Top 10 Stories On Blog Pest Control 2013

This year has just about come to an end, and what a memorable year it has been. After the heated election of last year, I bet most of you were thinking that things were going to calm down a bit.

Instead, we endured a sobering bombing at The Boston Marathon, watched intently the trails of Jodi Arias and George Zimmerman, and celebrated a royal baby birth. 2013 has also been the year of Obamacare.

What a busy year!

Blog Pest Control Top Stories For 2013

While 2013 was a busy year for all of us, it was also a busy year for Blog Pest Control. We actually set a record for the most views in a year, in a month, and in a day. So many of you are hungry for these interesting perspectives on pests, and on the pest control industry.

Here are the top ten stories on Blog Pest Control for 2013, determined by you the reader:

10. Could Bees Hold The Cure To HIV?

Honey bee

Bee venom carries a toxin called melittin, which has been proven to destroy the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Unfortunately, the solution won’t be as simple as getting stung a couple dozen times by a honey bee if you are living with HIV or AIDS. Currently, scientists are looking at implementing the bee toxin in the form of a topical gel, and also administering it intravenously. It’s still a work in progress.

9. How Much Does A Pest Control Technician Cost?


As a PCO, have you ever wondered how much it costs to replace one of your technicians? When factoring in direct costs alone, it costs $9021 to replace one! Wow, that’s a significant hit! If the average technician makes $30,340 per year, the financial hit is about 109 days of a technician’s pay. This doesn’t even take in to account any indirect costs of losing a technician.

8. Amazing Video: It’s Raining Spiders!

Warning! If you are deathly afraid of spiders, do not watch this video:

7.  Becoming Spiderman: Unlocking The Secrets Of Spider Silk

Spiderman en el Parque Warner en 2010

As kids, wonderment filled our heads, as we watched all the many possibilities of spider silk; shooting powerful spider webs at a schoolyard bully or being able to effortlessly swing from tree branch to tree branch. Now that I’m older, I wonder “How does a spider spin a web of silk that is five times stronger, on a weight-to-strength basis, than steel; and how can we manufacture it?”

6.  Mosquitoes That Drink Blood By The Gallon: Meet The Gallinipper


It’s the goliath of all mosquitoes. A biting bug that is so terrifying that it has emptied entire schoolyards of screaming children. They are called gallinippers because it is believed they can nip a gallon of your blood.

5.  The Christmas Beetle

Christmas beetle

The Christmas beetle appears, on cue, in large numbers across most of Australia every Christmas.

4. 10 Most Painful Insect Stings

 Wasp Stinging Skin

The following 10 insects have definitely earned their way into our nightmares, with the most painful stings out there.

3. Bedbug Laws By State


With the serious increase of bedbug infestations over the past decade, many victims of such infestations are wondering what the bedbug laws are in their state. Well, here they all are!

2.  Spider Found In Oreo: Real Or Fake?

Oreo Spider

In March, pictures surfaced on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter of a spider that was allegedly found inside an Oreo Cookie! You decide if it’s real or fake.

1.  Toilet Spiders At Florida Olive Garden Deemed Hoax

Olive Garden Toilet Spider

Reports of poisonous spiders biting people at a Florida Olive Garden, as they sit on the toilet of all places, surfaced all over the internet the beginning of this year. Squat easy… it was just a hoax!

More Great Articles Coming In 2014!

The above list was compiled based on several components including: number of views, number of comments, and the number of shares on social media sites.

All of us here at Blog Pest Control, and all of the authors who contribute to the blog, are tremendously grateful for your continued readership. More great articles to come in 2014! 

What was your favorite Blog Pest Control article in 2013?

Mosquitoes That Drink Blood By The Gallon: Meet The Gallinipper


If a regular mosquito was a smart car, than the gallinipper would be a Mack truck.

It’s the goliath of all mosquitoes. A biting bug that is so terrifying that it has emptied entire schoolyards of screaming children.

They are called gallinippers because it is believed they can nip a gallon of your blood. The worst part is that they are expected to invade South Florida in big numbers this mosquito season.

What Is A Gallinipper? 

We are headed to rainy season, and we all know that that means mosquitoes; and the largest blood sucking mosquito in the U.S. is the ‘Shaggy-Legged’ Gallinipper. The gallinipper, properly known as Psorophora ciliata, is easy to identify by its large size and the zebra-like pattern it has on it’s hairy legs.

Gallinippers favor cool shady areas with lots of standing water. These mosquitoes will lay their eggs in the soil, where they can remain dormant for several years before a heavy rain finally releases them. Adult gallinippers can fly upwards of two miles in search of a blood meal. Only female gallinippers bite, feeding on human or animal blood. They are also known to go after pets, wild animals and even fish. The voracious pests feed day and night–unlike everyday mosquitoes, which generally feed only at dawn and dusk.

The Gallinipper’s Bite 

The most notorious characteristic of the gallinipper is it’s extremely painful bite. When it bites you, you know it! One bite victim likens a bite to that of a tiny drill; another victim referred to a gallinipper bite as a stabbing knife. The gallinipper’s bite is strong enough to bite through clothing. Since the mosquito is so big, you’ll likely feel the gallinipper land on you before it is able to pierce your skin with it’s massive proboscis.

The mosquito got it’s name because of the amount of blood it can drink at any one time–gallinipper because it can nip a gallon of blood. The truth is gallinippers drink nowhere near a gallon of blood at one time. A victim would have to be attacked multiple times, by a huge swarm of gallinippers, before you would lose a gallon of blood.

Gillinipper’s Size

How Big Is The Gallinipper? 

The gallinipper is twenty times bigger then the average mosquito; about the size of a quarter.

Palm Beach County Mosquito Control expert Gary Goode says “it really lets you know when it lands on you… It practically breaks your arm. It’s almost impossible for the gallinipper to sneak up on you.

Gallinippers Invading Florida 

Every summer, depending on the rainfall, the Sunshine state braces for the swarms of mosquitoes that plague the state… including the gallinipper. The mosquito’s eggs that were laid last year could produce a bumper crop of the blood-sucking bugs this summer if Florida sees a soggy rainy season.

When the live gallinippers swarm, the phones start ringing off the hook at Palm Beach County Mosquito Control.

The gallinipper is found in the western most; flood prone, parts of Palm Beach County during the rainy season.

The Bad News About The Gallinipper 

• Are huge and intimidating—20x larger than regular mosquito

• Feed on human and animal blood

• Painful bites

• Frequently emerge after rain—which Florida gets a lot of

• Mosquito repellent does little to ward off the gallinipper, mostly because you’d have to use an entire can of DEET bases repellent before the massive mosquito would ever notice it.

The Good News About The Gallinipper 

• Don’t occur in great numbers in Central or South Florida

• Because of it’s size, it’s almost impossible for the gallinipper to sneak up on you

• Are not known to spread diseases like West Nile Virus

• Lifespan is only about a week

• Eat the larvae of their smaller mosquito cousins

• Continually sprayed by Florida mosquito control professionals to reduce numbers

The Truth About The Gallinipper 

The reports by the local media have made it sound like swarms of gallinippers are attacking Florida residents, drinking gallons of blood, slaughtering people by the thousands. These reports sound like something out of a made for TV movie on the Syfy Channel.

Gallinippers do exist. They have painful bites. Florida residents might see one or two this rainy season. Like all other mosquitoes, they do require a consistent pest control strategy to control their populations.

The real truth is that gallinippers will not break your arm when they land on you, and they won’t drink a gallon of your blood. The term “gallinipper” isn’t recognized by most entomologists, but over the past century, the word — and the insect — entered popular legend through Southern folktales, minstrel shows and blues songs, according to a report from the University of Florida.


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Are Mosquitoes Becoming Immune To DEET?

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Pest Of The Week: The Gallinipper


Gallinipper - Psorophora ciliata
Gallinipper – Psorophora ciliata (Photo credit: Lynette S.)

Believed to have gotten its name from its ability to drink a gallon of blood, the gallinipper (Psorophora ciliata) is the largest bloodsucking mosquito in the US. These mosquitoes are about the size of a quarter, and are almost twenty times larger than the average mosquito. The have hairy legs marked with a zebra-like pattern.

Gallinippers can inflict very painful bites that can even pierce the skin through clothing. The female gallinippers feed on human and animal blood; and are even known to eat fish. Unlike common mosquitoes, gallinippers will feed all day long—not just during the dawn and dusk hours. The good news is these gallinippers do not spread diseases like West Nile Virus.

During the very wet rainy seasons, Gallinippers can be found in areas of Central and South Florida. Gallinipper eggs lay dormant in the Florida soil, until heavy rains will cause the eggs to hatch. After hatching, gallinippers will survive about a week. Just like the common everyday mosquito, gallinippers require pest control strategies to control.