Could Bees Hold The Cure To HIV?

Western Honey Bee
Western Honey Bee (Photo credit: Aditi-the-Stargazer)

A recent study by St. Louis’ Washington University School of Medicine has indicated that we are one step closer to a cure for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This news gives hope to the 34 million people worldwide, who are currently living with HIV or AIDS.

Bee Venom Can Destroy HIV

A study conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and published in the journal Antiviral Therapy, claims that the common bee may be the answer to killing off HIV; the virus that leads to the development of AIDS.

Bee venom carries a toxin called melittin, which has been proven to destroy the human immunodeficiency virus. The toxin works by poking holes in the virus’s outer layer. This outer layer envelope protects the virus; and without it, the virus eventually dies. Furthermore, this toxin found in bee venom kills HIV while leaving the other cells in the body unharmed.

Because the bee venom toxin attacks the virus’ outer layer, the virus is likely unable to develop a resistance to the melittin. Researches believe that this development may make it more effective than other HIV drugs, which the virus eventually develops a resistance to. Current HIV drugs only prevent the virus from replicating and do nothing to kill it off like the bee toxin does.

How The Process Works

Nanoparticles that are smaller than HIV are infused with the bee venom toxin, melittin. These melittin infused nanoparticles then fuse with the HIV’s viral envelope. The melittin forms little pore-like attack complexes and ruptures the envelope, stripping it off the virus, attacking a natural physical property of HIV. Hypothetically, there isn’t any way for the virus to acclimatize to that. The virus has to have a protective coat, a double-layered membrane that encompasses the virus.

Molecular bumpers prevent the nanoparticles from harming the body’s normal cells, which are much larger in size.

HIV Particle
HIV Particle (Photo credit: AJC1)

How The Bee Venom Toxin Is Administered

If you are living with HIV or AIDS, the solution won’t be as simple as getting stung a couple dozen times by a honey bee. Remember, the melittin, or bee venom toxin must be in the form of a nanoparticle; and it needs to be in a highly concentrated form.

Currently, scientists and researchers are looking at implementing the bee toxin in the form of a topical gel, and also administering it intravenously. The gel is for HIV prevention, while intravenous injections will treat those already infected with HIV or AIDS.

Potential Cures To Other Diseases

Since melittin attacks double-layered membranes arbitrarily, this concept is not limited to HIV alone. Many viruses, including hepatitis C and B, rely on the same kind of protective envelope and would be vulnerable to melittin-loaded nanoparticles.

Additionally, research has revealed melittin-loaded nanoparticles to be successful in killing tumor cells. This is potentially a huge step in cancer research, with almost unlimited medical adaptations.

Bee venom has been used to treat arthritis and other painful conditions as well.

Honey bee with tongue partially extended
Honey bee with tongue partially extended (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bees & Their Venom

Bees are a very valuable group of insects that still have much to teach us as a society. They play key roles in pollinating flowering plants, and help in controlling the numbers of many other species of pests.

While being beneficial insects, bees do carry toxic venom. The main component of bee venom responsible for pain is the toxin melittin. Histamine may also contribute to pain and itching after a bee sting.

Out of the 54 reported insect deaths each year, 14 are caused by bee stings. Bee sting deaths are usually only common when the victim has an allergic reaction to a bee sting.


HIV destroys T-cells, which are the white blood cells vital to sustaining the functionality of the immune system. As HIV attacks these cells, the person infected with the virus is less equipped to fight off infection and disease, ultimately resulting in the development of AIDS. Most people who are infected with HIV can carry the virus for years before developing any serious or deadly symptoms. Over time, HIV levels increase in the blood while the number of T-cells decreases. It’s about this time an individual living with HIV becomes very ill, and can eventually die.

According to recent data, more than 34 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Of these 34 million, some 3.3 million are under the age of 15 years old. Each day, almost 7,000 people contract HIV around the globe.

Let’s hope this bee venom research is a solution to a disease that is affecting so many worldwide.


Pest Control Links

Pest Of The Week: Pocket Gophers


Pocket Gopher by Tooth and Nail
Pocket Gopher by Tooth and Nail (Photo credit: USFWS Pacific)

Pocket gophers have dark brown fur, large heads, powerful necks, very short tails, and very large, broad front feet with enlarged claws, which they use in combination with their teeth; to dig and push mounds of soil to the surface. They are approximately the size of a small rat, and can reach 10 inches in length. Because this rodent uses it’s two exterior, fur-lined cheek pouches to carry food materials, it has earned the name Pocket gopher. More…

This Week’s Pest Control Links Round-Up


Guide To MPMA PestWorld 2013 In Phoenix

PestWorld will be coming to Phoenix, AZ October 23-26, 2013, and over 3000 pest management professionals are expected to attend. If you are one of the 3000 PCO’s, here is you guide to the nearby restaurants, hotels, events, and activities.

America’s #1 Nuisance Pest: Ants

It’s no question that ants are a nuisance, but did you know that ant infestations are on the rise. According to a recent survey conducted by the NPMA, 100% of people polled encountered an ant situation during the year: and 54% said the problem is growing. More…

How To Avoid Food Infesting Pests

Pantry pests like beetles, and Indian meal moths will infest your flour, cereal, grain, and sugar. For a few tips on how to keep them out of your food, click here

If You Give A Mouse A Cookie… 3 Practices To Avoid Mice Infestations

Sealing your gaps and cracks, taking out your trash, and setting a few mousetraps are all strategies in to combat mice infestations. For more information, click here.

Organizing Your Attic Can Prevent Pest Problems In The New Year

Modern Pest Services suggest your New Years resolutions should be to organize your attic to keep pests out. Here’s how…

FMC Pest Wire Top Tweets

FMC Pest Wire shares with us their most popular tweets from the past few weeks, here.

Crickets Chirping

Male crickets will commonly chirp, or rub their wings together against each other. The sound is designed to keep other males away from their territory, and it also is designed to attract females to the male for mating purposes. While the sound of crickets chirping may be pleasant and appealing to female crickets, it can be entirely bothersome to our own ears. More…

What Are Indian Meal Moths?

These pesky moths are notorious for damaging your clothing by munching on a variety of fabrics from silk to wool. More…


Weekly Pest Control Round-Up

Pest Of The Week: The Eastern Gray Squirrel


An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis...
An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In most of North America, the most common variety of squirrel encountered in urban areas, is the Eastern Gray squirrel; or Grey squirrel (Canada). These rodent pests have spread across the United States, and are often discovered in parks, backyards (urban) and farmlands (rural). In fact, in many areas the Eastern Grey squirrel has largely displaced the native Red squirrel.

As the name suggests, the Eastern Gray squirrel is characteristically covered in gray fur, but it can also display a reddish color. This rodent pest has a white underside, and a large bushy tail. The head and body length ranges from 23 to 30 cm, with an additional 19 to 25 cm, to account for the tail.

Eastern Gray squirrels build a type of nest, known as a drey, commonly found in forks of trees. However, they may also build a nest in the attic or in the exterior walls of homes and dwellings, creating a pest control problem for unsuspecting homeowners and tenants.


This Week’s Pest Control News


NJ Pest Control Warning: Don’t Bring Bed Bugs Home For The Holidays

Here are a few pointers from ChemTec Pest Control in New Jersey on avoiding bedbugs over the holidays. Click here.

Fleas On Dogs – What Can Be Done For Dog Fleas

If you have any dogs in the home, there is a high chance that you have had fleas and would know how irritating these little pests can be! They can feed on the blood of your dog and can make it unhealthy so we need to take action right away! More…

Pest Control Marketing Lessons Learned The Hard Way In 2012: The Secret to Marketing Smarter In 2013

Here are a few mistakes pest control professionals are making in there marketing efforts. Remember, true masters not only learn from their own mistakes but from the mistakes of others. To see if you are making any of these pest control marketing mistakes, click here.

Reasons to Hire a Professional Pest Control Agency

For a few good reasons on why you should hire a professional exterminator, including pest identification, effective pest elimination, and prevention plans and maintenance; click here.

Warning: Pests May Be Lurking In Your Stored Christmas Decorations

Before pulling the Christmas decorations out of storage, and before you decorate your home with all of those lights, wreaths, candles, and of course the Christmas tree; there are a few things you need to do so you don’t set forth a full on pest infestation inside your home. More…


Ear Maggots- Woman Has 57 Maggots Removed

Ear Maggots

Imagine an excruciating burning and itching inside your ear. After three days of constant pain and ear tugging, you are shocked to discover a maggot crawling out of your ear; and the worst part… Not being able to tell anybody about it! That’s exactly what happened to 92 year old Catherine McCann of Arlington Heights, Illinois.

57 Maggots Found Living Inside Woman’s Ear

CBS Chicago reports that 92 year old Catherine McCann was living in an Arlington Heights’ nursing home, and was unable to speak because her Alzheimer’s disease. While living in the $10,000 a month nursing home, the elderly woman had a fly crawl into her ear and lay eggs. The result was 57 maggots that hatched inside the woman’s ear canal.

After three days, a nursing home aid grew concerned over Mrs. McCann’s constant tugging of her ear and brought her to the nursing home’s medical director. It wasn’t until then, when the maggots were discovered. Mrs. McCann was sent directly to Northwest Community Hospital.

Removing The Ear Maggots

Doctors removed all 57 maggots from Mrs. McCann’s left ear. The woman’s daughter, Mary McCann Stassen, could barely look at pictures of her poor mother’s ear, and said the worst part was, “hearing her mother scream as they were taking the maggots out.”

“It’s a picture I will never, ever get out of my mind –ever.”

The infestation was documented by doctors at Northwest Community Hospital who made a videotape of the scene before beginning extraction. The tape was so graphic, however, CBS declined to air it.

After the gruesome incident, an exterminator examined the nursing home for flies, but couldn’t find any. Officials believe that the fly must have flown into Mrs. McCann’s ear canal when she was taken out for her daily walk.

Ear Maggot Lawsuit

After the horrific ear maggot incident, Mrs. McCann’s husband is suing the Lutheran Home for the Aged nursing home for negligence and emotional distress. Just nine days prior to the ear maggot infestation, Mrs. McCann had her ears treated for a wax build and was prescribed ear drops to prevent infection.

The family is questioning whether or not she received the medication in her ear after the treatment, because one would think you’d notice the 57 maggots while administering the medicine drops.
The Lutheran Home for the Aged nursing home admits to no wrong doing, stating that the maggots were not big enough for their staff to see them at the time. The nursing home had been very well respected up until the recent incident.

English: Eurobait in England are a maggot bree...


A maggot is the tiny, white, worm-like larva of a fly. They look much like a grain of white rice and feed on rotten or dead organic tissue. Fly eggs are laid directly on a food source and when the eggs hatch, the maggots move towards their preferred conditions and begin to feed.

Flies quickly reproduce during the summer months, and maggots can appear in massive quantities. Often times this creates a maggot infestation, and increases the risk of myiasis. Humans are not immune to the feeding habits of maggots and can also contract myiasis.

Ear Spider

This news about ear maggots comes to us shortly after learning of a spider living in a woman’s ear.

A woman living in China had to have a spider removed from the inside of her ear after experiencing some major ear canal itching and burning. The spider made its way inside her ear canal while she was sleeping and had been living there for approximately five days.

The spider couldn’t be removed with surgical tools, because the attempt would only drive the spider deeper inside the women’s ear and force it to dig its barbs into the ear canal. Instead of manually retracing the embedded spider, a doctor opted to flush it out with saline solution. The procedure was a success, and the women reportedly wept with gratitude after the spider crawled out.

If that incident isn’t a big enough reason for spider control, I don’t know what is!

In Related News: Ear Plug Sales On The Rise

With all of this recent news about maggots, spiders, and other creepy crawlies climbing into our ears, maybe we’ll start to see a sharp increase in the sales of ear plugs.


Friday Pest Control Links

Friday Link’s Round-Up

Can You Identify Any of These Invaders?

Want to play a fun pest control game? Click here, and see if you can guess how many of these common pest invaders you might know, just from at their pictures.

Preventing Ticks

The Nation’s tick problem is growing. Here is an excellent article on understanding these tiny blood-suckers and how to keep them away from your home. More…

Tulsa Facing Invasion of Black Widows

Oklahoma Poison Control is now informing the State’s residents that there are more Black Widow spiders than normal this year. The mild weather has allowed the dangerous spider to thrive, and that means there numbers are up. More…

DC Laws Complicate Animal Removal

Animal removal within a commercial facility is difficult no matter what the situation. With the addition of complex animal removal regulations in Washington, DC, control has become a bit more complicated. More…

 4 Pests That Damage Ornamental Plants

Aphids, scale insects, mealybugs, and spider mites are all destructive pests that cause damage to your plants. To learn more about these pests, and what to do about them, click here.

Pest Of The Week: Odorous House Ant

A Very Large Ant

The color of the Odorous House Ant can range from dark brown to shiny black, and the workers are typically about 1/8 inch long. The Odorous house ant gets its name from the strong odor it emits, when crushed. The unpleasant smell that results has been compared to rotting coconuts.

Odorous ant colonies can have up to 10,000 workers who forage for food in long, distinct trails. These long trails of ants are often seen indoors, as they crawl over household surfaces; contaminating everything along the way. The Odorous House Ant will eat just about anything sweet it encounters, however it prefers the honeydew produced by common garden pests, like aphids and mealybugs.

Outdoors the Odorous House Ant makes shallow soil nests under any material on the ground, within hollow trees, or in any other available cavity. Inside homes, these ants cause pest control problems, when they build their nests in wall voids, under insulation in crawl spaces, or within cavities in wood.



Enhanced by Zemanta

A $1 Million Commitment To Pest Control

exterminatorA Commitment To Pest Control

The University of Illinois in Champaign, along with its researches and scientists, are now supporting pest control efforts worldwide thanks to a very generous donation from a former alum.

Roy Barker, a former graduate student at the University of Illinois, donated just over $1 million to establish an endowed faculty position that will research all things insects. The hope is that the university’s entomology department will now be able to recruit top researchers to better understand insects and how to best control them.

The donor, Roy Barker, grew up on a Missouri farm and witnessed his family’s crops be destroyed by troublesome insects like crickets, grasshoppers, and flies. This motivated him to study insect control, and the best ways to eliminate pests more effectively.

Barker, who passed away earlier this year, received his Ph.D. in entomology from the University of Illinois in 1953. He spent his career working in research labs for the U.S. Department of Agriculture and in industry.

A Decline In Research Funding

This commitment to insect and pest research is a breath of fresh air in a time where cash-strapped universities seem to be more concerned about competing athletically on the field then improving research efforts in the areas of science and technology. While millions of dollars go to the funding of athletic teams, coaches and facilities, per-student funding for public universities has steadily declined 37 percent since 2002.

The latest report from the National Science Board, the governing body for the National Science Foundation, found that Illinois’ 37 percent decline in per-student funding was the fourth-largest cut in the country.

University of Illinois officials are pointing to Barker’s donation as a key example of how they are continually relying on private donations as state money has declined.

Ruth Wanyera demonstrates the collection of st...

Funding Educates World’s Citizens About Pest Control

The university has used some of the $1 million donation to start a program expected to develop computer animations that will help educate people around the world about how to safely eliminate pests that threaten their crops. One video, for example, explains how farmers can make a chemical-free solution using seeds and water to spray on the crops.

The donation is also helping to kick-start additional pest control programs, and gives the university more flexibility to try out new things.

Good News For Pest Control Operators

As pest control operators, we understand that the pests we treat on a daily basis are constantly evolving. They are becoming more and more resistant to our treatment plans and immune to our pesticides. Continued research in the field is needed so the world’s pest control operators can stay one step ahead of the pests. Donations like the one Roy Barker made to The University of Illinois will go along way in better understanding our adversary.

All of us here at Bulwark Pest Control commend the efforts of Roy Barker, and other pest control pioneers, for their constant and continued efforts to better understand the world’s pests.  

Source: The Chicago Tribune

Bulwark Exterminating’s New Pest Control Methods?

311 that should kill your bugs
311 that should kill your bugs... and everything else.

John Honoré was a little dumbfounded when he saw yesterday’s high for Phoenix, AZ.  …Does heat cause dyslexia? Bulwark Exterminating denies all reports of organic pest control methods that they could be testing that might cause such an occurrence.

“Bulwark will make no formal statements on the the 311 degree high in Phoenix reported by ABC, even if it were beneficial for pest control the evidence that would suggest our involvement is circumstantial at best.”

Special thanks to our San Antonio pest control guys for bringing this to our attention:

Hot Flash: News Flash from San Antonio ABC 12

Pest Control Company Receives Military Honor

Pest Control Company, Bulwark Exterminating Honored with Military Award
Pest Control Company, Bulwark Exterminating LLC, Receives Military Award from Staff Sergeant A. J. Richards.

Recently Bulwark Exterminating was nominated for an ESGR award by Staff Sergeant A. J. Richards. The ESGR award is given to employers of Guard and Reserve soldiers where the servicemen feel that the employer goes above and beyond the basic responsibility’s an employer has to their Reserve employees. The law requires those that employ Military Reserve and similar to abide by additional requirements, such as holding a position for those that serve while they are gone on military leave.  Further, they must work with mandatory military training, requiring them to allow military employees un-scheduled days off. Because of these requirements there are good reasons for employers to not hire reservists. Bulwark on the other hand gladly  hires military personnel.  The owners feel a great respect for those that serve to protect our country and our freedoms.

For this reason Staff Sergeant Richards nominated Bulwark and Adam for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve award. Here is his statement:

I have been in the National Guard for the last nine years and have had many employers. I had heard that there was a way to nominate your employer for an award through the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). But until recently I had never worked for a company more deserving. I started working for Bulwark Exterminating in 2007 as an door to door sales men and even though I struggled with that job they always had a supportive team to mentor me. After the summer they provided me with a job servicing homes in southern Utah while I finished school. After school despite my performance in the door sales field they offered me a job in their newly formed call center in Phoenix AZ. The offer was too good to turn down so I packed up the family and headed down. I have missed work many times to fulfill my commitment with the guard and Adam has always made sure that my family and I had all that we needed while I was gone. Beyond that the Bulwark family has taken my family in as their own so while I’m away I don’t have to worry about my wife and kids needing anything. This is something that is priceless if you have ever been in that kind of positions. Adam continues to support me and my service in the Guard and often encourages me to do all I can to advance in my military career even at the risk of loosing me “one of Bulwark’s top employees” (per my supervisor), for extended periods of time.

The ceremony was held at a Marie calendars in downtown Phoenix and was hosted by “The Military Order Of The World Wars” Phoenix Chapter. The chapter is made up of retired military members from Colonel down. Adam Seever was nominated by Abenadi Richards an employee that works in the Bulwark Exterminating Call center. If you contacted Bulwark anytime in the last three years for new service there’s a chance you spoke to him. Abenadi says that the influence of the people that he works for not only has helped him to become a better person but also a better soldier. He said that skills that he has learned as an employee for Bulwark has taught him to be a better leader in his military duties as well.

Bulwark even received an additional honor from the speaker when he complimented Adam and Bulwark’s pest control service with  “and they do good work too.  They service my home.” The owner was very touched by the award and the sincere compliment of the speaker.

View more Award Photos on Facebook

If you are a military family then please ask about Bulwark pest control Military Discount.

Pest Control – By the Numbers.

Pest Control Technology Magazine gave the owner of Bulwark a quick interview about what makes Bulwark Exterminating’s company so different.  Here is what they reported:


Bulwark Exterminating, Mesa, Ariz.
At 10 years old, Bulwark Exterminating
is built differently than most firms. More
than half of employees’ compensation is
determined through statistical analyzes,
said President Adam Seever. They typically
make 30 percent more than the industry
average, according to Seever, due to
higher productivity and the company only
promotes from within, giving them “lots of
reasons to stick around.” Employees must
feel financially and emotionally respected
or they can’t respect your customers, explained
Seever. The company has 250
employees at 11 offices in seven states,
including five programmers to manage its proprietary software.

Why by the numbers?

Many companies look to accountants to manage by the numbers, these companies often fail. But  Bulwark’s numbers are not found on a typical accountants balance sheet.  Bulwark tracks all kinds of numbers that most never think to track. And with 10 years of tracking Bulwark can see trends.  So Bulwark takes these numbers, puts a real monetary value on the impact of these numbers and then reworks the system. For example, how much more productivity could a company gain if customer call backs drop by down by 10%?  That value is calculated, monetized and then redistributed to those individuals within the company that make it happen.  The bottom line is the company runs more efficiently, more productively, and those individual’s that make it happen are rewarded for their efforts.

What’s beautiful about this system is that everyone wins.  “Yeah, Right… that’s just too cliche.” True, it is hard to believe in systems that promise to benefit everyone. But back to customer call backs… If the tech does the job correctly and takes a little more time upfront, to save time on the back end, (time=$$$) then the client, the tech, and the company all benefit.  The tech gets a bonus for having a lower call back number.  The customer is happier that the problem is being solved and that they don’t have to call us back.  The company saves time, which equates to dollars. Plus, the tech, the customer, Bulwark’s office staff, Bulwark’s managers, and the rest of the tech’s team are all happier.  Not a bad system… if it works. Don’t worry works. Proven by the same numbers that we meticulously track.

And it’s truly numbers that everyone can hit.  Many theorize that you should just play your team with your All-Star performers.  “Manage your producers and showcase them.” The most common analogy following this line of thought is that professional sports teams rely on only their superstars to make it happen. Well, pest control is far from a fantasy football team, and frankly, Bulwark has always believed that everyone on the team should play.  So Bulwark doesn’t develop a matrix to benefit a few top performers. The owner will focus on what is going to make the biggest impact on all of Bulwark’s players.  It’s a win-win-win-win-win… get the point?

Find ways to incentivize performance. And better yet, find ways to improve so everyone wins!