Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why mice are dirty

We were in a pet store yesterday and my wife proclaimed how cute the mice they had in the glass cage looked and how could I "exterminate" such creatures. Lions look cute at the zoo as well I thought, behind the bars that is. Mice are very dirty and spread disease because of the way they leave droplets of urine almost everywhere they scamper. If you were to place a supermarket under an intense black light which would highlight these urine droplets I think you would become farmers and grow your own food! Not only do they have weak bladders, they also leave dropping all over the place. These droppings carry all kinds of diseases and can be deadly in some instances. Also mice love to eat garbage and after scampering through the dumpster behind the building they find their way into the business or home and walk all over your counter tops. Mice are cute indeed, but they are also dirty little creatures, so be sure to wash that can of soup the next time you decide to have an afternoon snack.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The mice are coming! The mice are coming!

Mice are funny creatures. They love seeds and straw and garbage and all things that have to do with the outside, except in the winter. When the cold whether comes around mice become tenants. They don't pay rent, but they do set up shop. You home, your business, your restaurant, your warehouse, any place that has a a little food and some warmth. The best thing you can do is not to get in a situation where you have to actually evict them. Mouse proof your home with products like Stuf-fit, steel wool, and foam. Fix the gaps in your garage door and all doors. Seal holes around wires and pipes. You can even set up a baiting program around the outside perimeter of your home or set glue traps in PVC pipe to trap them.

Bedbugs bite

The title of this post is so true on so many levels. Bedbugs are becoming public enemy number one faster than Al Capone in height of his popularity. So how do you avoid becoming prey to these bugs that infest beds, these bed bugs? Your first defense is knowledge. Learn as much as you can about the bug and the way to control them. Then become proactive. If you are traveling be sure to inspect the room before you bring your bags in and accept the room as ok. Inspect the bedding thoroughly. If you have a child in school then check out the schoolbag every day. Do not buy used bedding of any kind, in fact, do not buy any kind of used bedroom furniture. I would even go so far as to say do not buy any used furniture at all. This is a very common way to invite bedbugs into your home! If you get a delivery of bedding, ask to check out the mattress or box spring before they bring it in. If you think you see anything that might resemble a bedbug then refuse the delivery. It's easier to fix a delivery problem then it is to fix a bedbug infestation. Being diligent and knowledgeable will cut the chances of become a victim in half, so start your research!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Abell Pest Control Ontario Canada

This post is reminiscent of my other blog called Critique My Blog where I critiqued other peoples blogs who submit them to me for review. As I was reviewing my stats section I noticed a referral from Abell's website and curiously clicked over to see how it was placed in content. I was pleased to find my link placed under an excerpt from my pest control blog in Abell's site. As I explored their site further I was impressed to see what an integrated and well planned site Abell had. All this brings me to the points I am trying to make with this post. My first point is to thank Abell for the link into Pest Control Information and Facts and my second point is to bring awareness to the importance of a well thought out web site for a pest control business. The pest control industry as a whole has been fighting to put a professional face on the industry and has done an awesome job in my opinion and websites like Abell's is a perfect example of how a great interactive website can help with this endeavor. Nice job.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Wasps and Bees

Fall brings with it some good outdoor fun. This season brings to mind memories of the apple fests and pumpkin patch fairs, spiced apple cider and pies! This season also brings with it the bees and wasps! They love the sweet apple juices and all the great food associated with fall festivities. There are some options to keeping these wasps and yellow jackets at bay. Traps are always a good bet. There is also a product called the waspinator that mimics a wasp or hornets nest and this scares other bees and yellow jackets away. After all, it's a competing nest and they rather not disturb another nests turf to avoid war, so they stay away. It takes diligence and a good plan to keep wasps and bees at bay, but with a little bit of work and careful placement of traps and products like the waspinator it can be a sting free fall!

Halloween Bugs

Halloween is right around the corner and with it comes the possibility of Halloween bugs or boxelder bugs as they are technically called. Boxelder bugs become a problem on warm days during the fall and winter when they start to appear inside the home. These bugs are a nuisance, but not really a danger. People hate them because they gather on the sunny side of the house or building with great numbers and then find their way into the home via holes in the house. When they do appear on the inside the best thing to do it just vacuum them down. If you smash them the will leave a mark and this stain can be permanent.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Mealy bugs and moths

Indian Meal moths, mealy bugs, grain worms, rice worms, however you call them they are definitely one thing. Nasty. Indian meal moths are often found in the kitchen cabinets as moths and sometimes people will see them in the form of worms that are on the ceiling. There is one sure fire way of getting rid of these pests. Inspect all your dry product foods. Cat and dog food, bird seed, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cereal of all kinds, oatmeal, pastas of all kind, rice, spices, dry milk, any kind of dry product can harbor these pests. Once you find the infested product, and you will, you must throw it away. After this task is complete you will have eliminated the source of the infestation and the moths and worms will die down over the days that follow.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lice and School

School days have begun for most children and that brings with it the threat of lice. Lice is easily spread from child to child by close contact and sharing stuffed animals and hats. Lice is typically not a pest control issue and when this problem presents itself in a classroom there would be immediate notification to the parents so that the process of treatment can begin. The process of treatment for the home should include the washing of bedding and hats and coats. The vacuuming of the sofa areas and placing stuffed animals in a ties up trash bag for a week to kill off the lice. They need the host to survive and when not on the host dies off pretty quickly. There are several lice treatments for the body on the market today and after these procedures are followed then the issue goes away.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Pest control blogs

Over the past few years there has been an increase in pest control blogs and forums. It's a fantastic platform to get and give information. The blog has opened up a means of expression for the victims of the current bed bug epidemic with blogs referencing bed bug control right on up to bed bug diaries. People can voice there frustrations on the web via a blog and let the world know about their plight. Blogs like this one, where professionals can share their expertise, are great tools for the public to get an inside look at topics that otherwise may have been not available in the past. Do it yourself blogs have become all the rage, DIY pest control sites are a perfect example of this. People these days like to give things a try themselves and a blog of this nature is just the tool for the adventurous home owner who wants to try to control termites themselves or start their own mouse control program. Bed bug blogs are all the rage and if you Google this topic you will find a ton of them. I know that I myself love to blog about pest control and love to offer my knowledge to people and often give advice privately to people I meet through this blog.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mice and ultrasonic and electronic control

I have mixed feelings on these plug in electronic ultrasonic devices that are supposed to control and repel mice. I know that Victor has a decent line of them and apparently people buy them or they wouldn't be on the market. I guess in ultra sensitive accounts where baiting and trapping are not allowed then the last resort would be for mouse proofing the area and using devices like the Victor Mini Pest Chaser or some other kind of electronic mouse control device. I still believe the best kind of devices like this is one that you can change the frequency on so the rodent will not build up a tolerance to the sound that is supposed to be chasing them away. I guess these electronic mouse control devices have their place and if they are not too expensive then they are worth a shot.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Squirrel Baits

Squirrels can be a friend or a foe depending on how you look at things. Some people love the furry little creature and others would sooner have them all disappear off the face of the earth. Many ask me the best way to trap them and I say to use a havaheart trap or a live trap and bait it with a good attractant. A good squirrel attractant can be nuts, peanut butter, or a premix bait like Baron's brand squirrel bait. Premixes work well because they are tailor made for the target animal you are looking to capture. With any trapping program you have to have patience and a plan. Be sure you know where you are going to let the animal go because if you let it go too close to your house they will be back to settle in.

Monday, September 10, 2007

mouse proof your home

You read alot about how you have to mouse proof your home to keep mice out so they don't become a problem. This fact is true. The question becomes; what can resist the sharp fangs of a rat and mouse? The incisors of a mouse are able to chew through cinder block, bricks, soft metal. It is obvious these rodents are resourceful when it come to the art of chewing. So what makes all these experts think that stuffing a hole with cement or "stuf-fit" or foam will keep out these mice with razor sharp fangs? Simple. Mice can be just as lazy as you and me. They would just as soon take the path of least resistance then chew through foam. If there is a hole that is open they will go through it, if it is stuffed they will move onto an easier entrance. So look for these holes a fill them in. You will give yourself a ninety percent head start in keeping mice out. Mouse proof to your hearts content. Build those suckers out, and you will thank yourself later.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Treating Mattress for Bed Bugs

Treating a mattress for bed bugs is an integrated procedure of completely dismantling the bed and starting from scratch. To begin I would strip the bed of all linens and wash in hot water. Then life the mattress and stand upright and do the same to the box spring. Now treat with your product of choice that is labeled for treating bedding along the cracks and crevices of the bed frame. If there are inset screws be sure to pay extra attention. Wheels need to be treated as well. The the box spring will need to be treated. Take the backing off of the bottom and throw it away. Then treat the inside of the box spring. Now the mattress will need to be treated along the tufts and buttons. This is a sensitive topic and if you know you are chemical sensitive then I would be careful with what you treat with. After all has been treated then cover the box spring and the mattress in a good quality mattress encasement or mattress cover that zips up. This will keep any new bed bugs from re infesting your mattress or box spring. Good Luck and always use extreme caution and read the labels when using any kind of chemical.

Colony Collapse Disorder In Bees

We finally have a culprit in the demise of the nation's and the world's bee population due to colony collapse disorder. Researchers from Penn State and Columbia has named Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) as the reason behind CCD. There findings were made public in the journal SCIENCE. Now that we know what's causing it, maybe we can solve the problem. Great job!

Rat trapping

Rats are neophobic which mean they are afraid of new things and that includes traps. This is a quick tip for baiting rats with snap traps. Place the snap traps out without setting the trigger. Leave it there for a few days. Now put some food on the trigger, but don't set it. When you start to notice the rat is taking the bait then re bait it and set the trap. This should help with the success in trapping a rat, it may take longer than most people want to wait, but it is a proven method.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Ants and Roaches and Bees...Oh My

I was walking home from work today up the street and noticed a trail of ants crossing the pavement. It got me thinking about how many species of ants there actually are. Leave it to a pest control guy to think of something crazy like that. It turns out there is over twelve thousand species of ants, over four thousand five hundred species of roaches and twenty thousand species of bees! Yikes. That's alot of insect species and only 3 different kinds. If we were to count up how many total species of insects there were in the world it would be over one million! That's what keeps pest control people like me in business.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


A good night sleep is right around the corner for the seasoned traveler. There is a new tool for the traveler who worries about bringing bed bugs home from a trip. It's a disposable mattress cover by a company called Muse International. They sell a product called Sleep-Safe Disposable Travel Bed Sheets and Pillow Cases. Business men and families love them. When you buy them you get two pillow cases and two sheets sent in a shrink wrapped twelve by seven inch package that is perfect for travel. I think this is a fantastic idea for the traveler and for fourteen bucks you can't beat it.

Colony Collapse Disorder

It's been the mystery of the century. Colony Collapse Disorder. Bees disappearing off the face of the earth at alarming numbers. This mystery ranks up there with the Bermuda Triangle and Roswell and until now there has only been speculation and concern. That has been the case until now. Thursday the sixth of September, a prestigious scientific journal will publish a research paper from the scientists from Penn State and Columbia University about the topic of Colony Collapse Disorder. Hopefully this will shed some light on a very serious subject that has had entomologists and bee keepers scratching their heads for a long time.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Yellow Jackets, Wasps, and Bees

It's the end of summer and it's time for all the yellow jackets and bees to go crazy. Whether it be at your end of summer picnics or at the pumpkin patch around the apple cider area, yellow jackets and bees seem to be crazy and in your face. It happens every year and there is no way around it. All you can do is try to keep the things that bees like covered and maybe try to place traps around the area. You can get yellow jacket traps or bee traps at your local hardware store or online at your favorite DIY pest control supply website, and once you have them in hand then fill them up with some apple cider or sweet treat and place them around the perimeter of the area you will be hanging out. Place them up in trees or along the roof line or along the yard perimeter. Areas like this will keep the bees far enough away from the party and hopefully away from you.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Baiting for ants

A good baiting program starts with identification of the ant and choosing a good ant bait. Maxforce ant gels are a good choice for a variety of ants including carpenter ants. If you are noticing ants in a particular area it is important to place the baits out in the area they are frequenting. There are a variety of bait dispensers that work well for ant control to place the baits right out in the area the ants are. The Ant Cafe comes to mind for this reason. You don't want to just place gel bait right out on your counter, so you can place it in this dispenser and it keeps the bait available for the ants. If you are lucky enough to find the trail then place the baits right in the trail itself. Bait stations are another good product. Advance Dual Choice is the best ant bait station in my opinion because I've always had good success with that particular product. FMC used to have a good ant bait station but I think it is no longer available. It is important again to place the ant bait station right out in the area you are seeing the ants to make the bait available to them. I have to stress with any baiting program to use caution if there are any children or pets present in the home or around the area you are baiting. If children are present there are tamper proof bait stations that you can find to keep the baits out of reach of children and animals. One thing I should stress is if you are baiting, don't be stingy! Use plenty of bait and be generous so the ants will eat and if possible place out a variety of baits because ants are very finicky and like variety.

Bedbug bites or flea bites.

Bed bug bites Flea bites

How do I know if I am getting bitten by fleas or bed bugs? Bedbug bites are described as a breakfast, lunch, and dinner organization with the bites usually in a row anywhere on the body. They cluster in areas on the body and can be in great numbers depending on the severity of the infestation. Flea bites are usually found more on the ankles and legs and not usually on the upper parts of the body.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Big Boys of Pest Control

There are some household names out there with regards to pest control. These are usually large companies with branches and employees all over the country and in some cases the world. Here is a list of some of these big companies of the pest control industry.

  1. Orkin pest Control-the parent company of Orkin is Rollins. Orkin recently bought out Western Pest Control a over a year ago adding to it's 1.7 million customers. This company boasts 7500 employees and made over 858 million dollars last year. Not too shabby.

  2. Terminix-Parent company is Servicemaster and has been a household name forever!

  3. JC Ehrlich-bought out over a year ago by Rentokil making it a worldwide company overnight.

  4. Truly Nolan-all I can say is mouse ears!

  5. Cooper Pest Control-A gem in South Jersey with two brilliant brothers.

  6. Hoffman's exterminating-another South Jersey gem lead by Bill Hoffman.

Picture of a Boxelder Bug

If you are wondering what a boxelder bug looked like you can refer to this picture.

red and black bugs

Halloween bugs, red and black bugs, orange and black bugs, bugs that cluster on the outside walls, these are some of the ways people describe boxelder bugs. These bugs can become a big problem for some people and business because these bugs can become great in numbers and they congregate on the sunny side of the home or building. Once they are there they usually find their way into the home or building through cracks and once this happens they can be visible all year long through the winter. If you get these pests inside the best thing to do is use a vacuum and suck them down. Don't crush them because they will stain and it is inadvisable to spray with chemical. Outside you can spray the clusters with soapy water. This is a safe way to kill them off. To minimize the bugs from congregating around you house you should rake away any leaves that are around your home's perimeter and mulch is another area they like to hide in, so you may want to consider that when putting mulch in. You may also want to caulk and seal areas outside you home that would allow them to enter you home. Boxelder bugs are not harmful and often times people learn to live with them, if you can't do that then you can try some of the methods mentioned in this article. If you feel you must hire a pest control company be sure they have a license to spray trees because this is how to treat the source. That would be the only reason to hire a professional, other than that I would say they are taking your money because you can't treat inside for them and the outside walls could be sprayed but in a few days that pesticide would be rendered useless from the elements.

Roaches in restaurants

Being in the pest control business for the past 15 years I have seen alot of things that would make you think twice about eating out. This is not meant to be a shock article, but it is true. I've been in a restaurant who had a cat running around in the back kitchen and it slept under the grill. It also used this area to go to the bathroom. There was a few inches worth of cat droppings under the grill. Needless to say this one was reported to the health department. I've also come across roaches that were so bad that the prep cooks were picking them out of the bread crumbs and then tossed the chicken into the same crumbs. Another report. It didn't matter where it was, whether it be a hospital kitchen or a upper class restaurant, roaches and mice could be and most likely are present. It all depends on the owners, the workers, and the pest control company and how well they communicate and cooperate. Don't get me wrong though, for every one bad place there was twenty good ones. Pest control can be very effective but it needs the cooperation of the workers and managers of the kitchen to keep things clean and the conditions unfavorable for mice and roaches to thrive.