate of nearly 90 percent — significantly higher than the normal 50 percent chance of inherence that occurs in sexually reproducing organisms.

Wade, an expert in “selfish genes” that function similarly to gene drives due to their “super-Darwinian” ability to rapidly spread throughout a population, teamed up with colleagues at IU — including Gabriel E. Zentner, an expert in CRISPR-based genetic tools and assistant professor in the Department of Biology — to explore the effectiveness of CRISPR-based population control in flour beetles, a species estimated to destroy 20 percent of the world’s grain after harvest.

The team designed CRISPR-based interventions that targeted three segments in the genome of the flour beetle from four parts of the world: India, Spain, Peru and Indiana. They then analyzed the DNA of all four varieties of beetle and found naturally occurring variants in the targeted gene sequence, the presence of which would impact the effectiveness of the CRISPR-based technology.

The analysis revealed genetic variation in all four species at nearly every analyzed DNA segment, including a variance rate as high as 28 percent in the Peruvian beetles. Significantly, Wade’s statistical analysis found that a genetic variation rate as low as 1 percent — combined with a rate of inbreeding typical to mosquitos in the wild — was enough to eliminate any CRISPR-based population-control methods in six generations.

The results suggest that a careful analysis of genetic variation in the target population must precede efforts to control disease-carrying insects using CRISPR technology. They also suggest that the unintended spread of modified genes across the globe is highly unlikely since typical levels of genetic variation place a natural roadblock on spread between regions or species.

“Based on this study, anyone trying to reduce insect populations through this method should conduct a thorough genetic analysis of the target gene region to assess variation rates,” Wade said. “This will help predict the effectiveness of the method, as well as provide insight into ways to circumvent natural genetic variation through the use of Cas9 variants with an altered sequence specificity.”

Source: ScienceDaily

Radiohead has newly discovered ants species named after it

Radiohead has newly discovered ants species named after it

A new species of ant, discovered in the Venezuelan Amazon, has been named after Radiohead in honour of their contributions to music and conservation efforts.

As noted by Phys.org, Ana Ješovnik and Ted R. Schultz — of Washington’s Smithsonian Institution’s Ant Lab — discovered three species of ants while collecting data for a study. One of those — the Sericomyrmex radioheadi — was named after the upcoming Glastonbury headliner.

“We wanted to honour their music,” Ješovnik, said. “But more importantly, we wanted to acknowledge the conservation efforts of the band members, especially in raising climate-change awareness.”

Sericomyrmex literally translates to ‘silky ants’, a fungus-farming species that are reportedly ‘less well-known relatives of the famous leaf-cutter ants’. The Radioheadi breed has a white, crystal-like layer covering their bodies.

Earlier this month, a species of shrimp were named after Pink Floyd; the Synalpheus Pinkfloydi have large pink claws capably of killing small fish.

Source:INDEPENDENT

Fly landing on food have health risks, according to experts

Fly landing on food have health risks, according to experts

They are one of the scourges of summer and have been ruining picnics since the dawn of time (probably).

Flies – harmless but incredibly annoying, most people think.

But it turns out the insects may be a lot more dangerous than we thought.

The average fly carries 200 different types of harmful bacteria, largely thanks to the various things they land on, such as rotting food and fecal matter.

Even if you swat one away as soon as it’s landed on your sandwich, the damage has already been done.

Thanks to thousands of tiny hairs on their arms and legs, the bacteria are quickly transferred to your food, which could pose a serious health risk according to a pest control expert.

“They only need to touch your food for a second for their legs or the tiny hairs all over their bodies to transfer germs from all those nasty things they eat onto what you are eating,” Ron Harrison, an entomologist and technical services director at Orkin pest control, told the Mail Online.

“And since flies can transfer serious, contagious diseases like cholera, dysentery and typhoid, it is probably best if you avoid eating things that a fly lands on.”

What’s more, flies nearly always vomit on any food upon which they land.

Unable to chew, the insects have to throw up digestive enzymes onto the food to dissolve it and allow them to slurp it up.

Of course, it’s hard to avoid any fly ever landing on your food again, so what can you do?

The best tactic is simply to cut off the part the fly has touched and throw it away. But you should be fine to continue eating the rest. Phew.

Source: INDEPENDENT


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