It’s Been A Year Since #DeadRaccoonTO, But We Will Never Forget


This post is a tribute to Conrad, the brave and silent hero we all never knew that we needed.

If you don’t know, Conrad (as affectionately named by citizens of Toronto) was literally a dead raccoon, found on the downtown streets of Canada’s largest city, whose presence, in some weird and hilarious turn of events, began a social media firestorm.

This July marks the year anniversary of #DeadRaccoonTO and to honor Conrad, and keep his legacy alive, we’ll do a quick highlight of his rise to social media stardom.


A man named Jason tweets to Toronto Animal Control that there is a dead raccoon on the sidewalk and Animal Control responded, also via tweet (whoa, 21st century!):

“Thank you for letting us know. This was reported a short while ago and Animal Services has been notified.”


So, Conrad was resigned to lay there, man-bits exposed, until his imminent removal from the sidewalk until….


In a strange turn of events, someone left a note by the raccoon’s lifeless carcass:


It reads: “Rest dear Raccoon. Help is on the way from the city.”


Conrad’s body still lay strewn on the sidewalk and more condolences began to appear. Including a rose and sympathy card, with attached Sharpie for people to write messages.

Which, naturally, they did…


#DeadRaccoonTO Card

Some Time Later:

In the most bizarre and entertaining chapter of this narrative: SOMEONE PRINTED A REGAL PORTRAIT OF A RACCOON, FRAMED IT, AND PUT IT BESIDE CONRAD.


Be still my beating heart. This is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Not only did this person see the raccoon, THEY TOOK THE TIME TO GO AND PRINT A PHOTO (assuming that they just didn’t have one on hand), AND FRAMED IT.

I mean, the citizens of Toronto are truly winning at everything.

Also, As all of this is occurring….:

As all of this is occurring, Conrad and the hashtag #DeadRaccoonTO are garnering a good amount of attention on social media.

The sender of the original tweet, Jason, had come back by and noticed that the raccoon had not been removed and sent an additional tweet:

“Toronto It’s now after 3 pm and I guess Animal Services hasn’t been by, because someone’s having some fun now”

This caught the attention of City Council Member, Norm Kelly, who tweeted:

“Please have staff pick up this raccoon at 819 Yonge St.”

And when Animal Control STILL hadn’t picked up the body, fired off this sassy tweet:

“Residents are being asked to keep their green bins open tonight in honour of #DeadRaccoonTO.”

The hashtag exploded with responses:

“I don’t really understand how the magic that is #DeadRaccoonTO is happening, but it is fantastic that our city can come together for this.”— @sachasayan

“sleep well my sweet prince, people loved you and remember you #deadraccoonto”-@heyhahn

“Someone has added a donation box beside the dead raccoon. #DeadRaccoonTO”— @KrisReports


AND FINALLY, after nearly fourteen hours of lying strewn on the sidewalk, Animal Control arrived to remove Conrad…

But not before everyone had a chance to say goodbye in a way befitting of the glue that pulled Toronto together…


A candlelight vigil.


10 Rock n’ Roll Songs That Are Totally Bugged Out!

If you’re like me, the only association that you ever made between insects and rock n’ roll were the roach motels that leather pant donning rockers frequented because they didn’t want to smash up their own VCR sets.

But did you know that there are literally hundreds of rock songs whose content and namesakes are inspired by insects? Yeah, neither did I.

For the sake of saving you from perusing the internet for hours in search of these speaker blowing ballads (because you’re TOTALLY interested and because I really have nothing better to do), I compiled a list of ten insect inspired songs by bands that have achieved moderate to “sign my boob!” success.

And they are…

1.AC/DC: Fly on the Wall

What is a list about rock n’ roll if you don’t mention AC/DC?! I hope you appreciate that incredibly realistic (ha!) fly cartoon buzzing around the screen as much as we did. (PS. Was the point of this video and the presence of camera trench-coat man totally lost on anyone else?)

2.Aerosmith: Joanie’s Butterfly

I’ll give you a second to wipe those tears from your eyes after you listen to such a moving (sure, that’s the appropriate adjective, right?) ballad. I’m sorry if you like this song. I’ll give Aerosmith credit where credit is due (that song from the movie Armageddon was the absolute anthem of prepubescent school dances), but this song kinda blows.

3.Alice Cooper: Earwigs to Eternity

Short, sweet, and with a lot of bizarre vocals: Alice Cooper’s choice to name this song “Earwigs to Eternity” makes just about as much sense as his sense of style.

4.Black Sabbath: Wasp

“Turns your body to a corpse. Turns your body to a corpse. Turns your body to a corpse.” Now, that is some freaking poetry. Thanks Black Sabbath for helping me finally find a background song for my nephew’s birthday slideshow.

5.Dave Matthews: Ants Marching

Okay, I know Dave Matthews isn’t really a “rock n’ roll” band but, after the grey cloud cast over the world by the last song, I thought everyone needed something a little more upbeat. I mean, a bunch of dudes gathering around to like, totally jam out is like, totally super sweet bro.

6.Jimi Hendrix: Hornets Nest

This song sounds like my emotions and subsequent flee/chase montage that ensues after encountering a hornets nest IRL.

7.Pearl Jam: Red Mosquito

I don’t like mosquitoes either, Pearl Jam, but maybe if you’d take that wad of cotton out of your mouth that you seem to be singing through, your point could be communicated a little more clearly.

8.Rolling Stones: Spider and the Fly

This song is about chasing tail. Plain and simple. Apparently Confucius wrote the songs Wikipedia page stating, “By the end of the song, one is left wondering which person is the spider and which is the fly.” Okay. The Stones have only ever preformed this song on tour twice, so that alone should tell you something…

9.Smashing Pumpkins: Bullet with Butterfly Wings

Be still my teenage angst beating heart. This song is by no means Beethoven’s 5th but, my moody, self-involved teenage self will always have a place for it in her ice-cold heart.

10.U2: The Fly

Welcome to the Bono show. Does U2 even have other members? I don’t know the guy, and I know he does a lot of charity work, but I just feel like he’s a guy who might refer to himself in the third person. No one wants to be that guy…

Thanks for reading, rocking, and reminiscing. We’ve already called the ambulance because we know your mind has just been blown. Until next time, stay crazy kids.


From Pests to Pokemon…Gotta Catch ‘Em All!

The year is 2016 and if you haven’t been living under a rock for the past week, you’ve probably heard of Pokemon Go, the new mega-sensation that has taken the world by storm, forcing nerds and common-folk everywhere to band together in a way we never thought possible…

Acting as the glue that now holds our once fragile society together, Pokemon Go reached 21 million users in the United States alone barely a week after its release. This makes the game the biggest in United States history and I look forward to the day that I can tell my grandchildren, tears shining in my eyes, that I was here to see it all.

But wait, how does this relate to pest control? Are you on the wrong blog? Did your paid subscription* to the greatest pest control blog of all time somehow get cancelled?! Nay! You are here, you are safe, deep breaths now. But back to the question, how does this relate to pest control? There are actually a few parallels…

Basically, the entire premise of Pokemon Go is centered around catching/controlling an inhuman species. Sound familiar? Except in Pokemon Go, the inhuman species sometimes looks like this…

Scary Pokemon

It’s okay, you can look now, it’s gone. Actually, mostly they bear resemblance to what pests look like IRL (in real life, come on, Geek 101). Like these lovely little critters who, like IRL pests, seem to be the only thing lurking around your neighborhood (my fellow gamers will feel me on that one):

Pokemon Examples

Since it is apparently too difficult to just put a Charizard by my mailbox, most of your time will be spent catching these common pests, I mean Pokemon.

In fact, much of the inspiration for Pokemon comes from real world bugs. There is an entire genre of the creatures based on traditional insects:

Bug Pokemon

Pretty cool, right?

Despite it’s near worldwide success, people are giving Pokemon Go the most credit for offering people a reason to get out and take part in the living world. You know, nature? That green place that is outside of your window? By doing so, people are slowly becoming more active in and appreciative of the environment/living organisms around them!

In theory, not only are you getting to live out your life-long dream of becoming a pest control superstar, you might actually be able to remember what it’s like to be a functioning member of society and finally get a glimpse of that mythical entity, the Sun!

So, thanks Pokemon Go. There might still be hope for us after all.

Pokemon Celebration


Super Smart Scientists Discover “Spidey” Gene That Could Propel Pest Control

Meet super smart scientist Dr. Joanne Yew, an Assistant Professor of Chemical Ecology and self-professed “chocolate fiend”:

Joanne Yew: Spidey Discoverer

She and her team have been working diligently at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to find a solution for the pests that continue to lay waste to local agriculture.

To do so, they have isolated a gene in vinegar flies that controls the insects ability to achieve a waterproof coating. According to their findings, once they isolated and removed this gene, which they have nicknamed “spidey,” the flies suffered several repercussions:

1.Their lifespans were shortened by nearly 50%

2.They lost a significant amount of their waxy coating

3.The majority ended up getting stuck to surfaces from which they could not detach

In a sense, they become their very own flytrap. Woah, science! This inability to control their adhesive qualities led to the naming of the gene:

“This last feature was reminiscent of the comic book character Spider-Man, which is why we named the gene spidey,” explained Yew (Aka. Remember when Peter Parker hadn’t quite figured out that whole web thing?)

Unable to move among their food source, it is theorized that the pests will die out before they can cause significant damage to crops, creating an entire new genre of pest control. Yew and her team hope to isolate the gene in Oriental, Mediterranean and melon fruit flies in the future, since these are the species that are most prominent in the area.

It is Yew’s hope that if her future research proves successful, a variation of this practice could be used to control disease carrying bugs, like mosquitoes.

But…she also says that it would take at least four more years of government funding and research before any of this can be used in a practical application.

Slow and steady wins the race. Keep doing your science spidey thing Dr. Yew!

Yew Spidey Researcher

Incognito Insect: 6 Bugs That Are True Masters of Disguise

Camouflage insect

Scientists estimate that insects have been doing their thing here on Earth for about 480 million years. They’ve outlasted pretty much everything (you know, that whole business with the meteor and the dinosaurs…awkward), and they didn’t do it by staying the same ole bugs that they started out as.

No, insects took a long hard look in the mirror one day and thought to themselves, “You are not a loser! Bottom of the food chain, no more!” So they began to evolve. Some developed poisonous traits, some learned how to make friends with other bugs to develop giant hives of death where they toil all day to make sweet treats under the ever watchful eye of a vindictive queen (too much?), and some took an easier route and learned how to hide with camouflage.

Take a look at some of the latter down below. Use the scroll bar to see if you can spot them!

Camouflage  Moth

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This particular moth is found in North America and got its namesake for obvious reasons. Their ability to disguise themselves against any forest backdrop puts even the most intricate guerilla suits to shame.

Brimstone Butterfly

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Found in Europe, North Africa, and Asia, the Brimstone butterfly is actually credited by the majority of scientists as being the original holder of the name “butterfly.”

Flower Mantis

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Found in Southeast Asia, the flower mantis definitely didn’t do as well disguising its name as it does its body. The flower mantis just candidly hangs out on the prettiest flower in the meadow until a bug comes close enough for it to reach out and eat. Maybe you shouldn’t stop and smell the roses after all!


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Found on every continent except for Antarctica, there are over 6,400 known species of katydids. They get their name from the sound that emits as they rub their legs together…but whether Katy did or Katy didn’t still remains a mystery.

Geometer Moth

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Often confused with the mean girls of the insect world (butterflies), geometer moth’s are always described as having a slender waist, so…. there’s that. Found worldwide (sans Antarctica), Geometer moth’s spend their days pretending to be twigs or parts of leaves when they’re not trying out the newest diet fads.


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The grasshopper. When they aren’t trying to band together to bring about the next plague, you can find them outside in your yard taking in the breeze. But don’t get too close, when a grasshopper’s camouflage cover is blown, they flash the underside of their wings as a warning, and scram.

So, now you’ve seen some of the insect world’s best tricks. However, if you’re that guy who never actually sees the hidden picture (I mean, come on, it’s right there), but for some reason still pretends that you do…I hope enjoyed the list anyways. Maybe, you even learned something. At the very least, I know the slide bars helped you kill some time at the office.


10 Sci-Fi Movies That Are Absolutely Infested With Insects!

Bugs, revered by the general population as vile and somewhat frightening, encompass the perfect characteristics to star in the movies of our nightmares. Since the early fifties, directors of science fiction movies have been coming up with new and terrifying ways that insects can horrify and entertain us. Here are ten science fiction movies that are absolutely infested with insects:

And the movies are…
1. Men In Black (1997)


The only thing better than the skin-wearing, sugar-loving race of giant, alien cockroaches attempting to steal the galaxy during this movie, is the sick track that star Will Smith dropped during the credits.

Relive that glorious mix-tape moment from 1997:

Men In Black Music Video, Will Smith (director copy) from Caruso Company on Vimeo.

2. The Fly (1986)

A few years before he was as the naysayer in Jurassic Park, Jeff Goldblum starred in a lovely little film called The Fly in which a haughty scientist gets more than he bargained for when a science experiment goes awry (surprise, surprise). There’s lots of fun images in this film– Goldblum’s body parts simply falling off at random intervals, him vomiting digestive juices all over his food, just to name a few.

All of the stills from the movie are actually horrifying, so I sincerely apologize in advance:


Told you.

3. Eight Legged Freaks (2002)


This science fiction/comedy employs an age old archetype of the genre: a toxic spill. A lot going on here: giant spiders, alien enthusiasts, and townspeople taking shelter in the local mall to defend against the eight legged invaders. Oh, by the way, David Arquette and Scarlet Johansson star in it, so that’s cool.

4. Arachnophobia (1990)

Arachnophobia Movies

Doesn’t that shower look relaxing?! This is a still from Arachnophobia (starring Jeff Daniels and John Goodman), the story of a rogue spider who, aside from making cameos at bath time, created a new species of deadly spiders. The spiders in turn make it their business to wreak havoc on the local townsfolk, killing them off one-by-one.

Still from Arachnophobia movies

Same Jeff Daniels, same…

5. Them! (1954)

Still from Them! Movies

Based on the photo above, I’m sure that you don’t find it hard to believe that our next film, Them! was nominated for an Oscar in the category for “Best Special Effects.” It was the first “big bug” feature film and presented an entirely new genre for its time, paving the way for many of the other films on our list.

6. MIMIC (1997)

Still from Mimic Movies

Well, well, well…here we are again with a science experiment that got a little out of hand. Bred as a solution to a cockroach problem that was plaguing a city. Any guesses on what happens next? The insect asset cannot be controlled and seeks vengeance on those who created it in the first place. Will they ever learn?

7. The Deadly Mantis (1957)

Still From Deadly Mantis Movies

As the second oldest film on our list, The Deadly Mantis
stems from a fiasco involving a volcano and some ice caps. Deadly mantis, who has been slumbering peacefully beneath the glaciers, is awakened and leaves devastation in its wake. Despite the world being on the brink of chaos, the characters of this film somehow find the time to participate in a pretty heavy love-story. Appropriate.

8. Naked Lunch

Still From Naked Lunch Movies

Naked Lunch is just all kinds of weird. Not only does this guy think he’s a private eye (which he isn’t) — due to a heavy does of hallucinogens, he also believes that he is assisted by two handlers (which he isn’t), and that they are giant bugs (which they aren’t). Lots going on here.

9. The Swarm (1978)

Still from The Swarm Movies

Ah, yes. You are not mistaken. That is Michael Caine starring in 1978’s The Swarm. Consistently making “Worst Movies Ever Made” lists and bearing a dismal half-star on Rotten Tomatoes, The Swarm follows a swarm of bees as they cause all kinds of chaos after attacking a military base. There are bombs and a flame thrower involved, so…there’s always that.

10. Spiderman

Still From Spiderman Movies

Some will argue that Spiderman belongs in the action genre rather than sci-fi, but to them I say “NAY.” A nerdy kid is bitten by a radioactive spider, in a lab where weird science-y things are happening, and is then mutated to shoot webs from his hands? Tell me again how that is not science fiction?

If you get nothing else from this movie, at least you got to see Toby Maguire act out one of the WORST emotional scenes in film history:

Crying Movies GIF

You’re welcome.

6 Times People Attempted To Use Insects As Weapons


Bugs outnumber people 200 million to one. Human beings, known for our impeccable decision making skills and innate ability to ALWAYS know when to leave well enough alone, naturally ended up posing the age-old question: how can we make this worse? By turning insects into weapons, that’s how. Here’s a short list of some shining moments in history that mankind really and truly outdid itself:

Six Times People Attempted To Use Insects As Weapons:

1. The Age of the Neanderthal:

Researchers have discovered crude drawings of early humans using beehives as primitive weapons. Apparently, if Caveman A was having a spat with Caveman B over the local Cavewoman for instance, it wasn’t unusual for one of the squabbling parties to wake up with a nest of angry bees soaring right into their rock shelter. The nest would then explode and its inhabitant would be trapped. I, personally, like to imagine it as the dawn of time’s version of high stakes ding dong ditch.

2. Greco-Roman Era:

As if there wasn’t enough shadiness and betrayal happening during this time period (Caesar, I’m looking at you), should you scorn your neighbor, you might have found yourself on the receiving end of a basket full of, wait for it…. venomous spiders and scorpions! I mean, Edible Arrangements who?

3. World War II:

During a time when the world was literally a revolving ball of chaos, the Japanese decided that they wanted to take it a step farther and engineered plague infected fleas. Yes, you read that correctly. Plague. Infected. Fleas. They sprayed the fleas into the masses of their Chinese enemies using a fleet of low-flying aircraft. It is estimated that roughly 440,000 Chinese died from disease as a result of this attack. To put it mildly, that was totally uncool guys.

4. The Cold War:

Not wanting to be left out of the party, the United States “allegedly” made plans to build a facility that would “allegedly” have the capacity to produce nearly 100 million yellow fever infected mosquitoes per month. These mosquitoes “may or may not” have been intended to be released amongst the United States very good friends at the time, the Soviet Union. “Allegedly,” of course.

5. The Cold War (Again):

Even though we just mentioned the United States and what they could have been up to with those mosquitoes, another project was also taking place whose name alone makes it impossible not to mention. Ladies and gentleman, in 1954 the taxpayers of the United States unknowingly funded “Operation Big Itch” (Pause for laughter). Operation Big Itch, also known as “The Big Itch,” (also known as completely ridiculous) involved testing munitions loaded with fleas. Not surprisingly, the entire project came to an untimely end when the fleas aboard an aircraft escaped and wreaked havoc on the entire crew. Close, but no cigar.

6. Modern Day:

While you currently have no need to live in fear of heat seeking bees or other fun pests descending upon your home unannounced, there are still scientists studying the potentials of entomological (that means bug) warfare. In recent years, there has been a large push in the research and development of robotic insects to be used in high risk combat situations deemed unsafe for human soldiers.

Either way, you can rest assured in knowing that as time continues, scientists are working tirelessly to come up with new and creative uses for our pal, the pest.

I mean honestly, what could possibly go wrong?

Bugs As Weapons


Table For One At The Bug Buffet

Eating bugs

“Every year, you will eat seven to eight bugs while you’re sleeping.”

I’m sure you’ve heard this before. But, before duct taping your mouth shut becomes part of your nightly routine, know that this statement is completely false.

As gag reflex inducing as it may sound, scientists are arguing that adding insects to your diet might actually be incredibly beneficial to your health and to the environment as a whole. In reality, about eighty percent of the world’s population eat insects in their everyday lives. In many countries, such as China, certain insects are actually considered a delicacy.

Scientist Marcel Dicke is arguing that not only is it a good idea, it is imperative that we add insects to our diet. According to his research, the typical human being already consumes around 500 grams of bug per year, whether they know it or not. She also argues that as the population continues to grow, it only makes sense that we would begin to consume a food source that is readily available and abundant.

His argument breaks down as follows:

  1. Seventy percent of our agricultural land is being taken up to produce livestock. However, to feed our growing population, the agricultural production rate needs to also increase by seventy percent. Which is not likely.

2. Eating meat puts our health at risk because some of our meat sources, like pigs, are so much like us that they can transmit diseases. Not only transmit but “proliferate [viruses], and because of their kind of reproduction, they can combine and produce a new virus” that could make masses of humans ill.

3. The livestock market is incredibly wasteful. Dicke argues that it takes ten kilograms of food to produce one kilogram of beef. Why not simply add insects, which are rich in protein as well, to our diet and yield nine kilograms of insect meat with little to no waste?

4. Raising and eating insects will reduce negative impacts on the environment that livestock produce. These include things like greenhouse gases that are produced from livestock manure.

5. Insects are incredibly healthy containing significantly less calories and far more proteins and vitamins than foods we are typically eating day to day.

In his opinion, Western countries are slow to jump on the bug train simply due to a challenge in mindset. Most Westerners view bugs as a gross nuisance rather than an enticing food source. It is his hope that in the future, Western countries will follow the lead of countries like Laos, China, and even the Netherlands whose citizens regularly consume bugs in their daily diets. And I’m assuming that they enjoy them?

What do you think? Should we make a reservation for you at the bug buffet?

Watch Marcel Dicke’s TED talk on about why he thinks we should add bugs to our diet:

WW- “Bee” Smackdown!!!

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

A quote famously delivered by Muhammad Ali describing the ideal fighting style might be being taken a little too seriously in the animal kingdom. In Australia, Dawson bees are not only fighting, but actually exterminating their own kind. What are these bees fighting over, you ask? The same thing men have been fighting over for centuries…the affections of a woman.

Yes, these bees actually fight and die for the attentions of particular lady bees. The worst of it is, sometimes they get so caught up in their whole West Side Story act, that they actually end up accidentally killing the female that they were initially fighting over. What a buzz kill. Get it?! Buzz kill?! Okay, I digress.

Apparently, this particular species are known as “burrowing” bees. This means that they spend the majority of the year hidden away in nests that they have built deep into the soil of the Australian outback. But, once a year the mood strikes and they venture out of their burrows to seek a mate, their true ladylove.

Not wanting to be late to the party, the male bees actually come out of the burrows earlier than the females. The smaller males peruse around the local flower patches, gazing longingly at the burrow entrances where the bigger bees hang out. By hang out, I mean stalk. Within seconds of the female bees emergence from the safety of their burrows, the majority of the male population have already killed one another and those remaining have mated with 90% of the females.

Imagine being that female bee. You’ve had a nice year long slumber and when you finally surface, you’re met by the sight of hundreds of dead suitors and one crazy-eyed bee demanding to “bee” your one and only (last bee joke, I swear).

Watch a video of the bees during battle:

According to scientists, Dawson bees are one of the only species in the world that fight and kill their own kind in combat situations. And get this: because the majority of the male bees are killed during these scuffles, the female bees simply carry on, unaffected, in a testosterone-free community, raising the next generation of Dawson’s. Power to the lady bees!

queen bee

Sounds like chivalry really could “bee” dead for Dawson bees.

(Sorry, I truly could not resist)