Friday, November 30, 2012

Do Bug Bombs Work?

Yes and no. Insect foggers or bug bombs as some people call them serve the purpose of releasing a "fog" of contact killing pesticide into the air with the hopes that it will contact bugs in areas that you couldn't get to while just spraying.

Foggers, while initially effective, often times push roaches into deeper hiding where the fog will not reach, causing roaches to re-infest an area a few weeks down the line. They usually won't affect insect eggs either, making the problem tough to get rid of by just using the bug bombs.

Insect foggers are also dangerous is misused. They can be extremely flammable and explosive and if not set off correctly it will combust.

The best way to use a fogger is as a tool in an overall program. Professionals will use a fogger to flush out the roaches and get them running. Before they set the bug bomb off they will put down a residual product around the perimeter and in cracks and crevices. Then the roaches or insect will run across the residual product and die.

One good application for a fogger is if you are dealing with large numbers of flying insects. A good fog can knock that problem down fairly quickly.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Stop the presses and call the army. MITES! For some strange reason, people freak out over these tiny little pests called mites. There are many kinds of mites. Rodent mites, bird mites, clover mites, night mites (just kidding), scabies mite, straw mites, and chiggers just to name a few. Most of these pests can be a nuisance to humans, mostly causing itching.

Luckily, mites can be treated and eliminated. Expel them from you life! Mites be gone. So how is it done? Most mites need the host to survive, like the bird mite, and some live off humans, like the scabies mite.

Bird mites, chiggers, rodent mites can all be successfully treated using a vacuum and some insecticide. Removing the birds from your home if they are nesting near by will help. They may take some time to control, but they will go away.

Other mites like the scabies need to be treated by doctors.

So all this fear and gloom and doom is for not. No need to be scared of tiny microscopic bugs crawling into your brain. Be brave.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Are Mice Living In My Bed?

There is a question you don't hear everyday. Can mice live in your bed? Well let's think about this for a minute. Mice love fluffy, soft nesting material, they love warmth, they also love food and water. A bed can be all those things to a mouse if you are the kind of person who like to nibble in bed at night and watch television.

Mice are opportunistic and very curious. A box spring or eve a mattress can provide a perfect home for a family of mice. I think before they would move in though they would have to have explored the rest of your home. Chances are, if you have mice living in your bed then you have a bigger problem than just the mice living in your bed. I would think that the infestation of mice has gotten so bad that mice had to leave the areas in the kitchen do to over crowding. They had to look for another frontier. This new world would be the upstairs and your bed is their cabin.

So if you suspect mice in your bed then I would recommend first calling a qualified pest control company to come in and do a complete inspection and make some good recommendation for control.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Bedbugs-Back From the Dead

It was only a brief ten years ago when the calls started coming in. It wasn't the normal ants or roaches, it wasn't termites or fleas, we haven't had those kinds of calls in forever. It was strange. What people were describing almost sounded like the bugs the old timers used to joke about. The bugs that were on the verge of taking over the country before the introductions of that super substance DDT.

It couldn't be though. Bedbugs? These bugs have been extinct since the 50's. Were they mistaken? Time would tell. Time would tell the story of how in a few short years, these bugs would become one of the most feared bugs the United States of America has faced in a long time, and one of the most loved bugs in the eyes of pest control companies country wide.

Today, one out of five Americans has been affected by bed bugs or knows someone who has. They can be in every nook and cranny of every movie theater, plane, train, or bus across the country,  five star hotels, cruise ships, hospitals, and any place in between The bed bugs do not discriminate. they are virtually unstoppable. The can not be treated by you or me. At the very best, you will need a professional, and you better hope he or she is trained and well versed in the elimination or the bed bug.

Why are bed bugs so hard to get rid of? One reason is due to the fact that they have built an immunity or resistance to the insecticides used to treat them. Another reason is the fact that they are prolific multipliers. They reproduce like crazy. In the matter of six months untreated you can expect tens of thousand of these buggers living in your home and feeding on your blood. The last reason I will touch on is the fact that they spread easily and hide like nothing you've ever seen. They are hitch hikers. You can sit on a bus in a seat where someone who is battling bed bugs have sat, a bug has fallen off of that person, and has latched onto your cloths. This bug was gravid or pregnant. Guess what. Now ya got them.

So now what? I have bed bugs. What do I do? Good questions and no easy way to answer them. First thing to do is hire a professional and do exactly what they ask you to do. They are going to show up at your door with a list of preparations that would make Santa's eyes bleed. Read it and do it. Next is decide how you want to approach the problem. This will be determined by what you can afford. You can fumigate if you are rich and you can have the bug guy spray if you are not so rich. If they fumigate you will have total elimination overnight, if they spray get ready for a battle. It will take a long time to get rid of them, and I say that statement with hesitation, because don't forget, they have a high resistance level to the sprays.

Another option is to heat. Heat treatments are in the middle when it comes to cost. The costs range from $1,600 dollars on up to $6,000 dollars or more. You get a decent knock down and I dare say elimination when using heat. Heating will still come with a healthy prep list and it must be followed.

So to sum it all out, bed bugs are in fact back from the dead, they are hear to stay, and it will only get worse, much worse, before it gets any better. Yes...we are going to need a bigger boat.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Watch Out For Wasps

It is that time of year when the bees and wasps are starting to look for lodging. That small paper wasp nest that formed in the spring time as grown to the size of a small city by now and yikes, they don't want you coming near them. When I say wasps, I mean one of the seven types of common wasps that can be a nuisance. Yellow Jackets, paper wasps, mud dauber wasps, hornets, potter wasps and pollen wasps, are all out making homes. Some are much more hot tempered than others, and they can cause some problems, so it is important to carefully consider whether you want to try to kill them yourself or hire a professional. There are many wasp and hornet sprays on the market that you can buy. Some are good and some are bad. What you don't want to do is buy a bad one, unless you can run like Forest. Some things to think about is how close is the nest and how large is it. If you have to climb a ladder and contort your body into a pretzel to get to a hornets nest the size of a basketball, you may want to call the pros. If it is a nest that is eye level and easy enough to get to, and there aren't a half million wasps living in the nest, then you may want to save the money and try it yourself. Whatever you careful!

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This blog is for entertainment purposes only, a place to get general information. It is not written by an entomologist. It is recommended that you seek the advice of a professional pest control  company before doing any pest control yourself or using any pest control poison or chemicals, as this can be deadly.

This policy is valid from 30 July 2012

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Kill Giant Bees

Have you ever gone out to your garden and notice what looks like sand soil dug out and wondered what was living in there? Then you notice it, the airplane of a bee hovering around the hole. Holy smokes! It's a flying cow. These bees that come out around this time are called cicada killers. A very large wasp that feed on nectar, but their young, the larvae, feed on cicada.
So what do you do? Well these wasps don't really hurt you if you leave them alone, but depending on where the holes are situated, you may need to eliminate them. I think the best approach is either to give a broad spray over the wasp and the holes, or dusting directly into the hole. Just use caution, and if you are nervous, call a pro.

Friday, July 06, 2012

German Roaches

German Roaches, food roaches, dirt roaches, however you call them, one thing is for sure, you don't want them in your home. These roaches do have a stigma attached to them, people often times think they are related to being dirty, this isn't so. Roaches can be brought into a home by an number of ways. Deliveries, shopping orders, visitors, infested neighbor houses can all be ways these roaches can find their way into your home. So what do you do once you see one?

Roaches can be easily treated if they are caught early. Using a good bait can be very effective. There are gel baits, stationary baits stations, powder bait. Baits like maxforce roach gel, advion roach bait stations, or avert roach powder are all very good to place out. One thing you don't want to do is spray pesticides and bait. You will cancel out the effectiveness of the bait.

Other products like victor roach pheromone traps are good to monitor your success. Another good product to use if gentrol. Gentrol acts by not allowing roaches to reproduce.

If you do decide to spray then I would advise reading the label carefully and using a product like Phantom, which is a product that is a non-repellent. You don't want to scatter the roaches, you want them to walk over the chemical without them even knowing it.

Lastly, what I would not advise, is using "bug bombs" or total release aerosols. These products often times drive the roaches deeper into hiding and makes the job to get rid of them even harder.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Become an Exterminator

So you have thought about starting your own pest control business and you are wondering if you have what it takes to be a professional. Well it's not as easy as filing the proper paper work and slapping a magnetic sign to your truck. There is so much that has to be learned in the field like chemicals, insects, local and federal laws, etc. Don't get me wrong, anyone can order the material from the Dept. of Agriculture and study what is nessassary to obtain your license. Once you have your licnese you need to apply for insurance and fill out the paper work for the state and bam, you are in business. I would not reccomend this path though, not unless you are truly dedicated to learning the trade. Maybe apply for a position with a pest control company first and then start the business.
Some things to think about would be do you wnat to specialize in just general pests, termites, wild life control, bed bug work, or all of the above? They are all good revenue streams, but again, it take learning.
Pest control is one of those businesses that is relative easy to start for a one man entreprenuer, but do ti the right way and you will be as successful as you want to be.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bees and Wasps

Wasps set up shop in the corner of your kitchen window? This is not uncommon. It is this time of year that these wasps are setting up shop for the summer. If you happen to stumble upon one of their nest, it is important not to over react. Take a look at the size and activity of the nest, and then come up with a plan. If there are just a few bees and the nest is accessible enough , you may be able to just knock the nest down with the pressure of a garden hose. Stand far away because the water will not kill the wasps, but the nest will be gone. Also be aware that the wasps that were out looking for food will be returning and not happy to find their home gone. So be aware of agitated wasps.
If the nests are more involved or larger, you may need to use a wasp spray that can attack the nest from afar. If the nest is bigger than you can handle, always call a professional.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bees In My Fence

All of a sudden start to notice large bees hovering around your fence? This time a year they are most likely carpenter bees. Think of them as a mom and dad bee, mom takes care of the not yet born young and dad hovers outside of the hole the bee lives in and protects his family. Funny thing is the dad bee doesn't sting, the mom does. What the dad will do is intimidate the heck out of you. Go near the area the carpenter bees are living and you will get chased.

How do you get rid of them? Always use caution. There are pest control supply products you can buy online. The treatment is long and tedious. There are often times many many holes. The other option is hire a pro. The last and most expensive is to simple replace that wooden fence or structure with a plastic fence. I think I soon will be getting a plastic fence. I hate these bees!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Stink Bug Traps

Stink bugs have become a real problem over the past few years, they get into the home and are big and ugly and well, stink.  So how do you control these stink bugs? Kill them? Stink bug traps? I guess it's a little of both.

So just what are we talking about here? What is a stink bug and why do we care? Well Stink bugs, or the brown marmorated stink bug, is an import from China/Japan. The bugs are very dangerous and destructive to fruits and veggies. This becomes an economical pest and aside from being a nuisance to us, they are especially hated by farmers.

For the home owner, there are traps that you can buy that go by names like Strubes and Bio Care. There are also companies that specialize in stink bug control. Coopers Pest comes to mind in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area. However you decide to get rid of them one thing is clear. It is important to do so.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Carpenter Bees

Great God's Trousers! The Wood Bees Are Back! That's right, wooden fences, fascia boards and any unpainted outside wood structures beware. The large bees that seem to make a perfect round hole in your fence post,  leaving a pile of saw dust behind,  are back to make your life a living hell. I hate these bees, better known as carpenter bees or more properly, Xylocopa virginica.

These carpenter bees can cause a substantial amount of damage for their size, unlike the other wood destroying pest, termites, these bees do not eat the wood. They burrow or drill into the wood and make a right turn. Now multiply this tunnel by many years and many offspring later, and you can see that the damage can be big.

So the next questions would be just how do you get rid of these rotten stinkin flying wood wreckers, and are they in the carpenter union? Well, you can exclude them or try to mechanically keep them out via painting wood surfaces outside with a heavy latex type paint. Even then sometimes they drill. You can use pesticides, this can be dangerous if you don't know what you are doing, so maybe call a professional, plastic!

No doubt carpenter bees are a pain...and if you catch them during their season you may have some success at getting rid of them over time, but this all depends on the seasons. This year in Pennsylvania they emerged March...due to a very warm winter and an unusually warm month of March. Their 2 seasons are spring and late summer, around August.

So, if you are unlucky enough to have these bees using your home for a breeding ground, you can do what I do, grab a tennis racket and swat the living bageesus out of them, call a pro, or try to do it yourself. Either way, be very careful.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Wood Bees

Can I reiterate my complete dislike of wood bees or as they are officially called, Carpenter Bees. We've had an unusually warm March here on the east coast and a few weekends ago I was painting my wood porch in the back and was bothered all day by these bees. I know they can't really harm you unless you provoke them in an extreme manner, and when I say extreme manner I mean grabbing a female in your hand, but I still hate them. Half my day was spent in wait with a can of wasp freeze trying to shoot them out of the air. One day I will get rid of my wooden fence that surrounds my yard and replace it with a good old fashioned plastic fence. Anyway...guess spring, and carpenter bees, are here.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Here comes the warm weather bugs

Can't get over what a warm and mild winter we had here on the east coast, no snow to speak of and spring like days in February and March. With this nice weather comes the early emergence of our creepy friends. Ants, roaches of all kinds, bees and wasps, beetles and crickets. Now that I think of it, ants have already intruded on our window sills at work, and that was in late February.
Now is the time to start a preventative approach to pest control. The granule baits are a good product to use, but even better, the gel baits are great. Give the ants the sugar they need to start the season off right, even though after that sugary meal they won't be lasting much further into the season. Later in the season they are looking for the protein to build up some fat for the winter, but now they want to run and go wild, and sugar is the way to go. Products like Terro work really well along with many other.
Have a great season!

Friday, March 09, 2012

The Amazing Bed Bug

Bed bug infestations have been called the perfect storm. I find this problem frustrating and fascinating at the same time. It amazes me that the roach is supposed to be able to survive a nuclear bomb, yet we can eliminate a roach infestation with a tube of caulk bait, and a bed bug infestation costs thousands of dollars in either chemical or heat treatments. Here is a quick fact for you, a single female bed bug, after mating just once, can continue to produce eggs the rest of her life without another mating. All that little bugger needs are meals. No wonder they are such an amazing bug.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It is funny to see how bed bugs have made it back into pop culture. It was only 10 years ago when you would mention bed bugs and almost get laughed at, it was 6 years ago when you had to scramble to find product labeled for these pests and get your facility management and apartment and hotel managers to take the problem seriously, and here we are in 2012 and we are watching bed bug references on the popular television show, The Office.

I say the more media coverage the better, let's get the EPA to tune in and see the hysterics and maybe they will lessen their stance on reviving older chemistry or approving some new products a bit more fast tracked. The Bed Bug epidemic is spreading like wildfire and costing folks their savings and sanity.

Don't let the bed bugs bite..

Click on the fastest way to kill bedbugs for more info.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Termite Season

Once upon a time, there was a couple two, three weeks that was know in the industry as the "swarm season". We are not too far away from this time of year. It was a time of year that would make or break many pest control companies, a time of year when new hires were brought on board and overtime was the norm. The lovely sound of phones ringing off the hook and panic stricken customers wanted someone to come out to inspect "with in the hour"!
Then a product called Termidor was introduced to the market, a termiticide unlike any other. You could treat the termites over here, and get a great kill over there. In fact, entire colonies of termites were eliminated. The swarm season started to become more and more quiet. Soon, the swarm season disappeared. Don't get me wrong, there was still plenty of termite work out there, you just had to look for them in a different way.
Was this lull in swarm activity due to a product or just a glitch in the biological spectrum? Termites have been around for millions of years. Maybe over the centuries there is time when they go into a dormancy for a short time, and then bang, they are back.
We shall see in a month or two...termite season here we come!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Giant Roaches

Aren't roaches supposed to be small and brown? Why all of a sudden am I seeing large, super large, roaches around the house? Then, the unimaginable happens. One of these roaches fly at me.
That's the story I used to get from families as they call in a panic looking for help. Sounds like these families  are experiencing a problem with American Roaches. Aside from treating the home, I would ask if they have done any plumbing work inside or outside the home. Usually these roaches are introduced into a home via a broken sewer pipe or if there is any excavation work close to the home. The other possibility is if a neighbor in a row home or condo has a problem like the one described above, and the bugs are overflowing into your home.
So if you suddenly start to see these large roaches in the home, call your pest professional and check your plumbing.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Seal those holes for Mice

Walking the perimeter of your home can bring many things to your attention to add to your "to do" list. One thing that should be on that list is sealing of any holes around the home. Cables, pipes, and wires entering the home can all be super highways that allow mice to enter if there is the slightest of a gap around them. Also areas like under the entrance and garage doors are areas of concern. If there is too big a gap then your doors might as well be wide open as mice can get under and enter the home at will. Weather stips at the bottom of doors can help. Don't forget to look up as well. Siding or flashing pulling away from the home can be entrance points for rodents and should be closed up if possible. So to sum it all up. Tighten the home up and keep the mice out.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Bed Bugs in Hotels

Bed bugs are prevalent in hotels. They travel just like us, in fact, they travel with us. So what's an unsuspecting vacationer or business travel person to do when checking into their home away from home? First thing is first. Put your bags right into the bathtub, and if you are able to live out of your suit cases for the trip I would recommend just leaving your suit cases in the bathroom. Keep as much as you can in there. What is the reasoning behind this? Bed bugs are opportunistic. They usually hang out on the mattress, or on the foot and head boards in the hotel room . This is the area you want to inspect upon check in before you do anything. Pull the headboard carefully off the wall and look behind it. Any bugs? Pull the covers off and the sheets down to the bare mattress, look for bugs. If nothing is found, you are most likely safe. Now at bedtime, check your body to make sure you have no bite marks, do the same when you wake up. If there is anything new on your body then it is possible that you were bitten by bed bugs. Usually the bites will leave blood marks on your sheets. If you find this you should let the hotel know and get another room. Part two of this series will deal with packing up and going home without taking these creepy crawlers with you.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

If You Give A Mouse A ...

The popular children's book, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, demonstrates the popularity of mice. Mice are famous, pop icons like Jerry from Tom and Jerry and the top of the list, Mickey Mouse, dominate our culture and is a clear sign that people take kindly to the character of a mouse. But just how great are mice in the real world? Not so great. Mice are deadly. Major disease, gnawing on wires, and destruction of millions of dollars worth of food, are all examples of the darker side of the pop icons mentioned above. It is important to keep these rodents under control so that the darker side is kept under wraps and we can be allowed to enjoy the more popular figures like Mikey.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pest Control Info in the USA

I was reflecting on the early days when I first got into the pest control industry and how the pest control information was limited to books like the Purdue correspondence book or of course Mallis. It was important back then to subscribe to pest control magazine to stay on top of the trends and to have a good relationship with your supply vendor to stay on top of the latest and greatest chemicals.
All of that is still important today, it is just funny how the pest information is delivered. Websites, blogs, and even facebook is all the rage. You can get images of pests at will on the Internet and have a web conference with an entomologist in real time. It is just amazing to see how the industry has grown and developed into the cutting edge industry is it today. Proud to be a part of it all.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Mice are sneaky little fellows who like to munch in your food pantry and spoil your food at night. The problem is, they don't just nibble on your food, they can also nibble on your furniture, and worse yet, your wires. Mice and rodents in general are the cause of most unsolved fires which makes it worth going after these little guys early and often when you notice their signs.
Start with the clean up. Make sure all your vulnerable items are in plastic jars or other sealed containers. Clean up the crumbs, drain and clean the sink at night as they like a good drink like the rest of us. Take away all their treats and then place out some treats of your own. Mouse bait can be very effective if done properly. Also, some good snap traps baited with peanut butter, cheese, chocolate, and even string or cotton ball pieces work well. Give them a variety, is you start catching mice with a particular bait, then start using more of it. So go catch those mice, be generous with your "treats" and Don't be stingy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bed Bug Traps

For the longest time the top bed bug trap out there has been the Climb Up Insect Monitor. This trap I have used for a long time and they work very effectively. Now, FMC has a new product coming out called the VERIFI. This is a trap that lasts up to 90 days and uses a variety of attraction methods. I think this is going to become the new go to device int he future. I've tried to get a hold of one from my distributor and they are still not available as of today, but very soon they should be there. Looking forward to try these out.