Ants Interesting Facts

Black Ants
       Black Ants Are Believed to Eat Bed Bugs
  • Common expressions using ants:Got ants in your pants?
    As common as ants at a picnic.
    As industrious as ants.
  • Weaver Ants in Asia use their larvae as sewing machines. The larvae produce silk on command, and the worker ants move the larva back and forth on the edges of leaves they have pulled together, creating a hollow cave of leaves in which they nest.
  • Some natives of tropical Asian countries use large ants as “stitches” to close open wounds. They will pull the edges of the skin together at the wound site, allow the ant to bite across the wound, and then cut the head off the ant, causing it to stay there with its jaws holding the skin together.
  • In South America the Leaf Cutting Ants are capable of completely stripping all the leaves off a tree in a single night. The leaves grow back quickly, causing no harm to the tree.
  • The Army Ants of South America have enormous colonies of very large, aggressive ants. However, they have no nest. Instead, they may pick up everything and everyone and move each day, forming a large ball of ants at night to hide the queen and their young within.
  • Some kinds of ants are called “Slave Makers”, for their trait of raiding the nests of other species, stealing the eggs from that nest, and raising these captives through to the adult stage, where they now serve as the workers for the colony that stole them.
  • There are about 9000 species of birds identified throughout the world. There are almost that many species of ants – currently about 8800.
  • The largest ants in the world are the Driver Ants in Africa. Some workers reach almost one and a half inches long. In contrast, the smallest ant species is one from Sri Lanka, whose workers are only 1/30th of an inch long.
  • The “bullet” ants of Central and South America are given that name due to the intense, burning pain caused by their sting.
  • Honey Ants, found in the southwest United States, have one group of individuals in their colony that are called “repletes”. The sole job of the replete is to spend its life hanging upside down in the colony, filled with the nectar brought back by the workers.
  • The Crazy Ant gets its name from the wild manner in which the workers run around when they are disturbed or agitated.
  • When disturbed many ants spray formic acid out of their abdomen. More than 150 species of birds have been observed, picking up ants in their beaks and placing the ants in their feathers. The formic acid the ants then spray kills mites on the birds.
  • Some people claim that ants can help us get rid of bed bugs. In this old article the author writes that a freight train crew found a solution—”The same crew say they have a remedy for bed bugs, which infest their caboose after hobos have paid it a visit. They get a jar of black ants, which they turn loose in the sleeping quarters. The ants seek out and destroy bed bugs industriously.”It has also been noted more recently that house centipedes will “enthusiastically eat bed bugs,” as do fire ants, which quickly consume the critters.

Original Post Here Ants Interesting Facts


Antlions – Interesting Facts

As a child my parents were into nature and the living things there. We didn’t just learn that it was a Blue Jay, but we learned something about the lives of Blue Jays. We collected shells in tide pools along the Pacific Coast and learned about all the other sea life in those pools of water. We learned about trees and reptiles, and of course we learned to observe and enjoy insects.

One of the things we discovered on our walks was little circular pits in the soil in sandy areas, and if you tossed an ant into that depression you would elicit a response from something buried in the sand at the very bottom. As the ant attempted to scramble back out of that little pit the dry sand would crumble beneath its feet, making it very difficult for the ant to escape.

And, as bits of that sand rolled to the bottom there suddenly would be little explosions of sand being flung out by the hidden creature. Bits of sand would continue to be tossed out, and with luck and time the ant would eventually tumble all the way to the bottom, where it was rather rudely grasped and pulled out of sight into the sand at the bottom.

This is the Ant Lion, the larva of another of the beneficial insects in nature. The predatory larva is also referred to as a “doodlebug”, and really is rather goofy looking with its out-of-proportion body attached to a very narrow thorax and head, and with jaws that would seem far to large to manage, but obviously are there for some useful purpose.

The name of “doodle” bug, however, comes from the meandering patterns the larvae may create on the surface of the sand as it crawls about seeking just the right place in the sand in which to make its pit. Once the site is chosen, where the sand is fine and dry, the larva begins by pushing itself backward in a circle, and as it continues to circle the beginnings of the pit are established.

As it digs deeper into the sand the doodlebug uses its head to throw sand out of the pit, and in as little as just 15 minutes it is able to create the pit about one inch deep and perhaps two inches in diameter at the top. Now it rests, buried in the sand at the very bottom with just its tiny head and massive jaws exposed, waiting for that meal of an ant to drop in.

The ant which does fall into the pit and is captured in the jaws of the doodlebug is quickly subdued by a bit of venom that is injected from the jaws of the doodlebug. The saliva of the doodlebug then flows through its hollow mandibles to dissolve the insides of the ant, leaving just the exoskeleton of the ant behind. The empty exoskeleton of the ant is then, rather unceremoniously, flung back out of the pit with the same motion of the doodlebug’s head that was used to fling the sand.

Many other small arthropods are eaten as well, such as small spiders, when they too stumble into the ant lion pit. The body of the ant lion larva is covered with bristly hairs, many of them facing toward its head, and these help to anchor this predator in the sand so that the struggling prey cannot drag it out. If you decide you want to take a peek at the ant lion itself you can take a spoon and scoop out some of the sand right at the bottom. However, when it is disturbed the ant lion becomes immobile, and covered with sand as it is you might just overlook it.

The doodlebug moves through several stages as the larva, and eventually is ready to become the adult insect. Its life as the larva may last for anywhere from one to three years, possibly dependent upon its food supply and how quickly it is able to grow. Once ready, though, the larva uses silk from glands at the end of its abdomen and creates a silken cocoon for itself. Within this it moves to the third stage of its life, the pupa, and within the pupa it now transforms to the adult insect.

This process may take several weeks, and during that time the sand-covered cocoon is buried deep in the soil. Once the moment of adulthood is close the pupa burrows out of its cocoon and heads to the surface, where the adult insect now emerges. Adult male and female ant lions mate, the female lays eggs back in sandy areas, and the process begins again. It is not unheard of for an ant lion adult to, ironically, be captured and consumed by an ant lion larva.

The adult ant lion would seem to be far less fascinating than in its odd early life as the larva. The insect family of ant lions is called Myrmeleontidae, and it falls within a larger grouping of insects called the Neuroptera, or “nerve winged” insects. The long wings of these adult insects are interlaced with fine veins to give them that name.

The adult ant lion looks very much like a damselfly, which is a type of dragonfly, but has a very weak, fluttering flight. The antennae of ant lions are longer than those of damselflies and the eyes are much smaller. Ant lions also are active at night, and often may be found on the walls of your home by the porch lights. They are completely harmless to people and pets and should not be harmed by us. Apparently the adults are not predators, instead feeding on nectar or pollen, or possibly not feeding at all in the adult stage. Their primary purpose, as it is for so many adult insects, is to produce the next generation.

Just how many different kinds of ant lions are there? Like so many other topics it is interesting the variety of answers you may find for this question. Internet references state anywhere from 65 to 100 different species in North America, and from 2000 to 5000 species known throughout the world. Let’s just say that in the U.S. we likely have nearly 100 different kinds, with the vast majority of them living in the more arid habitats of the Southwest states.

Most species are a pale, rather drab grayish color, but some kinds supplement that with darker spots and patterns on their wings. Most kinds are medium sized, with their narrow bodies about 1.5 inches long and a wingspan of about 2 inches. However, in Arizona you may find one enormous species, whose wings easily stretch out to 5 inches and whose body may approach 4 inches from nose to tail. However, no matter how big and gruesome these guys may seem, they are still harmless to people while serving the benefit of eating ants, spiders, and other crawling bugs.

And how are antlions and bed bus related, because this blog’s main topic is bed bugs and their removal? Antlions are considered to be beneficial insects because of their habit of eating smaller insects like bed bugs which are often times considered as pest.

Article Source Here Antlions – Interesting Facts

A Spider in the Toilet

We must be very careful, in this country, to separate fact from fiction, particularly when making decisions that may affect our lives and our livelihoods. For many reasons people may begin circulating false stories that are frightening and emotional, and are easy for us to believe because they are worded to cleverly as to seem possible.

In recent years there have been several important, far-reaching accusations that have been shown to have no basis in fact, and yet many laws and much regulatory activity, at a cost of billions of dollars to the American public, have been spent as a reaction to these falsehoods. Two that come to mind are a decades-long concept that high voltage electrical wires can cause brain tumors in people who work or live near them, and a recent revelation that a study that “proved” that man-made chemicals are Endocrine Disrupters was so flawed that even the researcher who did the study withdrew his own conclusions and apologized.

These two falsehoods are particularly damaging, since such a vast amount of money has been spent, needlessly, in attempted compliance with laws generated by the false premises. Other American Myths can be more humorous, as is the following story that hit the Internet in 1999. It was worded so cleverly that thousands of people took it as fact and altered their lives to accommodate their fear.

Here is the exact message:

WARNING: From Texas A&M International University

An article by Dr. Beverly Clark, in the Journal of the United Medical Association (JUMA), the mystery behind a recent spate of deaths has been solved. If you haven’t already heard about it in the news, here is what happened.

Three women in Chicago turned up at hospitals over a 5-day period, all with the same symptoms – fever, chills, and vomiting, followed by muscular collapse, paralysis, and finally death. There were no outward signs of trauma. Autopsy results showed toxicity in the blood.

These women did not know each other and seemed to have nothing in common. It was discovered, however, that they all had visited the same restaurant – Big Chappies at Blare Airport – within days of their deaths. The health department descended on the restaurant, shutting it down. The food, water, and air conditioning were all inspected and tested, to no avail.

The big break came when a waitress at the restaurant was rushed to the hospital with similar symptoms. She told doctors that she had been on vacation, and had only gone to the restaurant to pick up her check. She did not eat or drink while she was there, but she had used the restroom.

That is when one toxicologist, remembering an article he had read, drove out to the restaurant, went into the restroom and lifted the toilet seat. Under the seat, out of normal view, was a small spider. The spider was captured and brought back to the lab, where it was determined to be the South American Blush Spider – Arachnius gluteus – so named because of its reddened flesh color. This spider’s venom is extremely toxic, but can take several days to take effect. They live in cold, dark, damp climates, and toilet rims provide just the right atmosphere.

Several days later a lawyer from Los Angeles showed up at a hospital emergency room. Before his death he told the doctor that he had been away on business, and had taken a flight from New York, changing planes in Chicago before returning home. He did not visit Big Chappies while there. However, he did, as did all the other victims, have what was determined to be a puncture wound on his right buttock.

Investigators discovered that the flight he was on had originated in South America. The Civilian Aeronautics Board (CAB) ordered an immediate inspection of the toilets of all flights coming from South America, and discovered the Blush Spider’s nests on 4 different planes!

It is now believed that these spiders can be anywhere in the country, so please, before you use a public toilet, lift the seat to check for spiders. It can save your life!! And please pass this on to everyone you care about.

Officer Sylvia Steele
Texas A&M International University
5201 University Blvd.
Laredo, TX 78041-1999

This report was written so cleverly, stating specifics and apparent facts, that many people believed it. Even doctors began to warn their patients about the threat of illness or death from this spider, and the fear obviously began to cause people to alter their lives.

Fortunately, though, it was completely false.

Here are some of the interesting facts about this story:

  • There is no such animal as the “South American Blush Spider”, and no such spider as Arachnius gluteus. In fact, this name translates to The Butt Spider, a clever name for describing the alleged area of assault.
  • “Blush Spider” is a cosmetology term referring to patches of tiny varicose veins on the surface of the skin.
  • There is no “Officer Sylvia Steele” at Texas A&M International University, and in fact there is no such university and the address listed is fictitious.
  • There is no such journal as the “Journal of the United States Medical Association”. In fact, there is no “United States Medical Association”.
  • “Beverly Clark” (remember “Dr.” Beverly Clark) is a line of wedding apparel.
  • There is no “Big Chappies Restaurant” at Blare Airport, and in fact there is no “Blare Airport”
  • There is no “Civilian Aeronautics Board” – the “Civil” Aeronautics Board was disbanded in 1984
  • None of the people alleged to have been killed by this spider actually existed.

As has been said about “great deals”, if it sounds too good to be true then it probably isn’t. Conversely, if it sounds too outlandish to be true then it probably is a lie.

Here are a couple more pest-related Myths that have hit the Internet Airways

1) A girl stopped at a fast-food Mexican restaurant and bought a Taco, ate it quickly, and began suffering illness that night, with pain and swelling in her jaw. Finally, after many tests, doctors discovered cockroach eggs incubating inside her saliva glands, having been placed there by the “pregnant” cockroach that had been in the taco.

Completely false. Cockroaches don’t lay a series of eggs, they produce a large egg capsule that could never have gotten into the salivary glands, and certainly could not have survived in anyone’s system. Someone simply had it in for this particular restaurant chain, and was causing them trouble with a widespread internet lie.

2) A stock clerk was cleaning up a storeroom in a Hawaii business and drank from a soda can in the process. A few days later he became seriously ill and died – specific symptoms were listed, and the “Centers for Disease Control” in Atlanta was quoted for advice they gave on the cause and the event. It was claimed that pathogens were present on the can, having landed there from dust infected by rat urine and droppings.

However, the event never happened, and the Centers for Disease Control never gave the warnings listed in the wild story. It is, of course, a good idea to wash off the tops of cans before you put your mouth on them, but not because of the story made up here.

Finally, it is a widespread belief among the medical community in California that hundreds of people each year need to be treated for “Violin Spider Bites”. Patients come to the doctor complaining of “spider bites” (even though they never actually saw a spider) or an open sore that the doctor immediately diagnoses as a bite from this spider. Treatment begins to control the spreading infection.

There even is one notorious incident where the major news media reported a female patient in Southern California entering a hospital, slipping into a coma that lasted 3 months, and while in the coma had parts of both legs, both arms, and her nose amputated by the doctors due to infections. The news media reported that the infections were caused by “Violin Spider Bites”, and people in California went into a panic. I spoke with homeowners 400 miles away from the alleged attack area, who were afraid to go into their homes for fear the spiders would be there.

As it turns out, in this case, doctors did NOT diagnose the infections as being a result of spider bites, but a reporter somehow heard someone say “it looks like a Violin Spider bite”, and the rumor grew a life of its own. The patient, it seems, already was on medication to control her severe problems with poor blood circulation.

The fact is, and it has been stated emphatically many times by the University of California Entomology Department experts, that the Violin Spider – also called the Brown Recluse Spider – is NOT a resident of California. It has been found a total of 4 times EVER in this state, in isolated incidents as a result of the spider hitch-hiking in some packaging or furniture from other areas of the United States where it is very common. Entomology and spider experts believe that the vast majority of such complaints of “open sores” appearing on people are the result of bacterial infections, and not spider bites.

But what about bed bugs, since this website is about bed bugs and their removal? Some insects are natural bed bug predators that eat bed bugs. These insects and spiders can be drawn to infestations or high populations of bed bugs in certain areas. They might help give away the bed bug’s location. If it is mishandled it may bite humans in defense.

Read Full Article Here A Spider in the Toilet

A Mouse in the House

The lowly House Mouse – my goodness but there have been a lot of images placed before us about this little rodent. While some of them may already be going through your mind’s eye, let me offer a few that I can remember.

  • Mighty Mouse – fighting the forces of evil
  • Mickey Mouse – that playful little hero of my childhood
  • The traditional hole in the wall that leads to the happy mouse-home
  • “Quiet as a church mouse”
  • The massive elephant cringing when faced with a mouse
  • The panicked housewife standing on a kitchen chair with a broom, as a mouse runs across the floor

How easily we stereotype things, often leading us to misunderstand the reality. Is it closer to the truth that the House Mouse is a hero, or is it really something to fear? Let’s learn a little bit about it, and allow you to judge for yourself.

Does the House Mouse belong here?

Where did the House Mouse come from? Well, as it turns out, it really does not belong in the United States, or anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere. It is native to the dry grasslands of eastern Asia, but hundreds of years ago it managed to hitchhike with human caravans, traveling to the coasts of Europe where it then hopped aboard ships that transported it to America and all those other countries that it now inhabits. As an introduced species of animal, now living where natural controls and natural predators do not exist, the House Mouse flourished, breeding, multiplying, and expanding its range without anything to stop it, and competing with the existence of native animals in the process.

How can I tell what kind of mouse it is?

There are many kinds of mice in the United States, and it may be easy to confuse those that are natives with those that are introduced. Others you may be aware of around your business or your home are species such as Meadow Mice (also called Voles) or Deer Mice. These usually stay outside the structure, but they too can cause some severe problems, and we are well aware of the recent disease outbreaks spread by Deer Mice – the Hantavirus and Arenavirus, which we have profiled in a separate BugInfo article for you.

Probably most common around homes, of these other mice, will be the Meadow Mouse, and you easily can distinguish between these different kinds by the following characteristics:

  • Meadow Mouse – stocky build, short tail, ears are very furry
  • Deer Mouse – slender build, long hairy tail that is white on the bottom
  • House Mouse – slender, long bare tail, ears are almost bare of hairs, belly light colored

Some important clues about the House Mouse

Some of the habits and the biology of the House Mouse are also important to know, because with knowledge comes the ability to control its presence. Here are some House Mouse characteristics to keep in mind:

  • It does not need to drink water – it can obtain all necessary moisture from its food
  • It can squeeze through openings only ¼” wide to gain access to structures
  • It climbs very well, can jump straight up about 18″, and can swim
  • It likes to stay against vertical surfaces – walls, cabinets, or boxes sitting on them
  • It prefers to eat foods such as nuts, grains, or sweet things – it is NOT particularly fond of cheese
  • It is very curious, and will quickly investigate objects that are placed in its environment
  • If all of its earthly needs are met – food, shelter, sufficient moisture – it may not travel more than 10 feet away from its nest
  • It is nocturnal, meaning it much prefers to be active at night – it avoids open areas
  • It is a creature of habit, and follows known pathways and prefers undisturbed areas

So, the House Mouse has some rather aggravating habits, but does that necessarily mean it poses a problem for us? Well, yes, as a matter of fact it does. This animal is one that we really would prefer not to have to live with. Even its scientific name – Mus musculus – describes it well, for in a general way this name means “little thief”. When living in close association with people the House Mouse makes its living by stealing our food and our possessions, so it isn’t a good tenant.

Why are mice considered a problem?

Let’s look at some of the problems caused by mice, and perhaps offer some solutions for you for helping keep them away.

Gnawing. First, as a member of the group of animals called Rodents, mice will “gnaw”. That is, they constantly are chewing on things, whether it is for food or for pure entertainment. They gnaw holes in walls to gain access to their hiding places. They gnaw holes in boxes and bags to get to food. They gnaw holes in stuffed toys or furniture to gain access to soft nesting materials. And frankly, they gnaw on an awful lot of other things for reasons we can only guess.

Rodents have “incisor” teeth, meaning they have a pair of teeth on the top that butt against the pair of teeth on the bottom. These teeth grow continually, and gnawing may be one way to keep them worn down so that they stay in their mouth. Incisor teeth of rodents are extremely hard, and they easily chew through wood or hard plastic. Rodents also are a major cause of fires that destroy structures, as they chew on electric wires in walls or attics.

Destruction of Food. So, mice and other rodents are destructive. However, beyond that which they physically destroy, they also are responsible for massive destruction of our food, simply by the contamination they cause. Like all animals mice must eliminate their waste materials – urine and feces – and unfortunately they are not particularly discriminating about where they place it. Since they are capable of dropping up to 25,000 fecal pellets each year (let’s see – add the 6, divide by 3, carry the 2 – that’s around 70 times each day!!) they will leave a lot of these little prizes in our cupboards, on the kitchen counter, on our furnishings or floors, or in the bags and boxes of food they have entered.

Rodents are believed to destroy up to half of the food we grow, worldwide, before we even get it to our tables. Australia has periodic outbreaks of mice that absolutely overrun their agricultural areas, causing 100% destruction of the grains and other foods being grown.

Why are mice considered a problem?

Spreading Disease. The third way that mice make themselves unwelcome is by the potential they pose for making us sick. This may be caused in one of two ways – either by germs that are contained in their urine or feces, or by pathogens passed along by their parasites – their fleas, mites, or lice, and they can be carrying a lot of these little critters. As we mentioned earlier, the terrible disease called Hantavirus is vectored (passed onto humans) by mice, although it is Deer Mice that spread the most dangerous form of Hantavirus, and we discuss this in a separate BugInfo article. The House Mouse currently is not incriminated in the spread of any virulent forms of Hantavirus.

However, bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens capable of making people ill are commonly growing on animal waste, and it is never a good idea to allow a buildup of feces of mice, bats, or birds in your walls, attics, or living areas of the home. When these materials dry and become airborne with gusts of wind, they can be inhaled and can cause infection of people. If you believe that you have an accumulation of such animal waste in your home, it is probably a good idea to contact a Licensed Pest Control company in your area, and get their advice or solicit their help in removing it safely, so that no hazard is created. These professionals are trained in the proper procedure for such removal, and will wear the proper safety equipment to avoid exposure.

Okay…so help us get rid of them.

So, what can you do to prevent taking on unwanted guests that can chew holes, contaminate food, and pass along pathogens? Here are some possible steps, taking into consideration some of the habits of mice that we mentioned earlier. As with any kind of pest – bug or rodent – you want to make your home as UNinviting to the invader as you possibly can. Rather than hanging out a great big “Come on in!” sign you’d rather the mice were unable to find anything in the house to support their existence.

The process called Integrated Pest Management – IPM – simply means that we want to change the environment that has welcomed the pest with open arms, and make it uncomfortable for them instead. The use of poisons to kill mice may be a very useful tool, but it is not the first step, and may be one you would prefer to leave in the hands of a Licensed Professional. It is the physical changes that you, as the owner of a property, should do to take that big first step in rodent elimination. Even if you contract with a Licensed Pest Management Professional in your area these physical steps will be very important in ensuring the rodent control is done in the best manner and for long term control.

Let’s look at IPM, and keep in mind some of the habits and biology of the House Mouse that we mentioned earlier.

1. It avoids open areas. The House Mouse is not going to come strolling casually up your driveway, and hang around in the open waiting for a door to open. Nope. This would expose it to predators such as cats, dogs, hawks and owls. Instead, it sneaks up through wood piles, piles of yard debris, in old boxes laying on the ground, or any other piles of material that it can hide in and scurry to quickly as it approaches your home. Removing or properly stacking these types of materials takes away the security the mouse needs.

Large expanses of shrubbery or ground cover, such as ivy, that cover the soil may also provide the ability of the mouse to remain hidden right up to your home, and these need to be trimmed properly or even eliminated.

2. It squeezes through tiny openings. Only one quarter of an inch is all the mouse needs to get into your home. A critical inspection of the outside of the building will discover many such cracks – under doors, around windows, crawl space screens that are torn, holes where pipes or wires enter the home through a wall. These openings MUST be closed to prevent mice from entering easily. You can use steel wool in small holes, concrete patch, new screening, or expanding foam that comes in aerosol cans.

Properly trimming shrubs and trees away from the structure, a good practice for preventing the entry of many kinds of insect pests, also works to keep mice away. As good climbers they easily climb up trunks and along branches, and onto window ledges where branches get too close. I once watched a House Mouse climb straight up a cinder brick wall inside a large store, then turn around and walk straight down again, in both directions walking so easily it might as well have been on the floor.

3. They are creatures of habit. Look for runways that they use repeatedly to know where they are going. These runways will be marked by fecal droppings on them, or possibly greasy “smudge” marks on the surfaces, caused by the oils in their body rubbing on corners as they go by. If you were to place traps or other control devices it would be along their runways that you will intercept the mice.

4. They prefer grains and nuts, or anything made from these foods. Thus, dog food stored in the garage must be in sealed, sturdy containers. Bags of garden seeds also must be made inaccessible, and if the mice have already invaded the kitchen you must place all susceptible foods into sealed containers that the mice cannot easily gnaw into. Remember, if they can’t find food in your house they will not live there.

5. They prefer undisturbed areas, and may not move around much. Once you allow mice to find a nice, comfortable place to live, with food nearby, why oh why would they want to leave? The only reasons a mouse would dare to be seen out and about in the daytime would be because they either have been disturbed from the comfort level they once had, or there are so many danged mice that they are forced to look for other places to live.

If you have a storage area that a lot of boxes and other possessions are left in, without you going there very often to move things, this is ideal for mice. Likely locations around the home might be walk-in attics, basements, and the ever popular garage – known fondly by most men as “The Workshop”. The basement and the garage may also be places where bowls of pet food are left out all the time, so now the mice are being offered all they need to hang around awhile.

By cleaning things up, storing items properly, putting boxes off the floor, moving things around now and then, you disrupt the comfort level mice seek, and if you also take away their food you really put them under stress. Numerous university studies have been conducted, on mice as well as insect pests, and it is pretty conclusive that you put these animals under severe stress when you take away their food, water, and harborage. When they are put under stress their populations immediately begin to drop, for reasons such as cannibalism, early death, lower birth rates, or simply moving out to find a better place.

So, if you have mice in the attic, before you throw a bunch of poison bait up there try to do those repairs and changes that make your house less inviting, and you will have much better mouse control for a longer period of time.

What about bed bugs, since this website is about bed bugs and bed bug exterminators? While bed bugs may feed on mice and other rodents in the absence of a human host, the insects do not typically travel with mice from location to location.

Original Post Here A Mouse in the House

A Basic Primer on Pesticides

Pesticides - Good or Bad?

A word certainly familiar to any person, and yet what do you really know about pesticides? You are constantly bombarded with news articles about them – generally in a negative way. You are occasionally asked to vote on issues about them – generally to further restrict them. And, you are exposed to them every day! “What? How can that be? We don’t even use pesticides around our home, or any other “toxic” stuff.”

Yes, you do. In fact, the most highly regulated and widely used pesticide is……chlorine. It is in all public drinking water supplies, and thank goodness it is there. This pesticide protects us, by killing bacteria and other possible disease-causing pathogens that live in water. Many countries do not yet have the technology to purify all their drinking water, and these kinds of illnesses are often common, sometimes taking many lives.

So, you probably do use pesticides in your home, and are lucky to have the ability. However, we might ask ourselves “is chlorine toxic?” Yes, chlorine is very, very toxic. “Then why doesn’t it make us sick?” The answer can be the same answer for most toxic substances – THE DOSE MAKES THE POISON. If you use too much, it can sicken you. If you use a proper dose, it can be of benefit to you.

What are some more things around the house that are toxic?

  • Aspirin – many people die each year from overdoses or allergic reactions.
  • Bleach – household bleach is quite toxic.
  • Vitamins – actually, Vitamin A is far more toxic (ounce for ounce) than any commonly used insecticides, and yet is quite necessary, in small doses, for proper health.
  • Gasoline – both liquid and vapors can easily kill people, and yet we are exposed to low doses of either each time we fill the tank on our car. Why doesn’t that exposure harm us? Because of the low dose.
  • Paint, rubbing alcohol, DRINKING alcohol, salt, pepper, glue, chocolate, caffeine, medications, diet pills, toothpaste, sodas, disinfectants, cleansers, soap – ALL have toxic properties to them, but with good common sense we use them as they are supposed to be used, and maintain our exposure well below any hazardous level.

In fact, even plants and their parts – apples, almonds, oranges, celery, carrots – have toxic properties in them. These are the “Natural” pesticides that the plant itself produces, as a means for warding off the insects that would eat them. Extracted, concentrated, and ingested in large enough doses, and these NATURAL materials easily would kill people. If your diet consisted 100% of carrots and Coca Cola you probably would suffer some ill health.

So, there are various kinds of pesticides around your home. They may be the chlorine or bleach, or they may be those we traditionally think of as pesticides – perhaps you have on hand some rodent poison to kill the gophers that have been terrorizing your garden, some snail bait, or a bit of spray to knock the aphids off the roses. These materials are certainly “toxic”, and great care should be exercised in their use and storage. That care comes by reading the Product Label, which will explain exactly how to use the material in an effective manner, and one that minimizes any risk to you or your family.

How can a poison be used “safely” in my home, my yard, or my business?

The answer lies in the size of the pest compared with people. A flea is millions of times smaller than a human, and therefore requires only a tiny amount of a toxic material to cause its death. If that flea were as large as your German Shepherd (Men In Black, we need you!) it would require a proportionately larger dose of poison to kill it, and human exposure would be a concern as well.

When a pest control product is “sprayed” in your home – for example, a treatment of the carpets for flea control – the amount of actual poison may be as low as 0.01% of the material. That means that 99.99% of the spray is water. Following the application the water evaporates, and the active ingredient of the pesticide binds tightly to the sprayed surface, virtually eliminating exposure to you or your children who may contact that surface once it is dry.

Weed control is different, since plants have metabolisms far different from animals. As a consequence, most Herbicides (weed killers) have a toxicity rated as very low. For example, Roundup herbicide has an acute toxicity that actually is about one half the toxicity of table salt. Now, please don’t think that this means it is okay to drink Roundup, but with standard precautions and the use of Roundup as outlined on the Product Label that comes with it, there should be no hazard created for you. Roundup is designed to affect a plant, and at the doses adequate to do so normal human exposure is well below a risk level.

A word of caution here, or perhaps a “disclaimer”. Government regulators have made it very clear that the pest control industry is to avoid the use of words such as “safe”, “safely”, “healthy”, etc. when referring to pesticides. Pesticides are not, ultimately, “SAFE”. However, used correctly they can provide benefits for us in eliminating problems, and the risk from the toxic substance is kept extremely low.

Can pesticides cause cancer or birth defects?

Renowned researchers in this field of medicine, such as Dr. Bruce Ames from the University of California, or Dr. Edith Efram, another well known expert on cancer and its causes, believe that pesticides are a negligible concern in this area. In fact, a commonly used test for potential “carcinogens” is called The Ames Test, after Dr. Ames, who first discovered it. Both of these objective experts maintain that all substances, in a high enough dose administered to laboratory animals, are capable of causing toxic damage which might, then, lead to tumors or mutations. Within this category these highly respected experts include salt, peanut butter, beer, penicillin, celery, and any other natural substance that has “chemicals” in it.

All manufacturers of pest control chemicals are required to test their materials in a variety of known testing methods, to determine whether or not they have a potential as a carcinogen or teratogen. Some of these studies are long-term studies, on several generations of test animals, at doses far higher than you or I could be exposed to with even sloppy use. The test animals generally are exposed for their entire lives, again far beyond exposure from use of the products. The Material Safety Data Sheet for each pesticide give information on the results of these tests, but it would be the rare manufacturer who would release a product to the market knowing it could cause long-term harm to his customers.

Can pesticides make you sick, or possibly harm our pets?

Certainly they can…… if they are used improperly. However, safeguards are in place to ensure that Professional Users apply pesticides correctly, greatly minimizing any risk to the environment or to you, their customers. Today’s certified or licensed pesticide applicators are better trained and more closely regulated than ever before. Most states require that they receive Continuing Education in order to maintain their certification.

Again, the improper use of any substance, pesticides included, will increase the risk of overexposure and illness. At the proper use strength they can be of benefit in removing pests that can bite or sting us, or feed on our food, our homes, or our gardens. In a number of cases there are pesticides in frequent use that also are used as medicines or medical treatments for people. Examples may be found in eyewashes, shampoos for fleas or ticks, antibiotics, and heart or blood problems.

So, are pesticides “safe”?

No. They are toxic and can kill, and therefore we cannot say they are safe, any more than we could claim aspirin is “safe”, no matter how many we take for a headache. Pesticides are toxic materials and can cause problems if they are not used correctly. However, they can be used in a safe manner if we follow the written instructions and use good common sense.

Are pesticides necessary?

Not always. Without a doubt we use pesticides too often in this country. Most people have a very low tolerance for “bugs” in the house, and choose the toxic approach first for eliminating them. Often, a better control approach is to use good IPM – Integrated Pest Management. We should look at the reason the pest is present, and change that environment physically to make it less livable for the pest. If we move the firewood piles away from the house we are less likely to be bothered by silverfish, carpenter ants, or spiders. If we keep foods properly stored we are less likely to be invaded by ants or cockroaches. There are many actions necessary that would greatly reduce the pesticides needed by themselves.

However, toxic substances are used today to eliminate or repel rodents and insects that can cause us great stress or harm. Mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, cockroaches, ants, spiders, flies, rats, pigeons, and many others are capable of spreading diseases or toxic stings to people. Therefore, in order to continue the excellent healthy trends we have enjoyed in the United States, just as doctors still prescribe antibiotics for diseases, we still must rely on the cautious use of some toxic materials to control pests.

The Good News Is…we are learning. Newer products, new techniques, greater education and knowledge of the pests we deal with are all combining to reduce the amount of pesticides used. Our exposure is reduced due to more careful application, and IPM is improving the overall control of the pest. Most pesticides used today are much less toxic than those commonly used in the past, and they are effective at far lower doses, reducing our exposure even more.

When it comes to bed bugs there are plenty of pesticides on the market that claim to kill them. And probably they do. The problem is that you have to kill them all to the last one otherwise they will reappear.

Original Post Here A Basic Primer on Pesticides

“Killer” Bees – Intresting Facts

Africanized Bees

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One case where the Myth certainly is larger than the Truth is with respect to the so-called “Killer Bee”. Prior to its arrival in the United States in 1990 this aggressive strain of our common Honeybee was known to be moving closer and closer to the U.S. in its northerly expansion. Hollywood made the most of it, creating many movies that depicted the alleged horrors this bee would cause, as it laid waste to entire towns and killed hundreds of people. While these movies in no way were meant to reflect accuracy with respect to this bee, it became very easy for the American Public to believe what they saw, and a great deal of unwarranted fear was generated.

The more appropriate name for the “killer” bee is the Africanized Honey Bee, abbreviated AHB, which we can use throughout this article. When I talk to classes of school children on the subject of insects I usually am asked if I have a “Killer Bee” in my displays, and it is expected by these children that the bee surely must be of Godzilla proportions to support all the terrible things they have heard about it. In fact, the AHB is the same species as our common “European” honeybee, that busy little backyard pollinator of our flowers, and the two kinds look exactly alike. They can be distinguished with certainty only by experts who are able to dissect the bees and examine internal organs.

This article is meant to tell you the truth about the AHB, and help you to understand how you should deal with it should it eventually be encountered in the environment where you live. At the time this is written, in early 2004, the AHB is a resident in the United States in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and California. It is a tropical variety that does best in warm climates, and may not be able to permanently occupy the more northern states where winters are so cold.

It is projected that it may be able to migrate northward during the warmer summer months, but be killed off each winter. It certainly also could be carried by commerce and movement of materials in vehicles, appearing suddenly in a location well away from other known colonies of it. The bees, you see, make their hives in many possible places, including vehicles and those things we transport on them.

The familiar European Honeybee, which we have always used for our benefit in pollination of food crops and for production of honey, is not a native insect in North America. It was brought to the U.S. by early settlers from Europe, who wanted to continue to receive the benefits this useful insect provides. We can save space and refer to this strain as the EHB, and it is known as a relatively docile variety of the bee.

About the only time we really are at risk of being stung by one or more of the workers is when we venture too close to the hive, for the workers are very protective of the hive, the larvae they tend within it, and the queen they protect with their lives. Generally speaking, an attack in defense of the hive of a EHB involves just a few bees, and we can end that attack by running away a few feet further.

The problem with the AHB, on the other hand, is that it is much, much more aggressive about protecting its hive. While the workers are out foraging on flowers for food we are at no more risk of being stung than we would be from the EHB, but when you get too close to the hive of the Africanized variety……watch out!! Hundreds or thousands of the workers will fly out of the hive to attack anyone or anything they perceive as a threat to their hive.

As a worker stings you it leaves behind odors that draw more bees to you and get them angry as well, and it is very common for swarms of the bees to continue to chase you up to a quarter of a mile or further as you attempt to run away. With the EHB the attack ends within a minute or two as the workers calm down, but the hive of the AHB may stay agitated and angry for much longer, perhaps over an hour. Even 8 hours later the workers in the hive of the Africanized Honey Bee may still be agitated.

Each sting from an AHB is no worse than a single sting from a EHB. In fact, the stinger of either of these bees is pulled from the body of the bee as it stings human skin, resulting in the death of the bee. The problem is the sheer numbers of bees that will go after you and continue to pursue you as you flee. Running away, however, is the best response you have if you are attacked. You need to put as much distance as possible between you and the hive, as quickly as you can.

Do NOT jump into a swimming pool or pond, thinking this will save you, for the bees will continue to mill around the water’s surface and immediately attack you again when you come up for air. If there is a car nearby get into it and close the doors and windows. This will reduce the number of bees that can get to you. If you can get inside a home or some other building do so immediately and close the doors. Those bees that do get inside often become disoriented once inside a structure, and may break off the attack.

For any honeybee sting, AHB or EHB, another immediate response you should have is to remove the stinger from your skin. As the stinger is pulled from the body of the bee it also pulls out the sac that holds all the venom, and this continues to pump the full dose into you. The faster you can grasp that stinger and remove it the lower the dose of venom you will receive.

In the past the recommendation has been to avoid squeezing the stinger with your fingers, believing this would push all the venom into you. However, newer research has shown that this is the best way to get the stinger out quickly, as squeezing it does not force any excess venom through the tiny channel the venom needs to travel through to get to the skin.

The AHB originated in Africa, where it has lived apart from its European ancestors for many thousands of years. It has adapted to this warmer, damper environment, but also developed the much more aggressive behavior, perhaps in response to greater threats to the hive from marauding animals that would attempt to get to the honey or the tasty larvae in the hive.

Very early settlers to North America brought the well-behaved European strain of the bee with them, and over time this bee made its way to South America, either by its own movements and migration or perhaps from deliberate transport by European settlers in Brazil and Argentina. However, the EHB did not survive well in this new, tropical environment, and the use of honeybees for honey and pollination never became widespread in South America.

In 1956 a colony of the AHB was taken to South America in the belief that it would survive and propagate better, since it already was adapted to the more tropical habitats in Africa. It was also hoped that its aggressiveness could be eliminated by cross-breeding it with the EHB, resulting in a honeybee that would be manageable and also survive well in the tropics.

They were deliberately spread throughout Brazil to many beekeepers, but unfortunately never changed their violent behavior. Year after year through the 1970’s and 1980’s their movement was tracked further and further north, through Central America and Mexico, until they finally were discovered to have settled into Texas in 1990. They are known to spread about 300 miles each year, and reached southern California late in 1994.

One other area in which the AHB will cause a serious impact to our lives is an economic one. We rely on honeybees for the pollination and production of a great many of our food crops, and beekeepers rely on being able to move their hives to those agricultural areas.

In the states where the AHB now lives there may be quarantines in place that prohibit the movement of any bee hives out of the state, or perhaps even to other areas of the same state where the AHB is not currently a resident. The livelihood of the beekeepers is at risk, along with the potential for a more difficult time getting bees to crops when the pollination is needed.

A few more facts about the AHB may help you to understand them, and perhaps deal with them if you are attacked. First, they are drawn to dark colors. Studies with black and white flags waved near them have shown far greater numbers of stings in the black area of the flag. Wearing lighter colored clothing places you at a lower risk. They are drawn to many odors including, possibly, perfumes.

And, once some workers have stung a perceived threat they leave behind odors that enable other workers to zero in on that unfortunate victim. The AHB breeds readily with colonies of the EHB, but unfortunately this hybridization does not seem to be taking any of the aggressive behavior out of the offspring of that marriage.

Other activities that may trigger the defensive reaction by the AHB include loud noises and vibrations near their nest. This has happened frequently from lawnmowers or power leaf-blowers used nearby, but even loud voices and other normal play activity could be enough. The AHB colonies often are much smaller than those of the EHB, and they are more likely to move the colony to stay near food supplies. The result of this is that many more colonies of the AHB may be found in a smaller area.

How do you avoid getting attacked and stung by the AHB? The only real way is to avoid getting too close to their colonies. It is common in the spring for honeybees to migrate, with a queen leaving a hive, along with a large consort of workers, and moving to a new location to set up a new hive. You may have seen this activity in the form of a large ball of bees on a fence or in a tree or bush.

During this activity there is very little risk of being stung by the bees unless you directly attack the swarm. This could be by swatting at them or from trying to move them along with a jet of water from the garden hose. These are bad ideas. You should either leave them alone and hope they leave in a day or two to become someone else’s concern, or contact a licensed beekeeper or pest control company to have the swarm removed.

If you happen to notice bees flying in and out of a hole in a tree, a gap in the outside wall of a structure, a cave, or some other natural opening, you should STAY AWAY!! In those areas where the AHB now resides it must be assumed that these could be the AHB, and getting too close could easily trigger that defensive response by the bees. It would be a very bad idea to try to throw rocks or other objects at a hive of bees, for this will most certainly trigger a defensive response by the workers.

If you see someone else who is being attacked by the AHB do NOT go to their aid, as this is most likely to result in two victims needing help instead of just one. Instead, immediately call 9-1-1 to get emergency help there quickly. And, if you are attacked by bees turn and run as quickly as you can and don’t stop. Remember, the AHB will chase you for a very long distance.

Your decision on whether or not to attempt to go to the aid of another person who is being attacked by the AHB must be yours to make, however experts on this bee and on the emergency steps you should take have made this recommendation.

You can also take steps to prevent a colony of either strain of honeybees from setting up their home on your property. In particular it is important to keep them out of your home, because once inside the walls of a structure they immediately begin to construct their wax hives and begin filling it with honey. Even if the bees are later killed or removed this hive must also be removed or serious damage and other problems will result, and this removal can be expensive and disrupting.

You can “bee-proof” your home by taking the time to carefully inspect the outside of it and close off any small openings that would allow the bees to enter to the inside. In the yard you can fill holes in trees, keep shrubbery trimmed back so it does not create dense patches, and remove debris such as boxes or old tires that would provide cavities for the bees to nest in.

Finally then, to summarize the important points of this important insect, the Africanized Honey Bee is in the United States to stay, and where it has colonized we must learn to live with it. We must recognize the highly aggressive nature of the AHB and its ability to quickly become defensive of its hive, and avoid activities around known bee hives that might initiate this response.

Avoid approaching openings where bees are noticed, avoid wearing dark clothing if the bees are in your area, and if you are attacked by bees……RUN!!!….and don’t stop running. If you are stung only once or twice and are not experiencing the serious reactions, such as difficulty in breathing or major swelling at the site of the sting, then you should remove the stinger quickly, wash the area with soap and water, and apply an ice pack for a few minutes to relieve swelling and pain. A general rule of thumb for a healthy adult is that 15 stings would normally suggest that the victim seek medical care.

Post Source Here “Killer” Bees – Intresting Facts

Bed Bugs – Preventing the Problem

Bed Bug Life Cycle
               Photo Credit: DoItYourOwnPestControl

The Common Bed Bug definitely is “back”, and daily there may be dozens of news media articles related to this blood feeding parasite. From its rare occurrence into the 1990’s the bed bug now is routinely reported throughout the United States and Canada, and in such locations as theaters, schools, buses, offices, and upscale clothing stores.

Because it is now so widely recognized it is logical that a great deal of misinformation is going to be spread about it. This article in BugBattalion is intended to help you understand some of the Myths and Realities of the bed bug.

Whenever something becomes the hot item there will be a mad rush by entrepreneurs to take advantage of it by marketing their products for that issue. In addition there are plenty of bed bug removal companies that offer their help.

In the case of The Common Bed Bug, we now can find many internet sites selling you on their monitoring and control devices, or certain insecticides they claim will control the problem. If the solution for a bed bug infestation really were that easy, universities would not be spending the energy they are on finding a cure.

One U.S. University, in particular, is heavily involved with research on this parasite and the products for its control, and a recent statement by them is that no insecticide or non-chemical method alone will effectively control The Common Bed Bug.

To remove them from your home or some other infested structure means to kill them down to the very last bed bug and egg, and if just a few eggs are missed the problem could reoccur. In the U.S. many of the common insecticides are only partially effective, and to rely on just a chemical approach is unlikely to work.

Some Bed Bug Myths:

Bed bugs can transmit diseases to humans:

This is false. The Common Bed Bug has never been known to spread any diseases to humans or domestic animals, and this remains the current opinion. When we refer to The Common Bed Bug we mean that there are other species of bed bugs that may infest structures as well, such as bat bugs and swallow bugs that may be associated with these host animals. When Swine Flu became a major concern in 2009 it was proposed that bed bugs could be spreading this disease, but this is false. There is no evidence that bed bugs can transmit the flu, AIDS, or any other disease to people.

Bed bug bites are harmless to humans:

While it is accurate that bed bugs do not transmit diseases, and also accurate that their bite cannot be felt, the feeding of bed bugs is by no means inconsequential. Many people have no reaction at all to the bite. Most often a person may experience a red, itchy bump. But, our immune systems are of a mind of their own, and for some people the bite of this bed bug could be a life-threatening experience, caused by the serious reaction to the saliva the bugs inject when they feed. These insects are blood-feeding parasites, and a Public Health problem.

The sudden resurgence of bed bugs is an act of international terrorism:

Again, false. The exact reason for this sudden reappearance of an old enemy, which was very common in the early part of the 1900’s, is not well understood. But, it is believed that several possibilities are at play, including increasing international travel, a reduced use of insecticide in the home, and possibly a lack of recognition of this pest that essentially disappeared for 50 years in the U.S.

It really did pop up from time to time, but it was exceedingly rare for pest control companies to get calls for The Common Bed Bug. There even has been an accusation that the bed bug resurgence is the result of so much commerce coming into the U.S. from Asia, a claim that does not seem to have any basis in fact.

Unsanitary conditions encourage the presence of bed bugs:

This is not entirely false, but since bed bugs feed only on blood, and are not reliant on finding any other sources of food or moisture, they can live just as comfortably in the cleanest up-scale bedrooms as they would in a filthy home. All they need is the presence of humans, or our pets, for their survival. However, a cluttered environment does offer bed bugs more places to hide, and this clutter could make it much more difficult to eradicate the bugs once they are established.

Bed bugs feed only at night:

False. They may prefer to feed at night when human activity is minimal, but bed bugs can sense the carbon dioxide we exhale, and they will feed at any time they can find a resting person. It also is false that they hide only in the bedroom. Most of the bugs may hide on and adjacent to the bed, but a large percentage of them will hide much further away, often within wall voids, closets, or nearby rooms.

Bed bugs only hide on the mattress:

While 70% or more of the bugs WILL hide within the seams and buttons on mattresses, if these harborage sites are available, many will hide in dressers, electronic equipment, clothing, draperies, along edges of carpets and floor molding, behind objects on the walls, within the walls themselves, and inside any other crevices and holes they may find in furniture in the room.

Throwing away your mattress is not necessary, and in fact is discouraged. All that is accomplished by throwing out an infested mattress is to spread the infestation to new places. Instead, have the mattress treated in some appropriate manner, enclose it in a good quality mattress encasement, and keep it for your use. Encasements are available for box springs, crib mattresses, and pillows as well.

Bed bugs can fly, or Bed bugs are too small to see:

Both of these are false. Bed bugs have no wings, and will rapidly crawl from hiding to a blood source and back to hiding. It is possible for bed bugs to drop from the ceiling and onto a bed, but it does not fly. A full grown adult bed bug is about ¼ inch long, so it is easily seen. The eggs are about the size of a grain of salt and they are white, so they would be visible if they occur on an exposed dark surface. But the female bed bug glues her eggs here and there, often within hidden places, sometimes on light colored surfaces. These eggs hatch to a tiny nymph, and even this can be seen with the naked eye as it moves across a surface.

If I don’t do any traveling I cannot get bed bugs:

We wish this were true, but the fact is that these insects are excellent hitchhikers, and manage to travel on people whose homes are infested. They are now found in many kinds of public places, including schools, theaters, buses, airplanes, and stores. The possibility exists for you to acquire bed bugs in many of your everyday activities. This is not a reason to become terrified of leaving the house, but suggests that we learn about bed bugs and be diligent in avoiding bringing them home.

I can kill bed bugs by (a.) starving them by going on vacation (b.) freezing them in the winter (c.) cooking them in the washer or dryer (d.) setting off bug “bombs”:

Bed bugs have not survived for millennia because they are wimpy or fragile creatures. They can survive as the adult bug for up to 1 year without feeding. Bug “bombs”, more accurately called total-release aerosols, are highly IN-effective against bed bugs. The mist that comes out of these aerosols simply cannot penetrate into the crevices and voids where the bugs are hiding, and the active ingredient in the aerosols dissipates rapidly so the bugs are not affected later when they do emerge.

Freezing does kill bed bugs, but it either must be extremely low temperatures, such as that accomplished by some commercial freezing devices, or it must be for a very long period of time. Don’t expect to open your windows in the winter and kill all the bugs. Heating is an excellent weapon against bed bugs, and a temperature of only 120 degrees for perhaps 30 minutes will kill the bugs and their eggs. Laundering clothing, bedding, draperies, and other infested fabrics, and then placing them in a hot dryer for a cycle, will kill the bugs.

If I have bed bugs I will have to throw away my computer and all other electronic items:

This is not true. Bed bugs definitely can hide within electronic equipment, such as clocks, radios, TVs, computers, etc., and a pest control professional will not spray into this kind of sensitive equipment for fear of destroying it. However, a fumigant strip is available to professionals so that infested electronics can be sealed within an airtight chamber and fumigated to kill all bugs and their eggs that may be within the items.

Ultrasonic and other electronic repelling devices will keep me from having bed bugs:

Again, if it were this easy we wouldn’t be having the problem with bed bugs. The fact is that many universities have studied the various electronic repelling devices over many years of these devices being marketed to homeowners, and have never found evidence that they perform as the manufacturers claim. Whether it is for bed bugs, mosquitoes, cockroaches, rats, spiders, or any other “vermin”, ultrasonic repelling boxes simply do not work. One university researcher even branded them as “fraudulent devices marketed by unscrupulous people”.

Bed bugs are immune to all pesticides:

This definitely is not true, and in fact insecticides are an important weapon for most efforts to eliminate bed bugs. It is true that bed bugs have developed “resistance” to many of the insecticides in common use today, but they are not immune to them. It requires a greater exposure to the materials than it did in the past, and many new kinds of active ingredients are being developed where there is no resistance. Successful pest management companies will normally incorporate non-chemical tools in their program, but also selectively use insecticides.

There are likely to be many more myths about bed bugs, but this is a good sampling. These are not invincible creatures, but they can be very tenacious once they become established in a room or business. This is due in part to the fact that they are so small and thin they can hide in the tiniest of crevices, and easily move through wall voids to infest neighboring rooms or apartments. They cannot be treated in the same manner you might treat to eliminate an infestation of crickets or roaches or fleas or any other pest. If you suspect you have bed bugs you should contact a Qualified, Licensed, Professional pest management company that has experience with bed bug control. Your cooperation and involvement are critical elements in the successful eradication of The Common Bed Bug.

See More Here Bed Bugs – Preventing the Problem


Bed bugs: who needs ’em? If you’ve discovered bites on your skin, or found those pesky little things crawling around on your bed or nearby, take action right away! Don’t live with this stressful problem, and don’t spend thousands replacing your mattress or paying an exterminator to perform a treatment that you can do yourself for less. Here’s how you can get rid of bed bugs in just 4 easy steps:


The first goal in a bed bug treatment is to stop bed bugs from biting you while you sleep. If bed bugs can’t feed, they can’t breed. If they can’t breed, then they can’t reproduce, and the infestation won’t be able to grow any further. This means that as soon as you remove their food source (your blood), you set a timer for the infestation to starve off.


To begin, strip your bed of all sheets, pillowcases, and other bedding, and seal them in plastic garbage bags to keep bed bugs from escaping and infesting other parts of your home. Take the bags straight to the washing machine, and wash them using the hot water setting. Then, dry the bedding on high heat if their tags allow it. This heat treatment will kill any bed bugs or eggs hiding in your bedding.

While your laundry cycle is running, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any bed bugs, shells, fecal droppings, or eggs that might be along the seams of your mattress, pillows, box spring, and along the cracks and crevices in the bed frame, headboard, and footboard. Follow up the vacuuming with a high pressure steamer to penetrate deep inside mattresses, box springs, bed frames, headboards, and footboards to kill bed bugs and eggs on contact.

While the mattress and box spring are left to dry, spray down the joints of the bed frame, headboard, and footboard with a contact spray and residual spray. The contact spray will kill bed bugs quickly and then evaporate, while the residual spray will kill bed bugs over several weeks. Remember to follow the sprays’ product labels and MSDS for safe and effective usage.

Once the mattress and box spring are dry, encase them in sealed bed bug encasements. Encasements are crucial, as they prevent bed bugs from entering or escaping the mattress and box spring, cutting off key hiding places. Remember to leave the encasements on for at least 18 months to ensure that any bed bugs already inside have starved to death. Once the encasements have been applied, you can put your mattress and box springs back on your treated bed frame, and put your laundered bedding back on your bed.


Now that you’ve killed the bed bugs hiding in your bed, it’s time to put up defensive measures to keep them out. Remember, bed bugs can be hiding in all sorts of cracks and crevices throughout your bedroom – in furniture, along baseboards, and inside of the walls – so you need a way to keep them out of your freshly treated bed. By cutting off the infestation’s food supply (you), you halt their breeding and reproductive cycle, making the treatment a whole lot easier.

Move your bed away from any other points of contact, like walls, nightstands, and other furniture. Tuck in or remove any hanging skirts or sheets, and remove any storage under the bed that is touching any part of the frame. The only thing your bed should be touching is the floor via its legs. If you don’t have a bed frame with legs, you should purchase one to sleep in, at least until you are bed bug free.

To complete the isolation, place ClimbUp Interceptors under each leg of the bed. These interceptors will prevent bed bugs from climbing up your bed legs, stopping them from reaching you in your bed. As bed bugs attempt to get to you, they will climb up the edge of the interceptor and fall into the perimeter pitfall where they can’t escape.

With the bed now fully isolated and elevated, bed bugs hiding elsewhere in the room won’t be able to feed on you or hide in your bed. You can also use the ClimbUps to monitor the changing population of bed bugs in your home. Hopefully, you will see less and less bugs appear in the traps as you go through the next steps. Now that you have created a safe haven in your bed, you can move on to treating the rest of the room.



Bed bugs could be hiding in all sorts of tight spaces in your room, like wood cracks, inside books and furniture, and along the baseboards and the edges of the carpet. In this step, we’re going to clean, vacuum, and steam those areas that bed bugs are likely to be. This will cut down on the bed bug population while making it harder for survivors to hide.

Begin by reducing clutter in the room; things like clothes, books, and other personal belongings shouldn’t be left on the floor, as they make treatment more difficult and add hiding places for bed bugs and eggs. Seal those items in garbage bags and store them away from the room. Any clothing that was picked up or removed from dresser drawers should be dried on high heat for at least 45 minutes. Once treated, clothing that you don’t normally wear should be stored inside garbage bags outside of the infested room.

Next, vacuum and steam along baseboards, window sills, and the edge of the carpet. When you’re done vacuuming, the bag or canister should be cleaned or discarded to limit exposure of bed bugs to other parts of the home. The steamer can also be used to treat sofas, chairs, furniture, and cabinets. When applying steam, remember to move the nozzle slowly (about one inch per second) to ensure that all bed bugs and eggs are killed.

If you suspect that bed bugs might be hiding in items that can’t be laundered or steamed, like books, papers, luggage, shoes, and dry-clean only clothing, you can treat those with a portable bed bug heater. Heaters are a popular way to safely heat-treat items during bed bug treatments, or as a preventative tool for travelers who want to ensure that bed bugs can’t escape from their luggage to infest their home.


It’s time to finish off any bed bugs you may have missed, and to set up a long-lasting defense for any eggs that hatch in the coming weeks. Use a combination of both contact and residual sprays, as well as a residual powder, to ensure that you cut down the population now and continue killing bed bugs over time.

First up are the contact sprays, like STERI-FAB and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs. These will kill quickly, but evaporate shortly after, leaving no long-lasting protection. Spray along baseboards, below drawers and on drawer slides, behind cabinets, and behind night stands. Follow up with a residual spray, such as Bedlam Plus and JT Eaton Kills Bed Bugs Plus. Residual sprays will offer long-lasting protection against bed bugs and hatchlings. Bedlam Plus is ideal for cracks and crevices throughout the room, while JT Eaton Plus can be used below the cushions and bases of sofas, chairs, edges of carpets and other fabric items.

Remember that sprays shouldn’t be applied to areas that you’ll touch, walk on, or sit on. Sprays are designed to treat hiding places that bed bugs are or may be, and bed bugs tend to not want to hang out in open areas like the carpet or the tops of furniture.

Next, apply a bed bug powder into confined areas where it won’t be stirred up into the air. Places like the edges of carpeting, inside deep cracks and wall voids, and inside electrical outlets and light switches (accessed by removing the faceplate with a screwdriver) are good candidates for powders, as sprays can’t reach into these areas quite as well. We recommend using a professional powder applicator, which offers better control when applying the powder.

To ensure that all bed bugs are killed, reapply the contact and residual sprays two weeks after the initial treatment, then again two weeks after that, for a total of three applications. These reapplications make sure that any eggs that have hatched will be killed off so that they can’t create a new infestation. Bed bug powders will not need to be reapplied, as they work for as long as they remain dry and undisturbed.

If you followed all of these steps, including the reapplications, you should be bed bug free in a matter of weeks! You even get to keep the products afterwards for prevention purposes, and it all costs less than hiring a pest control professional to perform the treatments.