All posts in “Dr. Bug”

Wood rot

Wood rot and your home.

Wood rot = wood decaying fungus as a type of fungus that digests wet/moist wood causing it to rot. Often times the mere correction of the wood is enough to salvage the wood. Is the wood in contact with the dirt? Is there a water leak and the wood is getting wet or staying wet for extended periods of time? Obviously if you see a fungus growing in the wood, it would be a dead giveaway (in the picture above). If you’ve read any of my blogs you know that I highly recommend performing a monthly home inspection. What should the homeowner look for?

  • Any water leaks, no matter how insignificant should be investigated.
  • Lingering moisture around the foundation of your home, correct sprinklers and/or flood irrigation.
  • Some times bushes can hold the water close to the house, avoid vines.
  • Inspect window sills, door frames and underneath sinks.
  • Painting or resealing wood really helps to prevent the water from getting in.
  • Decks need to be checked often.
  • Roofs should be checked.
  • Caulking can also help, but make sure you’re not covering up a problem.

Problems and Issues

The key is to find the problems and issues before they become major catastrophes. An ounce of prevention may save you $1000s of dollars and a real headache. Homeowners can simply get screens fixed and may keep the bugs out and in the same way a simple fix of a gutter leak may save you hours of time to rebuild a section of your house. Did you know that its usually a moisture content of over 20% that causes the problem, and I know you’re thinking we don’t have that kind of moisture in Arizona. Remember that thing we call monsoon?  That fungus really needs good temps, oxygen and a food source and that could be your home.



wood rot


ProBest Pest Management – Who you gonna call?

So that BIG question – Who you gonna call? ProBest Pest Management

Well Dr Bug hopes it’s ProBest Pest Management 480-831-9328. Since 1981 ProBest has been consulting on bug issues throughout Maricopa and Pinal Counties, Arizona. From ants to Zarrhipis (these are slender larva of a beetle known to enjoy Millipedes) and the cool thing about these larva is that luminescence. I mean really who in the world knows this stuff, yep Dr. Bug. So if you need pest control hire someone who knows the biz.

With no cold weather again this winter, the bugs are going to be fierce and we will come in contact more often. Snakes are out since it is already HOT and honeybees have been swarming for a few weeks. The hunters and their prey, overwintered without that extreme cold. We also have  had enough rain early in the year so bee ready for the bugs.

ProBest Pest Management

ProBest Pest Management

Feedspot – Top 100 Blogs & Website award

Blogs – Top 100

One of the highest praises a company can get is to be included in a Top 100 list of blogs & bloggers in the world.  Also the nice thing about it, is that ProBest is included with some really successful bloggers including and


These blogs are ranked based on following criteria

  • Google reputation and Google search ranking
  • Influence and popularity on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites
  • Quality and consistency of posts.
  • Feedspot’s editorial team and expert review


There are probably about 15,000 pest management companies across the U.S. so I’m humbled by being nominated to this blog list and appreciate the award. Blogging is a passion of mine and gives me a chance to spread the word of pest management and IPM. The new persona of ProBest is Dr. Bug – see below:

QualityPro company and have been since 2005.

Keith Birkemeyer Avatar

The Bio of Dr. Bug, Owner of ProBest Pest Management

If you have a bug problem and you are looking for someone who can solve it, please read on…

Keith Birkemeyer aka Dr. Bug has been in the business of pest management for over 20 years. His interest in bugs began at an early age when he delighted(?) his parents with an infestation of Praying Mantis.  He had brought some egg cases in from the cold one winter in Ohio.  When they hatched there were baby Praying Mantis everywhere.  Keith grew up in Scouting and is an Eagle Scout.

Keith’s formal training began in Florida. A state well known for a hearty bug population, especially termites.   He continued his career with a chemical manufacturing company as a Technical Specialist.

Keith has traveled the world speaking to various groups about bugs, termites and pest control.  He is an Associate Certified Entomologist.  Keith enjoys sharing his Arizona pest control stories and facts.  He is the owner of ProBest.  ProBest has been named a Quality Pro company.  And is awarded the “Mark of Excellence in Pest Management” by the National Pest Management Association.  Keith may be a grown kid at heart and his company allows him to pursue his passion.

No one knows bugs like Keith does.  That is the number one reason to call ProBest Pest Management for all your insect prevention needs.

New feature – Tips & Info Dr. Bug

New feature!

Introducing a new feature of ProBest Pest Management which started in 1981 and in 2005 changed ownership, we had the opportunity to partner with the US Post Office to become a Contract Postal Unit which helps us to interact with about 100 people a day who may never have know us. As we interacted we also noticed children, often times not happy with shopping with Mom or Dad. We then came up with the idea of showing a few bugs and reptiles – we currently exhibit 2 snakes, 1 tarantula and 1 Bearded dragon. The kids just LOVE the exhibits and this is how Dr. Bug was created. Dr. Bug shares the features of the Pest and Termite world by exploring the things people may not know about bugs that invade their homes. Dr. Bug also shares his experience to help families and business owner protect themselves from the dangers of pests. You may also send a picture or ask for advice on pesticides or bugs in general from Dr. Bug at [email protected] and as always please bee careful out there.

Feature Dr Bug

Feature Dr Bug

Check out our new FaceBook page

Recent question on Pest Control… Carpet Beetles

probestpestmanagementDSC06525qq   Ask Dr. Bug…..     ImageFile061


One of the high lights of my career is when I’m asked to identify a bug, to each his own but I enjoy that part of the job. A guy pops into our office with this little critter and its up to me to identify and possible deduce where it came from and out to control it.

So here are the clues – its a larva, usually they do the damage. Notice the hairs, its important. How about those hairs on the end, its really important. So did you guess right – its a carpet beetle larva. The hairs on the end or butt are the extremely important clue, hope you did well but if you didn’t you always have me.

Send me a picture to [email protected]

Do me a favor don’t smooosh it to bad, it makes it difficult when they are way bigger than normal.

Recent question on Pest Control…

probestpestmanagementDSC06525qq   Ask Dr. Bug……………

Last week someone mentioned they had flying bugs in their home, they brought in some samples and they turned out to be Whiteflies. I immediately put on my detective hat and began to ask questions. Had they brought in any plants recently and bingo that was the answer I thought I would hear? A lot of times if we just think about what conditions may have changed and we may get to the right answer.

Whiteflies usually occur in groups on the undersides of leaves. All stages suck plant juice and can damage the plant if numbers are high enough. A few years ago someone had a similar occurrence and they had a potted plant at their front door. Every time they opened the door the whiteflies got sucked right into the home.

Got a question or need some help to identify something, send it to [email protected] and I’ll help to identify and give you some options on control.

Dr Bug a man a mission, spreading facts bugs/reptiles.

Dr Bug wants to thank Ms. Kelli and Mr. Mike and all the young adults for a great session at the Chandler Environmental Education Center. They came from the Extended Family Disability Services, LLC in Chandler, AZ and supplied me some pictures of our time together. I wanted to share these pictures, I had such a great time. Not everyone enjoyed the snakes but hopefully they learned something about the bugs and reptiles.

I made some new friends today and I hope we can get together again for some Bug Zoo type activities.

Everyone is welcome to stop by the office, we have all kinds of critters and from time to time we change things around. Typically snakes, bearded dragon and a spider but we change it up.

ProBest Pest Management 425 W. Guadalupe Road #110, Gilbert, Arizona 85233 480-831-9328

Dr Bug

Dr Bug

photo photo 1 photo 2 photo 4 photo 5 photo 12 photo 22 photo 33


Fleas and Plague.

Fleas and history. I love history and this is one I don’t want to see us repeat. 2/3 of Europe was extinguished in the blink of an eye and the Justinian Plague wiped out 1/2 of the known world at the time. It is often called the Black death as people would develop bubo or these black looking bumps on the skin, often in areas of the lymph nodes within our bodies. Humans usually contract the plague after being bitten by a rodent flea that is carrying the bubonic plague bacterium or by handling an animal infected with plague, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To prevent the disease from spreading to humans, ADHS warns visitors and residents not to allow pets to roam freely, as well as treating them with flea-prevention medications; to avoid contact with sick or dead animals and to stay away from rodent burrows; to wear insect repellents to keep fleas away when hiking or working in areas where plague might be active; and to wear rubber gloves when skinning and cleaning game animals.

I also had no idea but there are about 2000 cases of bubonic plague reported yearly. Scary!

Animals, such as rodents, squirrels, pack rats, prairie dogs, mice, chipmunks, voles, and rabbits can be affected by plague. Wild carnivores can become infected by eating other infected animals. Symptoms may include fever, chills, weakness and muscle pain. I’ve heard of cases in the 4 Corner region of Arizona, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico but New York City rats have also been tested in the past with no reports yet of the bacterium. Did you know that they believe there are over 8 million rats in NYC, wow.

Dr. Bug suggest the best way to protect ourselves from these potential infections is to keep the rat population under control. Removing food, water and  shelter are key to eliminating rodent infestations. Keep them out, if you see one there are probably more. Fix holes and prevent access and door guards are essential.

Fleas Photo by Univar

fleas Photo by Univar


Bugs fear him and homeowner’s (OK maybe like him)

I saw these huge fly swatters the other day at a store and couldn’t help buying one, if your problem requires the use of something this BIG then you need to amke one call. That call would be to ProBest Pest Management 480-831-9328 or 623-414-0176.



There are some things you can do on your own, but take caution on termites, bed bugs and Africanized Honeybees.

It’s not always about the Scorpions, how about visiting Arizona? Saguaro National Park

Saguaro National Park and Sonoran Desert Museum

probestpestmanagementDSC09980     probestpestmanagementDSC00011

On every trip to Tucson I love to take this tour, I meander through the Saguaro National Park and culminate the visit with a stop at the Desert Museum. Unlike any museum – it really is a zoo, it is a walk around experience. Tucson, Arizona is home to North America’s largest cacti. The giant saguaro is the universal symbol of the American west. These majestic plants, found only in a small portion of the United States, are protected by Saguaro National Park, to the east and west of the modern city of Tucson. Here you have a chance to see these enormous cacti, silhouetted by the beauty of a magnificent desert sunset.

This was the first place I ever witnessed a tarantula just walking around, he was out prowling for a female and was headed toward the gift shop. No he wasn’t interested in a souvenir, at least I don’t think so. They have exhibits of carpenter bees or solitary bees and several exhibits of insects inside.


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