Improper Ways to Fight a Bed Bug Infestation

When bed bugs attack a home, people tend to panic and do things that are more harmful to themselves than the bed bugs. Read this interview to learn about things you shouldn’t do when fighting a bed bug infestation.

 

bed bug crawling across skinBoruch: Howdy, and thanks for listening to another episode of “Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist.” Tonight Dovid will be enumerating things you should not do when fighting a bed bug infestation. This is a follow-up to a previous podcast in which Dovid talked about things you should do when fighting bed bugs. You will remember that the first thing to do after you discover that you have bed bugs is to wash your bedding in very hot water. Then you want to apply heat to the seams of your mattress with a blow dryer with twelve hundred to fifteen hundred watts of power. Next, block bed bugs from climbing onto your bed by applying a layer of Vaseline around each leg or all around the frame of the bed. Lastly, place a mattress cover on your mattress. Now it’s time to hear from Dovid about things we shouldn’t do when fighting bed bugs.

Hello Dovid, it’s good to have you with us.

Dovid: It’s good to be here.

Boruch: Please tell the listeners about pitfalls they should avoid when treating bed bugs.

Dovid: The first thing you should definitely not do is to ignore warnings and instructions on the labels of any products you are using. So you should be sure that every product you use is specifically labeled for use against bed bugs.  Anti bed bug products may be sold as a concentrate, which needs to be diluted, or as a ready to use product. Just remember that the label is describing the lawful use of the product and is there for you. You’ll see my point if you consider the use of diatomaceous earth. This is a natural product that comes from the soil, and you can purchase it in most garden stores or home depot type places. But make sure to read its label. The label will list bed bug eradication as a product indication. Diatomaceous earth is a helpful product; however, it won’t eliminate bed bugs. Importantly, the label warning specifically tells you not to sprinkle the product in an area where there may be human contact. Specifically, do not sprinkle the product around your baseboards, on a part of the mattress where your face or unclothed body will be lying, or in an area such as a doorway, where the wind can pick it up and cause you to inhale it.

Bed Bug Extermination

In the modern vernacular, bed bug extermination has come to have the same meaning as bed bug eradication, and bed bug control. With respect to its historical roots, however, bed bug extermination has its own unique emphasis. As we shall see, it is most particularly related to steps we take keeping bed bugs out of our living environment.

Exterminate originally meant to drive away and comes from the Latin exterminatus, the past participle of exterminare “drive out, expel, drive beyond boundaries. The word breaks down into the two Latin words ex and termine from ex meaning “out of” and termine the ablative of termen “boundary, limit, end”

In practical terms, once bed bugs have entered the home, the only alternative is to kill them with thorough pest eradication. There is no magical pied piper who can successfully drive bed bugs out of the home. However, if you are a homeowner, there are steps you can take to prevent them from entering your house in the first place.

Bed bugs generally enter homes by hitching a ride on clothes, bedding, used furniture, or other type of fabric or cloth object, such as a suitcase, that has been in the public sector. But their means of conveyance are not limited to these objects.  For example, bed bugs have been known to enter a home hidden within  the pages of a library book. Between blood meals, bed bugs are so thin they can fit into almost any object they have access to , so if you are truly diligent about protecting your home from bed bugs, yo have to inspect almost any object that has been exposed to the public, including your own clothes and suitcases.

A review of recent articles about the spread of bed bugs does reveal a general pattern of public spread. Bed bugs will frequently leave a contaminated home on the clothes of an occupant, and then drop off that person in a public sector. Bed bugs traveling this way have been found in libraries, hospitals, fire houses, buses, airplanes, and just about any public area where people sit and congregate. If not detected, they can subsequently latch on to the clothing of another person and thereby enter his home. It only takes one pregnant female to infest a dwelling,  so this can be a very successful form of spread for bed bugs.

In addition to spread via clothing, bed bugs often enter new homes via used furniture, rugs or any second hand item. Bed bugs also are found in public places such as hotels and camps. They like to attach to used clothes and suitcases. People who have been in public places like these need to inspect their luggage and clothing very carefully when returning home.  All clothes which has just returned from a trip to a public place can be rendered bed bug free by placing them in the dryer for 10 minutes at high temperature. This will kill any bed bugs.

If you are going on a trip and  will be staying in a public hotel, you can find out if there are any reports of bed bugs sightings in that hotel by searching on the Bed Bug Registry By following the inspection procedures outlined in this article, you can successfully keep the borders of your domicile bed bug free.

 

 

 

 

Early Summer Treatment of Insects

roach eradication Baltimore

Basement Roach Infestation

Hello, this is Boruch Fishman and welcome to another episode of “Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist. Here we are in late June, right now, which as you all know is the insect season, and today we’re going to be talking to Dovid about general pesticide treatment of insects.

Boruch:  Dovid, we were chatting a little before the start of the interview and you were telling me that there’s a general pesticide treatment that you use when you’re called to the house to treat insect infestations. You want to explain to me first which insects you are treating, and how does the treatment work.

Dovid: Generally you want to keep in mind that the suffix “icide” means to kill, and so whether you’re primarily talking about an insecticide or pesticide the mode of action is basically the same, meaning you’re going to be using what is most commonly known as an emulsifier concentrate, an EC, which you’re going to be mixing with water, usually one ounce of insecticide to a gallon of water. And you’re going to be applying that in a course spray, which is a fan spray, which gives you a very wide berth, or pinpoint application, which is a very small thin stream. And basically, any insect that crawls through or around that particular barrier will pick up the insecticide on its legs, on its sides, and in the pores of their feet; and it will be absorbed into their skeleton and it will kill them.

Normally, a general insecticide is going to be almost odorless. It will be effective against spiders, ants, centipedes, stink bugs, crickets, millipedes, bedbugs, and basically all the insects that are crawling.  Now, with some of these insects you want to be more specific about where you make your application. If you are offering preventative service, than you want to apply insecticides heavily on the outside of the building, the outside exterior of the building. If you are going to be doing something that’s targeted to an active German cockroachinfestation, for example, than you want to apply that to the inside of the building, inside your cabinets, inside your drawers, and places like that.

Now, this is the first day of summer, and a lot of these insects will be escaping the warm weather of summer and they will tend to come in, so now is an excellent time to apply and an early summer insect treatment and it should last you for the rest of the summer.

Boruch: Is that right, one treatment, now, should cover householders for the rest of the summer?

Dovid: If it’s a mild insect proliferation, one treatment now should last you through the end or the middle of August. If you want to do something which is preventative all year around than you want to make that first application at the beginning of April, and an application now would, in essence, be your second application.

Boruch: Now let me ask you, if someone who is a condominium owner or renter has insects and he calls you do you also spray around the entire condominium building or just in his one apartment.

Dovid: I simply treat that particular unit. And I will eliminate all theinvading  bugs pertaining to that particular unit. Now people often use the strategy, saying that “my neighbors got pest treatment and now the roaches will come through the walls, and so I should get free treatment paid by them or by the condominium management.” But rarely do you have the situation where cockroaches go through the wall, and the rest of the building will have to play catch-up to you.

Boruch: Okay. Now, Dovid, what insects does this treatment not cover.

Dovid: It would not be sufficient to eradicate bedbugs. Now there’s a difference in terms of treatment application. Most treatment applications are for pest control, they want to control the pests that are bothering them. Now if you go into pest elimination, that requires more chemicals and more work and more money. Now when you are dealing with bedbugs, there is no real remedy in bedbug control. You don’t want bedbug control, you want bedbug elimination. It’s a lot more work and requires stronger chemicals.

Boruch: Okay. All right folks. You’ve just heard about it from Dovid. Now is the time to get an insecticide treatment. One treatment now, and you will be insect free for the whole summer.

Dovid: And anyone who clicks on a link from a website with this podcast, can get the entire treatment for only $99.00. I am running a $99 special if they say they saw it on your blog.

Boruch:  Okay folks, you’ve heard it from Dovid, if you heard about this special on my blog, you can get be pest free all summer for only $99.00. We’ll that’s it for another episode of “Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist.” I’m Boruch Fishman, have a pest free day.

 

 

How to Avoid Getting Stung by a Hornet

Baltimore Hornet Control

Hornet

Although many people consider hornets  to be a separate insect species ,  they are, in fact, the largest type of wasp. Like wasps, they are a members of the Vespa insect species . They are distinguished from other wasps by their large vortex, i.e. the space between their two eyes. Their stings are painful, and their nests are generally found in trees shrubs and under eaves. Fortunately for man, they are usually found in out of the way places.

Hornets  do not generally attack humans, and will only sting when they or their nests are threatened. If a hornet perceives  it is under attack or that its nest is under attack, it will respond viciously. While wasps generally threaten by flying around the head of their victim, hornets go right for the target, in dive bomb fashion. Their sting is more painful than a bee, yellow jacket or wasp.

Notably, hornets have a signaling capability so that when an individual hornet or nest is threatened; the entire colony will come out against the intruder. This can cause fatalities to victims of multiple hornet stings.

Should you accidentally come upon a wasp nest, it is important to proceed with caution, so as to avoid triggering a swarm attack. The following suggestions will help you to minimize your danger. Don’t make a loud noise. Don’t make a movement toward the nest with your body or arm. Don’t breathe on the nest or breathe on a hornet. Don’t prevent a hornet from returning to its nest. Do not try and break apart a hornet’s nest. Even if you are following instructions, don’t try to remove a hornet’s nest during the day, when hornets are most active. If you are stung by a hornet don’t panic, as a sudden move might trigger a swarm attack. Rather slowly move away from the nest.

More feared than the sting of a single hornet, is the insects  ability to respond to a series of signal pheromones, which can trigger a mass hornet attack. The pheromones are released, either from the body of a dead or crushed hornet, or via chemicals released when a hornet stings a victim. The pheromone signaling alerts members of the nest that a source of food, e.g. a local bee hive, is near, or else a perceived intruder is approaching. In either case the powerful chemical attraction mobilizes any hornet in the area to come and join the attack.

Due to the signaling system, it is always unwise to kill a solitaryhornet when found outside. The smell released from the crushed body will attract a horde of hornets, which will come out en masse against the hornet killer.

The pheromone chemicals found in hornet venom are also found in certain food flavorings, which can likewise trigger a hornet attack if they are taken on a picnic. Certain flavorings in bananas and oranges attract hornets. Other foods containing these natural flavorings attract hornets. Certain citrus scented products attract hornets, as well as certain volatile chemicals and perfumes. Because pheromones pare owerful at even small concentrations, wearing clothing or gloves that have been stung by hornets or worn while killing hornets, may attract a hornet attack if parts of the hornetwere smeared into the cloth.

Despite the potential danger of attack, it is important to keep in mind that hornets are not intrinsically aggressive towards humans, if you happen to see one or a nest, follow the recommendations provided in the report and don’t provoke them to attack.

America Still Battling With a Bedbug Infestation

Baltimore Bedbug Control

3 Bedbugs Sit on a Human Finger

We must recognize, reports Dovid David, a Baltimore pest control expert and Director of A # 1 Pest Control that we are suffering from an epidemic infestation of bedbugs, so severe that they are now being encountered in taxis, in the public bus system, in summer camps, and throughout the country. While bedbug bites don’t itch or cause pain, they are recognizable as bumps all over the body, which occur on a nightly basis. It is possible to differentiate between a bedbug bite and a spider bite by close examination of the bump. Spider bites have two little holes. Mosquitoes leave a red bump with no holes, but are accompanied by pain and itching. But bedbugs leave a mark without holes, pain or itching. Dovid Davis advises that if anyone finds that he has bites over his body for 1,2,3 or 4 nights running, he should first look for evidence of a spider bite. If he doesn’t find any spiders, and the bumps do not have two holes, and he is not suffering from the pain and itching, he should think of bedbugs. Another sign of bedbugs are little tiny droplets of blood on the sheets. If there are body bites on the upper torso,then smears of blood may be found on the upper sheet. If the bites were in the lower part of the body, then expect smears of blood on the lower sheets. Bedbug bites frequently go unnoticed for some time, because of the lack of pain and itching. According to Davis, some people don’t realize they have an infestation until a neighbor tells them in casual conversation that bed bugs have been found in the neighborhood. He subsequently checks himself, and finds the bite marks. While bed bug infestation is not deadly, it is annoying, and can lead to allergic reactions. Bedbugs spread rapidly, as well.They breed ferociously, and sometimes, at night, you will feel them crawling on you, which make it hard to sleep. If you suspect that your house is infected with bedbugs, it is best to call a pest specialist. A trained specialist will do a thorough check of your home to locate the sources of the infestation, and will apply the proper treatment, and especially to the bedroom areas. A # 1 Pest Control has a program specifically designed to irradiate your house of these pests. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Bedbugs: The Menace that has Returned

Bedbug control Baltimore

A Bedbug

A decade or two ago, bedbugs had all but disappeared as a major American pest. Then they began to return, and within the last few years their presence in American homes has burgeoned into a modern pest epidemic. What are bedbugs, what are their life habits, and why have they returned, that is the subject of this article.

Bedbugs are classified as part of the insect family Cimicidae. Three bedbug species feed on people. The most important bedbug species in human infestations is Cimex lectularius. Bedbugs may infest any type of warm-blooded mammal, such as bats, birds, and mice.

Cimex lectularius is most usually found in the northern temperate weather of North America . Europe, and Central Asia and is most easily adapted to city dwelling areas. It dwells less often in southern temperate regions. In Florida and tropical areas it is replaced by C. hemipterus. At one time, thanks to effective insecticides such as DDT, bedbug infestations were greatly diminished in number. In recent years, however, because of the ban on the most powerful insecticides, greater urban congestion and the increase in international travel, bedbugs have made a comeback.

IDENTIFICATION AND LIFE CYCLE

Adult bedbugs are wingless 1/5 inch long oval rusty red or mahogany in color. Bedbug bodies are very thin and they have long antennae. Bedbug eyes are tiny, and the area behind their head expands forward on either side giving the appearance of a renaissance ruff collar. The immature bedbug appear identical to the adults except for their size, thinner cuticle, and a lighter, yellowish white color. Bedbugs are readily distinguished from kissing bugs, the vector of Chagas disease by their smaller size, more rounded shape, and lack of wings as adults.

Bedbugs are known for spread rapidly because even a single pregnant female can infest a home. This is because the female bedbug lays anywhere from 200 to 500 eggs (in batches of 10 to 50). They lay their eggs in very commonly available places, including rough surfaces such as wood or paper. Bedbug eggs are covered with a sticky substance and hatch in about 10 days. Even after the egg hatches, the shells frequently remain on the substrate. Subsequently, bedbugs pass through five nymphal stages of growth. Bedbug nymphs require a single blood meal before molting to the next stage. The entire bedbug life cycle from egg to adult stretches over a span of time lasting anywhere from 5 weeks to 4 months, depending on temperature. Bedbugs develop more rapidly in a warm climate with thermometry readings between 72 to 80 degrees. Both bedbug nymphs and adults usually feed on mammals at night and hide in dark places during the day. Common bedbug hiding places include mattresses and box spring seams, cracks in bed frames, behind loose wallpaper, on the back of picture frames, and inside sofa and chair fabric covering.

Bedbugs can live for 80 to 140 days without any external nutrition; bedbugs at later stages of development can survive longer without nutrition than younger bedbugs. Adult bedbugs have survived without food for as long as 550 days. An adult bedbug can ingest six times its bodily weight in blood, and a bed bug blood snack can extend 3 to 10 minutes. Mature bedbugs live about 10 months and because of the average age when bedbugs start breeding there can be up to 3 to 4 generations of bedbugs during the course of a year.

Bed bugs may be picked up in theaters,  buses,  trains, and other public places, and subsequently brought into the home on clothing, bedding, luggage, or even firewood. Additionally, although much less commonly, bed bugs that feed on other mammals and birds, (chickens, mice, rats, and rabbits), that live near the home may under some circumstances feed on humans if, for example, their primary hosts disappear.

The Argentine Ant

Ant control Baltimiore

An Argentine Ant

The Argentine Ant  Spread from South America to the United States about 100 years ago. The ant  is known for its rapid breeding, which is the result of multi queen colonies that can survive even after the death of one queen, its friendliness towards its own species, and ability to subdue other ant species. The ant is also omnivorous, and can thrive in human habitations.

The ant  mostly spread artificially along lines of transportation. Originally entering through the Port of New Orleans, it was subsequently found in locations along every major rail line going out of New Orleans. From focal cities such as New Orleans, Birmingham, Montgomery, and Atlanta, the ant spread to local towns.

The ant  can survive in all types of soil and adapt to all types of vegetation, although it shows a preference for habitats where honeydew producing aphids are prevalent.

The ant  has invaded over a third of the states, infesting an area greater than 4,000 miles. One notable location is a huge super colony which stretches along much of the California coast line.

The Argentine ant  is, for the most part, warm weather restricted, although it can survive in states such as Missouri, Illinois and Maryland. However, during the winter, it is not able to live outdoors, in these areas, and migrates into homes to survive. In urban areas the ant can spread from house to house, and thus enlarge its distribution rapidly despite its inability to survive outdoors.

Because the colonies have so many queens, merely spraying the area with poison will not eradicate it. On the contrary, it stimulates surviving queens to lay even more eggs.The Argentine ant  can be eradicated through the prudent use of ant stations; however the special poisons in the stations do not kill the insects initially. Rather, the ants take the lethal meal back to their colonies where the workers and queens ingest the poison and die. The whole process takes about five days.

How to Recognize and Get Rid of the Pharaoh Ant

Pharaoh Ant Baltimore

Pharaoh Ant Baltimore

The Pharaoh ant  is a tiny light-yellow to red-brown voracious ant reaching 2mm in size. The ant is known for its aggressive breeding and invasive abilities. Pharaoh colonies proliferate by “budding,” whereby a segment of the colony, including queens workers and their brood, (eggs and immature ants), leave the colony to form an alternative nesting site. Unlike some ant colonies, the Pharaoh ants have no inter-colony hostility. They help each other out, and can consolidate into smaller colonies, when under attack from ant poisons or baiting stations They are therefore referred to as unicolony ants.

While many ant  colonies have only one queen, and are therefore easily eradicated, the Pharaoh ant has multiple queened colonies. Killing a part of the colony will only stimulate the remaining queens to breed faster, and lead to an increase instead of decrease in the ant population.

Unlike many ants, which have two breeding cycles each year, Pharaoh ants can breed continuously in an indoor heated environment, and this contributes to their rate of spread. While the ants prefer warm environments, for their colonies, they can nest almost anywhere, and colonies as small as a thimble, can be found between sheets of paper, or in furniture The abundance of these small nests makes it hard to eradicate a population of Pharaoh ants, and clearing an infested building can be a project taking years.

Pharaoh ants are adapted to rapid urban spread, and are capable of infesting a whole city block in as little as 6 months time. They quickly spread through the urban envirnoment, invading apartment dwellings, grocery stores, food establishment and other buildings. They can even thrive in unsanitary hospitals or rest homes. They are a health hazard in improperly sterilized hospital environments, entering wounds, invading drip lines and instrumentation. They are an exception to the general rule that ants do not spread deadly disease, as the Pharaoh ants are believed to carry bacterial infections such as Staphylococcus and Psuedomonas.

While attracted to sugared foods such as jellies, honey, corn syrup, fruit juices and soft drinks, they are essentially omnivorous and can subsist off of many other human foods including greases, shortening and peanut butter, They feed off their own dead and a variety of household substances such as shoe polish.Pharaoh ants can also destroy household material, and have been known to gnaw holes in silk, rayon and rubber goods.

The most effective eradication strategy for Pharaoh ants is to place baited ant stations in areas where the ants like to forage. The ants take the slow acting poison back to the colony, where the other ants will then eat it and die. Because they are omnivorous, traps set with ground liver mixed with boric acid, a slow acting ant poison can also be effective.

Homeowners should avoid the temptation of killing individual ants and trails of ants as they make their way to the ant stations, as this prevents the ants from collecting sufficient poison and carrying it back to the colony, which is essential for effective Pharaoh ant eradication. .

Getting Rid of Common House Ants

Baltimore Ant Control

The Common House Ant

Tiny little black ants  are common place throughout the world. Their name relates to their small size and their dark black color. They are usually only about 1/16th-1/8th of an inch. [spin]The Queen ants are about twice that size.

Little black ants  dwell underground in chambers hewed out of the earth. They are grouped in colonies, each containing a queen. The presence of a colony can be recognized by a tiny mound of fine dirt, seen above ground. They usually live at the edge of the forest or near human dwellings. Sometimes they are found in rotting tree stumps

Tiny black ant  colonies contain only one queen per colony. The queen breeds the worker ants who sustain the colony by foraging for food. After a colony has grown for several years, the Queen breeds a class of male and female swarmer ants. These are winged bearing insects. The swarmers engage in an autumnal mating ritual in which they fly through the air in search of a new colony. The male and female swarmers mate. The males die and the females tunnel under the earth to become the queen of a new colony.The queen lives underground without food until she has bred the new generation of worker ants who quickly go out and begin searching for food to sustain the colony.

Little black ants  feed on sweet fruits, honey dew made by other insects and scraps of human food. Occasionally they will enter into homes in search of food. They are attracted to sweets and crumbs of food found in the kitchen.The little industrious ants are busy night and day foraging for food and they can carry up to 20 times their body weight in food back to the nest. That’s the equivalent of humans carrying a 1,600 pound load! While adult ants have strong jaws, they imbibe food by sucking the juice out of the meal and leaving the dried residue.

When ants  enter into a house the best way to get them out is to set up ant bait stations, with ant poison. The ants will take the poison back to the colony, where they and the queen will ingest it and die. This technique takes several weeks to fully work, but is an effective form of ant eradication.

Getting Rid of Carpenter Ants in the Early Spring

Baltimore Carpenter Ant Control

Carpenter Ants

Hi folks, I’m Boruch Fishman, and I welcome you to another episode of “Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist.” In this broadcast, we’re going to explore the life cycle of the carpenter ants. I will share with you some of Dovid’s techniques for getting this insect pest out of the house

Carpenter ants  are large black, brown, and red ants, 3-4 times larger than the typical house ant.  Carpenter ants  make their colonies in trees with thick bark. They live in the trees, breed in the trees, and survive off the tree’s wood products. Their colonies consist of a queen, workers, soldier ants, and even slave ants, taken from captured colonies. Carpenter ants  are not attracted to sweets or food like other species of ants. However, they will move indoors when there are fluctuations in the weather. This especially occurs in the late summer and fall when the weather begins turning colder.

While carpenter ants are natural tree dwellers, once they migrate indoors they will make the house their new home and stay their throughout the winter months. They will usually gnaw out a new wood nest in which they will live.  Indoors, the carpenter ants will begin to burrow into the wood structure of the house. Carpenter ants  are wood damaging insects, and are second only to termites in their ability to chew through tree products. Beginning in February when the weather starts turning warm, carpenter ants  will begin emerging from the indoor wood nests they have been living in all winter. They initially appear in warm indoor rooms such as the kitchen.

Dovid Davis, the owner of A-1 Pest Control in Baltimore, Maryland  told me that  he starts getting calls about carpenter ants that have started to emerge beginning in February,. While the largest number of calls come in February, the ants  will continue making their appearance in the home until the warmer weather of late spring arrives.

Carpenter ants,  like termites, have a swarming cycle. Swarming begins in the spring when the weather warms. A portion of the ants in the colonies grow wings. Then the male and female swarmers take off in search of a new home. When they find the new location, the now pregnant Queen will  form the new colony, which over time will expand into a thriving termite community.

Dovid gave specific advice about how  to end a carpenter ant infestation. The homeowner or pest control specialist must first locate the queen colonies and then apply ant poison in liquid or crystal form. If the colony can’t be located it is also effective to use poison crystal and sprays on the ant trails. The ants will carry the poison back to the colony and eventually this will cause the death of the Queen and  end the colony.

The carpenter ant colonies may be found outdoors as well as indoors, and it is important to eradicate every colony that is found. Commercial ant feeding stations with boric acid are also effective; however, they take longer to act. One pesticide treatment is usually enough, but, if the colonies aren’t located, several treatments, in areas where ants are seen crawling, may be required.

Well folks that’s it for another episode of Day in the Life of Dovid Davis Pest Specialist, and I wish you all a pest free day.