In November, 200-year-old letters, banknotes worth a small fortune, calendar pages and other fascinating scraps were found during renovation work on the Cathedral of the Assumption in Zvenigorod, just outside of Moscow.

As reported in, the surprising discovery was made when builders began clearing away hundreds of birds’ nests that had accumulated under the cathedral’s roof. Evidently, birds had been picking up scraps of paper for centuries to use as building material for their homes.

“The oldest documents probably come from the 1830s, when the roof was replaced,” Dmitriy Sedov from the Zvenigorod Museum told Russian media.

The Cathedral of the Assumption in Zvenigorod was built in the early 15th century. It is known for its frescos by Russia’s greatest medieval painter Andrei Rublev. One of the banknotes found was for 1,000 rubles, a fortune back then.


Great Scott! Dueling “Back to the Future” Covers

Left photo: Cover of BPCA’s PPC magazine, November 2015. Right photo: Cover of PCT, November 2005.

The PCT staff are huge fans of the 1985 movie “Back to the Future.” As such, we liked the British Pest Control Association magazine’s November cover. The BPCA went with the “Back to the Future” theme for a forward-looking story in which BPCA Chief Executive Simon Forrester interviewed a trio of industry professionals to get their perspective on what’s changed and what’s in store for the UK’s pest control industry. Cheers to Forrester and his team for a fun cover and informative cover story.

PCT tried a similar concept with our November 2005 cover, although our take was a bit different. If you’ll recall, 2005 was when bed bugs really began to re-establish themselves in the U.S. Also during this time, some PCOs were reporting cockroach baiting failures. These developments caused many PCOs to re-examine older, “tried-and-true” pest control methods and techniques. We took the opportunity to marry pest control and popular culture — it was 1.21 gigawatts-worth of fun! — Brad Harbison

Female Cockroaches Prefer Fit Mating Partners

A new study led by Dr. Sophie Mowles of Anglia Ruskin University shows how energetic courtship displays of male Cuban burrowing cockroaches attract female partners, reports.

Male Cuban burrowing cockroaches (Byrsotria fumigata) perform a “wing-raising” ritual to attract a female, which involves the repeated vertical flaring and lowering of their wings.

Mowles and her colleague, Dr. Natalie Jepson of the University of Nottingham, found males that produced the most energetic displays were more likely to attract a female.

In fact, males that did attract a mate performed the wing-raising on average four times more vigorously as the ones that didn’t.