The Hidden Dangers of Cockroach Infestations

If you are like most people, seeing a cockroach zip under your refrigerator as you walk into your kitchen will make you quite uneasy. But will it be enough to make you take action to protect your home from roaches? Again, if you're like most people, it probably won't. Why? Well, because we see bugs all the time! Spiders commonly create their webs in the upper corners of rooms and establish themselves in the areas in between our windows and screens, flies zip around in our kitchens, ladybugs gather around our windows; in homes without a pest control plan, insect sightings are very common. So, seeing a cockroach in your home, especially a small one like the German cockroach, may be something you shrug off. Here are a few reasons you shouldn't:

cockroach in nc kitchen
cockroach up close

First of all, cockroaches don't like to be seen. So if you see a cockroach crawling across your floor, that is actually a warning sign that you have a high population of cockroaches in your home. When roach populations rise, food resources can become depleted. This inspires some roaches to risk being seen out in the open during the daytime to locate food sources.
 
If you've only heard cockroaches in your home, that's still not a good sign. Hearing the skittering of cockroach feet on your kitchen floor means that roaches are active in your kitchen area. And, if you have active cockroaches in your kitchen, you can expect them to do some or all of the following things:

  • Get into your trash and then crawl around on your counters, dishes, silverware, cutting boards, and other food-prep surfaces. This can expose you to harmful bacteria and lead to stomach illness.
  • Squeeze into space between your stove and the wall where grease and rotting organic material build up. In these areas, they'll be exposed to more harmful bacteria that they can then distribute throughout your home.
  • Get into your sink drains. Roaches can find organic material inside your drain and often climb inside to gain access to it. And we probably don't have to tell you how bad it is when they emerge from your filthy drains then make their way into your cabinets to search for something to eat.
  • Chew into your food packages. You are probably aware that cockroaches get into food but did you know that they can chew through paper packages? They can. And paper isn't the only material they can chew through. Their mouthparts can also create holes in cardboard, thin plastic, and other thin packaging materials. When they do, they can expose food items to bacteria, diseases, and parasitic worms. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), cockroaches are linked to the spread of 33 different kinds of bacteria, several types of human pathogens, and six parasitic worms. These are definitely not insects you want getting in your food.
  • Climb into your ventilation ducts. When they find their way into your home, cockroaches will get into and explore your ventilation ducts. In these locations, those cockroaches can leave behind their shed skins and feces. When their excrement and exoskeletons are left in your ventilation ducts, particulates can become airborne and cause respiratory health issues for those living in your home.
  • Climb on you while you sleep. Roaches need moisture. Sometimes they'll find this moisture in the mouths of sleeping people. They're especially drawn to the milky breath of babies’ mouths. When they crawl on a person’s skin, there can sometimes be an allergic reaction which develops into a rash. But a rash is the least of your worries if cockroaches are drinking your saliva while you're sleeping!
  • Bite you and your family members. While cockroaches don't prefer to bite people, they may do so if there is a lack of food sources available to them. These bites usually occur on eyelids because cockroaches feed on the dead skin caught between our eyelashes. These bite wounds often become swollen due to bacteria being introduced during exposure.

If you spot cockroaches in your home, don’t overlook it! Roaches present many hidden dangers, some of which we mentioned above. Fortunately, you don't have to live with these pests. With a good pest control plan, cockroaches and other common household pests in your home can be eliminated. If you need assistance developing a pest plan for your home, we'd be happy to help! Reach out to us at A-1 Pest Control for more information.

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    [content] => <p><br>&nbsp;<br>Some insects are just plain irritating. On the other hand, some insects can pose a real danger to humans through physical and economic harm. So which pests are significantly (or even life-threateningly) dangerous, and which are less dangerous? We put together what we&rsquo;re calling the &ldquo;pest danger index&rdquo; to help you determine that. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>&nbsp;<br>Level 1 - A Little Dangerous&nbsp;</h3>
<p>&nbsp;<br>Level 1 pests are the sort of pests that pose their own sort of danger, but they aren&rsquo;t the type to pose a major threat.&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Ladybug on blade of grass" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/14979905906_a5a2caed39_c.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/ladybugs"><strong>Ladybugs -</strong></a> Ladybugs don&rsquo;t cause any sort of destruction, and they don&rsquo;t bite or spread disease. They can infest your home in large numbers, but their biggest crime is just being an annoyance and an unwanted guest inside your home. Ladybugs eat all sorts of harmful garden pests, so ladybugs in your garden can actually be a good thing. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Indian meal moth close up" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/43890223691_60619bcb07_c-min.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/indian-meal-moths"><strong>Indian Meal Moths -</strong></a> Sure, you don&rsquo;t want Indian meal moths flapping around your home and causing trouble in your pantry. These moths can definitely be an irritant with their ability to contaminate food, but as far as pests go, they&rsquo;re a nuisance and nothing more. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Stink bug on a leaf" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Stink_bug_7757617824.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550">&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/stink-bugs"><strong>Stink Bugs -</strong></a> Stink bugs aren&rsquo;t a direct threat to humans -- mostly they just, well, stink. It&rsquo;s a bit of a different story when it comes to agriculture, as stink bugs can be a serious threat to crops. But as far as house pests go? Stink bugs aren&rsquo;t much of a problem -- besides their smell.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Ant on a leaf" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Ant_on_leaf.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/ants"><strong>Most Ants -</strong></a> Excluding carpenter ants and fire ants, the majority of ant species that occupy homes pose hardly any threat at all. You still don&rsquo;t want these insects wandering about your home, but they won&rsquo;t hurt you and they aren&rsquo;t big disease spreaders.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p>
<h3>Level 2 - Somewhat Dangerous&nbsp;</h3>
<p>&nbsp;<br>Level 2 pests pose some threats to humans, but for the most part, they aren&rsquo;t major disease spreaders, health risks, or causing serious home damage -- although some can trigger allergies, which is no joke!&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Carpet beetle crawling around" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/26103053207_b5fb73b305_c.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/carpet-beetles"><strong>Carpet Beetles -</strong></a> For the most part, carpet beetles aren&rsquo;t a big problem. However, they can contaminate food and cause damage to clothing, blankets, and carpeting. They can trigger allergies in some people, which puts them a tier above ladybugs, moths, ants, and stink bugs. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Lunging wolf spider" height="413" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Wolf_Spider_rpp.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/spiders"><strong>Most Spiders -</strong></a> Outside of black widows and brown recluse spiders, the vast majority of spiders found in North Carolina pose little threat to humans. In fact, these spiders can do a nice job killing any other, smaller nuisance pests that live in your home, because many of those pests are spider food. Still, as unlikely as it may be, there&rsquo;s a slight chance that some spiders will bite you, and even though bites from most common house spiders can&rsquo;t even puncture human skin, it still makes them marginally more dangerous than level 1 pests. &nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Fly resting on a twig" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Blue_Bottle_Fly_10.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/flies"><strong>Flies -</strong></a> It&rsquo;s true that flies can spread germs and bacteria because they do tend to hang out in unsavory places like garbage cans and sometimes even on feces. So obviously this is gross, but is it actually a serious threat? For the most part, no. <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/3883353/houseflies-bacteria-sick-reality-check/">According to a recent study</a>, the amount of bacteria a fly can transmit to a person isn&rsquo;t really enough to make them sick, with the exception being babies, the elderly, and people in hospitals with lowered immune systems. They aren&rsquo;t a non-threat, but they don&rsquo;t match up to the pests in our next section.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</p>
<h3>Level 3 - Dangerous &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;</h3>
<p>This group of pests moves out of the &ldquo;slight risk&rdquo; category and qualify as downright dangerous, capable of causing health problems for some.</p>
<p><img alt="Wasp resting on its wasps nest" height="367" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/wasp-5350541_640.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550">&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/stinging-insects"><strong>Stinging Insects -</strong></a> Although not every species of bee, wasp, and hornet are equally dangerous, on the whole, it hurts us to say that stinging insects are quite dangerous. Their stings can be quite painful and even life-threatening to those with allergies, and their nesting habits can at times cause serious structural damage to homes and other structures. They get a few bonus points for being the world&rsquo;s pollinators, but that fact doesn&rsquo;t make them any less dangerous. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Cockroach flipped on its back" height="412" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/inverted-cockroach.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/cockroaches"><strong>Cockroaches -</strong></a> Cockroaches might be one of the most hated creatures on this whole list, and for good reason: They are capable of spreading bacteria and disease because of their penchant for hanging out in dirty places, and can contaminate surfaces with that bacteria causing diarrhea, dysentery, and salmonella. They are also capable of triggering asthma attacks in asthmatic individuals, and top of all that, they&rsquo;re sort of terrifying. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Bed bug in hair" height="364" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/640px-Cimex_lectularius_bed_bug_5975912718.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><strong><a href="/pest-library/profile/bed-bugs">Bed Bugs -</a></strong> While it might seem strange to loop bed bugs in with some of these dangerous insects- they don&rsquo;t spread disease, and their bites at worst cause an allergic reaction- we think the psychological effects of bed bugs make them nearly pretty dangerous. In fact, those psychological effects are significant enough that there have been <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22195533/#:~:text=Background%3A%20In%20some%20individuals%2C%20psychological,posttraumatic%20stress%20disorder%20(PTSD).">entire studies done on them and their potential to cause PTSD</a>. We think that&rsquo;s serious stuff. &nbsp;</p>
<h3>Level 4 - Very Dangerous &nbsp;</h3>
<p>&nbsp;<br>This category is reserved for the pests that can really do some real damage, whether that&rsquo;s to a person&rsquo;s health or to a person&rsquo;s living space. In our eyes, these are the worst of the worst. &nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Tick close-up" height="375" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/Ixodus_ricinus_5x.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><strong><a href="/pest-library/profile/ticks">Ticks -</a></strong> Ticks are usually not all that dangerous to humans. In fact, chances are you&rsquo;ve gotten a tick before, and it hasn&rsquo;t really been much of an issue. However, ticks do carry a number of diseases that can cause various health issues- like Lyme Disease- and even some that can be fatal, like Tularemia. That doesn&rsquo;t mean you should panic if you get a tick bite, but it does definitely make ticks very dangerous on the whole. &nbsp;</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Mosquito sucking blood from a fingertip up close" height="359" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/PIXNIO-46056-725x473.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"><br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/pest-library/profile/mosquitoes"><strong>Mosquitoes -</strong></a> Mosquitoes are a lot like ticks: usually not a huge problem, but on occasion a major problem. They transmit a whole host of serious diseases, most notably West Nile Virus and encephalitis. So, while those itchy bites do not seem serious at first, they are worth avoiding if you can.</p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><img alt="Group of termites up close" height="366" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/CSIRO_ScienceImage_3639_Mastotermes_darwiniensis_Giant_Northern_Termite.jpg" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="550"> &nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br><a href="/control/blog/Termites%20-">Termites -</a> Termites are a strange case, because you can go years with a termite infestation without even knowing they&rsquo;re slowly gnawing away at your home. However, they are very dangerous insects for one simple reason: they can do serious and expensive damage to your home. It&rsquo;s even possible for a termite infestation to get so bad that a structural collapse occurs. That financial risk puts them in the &ldquo;very dangerous&rdquo; category for us.&nbsp;<br>&nbsp;<br>Are you having problems with any of these dangerous (and not-so-dangerous) pests? A-1 Pest Control can help! We can help you with treatment for each and every one of these invasive insects; just <a href="/contact-us#schedule">get in touch with us</a> and we&rsquo;ll help you with any problem that you&rsquo;re having ASAP. &nbsp;</p>
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 Some insects are just plain irritating. On the other hand, some insects can pose a real danger to humans through physical and economic harm. So which pests are significantly (or even…

Read More

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    [openingParagraph] => <p>Pest control: it seems like a relatively new invention, especially considering how it&rsquo;s done in the <a href="/home-pest-control">modern day</a>. There&rsquo;s a steady stream of new technologies and new treatment methods that are seemingly always evolving which have kept the industry planted in the now. When you think of pest control, what comes to the top of your mind is probably new pesticides, heat treatments, and traps that have been specifically designed to tackle particular types of infestations.</p>
    [content] => <p>But the truth is, pest control isn&rsquo;t just a modern invention, even though today&rsquo;s iteration is certainly rooted in modern sensibilities. Pest control has actually been around for nearly as long as human civilization! It makes a lot of sense &mdash; pests, after all, have existed as long as people have &mdash; so it&rsquo;s natural that humans through the ages have been looking for ways to combat them.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Here&rsquo;s how they did it in the olden days.</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Egypt</h2>
<p><br>Controlling invasive pests has been an especially important part of the maintenance of civilization since the birth of agriculture. When dependence on crop farming became integral in the way people ate, the importance of having methods for protecting those crops against pests became incredibly important, and directly linked to the survival of entire cultures. This is something that the famously innovative Ancient Egyptians knew, and they are the earliest recorded civilization to use pest control, starting in around 3000 BC.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Remember, this was well before the discovery of pesticides &mdash; the Ancient Sumerians wouldn't start using the earliest pesticides until about 500 years later, in 2500 BC. But the Egyptians worked with what they had, and what they had was a wealth of domesticated animals that could be utilized as a fleet of pest hunters.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>The Egyptians famously viewed cats as magical creatures, but felines also had some practical utilization outside of ancient mysticism: being natural rodent hunters, cats would guard grain stores from rodent invaders who could eat and poison food sources. Ancient Egyptians even dabbled in some rudimentary home pest control, domesticating mongooses and using them to take care of <a href="/rodent-control">invasive rodents</a> and snakes that had made their way into homes.&nbsp;</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Sumer&nbsp;</h2>
<p><img alt="Two parallel pillars in a row at the Vakil Mosque in Iran" height="700" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/blog/photo-1554058922-d51b58b707f5-2.jpeg" title="Vakil Mosque in Iran" width="1050"></p>
<p>The Ancient Sumerians were the earliest recorded civilization to reside in Southern Mesopotamia, and among their almost innumerable innovations was the invention most relevant to us: the earliest recorded use of a pesticide. Being a highly agrarian society, the Sumerians were looking for ways to drive away crop-eating pests. Unlike the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Sumerians did not use domesticated animals to protect their crops. They instead used a sulfur compound, an element that they discovered was effective at warding away many crop-eating insects. It was effective enough that it is still used today--even in our own products!</p>
<h2><br>Pest Control in Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome&nbsp;</h2>
<p><br><img alt="Line of pillars in a &ldquo;V&rdquo; shape at The Parthenon, Greece" height="700" src="https://bcms-files.s3.amazonaws.com/Rv4pXBZmdK-1114/images/photo-1531816458010-fb7685eecbcb-1.jpeg" width="1050"></p>
<p><br>The Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans are two of the most talked-about ancient civilizations, in part because so much of what they did was well-documented by historians and writers of the time. This has allowed for many of their pest control methods to be relatively easy to access today.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Some of these practices were just not effective&mdash; but they are interesting. As <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1975/12/01/archives/ancient-farmers-knew-pesticides-methods-used-2000-years-ago.html">The New York Times noted in a 1975 article</a>, Greek writers recommended using a crayfish to ward off caterpillars, soaking seeds in olive oil before planting them, and praying to the gods for a blessed harvest &mdash; a practice common in basically all ancient cultures.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>While there were more bizarre pest control practices, the Ancient Greeks and Romans actually used quite a few methods that became the standard practice for centuries afterward. It was in Ancient Rome that the use of amurca &mdash; a substance made out of crushed olives and salt &mdash; began, because of its ability to kill crop-eating ants. Amurca would become a staple baseline ingredient of many pesticides moving forward.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>The Ancient Greeks would also spread wood ash on crop fields, because it was a good pest repellent &mdash; another method that some gardeners still use. They also discovered the value of using smoke to deter insects, which you may have noticed yourself in the summertime. When the mosquitos are out, it usually helps to get a little closer to the campfire.&nbsp;</p>
<h2><br>The Blueprint For the Future&nbsp;</h2>
<p><br>There&rsquo;s no doubt that all of these different cultures and civilizations from thousands of years ago are pretty much the forefathers of pest control. These early discoveries and methods not only contributed to the growth and survival of the human race, but also became the blueprint for the model and method of pest control that would follow in the centuries to come, and even forming the bedrock of what pest control is today.</p>
<p><br>While many of these initial methods were quite different &mdash; and sometimes silly! &mdash; when compared to the science and technology-driven treatments that we deploy here at A-1 Pest Control, the purpose is similar: using the best and most modern tools at our disposal to find ways to turn pest problems into pest solutions. We&rsquo;re proud to carry on this tradition.&nbsp;</p>
<p><br>Want to learn about pest treatment that&rsquo;s a little more modern? Check out our blog, &ldquo;<a href="/blog/post/the-bedbug-problem">The Bed Bug Problem</a>&rdquo;!</p>
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Attempts to control pest populations is nearly as old as civilization itself. We educate readers on how some ancient civilizations dealt with pests.

Read More

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    [openingParagraph] => <p>Recent years have seen an increase in pesticides that dub themselves &ldquo;green.&rdquo; These pesticides promise to be more friendly to the earth than conventional pesticides, while also being safer for humans. However, often these &ldquo;green&rdquo; pesticides are not all that they seem to be. In this post, we&rsquo;ll take a look at some studies on green and natural pesticides, and debunk some of the common myths about green pest control.</p>
    [content] => <h4>What are Green Pesticides?</h4>
<p>This is one of the big problems with the term &ldquo;green&rdquo; or &ldquo;natural&rdquo; when it comes to pesticides: there isn&rsquo;t an established standard that sets parameters for being categorized as green or natural. Under EPA regulations, the only term that is cleared for use is &ldquo;organic,&rdquo; which leaves the possibility open that the sorts of pesticides being used by companies dubbing themselves green are not actually all that they claim to be. In some cases, companies may be using the term &ldquo;green&rdquo; or &ldquo;natural&rdquo; to make their pesticides more appealing to customers who are looking for alternative options. Because there is no regulatory mechanism that defines &ldquo;green&rdquo; and &ldquo;natural&rdquo; pesticides what they actually are can vary wildly--they might not all be as eco-friendly as they&rsquo;re advertised.</p>
<p>To get a better understanding of green pesticides and pesticides in general, here are some frequently asked questions.</p>
<p><strong>Q:</strong> What are the benefits of green pesticides, when compared to more conventional pesticides?</p>
<p><strong>A:</strong> That&rsquo;s sort of a difficult question to answer, because the term &ldquo;green pesticides&rdquo; isn&rsquo;t exactly well defined. But generally we&rsquo;ve observed that pesticides that call themselves green work less effectively than the traditional ones.<br><br></p>
<p><strong>Q:</strong> Really? Less effective?</p>
<p><strong>A:</strong> Yes. Because they aren&rsquo;t standardized there&rsquo;s a lot more product variability. We can&rsquo;t say for sure that they&rsquo;re all less effective, we&rsquo;ve just found that they don&rsquo;t always do the job as well as other pesticides.<br><br></p>
<p><strong>Q:</strong> Would you recommend using them?</p>
<p><strong>A:</strong> We wouldn&rsquo;t recommend using something with so little oversight.</p>
<h4><br>So, How Safe are Common Pesticides?</h4>
<p>Common pesticides can be safe, when they&rsquo;re applied properly. Many of the concerns that common pesticides and herbicides elicit are caused by improper use or application. Proper application of a pesticide requires a careful analysis of the surrounding area (to ensure none gets into a water supply), correct decision making when choosing the kind of pesticide, properly following label directions, wearing the proper protective gear, and using the correct amount of the actual product to ensure that there is no damage or danger, just to name a few. That&rsquo;s why, when it comes to making these decisions and deploying properly, <a href="/">we recommend consulting a professional</a>--and no one lives up to high standards of effectiveness and professionalism like A1 Pest Control.</p>
    [postTitle] => The Truth About “Green” & Natural Pesticides
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    [abstract] => <p>While &ldquo;green&rdquo; pest control is now more sought out, it's not as effective or earth-friendly as it's marketed. Learn the truth as we debunk some common green pest control myths.</p>
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While “green” pest control is now more sought out, it's not as effective or earth-friendly as it's marketed. Learn the truth as we debunk some common green pest control myths.

Read More

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