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Ask Mr. Pest Control

12/13/2018

Q. I am dealing with a German roach issue in an apartment complex broken into buildings. The maintenance people seem to think it’s okay to leave whole panels out under kitchen and bathroom sinks for access to the plumbing. One building has at least 12 units with roaches. I’ve tried everything from baiting, dusting, baiting and dusting, to recently hitting all of the penetrations with a knockdown product, an IGR and again baiting and dusting. What do you recommend?   --Kenton, IN   A. I think you may be throwing too much product at the problem and not thinking of th...

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12/04/2018

Q. I’ve had a problem with a couple of bed bug jobs. I will have my customers prep their home and then schedule treatments at two-week intervals. Afterwards, the homeowner will go a month with no bites or sightings. Then, out of the blue, they will call about finding a dying bed bug. I think it was there the whole time and just taking time to die. Do you know how or why this happens? — Mike, OH A. One reason could be that a bed bug harborage was overlooked during treatment. Even if you’ve done your best, that’s just the nature of bed bugs. It’s not unusual to...

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10/10/2018

Q. Rodents are not going into a bait station and consuming bait. They go around and over it. How can I control activity? — Armando, CA A. If we’re talking about rats and a newly placed bait station, it might be a matter of patience until they’re ready to go inside. Or, it may be size - some rats are too big for low profile bait stations. Does your program consist of anything besides this one or other bait stations? The rats might better accept food baits on snap traps. If we’re talking about mice, then wind-up multiple catch traps are another option in place of b...

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09/24/2018

Q. What’s the best way to treat for carpet beetles inside of a 1,500 sq. ft. mobile home? What’s the best product to use? — Nathan, CA A. The difficulty with carpet beetles is finding them, not what product to use on them. I’m not sure of the level of infestation you’re seeing or where it is concentrated. If they’re heavily concentrated in one area, that’s great because it’ll point to the source of the infestation. It might be old rodenticide bait or a dead animal in a wall void, which can be dusted. It’s more difficult when they&rsquo...

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08/22/2018

Q. I need to treat for spiders, but the customer is very chemical sensitive. What products would be best for this situation? We do use a web remover.— Richard, GA A. Correction—you need to manage spiders for a customer who is very chemical sensitive, in which case applying any pesticide is not a good idea. It doesn’t matter whether a pesticide has synthetic or natural active ingredients. The real choice is between applying or not applying a pesticide. Removing active spider webs with a web remover and crushing spiders is the best that should be done for this particular ...

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07/09/2018

Q. What would you recommend to prevent rodents from burrowing down into a crawlspace from the outside? If they have already done so, what is the best way to exclude them? I've heard of using screening in an L shape along the foundation as well as trenching gravel along the perimeter. — Jayce, WA A. I don’t know that a gravel trench would keep rats from digging in and out of the crawlspace, but a curtain of hardware cloth should. Use 19-gauge hardware cloth or stronger with a ½ in. x ½ in. mesh or smaller. Attach it to the outside of the crawlspace and have ...

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06/19/2018

Q: What diseases do roaches carry? — Christopher, CA A: Because German cockroaches may travel between unsanitary conditions and food, it’s possible for them to carry disease microbes on their bodies and deposit them onto food and utensils. In this manner, the main concern is pathogens that cause food poisoning or gastroenteritis, a.k.a. stomach flu. There is a more direct connection between German cockroaches and acute asthma attacks. People may become allergic to proteins in cockroach feces from chronic exposure to cockroaches, as in long-term infestations. In sensitive peop...

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06/01/2018

Q: Will the use of repellent products cause bed bugs to disperse further from the treatment area and spread an infestation to untreated locations?-- Stephanie, FL A: Studies have shown that bed bugs don’t sense dried repellent residues like cockroaches and ants and will walk across and even sit on them. However, there’s a better chance of bed bugs picking up a lethal dose from sitting on dried residue for some time than by walking across it, so application to harborages is key. They’ll still run away from a direct application of a repellent product, but they are not kep...

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05/30/2018

Q: What is the home range of a Norway rat and a roof rat from their nesting place?-- Joey, MSA: The average for commensal rats is a 25-100 foot radius, but the reality is that it depends on how close a food source is located. If a rat can find food within 10 feet of its nest, it has no reason to go further in search of food. But if it has to go beyond 100 feet in search of food, then it will. It depends on the situation and it’s important not to limit your mindset to textbook numbers.

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01/09/2018

  Q. What products and steps are needed to treat multiple cats in a bed bug infested home? The customer has two dogs and eight cats living indoors with them. Hours after I heated and sprayed the home, the homeowners called complaining about seeing multiple live bugs. The only variable in this home is the large number of cats. I tend to have problems with cat owners in general, especially if their cats runs the neighborhood. -- David, OH   A. It shouldn’t be unexpected to see a few live bed bugs after a treatment. How many are reasonable is debatable, but the point behi...

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01/05/2018

Q. Can a crack and crevice treatment be performed with a microencapsulated product in an office while people are working? -- George, CA A. The answer mostly depends on the product label. Product labels normally have restrictions against applications in occupied patient rooms or classrooms. They may have an additional restriction against applications when occupants are in the immediate area or room being treated. So you should choose a product that doesn’t have this additional restriction. However, I don’t recommend spraying a liquid product in front of office employees....

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