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™

Are All Spiders Dangerous?

From horror movies depicting them as eight-legged monsters with ferocious appetites, spiders are probably the most feared critters in the world. And justly so with a variety of species outfitted with fangs, venom, and the ability to fling barbs or irritating hairs. But should all spiders be avoided at all costs? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do All Cockroaches Transmit Disease?

It’s a common notion that cockroaches, given their predisposition to inhabiting filthy environments, are harbingers of various diseases. While this is mostly accurate, are these disgusting creatures inherently disease ridden? Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

Do Cockroaches Sleep?

Cockroaches are nocturnal creatures often appearing in the dead of night in search of food, water, and a possible mate. With burning all this midnight oil, do cockroaches ever get a chance to grab some “shut eye?” Let’s find out in this month’s fact or fake. Continue reading

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

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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

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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

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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 »

The Newest Species of Ant is 98-Million Years Old

The Newest Species of Ant is 98-Million Years Old

We’re continually learning new things about insects. They’ve existed since the dawn of time, and our education continues to evolve as we’re exposed to new species. Just take this recently discovered ant that’s possibly the oldest ant specimen ever discovered. Continue reading

Spiders Eat Millions of Insects Every Year

Spiders Eat Millions of Insects Every Year

While we ready ourselves for a Thanksgiving smorgasbord, know that the insect world is also feasting – big time. Just take spiders. Researchers have found that the eight-legged insects could give competitive eaters a run for their money. Let’s take a look at how big their appetite is. Continue reading

Beetles Make Food For Their Young With Dead Mice

Beetles Make Food For Their Young With Dead Mice

As kids, we get used to our parents telling us what to eat. “Drink your milk.” “Eat your fruits and vegetables, so you become big and strong,” is another common statement on the benefits of proper nutrition, and in the insect world, it’s no different. Let’s take a look at how the burying beetle does it. Continue reading

Top 6 See All »

Top 6: Bug and Insect Parents

Top 6: Bug and Insect Parents

From dogs and cats to bears and whales, the animal kingdom is full of dutiful parents – and it doesn’t stop at our four-legged friends and creatures of the deep. Insects with their own biological imperative will go to perilous lengths to ensure the next generation has a future. Check out our top six insect parents. Continue reading

Top 6: Greedy Bugs and Insects

Top 6: Greedy Bugs and Insects

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends over a spread of delicious food with some taking the annual gathering as an opportunity to stuff their faces more than they ever have all year. So, in honor of the yearly family feast, check out our top six greedy bug and insects. Continue reading

Top 6: Bug and Insect Zombies

Top 6: Bug and Insect Zombies

Although they cause fear with the rest of their supernatural friends like vampires and werewolves, zombies aren’t just a scare for movies and televisions. In the insect world, they’re real! Check out our Top 6 bug and insects with the unfortunate luck of being turned into zombies. 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

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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