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Ask Mr. Pest Control


  Q: I have had a couple of accounts with extensive California (southern) fire ant nests. I have been using a dual action liquid residual for most of my general pest control needs and applying a light mist three to five feet around the mounds, but I'm wondering if there may be a better solution with how large of an area these ants are infesting. Sometimes the majority of the mounds are on a neighboring property that I cannot treat directly. — Michael, CA   A: It’s best to approach fire ants in two s...

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  Q: What is the absolute best insecticide for German cockroaches in restaurants? We are using an esfenvalerate product and are probably going to switch to a non-repellent product. Is this a good call or are there better products for German cockroaches? We also bait with cockroach gel. - Donna, TX   A: I think it’s a good call to switch to non-repellent products for German cockroach management, especially if you use cockroach baits. Esfenvalerate products are mostly repellent and probably shouldn’t be us...

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Q: What is the best way to manage rat mites inside a residence? Rats have been trapped out and the openings sealed up, but the customers are still receiving bites.   — Mikail, CA   A: Even though rat mites were a known issue, still make sure they are present with sticky monitors before you continue helping your customer. Although rat mites don’t necessarily disappear when the rats do, it’s common for people suffering from parasites to continue to believe the parasites are present after they’v...

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Q. I’ve been doing a rat job in Riverside, CA for over a year. I’ve done the exclusion work and activity stopped for a couple of weeks and calms down every now and then, but they continue to get rats in the attic. I’ve caught over 20 rats. The owner, property management and another pest management company have tried and we still can’t find the entry point. What else can we do?   — Tony, NV   A. It may be time to have the plumbing smoke tested. Difficult rat jobs often involve broken pipes or open drai...

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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 muc...

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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 ...

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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 trap...

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  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 ar...

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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 ...

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