Thursday, January 5, 2023

Pesticide Woes

A few months ago, I made a mistake that unfortunately resulted in the loss of several colonies of mine, many of which persisted for a while afterwards but were apparently rendered sterile or minimally reproductive by this mistake... 😩

It was a one time occurance that screwed over several of my roaches and beetles... Basically, I had placed a large portion of my bug collection beside my bed, for about a month in the hotel I currently live in. I started to notice after a month though, that EVERYTHING on level with the mattress started showing evident pesticide poisoning, which almost solely affected the females in all these colonies, but some developing male nymphs were affected as well. Apparently, hormonal pesticides that target females are commonly used against bedbugs, which are obviously a concern for most hotels and something this one likely preemptively treats for...
Which on the one hand is nice, because hey, no bedbugs! But on the other hand, my dumb ass put half my collection up against a bed which had obviously been sprayed with some sort of normal pesticides. 🙃 This explains why only the species against the mattress were affected. I've since moved everything to the opposite side of the room, and no more cultures have been affected since then... But yeah, did a number on several of my species sadly.

The species that were definitely affected and subsequently lost were:

Anallacta methanoides
Balta notulata
Eurycotis sp. "Venezuela"
Drymaplaneta semivittata
Hemithyrsocera palliata
Neostylopyga propinqua "Bloody Bullets"
Pyrophorus noctilucus
Rhabdoblatta parvula
Rhabdoblatta rustica

Species that may have been at least partially affected, that I also lost/sent away.

Bantua robusta (I haven't had much luck with this species over the past couple years to begin with, however I noticed a significant decline in the health of my females after being placed next to the poisoned mattress)
Blattidae sp. "Philippines" (they stopped laying ooths for me, though they did not have female nymph die offs, so I'm not sure if they were actually poisoned or not)
Hemithyrsocera vittata (I seem to suck with this species in general, however they were doing fine and laying ooths, until I put them alongside the bed, at which time they started crashing pretty hard...)
Hormetica sp. "Colombia" (this one's a real stretch, mine haven't bred yet, but they all seem healthy, no random prolapses, aborted ooths or premature females deaths as I usually observed in species that were pesticide poisoned. But they were on level with the mattress, so can't rule it out either until mine breed).
Neostylopyga sp. "Papua New Guinea" (however, literally every one that was sent to me was an adult, and most of the females seemed pretty old to begin with, so that could have been the reason they failed to reproduce as well).

My Capucina patula, Schizopilia fissicollis, and Phortioeca sp. "Ecuador" all started to tank for me around this time as well, however the Phortioeca never did well for me to begin with, the Capucina died completely regardless of sex, and the Schizopilia have been doing fine since I sent them off to a friend, so I kinda doubt the pesticides had anything to do with their failure in my care, and the timing was merely coincidence. Same goes for my Blattidae sp. "Thailand", which I've now sent off, they weren't breeding for me but pretty much instantly started laying ooths for one of the friends I sent them to.

There may have been other species lost that were affected by the pesticides as well that I've forgotten, but these are all the ones I can think of. Thankfully not too many species were lost, but many of the ones that were were pretty hard hitting. 😢 A very unfortunate occurrence for sure, one I've at least learned from. Thankfully I have reacquired several of the species I've lost, like the Anallacta and Drymaplaneta, and have plans to get more of them back soon. But yeah, just wanted to get this out in the open, to explain the loss of several species this past year.

That does it for this post, thanks for reading, stay safe, and I'll see you all next time.

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