In the 1960s, animal behavior researchers studied the effects of various substances on spiders. When spiders were fed flies that had been injected with caffeine, they spun very “nervous” webs. When spiders ate flies injected with LSD, they spun webs with wild, abstract patterns. Spiders that were given sedatives fell asleep before completing their webs.

The cochineal insect, which lives on the prickly pear cactus in the southwestern United States, is an excellent source of natural red dye. The insects are dried and ground into a powder that is cooked to release the maximum amount of color. The powder is then used as a dye for fiber, fabric, and basketry materials. It has also been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in food and cosmetics. Most brands of lipstick and some kinds of fruit drinks are tinted with cochineal extract.

For more than 3,000 years, carpenter ants have been used to close wounds in India, Asia and South America. They use the mandibles to close the wound after pinching it shut, then snip off the head to “suture” it.

Provided by Jerry Hatch ([email protected]), Northwest Exterminating
Jerry is a Board Certified Entomologist
Certified Environment Health Professional
Certified Professional-Food Safety
LEED Green Associate

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