If you have a problem with pests and you are thinking about hiring an exterminator to come in and help you out then you must consider a few different tips and tricks to help you find the best professional for your needs. There are actually some very important things that you have to consider. If you have never selected an exterminator before then you have to watch out for these things.
Pest Problem: First and foremost, you have to know what you are going to be exterminating. You have to know what type of bugs you are dealing with so that you know what type of exterminator you are looking for. All bugs and pests are going to respond differently to different types of treatments. If you do not know what type of bugs you have then you will not know what type of exterminator to call. Once you have established what type of pests you are dealing with and then you can move to the next step.
Candidates: Make a list of exterminators. Find out if each of the exterminators you are considering actually knows how to treat the pests that you have in and around your home. This can help you narrow down your search rather quickly. You do not want to pay a professional that cannot help you. Knowing the bugs that you have can help you avoid this problem.
Guarantee: Finally, always find out if the exterminator that you are thinking about hiring will come back and treat the area again if they need to. The best exterminators are going to come back and treat the area a few times. If you really start doing your research you are going to see that many of the companies out there are going to be able to offer you different contracts and guarantees. Take the time to read these in order to see which one will give you the most service for your money. Then you will know that they are going to come back and treat again and you will not have to worry about paying for it. Yes, these guarantee contracts can be expensive but they will be worth it in the end.
Factors to Consider While Selecting the Pest Control Company
The first thing you need to do is check on the following factors before moving on to choosing a pest control company.
License to Operate: Determine if the pest control contractors have a license to operate in your state. Also, check if the organizations hold any special certifications to authenticate their expertise. You can contact the state’s pesticide regulatory agency to check the validity of the license held by the contractor. You can also enquire about the types of licenses that contractors are required to provide pest control services.
You can also check if the contractors are affiliated with any other national pest control associations like Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO). This will prove their knowledge and expertise in pest control operations and regulations.
Liability Insurance: After license verification, the next step is to determine if the pest control companies offer liability insurance against damages caused during the pest control operations. This is especially important if you are trying to eradicate insects like termites from your premises. If the pest control company doesn’t offer any liability insurance, you can enquire about preventive steps taken by them to safeguard the property.
BEWARE OF COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS THAT…….
Want to do pest control as part of a package deal, such as general home repair or tree trimming or that will give you a special price if treatment is done immediately.
Don’t have a listed or working telephone number.
Sell services door-to-door or target the elderly or infirm persons who live alone. CHECK THEIR IDENTIFICATION AND CREDENTIALS!!!
Arrive unexpectedly and show you insects they have found in your neighbors house as evidence of a neighborhood problem.
Quote a per-gallon price. Termite control can require several hundred gallons of diluted insecticide.
Claim to have a secret formula. All pesticide products must be registered by the U.S. EPA and the States Departments of Agriculture. Registered pesticide labels contain a list of active ingredients.
Try to pressure you into immediately signing a contract by suggesting your house is structurally unsound and may collapse if not treated.
Claim to have excess material left over from a previous job and offer a reduced price for immediate treatment.
Claim to be endorsed by the States Departments of Agriculture, the U.S. EPA or other government agency. Government agencies DO NOT endorse any service company or specific pesticide product.
7 Steps to an Effective Pest Management Program
IPM programs are successful for a simple reason. They recognize that pest management is a process, not a one-time event, and that relying solely on chemical controls when so many other tools are available is never the best solution. By addressing the underlying causes of pest infestations – access to food, water and shelter – IPM can prevent infestation before pesticides are even considered. In practice, IPM is an ongoing cycle of seven critical steps:
Step 1: Inspection
The cornerstone of an effective IPM program is a schedule of regular inspections. For food processors weekly inspections are common, and some plants inspect even more frequently. These routine inspections should focus on areas where pests are most likely to appear – receiving docks, storage areas, employee break rooms, sites of recent ingredient spills, etc. – and identify any potential entry points, food and water sources, or harborage zones that might encourage pest problems.
Step 2: Preventive Action
As regular inspections reveal vulnerabilities in your pest management program, take steps to address them before they cause a real problem. One of the most effective prevention measures is exclusion, i.e., performing structural maintenance to close potential entry points revealed during inspection. By physically keeping pests out, you can reduce the need for chemical countermeasures. Likewise, sanitation and housekeeping will eliminate potential food and water sources, thereby reducing pest pressure.
Step 3: Identification
Different pests have different behaviors. By identifying the problematic species, pests can be eliminated more efficiently and with the least risk of harm to other organisms. Professional pest management always starts with the correct identification of the pest in question. Make sure your pest control provider undergoes rigorous training in pest identification and behavior.
Step 4: Analysis
Once you have properly identified the pest, you need to figure out why the pest is in your facility. Is there food debris or moisture accumulation that may be attracting it? What about odors? How are the pests finding their way in – perhaps through the floors or walls? Could incoming shipments be infested? The answers to these questions will lead to the best choice of control techniques.
Step 5: Treatment Selection
IPM stresses the use of non-chemical control methods, such as exclusion or trapping, before chemical options. When other control methods have failed or are inappropriate for the situation, chemicals may be used in least volatile formulations in targeted areas to treat the specific pest. In other words, use the right treatments in the right places, and only as much as you need to get the job done. Often, the “right treatment” will consist of a combination of responses, from chemical treatments to baiting to trapping. But by focusing on non-chemical options first, you can ensure that your pest management program is effectively eliminating pests at the least risk to your food safety program, non-target organisms and the environment. You’ll also see higher pest control scores at audit time.
Step 6: Monitoring
Since pest management is an ongoing process, constantly monitoring your facility for pest activity and facility and operational changes can protect against infestation and help eliminate existing ones. Since your pest management professional most likely visits your facility on a bi-weekly or weekly basis, your staff needs to be the daily eyes and ears of the IPM program. Employees should be cognizant of sanitation issues that affect the program and should report any signs of pest activity. You don’t want to lose a day when it comes to reacting to an actual pest presence.
Step 7: Documentation
Let’s face it, the food safety auditor’s visit can make or break your business. Since pest control can account for up to 20 percent of your total score, it’s imperative that your IPM program is ready to showcase come audit time. Up-to-date pest control documentation is one of the first signs to an auditor that your facility takes pest control seriously. Important documents include a scope of service, pest activity reports, service reports, corrective action reports, trap layout maps, lists of approved pesticides, pesticide usage reports and applicator licenses.
Professional Pest Control
Ultimately, regardless of how much you educate yourself, you are not going to approach the experience and flexibility of a major pest control company. If this sounds like too much work to you, you will probably want to employ the services of a professional. Pest control companies know the optimal place to treat, and how often to keep treating to give you the best chance of permanently keeping the problem at bay. Additionally, many companies offer service guarantees, particularly for stubborn pests like termites, and offer no cost return visits until the infestation is rectified.
discovered bed bugs in your home or have bites from bed bugs? A treatment by a
professional pest control company or exterminator may not be in your budget or
work with your schedule.
is possible to treat a bed bug infestation yourself without spending a fortune.
You must be diligent and committed to the treatment process, but you can
eliminate bed bugs yourself! Read our guide below for the 4-step DIY bed bug
STEP 1: Preparing
a Room for Bed Bug Treatment
begin your own bed bug treatment, you will need to prepare the room or rooms
where bed bugs have been found, in addition to rooms that share walls with the
infested rooms. Remove any items in the room that you absolutely cannot treat
or that have already been treated. Cover items that will be removed from the
room in plastic bags before moving to the next room to prevent any unseen bed bug
from infesting another room.
paintings or art from the walls. Be sure to thoroughly check any item that is
removed from the room to prevent bed bugs from being transferred from room to
If you have
a mattress that is heavily infested, we recommend covering it with a bed bug
proof mattress cover or bed bug mattress encasement before moving. You will
also need to cover your box spring with a box spring encasement.
mattress needs to be disposed of and replaced, be sure to cover the mattress
with plastic before disposing to protect sanitation workers. Labeling a
mattress or covering with “Bed Bugs” is also helpful.
sheets, linens, and garments should be washed and then dried in a household
dryer on high heat (over 120 degrees F), as the heat will kill bed bugs. Any
garments that cannot be washed may need to be dry-cleaned or discarded as
insecticides cannot be used on these materials.
animals, books, or soft toys are infested, place those items in an air-tight
bin along with vapor strips to kill the bed bugs.
STEP 2: Treat
the Cracks, Crevices, Tufts, and Folds of Your Home for Bed Bugs
Some bed bug
products cannot be used where others can. Also, bed bugs can build up a
resistance to certain pyrethroids, making them difficult to treat. This is why
using a variety of products to kill and control bed bugs will produce the best
results. We recommend using one of our bed bug kits. These kits include our
most powerful and effective products for a variety of applications to save you
time and money.
STEP 3: Treat
Your Mattress for Bed Bugs
To get rid
of bed bugs in a mattress, use an aerosol spray labeled for bed bug treatment,
such as Bedlam Aerosol Spray, and spray or mist the insecticide onto the
mattress. Focus on the seams, tufts, and folds of the mattress and spray until
the mattress is damp. Allow mattress to dry before remaking the bed with
freshly laundered sheets that have been run through a dryer on high heat.
treating a mattress or box spring for bed bugs, we recommend encasing each in a
bed bug proof cover. This will prevent re-infestation and will make future
inspections and treatments easier. Be sure any product that has been sprayed or
applied to your mattress is dry before you cover the mattress with a bed bug
proof cover. You can make the bed with your freshly laundered linens over a bed
bug proof mattress cover.
encasing, you will not need to re-treat your mattress or box spring further. If
you are not encasing your mattress or box spring, you will need to reapply the
aerosol spray every 7-10 days until you do not see any further bed bug
You can follow
the initial aerosol spray treatment with an insecticide dust. Dusts are great
for hard to reach areas like the corners of mattresses and where mattresses and
box springs meet. Dusts also last for several months.
to dust your box spring as well. Remove the dust cover from the bottom of the
box spring and dust in corners and crevices.
highly recommend encasing your mattress and box spring to avoid having to
Characteristics of Bed Bugs
cycles of mating and egg production, males and females must feed (consume a
bloodmeal) once every 14 days. With regular feeding, a female can lay 1-3 eggs
daily and 200-500 eggs in her lifetime. Should a bed bug’s regular feeding be
interrupted, however, it can still survive for several months on one meal.
Bed bugs are
not known to travel large distances on their own. However, they will attach
themselves to movable objects such as bedding, boxes, clothing, and furniture.
Besides residences, bed bugs are known to inhabit a variety of interior
settings like offices, stores, hotels, and gyms.
Determine the Severity of the Problem
bugs are found within eight feet of a place where a human is resting. But as
their population grows, so does their footprint in your home. That’s why it’s
important to check the following areas:
box springs, and bedding
curtains and behind peeling wallpaper
in furniture and in hardwood floors
flashlight and credit card, search and probe crevices to check for bed bugs. If
you see these pests moving, capture them with adhesive tape. Wipe the area with
soapy water to clean away any dead bed bugs, droppings, eggs, and shed skins.
Also consider vacuuming the area for an even deeper cleaning.
If you have
one or more rooms with substantial clutter or items strewn about, you’re
providing bed bugs with a haven. The simple act of reducing clutter deprives
these pests of breeding areas. But if you can see bed bugs, black or brown
stains that indicate droppings, or if you experience bites, you’re likely
dealing with an infestation.
Build a Plan to Stop Further Infestation
Build A Plan
ability to hide, their tiny size, and their frequent reproduction, you may find
it challenging to remove bed bugs from your home. Making matters worse, the egg
stage of a bed bug’s life is actually quite resistant to many forms of
treatment. Recognize that ridding your home of these pests make take a number
Step 3: Take
Action to Eliminate the Bed Bugs
tactics will play an important role in evicting pests. Experts suggest the
following tasks to clean rooms, wipe out bed bug homes, and discourage their
rooms of your house or apartment
a mattress encasement to protect your mattress and box spring
multiple times each week as you fend off the pests
and dry your clothes at the hottest setting (at least 120 degrees) to kill any
caulk to cracks and crevices seen in walls and door frames
a pest control specialist if signs of infestation continue
Check Your Results
efforts a full week to take effect. This should be enough time in case any eggs
were missed during cleaning. If the results are not to your liking, contact a
pest control specialist. The infestation may require an insecticide, which is
best handled and deployed by a professional.
Bed Bugs and
that bed bugs are not known to carry diseases to humans. But our exposed areas
of skin – the hands, neck, face, leg, and arms – are open targets to bed bugs
when we sleep.
You may not
even be aware of a bed bug bite since these are not known to be painful. In
fact, hours or days may pass before you notice signs like swelling, bleeding,
or secondary infection at the site(s) on your skin if the bites are not
cleaned. This reaction is more likely in small children, the elderly, and
people with weakened immune systems.
Seasonal Behavior of Bed Bugs
temperatures are a bed bug’s ally for a few reasons. First, heat quickens the
pest’s life cycle. In everything from feeding to the maturing of eggs to
general movement, hotter days are a bed bug’s comfort zone.
that your home is potentially a prime habitat for bed bugs throughout the year.
Because winter temperatures are extremely uncomfortable to bed bugs – and sends
them into a dormant state called diapause – they will always seek a warmer
environment. The controlled climate of your home provides a setting where they
can be active all year. If the clothes we wear carry these pests, then we help
them reach new sites for infestation. This means that controlling and
eliminating bed bugs can be done at any time on the calendar.
measure just 5 millimeters across—smaller than a pencil eraser. These bugs are
smart, tough, and they reproduce quickly. Bedbugs know where to hide to avoid
detection, they can live for months between meals, and a healthy female can lay
500 eggs in her lifetime.
that these tiny bloodsuckers can wreak a lot of havoc in your home. If they get
into bed with you, they can leave red, itchy welts all over your body.
you can get rid of bedbugs. Be patient as removing bedbugs often takes some
time and effort. You may have to try a few different chemical and non-chemical
approaches, especially if you have a large infestation.
factors can make bedbugs harder to remove. You may have a tougher time ridding
your home of them if you have a lot of clutter, or you travel often and bring
new bedbugs home in your luggage.
If you can’t
rid your home on your own, you may have to call in a professional exterminator.
Read on for a step-by-step guide on getting rid of bedbugs.
Identify all infested areas
got bedbugs, you want to find them early before they start to reproduce. It’s
much easier—and cheaper—to treat a small infestation than a big one. Yet
smaller infestations can be harder to detect.
bedbugs yourself, or hire a professional to do an inspection. Some inspectors
use specially trained dogs to hunt down bedbugs by scent.
small, narrow bodies enable them to squeeze into tiny spots—like the seams of a
mattress or couch, and the folds of curtains.
for them in places like these:
the tags of the mattress and box spring
cracks in the bed frame and headboard
paintings and posters on the walls
the seam where the wallpaper and ceiling meet
flashlight and magnifying glass to go over all of these areas.
You can spot
bedbugs by these signs:
bedbugs, which are reddish and about ¼-inch long
spots about the size of a period—these are bedbug droppings
stains on your mattress from bugs that have been crushed
pale yellow eggs, egg shells, and yellowish skins that young bedbugs shed
find a bedbug, put it in a sealed jar along with 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol.
Other types of bugs can look a lot like bedbugs. If you’re not sure what type
of bug you’ve found, bring it to an exterminator or entomologist to identify.
Contain the infestation
know you have bedbugs, you need to keep them contained so you can get rid of
them. A quick and easy way to trap bedbugs is with your vacuum. Run the vacuum
over any possible hiding places.
Seal up the
vacuumed contents into a plastic bag and throw it away. Then thoroughly clean
out the vacuum.
Seal up all
your linens and affected clothes in plastic bags until you can wash them. Then
put them on the highest possible temperature setting in the washer and dryer.
If an item can’t be washed, put it in the dryer for 30 minutes at the highest
that can’t be treated in the washer and dryer, place in a plastic bag. Leave it
there for a few months, if possible, to make sure all the bugs die. If you
can’t clean furniture, throw it away. Tear it up first and spray paint the
words “bedbugs” on it so no one else tries to take it home.
Step 3: Prep
for bedbug treatment
start treating your home, do a little prep work to maximize your odds of
success. Make sure all your linens, carpets, drapes, clothing, and other hiding
places have been cleaned or thrown out (see Step 2).
rid of bedbug hiding places. Pick up books, magazines, clothes, and anything
else that’s lying on your floor and under your bed. Throw out whatever you can.
Don’t move items from an infested room to a clean one—you could spread the
Seal up any
open areas. Glue down loose wallpaper. Caulk cracks in furniture and around
baseboards. Tape up open electrical outlets. Finally, move your bed at least 6
inches away from the wall so bedbugs can’t climb on.
Step 4: Kill
first try to remove bedbugs without chemicals. These bugs are pretty easy to
kill with high heat, 115°F (46°C), or intense cold , 32°F(less than 0°C
Here are a
few ways to treat bedbugs using these methods:
bedding and clothes in hot water for 30 minutes. Then put them in a dryer on
the highest heat setting for 30 minutes.
a steamer on mattresses, couches, and other places where bedbugs hide.
up infested items in black bags and leave them outside on a hot day (95
degrees) or in a closed car. In cooler temperatures, it can take two to five
months to kill sealed-up bugs.
bags containing bedbugs in the freezer at 0°F (-17°C). Use a thermometer to
check the temperature. Leave them in there for at least four days.
cleaned all visible bedbugs, make the area inhospitable for their friends.
Place bedbug-proof covers over your mattress and box spring. Zip these covers
up all the way. Bugs that are trapped inside will die, and new bugs won’t be
able to get in.
methods don’t wipe out all the bugs, you may need to try an insecticide.
Using “Isolation” to Thwart Bed Bugs
to insecticides, PMPs have various non-chemical techniques available to them to
control bed bugs. Vacuuming, trapping, heat, cold and steam are important
components, especially in situations where bed bugs are showing signs of
resistance to insecticides.
non-chemical tool, isolation, that you may be using or recommending without
even realizing it. If you can isolate or separate people from the bed bugs in
their homes, you will naturally reduce bed bug bites and reduce bed bug anxiety.
the bed from bed bugs is especially important in infested apartments or
residential sites where infestations remain uncontrolled (for various reasons)
and people must live with bed bugs for the time being. Bed isolation can
provide a measure of relief.
IS KEY. Isolation involves special manipulation of the bed or other sleeping
area so that bed bugs can’t reach sleeping people. Isolation methods require
the cooperation of your customer. Although you may show the customer initially
how to turn their bed into an isolation “island,” they will then be largely
responsible for maintaining the system. It’s a simple process, but it’s a
multi-step process. For that reason, it’s very important that you make sure
your customer understands the concept of bed isolation.
your customer how bed bugs get to their hosts to feed. Some bed bugs are hiding
right in the bed, but more are hiding in cracks and crevices nearby, coming out
at night and making their way onto the bed. People make it easy for them to do
so by providing “bridges” that connect from the floor or wall or furniture
directly to the bed. Climbing right up the bed leg is probably the most common
way for bed bugs to reach their host. They also get onto beds by moving from draperies
that touch, or up bed skirts that reach the floor, or by climbing up from boxes
and other items stored under the bed.
The goal is
to make the bed an island that does not touch anything and nothing touches it.
The bed should not make any contact with the walls or floor other than through
the bed’s legs, which are sitting in the middle of their own islands,
moat-style interceptor traps. Anything that touches the floor and thus creates
a bridge, such as a bed skirt or bedspread, will provide a travel route for bed
bugs and destroy the protection.
isolation can offer almost immediate relief to residents at the beginning of a
bed bug control program. In some accounts, you may be constrained from
providing the level of bed bug control necessary to completely eliminate an
infestation, but you can still offer the possibility of a good night’s sleep to
bed bug-weary customers.
Bed Bug Control – How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs
personal items (stuffed animals, soft toys, blankets, electronics, etc) and
anything that does not stay in the room permanently. Caution: Be mindful that
items from the infested area can transfer bed bugs to other areas.
Infested Garments and Linens:
garments and bed linen cannot be treated with insecticide. They need to be
laundered in hot water (120 degrees fahrenheit minimum). If washing is not
available, heating the garments or bed linens for several minutes in a clothes
dryer may work.
bed frames in infested areas typically exposes bed bug hiding sites. Having
access to these areas during cleaning is important. Stand up the box spring and
shine a flashlight through the gauze fabric and look for bed bugs. If the
fabric is torn (possible hiding place), remove fabric to prepare for spraying.
Once covered with these encasements, bed bugs can not enter or exit. There is
no need to treat the mattress or box spring when using these encasements. Keep
them on for a year.
drawers from desks and dressers since bed bugs like to hide in these areas.
Turn furniture over to inspect and clean all hiding spots. All furniture should
be pulled away from the walls.
infested surfaces with a stiff brush to dislodge eggs. Vacuum the room
extensively. Use a vacuum hose attachment to thoroughly vacuum cracks and
crevices on furniture and along baseboards on the walls. Vacuum along
baseboards, furniture, bed stands, rails, headboards, foot boards, bed seams,
tufts, buttons, edges of the bedding, as well as the edges of the carpets
(particularly along the tack strips). A good vacuum cleaning job may remove
particles from cracks and crevices to encourage greater insecticide
penetration. Bed bugs cling tightly to surfaces, so it is best to vacuum by
scraping the end of the vacuum attachment over the infested areas to pull out
the bed bugs. Caution: It is not good to use a bristle attachment, because you
may transfer bed bugs to other areas since they cling to the brush. Dispose of
vacuum cleaner bags after you are finished in an outdoor trashcan.
seal all holes where pipes and wires penetrate walls and floor, and fill cracks
around baseboards and molding to further reduce harboring areas.
common Bed Bug can be seen with the naked eye. Since bed bugs are difficult to
see, use a magnifying glass.
bugs are brown to reddish-brown, oval-shaped, flattened, and about 1/4 to 5/8
inch long. Note: Their flat shape enables them to readily hide in most cracks
are not placed on the host’s body (the person sleeping in the bed), but the
eggs are found on surfaces near where the host sleeps.
Look in any
place that offers darkness, isolation and protection to the bed bug.
adjoining rooms where an infestation is found. Even when the bed bugs
themselves cannot be found, their hiding places can be located by looking for
the spots of fecal material they often leave.
Inspection Check List
Mattress and Box Spring
Frame and Head / Foot Boards
The Mattress and Box Spring
mattress throughly, paying close attention to seams and tufts along the edges.
Flip the mattress over and inspect the bottom carefully as well. Pay particular
attention to any rips in the fabric. View the fabric on the bottom of the box
spring and shine a flash light to verify that bed bugs have not penetrated the
interior of the box spring.
and Head and Foot Boards
mattress and box frame from the bed frame and shine a flash light all along
every potential hiding place on the bed frame. Remember bed bugs can slip into
an crack a business card can fit into.
Furniture: Desks, Chairs, Dressers, etc
Take out all
drawers and cushions from surrounding furniture. Check all seams and crevices
carefully with a flashlight. Take your time and inspect thoroughly. Bed Bugs
are commonly found in these areas in an infested room.