What are the benefits of bed bugs? Not very many, although they are great for the economy.

More than $250 million is spent every year on bed bug control. If you made a list of the 100 most dangerous bugs on the planet, bed bugs would not make the list.

If you made a list of the most profitable bugs on the planet, bed bugs would be second from the top. Termites lead the list as most profitable insects on the planet.

Oddly enough, treating bed bugs isn’t hard if you know what you are doing, and pesticides are not necessary. You can treat for bed bugs using safe and effective methods. You can contact me and I will send you information on how you can control bed bugs in your home without using toxic pesticides.

I have kept them in terrariums for show and tell at seminars. I would stick my hand in there once a week and they would feed on me. It never hurt, and they are very happy when they got done eating.

They are a fussy about what they eat. If you go to bed with a lot of booze in your system, they will not feed on you. They do not like alcohol, so you will never get them drunk on your blood. On the other hand, cockroaches and snails love beer.

Are cockroaches really that bad? Not really. Sure, if they come out of a sewer system, we don’t want them around, but they aren’t inherently evil. Scientists have identified nine antibiotic molecules in the brains of cockroaches and locusts that protect them from voracious, lethal bacteria.

The implications of these findings cannot be overstated. Consider our ongoing battle with MRSA — a type of bacteria that flourishes in hospitals, locker rooms and playgrounds. When a human comes into contact with MRSA, the bacteria burrow into the skin, forming a welt. If the victim is lucky, the welt turns into a painful abscess, which can be drained. But sometimes, the bacteria burrow deeper into the body, driving their way through muscles, joints, bones and vital organs.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because scientists haven’t been able to develop a drug to treat this type of infection, in 2007 more people died from MRSA than from AIDS. Researchers at Britain’s University of Nottingham found that when MRSA is pitted against the antibiotics in a cockroach brain, the bacteria don’t stand a chance.

The cockroach molecules wipe out 90 percent of MRSA bacteria on contact. And that’s not all. According to the CDC, six people infected with E.coli, associated with undercooked meat and dirty water, die each year from complications because our best meds are ineffective.

But when a cockroach cocktail was used on E.coli in the lab, it knocked out the bacteria. There are a lot of hurdles to overcome before cockroach brains are available in drug stores, so don’t go shopping for them yet.

Besides their brains, cockroaches have created more jobs than any other bug. Most of the pest control industry is the result of our trying to make cockroaches extinct. I am not saying you should welcome cockroaches into your home, but there is not a need for mass destruction of them or any other pests.

There are safe and common-sense methods of controlling them while sharing our planet, and pesticides are not the answer. If I find a cockroach in my home, I just put it outside.

Do spiders have a useful purpose? Yes, absolutely. Without spiders, almost all of the crops we grow would be consumed by insects. Spiders are far better at pest control than pesticides and far less detrimental to the environment. There are more than 600 species of spiders that are found in agricultural areas and are essential for organic farmers. Spiders in your house will help control cockroaches, silverfish and other pests.

Spider silk has a higher strength-to-density ratio than steel. Its components could one day be put to use in such varied products as airplanes, bulletproof vests, surgical threads and prostheses. One study stated that a large number of SS-rich insecticidal pesticides have been isolated from spider venoms.

Many of these have desirable properties for development as bioinsecticides, including high potency, rapid speed of kill, lack of vertebrate toxicity, low production costs, and activity against a wide range of crop pests and disease vectors.

Of course, you shouldn’t pick up some spiders, such as the black widow, brown recluse or yellow sac spiders. I pick them up but I am weird that way. In reality, black widows kill very few people and there are no definitive cases of a brown recluse killing anyone.

They have been blamed for many deaths and they probably are capable of it, but there are no cases where the spider causing a death has been found and identified as a brown recluse. Spiders are our friends.

If you have any pest questions, you can contact me at askthebugman2013@gmail.com

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