October 14, 2010 by Jeff · Comments Off on Bat Eviction – Interview From Hard Hat, High Heels 10/01/10
The ladies over at Hard Hat High Heels had Smart Pest Solutions, on their show other day to talk about critter control and have us show them the Smart Pest Solutions approach. This segment is the first from the show, illustrating the eviction process Smart Pest Solutions takes for bats in a residential location. This a great case study for critter control and demonstrates the care Smart Pest Solutions takes in servicing their clients.
Thanks so much to the Hard Hat High Heels crew for having us on. We look forward to working on more “Dirty Heels” segments in the future!
July 21, 2010 by Jeff · Comments Off on Bedbug Bag Dropped at Des Moines Armory
“Des Moines officials believe a saboteur most likely left a bag crawling with bedbugs in the hallway of a city office building.”
A nasty delivery to be sure. Bed bugs feed on blood, including the human variety. Unfortunately, though custodians found the bag in the middle of a hallway (suspicious!), they didn’t find it soon enough. and some bugs spread through the building. About 200 people work in the Armory Building.
Spraying these insects with soapy water will kill them but this is usually not practical. Insecticides work well for keeping numbers down on a more permanent basis. Sealing all cracks and holes on houses can help keep them from invading the living area. Some houses can be completely engulfed in these annoying bugs in the summer
Bed bugs can cause a mild reaction when they bite. Most bites are congregated in one area of the body and may look like mosquito bites. Some people may not show any signs of bites but still are being fed upon. Bed bug bites will show up after a night of sleeping and the bugs inject a painkilling agent that will mask the pain of bites. This will make it difficult to tell when they are feeding. If any bugs are found they should be kept in a baggy or jar so they can be identified. Some doctors can distinguish bed bug bites but others cannot.
Bed bugs have become a serious problem in the U.S. and many pest control operators are becoming overwhelmed by huge infestations especially in apartments where bed bugs spread to several rooms. Landlords have trouble paying to treat all apartments when infestations become high. Congress has passed new bed bug legislation trying to help people pay for the enormous costs. People can help themselves prevent infestations of their own homes by being aware when traveling. Make sure not to set luggage and bags on the floors or near beds. Ask questions at the hotel to make sure they do not have an infestation; they may or may not tell you. Wash and dry clothing on high heat when returning home to kill any eggs that may have hitched a ride on the way. Being a clean person does not assure any bed bugs will not infest your home
Bed bugs are not currently considered important in the transfer of diseases but tests have shown that they can carry tularemia, yellow fever, and typhus. However, these are not normally carried in regular cases. Bed bugs give off a unique odor from glands on the body. The odor has a “sweet” smell and can be detected when infestations are heavy. Bed bugs also give away their presence by leaving blood stains on mattresses, sheets, pillow cases and white areas. This is due to the excrement of blood feedings. Adults also leave behind shell casings when molting
Bed bugs are extremely hardy insects and can live in extreme conditions. Adults can live up to a year without feeding in buildings that don’t even have heat. This is also a reason why they can spread so efficiently to other areas, waiting for someone to give them a ride from place to place. Humans are the preferred hosts but bed bugs will feed on cats, dogs, birds, and rodents if desperate. They mostly feed at night when people are asleep but can feed during the day if conditions permit. Places like hospitals, theaters, and hotels may allow for daytime feedings.
Bed bugs prefer to live and lay eggs within 20 feet of human hosts. This can include: mattresses, headboards, pictures on walls, light fixtures and sockets, electrical equipment, and toys or clothes. Bed bugs only need the thickness of a credit card to enter and hide. Eggs are tiny and white to translucent and almost impossible to see unless they are on a dark surface. Adult females will lay 2 eggs per day up to 200 total so numbers can reach high levels very quickly. Eggs will usually hatch in a week in ideal conditions. Eggs go through a five step metamorphosis and will not feed until they are in the nymph stage. They must have a blood feeding to continue development to an adult.
Bed bugs are feeders of humans, domestic animals and bats/birds. Bed bugs feed on blood only. Bed bugs are about 1/5-1/8 of an inch long. They are oval shaped and look about the same as a dog tick. After feeding, bed bugs become enlarged and turn a reddish color. Bed bugs have sucking mouthparts which enable them to in take blood through skin.
Histoplasmosis is a spore that can be found in bat droppings. When droppings are disturbed or cleaned up these spores can become airborne. If breathed in, the spores can develop a fungus in the lungs. This can cause breathing problems and make people very sick. Great care should be used when cleaning up bat droppings including wearing a respirator and gloves. Droppings can be sprayed with bleach and water to keep spores from becoming airborne.