25
May

Two-Fly Rule in Beijing Bathrooms

Flies in Love

Flies in Love

Officials in Beijing have ruled that public restrooms in the Chinese capital can have no more than two flies in them at one time, the BBC reports.

New rules issued Monday by the Beijing Municipal Commission of City Administration and Environment also state that no more than two pieces of trash can be left uncollected for more than a half-hour.

The rules apply to bathrooms in tourist spots such as parks, railway stations, supermarkets and malls.

15
May

Marigold Pest Control Myth

The Marigold Myth:
Marigolds in pots

With today's increasing eco-friendly approach to everything, many home gardeners are trying the age-old method of planting marigolds in their vegetable garden to repel pests. Little documentation exists showing marigolds actually repel insects. Certain plants contain properties that either invite beneficial insects or repel harmful insects.  If you want to try marigolds for pest deterrents, you will need the strongly scented French or African types. However, there are drawbacks.

Marigolds can deter certain beetles and worms (nematodes) that attack the roots of your plants, but they also attract large populations of spider mites to many gardens and landscapes. Rather than relying too heavily upon marigolds, use a combination of techniques based on the pests in your area and their plant preferences. Talk to a local pest professional...Royal Pest for example...and we can help you protect your garden from harmful, destructive and annoying pests.

3
May

Why Do Zebras Have Stripes?

zebra_764_600x450

Stripes help protect the zebras from biting insects

Animal researchers have theorized for years that a zebra's stripes confuse predators like lions, but new research just published shows the stripes have a surprising benefit—they actually help protect the zebras from biting insects. Since biting pests carry many diseases as well as constantly distract animals from feeding, it is possible that the reduction in pest activity could be an even more important benefit of having stripes than protection from lions.

The researchers looked at biting horse flies in their tests. These and many other insects are able to detect polarized light as it is reflected off of surfaces like animal hides. Uniform surfaces have a very uniform polarization pattern, but stripes on a surface change the polarization pattern of the reflected light. By collecting horse flies that were attracted to black, brown, white, and striped horse models, the researchers showed that the flies were least attracted to the striped models. Further tests showed the exact thickness of the zebra stripes were an optimal thickness to reduce horse fly attacks.

 

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