I wasn’t planning to write about pest in the headlights so soon after the ‘interesting’ news of December. Luckily for us pest controllers, 2011 starts out to be an amazing ‘pest in the news’ year. There were much more interesting news, but I have to constrain myself to the truly unbelievable.
Eat those pests!
Food is important, food keeps us going… Well, let us see what the news had to say about this.
I had posted a link here earlier, but I still find it amazing that agricultural pest control threatens a famous local Brazilian delicacy: Ants! The Alates ( or swarmers) are considered a big delicacy and become increasingly rare. Personally I would be very interested in tasting some of these ants. Supposedly they taste like mint, yummy. Saves the money on chewing gum and candies, ha ha ha.
Insects as a solution to solve the global hunger problem and to reduce green house gas emissions? It seems to be possible and this was published this week. Insects produce less wastage and by-products compared to cows, pigs and other ‘more common’ livestock. Plus the food input is comparatively low and I remember I read somewhere that insect proteins are easier to digest for humans. Well then, instead of a nice steak, we might soon have a few barbequed grasshopper legs, medium to rare, please…
Imagine a 20 pound rat, baked in the oven, maybe for Christmas? Delicious? Not so sure about that, but in Cameroon there are farms that breed the giant cane rat. These are huge rodents, the size of a small sized dog, so I guess it makes sense having these as a food source. I was of the opinion that our Indian bandicoot rats are huge, but there always seems to be an even larger pest. Just give it a fancy name, “Rongeur giant au vin”, and you will have a lot of people in front of your restaurant. Well, not if Rentokil comes round for some serious rodent control.
Eat those humans!
Ok, shall we turn around the perspective of eater vs. eaten? January had quite an arrangement of odd “pests attacking humans” stories as well. Let’s start with the most disturbing ones.
A New York prisoner got bitten into his very private parts by a rat. This is by far the most disturbing rat bite case that I heard of. Then there was the case of the woman who died after her toes had been eaten by rodents. It seems that this year the rodents plan to fight back. Well, we are prepared to control them.
There also was a report about children that found a Chihuahua being eaten by ants. I think since the dog had obviously been mistreated and was not able to stand, nor walk. I also guess that the ants were rather attacking if it was in the close proximity of the nest, than actually trying to eat it.
And then there was the viral video about a loose rat in New York’s subway. My learning from this incident? Never, never ever, sleep on a subway. Why? Because there are mad rats that run up your legs and come running into your face. This is something I would not even wish to my worst enemies.
A few days later I found an article that guesstimates the number of rodents on Bangalore express trains to be around 4,000. I have seen rats on trains and I have also seen the amount of food, crumbs, garbage and spillages that is produced during a 10-20 hour train rides. It is not a surprise that rodents and other pests are attracted to train rides. In this case, it would be good if the passengers would also be made aware that their eating habits are a major part of the rat problem on trains.
Which finally brings me to some better news: The city of Mumbai has its own rodent killer task force. Within the last year, 44 night catchers and another 140 day catchers have killed more than 310,000 rats. However they still require more hands to somehow control the menace of rodents.
So much about the pest news for the last three weeks, hope I do not have to write too soon about similar news