Friday, March 30, 2007

Skunks and Odor Control

I got a question about dealing with skunk odor that is getting into a house from a skunk being startled each night and how to help get rid of it. There are alot of products on the market that deal with odor masking and odor elimination that work pretty well. IN cases of skunks, pet odor and urine, and dead rodents smells, you want relief fast. One product on the market is an odor absorbing bag called Earth Care Odor Remover Bags. Just hang one of these in the area you are having the odor and in 24 hours the problem improves tremendously. There are also products like Bac azap that masks the odor and some industrial strength odor maskers that can do a god job. The Home Depots and Lowes have canisters that you open that release a nice smell while absorbing out of the air the odor. There is usually no magic wand for this problem and often times you might have to dip into the arsenal and mix and match products until the problem goes away.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mysterious Bee Death

It's Mysterious indeed. How can a bee keeper who had 2900 colonies of bees suddenly lose 1900 colonies without warning? It's called called Colony Collapse Disorder and it's running ramped while experts are trying to find the reason behind it! Bees that have been studied were found to have foreign fungi, bacteria and other organisms that are weakening the bees immune system. The problem has spread over 24 states and can become or already is a very serious problem. For instance, in Florida, the sate's 45 million dollar apple crop is 90 percent dependent on the bees pollination! The problem is so bad that I heard on the radio today that congress will be looking at the problem. Hopefully this can be resolved sooner than later.
Some resources to investigate:

Also Google Colony Collapse Disorder.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bird droppings

I got a question as to the best product to use to clean up bird droppings from pigeons that were roosting for years in an attic type crawl area of a home. My answer was quick. No product is good for you to use. Notice I used the word, "you". This is a case where you call a professional and have them clean this area up. If you were to go up there with a shop vac or broom and start sweeping up those droppings and the dry droppings became airborne you would have the potential to catch some very nasty and potentially fatal diseases. Bird droppings and bat droppings are nothing to fool around with by people who don't know what they are doing. While I'm on the topic, neither are mouse droppings. If you ever come across a mass amount of droppings in an attic or crawl space or anywhere, you need to call a pro. They have the proper equipment and chemicals and knowledge to do the job safely and efficiently. That's why bird work is such a specialty business.


Ants and their control
Tis the season when it comes to ants and their unwanted advances into the human world. So what's their deal and how to we get rid of them? Well spring time is when these little buggers start to develop their colony. The ants you see now are out foraging for protein to feed the little ones and keep the egg factory running smoothly. As spring continues on and the warm days give into the hot days of summer, the ants appetite turns from proteins to sweets. Ants are busy beavers and the sugar gives them a boost just as it does to humans. You can see an interesting development here. Ants are picky eaters at different times of the year. SO if you have ants crawling on your stove and you go to Home Depot and put out any old ant trap you find then chances are you won't get the control you want. Read the bait label of the baits you buy and make sure it is for sweet and protein feeding ants. There is a fantastic product out there called Advance Dual Choice that takes care of both and works very well. Bait placements and choice factor into ant control far more than you think. I advise to mix it up with dry baits and gel baits and on the outside use bait granules. Place the baits where the ants are hanging out. If they are around you sink them place the gel bait behind the splash boards if possible. Never put bait where animals or children can get to it. How about sprays you ask? Just a quick fix. Baiting it's the way to go. Don't be afraid to use too much bait and place them in the trails the ants are traveling because they leave pheromone trails and other ants will surely be following right behind and it is then they will find their pot of gold and take the bait.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Termite renewal!

Is it worth it to renew my termite contract?
I was sent this question and have to answer with an emphatic YES! Termite control is not an exact science, although the technology and chemistry has improved a great deal over the years with the introduction of non-repellent chemicals and baits, there is still the possibility of the termites finding a way back to your home. If the liquid being pumped in the ground hits a rock and splits leaving a small, untreated area, then you have a highway for the termites to return. This is no fault of the pest control company, it's just the nature of the treatment. So let's say the treatment kills 98 percent of the termite population and the other 2 percent get through, then you can have a problem. Now let's fast forward a few years later and you get a swarm, if you are not covered by your termite renewal then you would have to pay that whole thousand or so dollars again to have the home treated. If you paid the yearly renewal fee then it would cost you nothing but the fee. Now be warmed that if you get a swarm within the year then the partial treatment of the area should be free and covered under the one year warranty that most companies give.

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Yikes! I saw my first bee of the season fly by me yesterday and it got me thinking of my days long ago when I'd be battling the bees and wasps in my bee suit and saving the day! Now I just swat at them a run if they get mad. With the warm weather closing in on us, we will no doubt be facing the stinging insects that are impossible to hide from. Future posts will include specific treatments from specific bees and wasps such as carpenter bees and hornets and such. Right now I will point out that you might start to see bees in your home. Don't be alarmed right away. These can very possibly be bees that have come in last year and "over wintered" or vacationed in your home until spring. The ones you see now actually just want one thing, to escape and get back outside. Open the door and let them go. Now if you happen to come across bees entering a hole in the side of your home for instance or flying into a crack of your home on the outside. DO NOT PLUG IT UP AT NIGHT! Don't think by plugging the hole they will die of starvation. What most likely will happen is they find a way out the other way...which is right into your house. Now you have a bunch of angry bees in you house, not happy, well rested "vacationing" bees. This is very important. If you are afraid to treat the bees yourself then call a pest control professional.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Ant Control

If you've had problems over the years with ants getting into your home or if you simply want to avoid the problem then you should start your offensive now. Don't wait until further into the spring or summer when the ants are at their strongest numbers. Treating for ants outside should be your plan of attack! Most home improvement stores or even your local hardware stores should have granule products that you can place out for ants in the form of bait or insecticide. You want to place a band of about a foot or two around your entire home perimeter according to the label. Many do it yourself online stores carry different kinds of baits or granules you can buy. Remember! If you have pets or young children you must use caution. Maybe buy bait stations to put the bait in an forget about the granule insecticide. So long as you start to do something now you should have at least a much less battle if they do get into the home.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm added to Technorati!

Technorati Profile
Adding Pest Control Information to Technorati

Pets and Bedbugs

Can bedbugs live or be carried on pets?
This question was left in a comment in a post about bedbugs left by Jessica. The answer is that bedbugs will bit and feed on pets depending on the infestation. They bite any warm blooded animal. As for being carried on a pet I would have to say it's a possibility. I wouldn't put it in the same category as fleas but it is possible for a dog to have bedbugs on them. Bedbugs are more the type to eat and run, so they wouldn't be hanging out too long after a blood meal to really be caught on the dog. As I said though, anything is possible.

Mealy Worms

I have little worms crawling on my ceiling!
Chances are you have been infested with a stored product pest. Indian Meal Moths and what people term as "mealy worms" can come from a variety of places, so it is important to find the source. So where do you look? The main places to look would be any dry goods like cereal, pasts, oat meal, flour, baking sodas, rice, spices, dry milk, dog and cat foods and bird seed to name a few. You have to look in these items and chances are you will find live worms or moths or what look to be "casings". If you see this the item must be thrown away. Don't stop at one item if it is infested. Continue to inspect all dry goods to be sure and throw away any suspected products. The ones in your home can be taken care of with a vacuum cleaner and once the infested item is gone so will your problems. Happy hunting!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Time is here!

Happy Spring is the first day of spring and we can now officially say we're heading into the "season". As we know from this very moment until about June we will be in the termite swarm season where any hot sunny day, especially after a rain, can trigger a termite swarm which is you best indication that you have them. With spring and summer also comes ants and bees, crickets, and roaches and all the fun bugs that creep out in the warm weather. As the season progresses I will be writing articles on specific bugs and their control as well as other news pieces that might come our way. As always...if you have any questions relating to bugs or their control you can e-mail me at and I'd be happy to post your question here in our blog.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Funigation and Bed Bugs

Will Fumigation Eliminate Bed Bugs?
The short answer here again is yes, but fumigation is not always a realistic option for many people. It is very expensive, most times it can only be done to a single home or an entire building, and did I mention it was expensive. The idea behind fumigation is that a poisonous gas penetrated every pore of the structure which is the reason a fumigation would work so well in bedbug control. Some people will have their belongings fumigated, say in the back of a truck, if they are moving and want to be sure that they are not taking any bedbugs with them. This approach might not be as bad in terms of expense but I am sure it is not cheap. Then the problem is finding a company that specializes in fumigation's to do it. It is a very specialized form of pest control.

Bombing for Bed Bugs

Will setting off foggers eliminated bedbugs?
The short answer is no. Fogging will most likely push the bedbugs deeper into the walls or spread them to other parts of the home where they are not wanted. Containment is the word of the day in dealing with bed bugs. The fog also wont penetrate deep enough into the areas where these bugs hide and breed. A thorough crack and crevice treatment with subsequent follow up visits is the only way to gain a solid control of bedbugs or a complete fumigation.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Termite inspections for real estate sale.

WDIR=Wood Destroying Insect Report
I recently had a question in regards to a house that was being sold and the termite inspector failed the property because of old damage and shelter or "mud tubes" on some wood joists. Now there was no activity to be seen and no live termites and the house was treated before. SO why did it fail?
In many cases a house will fail if there is shelter tubes because that is an indication that the termites may have returned after the treatment. After a treatment is done the termite technician is supposed to scrape down any visible shelter tubes. This helps to monitor the recurrence of the termite problems when the follow up or yearly inspection is done. So that is most likely why the inspector failed the property.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Termites are here

The word on the street here in the Northeast is that the termite swarms are here. This is the time between the months of March and June when the termites will swarm most easily and chances are you may come home to find a bunch of dead what look to be flying ants covering your floor. These are most likely swarming termites. So what do you do? Don't panic...the flying swarms are harmless other than being annoying. It is an indication that you have termites and they will need to be treated. What you should do is save a few of the swarming termites and save them to show the inspector or pest control guy who comes out so he or she can verify that they are in fact swarming termites and not swarming ants. If you want you can go online and check the differences your self to be on the safe side. Next thing to do is get some prices from several pest control companies. Go with a few local companies and then call some large national ones. Check the better business bureau to see that the company has no real bad complaints against them and then do the word of mouth thing. Ask your neighbors and friends who they used and why they decided to hire them. Feel comfortable with your decision because the job will be expensive and you will want to get a good job done by the company.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Do It Yourself Pest Control

DIY Exterminating
If you decide not to hire a professional pest control company and do it yourself then where is the best place to get the tools you need to do the work? There are several "do it yourself" sites out there in cyber space that have a ton of information and the ability to purchase the products directly over the internet. Simply google the topic "do it yourself pest control" and you get a ton of hits. Other places to go would be the brick and mortar stores like Home Depot and Lowes. They both have a very good pest control section. In a pinch your local hardware store (if there are any left out there) will have some products for basic pest control. If you decide to tackle the project yourself my advice is to do your homework, read the label of the products you are using, and be careful.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Hire a Pro or Do It Yourself?

Hiring a Pro versus doing it yourself.
I get the question sometimes about my thoughts on do it yourself pest control as opposed to simply hiring a professional. My answer is simple. If you enjoy doing it yourself and you think you have the resources and knowledge to tackle a particular pest problem then go for it. There are some problems I'd leave to the experts though and they would be termites and bees. Termite control can be very tricky and although there are DIY kits you can get from maybe Home Depot or Lowes I wouldn't recommend them. You are dealing with probably your biggest investment and termite work is involved and not as straight forward as killing a roach. Also you will be given a warranty in most cases and sometimes the pest control company will even warranty any new damage that might occur from termites. I'd bite the bullet and pay for a Pro in this's true that termite jobs are expensive, but they are worth the money if done by a pro.
Next topic is bees. Unless you are just spraying down a little paper wasp nest then I'd leave it alone for the pest control guy to do. Personally I'd even leave the little paper wasp nest alone. First of all bees and wasps and hornets can become very aggressive and there is strength in numbers and in most cases they will have you out numbered! There is usually always bees or wasps "watching" the nest or they might be out foraging for food and upon return you can get knocked on your butt pretty quickly. While on the subject of bees it is important to say here to never...ever...seal a hole that bees are going into, especially if they are entering an outside wall void of your home. They will find a way out and it is usually through the inside of your house. So bees are a definite "call the Pro" situation. I guess in parts of the country other than the Northeast you have to be careful of fire ants and scorpions and snakes...all of the a pro.