August 23, 2019

Ample Bugs

Oh my!! We’re all gonna die!!!!

Over the past several years, I have been repeatedly told that birds, especially bats, are seriously threatened due to a lack of insects to eat because of Global Warming and other such nonsense.

After spending the Spring into mid-Summer in Maine, I can comfortably assure you there is no lack of black flies, mosquitos, deer flies, moose flies, ticks, and just about all other species of insects.

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Are Tick Bite Reactions Associated With Our Chemical Ingestion?

A reader shared with me the other day an article that, evidently, was published in Peterson’s Hunting. What I received was a scan of the magazine article, so I can’t really share that with you. No matter, you can get information on the Lone Star tick from the CDC. Just scroll down a bit from the landing page until you find information about the Lone Star tick.

The issue that appears to be associated with a bite from a Lone Star tick is that some people (emphasis so far might be on “some”), after being bitten develop an allergic reaction to eating red meat. Hmmm. Maybe it’s a conspiracy formulated by vegetarians. But, why would they put their own food supply in jeopardy by forcing more people to have to give up eating red meat? (Just kidding)

It seems that as time goes along, more and more people are “contracting” diseases from ticks. We can make up all kinds of excuses and develop many theories about why but has anyone actually considered the fact that perhaps little has changed as far as the ticks go and a whole lot has changed as far as the chemical make-up of the human being is concerned?

Humans willingly and unawarely ingest gobs of chemicals into their bodies every day. Whether the consumption of these chemicals is temporary (until it passes through your system) or accumulative, logic might dictate that perhaps the same venom from the same ticks is the same as it always has been, plus whatever chemicals the ticks have been forced to take into their systems. With the human body fully loaded up with cocktails of various and sundry drugs/chemicals, and of course, the ticks may be injecting chemicals into our bodies as well, and the outcome is a chemical reaction that results in the next name for a human disease contracted from a tick/insect bite.

Are we to believe that all these newly discovered diseases and reactions from tick/insect bites have always been around and that due to better diagnostic techniques and technology, they are now being discovered? I don’t happen to buy into the explanation as the sole reason, no more than I blame everything on Climate Change.

It may be years and years before any of this can be explained. When a human – and I suppose an insect – ingest a chemical, the chances are pretty good that that chemical may undergo some kind of change. The chemical may or may not remain in its original state or chemical make-up. With several changes and/or concoctions of drugs/chemicals being interchanged and interacted between human and insect bodies, it only makes sense to me that chemical reactions occur. We like to call them “allergic reactions.”

Whatever we call them, the fact remains that some people, according to their own biological and chemical composition, may or may not react to certain insect bites.

While we can control some of what we ingest for chemicals, i.e. 37 flavors of drugs our doctors, while “practicing” medicine (giving us chemicals to see what happens), prescribe, and eating better foods, it’s impossible to rid our systems of all of them because these “pollutants” saturate our air and the government regularly practices filling our atmosphere with chemicals in the name of “seeding” clouds to “control” the weather.

The bottom line is that we should expect to hear of more ticks/insects supposedly carrying more and other and undiscovered “diseases” all due to uncontrolled and excessive ingestion of chemicals…all for our health, mind you.

Just thinking logically! Scary isn’t it?

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Gov. LePage, Task Force outline Maine’s strategy against budworm

Press Release from Gov. LePage:

AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul R. LePage and the Maine Spruce Budworm Task Force today released recommendations about how to respond to the upcoming spruce budworm infestation.

“Coming Spruce Budworm Outbreak: Initial Risk Assessment and Preparation & Response Recommendations for Maine’s Forestry Community” and other materials are available at http://sprucebudwormmaine.org.

“We are on the verge of another spruce budworm epidemic and our goal is to lessen its damage,” Gov. Paul LePage said at a news conference in the Cabinet room.

The eastern spruce budworm is believed to be the most damaging forest insect in Maine and North America. Outbreaks kill balsam fir and spruce trees every 30 to 60 years. The Province of Quebec has been mapping defoliation from this pest for more than a decade. In 2015, 15.6 million acres of Quebec’s forests were defoliated. Significant defoliation occurred south of the St. Lawrence Seaway. The infestation already has spread into New Brunswick.

“Severe defoliation is within 50 miles of Maine’s border,” said Dave Struble, state entomologist. “We are at the start of an outbreak. We don’t know how bad it will be or exactly where, but we are seeing a build-up of budworm populations here.”

The budworm task force was formed in 2013 to determine the economic and ecological effects another outbreak might have on the state and a strategy to minimize those effects. Leading the collaborative effort are Robert Wagner, director of the Cooperative Forestry Research Unit (CFRU) at UMaine; Patrick Strauch, executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council, and Doug Denico, director of the Maine Forest Service.

Task force teams, composed of leading experts on budworm and Maine’s forest resources, focused on wood supply and economic impacts; monitoring and protection; forest management; policy, regulatory and funding; wildlife habitat; communications and outreach; and research priorities. A draft report of their findings was released for public review in November 2014 and presented to municipalities, environmental groups, the legislature, logging contractors and economic development consortiums.

“It’s like having a hurricane moving toward us from offshore,” Wagner said. “We know it is there, how it behaves and the kind of damage it can do. We can hope that it misses us, but if we don’t prepare for the worst, shame on us.”

The report includes about 70 recommendations on preparing for the outbreak, including increasing monitoring efforts, applying pesticides where appropriate, changing forest management strategies such as harvesting, and seeking ways to pre-salvage trees that likely would be lost.

“The budworm threat remains the same, but a lot of other things have changed,” Strauch said. “Our industry is governed by the Forest Practices Act now; pesticides are highly regulated and far more expensive, and there’s much less state and federal funding available. So the landowner community will need to figure out the best path forward. This report provides a framework to help landowners make good decisions.”

Denico, who has vivid memories of the last infestation, said he and other members of the task force are determined that this outbreak won’t take the state by surprise as the last one did. By 1975, not only Maine, but “the entire region from Ontario to Newfoundland was involved in the largest spruce budworm outbreak ever recorded.” (The Spruce Budworm Outbreak in Maine in the 1970’s).

In Maine, budworm destroyed up to 25 million cords of spruce-fir wood — 21 percent of all fir trees in the state, according to Maine Forest Service reports. Millions of dollars were spent on the “Battle of the Budworm,” as it was called, and the infestation cost the state’s forest-based economy hundreds of millions. It also had lasting effects on Maine forest management.

“We were there, in the battle,” Denico said. “We remember and we’ve made a commitment that we won’t be unprepared this time.”

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