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Fleas in Arizona test positive for plague

15 Aug 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

TAYLOR, Ariz. - The infectious disease that killed millions during the Middle Ages has been found again in Arizona.

Fleas in Navajo County have tested positive for the plague, KTVK reported. One week ago, fleas on prairie dogs in Coconino County tested positive for the disease.

EHS Pest - Arizona Plague Video

Click here to play video

Properties are set to be treated and officials will monitor the region to see if they need to take additional steps.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the plague is caused by Yersinia pestis.

Normally people get the illness from being bitten by a rodent carrying the bacteria or by handling an infected animal. Antibiotics can treat the illness, but without prompt treatment it can cause serious illness or death.

There are three types of plague that doctors can watch for: bubonic plague, septicemic plague and pneumonic plague. In all types, patients can have fever, headache, chills and weakness.

To learn more about Arizona Plague and how to prevent this infectious disease, contact EHS Pest.

Source: fox25boston.com

Man orders a cappuccino, gets a side of cockroach

14 Aug 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

A Manhattan man claims in a lawsuit his cappuccino at a swanky Upper East Side steakhouse came with a nasty addition: a large cockroach.

The insect was a nightmarish way to end a meal at The Arlington Club, where dinners can easily hit the $500 mark, said Steven Fleming, who brought friends to the eatery in April.

His pals were interested in opening a restaurant, so Fleming wanted to show them the place launched by star chef Laurent Tourondel in 2012.

They chowed down on salad, steak, and a glass of wine before ordering dessert and coffee, he said.

“I took a sip of my cappuccino, I felt something disgusting in my throat, and then something crunchy,” Fleming, 43, told The Post. “And then I spit it out and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”

Fleming, who is now suing The Arlington Club in Manhattan Supreme Court, snapped a couple of pictures before running outside to vomit on Lexington Avenue, he said.

He claims he then spent 12 hours in the emergency room with a variety of symptoms, including nausea and high blood pressure.

“We want to make sure we hold this restaurant accountable, and that this doesn’t happen to anyone else,” said his lawyer, Michael Joseph. “For the prices they’re charging the very least they could do is make sure the customers don’t have bugs in their food. We think New Yorkers deserve better.”

Fleming, who runs the executive search firm Wall Street Options, said the incident “really grossed me out.”

“On the surface, it looks like a very nice place,” he said. “I thought this would be a good example of something relatively trendy and with above average food. … I’ve been going to restaurants for 20 years in New York City and nothing like this has ever happened to me.”

A manager at The Arlington Club, where Tourondel is no longer the chef, declined comment, adding he was unaware of the lawsuit.

To learn more about cockroaches and how to safely get rid of them, call EHS Pest.

Source: nypost.com

Dry Ice (CO2) may help our environment and change Pest Management

09 Aug 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest Management, MA, RI
Dy Ice Proponents and collborators, left to right Norm Soep, John Stellberger, Bobby Corrigan, John Meaney and Rich Pollack

Doctor Robert Corrigan took Dry Ice to The Environmental Protection Agency and they approved it's use for open air rat control and with the help of Bell Laboratories it may very well hold the record for the shortest time from submission to approval. This White Paper is why I think it happened.

The Use of Dry Ice (CO2) For Controlling Exterior, Non-building Area Burrowing Norway Rat Infestations: A Case of Some Things Old Are Smart Again?


Rats and their associated ectoparasites occurring within the structured environment have been repeatedly shown by epidemiologists over several decades to be important public health pests (1, 2, 4, 6).

Traditionally, city public health rat infestations are addressed via integrated pest management programs employing sanitation, exclusion, and when necessary, the use of traps and poisoning campaigns (3, 7, 10). Interestingly, over the past six decades of rodent control work, not too much has changed with the exception of advances made in rodenticide technology. Some materials and approaches have always remained in vague areas as to their use to control rodents—especially homeowner materials and approaches (e.g., drowning yard rats with a water hose, pouring caustic materials down the rat holes, carbon monoxide from car exhaust and so on).

One material used during the 1940’s and 50’s (but never listed as a pesticide), was dry ice pellets inserted into rat burrows to asphyxiate the rats (3, 7, 10). But, with the advent of ready-to-use rodent baits beginning in the late 1940’s, dry ice was either overlooked thereafter, or used only for very specialized applications. Some zoological parks for example, (from their experiences of euthanizing various animals at the zoo using CO2 ) employed dry ice for exterminating zoo park rat infestations because they did not want the worry of secondary poisoning risks associated with the anticoagulant and non-anticoagulant baits on the market.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless gas and is a by-product of everyday daily respiration by most animals. It is also a naturally occurring gas in the atmosphere (about 0.03 percent), and is necessary for photosynthesis in plants. Dry ice is the solid (frozen) form of carbon dioxide. Dry ice sublimes (i.e., changes from a solid directly into a gas with no liquid phase) at temperatures typically occurring outside (e.g., in rat burrows) regardless of the season or temperature. One pound of dry ice sublimates into 8.3 ft3 of carbon dioxide gas.

Euthanizing animals via carbon dioxide is considered an acceptable humane method by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and this technique, via the use of CO2 chambers, is approved by nearly all states for urban wildlife control (via permits in some states). Carbon dioxide is also utilized in medical laboratories the world over to euthanize millions of lab rats and mice every year in medical research.

The Benefits of Using Dry Ice (CO2) For Burrowing Rat Control.

Pilot trials of dry ice (CO2) for exterior burrowing Norway rats over the past two years by several pest professionals, revealed that dry ice offers potentially strong advantages over the conventional uses of rodenticides for eliminating the public health threat of city rat infestations when they occur in earthen spaces away from building foundations about distances of 3m or more). Such spaces include park spaces, landscaped yards, backyards, empty lots, and so on.

Barring any possible forthcoming technical revelations/clarifications from toxicologists and/or veterinarians, there are five benefits to the use of dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) for eliminating exterior rat infestations that occur away from buildings:

  1. Dry ice is non-toxic to humans and pets when used in the manner as prescribed for exterior rats;
  2. Dry ice is an environmentally green approach (e.g., no secondary toxic threats to hawks, owls, foxes, dogs, cats, and others) as compared to the second generation anticoagulant baits currently allowed by label to be applied directly into rat holes that occur in yards, parks, etc.);
  3. Dry ice (CO2) is an asphyxiate, not a fumigant. Thus, as per above discussion, it is a humane treatment to the rats themselves. Rats enter slumber first, and then succumb within the slumber without re-awakening;
  4. Dry ice (CO2) is highly effective on controlling burrowing rats—especially considering that some rats in urban environments will not (for various reasons) consume professionally–applied poison baits even when they are placed directly into active burrows. When such bait-aversive rats are present and pregnant females, the infestation goes on and on continuing the public health threat and causing all parties frustrations and extending the costs of achieving control.
  5. And finally, during and after the rats die in the burrows, their associated ectoparasites (e.g., fleas, lice, mites, and ticks); many of which are public health disease vectors themselves (5,8,9) also succumb to the carbon dioxide eliminating the need for follow-up “insecticidal dusting” campaigns to reduce or eliminate these potential arthropod vectors.

It is important to note that the conventional burrow baits, of course, have no insecticidal properties, and thus, will not kill rat ectoparasites. These medically important parasites can leave the burrows seeking alternate hosts such as humans, dogs, cats and/or local wildlife which, in turn, may further spread disease organisms to a community or a local ecosystem.

So, the question is : “What (ecologically speaking) is not smart about the use of dry ice and it’s specific use in this regard?”.

It should be noted that homeowners everywhere can buy dry ice at will by simply visiting their nearest local ice dealer in town. No permits are required and no labels accompany its use. Dry ice is used for parties, for cooking, for decorations, for custodial cleaning of buildings and, as mentioned earlier, by laboratory animal facilities the world over. A simple on-line search for dry ice vendors and dry ice equipment quickly reveals how pervasive the use of dry ice is to homeowners and commercial entities alike. Homeowners, if they wished, could apply dry ice to their own yards for various reasons. In fact, when homeowners are finished with their dry ice use, they typically dispose of it by spreading it out on the ground of their properties.

Additional Input Needed

There are two, and possibly three critical inputs needed to “weigh-in” on the possible future use of dry ice for rats (DIFR), both of which would prove helpful to all parties involved (EPA, State Regs, PMPs, and property owners).

First, a toxicologist(s) needs to "weigh-in" on the relative non-toxic threat of dry ice when used at the recommended: a) concentrations; b) locations and, c) application techniques, as would be done for exterior Norway rat burrows away from buildings. Although earlier research on this topic has been conducted (as cited with Meehan (1984), the work is dated and perhaps needs to be re-visited. Obviously should any toxicological issues emerge ( as per the three aspects just mentioned) that have been overlooked, then reconsiderations among all parties on the use of DIFR are obvious.

Second, for veterinarians to weigh-in as to why carbon dioxide used in this manner is such a "smart" (i.e., humane) method of killing (since presently, we still must kill these public health pests when they move into or around our yards, parks, schools, and exteriors of restaurants, housing complexes, offices, etc.).

And third, for an environmental lawyer to be consulted as to alternate “work-arounds” pending a lack of toxicological and/or humaneness concerns as is currently suggested.


  1. Battersby, S. A., R. Parsons, and J. P. Webster. 2002. Urban rat infestations and the risk to public health. Journal of Environmental Health Research 1: 57-65.
  2. Easterbrook, J.D., J.B. Kaplan, N. B. Vanasco, W. K. Reeves, R. H. Purcell, M.Y. Kosoy, G.E. Glass, J.Watson and S.L. Klein. 2007. A survey of zoonotic pathogens carried by Norway rats in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Epidemiol. Infect. 135 (7): 1192.
  3. Federal Security Agency. 1949. Rat-borne disease. Prevention and Control. Public Health Service. Communicable Disease Center. Atlanta, GA. 292pp.
  4. Firth, C., M. Bhat, M A. Firth, et al. 2014. Detection of Zoonotic Pathogens and Characterization of Novel Viruses Carried by Commensal Rattus norvegicus in New York City. September/October 2014 Volume 5 Issue 5.
  5. Frye, M., C.A. Firth, M.J. Bhat, M.A. Firth, and W.I. Lipkin. 2015. Preliminary Survey of Ectoparasites from Norway Rats in New York City. J. of Medical Entomology. Short Communication.
  6. Himsworth, C.G., Parsons K.L, Jardine C, Patrick D.M., 2013. Rats, cities, people, and pathogens: a systematic review and narrative synthesis of literature regarding the ecology of rat-associated zoonoses in urban centers. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 13:349–359.
  7. Meehan, A.P. 1984. Rats and Mice. Their Biology and Control. Rentokil Ltd., E. Grinstead, U.K. 383pp.
  8. Meerburg, B.G, G.R. Singleton, and A. Kijlstra . 2009. Rodent-borne diseases and their risks for public health. Crit. Rev. Microbiol. 35:221–270.
  9. Mullin G. and L. Durden (Eds.) 2009. Medical and Veterinary Entomology. 2nd Ed. Academic Press. San Diego, CA. 597 pp.
  10. Southern, H.N. (Ed.). 1954. Control of rats and mice. Vol. III. Oxford. Clarendon Press. 225 pp.

Rodents, Insects and Pests in Our Outdoor Neighborhoods

26 Jul 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest Control Service

Some animals become pest species because they like what human beings provide for them.

It doesn't matter what neighborhood you live in, there are many advantages for animals to following human beings. Lets take a quick look at the top three.

  1. Safety and Shelter.
    Warm, dry homes and outbuildings. Willowy plantings, greenscapes, hardscapes, and landscapes can provide shelter and safety from predators and the elements. Rodents, Ticks, Mosquitoes, Stinging insects, Bats, Squirrels and the list goes on.
  2. Food.
    From Barbecues to Bird Feeders we sometimes litter without even realizing we do! Ticks and Mosquitoes of course find it easy to penetrate or bare and soft skin.
  3. Water.
    Every animal on earth needs liquid water and we are masters at providing plenty of it.

EHS Pest has long pioneered protecting your property, your home and work from unwanted pest interactions by combining precision, millimeter by millimeter Pest Exclusion with modern, engineered materials with knowledge of animal biology and common sense. Our use of botanical extracts to prevent and suppress dangerous vectors without using EPA registered pesticides is Forward Thinking Pest Control.

We are the pioneers of the very green resurgence of dry ice for rat elimination.

Let us do the same for you and your family.

Bed Bugs Disappeared for 40 years, Now They're Back with a Vengeance

22 Jun 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

They're small, blood-sucking parasites perhaps living in the corners and crevices of our beds, feeding off us while we sleep.

Bed bugs, for decades, existed as myths, part of a rhyme our parents told us before bed. Now they've made an unwelcome return and those who know the buggers best say it's high time we start taking them seriously.

After all, getting a bed bug infestation "is a bit of a crap shoot," conceded University of Kentucky entomologist Michael Potter, meaning all of us are at risk.

Bed bugs used to be "incredibly common" in the early 20th century, Potter said. Back then, people routinely checked for them and carried insecticide while traveling.

But the introduction of potent insecticides killed most of our bed bugs, banishing them from our homes and consciousnesses. The bugs, Potter said, disappeared from about the mid-1950s to the late 1990s. They became so rare people could no longer identify them and a new generation of pest control professionals weren't equipped to fight them, noted University of Florida research scientist Roberto Pereira. But then they came "roaring back in the last five to seven years," Potter said, creeping into our couches, our apartments and even into the hotel rooms of our NBA stars. The reason why is a mystery, although Pereira and Potter suggest it's because the once potent insecticide is now banned, people travel more and the bugs have grown resistant to modern insecticides.

Now we're left avoiding them. But there are ways. Here's what you need to know:

They're small and flat

If you've never seen one, bed bugs are small, flat, reddish-brown bugs about the size of Abraham Lincoln's head on a penny.

They have an oblong shell and a tiny head. They typically live in areas where people sleep because at night they feed on our blood.

Unlike ticks or fleas, bed bugs don't latch on when they feed. They bite then scurry away to digest. "It's a creepy parasite," described Potter. "It's a little bit like Dracula."

They live off our blood

Bed bugs have to feed on human blood about once a week, Potter said. However, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims they can live several months without a "blood meal."

Potter said bed bugs will adapt to your schedule. For instance, if you work the overnight shift, they'll learn to feed on you during the day.

They huddle on your mattress

Bed bugs don't form colonies or nest, but they do aggregate, usually within about eight feet of where a person sleeps.

It's popular to find clusters of them on beds and recliners. Very skittish, bed bugs don't like movement, which is why they feed on us while we sleep.

Popular places for them to congregate are in the seams of mattresses, in bed frames, headboards, dressers and behind wallpaper or clutter. A bed bug, notes the CDC, can travel more than 100 feet in a single night.

A third of us get bit, but don't notice

Bed bug bites look like raised welts and can cause serious allergic reactions in some people.

But a third of people don't experience any reaction. This only helps the infestation spread because people don't know they have the bugs.

Cleanliness has nothing to do with it

The stigma that a filthy home is more at risk of getting bed bugs just isn't true, Potter claims.

Unlike cockroaches, rats or flies, who feed on filth, bed bugs feed on blood. They only need a body. Bed bugs, the CDC said, have been found in five-star hotels and resorts.

So, where do they live?

Bed bugs are most often found in major metropolitan areas. However, over time, the pests have found their way to rural areas.

Anywhere there are close quarters, Potter said, the odds are better. It's a numbers game, he said, because the more people coming and going from a building increases the odds the bugs will find their way there.

Low-income housing also is a target because many people use old bedding and building staff may not take the steps to address the problem.

They don't carry disease

Bed bugs do not carry disease. At most, they're annoyances which cause itching and a lack of sleep.

How do we avoid them?

Experts say people bring an infestation into a home after they've gone to a place with bed bugs and somehow brought them back to their house.

This can happen just about anywhere: At hotels, while riding busses and trains, vacationing on cruise ships and bunking in dorm rooms. They attach to stuff, Potter said, not people. He's seen them on the bottoms of shoes, baseball caps and even Beanie Babies.

But it's unlikely you'll get them from places where people don't sleep. The places where people get some shut-eye are most at risk.

Potter advises people check around hotel beds when first checking in. Pull back the sheets, check the seam and corners of the mattress near the pillows and the headboard. Look for black spots, the bugs themselves or yellowish skins that bed bugs shed.

Try not to spread out in your hotel room. Don't place your open suitcase against a wall. Try to keep it closed and set it on a hard surface. Don't spread clothes across the hotel room.

Potter said each of us needs to strike a balance as to how paranoid we'll be in avoiding bed bugs.

"You got to be careful because you take all the joy out life," he said. "People just have to decide how apprehensive do they want to be."

To learn more about Bed Bugs and how to prevent them from infesting your home, call EHS Pest.

Source: usatoday.com

Tick Identification & Removal

21 Jun 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Ticks are often mistaken for insects, but they are actually arachnids. Regarding tick identification, they are classified into two categories: soft ticks and hard ticks. Soft ticks often feed on bats and birds, while hard ticks feed on humans, pets and nuisance wildlife. Regardless, if you are dealing with an infestation, the removal of ticks from your property should be handled by a professional exterminator. A professional can help you in identifying the type of ticks you are dealing with and the safest and most efficient process for removal.

If you are concerned about ticks on your property and have questions about tick removal, contact a pest professional. They will be able to inspect your home, confirm the type of tick and recommend a course of tick removal.

Source: pestworld.org

Rodent Model Behavior

19 Jun 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Mice prefer warm areas in nooks and crannies, furniture and equipment voids, and overlooked boxes near food.

EHS Pest Rodent Expert

“It’s important to be aware of these facts: The house mouse, Norway rat and roof rat are rodent species that mature quickly and if infestations aren’t dealt with promptly and professionally, they can reproduce quickly and disperse significantly,” said rodent expert Robert “Bobby” Corrigan. “That makes for unhappy customers and frustrated PMPs. Professionals must understand the key rodent behaviors and how to use those behaviors against them. You can use as many chemicals as allowed, but unless you understand rodent behavior, you stand a good chance of not achieving optimum control."

Corrigan made these observations in his presentation, “Essential Rodent Biology & Behavior for Control,” which was part of PCT’s Second Annual Rodent Control Virtual Conference sponsored by Bell Laboratories. Corrigan knows what he’s talking about; he first worked as a pest control technician in New York City, then earned his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in rodent management from Purdue University. Now he runs his own consulting business, RMC Pest Management Consulting in Richmond, Ind. As such, Corrigan has been a force in the industry for more than 30 years. SMALL BUT INCREDIBLE. “The house mouse is a small, but incredible mammal that generates a tremendous amount of rodent control revenue,” Corrigan told webinar participants. “It causes much damage, carries pathogens and attacks food supplies. Inadequate control of these creatures can drive pest controllers crazy.”

According to Corrigan, customers often expect mouse control to be done cheaply because it’s such a common pest, and there are so many companies offering mouse control. “But if PCOs charge less, they’re making a big mistake because they aren’t anticipating those inevitable callbacks,” he said.

Corrigan said rodents also are opportunistic in their foraging behavior. “They establish home ranges where they hunt for food repeatedly, and, within these ranges, they also set up territories which they will defend strongly.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT. Compared to rats, mice don’t eat a lot, he said. A mouse will eat about one tenth of an ounce of food per day. Based on this knowledge, you should set out many traps or many placements of bait in small amounts.

“Rats, on the other hand, eat 1 to 3 ounces of food daily. They are also particular, striving for nutritional balance if they can find it. To attract a rat to a rat trap, use a variety of foods such as sardines, peanut butter, apples, etc.,” Corrigan said. “When using rodenticide bait, fewer placements with larger amounts of bait can be used. In general, try to identify ‘eating spots’ as well. Rodents may cache food in these safe spots and can use pheromones to help mark their locations.”

The home range of a mouse can stretch 10 to 30 feet or more. That of a rat in city streets can stretch 90 to 450 feet, he said, explaining that the reason there is such a wide diversity in distance is simply because when food is abundant, the rodent will stay closer to that source. When it is scarce, home ranges can increa

If you learn where those home ranges are, he said, that will enhance your monitoring activity and generate correct use of bait stations, traps and inspections.

NESTING AND FORAGING AREAS. There are some “typical” nesting and foraging areas of mice and rats — as well as some “non-typical” areas that pest control professionals must look for, Corrigan said. First, understand where the rodent likes to nest. Mice prefer warm areas in structural nooks and crannies, furniture and equipment voids, and overlooked boxes near food.

“Rats need bigger spaces, and indoors, concrete hollow block walls can become virtual rodent condos,” he said. Rats that live outside prefer available earthen spaces. That is, they prefer to live in and around healthy dirt. If you’re investigating an outdoor rat problem, look for healthy plants and shrubs that are cavernous in shape — this is where you are likely to encounter a rat burrow. A burrow is typically about 4 to 6 feet in length with up to three holes, he said. “This knowledge reduces the need to treat each hole. Just one application at the main entrance of each burrow system should suffice.”

TRAVEL-WAYS. What about rodent travel-ways? Rodents often travel along linear paths, such as shadowy lines along walls, pipes and landscape edges, and they mark these paths with pheromones. “When identifying potential pathways, be aware of sight, smell and kinesthetics [the sensation of movement or strain in muscles],” he said. “The latter is so important because, if we can determine their memorized path, we can then target these areas accordingly.”

Although some rodents travel along walls, rodents in some colonies may not, or they may not for various lengths of time for a variety of reasons. “A common misconception, or half-truth, is that they always travel along walls because they can’t see well,” Corrigan said, explaining that there are environmental/structural aspects that trigger rodent foraging behavior and offer clues for their control, including corners, quiet areas, structural voids and squeeze holes. “Awareness of these triggers is more effective in finding rodents much faster than just looking for tell-tale droppings,” he said. “Does finding droppings mean there are rodents always close by? Not necessarily.” So it is important to be aware of the active signs rodents leave in combination with the environmental and structural triggers present in any rodent-infested building or area.

AWARENESS OF ENTRY POINTS. Corrigan suggested that technicians be aware of entry points. “Once rodents get into a building, others can follow by sensing rodent pheromones, which are a critical part of the science of rodent behavior,” he said. “Pheromones are always in play, for example, in marking favorite spots. It’s our job as pest experts to know how to find these spots and deal with them quickly.”

According to Corrigan, rodent behaviors are complex. “Their actions, of course, vary — sometimes in the same building or in the same block. It all depends on the particular colony, or it can depend on such factors as what’s in a rodent mother’s milk, or what’s found in junk piles, or emulating their mother’s or colony members’ actions.

“You can go from one area to another and see signs of different sets of complex rodent activities. These observations should help you determine what rodent control actions you can take — that’s what distinguishes us as professionals,” Corrigan said. “The take-home message is, if you’re simply placing traps or baits only along walls in every account, that’s not always going to work, or it may not work as quickly as it could, had better attention to detail been considered. That’s key to remember.”

Never assume that there is a single standard rodent behavior, or that you can perform rodent control the same way in every situation.

EHS Pest Rodent Expert

You should never assume there is a single standard rodent behavior, and that you can, therefore, perform rodent control the same way in every situation, he said. Not only is that not professional behavior, but it won’t always solve the problem in a timely manner. “As pest professionals,” Corrigan said, “it’s our responsibility to be aware of the complexities involved in correcting a rodent problem as fast as possible.” FAST-GROWING POPULATIONS. As Corrigan explained, “From a rodent’s standpoint, the availability of tasty food, a good supply of that food and conducive surroundings encourage fast-growing rodent populations. Healthy rodent offspring means a rapidly increasing population — and before you know it, your phone is ringing and the person at the other end of the line is complaining about a major infestation.”

He also stressed that understanding the sexual maturity of rodents is important. If you’re not thorough in early control procedures, you run the risk of additional young being produced; they, in turn, can quickly reach their own sexual maturity causing future callbacks.

“During sales calls, initial customer visits and cleanouts, you want to be knowledgeable and able to truly determine the scope of the infestation. Is it minor, moderate or severe?” he said. “Sometimes a customer will want to know the exact number of rodents that comprise the infestation. There’s no way of knowing this, but most professionals can usually gauge minor or severe infestations.” If the infestation is major, the reproductive cycle is already rolling by the time you make your first visit. “So you’ve got to be very thorough to shut down that particular component.” CAUSE OF CALLBACKS. It is important that the pest control professional realize that a house mouse can reach sexual maturity at six to eight weeks of age, and then begin producing its own pups in about a month. “It’s not surprising then, that the house mouse is one of the leading causes of callbacks,” Corrigan said.

In the same way, knowledge of the sexual maturity characteristics of roof and Norway rats is important. For rats, maturity arrives about three months after birth. As a result, he said, “depending on the size of a particular infestation, rodent numbers can get away from you if you’re not careful or thorough enough in control efforts.”

High populations of offspring bring about big consequences, the most damaging of which is dispersal, he said. When large numbers of rodents increase quickly in small areas, things can get crowded, and the young will be forced out to seek new spaces — causing new infestations in previously uninfested areas.

Another key consequence is the massive amount of pheromones they’ll deposit, Corrigan said, which may attract even more invading rodents to explore around the building. Finally, the larger the size of the infestation, the more rodents there may be that are trap shy, or bait station shy, which increases the chances of more callbacks.

“And therein lies the important financial aspect to this. Of course, you want to make as high a profit as possible in your rodent control business.” But, he said, “A common portion of the pest business that threatens high profits are unexpected callbacks. And these often occur when PMPs aren’t thorough enough on the initial end of the job, or not knowledgeable enough about the behavior of these wily mammals.” As such, Corrigan said he hopes a word to the wise about the biology and behavior of rodents will result in better, more accurate and more profitable rodent control.

For more information about rodents and mice, call EHS Pest.

Survey: Bed Bugs Are the Last Thing Travelers Want to See in a Hotel Room

15 Jun 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS - Bed bug in Upholstery

Most business and leisure travelers in the United States can’t identify a bed bug, and yet the tiny pest evokes a stronger response in hotel guests than any other potential room deficiency—putting the hospitality industry in a difficult spot.

In a survey of U.S. travelers conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky, 60 percent said they would switch hotels if they found evidence of bed bugs (Cimex lectularius) in a guest room. Meanwhile, no more than a quarter said they would switch hotels for factors such as signs of smoking or dirty towels or linens. In the same survey, however, just 35 percent of business travelers and 28 percent of leisure travelers correctly identified a bed bug in a lineup of other common insects. The results of the research are published today in American Entomologist, the quarterly magazine of the Entomological Society of America.

“Considering all the media attention paid to bed bugs in recent years, the fact that most travelers still have a poor understanding of them is troubling,” says Michael Potter, Ph.D., extension professor in UK’s Department of Entomology and co-author of the study.

It is particularly problematic given the central role that online reviews play in travelers’ selection of where to stay. More than half of survey respondents said they would be very unlikely to choose a hotel with a single online report of bed bugs.

“From a hotel industry perspective, it’s worrisome that a single online report of bed bugs would cause the majority of travelers to book different accommodations, irrespective of whether the report is accurate. Furthermore, the incident could have involved only one or a few rooms, which the hotel previously eradicated,” says Jerrod M. Penn, Ph.D., postdoctoral scholar in UK’s Department of Agricultural Economics and lead author of the study.

Other findings in the survey include:

  • Despite a highly negative impression of bed bugs, more than half (56 percent) of respondents said they either never considered the threat of bed bugs while traveling or considered it but were not worried.
  • If a hotel were to proactively provide information on the steps it takes to prevent bed bug infestations, 46 percent of respondents said they would stay at the hotel and would appreciate knowing about those measures. The second most common response, however, was “do it, but don’t tell me” (24 percent).
  • An overwhelming majority (80 percent) of respondents said hotels should be required to tell guests if their room has had a prior problem with bed bugs. Among those who wanted such a disclosure, 38 percent of business travelers and 51 percent of leisure travelers said they would want to know of prior infestations going back a least one year or more.
  • Responses to bed bug concerns were generally consistent across various demographic cross-sections in the survey.

Potter notes that the public’s lack of understanding of bed bugs “contributes to their spread throughout society as a whole.” But the hospitality industry must deal with both the pest itself and consumers’ strong, if ill-informed, attitudes about bed bugs.

“Hotels and others in the hospitality sector should develop a reputation management plan to prudently respond to online reports of bed bugs in their facility. Hotels should also train their housekeeping and engineering staffs to recognize and report bed bugs in the earliest possible stages, when infestations are more manageable. Similarly important is training front desk and customer service employees to respond promptly and empathetically when incidents arise within the hotel,” says Wuyang Hu, Ph.D., professor in UK’s Department of Agricultural Economics and senior author of the study.

To learn more about bedbugs and how to get rid of them safely, call EHS Pest.

Source: Entomologytoday.org

Protect Your Family from Bedbugs

12 Jun 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

Please don't let Bedbugs breed to this level of infestation. This families poor child was riddled with bites. His stuffed animals had many dozens of eggs attached to them.

EHS Pest - Bedbug Infestation

EHS volunteers help for qualifying families with children and elderly people in need.

Contact John Stellberger at 888.PEST.MGMT for help.

Stop Ticks

31 May 2017

Posted by John D. Stellberger

EHS Pest, Norwood, MADEET, showers, and tick checks can stop ticks.

Reduce your chances of getting a tickborne disease by using repellents, checking for ticks, and showering after being outdoors. If you have a tick bite followed by a fever or rash, seek medical attention.

Gardening, camping, hiking, and playing outdoors – when enjoying these activities, don't forget to take steps to prevent bites from ticks that share the outdoors. Ticks can infect humans with bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause serious illness.

Before You Go Outdoors

  • Know where to expect ticks. Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through leaf litter or near shrubs. Always walk in the center of trails in order to avoid contact with ticks.
  • Products containing permethrin kill ticks. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings.
  • Use a repellent with DEET on skin. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions. Parents should apply this product to their children, avoiding the hands, eyes, and mouth. For detailed information about using DEET on children, see recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Reduce Ticks in Your Yard

  • Modify your landscape to create Tick-Safe Zones[6.82 MB]. Regularly remove leaf litter and clear tall grasses and brush around homes, and place wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas to keep ticks away from recreational areas, and keep play areas and playground equipment away from away from shrubs, bushes, and other vegetation.
  • Consider using a chemical control agent. Effective tick control chemicals are available for use by the homeowner, or they can be applied by a professional pest control expert, and even limited applications can greatly reduce the number of ticks. A single springtime application of acaricide can reduce the population of ticks that cause Lyme disease by 68–100%.
  • Discourage deer. Removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers may help discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them.

Prevent Ticks on Animals

Use tick control products to prevent family pets from bringing ticks into the home. Tick collars, sprays, shampoos, or “top spot” medications should be used regularly to protect your animals and your family from ticks. Consult your veterinarian and be sure to use these products according to the package instructions.

For more information on tick prevention in your yard, contact EHS Pest.


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