Orkin Lab Notes

An insider look into the things we find most interesting about the fascinating world of bugs.

Bug of the Month

Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™

Can Rats Grow To The Size Of Small Pets?

Although humans are larger than rats, that doesn’t stop these little pests from being any less frightening when they cross our paths. But how big can rats really get? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Venomous and Poisonous Mean the Same Thing, Right?

A method of defense used by some bugs and insects is the ability to create and distribute toxins to hunt prey or to fend off would-be predators. We often describe these organisms as venomous and poisonous interchangeably, but do these terms mean the same thing? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

All Bees Live in Hives, Right?

From growing up reading children’s books and watching cartoons depict fluffy, friendly bees, it’s become a common belief that they make their homes in hives. While this is true to a certain extent, is that the only place these furry flyers reside? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do Insects Go to War with Other Insects?

The harsh truth of the animal kingdom is that insects are constantly battling for food and survival. Can their attacks be more coordinated for a specific purpose like an army? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Can Insects Survive High Altitudes?

We’re accustomed to seeing our fair share of insects at ground level, but could they adapt to survive in higher altitudes? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do Mosquitoes Choose Who They Bite?

Mosquitoes are quite pesky and bite their fair share of people, but do they choose their victims? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do Cockroaches Only Thrive In Dirty Homes?

Cockroaches have a reputation as filthy pests that are often found in dirty places, but are these the only conditions they thrive in? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Termites Only Eat Wood, Right?

With the havoc termites wreak on homes, it’s a common belief that their diet only consists of tasty wood. But is that all they crave? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Can Bugs and Insects Survive High Falls?

Like cats, when a bug falls to the ground, it always seems to survive without as much as a scratch. Is it just lucky? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Can Your Pet Fix Your Rodent Problem?

Cat versus mouse, an age-old rivalry we’ve seen played out in everything from cartoons to television shows, but can felines rid your home completely of rodents? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do Bugs Attack People on Purpose?

Bugs are inherently scary and it’s easy to think they’re out to get us. Are bugs out for vengeance against the human race? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Are All Rats Nocturnal?

Hear the sound of tiny little feet scurrying across your kitchen floor while you sleep? It could be rats. Do these pests only come out in the middle of the night? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do All Bees Make Honey?

Bees are the only insects that produce a food source suitable for human consumption, but do all bees make this famously tasty superfood? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do All Spiders Make Webs?

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, but do all spiders spin these meticulously intricate structures? Let’s unravel this mystery in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

If You Cut An Earthworm in Half Will It Multiply?

It’s long been thought that earthworms have the ability to multiply when cut in half. Whether this belief came from old wives’ tales or science fiction, let’s worm our way into the truth in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do All Bees Die After Stinging?

Does a sting from a bee ensure its ultimate demise? Let’s find out what this buzz is all about in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Can Cockroaches Crawl Backwards?

Cockroaches are pretty crafty in scaling walls and disappearing in the blink of an eye, but can they crawl backwards? Let’s chase down this myth in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Can Squishing a Cockroach Release Its Eggs?

Can squishing a cockroach release and spread their eggs throughout your home? Let’s squash this myth in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Can Bitter Cucumber Peels Prevent Ants?

Can Bitter Cucumber Peels Prevent Ants?
Not everyone cares for the naturally bitter taste of cucumber peels, could ants be included in that group? Find out if the key to ant control is as easy as placing some cucumber peels near your home’s entry points in this month’s fact or fake!

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Does Cheese Attract Mice to Traps?

Does Cheese Attract Mice to Traps?
Is the age-old cheese and mousetrap bait just a bit for cartoons? Or does it actually work? Find out for yourself in this month’s fact or fake!

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Can Ultrasonic Sound Machines Repel Cockroaches and Rodents?

Could ultrasonic sound machines be the answer to ridding the world of cockroaches and rodents? Find out for yourself in this month’s fact or fake! Continue reading

Can Soapy Water Repel Garden Bugs?

Could getting rid of pesky garden bugs, or aphids, be as simple as spraying soapy water on your garden? Find out in this month’s fact or fake! Continue reading

Can Dryer Sheets Repel Mosquitoes?

In this month’s fact or fake, we take a look at whether common household item, dryer sheets, can help repel the dreaded mosquito! Continue reading

Can Fans Repel Mosquitoes?

In this month’s fact or fake we explore whether or not fans can help repel mosquitoes. We have a good feeling about this one. Read on to get the bottom of it! Continue reading

Can Grits Kill Fire Ants?

Could grits be the cure all for painful fire ants? Find out if your pantry staple could be the demise of pesky fire ants in this month’s fact or fake.

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Do Mosquitos Prefer Adults Over Children?

Mosquitoes aren’t particularly picky, but they do have their preferences. Find out if adults or children are more likely to be a mosquito’s next meal in this month’s fact or fake video.

Can Bags of Water Repel Flies?

Ever wonder why some of your local restaurants hang a bag of water outside their establishment? They say it repels flies. We looked into it. See what we found out in this month’s Fact or Fake. Continue reading

Peppermint to Repel Rats: Truth and Myth

Is peppermint oil a natural rat repellent? We looked into it and our findings may surprise you. Read on to see us get to the bottom of this month’s Fact or Fake. Continue reading

Do People Eat Spiders in Their Sleep?

Urban legend says the average person eats eight spiders a year in their sleep. Is it Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake? Orkin reveals the truth behind this creepy-crawly claim. Continue reading

Can Ants Survive Underwater?

There may be a reason why ants have survived over 100 million years. Find out if ants can live in an underwater world. Continue reading

Could a Cockroach Survive a Nuclear Bomb?

Could it be true? Cockroaches are capable of surviving a nuclear bomb? We have a feeling there’s a catch. What do you think? Watch this month’s Scientific Fact or Scientific Fake™ and find out for yourself. Continue reading

Science of Pests See All »

Why Are Most Insects Attracted To Light?

Why Are Most Insects Attracted To Light?

The dancing and partying starts for bugs and insects when homes start to illuminate exterior lights and the street lights turn on. Bugs and insects are drawn to these globes of artificial light like a science fiction tractor beam. Why? Let’s take a look! Continue reading

The Schmidt Pain Index Ranks Insect Stings

The Schmidt Pain Index Ranks Insect Stings

If you were stung by a bee during your outdoor activities, how would you rank the pain? On a scale of one to ten? From bearable to extremely bad? No matter how you classify the feeling, everyone’s experience will be different. And while the concept of pain and discomfort is subjective, the Schmidt Pain Index categories the worst of the worst in insect stings for easy comparison. Continue reading

Researchers Are Using Mosquitoes to Monitor Viral Outbreaks

Researchers Are Using Mosquitoes to Monitor Viral Outbreaks

From malaria to the Zika virus, mosquitoes have a reputation for potentially transmitting dangerous diseases that could pose health risks to you and your family. But did you know that scientists are using technology and the tiny bloodsuckers for the greater good? It’s quite amazing! Continue reading

Top 6 See All »

Top 6: Smelly Bugs and Insects

Top 6: Smelly Bugs and Insects

When it comes to smelly insects, most people know about the stink bug. As its name suggests, these foul-smelling crawlers are outfitted with quite the pungent defense mechanisms, but they’re not the only ones. Here are six others we don’t want to sniff anytime soon. Continue reading

Top 6: Painful Stinging Insects

Top 6: Painful Stinging Insects

When it comes to pain, these insects’ self-defense mechanisms are downright brutal. For those that aren’t severely allergic, some stings from the likes of bees and ants barely register on the pain meter. However, a whole new level of insect is bringing the pain. Here are six we hope we never cross paths with. Continue reading

Top 6: Bug and Insect Museums

Top 6: Bug and Insect Museums

Museums are still the best destinations to discover the marvels of the human age from art and design to history and technology. Bugs and insects also have their piece of the knowledge gathering pie. Here are six bug and insect museums too exciting to miss. Continue reading

Bug Wisdom See All »

Bug Wisdom: Communication

If you couldn’t talk or write, how would you get your point across? It’d be pretty difficult, right? Well, when it comes to communication, bees have it all figured out. Continue reading

Bug Wisdom: Happiness

The dance of the peacock spider is quite the sight. These tiny arachnids show off their moves in one serious happy dance that could bring a smile and sense of joy to anyone’s face. Continue reading

Bug Wisdom: Life

The life of a mayfly is a busy and fleeting existence. Known as “one-day insects,” these aquatic flyers have the shortest lifespan of any animal. Let’s see how these small flyers can give us perspective on life. Continue reading

Bug Wisdom: Ingenuity

Being surrounded by larger than life predators can be daunting, but the bird-dung crab spider takes it in stride. Let’s see how this small arachnid uses its ingenuity to survive. Continue reading

Bug Wisdom: Patience

Patience is a virtue and all good things come to those who wait, right? Just take it from the caterpillar. See what this curious crawler can teach us about patience. Continue reading

Bug Wisdom: Perseverance

Slow and steady wins the race. Just ask the dung beetle. See what this tiny titan can teach us about perseverance. Continue reading

Bug Wisdom: Teamwork

There’s no “I” in “ant.” See what these tiny travelers can teach us about teamwork. Continue reading

Dung Beetle

The dung beetle wants you to try and have a positive outlook on your circumstance—even when it’s not exactly optimal. Continue reading

Spider

Using the spider as an example, beauty can be found all around us—even in our work. Watch as the spider teaches us to look at life with a new perspective. Continue reading

Green Worm

That pesky critter in your flower garden? He has a thing or two to teach you about pausing to…enjoy the world around you. Continue reading

Bees

There’s music everywhere, but sometimes it takes being reminded by the smallest among us to actually listen. Listen for the wisdom of the bees. Continue reading

The Mosquito

The mosquito, in all its peskiness, may actually be able to teach us a little something about…savoring the moment. See for yourself. Continue reading

The Caterpillar

Where you see leaf damage, the hungry caterpillar sees a plentiful feast. But before you get frustrated, just hear them out. Continue reading