Friday, August 31, 2007

Mouse proofing your home

What's the best way to mouse proof your home? Think like a mouse. Whenever I started an initial service for mice I used to ask the customer to go around the house with me so I could point out areas that needed repair or sealing to try to build out the mouse. Many times we would come across homes around cables that entered the home like central air lines or cable wires. You could almost fit your finger into these spaces and it is an obvious area where a mouse could scurry in. Gaps in your garage door are another sure fire way a mouse could get in. If the garage door does not close flush to the ground then replace the weather strip. This is also true for any entry door to the home. Any gaps under the door would be a space that would invite a mouse into your home. Check for holes in the wall, especially ground level, and fill them in with cement. Be sure basement windows are in good shape and any broken panes would be repaired. Keep the vegetation around the perimeter of your home cut back because this is a great place for mice to hide. They also love seed, so any bird feeders will invite the mice to the party. Keep them away from the home and be sure to seal any potential entry points and you should have some good success at mouse free house.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Help for Bed Bugs?

Is there any place people can go for bed bug help? It seems like a select few pest control companies have decided to tackle the problem, but I wouldn't call your neighborhood bug man to come out and treat for bed bugs. Don't get me wrong, there are some one man operations who may be very knowledgeable on the topic and can help you with your bed bug problem, but chances are they will not have the time to dedicate to a proper treatment. I have heard how some pest controllers are sub contracting out the work to larger companies simply because they don't want to deal with the headaches. The problem is new and fast spreading and it is because of this that people from New York City to the farms of Nebraska are searching for help in their battle with bed bugs. The do it yourself products are even a hit or miss deal. So what's a person to do? First thing I recommend is educate yourself. Then make bedbugs your hobby. Learn everything there is to learn about them and follow other people's blogs. See how they are getting help with the problem, if any at all. Get the Google news stories about bed bugs, they will even send the stories right to your inbox if you want them to. Eventually the scientists will come up with a solution for bed bugs. The bedbug help everyone is so desperately seeking will appear and the problem will become as simple as a flea infestation with am easy fix. We'll look back on this dilemma and hopefully learn one important lesson that we should have already learned. History repeats itself, it's only a matter of when!

Roach gel review

Roach problems pop up every once in a while and when they do the best thing to use is roach gel. So what kind of roach gels are out there and are they available for the do it yourself project tackler? The answer is yes you can buy them and here they are.
The old stand by and the grand daddy of roach gel bait is Bayer's product Maxforce Roach Gel. It comes in original, FC or fast control, and select. The Maxforce Select roach gel formulation is for roaches that are resistant to the other baits. Another good bait is Advance Roach Gel from Whitmire. Advione Roach Bait is a new kid on the block that has been getting some good reaction and Syngenta has also come out with a roach bait. FMC's product is called Transport Roach Gel and Whitmire has another one called Avert.
The fact of the matter is that roach baits are very palatable to roaches and they work fantastically in their control. The best I've ever used was Maxforce, but as I said Dupont's Advion has been nipping on Maxforce's heels.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

DIY Pest Control products

As I strolled through the aisles at Home Depot I came across the section where they sold their pest control supplies and began to look at some of the do it yourself products they were offering for the control of insects. I was especially interested in controlling ground bees because it seems to be this time of year alot of people are seeing these bees. I found that alot of the products that professional pest control technicians use can also be found in this aisle under a different name. Products like Maxforce roach gel is offered as Combat roach gel, and I almost thought I saw a maxforce product. As I have stated before, most products that pest controllers use can be bought online at DIY websites that sell pest control products and used by the public. Dusts and residual products that are used to treat ground bees can also be purchased at the websites and at places like your big box home improvement stores. These products are not so bad and often times have the same active ingredient, but packaged under a different name. I remember buying something in a pinch when I was on the road doing pest control and had no other choice. Thank God they had what I was looking for.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Best Yet. A solution for Bed Bugs.

Is there finally a product that will be effective in the control of bed bugs? According to Cedarcide industries, the makers of a product called best Yet, they have found the diamond in the rough when it comes to bed bug control. Up until now treating for bedbugs have been hit or miss at best, with many bed bugs showing resistance to the products on the market today. This product is made out of the cedar oil of the Texas Red Cedar and a carrier created from liquid quartz. best Yet sounds like it can be a useful tool in the control of bed bugs, among other insects. As more information comes across my desk I will be sure to report on it. best Yet bed bug control could be the panacea we are all looking for. It's worth a try.

Tick removal

Finding a tick on yourself can be scary. None likes ticks especially when one is on your body. SO what do you do? I'll tell you two things you should not do. Do not try to kill the tick by burning it. Do not try to kill the tick with petroleum jelly. The best thing to do it to simply take a pair of tweezers and grip the tick by the head or mouth and pull firmly until it lets go. Place the tick in a bottle or jar with some alcohol. Swab the area with some alcohol and then call your doctor. Keep a close eye out for rashes that might develop and fevers. Joint pain and muscle aches are also not good. If you start to develop a severe headache or chest pain then call 911.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Starting a pest control business

Are you an entrepreneur and looking to start your own pest control business? It's a wonderful business to go into and very helpful to alot of people. You can become a hero to alot of people when you save that little old lady from the mouse that ran under her sink! You begin with researching the laws in your state as the pest control business is regulated by your state's department of agriculture. Then I would highly recommend consulting a lawyer and an accountant, but if you are starting on a shoe string you can get away with a good computer accounting program. You state's website will point you in the right direction as far as setting up your business. If you are already a pest control technician with your own license then your next step is to register your business with a BU number or whatever your state's equivalent is. Then it is time to get insurance. Wiseburger and Brown are two pest control insurance providers to look into, but there are others. If you are completely new then you would have to go to the state and take your core and category tests to get your license, then the BU number and insurance. I wouldn't recommend going into the pest control business cold turkey as there is a lot to learn to be a successful technician. The next step is advertising. You will also want to get some service slips and other stationary like business cards as well. There is alot to think about when going into your own pest control business, but with hard work and some luck it can be very rewarding.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

DIY Pest Control

Anyone can be a weekend warrior when it comes to exterminating water bugs, roaches, crickets and ants, and the best part is you don't need one of those shiny metal cans to do it! Here's what I would suggest. Do to your local over the counter pest control company or a good Internet website that sells do it yourself pest control products and get a pint of suspend. This has a good overall label and covers most insects. Now sit down and read the label. This is the most important part of pest control. Following the directions is essential for safety and control of the target insect. Now go to your local Home Depot and get a plastic sprayer for a few bucks. Mix the Suspend SC according to the label and do a thorough perimeter spray around your base boards and along the outside perimeter as well. This will put down a good residual and help to keep your spiders, ants, and roaches under control.

Mice in restaurants

There was a recent news story about a local fast food restaurant about how there were mice running around the dining room area during business hours! Coming from a pest control background I was able to asses this from a few different angles. For one thing it is not too uncommon for mice to be in a restaurant. That is the reason for pest control. If the proper control measures are in place then the problem of having them running wild in the dining room should be lessened, but the fact that a restaurant is full of food, heat from the ovens, and moisture from the sinks makes a restaurant a mouse heaven! Not only that, but there are a million ways they can enter a restaurant. Constant deliveries, customers coming in and out, and lots of wires, pipes and cables coming into the building make it easy for mice to enter. The goal is to trap and kill them before they are able to reproduce or become a problem. Pest control technicians need to be diligent in maintaining traps and monitoring devices and they need the cooperation and support of the restaurant. It is a team effort. The pest control technician is there for maybe a half an hour a week, the restaurant staff is there all the time. If staff sees something they have to convey that to the pest control tech, the staff will also need to comply with any repairs or alterations to make the environment less inviting to mice. When stories of mice in a restaurant hit the news everyone is up in arms and attention is drawn to the establishment and then it all dies down and things get back to normal. The fact is there are bugs and mice all over the world and probably in your favorite restaurant, good pest control is all you can hope for, and remember the most important word in pest control is "control".

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


As I sit here writing this post the sound of crickets are chirping through my window and it got me thinking that these critters will become a large problem soon. One cricket that comes to mind is the camel cricket. Any cricket can be annoying, but it's the numbers and where they are located in proximity to your house that is scary. I've heard horror stories how camel crickets over run people's basements and cellars and quickly get out of hand. The best way I have found to control camel crickets as well as other crickets was to use bait. A good granule bait like Niban FG and coarse as well as Intice granules worked well in baiting these annoying insects. The old stand by Baygon Bait used to work wonders, but this is not for sale anymore. The best way to get these baits is online via a DIY website or from your local over the counter pest control center. Using caution, sprinkle these baits in your basement around hot water heaters, behind washers and dryers, on window sills, in crawl spaces, and be liberal with it. Sprinkle outside under bushes, in cracks and crevices around the home, in garage corners, places like that. Another great tool in cricket control is glue boards. They catch a ton of crickets and knock down the population quickly. Don't be cheap with these. As always, if you have children or pets, use caution and read the label of the granules!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Treating for Bed Bugs

Treating for Bed Bugs can be as exhausting as the problem itself. You need to be thorough and precise, because if you are not you will fail. Preparation is the key, finding the right product is a close runner up. There are numerous DIY products out there for bedbugs, and the professional pest control market is adding products on a regular basis, but which ones work? Depending on how bad the problem is and if there is any resistance involved, it could be a hit and miss proposition. Whitmire has a boat load of can prays that could be useful in a crack and crevice situation and the professional residual products like the suspend and kicker combo or Phantom will be a good start as well. Other products like Bedlam and Eaton's Bedbug are good contact killers. Another good product is Sterifab for contact kill. It's an absolute must to get the cooperation of the person getting treated or for you to do the prep work if you are treating yourself. The best place to get the professional products is online websites that offer do it yourself pest control products for bedbugs. You can also get some DIY products at certain pest control companies who offer over the counter products. It's a good idea to have a team to treat. One person should strip all the beds and take the bedding to a laundry mat to wash in hot water and dry in a hot dryer in one bag. Throw that bag out and repack the clean bedding in a clean bag. You may also have to do this for your clothing depending on how bad the infestation is. With a team of two you should empty all contents from all drawers and take the beds apart. Treat the underside of the bed box spring, the mattress tufts and buttons with a product that is labeled, and the frame of the bed. Treat crack and crevice in all drawers and the inside and outside crack and crevices of the outside of the chest of drawers. Treat all cracks and crevices from the wall-floor seams to the door jambs and moldings. Treat behind any peeling wall paper and pull back carpeting. Treat all furniture and whatever else may have activity. BE sure closets are cleaned out as well and you treat them just as good. Detail is the key. It should take you a full day if done correctly, and unfortunately, it might require a follow up treatment or two.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Big bees in ground

Just what are those giant bees that dig out piles of dirt in the ground and scare the living daylights out of you? Some people call them ground bees. Their real name is the Cicada killer. These ground bees do good by keeping those loud cicadas under control, but they are scary and big and ugly. So how do you kill these big bees? Bug spray, or should I say, wasp spray, or should I say bee spray. Usually I wouldn't advocate spray for bees, but in this instance because they a solitary type bee, I would say it is ok to sharp shoot them out of the air and then dust the holes they lived in with a good insect dust. Sometimes you are unlucky enough to have a bunch of these bees burrowing in your landscape, in this case you may have to hire a professional who can spray large areas, and remember, this may be a yearly thing for a while. Now go out and buy a good wasp freeze spray and happy hunting!

Thoughts on Bed Bugs

The word bedbug has become a buzz word in recent years with people going nuts over these vampires. People are using all kinds of home remedies and mixtures to kill them off, others are going sue happy slapping lawsuits on apartment building management and hotel chains. It's an epidemic that is spreading like wildfire. Dorm rooms, hotel rooms, cruise ships, apartments, train sleeper cars, airplanes, row homes, single homes, mansions, shacks, hospitals and churches. It doesn't matter who you are, how rich or poor you are, or where you live, because these bugs don't care how rich or poor your blood tastes, so long as it is blood. So do we just throw our hands up in the air and surrender, maybe learn to live with these buggers, learn to manage them instead of try to eliminate them? Maybe we fight them with words and education, teaching people how to avoid them or what to look for so as not to bring them home. The problem with this idea is how do you inspect your movie theater seat? How do you know that the guy before you, whose apartment is so infested with bedbugs that he is carrying tens of thousands of them in his shoes, didn't just see the movie that afternoon as you sit down in the same seat for the twilight show? It's a scary world. The pest control industry is working hard for a solution, and I believe they will come up with one, but until then we will just have to keep checking under our covers at night and not let the bed bugs bite!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Bed bug domino effect

How does the spread of bed bugs become so rampant? Let's look at this scenario. Let's say that you have an infested mattress and you decide to get rid of it and have your house treated and then buy a new one. You go to the store and pick out your mattress and they deliver your new one and take the old one. Now the truck that picked up your old mattress is infested with bedbugs, and the new bed that they are delivering to the folks later that afternoon will get infested. So they then sue the mattress store who in turn replaces that infested mattress and in the mean time they throw away the old one. Along comes a guy who sees a new bed and mattress in the trash and throws it in the back of his truck and takes it home. Now that poor guy has been infested. All the time the children of these three families are going to school with bedbugs in their schoolbags and transferring them to the locker area where other children's schoolbags are infested. It's a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.

Big Black Ants

Have you had the unpleasant surprise of looking down at your counter top or bathroom floor to find big black ants crawling around? I'm not talking about your regular run of the mill sugar ant, I'm talking about the kind of ant that you could ride to and from work. These ants are most likely carpenter ants and seeing them may or may not be that big of a deal. You'll have to ask yourself some questions to see if they are in fact infesting a part of your property because if this is the case they can do some damage as they are considered a wood destroying insect. First of all have you had a leak in your bathroom, kitchen, or any part of your home recently or within the past year? If the answer is yes then these ants may have found the damp wood and started to excavate a home somewhere in the wood surrounding the moisture. If the answer is no then you have to ask if you have noticed anything that looks like saw dust piles anywhere inside the home? Around window frames or door jambs would be good places to look, but they could appear anywhere. If the answer is yes then you may have an infestation in the home. If not then you have to ask if you have any tree limbs hanging on your home or roof, or if you have had any tree work down around your home lately? The ants you see could just be occasional invaders coming in for a snack. If there has been trees disturbed or cut down then a nest could have been stirred up and the ants have scurried finding their way into your home. A simple perimeter treatment inside and out should start to alleviate the problem. Also cut back any branches hanging on your home. IF the infestation is in fact in your home then you may need to hire a professional to pinpoint the nest and treat it directly, as this will be the only way to eliminate it from the home. Also consider the time of day you see the ants. Usually these ants are most active at night. If you are seeing them walking in a trail in your home when it is dark outside then they might be infesting your home. A good way to get an idea as to where they are infesting is to give a piece of sugar or food to the ant, when it picks it up it will bring in right back to the nest. If he disappears under a certain part of the molding or floor board then that could be a good place to start looking.

Drain fly control

What's the best way to control drain flies in a restaurant? Elbow grease! The best way to help with the control of drain flies is to clean out the covers, catch bins, and walls of the drains. It have to clean all the gunk and slime where these flies breed and until this is done they will continue to be a problem. Another area is the holes in floor mats and the cracked grout in the floor tiles. Any place there is alot of moisture and slime, you can find drain flies. There are a few products that you can pour into the drains to help in the cleaning. Products like drain gel, vector-bio, and DF-5000 are drain gels that eat the slime via enzymes. Some of these products are also labeled to spray in trash cans, on walls, or in the cracks where the slime may build up.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bedbugs and travel

Are you the kind of vacationer who bursts into their hotel room, cranks up the air conditioning, and plops their bags on the bed before running down tot he pool before dinner? If you are you are only asking for trouble. I advise you to leave your bags outside your room and do an inspection of your beds and surrounding pieces of furniture. Bedbugs can infest your belongs way before they start biting you at night so it would be smart to investigate before you take them home with you! Start by taking the covers down and look on the sheets. If there is what looks to be blood spots then you may have a problem. now pull back the sheets and the mattress cover to reveal the mattress itself. Pull back the tufts and look in the buttons of the mattress. Are their any black spots or moving bugs. They are bedbugs. Run out of the room! Others places to look would be around the head board, the bed tables and in the drawers of the furniture. Look around the floor of the bed where the wall meets the carpet. It only takes a few minutes to prevent this problem at home via your vacation. BE aware that even the closest examination might miss these critters. If you awake with welts of blood spots on your bed then they may be bedbug bites. This is not a post to scare you, but it is important to be aware. You can get bedbugs from a 5 star hotel, a cruise ship, or a flea bag motel. Keep a sharp eye. Bedbugs are back!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Mosquitoes are rearing their ugly heads in full force this summer and we have the rain to thank for that! Fellow Americans...and people of the diligent and empty any free standing water you might come across near your property and you might find relief from these pesky critters. Mosquitoes can go through a life cycle faster than lighting and it is because of this very reason that this insect is so successful. They breed in free standing water. Puddles of water that you might find in bird baths, ash trays, toys, flower pots, rain gutters, tires, anything that can collect water is a breeding ground and must be eliminated. In large areas like ponds and large puddles there are products called Mosquito Dunks that work well or Larvacide. Municipalities often times will fog large areas and treat ponds and streams and the like themselves but it doesn't hurt for the fine folks of the world to chip in and do the same.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Baits for bees

It looks like the votes are in. The best bait for the wasp/bee traps on the market is apple juice concentrate and water at a 50/50 part.

Bee watch

With the start of August upon us we have to address the issue of bees, wasps, and hornets becoming aggressive and steps to take to try to avoid getting stung. August and September are frantic months for bees and they often times get very aggressive and make there presence known at picnics and barbecues. So what can we do? First of all try to identify areas where wasps might be hanging out. By now they would have set up shop under your deck areas or in the corners of your eves or overhangs. Paper wasps are the biggest culprits. You will notice cones or umbrella homes and often several of them in an area. If you are brave, and these nests are easy to get to, you can spray them down yourself at night when activity is low and by using extreme caution. If you are nervous or not sure then I suggest hiring an exterminator to come out and take care of the problem. By eliminating the nests you will ease the stress of being outside and having to be bothered by bees. You can also buy traps at your local hardware store and place them on the outskirts of the area you will be hanging out. Next thing is to be careful what you have outside with regards to foods. They will no doubt crash your barbecue if you have fruit and sodas out in the open. Anything sweet will attract them so try your best to keep these foods covered or at a minimum. If you have cans of soda out on the table be sure to keep them covered as a bees may get into the can and your next sip can give you a stinging sensation!