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April 29, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
After years of promoting the chemical DEET as the best defense against West Nile virus-bearing mosquitoes, the government for the first time is recommending the use of two other insect repellents. Repellents containing the chemical picaridin or the oil of lemon eucalyptus offer "long-lasting protection against mosquito bites," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in Atlanta. Picaridin repellents are more pleasant to the skin and don't have the odor that DEET repellents have.
September 9, 2004 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
The site of a proposed school for troubled Orange County students is contaminated with low levels of banned insecticides that hark back to the county's agricultural roots, state health officials announced Wednesday. Soil samples taken from the farmland on Harbor Boulevard in Fountain Valley revealed levels of toxins, including DDT, toxaphene and dieldrin, that in past decades were used widely by farmers before being banned.
September 1, 2004 | From Times Staff Reports
Hoping to prevent the further spread of West Nile virus, San Bernardino County officials plan to begin spraying insecticide today to kill mosquitoes around the California Speedway, site of the Labor Day Weekend NASCAR race. The race is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans to the speedway. Officials warn fans to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Mosquito repellent will also be sold at the souvenir stands at the speedway.
June 8, 2004 | Julie Sheer, Times Staff Writer
They're the rudest of uninvited visitors, and they're out for blood. Mosquitoes show up at the most annoying times -- on an exposed wrist as you hurriedly tie a fly on a line or the back of a leg as you set up camp at dusk. Their persistence leaves some of us polka-dotted with itchy, red welts. For the truly unlucky, they can transmit diseases, including West Nile virus, which has made its way to Southern California. The virus can cause mild flu-like symptoms or death.
March 9, 2004 | Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writer
Dogwood Campground near Lake Arrowhead, home to 100-foot-tall Jeffrey pines and squawking woodpeckers, was so adored by campers that federal foresters recently refurbished the area, installing new bathrooms, picnic tables, pavement and barbecue grills. Just months after the work was completed, however, every mature pine tree on the premises was attacked and killed by bark beetles.
September 11, 2003 | David Colker
So now that you've got ants in your house or apartment -- and almost everybody does -- what can you do about them? Currently, not a whole lot, at least legally. "There is no magic bullet," said Michael Rust, who specializes in the study of ants at UC Riverside. The problem is that a lot of remedies now on supermarket shelves were created to battle indigenous ants that are protein eaters.
June 23, 2003 | Rachel D'Oro, Associated Press
Customers accused shop owners of hoarding the stuff. Trappers called them unprintable names. Old-time Alaskans moaned their disappointment at the empty store shelves. All this over an ochre-colored powder with a barnyard smell. Now Buhach is back after a three-year absence, and merchants throughout Alaska are hustling to stock up with bright yellow canisters of the insecticide that has been popular in the state for nearly 100 years.
May 10, 2003 | From Reuters
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus and a strain of malaria have developed a resistance to insecticides because of a single-letter mutation in their genetic code, scientists said. Researchers at the University of Montpellier II in France said the alteration could be the cause of 25 years of resistance to insecticides among insects that carry the disease. The mutation makes a key enzyme in the mosquitoes less sensitive to ingredients in some insecticides.
February 16, 2003 | Matthew Heller, Matthew Heller's last story for the magazine was about the new state prison in Delano.
The San Bernardino County town of Colton is the only city in the nation with an official, federally designated fly preserve. Hard as it may be to believe, this is not a distinction sought by city leaders, who can't imagine that the 10-acre, chain-link-ringed habitat of the tiny Delhi Sands flower-loving fly will ever challenge Mt. Slover, a 300-foot limestone peak owned by a cement company, as the city's major landmark.
July 31, 2002
"Opossum Killings Test Limits of Cruelty Cases" (July 29) did not educate enough about how harmless to humans opossums are and why they are desirable to have around our yards and homes. They are nocturnal, so coming across one in the dark is scary. They hiss and show their teeth when they are frightened, but they don't bite humans. Indeed, if humans get too close, they freeze and appear to be dead, i.e., "play possum." This actually is an involuntary, shock-like state. I decided not to bother with traps or any efforts to remove them from hanging around my yard in the middle of Los Angeles when I learned that they dine on insects, cockroaches, snails, mice, rats and occasionally snakes.
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