Concerns Over Aerial Spraying For Mosquitoes

Much of the United States has been under attack by mosquitoes, and experts believe the mosquito problem is going to get worse. These mosquito attacks have many people worried because of the possibility of a West Nile Virus infection. CNN reports, this year’s West Nile Virus outbreak is the largest the United States has ever seen since the disease was first discovered in 1999. The state of Texas has been hit the hardest these last couple years, as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention state that almost 80 percent of the nation’s reported West Nile cases are from the Lonestar state.

Aerial spraying for mosquitoes is a common and effective way to combat mosquitoes and the spread of West Nile Virus. Dropping pesticides from the sky raises many concerns and questions, including possible reaction to DUET.

DUET Reactions

West_Nile_Virus_SignThe pesticide that is being drop sprayed to combat the mosquito population is called DUET. The most common reaction upon DUET exposure is a prickling or burning sensation on your skin. Other reactions can consist of a tearing in your eyes or blurred vision, and respiratory irritation if you inhale it.

Who’s Most at Risk?

It’s hard to predict what kind of reactions, if any, people will have to the pesticides, but people that already have allergies, lung disease, lung cancer, asthma, and other respiratory infections are more at risk. Pregnant women also need to take added precautions. Although it’s not time to panic, health professionals are urging the public to take certain precautions throughout this process.

Aerial Spraying Precautions

  • Stay inside until it settles—usually a couple of hours
  • Bring pets inside
  • If your real sensitive to chemicals, leave town
  • Don’t wear the shoes you wear outside, inside your home for a few days
  • Wash vehicles, toys, patio furniture, pet bowls, fruits, and vegetables.

Pest Control Console

If you are concerned about the DUET pesticide, the West Nile Virus, or mosquitoes on your property, contact a pest control professional today for more information.

10 Ways To Control Allergen Causing Dust Mites

House Dust MitesYou cough! You sneeze! Your eyes water so much it’s difficult to even see! I’m talking of course about allergies, and one of the leading causes of allergies in the United States happens to be a microscopic bug called a House Dust Mite.

While some people experience seasonal allergies caused by high pollen in the air, many people experience year round allergies that are frequently caused by these dust mites. In fact, some 35 million people suffer from dust mite allergies.

Read More About The Worst Allergy Cities In The Country

What can you do about dust mites? Even the most zealous housekeeper cannot completely eliminate dust mite populations, but there are a few steps you can take to help control these teeny-tiny pests.

Sleeping With The Enemy: Dust Mites In Your Bed

Before you can control dust mites, you have to understand one important characteristic. If you are the least bit squeamish, do not read what I’m about to say next. You’re sleeping with dust mites! Yup, right on top of them in fact. You bed is their favorite hiding spot, and the majority of them are in your mattress. They crawl on you while you sleep… In and out of your nose and ears, feeding on the dead skin and dander that you shed.

It gets worse. After only two short years of owning your mattress, some 10 Million mites can call it home. The longer you own your mattress, the more dust mites it can have. Yuck!

10 Ways To Control Allergen Causing Dust Mites

clean bedding1. Dust mite covers. Look for dust mite covers that are allergen-impermeable at any high end department store. Encase your mattresses, pillows, and box springs with these covers. Replace mattresses every 3-5 years for severe cases.

2. Hypoallergenic pillows. Just like dust mite covers, these pillows can be found at most department stores in, and will help with all types of allergies, including dust mites.

3. Frequently wash bedding. All of your sheets, pillow cases, blankets, mattress pads, and even comforters need to be washed at least every two weeks. Opt for hot water above 120 degrees for best results.

4. Vacuum. Frequently vacuum your home, especially carpeted bedrooms, to remove unwanted dust and mites. I’m talking vacuuming every day if necessary until your symptoms subside. You may look to invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter attached. Empty your vacuum frequently. If your vacuum requires bags, opt for backs that are double the thickness.

5. Dust. I know, this tip seems obvious, but dust mites live in dust. Just one particle of dust can contain over 42,000 mites. Keep all areas of your home, especially the bedroom, dust free. I recommend wearing a mask while dusting, and leave the room for at least 20 minutes after you finish cleaning.

6. Air purifiers. You’ll be surprised how effective a HEPA air purifier is at removing all types of allergens in your home, including house dust mites.

Allergy Pollen HEPA Air Filter 7. Install allergen filters. Install allergen-trapping filters in air conditioning and heating systems inside your home. If you sleep with a CPAP, make sure it has a filter as well. Regularly change out these filters.

8. Blinds not curtains. If your bedroom has cloth or fiber curtains or draperies, look to replace them with decorative and stylish wood-slated blinds or shades. Also look to remove any fabric-based wall décor inside your home.

9. Wood or tile flooring. Dust mites love your fibrous carpets. Give these pests one less place to hide by switching out carpet for wood or tile flooring.

10. Wood, leather, or vinyl furniture. For extreme cases of dust mite allergens, get rid of all upholstered furniture. Like your carpet, dust mites love these areas. Opt for wood, leather, or vinyl furniture instead. Think about using dust mite covers on your furniture as well as your bedding.

House Dust MiteHouse Dust Mites

In the United States, the House Dust Mite is one of the leading causes of asthma, eczema, and allergic symptoms. Their effect on human health is significant. The gross thing is that it’s not the actual dust mite that causes asthma and allergic symptoms… It’s their feces!

House Dust Mites are actually related to spiders; in the class Arachnida. These adult mites are pale in color, have eight legs, no antenna or wings, and only have one body segment. Dust mites feed on the dander shed by both humans and pets. They also will eat feathers, mold, and fungus.

Another problem with these pests is that they are nearly invisible to the naked eye, measuring a mere 1/100th of an inch. They can be almost anywhere. However, these tiny pests do need high humidity, above 60%, to survive. Avoid using humidifiers in your home if you are allergic to dust mites.

Are you living with a dust mite allergy? We’d love to hear your story!

Pest Control: Your Friday Links Round-Up

Black House SpiderPest Control: Your Friday Links Round-Up

Fall Wasp Wars

Every autumn, homeowners wage war against wasps and hornets. These flying pests grow excessively aggressive as their preferences move from proteins to sweets. Learn more about these wasp wars.

How to Get Rid of Bugs in Acorns and Pine Cones

Many of us use pine cones for holiday decorations every year, but unknowingly bring pests into our homes by doing so. Here’s a step by step guide to getting rid of these unwanted bugs so you may continue using acorns and pine cones for decor. More…

Plants Enlist Aid From Birds For Pest Control

When trees or plants are under attack from insects, they can emit certain scents that attract birds. The birds in turn then gobble up many of the plants-munching bugs. More…

Tips to Pest Proofing Your Home This Fall

With the change of season comes a different challenge for homeowners because it is also a peak time for pests to make their way indoors. Learn to protect yourself, here.

When Are Carpenter Ants Active?

Click here, to learn more about the most active times of year for carpenter ants.

Carpenter BeePest Of The Week: Carpenter Bees

Measuring almost an inch in length, Carpenter bees get their name for their love of all things wood. They will build their nests in building frames, dried wood, tree stumps, and bamboo by chewing through it. They can be destructive pests, despite their ability to beneficially pollinate.

These bees look almost like bumble bees, but are a little bit smaller and have a glossy, hairless, black abdomen. Throughout the spring and summer months, female Carpenter bees gather nectar to transform into their “bee bread” which they feed to the rest of the colony.

There’s more good news (other than beneficial pollination) about Carpenter bees… The males that one usually sees buzzing around the hive cannot sting.

Pest Control Links Round Up: Halloween Edition

Jack_o_LanternPest Control Links Round Up: Halloween Edition

Scary Pest Facts – Happy Halloween!

In honor of Halloween, we wanted to share a few creepy facts about pests that can be pretty scary! More…

Creepy Halloween Movies – Tarantula

Clark Pest Control gives a few insights on the 1955 classic movie, Tarantula! More…

Have A Safe, Happy & Pest Free Halloween

Take a minute and enjoy a Halloween roach video. More…

The Scariest Spiders in the World

Nothing gets people on-edge quite like spiders. A popular rumor states that no matter where you are you are usually about eight feet from a spider. More…

Vampires In Your Bed

Bedbugs are like vampires but you can’t use garlic to defeat these bloodsuckers. Here are some tips:

Little Brown BatPest Of The Week: The Little Brown Bat

What better pest of the week for the week of Halloween, than the Little Brown Bat. While these bats are pest control agents of their own, eating millions of pounds of insects every year, they can also be pests of their own; nesting in attics, voids, and chimneys of homeowners.

The Little Brown Bat, with dark brown fur as its name suggests, is one of the most common bats in the United States. This bat’s fur glossy brown on the back; with an upper body that is slightly paler; with a grayish fur underbelly. Compared to other species of bats, the Little Brown bat is smaller in stature.

Over the last decade, it has been reported that Little Brown bat numbers have significantly declined due to White Nose Syndrome. This disease, which affects cave-dwelling bats, causes a white fungus to grow on the bat’s wings and nose. This fungus disrupts the bats hibernation pattern, causing them to wake up too early and eventually die of starvation.

Read more about Little Brown bats being in danger of extinction.

 

Halloween Roach Bits: Tricky Roaches Are No Treat

Trick or Treat kids in costumesThis Halloween, as you’re carving your jack-o-lanterns, watching your scary movies and handing out bowls of trick-or-treat candy to all of those superheroes, princesses, ghosts and goblins that come ringing your doorbell; be on the look-out for Halloween intruders!

Watch the horror unfold as one of these Halloween intruders is caught red handed:

Halloween Roach Bits: Tricky Roaches Are No Treat

 

 

Cockroaches are notorious consumers of anything sweet or starchy; and all of your Halloween favorites fall into this category. Your Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, your fun size Snickers bars, and your miniature Hershey’s bars are all vulnerable.

This Halloween, don’t share your trick-or-treat candy with cockroaches! Get professional roach control!

Happy Halloween

 

Jack_o_Lantern

All of us here at Blog Pest Control and Bulwark Exterminating wish you all a very safe and Happy Halloween! May your Halloween be cockroach free!

Halloween Ants: 3 Ants Inspired By The Things Of Our Nightmares

What do Halloween spooks like vampires, ghosts, and zombies have to do with the picnic ruining, biting, stinging, and all around pesky ant? More than you might think!

Here are three different species of ant that are inspired by the things of our nightmares:

Dracula AntDracula Ants

Horrifying ants that suck blood… Say it isn’t so! Dracula ants (Adetomyrma venatrix) are named after the very famous fictitious vampire count Dracula; because of the grisly way in which these ants feast on the blood of their young. Well, technically it’s not the blood of their young that Dracula ants are drinking, but rather the hemolymph or ant blood equivalent. This practice is actually a form of non-destructive cannibalism, as it doesn’t kill the ant larvae.

If you think the ant larvae are simply providing a public service to the rest of the colony, letting hungry worker ants scratch and chew holes through their bodies as they feast on their blood; than think again. Scientists have witnessed the young Dracula ant larvae try to flee in fear, whenever a hungry work ant enters their chamber.

Dracula ants are primarily found in Madagascar, and are actually an engendered species. A typical colony will have about 10,000 ants, and have been found making nests in things like rotting logs and tree stumps. They are orange in color, and have abdomens that resemble wasps more than they do ants.

Ghost AntsGhost Ants

That tiny translucent creature crawling across your kitchen this Halloween is not a pint-size apparition with legs. It’s not the visible manifestation of that bug you squashed with your shoe last week either. Rather, it’s the pesky Ghost Ant (Tapinoma melanocephalum).

Found in Florida, Texas, Iowa, and Hawaii, these ants can be rather spooky for homeowners; as they intrude looking for food. Ghost ants get their name from their distinctive ghost-like appearance; translucent colored abdomen and legs. Unlike the Dracula ant, which feeds on the blood of their young, Ghost ants primarily feed on the honeydew they collect from plant-feeding insects like aphids.

Zombie Ants

You wake in a puddle of some unknown and impious fluid. You disjointedly crawl to your feet, but have no control over your body. You are no longer the living organism you thought you once were, but are some sort of rotting corpse; a hollow vessel harboring something disturbing inside. You’re confused, disorientated, and no longer seem to have any self-control. Most believe you’re dead, but fortunately your loved one’s think you are still alive – your soul still somewhere deep inside this now walking monster of a creature. Whatever sinister it may be, one thing is certain, you only want to satisfy your desire to eat others of your kind and spread the virus within.

No I’m not talking about the pilot to AMC’s The Walking Dead. I’m talking about ZOMBIE ANTS!

Zombie Ant

When I say zombie ants, I’m not referring to a specific species of ant named a “Zombie ant,” but rather a condition affecting tropical Carpenter ants that happen to come into contact with a certain type of fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis). This fungus is a mind-leeching parasite responsible for creating extensive hoards of the zombie ants. Once the fungus has infiltrated the ant’s brain, it will become powerless to resist the calculated directives of its subversive ruler. After spending some time in this zombie-like state, the infected ant will die at a spot that has optimal reproduction conditions for the fungus. The fungus will sprout from the zombie ant’s head, almost like a tombstone, and release more parasitic spores that will infect other ants.

You can watch the whole process here:

 

What’s the scariest ant you’ve ever encountered? 

Friday Links Round-Up: Weekly Pest Control Links

Fall pumpkins

Halloween Party Food: Edible Insects

Edible insects make great and creepy Halloween party food. Here are a few that might wet your appetite. More…

Mole Crickets in Trinity, FL

Mole crickets are becoming an increasing problem in some states; damaging lawns. They tunnel through the surface layer of the soil which damages the grass roots. Eventually the grass is uprooted and dries out. There are solutions to dealing with Mole crickets.

Don’t Forget About Fall Termite Treatments

Many homeowners don’t realize that October can actually be one of the worst months for termites. Wondering why? The simple truth is that termites are attracted to moisture, and that’s typically plentiful during October. More…

Why Do Rodents Keep Getting Into My House?

Learn more about the most common places that rodents get in through, here.

How To Reduce The Risk Of Pests In Your Home

There are a few steps you can take this fall that will help protect your home from intruders like mice and rats when the cold weather sets in. Learn more here…

Pest Of The Week: The Australian Cockroach

Periplaneta australasiae (Australian Cockroach)
Periplaneta australasiae (Australian Cockroach) (Photo credit: Arthur Chapman)

While common in Australia (hence the name Australian cockroach) the Australian Cockroach is also very prevalent in the southern United States. Because of their large size and similar coloring, the Australian cockroach is often times confused for the American cockroach. Both are a reddish brown in color, but the Australian roach has a yellow stripe that runs near the side of its wings. The Australian is also a little bit smaller, compared to the American roach, with average lengths of 1.2 to 1.5 inches; which is still rather big for a roach species.

Unlike a lot of species of roach, the Australian cockroach prefers the outdoors. Since they cannot tolerate colder weather, they will usually only enter homes when it suddenly gets cooler. Another unique characteristic of this roach is that is quite vegetarian; feasting mainly on organic materials like plants and veggies. Although this is their preferred diet, they also seem fond of starchy substances like the glue of book bindings. Like any other species of roach, professional roach control techniques can manage the Australian cockroach populations near a home or property.

PestWorld 2013 Day 3

PestWorld  2013 Awards

 It’s Day three (October 24, 2013) here at PestWorld in Phoenix, AZ, and what an event filled day it has been. The day kicked off with the pest control industry rewards, followed immediately by the general session. The general session featured Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner addressing the 3,300 pest management professionals in attendance. After the general session, we all headed over to the exhibit hall to gander at all of the latest and greatest products and services for our industry. Our afternoons were spent in education sessions, in which I was able to attend three.

Here are a few of the highlights from day three of Pest World 2013:

General Session With Freakonomics Author Stephen Dubner

 

Stephen Dubner

Back in 2005, Stephen Dubner changed the way much of the world thinks about incentives when he released his book entitled Freakonomics. Since then, the book has remained on the New York Times best sellers list for over seven years. Attendees at PestWorld had the privilege to listen to a few of his real word examples of how incentives fail; and how we can get them to be successful.

Freakonomics

Example of Incentives Failing

Several years ago, Alexandra, South Africa was plagued with rats. The government had come to their wits end, trying to come up with solutions to combat the disease carrying pests. The government offered free trash cants with tight fitting lids to it’s citizens, and even offered free pest control, but people viewed these efforts as a hassle. The Alexandra city government then offered a bounty for rat carcasses. They were literally paying the equivalent of $4 U.S. for each dead rat brought to their doorstep. Like many incentive programs, it failed miserably. This actually lead to a bigger rat problem, as the city’s citizens actually started farming rats just to slaughter and turn in for cash.

Point being that financial incentives may work initially, but rarely work long term. They may even backfire. Keep that in mind the next time you decide to start paying your kids for good grades.

Example of Incentives Failing, & Eventually Working

A New York hospital asked it’s doctors to self report the rates of personal hand washing behavior. Some 73% of doctors reported washing their hands when they were supposed to. What they didn’t know is that the nurses where actually asked to spy on the doctors and record their real data. The truth was only 9% of doctors actually washed when they were required. An incentive of a $10 Starbucks gift card was added when the docs washed. The number immediately rose to nearly 100%. Funny how none of us can turn down free stuff. What eventually occurred was that the incentive didn’t change long term behavior. In a last ditch effort, the hospital administration took petri dish samples of the bacteria on the Dr.’s hands, looked at them under a microscope, and converted the results to images. The results were pretty disturbing, and the images where used as screen savers on every computer in the hospital. Being constantly reminded by these images, changed the behavior at the hospital.

A Few Points Made By Stephen Dubner

  • Find the data that represents the real world, and really challenge the data to best reflect real world application.
  • We all have declared preferences, and real preferences for everything, especially with our business goals. There is typically a huge difference between the two.
  • Collect data before making real decisions; know what is really happening (real preferences, not declared).
  • Success is a proxy for honesty.
  • It’s hard to get people to do the right thing, even with incentives.
  • Compensation doesn’t change long term behavior, but incentives do matter. Find the right incentives.
  • 10-20 smaller ideas that you experiment with are better than one big idea (Ahem politicians).
  • Don’t accept artificial barriers. Mental barriers have huge impacts.
  • Look at problems differently than other people are looking at them (Stephen shared the story of Takeru Kobayashi’s success at the hotdog eating contest).

PestWorld Educational Sessions

 

There were another 24 breakout educational sessions today, educating us on everything from PMP marketing strategy, to control of squirrels and opossums, to hiring sales superstars. I had the opportunity to sit in on these three educational sessions:

Cockroaches, Crickets, Earwigs & Pillbugs: How Understanding the Biology of Occasional Invaders Can Increase Management Success

I had the great pleasure to listen to Dr. Roger Gold of Texas A&M today; one of the most brilliant minds on all things Arthropoda.  The main point I took away was that understanding the biology of a pest is key to professional pest management (life cycle, nutritional requirements, and environmental selection). GO FOR THE WEAK LINK!  To best control a population you need to eliminate or contaminate at least one resource for life (environment, water, food, etc.).

A few other interesting points: (1) Some customer accounts you can afford to lose, especially if sanitation, harborage, etc. is bad.  (2) He hears about far more cases of cockroaches entering people’s ears than earwigs.

Scorpion 8 eyes

Scorpion Biology, ID and Management

  • Dr. Bob Davis of BASF Pest Control Services spoke on all things scorpions.
  • There are 90 different species found in U.S.; 42 in Arizona. Some live in trees, some on ground. Some in sand, some on rocks.
  • Have long slender bodies, divided into two segments. Head and thorax fused together, abdomen, tail, two pedipalps, and four pair of legs.
  • Have comb-like sensory organs (pectines) on last pair of legs to detect environment, wavelengths, chemical queues and vibrations. Males have larger pectines.
  • Scorpions cannot see very well.
  • Adult scorpions perform elaborate courtship, and then grasp each other. Mating looks like intense fighting. I got to see an amazing video of this I will try to link to later.
  • Females give birth to live young, with average litter size of 26. She will care for them for two weeks on her back.
  • Some scorpions live 20+ years. Leads to heavy populations.
  • Scorpions are not disease vectors.
  • Got to learn to distinguish among Stripe-tailed scorpions (devil scorpions), Striped Bark scorpions,  Arizona Bark scorpions, Whipscorpions, Windscorpions, and Pseudoscorpions.
  • Inspection, identification, assessment, remedial tactics and evaluation are all necessary for scorpion control.  Habitat modification is critical!

Recent Arizona Regulatory Changes & Their Impact On PMP’s

Since I work out of Arizona, for Bulwark Exterminating, I thought it best to sit in on this topic. Vince Craig from the Arizona Department of Agriculture presented on the historic revisions and additions to the Office of Pest Management Laws.

Instead of writing these new laws here, I found it easier to just link to them. The new laws are effective September 13, 2013.

New Arizona Office of Pest Management Laws: http://www.sb.state.az.us/

 

PestWorld 2013 Day 2

PestWorld 2013 Jordan Belfort

Day two of PestWorld 2013 (October 23, 2013) got off to an enthusiastic start as the 3,300 attendees got the privilege to hear from Jordan Belfort, “the Wolf of Wall Street.” After his remarks all of us pest professionals spent the rest of the morning checking out the pest management exhibits in the exhibit hall, while we mingled and networked with pest management professionals from all over the world. The afternoon was spent sitting in on some concurrent educational sessions, learning about some of the latest pests and pest technologies. During these sessions, much emphasis was also placed on PMP marketing, business management, and industry related training.

Here are a few of the highlights from day two at PestWorld 2013:

Opening General Session: Jordan Belfort “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

 

Jordan Belfort at PestWorld 2013

Day two of PestWorld 2013 was kicked of by “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Jordan Belfort, sharing his interesting story; his rise and fall and rise again. As one of the most successful and dynamic sales guys in the history of Wall Street, Jordan was earning $50 million a year selling $5-$6 stocks to the wealthiest 1% in the country. During the peak of his success, Jordan fell into some of the pitfalls that super successful lifestyle. He found himself on some 22 different drugs, and in jail with Tommy Chong of all people, before he had a moment of clarity and turned his life around. Through this rise and fall, Jordan learned a few things along the way. Here are just a few points he touched on:

“Success in the absence of ethics and integrity is failure!”

  • You can change your life story by not succumbing to a negative situation.
  • If you have a vision, goals, and are driven toward something, you’re happy no matter where you are in life.
  • Our success or lack there-of, can come from our inner-world skills. Our belief systems, or the things in our head, lead us to success.
  • There’s always going to be stuff to trip us up.
  • Be visionary. Focus on visions, not just goal setting. Gravitate to other people with vision.
  • To get on top and stay there, you must continue learning
  • It’s hard to turn non-buyers into buyers. It’s easier to get existing buyers to flip.
  • Reciprocity is a powerful marketing tool
  • Linear concepts are easier for customers, and all of us to grasp.
  • Failure= not managing your growth

3 Things For Success

1. Have a vision for the future

2. Have the ability to share your vision. Make it known to others and empower them to take action.

3. Give more value than you look to receive. Monetize this value. Money and success is a byproduct of value.

The Wolf Of Wall Street Movie Trailer

 

PestWorld Educational Sessions

 

There were 24 different educational sessions to choose from today; everything from hiring/training PMP’s, to bedbug progress, to risks and rewards of pest control technologies. I had the opportunity to personally sit in on these three educational sessions.

Tramp Ants: What New or Exotic Ants Are Coming To Your Area

Dr. Laurel Hansen, from Spokane, WA, presented on Tramp ants. Tramp ants are introduced, exotic, invasive, and alien. They have made their way into urban environments from territories around the world. They are transported by us, usually by accident. Here are a few of the ants popping up in new territories around the world:

Tramp Ants: These Ants Get Around

Ponerine ants- From Africa and Central Asia, now worldwide. They sting! Nest under concrete slabs. Winged females are problems, leaving colonies, mating and stinging. Difficult to control.

Odorous House ants- is a tramp ant because they’re moving across the country. Now #1 most invasive ant, overtaking carpenter ant. Gel baits work best for these ants.

Velvety Tree ant- Similar to odorous house ant, but bigger. Moving from forested areas into structures. Very serious problem.

Pavement  ants- Stinging ants hiding under concrete slabs. Move around a lot.

Ghost ants- liquid baits, showing up in shopping mall atriums even in cold weather climates

White footed ants- found in Florida, SE United States, California, and Hawaii. Liquid baits to treat as well.

Pharaoh ants- Comes from Africa, and might be biggest tramp of them all.

What Would A World Without PMP’s Look Like?

  • Dr. Faith Oi of the University of Florida offered some insights on what our future would look like without pest control. Here are a few quick points I took away from her very in depth and historical presentation:
  • U.S. has ability to export food to poverty stricken countries. Pest control protects this food. Our food exports also affect our economic stability and GDP.
  • Malaria caused 289 million cases and 836,000 deaths in 2010. 90 percent come from areas without pest control. U.S. has very low rates because of pest control and medical technology.
  • 80 percent of diseases are spread by pests. Example: Typhus, Yellow Fever, Plaque which is spread by pests like rats, mosquitoes, and fleas, may have killed billions more victims.
  • Found this fact interesting: If we had pest control in early 1800’s, we wouldn’t have 1/3 of the U.S. Yellow Fever wiped out populations in Haiti, causing Napoleon to sell land known as Louisiana Purchase for $13 million.

German Cockroach Management: How Your Application Methods Can improve Your Speed and Efficacy

german cockroaches

Dr. Dini Miller of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University presented a very elaborate and detailed guide on some of the most effective ways to combat German roaches. In this strategy, it’s crucial to start your baiting program in January if at all possible (tricky I know), and bait highly infested communities with a lot of bait fast. I will likely dedicate a separate blog post to this method and technique in the near future; so stay tuned!

Stay Tuned

Check back tomorrow for our highlights from day three of PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix, AZ.

 

PestWorld 2013 Day 1

PestWorld 2013

The first day of PestWorld 2013 (Tuesday, October 23, 2013) in Phoenix, AZ is just wrapping up, and what a day it’s been. Some 3,300 Pest Management professionals from across the globe have packed the Phoenix Convention Center, getting all the latest info on everything from new methods of treatment and control to marketing strategy.

Here are a few of the highlights from day one (pictures to come):

Pre-Convention Activities

Before PestWorld 2013 officially kicked off, many participants elected to run/walk in the Professional Women in Pest Management (PWIPM) 5K, just outside the downtown Phoenix Sheraton, with proceeds going toward a breast cancer cure and awareness. Additionally PestWorld 2013 held a golf tournament at the majestic Kierland Golf Club to help kick off the event. The admins of Blog Pest Control did not attend these two events, but should have pictures shortly.

Canine Scent Detection

I personally had the opportunity to sit in on the full four hours of of this pre-conference specialty session, and took quite a bit away from each of the presenters.

PestWorld Scent Detection

The Science Behind Canine Scent Detection

Dr. Paul Waggoner of Auburn University was the first to present and delved into the broad depths of canine scent detection; and not just as it pertains to bedbugs. In his research at Auburn University, Dr. Waggoner works extensively with detector dog teams in the context of basic sensory and behavioral sciences. In this work, he was able to tract different brain responses of detector dogs under MRI, as they were presented different odorants. It was quite fascinating to see some of the results.

One of the major themes I took away from Dr. Waggoner’s presentation, is that canine scent detection is extremely complex. There are so many variables that come into play when training and using these dogs. Early canine experience is key, and when training these dogs, do all you can to ensure that the dog’s training matches real world application/operations. Use wild bedbugs to train dogs for scent detection.

One thing I did find interesting, is that it really doesn’t matter all that much the breed of dog you choose for scent detection. The biology of how a dog smells is more or less the same, but certain dogs have a better public perception (i.e. labs, German Shepherds, etc.). That is why these breeds are more frequently selected for scent detection.

How To Effectively Sub-Contract Canine Scent Detection Teams

Here are a few highlights of this presentation, given by Judy Black of The Steritech Group and Donnie Blake of Okolona Pest Control Inc.:

If your customers claim they are getting bit, but you can’t find any visual bedbug activity, use canines. For your own protection, you have to verify that there is nothing there. You also have to have reliable dogs for this very reason. You cannot have false negatives.

English: Bedbug sniffing Dog, New York

Why Use Canine Bedbug Detection?

  • Increase inspection efficacy
  • Increase marketability
  • Increase competitiveness
  • Increase differentiation
  • Inspection is faster
  • Inspection more accurate and thorough

Own vs. Subcontract Canines:  Keep in mind the initial cost, upkeep, two canine team capability, training, and certification. Can you make a profit doing it all on your own? Use one of your competitors?  What’s vendor approval criteria?

Procedure

  • Dog on bed preferably
  • Reinspect rooms done before and just after break
  • Reinspect alerted rooms
  • Track findings and false negatives
  • What to do when canine alerts with no visual activity? (Documentation for court purposes and should still treat).

Watch Outs

  • Air flow can confuse canines
  • Heat, in hallways in particular
  • Heavy Infestations
  • Canine sick
  • Handler/canine relationships
  • Reinspection= different results

Final Point: If you’re going to sell Canine services to your clients, you better believe in it!

Thought Leader Session: Ownership Thinking

PestWorld Ownership

Lead by Tom Bouwer, with Ownership Thinking out of Atlanta, GA. These sessions covered the paradigm shift from a employee view to a a business owner view. The sessions explored taking your employees and teaching them to think like business owners. Helping them understand profits, waste, and improving the company as a whole. Tom discussed how to set efficiency numbers. How to help employees see and measure key points for improvement. Sharing models for rapid improvement plans (RIP). Overall the group was full of pest control business owners learning how to improve their operations.

Opening Ceremony

PestWorld Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony for PestWorld 2013 kicked off the event in the Phoenix Convention Center Ballroom with a presentation by String Theory. Basically, it was a concert or music performance, done by a giant harp. Words cannot do it justice. (Pictures to come)

Exhibit Hall

The remainder of today was spent in the exhibit hall, checking out the 100,000 square feet of exhibits and vendors. These vendors offered information and literature on every for products and services on everything pest management. It was a great opportunity to take a peak at all of the newest pest management products and technologies. They even h ad a pie station! I will likely dedicate another blog post to some of the exhibits I observed here today.

Stay Tuned

Check back tomorrow for our highlights from day two of PestWorld 2013 in Phoenix, AZ