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Despite current public health measures, the Bow Valley is bracing itself for another busy tourist season and the Town of Banff predicts more tourists this summer than in 2020.
James Wood, owner and handler with Assured K-9 Detection Services says his rescue dog Rebel is a certified bed bug buster, and that this dog can put her training to good use and help hotel owners in the area ensure their rooms are safe, clean, and pest free.
Wood traveled to California to get Rebel last August, where she honed her canine scent detection skills over 1,000 hours of training.
I did my homework and I came across the place in California. I went down and I trained with Rebel for 100 hours, it was more teaching me how to maintain her training level.
I got her when she was almost two-years-old. I worked for 13 years in residence management and I was experienced in bed bug inspection and identification in Calgary south area. I noticed there was problem and stigma.
If news of an infestation goes public and a hotel is named as a spot that has bedbugs, it can greatly affect their brand reputation and bottom line.
Wood says its important hotel owners detect bed bug infestations early, before they become a big problem.
They are highly efficient bugs because their food is always consistent. They can lie dormant for up to a year and as soon as there is an activity they will wake up. If you have them in your bed, you can easily transfer them to your couch because they cling to your clothes. Rebel and I have gone to seniors centers and hospitals where there were serious problems, he said. Rebel can pinpoint even the smallest bed bug infestation with amazing accuracy and precision.
James explains what goes into training a dog with a job and how the two of them get to work.
Bedbug infestations can happen anywhere, not just hotel rooms. They are notorious hitchhikers, and they arent picky where they will end up, as long as there is a food source, they are parasites and feed on blood alone. You can pick them up in transit, in hostels or at five star hotels.
We are hoping to educate anyone who operates guest accommodations about the importance of regular inspections: hotel and motel owners, hospitality staff, housekeeping staff, AirBnB owners, hostels, etc.
He says detecting a bed bug infestation can save hotel owners time and money, since treating a small infestation is less costly and labor intensive than a large one.
When we locate exactly where the nest is, we help owners identify what furniture to get rid of as opposed to throwing all the furniture away. Rebel is excellent at what she does, but it takes regular training and daily exercises to keep her skills up.
There has been a lot of interest in northern and central Alberta so far. The biggest problem we are running into right now is covid-19 because hotels are empty and they dont want to invest.
They are currently the only independent canine scent detection team certified by the World Detector Dog Organization (WDDO) in Alberta.
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The rain was a drag.
In a photo just before they left on the first ever all-female cross-country drive,Alice Huyler Ramsey and her companionsare draped indour rubber ponchos and clutching bouquetsin front of the Maxwell automobile showroom on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Her sisters-in-law appear grief stricken. Ramseybeams from the flank.
Ramsey, a 22-year-old from Hackensack, was about to leave her husband and year-old child behind for the epic girls trip. Itwould beon the Maxwell-Briscoe Companys dime.
Itsounded like a magnificent adventure, Ramsey wrote of the trip in her 1961 book, Veil, Duster and Tire Iron. And I liked it.
Born in Hackensack in 1886, Ramsey was an excellent mechanic, says Katherine Parkin, a Monmouth University professor who wroteWomen at the Wheel in 2017. Ramseyhad support both financially and emotionally from her husband, John Rathbone Ramsey, a lawyer more than twice her age whom she married after two years at Vassar College.
John, who was an aged attorney whom she met as a teenager. didnt drive. Nonetheless he bought Ramsey her first car, a red 1908 Maxwell, after an auto badly spooked her horse. She picked up the roofless roadsterin New Brunswick, took two lessons and never looked back.
In the summer of 1908, Ramseydrove 6,000 miles on the dirt and crushed stone highways near her summer rental in Asbury Park, Parkin says. By the fall, Ramsey was racing, The Record reported. Shes got pluck. Shes got determination, and she loves to drive, says Parkin. The car was freedom. It was adventure and, at the time, lives as women were very prescribed.
Ramsey'sfirst endurance racefrom Manhattan to Montauk Point in the 08 Maxwell caught the attention of company repCadwallader Carl Kelsey. Kelsey drove Maxwells up staircases to draw attention to the brand, but he had a grander stunt in mind. InRamsey, he found the ideal driver. Kelsey told her flatly: she would drivea Maxwell across America.
I was numb all over, Ramsey wrote. He might as well have said I would fly to the moon the following week!
Alice Ramsey at some point during the trip.(Photo: National Automotive History Collection,Detroit Public Library)
Ramsey agreed and set off more than six months later on June 9, 1909 in a dark-green Maxwell. The red one stayed in New Jersey. It now sits restored on loan atLeMay America's Car Museumin Tacoma, Washingtonnext to a dark-green 1909 Maxwell that made a cross-country trip in 2009 in tribute to Ramsey.Rene Crist, the museum's curator of collections, saysthe rare Maxwells make for apopular attraction.
This is one of our showcase displays, Crist says.The 08 is beautiful. It's just a gorgeous example and very rare. Allthose Maxwells are kind of rare, but they were popular at the time ... and mostly because of their advertising.
The 1909 that made the trip, like all cars of the day, didn't have muchto sayfor itself.It had four cylinders and three speeds.Its roof was a glorified umbrella. Itmade just 30 horsepower. Perhaps most importantly, itcarriedfour:Ramsey, the president of the Womens Motoring Club of New York; her older and adventure seeking sisters-in-law, Nettie Powell and Margaret Atwood; and her 19-year-old companion, Hermine Jahns.
The frocked quartet left New York Citys relatively well-kept roads equipped with hats, goggles, dusters and tire chains. The need for the gear quickly became clear. The country roads, little more than trails by modern standards, made travel a slog. On their best day, the women traveled 198 miles. On their worst, they managed only 4.
The group spent nearly two weeks crossing Iowa. In Nebraska, where the roads resembled gumbo, the Maxwell was twice extricated from the muck within the span of a mile. The farmers son caught one of their horses in pasture and pulled us out for a fee then walked on to the next hole, repeated his towing, but doubled his fee! Ramsey wrote.
Ramsey conducted tire changes after blowouts and standard maintenance throughout the trip. Still, a networkof local mechanics drafted by the Maxwell-Briscoe Company were also consulted for engine trouble, a broken axle and other damage. Mistakes were made. The car ran out of gas. At one point, Atwood and Powell were forced into roadside service. They used their silver toiletry holders to fill the radiator with runoff.
Alice Ramsey and her three passengers, Hermine Jahns and sisters-in-law Nettie Powell and Margaret Atwood, travel in a Maxwell motor car along a rural dirt road during their 1909 cross-country travel.(Photo: National Automotive History Collection,Detroit Public Library)
Often caked in mud, the women happily slept in hotels and ate at restaurants when they could. However, an Iowa creeks bank once acted as accommodation. In Utah, coffee, corn flakes and canned tomatoes sufficed for a morning meal.
Throughout the route, maps were shaky and road signs were lacking. In the East, Ramsey relied on Blue Books that relied on questionable navigation landmarks. The yellow home near Cleveland, for example, was painted green post-publication by a mischievous homeowner. To remain on populated paths, Ramsey often followed the route with the highest concentration of telegraph wires.
The West proved wilder.
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Without Blue Books or reliable maps, and only six years after Horatio Jacksons 1903 cross-continental drive, Ramsey occasionally relied on local drivers hired by the Maxwell-Briscoe Company to provide navigation. Still, she had to backtrack on several occasions, including a time when she was ledinto a sandpit, and then amine. That wason the way to Opal, Wyoming, where bedbugs ruined a nights sleep for Ramsey and Jahns.
Despite the daily trials, the significance of the event was not lost of Ramsey. In her book, Ramsey noted the crowds that gathered to see them in Detroit, the young Western Union telegraph page who froze as they drove through Chicago and the escort of Maxwells that brought them into the spectator-lined center of San Francisco.
The party arrived on Aug. 7 after roughly 3,800 miles and 59 days, The Record reported. Ramsey, who had expected to make the trip in about a month, said she drove 41 days due primarily to Jahns becoming ill on the trip. Ramseymade the return home by train.
The successful journey was important for the Maxwell-Briscoe Company. Though it failed to disclose the service history of the car to the public, the company claimed the trip proved their cars could safely travel anywhere with a young woman at the wheelstill a selling point for cars today, Parkin notes. People were generally unimpressed by Ramsey, however, she says.
Criticized for leaving her young son in the care of her nursemaid for two months, Ramsey was overlooked for being the 10thperson to complete the cross-country attempt, Parkin says. Ramseys trip also coincided with a cross-country race. The more popular exhibition featureda large cash prize offered by M. Robert Guggenheim.
Ramseys tale reached legendary status 50 years later in perhaps another effort to sell cars to women, Parkin says.
In October 1960, Ramsey was named the American Automobile Associations Woman Motorist of the Century and the Automobile Manufacturer Associations First Lady of Automotive Travel. The move allowed the industry to show off itssupport of women at a time when Americans were taking roadtrips and women were gaining consumer influence, Parkin says. It was nonetheless overdue recognition for a true pioneer or automotive adventure, she adds.
Before her death in 1983 at the age of 97, Ramsey, a mother of two made more than 30 coast-to-coast trips. She drove five of the six Swiss Alps passes and remained behind the wheeluntil she turned 95. In 2000, Ramsey became the first woman to be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.
Whether it's the buzzing sounds they make or their frightening appearances, it's likely that you're never exactly thrilled to see bugs in your home. On top of how they look and sound though, there are the germs they can carry, which seems particularly concerning during the ongoing COVID pandemic. Unfortunately, a new study published in the journal Parasites & Vectors is realizing some of those fears. The researchers from Kansas State University (KSU) and Agricultural Research Service found that it's possible for one common insect to carry and transmit COVID for up to 24 hours after it's infected. Keep reading to find out which creepy crawler you need to be on the lookout for, and for more on bugs to beware of, check out5 Things You're Buying That Bring Bed Bugs Into Your House, Experts Say.
The KSU study, which was published on Apr. 20, determined that house flies are able to carry and transmit COVID. To reach that conclusion, the scientists exposed house flies to COVID in a lab and then tested them for infectivity. Environmental samples were also tested for infectivity after contact with the COVID-exposed flies. Samples were collected at various times after exposure. According to the researchers, they found that "house flies acquired and harbored infectious SARS-CoV-2 for up to 24 [hours] post-exposure."
In addition, the house flies were able to transmit COVID to the surrounding environment up to 24 hours after being exposed to the virus. Environmental samples that were touched by the exposed flies were contaminated with viral RNA, though those samples did not contain an infectious virus.
And for more critters to look out for, These Awful Bugs You Forgot About May Soon Come Back, Exterminators Warn.
Because the research was conducted in a lab, the authors say further studies are warranted to determine if house fly transmission occurs naturally and the potential public health implications of such events. Juergen Richt, PhD, director of KSU's Center on Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (CEZID) and co-author of the study, told Verywell Health that he and his fellow researchers decided to test house fly transmission because "there are many cases of COVID-19 where we don't know how someone contracted the virus."
Richt explained that house flies are "known to be attracted to biological fluids that can be contaminated with the virus," but he said the likelihood of catching COVID from a house fly is rare.
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According to the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), house flies can transmit disease and bacteria to people. "The common housefly can transmit the pathogens that cause shigellosis, typhoid fever, E. coli, and cholera," the NEHA explains. "The disease-causing agents can either be transmitted by the body hairs or by the tarsi which are transmitted to food or surfaces when the fly lands. Additionally, pathogens can be transmitted when a fly regurgitates onto food in order to liquefy material for digestion."
And for another creepy creature to beware of, If You're Going to the Beach, Watch Out for This Parasitic Bug.
The good news is, another common set of bugs does not seem to be able to transmit the novel coronavirus to people. On Mar. 4, an article published in Journal of Medical Entomology suggested that mosquitoes and biting midges are unable to transmit COVID. "We think that these species are unable to be biological vectors of SARS-CoV-2," Richt, who was also involved in that study, said in a statement. "The likelihood for transmission of SARS-CoV-2 by these insects is extremely low."
While direct transmission from these insects to humans may not be anything to worry about, "maybe mosquitoes and midges can be mechanical vectors" like flies, said Richt. "We believe that, in some of these cases, where you cannot find any direct transmission of the virus from interaction with positive people, that fomites in various ways could play a role."
And for more bug news, If You See This Bug in Your Home, Don't Step on It, Experts Warn.
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This Common Insect Can Carry and Spread COVID, New Study Shows - Best Life
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It's not that our two states don't agree that there are insects that should be hated, it's just that we disagree on which creep-crawly should draw the most disdain.
Let's begin with a little self-examination. Are you cool with bugs, or do they freak you out? It's okay to admit to being bugged by bugs, and please keep in mind that you are far from being alone in feeling that way. I have a bug-phobic daughter, and believe me, the most dangerous place in our home is standing anywhere near an exit if she sees a bug (of nearly any sort) in the room. Move or die has become a family motto.
As I said, being freaked by bugs is very, very common.In Chapman Universitys 2016 Survey on American Fears, 25 percent of respondents said they were afraid of insects and/or spiders. Thats more than the number of people who were afraid of:
TheCut.com, in a piece called "Insects Are Scary Because Your Brain Confuses Disgust With Fear,"offers up the theorythat disgust for bugs brings about something called therejection response. Basically, it's your brain launching an overwhelming feeling that you've just got to get this creepy thing away from you right now.
Were disgusted by feces and rotting food, for instance, because each has the potential to make us sick. Along those same lines, the presence of insects often indicates that something isnt safe to consume or touch.Over time, weve come to associate the messenger with the threat itself.
Now that we've covered why some of us (Molly, looking at you) get really freaked out by bugs, let's look at what bugs we hate the most.
PestStrategies.com has a piece up at their website that takes a look at the most hated bugs in America state-by-state. Their survey of about 3,500 people found that there were 6 bugs (I'm including spiders as bugs) that really get to Americans. They are:
Cockroaches are your big winner, or loser, depending on your perspective. Roaches are the most hated bug in 29 states, including our state of Illinois. North of the Cheddar Curtain in Wisconsin, they're hating big-time on the bed bugs. Indiana residents are also down on the bed bugs, while over in Iowa, they have their sights on mosquitoes.
I'm just glad that we haven't had to add Murder Hornets to our list of choices.