Category Archives: Pest Control

Do I Really Need to Call a Pest Control Company If I Get Bed Bugs?

If you get bedbugs, you don’t have to call a licensed pest control company, but you’d be foolish not to, is the take-away message from a warning issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last August. “Using the wrong pesticide or using it incorrectly to treat for bedbugs can make you, your family, and your pets sick,” the EPA said in a consumer alert quoted by The Hill Healthwatch online. “It can also make your home unsafe to live in – and may not solve the bedbug problem.”

Alarmed by reports of dangerous pesticide misuse and extreme measures being taken by some homeowners and apartment dwellers in do-it-yourself efforts to eradicate bed bugs, the U.S. EPA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a joint statement last July warning consumers against using outdoor pesticide products inside their homes in attempts to get rid of bed bugs. Reports from licensed pest control professionals in the field and news media of people dousing their beds, their pajamas and even bathing their children in garden insecticides has caused growing concern among government officials, the medical community, public health guardians, and the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). The use of harsh chemicals not approved by the EPA for residential use can cause severe burn-like irritation of the skin and eyes, possible damage to the central nervous system, and may even expose you to carcinogens.

There have also been numerous news reports of house and apartment fires begun by desperate people using highly flammable liquids to kill bedbugs. In January, a Cincinnati, Ohio man who was wiping down his furniture with a mixture of insecticide and alcohol started a fire in his apartment when his cigarette ignited fumes from the chemical mixture. In July 2008, an Eatontown, New Jersey man blew up his apartment while attempting do-it-yourself pest control. A pilot light ignited the chemical spray and fumes causing an explosion that blew out the front windows of the apartment and resulted in a fire that destroyed the man’s apartment and caused serious damage to neighboring units.

Pest control firms reported seeing many ineffective and potentially dangerous measures used by do-it-yourselfers, including ammonia, bleach, fire, smoke, kerosene, wasp spray, and bug bombs, as well as concentrated pesticides bought on the internet,” University of Kentucky entomologist and national bedbug expert Michael Potter, writes in Bugs Without Borders, Defining the Global Bed Bug Resurgence, an international survey of pest management companies recently conducted by the University of Kentucky in conjunction with the NPMA. “As bedbug victims become more desperate, serious injury may result from such applications, especially among those who choose not to hire a professional,” he warns.

Bedbugs do not always respond to home treatment. These apple seed-sized insects that feed on human blood are hard to kill, a function of their biology and behavior. At best, do-it-yourself home treatments may force bedbugs to relocate, spreading infestations more quickly. These insects have a tough, protective carapace that is not easily penetrated. To kill, pest control products must come into direct physical contact with the insect; and their eggs are unaffected by products currently approved by the EPA for residential use. When not feeding, bedbugs hide in inaccessible spaces deep inside minute crevices, inside walls, behind baseboards, under floorboards, and inside electronic devices. Bedbugs and their eggs are also easily transported on clothing and belongings, allowing infestations to quickly spread through a home or apartment building. This combination of biology and behavior makes it nearly impossible to kill an entire bedbug infestation with a single pest control treatment. Three professional pest control treatments spaced two weeks apart are typically required to successfully exterminate a bedbug infestation and ensure that all hidden bugs and newly-hatched eggs have been killed.

Professional extermination by a licensed pest control company with an expertise in bed bug elimination is the most effective way to exterminate bed bugs. The EPA, on the Bed Bug Information Page posted on its website, states, “Getting a pest management professional (PMP) involved as soon as possible rather than taking time to try to treat the problem yourself is very effective at preventing further infestations.”

Fast action is essential in battling bed bug infestations. Bed bugs reproduce at an alarming rate and infestations can grow quickly. During its 6- to 12-month lifespan, a female bed bug can lay 500 eggs with offspring capable of reproducing within a month. It is common to see three or more bed bug generations present in an established infestation. Prompt treatment in the earliest stages of infestation can limit the infestation and prevents it from spreading.

To successfully treat bedbug infestations, licensed pest control professionals employ a combination of environmental management procedures, called Integrated Pest Management (IPM), and a variety of pest control materials approved by the EPA for residential use only by licensed pest management professionals. Effective bedbug extermination begins with meticulous pre-treatment preparation to remove clutter, clothing, bed linens and other items that might allow bedbugs to escape exposure to pest control materials. When site preparation is complete, a combination of pest control materials is employed to attack bedbugs on multiple levels.

Concerns about health and safety issues that have arisen from misuse of pest control chemicals by unlicensed or improperly trained pest controllers and unqualified contractors trying to cash in on public fear prompted the EPA to warn consumers to avoid insect extermination services made with “unrealistic promises of effectiveness or low cost.”

Last July, a Newark, New Jersey pest control company was accused of illegal application of chemicals not approved for residential use. While providing bed bug treatments to 70 homes and apartments units, technicians sprayed powerful chemicals on mattresses and children’s toys. In Cincinnati, Ohio last June, an unlicensed contractor hired to exterminate bed bugs saturated an apartment complex with an agricultural pesticide, sending seven tenants to the hospital and causing public health authorities to quarantine the property.

In the hopes of preventing such incidents, the NPMA recently developed Best Management Practices for Bed Bugs (BMP) to serve as a guide for both the industry and consumers. A list of consumer tips for selecting a pest professional provided in the BMP recommends that consumers hire only qualified and licensed pest management firms to protect their health and safety and ensure that the pest control services they receive are safe and effective. The NPMA further recommends that consumers give preferential consideration to licensed pest management firms that have attained QualityPro certification, indicating that they exhibit the highest technical, educational and ethical standards in the industry.

The History of Pest Control

The application of pest control ranges from do-it-yourself arrangements to
scientific and very precise deployment of chemicals and predatory insects by
highly skilled practitioners. Despite the fact that pest control is a world-wide
industry it is still dominated by family or 1-person businesses. Those that need
to control pests range from householders to
large scale agri-conglomerates who need to maximise their yield. In between
these two are restaurants, bars, food production facilities, farmers – in fact,
anybody that routinely deals with food. Pest control can make us more
comfortable – but can also save lives.

The word pest is subjective as one man’s pest may be another man’s
helper. For instance, pest A may be a threat to crop A, and pest B a threat to
crop B. However, if pest B is a natural predator to pest A, then the farmer who
wishes to protect crop A may cultivate and release pest B amongst his crops.
There is a theory that without man’s intervention in the food chain through
agriculture, hunting and long distance travel there would be no pests. The
theory continues that man’s intervention (for instance, in cultivating and
releasing pest B, or in carrying creatures long distances) has upset the balance
of the food chain, producing instability in insect and other animal numbers and
distorting their evolution. This instability has led to over-population of a
given
species with the result that they have become pests. Having said this, if we assume that the very first fly swat was the first
instance of pest control – and we know that large animals swat flies – it could be
argued that pest control dates back way before humans came on the scene.

The first recorded instance of pest control takes us back to 2500BC when the Sumerians
used sulphur to control insects. Then around 1200BC the Chinese, in their great
age of discovery towards the end of the Shang Dynasty, were using chemicals to
control insects. The Chinese continued to develop ever more sophisticated
chemicals and methods of controlling insects for crops and for people’s comfort.
No doubt the spread of pest control know-how was helped by the advanced state of
Chinese writing ability. Although progress in pest control methods undoubtedly
continued, the next significant scrap of evidence does not come until around
750BC when Homer described the Greek use of wood ash spread on land as a form of
pest control.

Around 500BC the Chinese were using mercury and arsenic compounds as a means
to control body lice, a common problem throughout history. In 440BC the Ancient
Egyptian’s used fishing nets to cover their beds or their homes at night as a
protection from mosquitoes

From 300BC
there is evidence of the use of use of predatory insects to control pests,
although this method was almost certainly developed before this date. The Romans
developed pest control methods and these ideas were spread throughout the
empire. In
200BC, Roman censor Cato encouraged the use of oils as a means of pest control
and in 70AD Pliny the Elder wrote that galbanum resin (from the fennel plant)
should be added to sulphur in order to discourage mosquitoes. In 13BC the first recorded rat-proof grain store was built by the Romans.

The first known instance where predatory insects were transported from one area to another comes from Arabia around 1000AD where date growers moved cultures of ants from neighboring mountains to their oasis plantations in order
to prey on phytophagous ants which attacked date palm.

Despite the enlightenment provided by the ancient Chinese, Arabs and Romans,
many of their teachings did not pass down though time. Certainly in Europe
during the dark ages, methods of pest control were just as likely to be based on
superstition and local spiritual rituals as any proven method. Pests were often
seen as workers of evil – especially those that ruined food, crops or livestock.
Although there were undoubtedly studies of pests during the dark ages, we do not
have any recorded evidence of this.

It is not until the European renaissance when more evidence of pest control
emerges. In 1758 the great Swedish botanist and taxonomist Carolus Linnaeus
catalogued and named many pests. His writings were (and remain) the root and
source of future study into pests (as well as plants and animals generally). At
the same time, the agricultural revolution began in Europe and heralded a more widespread application of pest control. With the work of Linnaeus and other
scholars and the commercial needs to ensure crops and livestock were protected,
pest control became more systemized and spread throughout the world. As global
trade increased, new pesticides were discovered.

At this point pest control was carried out by farmers and some householders
as an everyday activity. By the early nineteenth century however, this changed
as studies and writings started to appear that treated pest control as a
separate discipline. Increasing use of intensive and large scale farming brought
matching increases in the intensity and scale of pest scares such as the
disastrous potato famine in Ireland in 1840. Pest control management was scaled
up to meet these demands, to the point that dedicated pest controllers began to
emerge throughout the 20th century.

In 1921 the first crop-spraying aeroplane was employed and in 1962 flying insect control was revolutionized when Insect-o-cutor started selling fly killer
machines using ultra violet lamps.

Pest control is still carried out by farmers and householders to this day.
There are also pest control specialists (sometimes called pesties); many
are one-person businesses and others work for large companies. In most countries
the pest control industry has been dogged by a few bad practitioners who have
tarnished the reputation for the highly professional and responsible majority.

One thing is for certain, from way before the Sumerians of 2500BC to us in modern times, there have always been – and probably always will be – pests (including some human ones!). Thank goodness, therefore, that we have pest controllers.

For information in Scottsdale for pest control click here.

Pest Control in a Warehouse

Arizona Pest Control in commercial warehouses is a big challenge for most pest control companies. Various types of pests, animals, and insects can plague your warehouse. Commercial warehouse clients know how valuable it is to treat warehouses and facilities effectively. Food stocks and other perishable items add to the difficulty of treating warehouses. There are 6 steps in protecting your storage and making sure that your warehouse is free from pest infestations.

  • Assessment. This is the initial step to create an effective pest control program. Assessing warehouses is a complicated job. Special concentration is given to entry points, food sources, water sources, shelter areas, and employee and customer corners. They will also assess all areas in the warehouse like cafeterias, pantry, janitorial closets, storage room, utility room, comfort rooms, and shipping and receiving area.
  • Examine building design. After the thorough assessment and identifying existing and possible problem areas, the next thing to do is find out the building’s customer and employee traffic which is the total number of individuals going in and out of the building every day. Inspect entry areas such as pedestrian doors, electrical conduits, overhead doors, water sources, and exterior perimeters including dumpster areas, fence lines, storage buildings, etc.
  • Pest ID. Each type of pest has a different treatment technique depending on the reaction of the pests to each treatment. Pest management professionals usually gather information from employees to get precise information about the pests to avoid further infestations and monitor current problems.
  • Customized programs. Each warehouse is different from the other warehouses, thus, each warehouse requires a different pest control program from the other. Some factors to consider are location, age of building, weather, size of the warehouse and many other factors. To develop the best pest management program that will fir the requirements of your warehouse, professionals will inspect and break down facilities and will talk to employees.
  • Sanitation. The bottom line in every pest control and maintenance is sanitation. The success of any pest control program and maintaining pest free warehouse will depend on the sanitation in your warehouse. Pest controllers will make use of service record logs, application records, sighting logs, and sanitation report for the program to be effective. You will be able to prevent health risks, financial and legal problems connected with pests’ invasion.

Integrated Pest Management Techniques

Integrated pest management is a pest control technique that uses inspection, records, sanitation, elimination, traps, pest monitors, and chemicals if necessary. Combining these techniques will provide a program that will eliminate pests. The approach used in controlling pests centers on sanitation and prevention. It will also teach your employees on the right practices and correct strategies on pest control. The IPM method diminishes the use of dangerous chemicals and other harmful materials. Other services that are offered may include:

  • Caulking lines and pipes
  • Using rodent and insect traps
  • Installing or modifying insect traps
  • Making changes in the structure
  • Documenting insect sightings
  • Maintain records and reports for clients and officials
  • Commitment to safety. Be certain that safety is necessary to IPM as much as it is necessary to warehouse industry.

The program’s key benefits may include the following:

  • 24-hr service. Services are available anytime you need them. They have flexible schedules and plans based on warehouse needs.
  • Best quality. Quality level is monitored consistently and surpasses standards set by state and licensing bureau. They provide personalized sanitation and documents together with logbooks. Their technicians are licensed who passed a thorough background investigation.
  • Clear communication. IPM provides the best results. Their log books give access to pertinent data, proposed guidelines, and reports which are needed during inspection, safety and review check.
  • Professional entomologist. You will be able to hire pests and insect experts that are knowledgeable in what they are doing.

Types of warehouses that pest control services can help includes:

  • Data warehouse
  • Food warehouse
  • Dry goods warehouse
  • Importers warehouse
  • Exporter warehouse
  • Wholesalers warehouse
  • Transport business
  • Customs warehouse
  • Automated warehouse
  • Refrigerated warehouse
  • Manufacturing warehouse
  • Third party logistics warehouse
  • Cold storage warehouse
  • Drug warehousing
  • Moving and storage companies
  • Medical warehouse