Friday, December 09, 2011

Do sonic electronic mouse repellers work?

Sonic mouse repellers have been around for quite a while, and becasue of this fact they must have some repelling effects or else they would have gone curb side years ago. One thing I can say about these rodent repellers is that is you are going to spend money on these, be sure to gett he kind that allows you to change the frequesncy manually from time to time. Mice and rats can get used to the frequency over time, so changing the frequency will help give you the success you are looking for when trying to evict those nasty rodents.

Mice in my sofa?

I get many questions about mice living in furniture. Can they live in my chair or sofa? The short answer is of course. It is like a high class condo for mice. Think about it, all that cushion material for nesting, the yummy crumbs that fall between the seat cushions as you snack and watch television. Having said that, how spooky is that to think that you are relaxing at night with Micky and Minnie inches away!
So what to do if mice moved into your couch? Catch them of course. Build a fortress of glue boards under and in back of the sofa and see what you catch. Remember, if they are in fact nesting in the furniture, you may have to deal with several mice families so the battle may be waged for weeks until all is clear. Happy Hunting!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snow Bugs

We got an early snow storm this year int he Northeast and it got me thinking about snow bugs. Is there such a thing? I looked around and it looks as if there is a snow flea that you can see hopping about on melting snow. These "snow bugs" are not really true flea, but a member of the spring tail family. Although I have never been called out in the past to exterminate snow fleas, I thought it would be interested to see if there were any bugs out there that might cause an Eskimo to pick up the phone.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Are Roaches Coming From My Neighbor's House?

Are the roaches I am seeing possibly coming from my neighbor's house? This is a question you hear often, and the answer is yes, it is possible. Roach problems like this between neighbors often happen more in row home or apartment and condo situations. With the close proximity of a row home and sometimes with the common joist set up, or in the case of apartments where pipes and wires are all common, it is the perfect highway set up for roaches to travel back and forth.
If you are faced with this problem it is best to team up with your neighbor, swallow your pride, and set up pest control services for all the homes affected.
Once thing you don't want to do is set off "bug foggers" in your home. This will only spread roaches back and forth for sure.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Bed Bugs-Fastest Way To Kill Them.

If you are unlucky enough to have bed bugs, lucky enough to live in a single home, and wealthy enough to afford it, then fumigation is the fasted way to kill bed bugs 100 percent!
You can always fumigate the contents of your home if you live in a row home or apartment complex, but you still need to deal with the bugs that are embedded in home itself. tenting the entire home and having a bed bug expert pump gas into that tent, now you are talking.

The next best technique out there is heat treatments or thermal remediation for bed bugs. This is where a bed bug control company will come in and heat up your home, apartment, or dorm to about 130 degrees for hours and hours.

Then there are all the others. Chemicals, traps, monitors, mechanical means, are all options for the control of bed bugs. Did I just say control? Not elimination? Yes I did and unless you find a thorough pest control technician to do the proper job with the proper follow ups, then you will only get control at best. Chemical treatments are tough because of bed bug resistance and the fact that the bugs can be living in just about any crack or crevice, any pants pocket, and match book, any school bag, any hollow curtain rod, any screw head, any where.

So one two three would follow the above recommendations for the fastest way to kill bed bugs.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Repel mice and rats

Want to repel mice and rats? Stop them from running along pipes, duct work or other runways? Well now there is a new product out by a company called Bird Barrier of all people. It is called Rat Out Gel. This product comes in a tube of caulk and smells like Sunday dinner. A strong garlic smell comes with the rodent repellent, so a little goes a lot. This product is yet to have field results from what I hear. I sat in on a seminar given by one of their sales reps and it sounds like it can be used in an integrated program. Something to consider.

College and Bed Bugs Visit Home

In the old days when it was time to go home for Thanksgiving you'd toss some cloths in a bag and off you'd go. Maybe you were that student who saved all the dirty cloths for mom to wash at home and came back with bags and bags of cloths.
These days things are different. Bed bugs are out there. You have to think and act differently. If you want to limit the risk of bringing bed bugs home with you on a visit you have to limit what you bring home. Try to make things fit in one bag. A large duffel bag is the best. Take that bag and all the cloths you are taking home and throw them all in a large laundry mat style dryer on high heat for about 45 minutes. Be sure to put a pair of sneakers in as well. Bed Bugs love to hid in sneakers. Once this is done then you have a better chance of not bringing any bed bugs home. This is about the only way to hopefully not infest your mom and dad's house in these days and times.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Slow Big Flies

This is the time of year moving forward that you start to notice a fly that is big and slow. These flies are so slow you can almost go up and pick them off the wall. These flies are called cluster flies. They linger on the sunny side of your home or building and when the weather gets cold they find whatever crack or crevice they can find and come inside.
So what do you do when they are inside. These ugly flies are best controlled with a vacuum hose. This is more environmentally friendly than sprays.

Simple Bed Bug Monitor

College can be exciting and fun, but it can also be an opportunity to get bed bugs. Holiday breaks like Thanksgiving and Christmas when college students return home can be a time when these bed bugs can transport home with you and infest your mom and dad's home. So how can you tell if you have bed bugs in your dorm or apartment complex?

One simple and cheap monitor to use is a called a Climb Up Interceptor. It looks like a cup that you place under your bed legs and furniture legs. Bed Bugs will gravitate towards your bed and get trapped in the cups. If you are unfortunate enough to see bed bugs trapped in these traps, then you know for sure you have a problem. Bring this problem to the attention of your school and let your parents know. The next post will deal with how to travel to a fro without exposing others to bed bugs.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's working for bed bugs

To wipe bed bugs off the face of the earth is the dream of most folks whose lives have been touched by the scourge. A dream more than a reality unfortunately. One thing that seems to be working is heat. There are good and bad reviews and good and bad companies. The best thing to do is research sites like Angie's List for pest control companies that use thermal remediation or even google will have reviews to look at. Heat is expensive, but effective if used in conjunction with some other treatments like dusting. So research and do yourself another favor...listen to and cooperate with the pest control company you do hire.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Get Rid Of Mice

Getting rid of mice can be easier said than done. Yes they are curious creatures, but they also multiply like crazy, so the odds are against you. Mice can live almost anywhere, nesting in your sofa or other furniture, behind walls, under sinks, anywhere they can gather some soft material to nest. Hmm...soft material. Yes, , mice like to gather material to nest with. Hint number one. Get some cotton balls and attach it to the trigger of a snap trap, maybe drip some peanut oil on the cotton ball to make it even more interesting to our curious friends, and let them snoop their way to their doom.
Baits can also be effective, though in some situation dangerous, and you also have to deal with the dead mouse smell and possibly flies.
Lastly, whatever method you decide to go with, be sure to use lots and lots of them. Don't skim and don't be cheap. Happy hunting.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Where you get bed bugs

Yard sales, thrift stores, buses, trains, planes, hotels, motels, cruise ships, office buildings, schools, day cares, restaurants, laundry mats, dry cleaners, super market, movie theater, taxi cabs, hospitals, doctors offices, air ports, train depots, moving trucks, mattress delivery trucks, furniture delivery trucks, rental stores, dorm rooms, colleges, high schools, homes, apartment buildings, EVERYWHERE!

You can pick up bed bugs anywhere, it is time to come up with a plan and accept the fact that it is not IF you get bed bugs, but WHEN.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy Long Legs

On this fathers day I thought I'd write a quick post on "daddy" pests and the only one I could come up with was the daddy longs legs spider. How fair is this? The females have the queen bee, the lady bug, the black widow has her story, but the guys...not so much. If anyone out there has any ideas or stories post the in the comments, and have a happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Green Beetles

Green beetles are no doubt pests that people hate to deal with, and the worst thing you can do is not deal with it. The reason for this is because these green beetles are most likely Japanese beetles which are highly destructive plant and turf pests.

These beetles came to America for vacation at the Jersey Shore one day and decided to stay way back in the early 1900's. They have grown ever since, being sighted in more than 22 states across the county.

These Japanese beetles are extremely destructive in both their adult and larvae form, which is why it is so important to get them and keep them under control. Easier said than done sometimes. So just how do you accomplish this?

Beetle traps are a good method of trapping the green beetles in their adult form. If you place out the trap and it is filled up in one day, you have a problem, and should search for the grub version in you lawns. If you put the beetle trap up and only a few are caught with in a week then you don't have much to work about.

So you got a full trap? Now it is time to go grub hunting. Check for dead spots in you grass. Check around the edges of the dead spots by digging into the soil. Dig out a 8 by 8 by 3 inch sample of turf and look in the roots for grubs. A pain in the butt? Yes. You can hire a specialized pest control company to do this as well. You can treat for grubs with a product like Merit.

Some other methods include using fungi or parasites to get to them. Nematodes like
Steinernema glaseri and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora work the best, now say that ten times fast.

To sum it all up, these green beetles are a pain in the butt to kill and extremely damaging to the environment. It is possible to control yourself, but you may also want to consider bring in a professional.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I used to get many calls about roaches all of a sudden showing up in a clients kitchen. They never had roaches in the past and their home is clean. So where do they come from? Most of the time they come in on a delivery or shopping order, believe it or not, roaches also live in super markets. As clean of a place as the store might be, it is almost impossible to keep roaches out of a building that is constantly getting deliveries like a super market. So when you bring home a shopping order, chances are you may bring home a bug or two that you don't want.

Another way you may suddenly get roaches is if you have a guest visit your home who may have roaches. Roaches can hitch hike in purses, pockets, shoes, and once they are in they make themselves at home.

Thankfully roaches are easy enough to get rid of, especially if you catch the problem early. Call a professional and relax.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Carpenter Bees

Wood bees, carpenter bees, big bees. No matter how you call them, they are annoying and scary. These bees tend to drill into the wood to lay eggs while the male bee hovers around the hole intimidating anything that comes close. I remember once while I was trimming some trees near my wooden fence a carpenter bee hovering right next to my head, when I turned around there it was scaring the crap out of me. I was on a mission at that point. I bought some wasp spray and stalked these bees, shooting them out of the air. I killed about ten bees. The problem is, the female bees survive in the hole, unless you catch them as they come back from getting food. My next step will be to wait for the season to be over, close to early summer, and spray inside the holes and pack with wood putty. This will help to keep them from coming back next year. I'm not expecting to never see them again, but hopefully it will be less.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kill Ants Fast

Easier said than done sometimes, killing ants fast is a tough thing to do once they have found their way into the home. If you are faced with a swarm of ants on your counter tops or anywhere in the home it is best to look around and be sure that you remove anything that will attract the ants. Wipe up any spills, put away any food or drink, sweep up any crumbs. Now it is time for the one two punch. Using bait of the gel and station variety is a good way to start. It won't be a fast solution, but what we want to do if get some food back to the nest to knock the population down . Gel bait on wax paper will keep the mess down, and the bait stations often times have a different bait that is protein based and depending on what time of year it is it is important to offer the ants both. After a few days of baiting, you may want to look for a good residual spray to take care of any stragglers. Some folks don't like to use chemicals and will only bait, this is ok too, but be sure to keep the bait fresh and eventually the ants will die off. If you do use a chemical spray, be sure to read the label and follow the directions.

One other technique is to have a walk around the outside to see if you can see any trails of ants going into a crack or crevice of the home along the perimeter. If you find this, use the gel bait and place along or right in the trail and also try to find a good granule bait to sprinkle near the trail. After a few days of baiting, again, use the spray to spray the protect the perimeter.

This may sound like too much work or a little complicated to get rid of ants, if this is the case don't forget there is always your local pest control company who is willing to help.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stink Bug Traps Dead Inn

Premiering in April 2011 is a product by Agbio that is called the Dead Inn Stink Bug Trap. As we have heard over and over again on the news and radio, this year is going to be an especially bad stink bug season, so a trap like the dead Inn looks to be a welcome addition to the arsenal of stink bug control products out there. Agbio is touting the stink bug trap to have been tested by leading universities with great success. Aside from mechanical alterations to your property and chemical treatments, using a trap is a great way to help lower the population is placed strategically around your property. So hopefully this year won't be as horrible as they are predicting with the tools being offered and the services the professionals are gearing up to deliver.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Real Estate Bed Bug Inspections

Are bed bug inspections on the horizon to be able to sell your home? We all know that this has been the case for termite inspections. Whenever you sell your home it is required that the buyer is able to hire a certified termite inspector to check the home out and be sure that there are not any problems with regards to termites.

There are some differences of course between bed bugs and termites, the biggest on is the fact that termites do incredible damage and can cost the home owner expensive structural repairs. Bed bugs on the other hand can do no damage, except for maybe some mental anguish, although I would venture to say that to eliminate bed bugs completely it is just as expensive if not many times more expensive to get rid of bed bugs.

I think that with the canine dog inspections out there these days to inspect for bed bugs, it would make sense to at least offer this inspection to potential buyers, although this would never happen unless mandated by law. Bed bugs have become such a problem and if it were me I would want to know if the home I am getting ready to shell out major bucks had no termite or bed bug problems.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Get Rid Of Ants In My Kitchen

Spring time is the season when ants and other buggers decide to come out and start the process over again in preparation for the fall. What a life. But what happens when these little ants invade your personal space, like your kitchen, and take over your counter tops and trash cans? Ants in the spring time are looking for food and where better to look than the kitchen. Salts, Sugar and protein, all found in that one place we all get together to make meals and all are items that attract ants. So what do we do? There are web sites that offer ant bait for sale and I would start with this. Spraying with products like Raid and other sprays often times will repel them to other areas of the house while killing only a few. The bait will keep the critters in the area and allow them to feed on the bait which will ultimately be taken back to the nest and start the process of killing the others. Be sure to use different varieties of bait, both stations and gel, and use a generous amount. Don't skimp. If you see ant activity outside near the home you will also want to get some granule ant bait and sprinkle outside as well, getting them from both sides. If all else fails then you can hire the pros. Be sure to ask them to use a product like Phantom for the inside and Termidor for the inside, these work best against ants. No matter what you do, be sure to have patience. Remember, ant colonies are huge, the few hundred that you see now is just a sampling of what is hiding back at the ranch.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Stink Bugs in Philadelphia

Get ready, get set, go go go. That is right, we are gearing up for what looks to be one of the worst stink bug seasons here in Philadelphia and up and down the I-95 corridor. Pennsylvania is the first state to have found these buggers stinking up place back in 1998 in the city of Allentown and they have been bothering the heck out of people ever since.

Introduced from the lovey lands of Asia, the brown Marmorated stink bug has no natural predators like it's cousin the green stink bug, this makes it difficult to keep them in check.

It is looking like this will also be the year of do it yourself stink bug manuals, traps, and even professional pest control companies are getting into the mix. If it were me, I'd put my money on the professionals. There is one company in New Jersey who is taking the stink bugs on in full force. So it is best to research the company and be sure they know how to control bed bugs and eliminate them from your life.

How to Move Without Bringing Bed Bugs With You.

Deciding to move away from a bed bug infestation in a personal decision that could involve the fact that the landlord is not supportive of your bed bug problem or your next door neighbor has them and won't do anything about them and you keep throwing good money after bad trying to get rid of them in your own home. What stories I do hear more and more these days are stories of moving, thinking you have resolved the problem, and waking up in your new home with bites. That is right, uprooted your life and brought the bed bugs with you. So how do you avoid transferring bed bugs with you to a new location if you are moving?

Start with your new location. Hire a bed bug canine to inspect the new location before signing any leases or mortgage papers. Ask your new neighbors if there has been any problems. Once you know the new place is clear, then you need to make special arrangements with the moving company. Let them know that you want to fumigate the truck contents before moving them into the new location. This will require 24 hours of storage in a secure location. Most larger pest control companies like Western Fumigation or any fumigation company at this point will work with you and the moving company to get this accomplished. It's a little pricey, but worth the money. Another option is to hire a few moving pods and have the pods fumigated if the moving company is nervous about the fumigation in the truck.

The other way to go is to hire a "heat truck" to move your items. These trucks are usually smaller in comparison to moving trucks, so it may take a few days to move all your items and several heating charges. Basically the items are placed on the truck, moved tot he new location, and heated for several hours to kill any bugs inside.

What not to do is have your items moved to an off site location to be unloaded into a heat or fumigation chamber, then once heated or fumigated, placed back on the truck to be taken to your new location. What if bugs fell off of the items onto the truck floor while moving the stuff? You are back to square one at that point.

I never said it is easy to move away and leave the bugs behind, but it can be done if you are smart and methodical.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Large Bees in my Wooden Fence

One thing that is a problem in my house is the fact that each year I get the large bees in the wooden fence that is around my property. We just bought the home about a year ago and this year my plan is to treat the areas before they start to become a bother. I always hated the way they would fly at you randomly and almost dive bomb you as you are walking by or just trying to enjoy the sun on a lounge chair.

These are known as carpenter bees, and they don't just infest fences. They often times will nest in wooden siding, sheds, the fascia board or wooden window and door frames around the house. They seem to love, well, wood. The carpenter bees are not eating the wood, they are excavating out a nest to care for their young. The holes are perfect circles and many times have frass or wood dust dripping from their holes. Left untreated, they can eventually cause some damage.

Treating carpenter bees can range anywhere from dusting a few holes with some insecticide to calling out the pros and power spraying entire areas of a house. Sometimes there are just too many holes to treat and too many that are hidden to treat independently. The best time to treat is either before they begin their active season in spring or waiting until near dark and spraying the holes carefully. The male bee can not sting and the female needs to be badly provoked, but she can give you a wallop.

Once the holes are sprayed then wait again until mid summer, if more are noticed repeat the spraying and then after another few weeks seal the holes with some wood putty.

It has been noted that covering wooden surfaces with a thick paint may help, but I have seen these bees go through that as well.

Do I Have Termites?

This is the time of year when traditionally termites swarm. Early spring. That time of year when you will be able to confirm if last years treatment worked or if a new termite infestation is brewing. It's the time of year when you leave for work int he morning and come home to a room full of half dead what look to be flying ants, but could very well be, termites. Termite swarms are easy enough to identify by comparing them to picture online or at one of my earlier posts about termites, and it is worth the research so when you call the pest control company out so they don't' sell you on a termite job that can cost and arm and a leg. If they are in fact termites and you get a swarm inside then you can be pretty sure that the infestation has been established for some time and it is prudent to have a termite job preformed. Be sure to get a few quotes and check that companies references.

Friday, March 04, 2011

EPA Update

Been a while since I posted, as you can see there was no rush to report on the EPA Bed Bug Summit as there was not much to report on in my opinion. The day consisted of mostly reports on how industries and associations have implemented preventative measures and some scientific genetic talks about the bug. No meat and potatoes was offered in my opinion. Nothing new to offer with regards to treatment and of course no talks of new chemicals to treat the bed bugs. The EPA needs to let the professionals who are licensed to do a professional job with a professional chemical that needs to be brought back or let a manufacturer design some new chemistry. Did I mention we are all professionals? It is sad the EPA doesn't trust the industry.
The next day consisted of some brain storming sessions. Not sure where this will wind up heading once all the ideas are compiled. These can all be sound at the EPA Bed Bug Summit website.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

EPA Bed Bug Summit 2011

Next Tuesday is the second Bed Bug Summit being offered by the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC. I plan to be there, pending snow and ice predicted for my area those days. I attended the last summit in 2009 and found it to be extremely interesting, and as the months and years went by and the ideas that were born at this summit grew, productive. The last Summit was about ideas, a national brainstorming if you will, but this one I hope is a Summit about solutions. We have protocol and procedure in place. We know about the chemical resistance and crazy genes these bugs have. We know about the research and we know about the turmoil these bugs are bringing to cities across the country. Now it is time for action. The government needs to understand we need solutions. We need a relaxing of the rules if you will to introduce effective chemicals to the market. We need research dollars. We need answers.
We shall see....we shall see.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Flies in the Winter Time?

Were you ever sitting at your dinner table or maybe watching the evening news when something catches the corner of your eye and you look to see a fly hovering about? Did I mention it was winter time? Believe it or not, it is not that uncommon for flies to emerge during warm days in the winter and come out to cause you some winter time stress, because we all know that they usually emerge when guests are over or you are preparing dinner, and what's more disgusting for either of those two events then some big lumbering flies hanging about?

The culprit in this winter time mystery is most likely a cluster fly. These buggers breed in earth worms and once seen inside the house, are most likely entering from a hole or gap in the house and have already set up shop in your cozy abode. So what do you do to get rid of them you ask? Vacuum. If you are seeing them in the winter, the best approach to get rid of your fly problem is to use a vacuum with a hose attachment and suck them away. Once it gets warmer outside, have a look around your windows and roof line and where the pipes enter the building to see if there are any gaps that these flies can get in and seal them up.

Cluster flies are not doubt an annoyance, but with a little diligence and caulk, you can start the control process with the ultimate result of eliminating from your structure. Easier said than done!