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Pestilence or plague?

  1. Oct 3, 2003 #1
    Watching the news last night I found out that we finally have mosquitoes with the West Nile virus here in Arizona. I know it took us quite a bit longer than the rest of the country, but we're just slow here. Most of you have been living with these infected little bastards for a while now, what's it like? Have you changed your habits or are you doing anything to protect yourself. I remember reading an article about some geneticist who says he can change the mosquitoes dna to make it so that any two mosquitoes who have the change can't reproduce, but if only one of them is changed the offspring will carry the changed gene. Supposedly he can wipe out mosquitoes in something like 7 generations. I don't know about you all, but I say go for it, then he can start working to eradicate cockroaches, scorpions and Canadians. What do you think?
     
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  3. Oct 3, 2003 #2
    I would think the eratication of mosquitoes would majorly affect other species. I don't think that's a good idea. I live in Wisconsin which can be thought of as mosquitoe city. I haven't thought about west nile virus at all until you just brought it up. Personally I don't feel it's a big deal. I'll continue to trek outside at night without thinking twice.

    I would however like to get rid of house centipedes which my apartment is full of. They give me the creeps!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2003
  4. Oct 3, 2003 #3

    Njorl

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    For humans, I think it is less dangerous than the flu. For birds, it is a different story.

    I live in the Maryland suburbs of DC. We've had the virus here for over a year. News stories mentioned finding dead crows in various areas that tested positive, but didn't really give it much coverage.

    We've always had a lot of crows around where I live. They would wake me up every morning. The sky near the county landfill would be black with them every day at dusk. They never wake me anymore. I have only seen three crows since winter. The sky over the dump is now filled with starlings instead of crows. I have seen no official study about the disappearance of crows, but others have noticed it too.

    Njorl
     
  5. Oct 3, 2003 #4

    Monique

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    I stayed in Detroit and was also confronted with the West Nile problem. The only thing that was done about it was public alerts not to leave water standing, spraying of pesticides was only done when the situation posed a great danger.. I never heard they actually ever sprayed.

    I think you are pretty safe when you are not a young child or a senior person, or have some immune problems.

    Keep in mind, more people will die by an infection with the common flue than will die from this exotic virus.
     
  6. Oct 3, 2003 #5

    Monique

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    Greg: house centipeds? What are those??
     
  7. Oct 3, 2003 #6
    LOL!! Don't kill the mosquitoes, but nobody objects to getting rid of cockroaches and Canadians?
     
  8. Oct 3, 2003 #7

    Monique

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    Don't remind me of cockroaches! I actually got bitten by them once in my sleep :S can't be very healthy I imagine..

    Is it common to have roaches in the US?
     
  9. Oct 3, 2003 #8
    cockroaches are way too common. I used to work for the water company and when I would open up a water meter box thousands, no millions of roaches would scatter. I hated having to stick my hand in there. ugh gives me the chills thinking about it..
     
  10. Oct 3, 2003 #9
  11. Oct 3, 2003 #10

    Monique

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    Sounds familiar, I lived in an apartment complex built in 1924, occupied by graduate students. One time my roommate went to India for a visit and I decided to open a cupboard in the kitchen which was stuck due to the expanded wood. The cupboard was very high up at the seiling, in a corner and thus was never used..

    Guess what: I was standing on the sink, pulling on the nob of the cupboard, finally with quite a bit of force the thing opens and with a gust of wind.. yes.. with a gust of wind all kinds of debri from dead roaches comes flying down, there were three levels in the cupboard, all covered with a black layer of degraded exoskeletons *shivvers*

    Ofcourse the university doesn't do anything about it but fumigate upon request (they have a special person hired) and you're not allowed to change apartments.. nice!

    I moved in at fall and never noticed anything.. then summer came which is really hot and all of a sudden a plague would start out of nowhere.
     
  12. Oct 3, 2003 #11

    Monique

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    I feel better already :)

    I even saw huge roaches! As big as my thumb, those were in the basement of the building. And huge crickets which scared the life out of me, by starting to cirp while sitting on my window screen, which I was sitting next to.. 100 dB worth of noice at least! Mutants!
     
  13. Oct 3, 2003 #12

    Monique

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    I am glad I am away from all those dangers. The only thing I should watch out for is ticks, don´t have to be afraid of being eaten by bears, pumas, wolves, poisenous spiders, attacked by squerrels or raccoons, snakes. pfieuw!
     
  14. Oct 3, 2003 #13
    lol you think roaches the size of your thumb are huge? Take my advice and never take a trip to south america. My family went on vacation to brazil five years ago and at night you can find roaches along side buildings the size 3x your thumb!

    crickets are crazy! My parents moved out of milwaukee to a remote location to find peace and quiet. However my dad tells me the crickets are so loud he can barely sleep.
     
  15. Oct 3, 2003 #14

    Monique

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    That thing was loud indeed!! I thought someone was breaking open the cement/asphalt with one of those drill thingies. I was looking out through the window to see who was down there.. then I was looking eye to eye with that huge cricket (also the size of my thumb, not so big thus?).

    I was standing at the other end of my apartment in 1/1000th of a second, nearly having a nervous breakdown :)

    In Netherland the biggest things we get are the size of ladybucks.. or are those also huge in the US? Again how many nuclear facilities do you guys have?
     
  16. Oct 3, 2003 #15
    In Michigan I saw roaches that could easily be mistaken for small cats.
     
  17. Oct 3, 2003 #16

    russ_watters

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    You're kidding, right? Six inches long and a hundred legs.

    Greg, I feel your pain.
     
  18. Oct 3, 2003 #17
    I've seen a roach so big it set off a mouse trap. It was so big it wouldn't all fit in my mouth. yuck, sorry.
    Hey, anyone know the formula for figuring out the temperature based on the number of times a cricket chirps in minute?
     
  19. Oct 3, 2003 #18

    Monique

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    The roaches I saw were all German speaking so I guess I was lucky :)
     
  20. Oct 3, 2003 #19
    My friend Red, a non-rehabilitatable red-tailed hawk, contracted what we believe was west-Nile virus last year here in Arlington. She apparently suffered a stroke, but has since recovered except for her partial vision. Another nature center nearby lost a red-tail. Mostly crows affected around here, but less so this year.

    If you want to get rid of mosquitoes, eliminate standing water in gutters, birdbaths, trashcans, tires, etc. It's simple, logical and natural. Remember DDT.
     
  21. Oct 3, 2003 #20

    Monique

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    I used to feed my goldfish musquito larvae, bought in the store.. the fish were happy.. I wasn't when those things started to hatch :S
     
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