All posts in “IPM”

Seal to keep out the bugs?

SEAL – You have to think like a bug

Seal – One of those things that can be done to prevent bugs from hiding on your property is to seal as many of those hiding places that you can. This includes those block walls around your property, I once found about 50 cockroaches living in a crack along side a home with a block wall. I used a little dust and they came running, it was a sight to see and of course I had to show the homeowner.

We often get into a debate over inside and/or outside, I try to think like this – where do the bugs generally come from? Outside most of the time, so let’s prevent them from getting in and cut down on the pesticide in the home. Now doesn’t this just make more sense? Now if they come in a bag of food, then you have to decide on the best option inside. Many times it might be ants and the use of a bait is right up the alley to get to the Queen ant and no harm no foul with having to spray the whole house.

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Seal

 

I absolutely hate stories like this, don’t you?

Stories – Fact or Fiction?

Have you heard the stories? As many of you are aware I hate spiders, without any doubt the Brown recluse spider is right at the top of my list. I’m always the first to mention that is is very important to know your enemy, so even though they may not be in Arizona or Pennsylvania it is important to know that they may travel. “Venomous spiders close Pennsylvania elementary school” In Arizona we have a Brown spider, related to but isn’t the dread Brown Recluse. So just to reiterate, if your in the bug biz – know your enemy even if it doesn’t live in your area.

stories Photo by PPMA

Photo by PPMA

Does black-lighting or exclusion work to control pests?

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So what in my opinion really works the best to control pests from getting into homes, without a doubt home sealing or exclusion. Here are my Top 3 ways to control scorpions and those other bugs that may want to make your home theirs.

  1.    Home seal or exclusion.
  2.    Black-lighting to reduce the population.
  3.    Consistent monthly pest control.

You hear me talk about IPM all the time and I’m telling you it works. Rather than spraying pesticides all the time, you can reduce the risk by helping your Pest Management Professional by doing a few things to improve the situation at your home. By black lighting you reduce the numbers and by doing so you reduce the numbers that might make it to your home. By sealing your home you again reduce the numbers that make it to your home and reduce the numbers that could make it in. The next way is to reduce the numbers of the food (crickets, roaches) and ultimately the scorpions themselves.

Now with all that said, I do believe in pest control but as I stated above it needs to be done in a consistent manner. If you have scorpions I think especially in Arizona it needs to be done monthly. I also believe that outside service is the most efficient along with home sealing and black-lighting. There are some in my professional that still don’t get it, they are the ones that still treat inside each month or power spray each month. Now don’t get me wrong I still occasionally do the inside ie: German Cockroaches or ants and if you have ticks I may decide to power spray. There are always exceptions to the rules. But soon the lack of water or water quality issues are going to trump the constant overkill of those outdated and impractical pest control techniques. (my opinion)  PART_1437183843093_20150717_184143

Why you shouldn’t bug spray in your home every month?

Over the years I have been an advocate of spreading the news about outside versus inside bug spraying. I’ve actually walked away from people demanding it be done. I’ve held to my guns that it just wasn’t necessary or good for you. This story “Indoor pesticide exposure tied to childhood cancers” is the proof that science and pest management has come towards an IPM approach to issues such as this. I have stated for at least 10 years that indoor spraying just isn’t necessary, there are exceptions like German Roaches that may require a one or two treatment service and there are now gels and dry baits which can be used. I remember 20+ years ago when I would notice a dry powder forming around the edges of rooms and you know that this becomes airborne when children, pets or people walk over it. Breathing that just can’t be good for you! Soapbox alert……

IPM is an abbreviation for Integrated Pest Management.

Integrated Pest Management is a process involving common sense and sound solutions for treating and controlling pests. These solutions incorporate three basic steps: 1) inspection, 2) identification and 3) treatment. Treatment options vary from sealing cracks and removing food and water sources to pesticide treatments when necessary.

Trust me on this folks, stop the every month inside spraying of homes and businesses, your lungs and body can thank me later. Many schools have adopted this program and thanks to a few here in Arizona we are on track to promote more and more schools towards these programs. “Integrated Pest Management – The most effective way to manage pests in your school by AZ Cooperative Extension office U of A

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What are my 2 toughest pest complaints?

I probably get more calls about these two things than anything else and to make matters more exasperating not much can be done.

 

#1 – Honeybees coming to your pool or other water feature to drink. This is tough, because in the big picture we probably don’t have a clue where they are coming from. Now the good news, generally speaking the bees are not in defensive mode. What do I mean by that statement? When bees swarm or are out looking for water or flowers they are not defending their hive and won’t be as aggressive as if they were defending their home. A lone bee out looking for food is just looking for food, while the bees at their home are on guard against possible intruders. They have bees that are just guard bees and just like we would defend our homes they are pre-wired to be on guard against intruders. With the extreme HEAT here in Arizona they need water just as much as we do. So please don’t panic, just try to avoid them if possible. Now it may be difficult especially if they are near your pool or water feature, one thing you might try is placing a dish in shaded area with a few rocks to keep them from drowning. Refresh the water frequently and maybe they might move.

 

#2 – Mosquitoes are almost impossible to control once they become adults. The prime time to get them is when they are wigglers or in their larval stage within the water. Some mosquitoes will fly over a mile to get to their food = you or your pet. Check your property for stagnant water, any amount can raise a family of mosquitoes. One area often overlooked is the catch basin for potted plants. I have a back door that opens in and I’m constantly getting flying insects that get sucked in when I open that door. I use the device below once a flying insect makes it into my home. I highly recommend it, after just a few days the glue board has a variety of flying insects. By the way this also fits into my IPM program. We do sell them at my office – ProBest Pest Management 480-831-9328.

FlyWeb

Have you ever tried DIY for German Roaches?

The biggest issue I have with DIY (Do It Yourself) pest control is that most people don’t understand bugs. If you have the knowledge then you can deal with the pest. Same reason I don’t replace my own brakes on my vehicle. I don’t have a clue and frankly I don’t want to know. But let me tell you, I know bugs.

You know those cockroach stations that you just throw into the kitchen or bathroom cabinet, they might work if you get them close enough. But most people just toss them into the cabinet and that isn’t very helpful. Yes some roaches will find the stuff but if you place them near the source, it will work better.

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probest pest management20150505_103200

 

 

 

 

So how would you control these roaches if the bait wasn’t close by, it’s far easier to just call a Pest Management Professional. 480-831-9328

Why does Canada have some tougher rules on pesticides?

Over the years I have noticed that Canada is tougher on pesticides than we are in the States and was just curious why that was?                      “Citronella safety debate

Back in 2004, Health Canada’s Pest Management Regulatory Agency completed a review of citronella-based insect lotions and sprays and said it was not convinced the products were safe.

 

I’m a fan of being on the safer side of things, but we must also weigh the risks that the bugs bring. It turns out that the people often are the lead in these laws. They fought to keep pesticides out of lawn and gardens applications and this ban (Canada) took effect in 2009. I also found this article “Organic pesticides can be worse than synthetic: study

OK my point is this, I believe pesticide in moderation or IPM – use the tools available, then if you must, then use pesticide.

whatisipm

Do I really need pest control?

Each of us have to ask that question and maybe even answer it differently depending on circumstances. What are the question?

  1. How often do I see pests?
  2. What are the pests?
  3. Termites are a different type of treatment, requires a strategy?
  4. Is it a time time event, like bedbugs?
  5. Do you see scorpions or venomous spiders?
  6. Can I keep pest out by doing IPM techniques?

If you live in an area where the pests are dangerous then I suggest contacting a local company and getting their opinion. We have scorpions in Arizona and it is tough to keep them from getting into your home. If I lived in an area where Brown Recluse were active I would have service monthly. Answer those questions above and check out the National Pest Management Association website for details on where to locate a reputable pest control company.

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All of a sudden I have flying things all over my home, what are they?

This last week a lady dropped by our office and mentioned these flying things all over her home. Unfortunately she didn’t bring in any dead critters, but we asked a few questions and here are my questions and answers.

  1. When did you first spot the bugs? Maybe a week or so ago.
  2. Were they all over or where did it begin? Mainly in the living room.
  3. Near a door? Yes the frontdoor.
  4. It just started getting colder did you bring in any plants? OMG yes I just brought in some plants.

Pest work can be like detective work, ask the right questions and hopefully you get the right and helpful answers. She went home put the plants in the garage and all those flying things simply disappeared. Case solved!  Didn’t even need to use any pesticides, IPM at its finest.

 

 

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