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  • Writer's pictureChelle Hartzer

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (AKA: Holiday cheer)

Actually, it’s just rain, and it’s morning. But it’s cold and I just want to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. While I do have the cup of tea, the book will have to wait a bit while I finish writing this week’s post. There are some great books out there and since the holiday season is upon us, here are my recommendations:

I often say that you have to think like the pest: imagine if you were the insect, what would you want, where would you be, how would you act? Micro is a fantastic ride into the miniature. Micheal Crichton is such an imaginative author and all of his books have been great, however, Micro gets you really thinking about how something really small interacts with the environment.

The deadliest animal in the world? Humans. And mosquitoes. The book The Mosquito: A human History of Our Deadliest Predator goes into the long history of interactions this pest has had with humans and other animals. It is a fantastic deep dive into a pest that is incredibly dangerous to people.

Years ago, I got to tour the body farm at the University of Tennessee during an ESA meeting. For a bug geek like me, it was incredible! Mary Roach writes about the dead and all the stuff that goes along with being dead in Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Her book Fuzz also covers many pest issues!

If I can’t sit in my comfy chair with a book, why not a movie? It’s obvious, I know, but Ant Man was a pretty good movie that puts you in their world. While maybe not always the most scientifically accurate, they did have a consulting entomologist to help them get it mostly right!

I really dislike when shows get negative on insects, calling them yucky or disgusting or monsters. However, I will forgive the BBC because… how can you not love David Attenborough? This is from 2013 but it is just as good today. Really, anytime David Attenborough wants to talk about insects, I’m in!

Don’t want to read or watch? Fine, how podcasts? I admit I’m a bit of a podcast junky and my saved list is a mile long. Always top of the list is This Podcast Will Kill You. They have done Chagas disease (kissing bugs), Bartonella (lice), West Nile (mosquitoes), and so many more. I just can't get enough of these two!

One of the first Radiolab episodes I listen to was on ticks and meat allergies. At the time, I had heard a bit about that and thought it was a total hoax. It wasn’t long before I realized it wasn’t. Along with ticks, they have also done episodes with E. O. Wilson on ants, botflies, and stinging insects (Justin Schmidt is both amazing and scary all at the same time.)

That’s my rainy day/holiday gifting guide. The resources that are out there to help with pest problems are prolific! So if you are done with hours of googling, getting sketchy answers on facebook, and spending too much money sending people to unhelpful trainings, I've got a present for you: hours of your life back and accurate technical info. Contact us here to see how we can help!

Lagniappe - if you are looking for a gift for me (okay, or someone else I guess), check out these socks that help fight malaria!

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