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These tiny brown insects feed on humans and animals alike. However, they are much more than annoying little bugs. Much like mosquitoes, there is plenty of concern that bed bugs can transmit diseases as they bite by transferring blood from person to person. These bugs can transmit deadly parasites and can lead to a number of issues if not promptly addressed. Here are some examples of diseases/conditions that can possibly be spread by these pests.
The Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta, is an invasive species from South America. It produces high density populations and displaces other species of ants. The ants are aggressive, readily swarm and will sting unwary animals en masse. Allergic individuals stung by fire ants have died of anaphylaxis.
Chemicals in spices are often noted for deleterious effects on insects. However, these natural chemicals rarely are deployed as commercial insecticides. The insecticidal chemicals in spices are often at low doses making extraction impractical. Many have complex structures that are difficult and expensive to make synthetically. They often degrade too rapidly for long term effect. They may have deleterious effects on beneficial insects or be toxic to plants. The greatest utility of insecticidal plant chemicals is to serve as models for chemists. Chemists can make modifications of a chemical structure to produce new synthetics with more desirable properties such as better efficacy, low environmental impact, appropriate selectivity and minimal adverse human health effects. Many of our modern synthetic insecticides are based on plant toxins.
Archytas apicifer is a fly in the family Tachinidae. These large flies can be seen pollinating flowers in summer where the resemblance to bees gives them some protection from predators. Like many Tachinids, the immatures feed on other insects. The female flies lay their eggs on several species of caterpillar including armyworms, fall webworm, cutworms and hornworms. The fly larvae hatch and burrow into the host caterpillar, kill it and feed on the tissue. Archytas apicifer is common in Indiana and is distributed throughout North and South America