Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Head Lice

So you open your child's folder and in it your find that letter that every parent hates to see. Head Lice have been found in your child's class. OMG. We'll don't panic. Talk to your child and let him or her know not to share hats or play hair dresser with the other children and check your child's hair daily until the panic passes. Most times the school nurse will find the problem in time and the child will be treated at home and all is ok sooner than later. There is alot of info on the web to study up on lice and a boat load of products should your child get the lice. The treatment at home can be daunting, but not as bad as people think. So the phrase of the day is, Be vigilant.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moving with Bed Bugs

So your fed up and decided to move out and away from your bed bug infested apartment, dorm room or home. The question is how do you move and not bring the bed bugs with you? The ones hiding in your clock radio or your clothing or your book bag and furniture. All you are doing is moving the bed bugs into a new home. Unless...

What we need is a large scale moving system where moving trucks are fitted with commercial heaters and insulated to hold heat in. The process would be simple. Move out, load the truck up, and then put the heaters on for about 5 hours. Move into your new home with a bunch of baked, and yes dead, bedbug. There would need to be consideration given to how much stuff you have and how packed the truck is that would contribute to bake times, but it is worth a second thought.

Another way is to tent that truck and fumigate the items. It would cost you about five hundred dollars, give or take, and should kill off any hitch hiking buggers. The drawback is you need to fume for 24 hours and vent. This contributes to a longer moving process.

Any one else with some thoughts?

Monday, November 08, 2010

Facts about Mice In Your Home

Mice are commensal rodents which means, " Living with humans". The problem is, we don't want them to be commensal, we want them outside. This is why we spend over one hundred and twenty million dollars a year on rodent control in the United States.
Once in the home, mice set up shop close to food. This usually means your kitchen is transformed to a Hilton Hotel over night. Mice will only travel about 10 to 25 feet from their home, which is why they can be found mostly in the kitchen. They will also snuggle up to a room, such as the bed room, if you are a bed snacker. Mice are also very active, if they find a snack, they will travel back and forth to this snack about 20 times a night. Mice are terrific at gnawing things and they also like to make a mess with their droppings. It is important to act quickly if you suspect a mouse problem in the home as they can reproduce e quickly and a few mice can grow to large numbers fairly fast. If there is one fact to remember out of all the facts about mice and that is they need to be eliminated from your home once they are found. Happy hunting!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Find The Best Bed Bug Elimination Company.

Finding the best company out there to eliminate your bed bug problem will take some work on your part. The problem is that there are a million pest control companies out there, but only a handful who really take bed bug control to a new level. Companies like Cooper Pest Control in the Northeast is a perfect example of a company who takes bed bug control to a new level, in fact, they wrote the book on it. The book is appropriately entitled, "The Bed Bug Handbook". Coopers also has a fantastic website dedicated to bed bugs and their control called Bed Bug Central. This website gives advice to home owners and offers products for sale to help the consumer deal with this or protect yourself against this growing problem.
Other companies like A3 Pest control, Stern Environmental, and others seemed to have understood the problem early and geared up to tackle the problem head on.
Aside from research online, you will want to ask for referrals and look on sites like Angie's List and the Better Business Bureau to be sure there are no bad marks against the company.
Be leery of companies who charge a little but promise a lot. Bed bug control is expensive, hard, and disruptive work for both the bed bug control company and the home owner.
So as you can see, shopping for a bed bug control company can be just as tedious and stressful as shopping for a car or home, put as much work into it as you would shopping for big ticket items like that and you should be fine.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Mice In The Ceiling

Laying in bed and hearing the pitter patter of little feet above? It could be mice in the ceiling who have made their home int he attic. Treating the attic for mice can be tricky. Mostly because of the insulation that may be in between joists that the mice are scurrying under. You should bring out all the guns to rid your attic of the mice. Snap traps, glue boards, and bait should be used. Be prepared to deal with the smell of dead mice if they die in areas that your are unable to retrieve them from. Another important safety topic is the length of time the mice have been up there. If you encounter a high amount of mouse droppings then stop the mouse catching effort and concentrate on safely cleaning this up. This may require a professional as mouse droppings can be very dangerous, especially in high amounts. Happy hunting.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Fall is a time to reflect...

a quaff swims like a trash can, and with the summer coming to an end, it is time to reflect back on the season we had. At least in my area, it was either very rainy or very dry. Bad for the landscapers, but good for pest control. Rain stirs the occasional invaders up and the dry spells get certain critters looking for some liquid nourishment. Fall also reminds me of the cold season coming up and the rodents that will be on their way to find a warm spot to spend the cold months in. This is again, bad for the landscapers and good for the pest control businesses. Not to say we won't be busy with bed bugs, but it doesn't hurt to have a pest or two to fall back on.

Rodents Can Cause Fire

We spend a bunch of time on how to kill mice and rats and what they are and where they hide. This is all important stuff, especially on a blog dedicated to pest control information, but one thing that I think should be said and the public may not be too aware of it, mice and rats are fire bugs. Pest control professionals know that they are, I've seen this countless times in attics and basements where the insulation around wires have been gnawed on or crewed through all together, and this is why it is so important to keep mice and rats out and trap them if they are inside. If you have a pest control company, make it the first thing you say during a rodent inspection. Inform the client and recommend they get a good electrician in to repair or replace the wires that have been gnawed on. An ounce of prevention can go a long long way.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Dorm Room Bed Bugs Means Back To School

The right of passage for many a college freshman is the being on your own in a dorm or apartment. I must now scare you, be afraid, be very afraid. Dorm room bed bug problems are becoming as prevalent on college campuses as the very degrees they offer. If you are a freshman going into your new dorm room or if you are a senior returning to the dorm or apartment, the first thing you should do is check your bed and other furniture before you move anything in. If mom and dad have some dough, then I would ask them to hire a bed bug dog to inspect the dorm room or apartment. This will benefit mom and dad when it is time to come home for the holidays, I am sure they don't want any bed bugs hitch hiking home with you. I would invest in some climb up interceptors and a good mattress and box spring cover to help keep the bed bugs off the beds. This is an epidemic and colleges around the world are battling the problem head on. Don't rely on the college or the college's pest control vendor, rely on yourself. Be your own advocate and research good bed bug blogs like The Bed Bug Resource for insight. Sleep tight.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Big Roach

My sister called me freaking out because she found an American roach in her bathroom and now my nephew will not use the bathroom. American roaches can be intimidating and down right scary, but they don't always mean you have to panic right away. These large roaches are known in the city as sewer roaches, many times they appear when there is street work being done or pipes out int he street are being replaced. They can also appear in the home if there is a broken sewer line that you may be unaware of. In the latter case, these big roaches can be a blessing in disguise, alerting you to a much larger problem.

So having said all that, how do you get rid of them? Call in your local bug guy or gal and have a good residual put down, place some sticky monitors, and some granule baygon or niban bait. If the problem persists, call you plumber.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Wasp and Bee Season

Coming into August and September and the same old insanity begins. The Bees and Wasps go crazy. Good luck sitting outside with a can of soda or having a picnic in peace. So what can you do? First thing you can do is take a stroll around you home to see if you can identify any wasp nests that are in the yard or around the property, carefully! Look at window shutters from afar, notice any buzzing brutes flying in and out from under them? Look around fences and along roof flashing. Anywhere there is constant bee activity can mean a nest. As I have said int he past, be extra careful if you are going to spray these nests down yourself. Hiring a professional is the safest bet, it will cost a few dollars as bee work is expensive, but you will save yourself a potential trip tot he hospital. Getting rid of nests close to your home won't eliminate the pests bothering you outside while partying at the summer Bar-B-Que, but it will help alleviate them some and keep your guest safer.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Ground Bees and Wasps

Tis the season for cicada killers, the large wasp that looks as if you can saddle and ride it into town. Cicada killers over winter int he soil and emerge around this time of year, late June or early July. These ground nesting bees are no doubt intimidating and if you are unfortunate enough to have many of these bees infesting one area you may want to consider calling in the pros to treat the area. They may spray the wasps directly or they may dust the holes with an insecticide dust. If there are only a few wasps and they are not in the way, then I would leave them alone, maybe they will help limit that crazy noise the cicada makes all summer, although, after this years world cup and the horns that accompanied it, we may be used to crazy sounds.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Univar Grows Again

The pest control distributor extraordinaire has grown again with the acquisition of Southern Mill Creek distribution. This is a perfect pairing for Univar who will be able to expand in some of Southern Mill Creeks markets and bring Univar's great product line and service to these areas. One of the cool perks that Univar will bring to it's new customers is their website Pestweb, which offers a wealth of information.

The distribution market seems to be, now with this acquisition, shrinking, with some of the bigger distributors being Residex and Univar. One thing I have to say about all these pest control distributors and the industry in general is that it is a tight nit community and a pleasure to belong. Good luck.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Japanese Beetle Season

We are coming up on the season of the Japanese beetle. These little metallic buggers can cause some damage to plants and the roots in the soil where their grubs grow. As always, a flying insect is the most difficult to control or eliminate, treating the plants and flowers with a chemical will help to protect these favorites of the Japanese Beetle, and there are also Japanese beetle traps. I have heard though, that these traps can cause more problems by attracting more beetles than they trap. It is up to the consumer whether or not they want to buy traps to try to catch them, but you can hire a pest control company with plant and ornamental categories on their license to spray these items down.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Watch out for Mosquitoes

It's that time of year again and being proactive in your mosquito control is essential. With all the rain we get, it is important to walk around your home and look for any free standing water that can be collecting and possibly breeding mosquitoes. Places like buckets, old flower pots, and even your gutters can be breeding grounds. By eliminating these areas of concern you can help in keeping the population down. There are some effective products on the market now like mosquito traps that are becoming more affordable, also some better over the counter products to consider. Remember that being vigilant in keeping the breeding grounds few and far between will also help in your efforts of having a scratch free summer.

Friday, June 04, 2010

JP McHale Pest Management

Was introduced to a new blog that is kept by a company called JP McHale Pest Management. The companies history is one that is common in the industry and the success of the company can be attributed to the owner realizing what a great industry this is and what potential is in pest control. It ultimately became a true family business and the story can be read here.
JP McHale serves the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut areas. Check out the blog and if you are looking for a pest management company in the above areas...give' em a call!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Get rid of ground nesting bees

Ground nesting bees can be a dangerous opponent in that on a hot sunny day, while mowing your lawn, a foe can be getting ready to ambush you. I am having a problem at my own house with bumble bees who have taken up residence in a hole in the ground. The hole is probably an evacuated mouse or mole hole, but it has found new life with these ground nesting bees. My way to take care of this was to dust this hole with insecticide dust. Doing any kind of close work with bees should be done at night and using a flash light with red cellophane wrapped around it. Bees can't see red and this will help you to find the hole and treat it. Honestly, I would recommend hiring a professional for bee work of any kind as they can be nasty and aggressive. If you decide to do it yourself, pest control product can be found on the web at any DIY pest control products website. Be careful...observe your foe first looking for flight patterns. Never get in the way of a bees flight pattern. Never underestimate a bee and his hundred or more friends.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Little orange bugs

Little orange bugs, red mites, red dots, brick dust bugs, these are some of the ways I've heard others describe clover mites that like to make there way into offices and homes. They are famous for leaving the orange smear as the kids crush them on the window sill. Clover mites are harmless and are more of a nuisance. Some ways to stiop these small ornage bugs from creeping in is to remove a 24 inch or so swath of grass from around you home perimeter. They don't like to make that long 24 inch hike. If they are inside in great numbers, use a vaccum hose attachment and suck them up. You can hire a professional exterminator to spray the outside of your home with what they call a power spray and this could help. The last , but mostly unpopular thing to do is to let your 5 year old loose on them and let them smear away.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Bees and Wasps

Keep an eye out for bees looking for a place to stay. I just had an experience at my house, sitting on the back porch in the late afternoon, a bee flew up under my siding! I hate bees, so I kept my eye on the area and sure enough, more bees coming in. I got my bulb duster and gave it a shot. This of course ended my sit on the back porch as the bees were agitated that I messed up the entrance to their home. It is best to nip this in the bud before it becomes a full blown hive or nest. I will take a walk around to see if there are any more flight patterns, and then treat some areas that look like they may become an attractive home for bees. I have to say, I hate bees and wasps.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Carpenter Bee Control

Carpenter Bees are scary and intimidating for those trying to enjoy the beauty of spring time. People often encounter carpenter bees as they lumber around the hole their better half is tending to and when stumbled upon by one of us humans, they dive bomb us to scare us away. The funny thing is, the male carpenter bee can't even sting and the female needs to be provoked a great deal before she will sting. To exterminate carpenter bees you have to find their hole first, look for frass or wood fibers to locate the hole. It is best to approach the hole at night using a flash light with some red cellophane tied onto it as the carpenter bee can't see red light. Then, using a hand duster, dust the hole lightly and let the dust do it's job. It may take a few days to get rid of them. If you continue to see them, there may be other holes near by. If the carpenter bee holes are high up, you may want to consider hiring a certified pest control company. If they are low enough and you are brave enough, you can buy the supplies you need online via a do it yourself pest control supply web site and do your thing. As always, use extreme caution when dealing with bees. If you are allergic, run the other way and call the pros.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Termite Control Companies

Looking for a good and honest termite control company? Start by word of mouth. Ask friends and neighbors if they have had termite issues and who did they use and did they like them. When choosing a termite company, be sure to get several quotes. A company like Orkin or JC Ehrlich will give a different quote and warranty than a neighborhood or smaller termite control company. Be savvy and understand that the bigger companies are sending out salesmen in most cases and they will be looking at their commissions, the smaller company will be sending a technician is many cases or the owner and although still looking at profits, they may be more reasonable. Compare the prices they give and keep an eye on the guarantees offered and then choose. Once you get the job done, it is important to keep the warranty active each year with paying for your termite renewal. This acts as an insurance policy. If the termites return down the road, they will come out to treat the area until the problem is resolved.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Termite swarm

Can the flying ants that are really swarming termites eat my furniture? I actually got this question once. This came from a customer up north where the termites swarming are subterranean termites. These "flying ants" as people like to call them cannot eat your wooden antique, their main goal is to breed, which they really can't do unless they have soil. The problem is if you have a swarm then chances are you have the termites that do the damage too. Have your home inspected by a licensed professional and if you want for fun, go poke around yourself. All you need is a good flashlight and a screw driver. Happy Hunting.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Bugs Are Waking Up

Spring time brings with it the awakening of of all the ants, bees, and flies that are associated with the season. It also sparks the the start of the busy season for many pest control companies. Swarms of termites, ants crawling on kitchen counters, and over wintering bugs trying to get out all initiate call to the bug man to save the day. Naturally there are the do it your self crew who will be perusing the Internet for do it your self pest control products to exterminate that pesky bug that the wife wants gone. Spring means new life and I am glad it is on its way. However you decide to get rid of your bugs, remember it is important use caution and to shop around for the right product or company. Happy Spring.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Flying Ants

Tis the season for those pesky flying insects that swarm and cause panic in the home, but are they flying ants or swarming termites? The months of early spring can often times bring with them termites that will swarm and ants and if you are unsure, the picture to the left can help you determine. Ants will have an elbowed antenna and a pinched body. If you are unsure, it is always best to have a professional out to check. If you had to have a choice, ants would be what you are rooting for, as a swarm of termites mean that you have an established termite colony near or in the home. The question is for all your home gamers is if a termite job is a do it yourself king's kind of job. I would have to say no. Termite work is involved and needs to be done the right way with the right chemical or bait, so I would not recommend doing it yourself, although there are products on the market for it. If you are going to invest money in the job, invest in a good termite company.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Little Flies and Gnats

I remember getting a call for small gnat like flies in an office and the customer wanting relief from them. It was a seventh floor office and there were offices above. So they weren't coming from a leak above and they were not coming from a broken soil pipe since the bathroom was down the hall. As I took a closer look at he fly and noticed the window sill full of plants, I soon put two and two together and decided that they could be fungus gnats. The soil was very wet and I told the customer to stop watering the plants for a while and in the mean time I placed a glue monitor I had in on of the pots to see what I would find. I said I'd be back in a few days to see how things are. I returned with some yellow glue traps as recommended for adult fungus gnats and a potato, I read that the larvae will migrate to the potato and start to feed on it, leave it for a few days and remove it, and remove a bunch of larvae. With the proper water management and some trapping techniques...the problem was resolved.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Bug Man

The bug man, as many pest control professionals are affectionately called, is the face of the pest control industry. Professionalism, knowledge, and good relationships are all components of a good pest control person. Being professional means being neat and well groomed. Having passion for your job, as this shines through to the customer, and keeping your equipment clean and organized. Knowledge should be something that the professional never stops pursuing. Going to seminars and classes, keeping your credits up to date, and reading and researching are all important things to do. Your customer will know when you are B.S.'ing them, and many of them might even know as much as you might these days with the Internet out there. Good relationships are the foundation of any business and should be cultivated. Remember to send customers hand written thank you notes. This takes some time and a stamp, but it pays back a ton. Remember your customers birthdays and send a card. Holidays...send a card. Just some food for thought.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What works best for ants?

I've always been a big advocate for baiting for ants to gain control and eventually elimination. Sprays like Termidor and Phantom are both also very good as they act as non-repellents and will affect the ants nesting area as they wander back to their homes. If you are a do it yourself fanatic, then you may have to go the baiting route as baits can be picked up from your local home improvement store or from your local over the counter pest control company. Many times ant control products can be picked up online as well. Be sure to always follow label instructions if you are going to be a weekend warrior and be mindful of children or pets. One thing I can tell you that you absolutely do not want to do and that is spray some Raid on them in a panic. This is oily and can cause a slipping hazard and many times can chase the ants elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Where did my roaches come from?

I never had roaches before. My house is as clean as a whistle. It can't be a roach. These are just some of the statements people make when they see a roach and they wonder where in the world are they coming from? Roaches can come from just about anywhere. You can bring them into your home on a shopping order when they hitch hike from the grocery store in your bags. They can sneak into your pocket book when you place it down at the bank. One can crawl into your pocket while riding on the bus. As you can see, these "buggers" are sneaky, and if you see them and catch the problem early enough, your success of getting rid of them is greatly increased.
Sometimes you are the unfortunate recipient of your neighbors problems. If your neighbor has a bad roach problem, even if you live in a row home, they can often find their way into your home via cracks and crevices in the foundation or along the joists in the basement.
The neighbor issue is more of a tricky situation because you can't force them to do anything. If this is indeed the case, then being as diligent as possible with a proactive pest control program in your home would be your best bet. Pheromone traps, baits, and insect growth regulators will help keep the levels in your own home down.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I started my pest control what?

So you've been killing bugs long enough and feel confident you can do this yourself. You've started your business. Now what? Advertising your business is important, but being the best asset to your customer is how you will grow. Knowledge and skill is important, but customer service is how you will be remembered. Being on time, respecting your customers property by putting on shoe coverings and remembering not to plop your spray tank down on your customers carpets. A big smile and being genuine is what sets you apart. Listening and hearing what your customers tell you. Remember...this is a big deal to them...ants on the counter might not be that big a deal to us, but to your is the end of the world. Put yourself in their place and realize that they can sense when you are blowing smoke up get my point. Be all of the above and at the end of your service, slap a cheap magnate with your company name on it on their fridge, asking permission of course...this will keep you name and number visible and ready to refer to that neighbor who calls asking, "Who took care of your ants last week?" Good luck and success.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pest Control Blog Grows

I've been keeping this pest control blog since 2006 and have attempted to load it up with good information regarding a variety of pest like bed bugs, bees, roaches, mice and everything in between. I am attempting to grow the blog's readership and followers and would appreciate visitors becoming followers of the blog via the new button added on the right hand side middle of the page. I know how exciting this information sounds, because what can be greater than updates about bugs, but it would be a help and it would be appreciated. Thanks to everyone who have followed this pest control blog over the years and I hope to grow it and continue to bring new and refreshing pest control content on a regular basis. Regards. Bill.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Flies in the Winter

Ever notice that you could be sitting in your office or eating breakfast at the table and floating on by you see a fly? Can this be? It's winter time after all. Well unfortunately, flies tend to overwinter in the warmth of the walls of your home or office and on warmer days, they decide to see how things are going out in the world. These flies are a nuisance and can be down right annoying. Most times they are slow and lumbering, so they are easy to swat or suck up with a vacuum hose, but still...they are flies. How can you avoid this mess to begin with. It's hard. Sealing up holes around the home or office and around the flashing of the roof etc. is your best bet, but not always practical, especially if you have a large office building. Chemical treatments can also work, but must be timed right to do any good. For active problems, you can always use fly lights to catch them. Point is, unless you want to shell out the money for a power spray or for someone to do a thorough building seal, you might have to get used to your new found fly friends.