New Species of Termites Discovered After 100 Years


A group of international termitologists that includes Dr. Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, University of Florida, discovered a termite species and described it as new based on its unique shapes and colors, as well as its genes.


While the last species of the termite genus Proneotermes has been discovered more than a hundred years ago, now scientists have discovered a new and a third one. Part of the fauna living in the dry forests in Colombia, its name was inspired by the magic realism of the fictional town of “Macondo” from the novel ‘One hundred years of solitude’ by Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Marquez.

Termitologists Robin Casalla, Freiburg University, Germany, and Universidad del Norte, Colombia, Dr Rudolf H. Scheffrahn, University of Florida, and Prof Dr Judith Korb, Freiburg University, discovered a termite species and described it as new based on its unique shapes and colors, as well as its genes. The new termite is published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Furthermore, there is a story behind the name of this new species, called Proneotermes macondianus. “Macondianus” refers to the fictional town of “Macondo” in the novel ‘One hundred year of solitude’ written by Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Marquez. Macondo stands for a forgotten microcosm in the history of Colombia with unimaginable events. According to the story, the magical realm was eventually wiped off the map by gigantic storms of the Caribbean as a form of divine punishment to the violation of the biblical laws of genetics, incest.

P. macondianus may have been one of those characters playing in the novel during the destruction of Macondo, remaining unrecognized until today,” comments lead author Robin Casalla.

In Colombia many species still await their discovery, either in the wild, or frozen in time in museum cabinets and lacking a name. The only way to refer to them, is by pointing to them with your finger. But now, P. macondianus has been described in ZooKeys.

The soldiers of this species have a characteristic elongated, rectangular heads, about 5 – 7 mm long, ranging in color from black (at the tip) to ferruginous orange (at the back). P. macondianus has a voracious appetite for drywood, especially thin branches of less than 2 cm in diameter, and lives in small colonies of about 20 individuals. Although few drywood termites are considered pests in some urban areas, P. macondianus lives only in the wild and prefers tropical dry forests.

The termite P. macondianus ‘sentenced’ to over a hundred years of ‘solitude’, has now been given a second chance to not be forgotten again, being recognized as part of the Colombian natural ecosystem.



All of us here at Ridpest would like to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

No matter where you’ll be, make sure to take a moment and reflect on the many things you have been blessed with; all the things you have to be thankful for.

We are very grateful for all of our customers. They are the reason we get up in the morning. Whether we’ve been servicing your home for years, or just happened to help out during a one time pest emergency, we are thankful for each and every one of you!’

We are especially thankful for the Pest Management Professionals that tend to uninvited dinner guests.


Restaurants ordered to shut down

Source: The Star Online

TWO restaurants in Jalan Bandar, Pusat Bandar Puchong, have been ordered to shut down by Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) because of their lackadaisical attitude towards cleanliness.

Both the premises had been given Grade D as they were dirty and not well-maintained.

Council health officers inspecting the restaurants found slippery and dirty floors, one even had food waste strewn all over its floor.

Signs of cockroaches were also seen near food supplies in the kitchen.

Workers at one of the restaurants were clad in dirty shirts, had long fingernails and were not in proper footwear, while at the second eatery, it was discovered that some of the workers had not received vaccination for food handling.

Workers were also caught washing dishes and preparing food in the back alleys and near drains.

The two restaurants were also guilty of failing to practise proper food separation of the raw ingredients and instal grease traps as well as allowed food waste to flow into the drains.

The health and cleanliness inspection was also carried out in 13 other restaurants along Jalan Bandar 1 and 2 in the same spot check.

In total, 18 compounds and 14 notices to improve cleanliness were issued.

MPSJ Corporate Communications officer Muhammad Azli Miswan said this was a routine check by the council’s Health Department.

“As of October, MPSJ has ordered 70 food premises to close for cleanliness problems. Inspections will also be conducted when there are public complaints,” he said.


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Ministry increases Zika monitoring after microcephaly in Thailand

Source: The Star Online

The health ministry stated that the Zika outbreak that causes microcephaly in babies is a very serious problem.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam claimed that he Malaysian government increased their alertness by beefing up monitoring efforts to prevent the spread of the virus in Malaysia. In fact, neighboring countries such as Thailand has confirmed 2 cases of microcephaly and it also South-East Asia’s first confirmed cases linking the sickness and the birth defect.

All quarters should have social responsibility to prevent the spread of Zika virus by making sure that the breeding spots are destroyed. Quarters that have been negligent will be fined.

The minister also advised women specifically those who planned to be pregnant should get medical assistance and a check-up first. According to Channel NewsAsia, the results of studies done in Brazil is connected with the Zika infection in pregnant women that causes microcephaly in their babies, a birth defect marked by small head size leads to grave developmental problems.

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Bed Bug Prevention: A guide for Travelers

We all know how filthy bed bugs are. They are also very hard to get rid of and they feed on blood since it is their main source of nutrition to mature into adults or produce eggs. The key method to not ever getting bed bugs is to identify and prevent them.

Identifying Bed Bugs

Prevention is better than cure. The main ways to identify is there any bed bugs is to inspect the bed and mattress for bed bug feces that looks like black pepper flakes. If there is signs, then it is an evidence of bed bug presence. Bed bugs looks flat with slight elliptical shape, they are usually in reddish-brown color, smaller than an apple seed & about the width of a credit card.


Preparation When Traveling

  • Pack a flashlight to inspect the bed and mattress of hotels to spot bed bugs and their feces easier.
  • Use hard shell luggage bags because they are easier to clean and don’t have much seams for bed bugs to hide.
  • Bring a plastic bag if you want extra precaution. Use it to put your luggage in during the trip.
  • Read hotel & car rental reviews to understand more about the place you plan to stay. Some previous customer might posted a negative review that mentioned bed bugs. Avoid places and car rental companies with those bad reviews.


Check All Areas of Your Room and Rental Cars

No negative reviews does not means there is no bed bugs, manually check your room and rented car as an extra precaution. There are some important areas that you should check:

  • Seams of chairs, couches, between cushions and in the folds of the curtains.
  • Drawer joints
  • Loose wallpaper and wall hangings
  • In electrical receptacles and appliances
  • Junction of the wall and the ceiling
  • Trunk of the car
  • Car cushions
  • Gaps

Coming Home

Never assume you are free of bed bugs. It is best to wash all of your clothing in hot water regardless whether you wear it or not because bed bugs might slipped in during any point of your trip.

You should also do a detailed examination of your luggage outside the house with a flashlight to prevent bed bugs from going into your house. Remember to check the seams, edges and zipper pockets of your luggage.


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