Posts Tagged ‘North carolina bedbug control’

WNV Infographic

Friday, September 20th, 2013

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Commercial Pest Control services

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Pests are attracted to sources of food, water and shelter – three things that restaurants and commercial food facilities provide in spades. Without taking proper preventative steps, restaurants and food service facilities could see populations of rodents, flies, cockroaches, ants and more.

Many restaurants and food service facilities have already contracted with pest professionals to prevent infestations from occurring. A working partnership between facility managers and licensed, trained pest professionals is critical in controlling pest populations.

Licensed and professionally trained pest professionals are best suited to keep health and property-threatening pests in check. Today’s pest professionals have the training necessary to identify pest problems and recommend the most responsible and effective pest management methods available. But, restaurants and commercial food facilities should train their internal staff to work as partners with pest professionals.  While these locations may receive regular service from their contracted pest management firm, internal employees can take steps every day to help reduce pest populations.

Are there steps a restaurant or food service facility can take on their own to prevent/control pest populations?

  1. Seal up any cracks and holes on the outside of the facility including areas where utilities and pipes enter.
  2. Make sure vents are screened and gaps around windows and doors are sealed.
  3. Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed.
  4. Inspect boxes, bags and other packaging thoroughly to curb hitchhiking pests.
  5. Don’t allow food to sit on counters or shelves in open containers.  All food and water sources should be kept sealed unless currently in use.
  6. Clean all food spills regularly.
  7. Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly.
  8. Replace weather-stripping and repair loose mortar around the basement foundation and windows.
  9. Never store food on the floor.  Always lift it up on shelves so that rodents and insects do not have easy access.
  10. Comply will all regulations regarding pests in food service facilities.
  11. A licensed and qualified pest professional is your best resource to ensure these steps are completed properly.

Bug Busters USA recommends that restaurants and food service facilities implement an integrated pest management (IPM) program.  IPM 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.

What should a restaurant, food service facility or homeowner look for when hiring a pest professional?

  • Ask friends, neighbors and other reputable businesses to recommend pest control companies they have used successfully and how satisfied they were with the service.
  • If a sizable amount of money is involved, get bids from several pest control companies.
  • Don’t rush a decision. Since you are paying for professional knowledge, look for someone whose judgment you can trust.
  • Before signing a contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem.
  • Find out if the pest control company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.
  • If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing control, prevention and management are necessary.
  • Buy value, not price. Beware of bargains that sound too good to be true.

Invasion of the stink bugs

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Invasion of the stink bugs

N.C. scientists race to find something to control a new pest that decimates crops, trees

By Alicia W. Roberts

The Asian stink bug has started its migration into North Carolina, and a team of researchers at N.C. State University have prepped their labs, set their traps and launched a monitoring website – all in an effort to stop the pest’s spread.

Their work is urgent. This insect, also known as the brown marmorated stink bug, has decimated crops in the mid-Atlantic states. The North Carolina researchers have their eyes on apples, peaches, tomatoes and corn – aiming to save these high-dollar crops from the stink-bug scourge.

“It’s where a small amount of damage has a pretty big economic impact,” said Jim Walgenbach, a researcher at N.C. State’s Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center, in Mills River.

Farmers in northern Virginia, eastern West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and south central Pennsylvania reported losing more than half of some crops in 2010 – mainly apples, peaches, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn and soybeans. Some reported total crop loss.

Asian stink bugs also love ornamental plants, so home landscapes are at risk, too.

“It really wasn’t until last year until the populations (in the mid-Atlantic states) unexpectedly exploded,” Walgenbach said. “Listening to my colleagues up there, it sounded like a biblical plague.”

North Carolina’s turn

Walgenbach and partner Mark Abney, who is based at N.C. State in Raleigh, think this could be the season the Asian stink bug population explodes in North Carolina.

In early July, Walgenbach captured Asian stink bugs in residential areas in trees and shrubs – tree of heaven, catalpa and wild cherry – and a few in trees near farm fields.

“This distribution pattern is consistent with the early stages of infestation by an invasive insect,” he said. It’s difficult to predict how quickly populations will increase and become widespread, “but populations are likely to expand more quickly here than farther north, because of our warmer climate.”

He expected to find many more Asian stink bugs beginning in August.

“We’re at the boundary of its expansion. It’s moving southward,” Abney said from Raleigh.

“My grad student has found them right outside the office, in the trees.”

Late last year, Walgenbach started getting reports of some damage to peach and apple orchards in Western North Carolina. Toward October and November, he began hearing about masses of Asian stink bugs crawling in and near homes and other structures in the mountains and the Piedmont.

Walgenbach even found a few in his home.

Adult Asian stink bugs like to spend the winter in structures, where they can be a nuisance but generally don’t cause any damage. If you grab one, it secretes a chemical that releases a strong odor. Walgenbach said the smell doesn’t bother him; his lab technician says the stink bugs have a strong almond-like scent when crushed.

Farmers and gardeners should report any sightings to their local extension office or at N.C. State’s new online monitoring site.

‘Pockets of high populations’

The Asian stink bug, native to China, first showed up in the U.S. in 1998, in Allentown, Pa. The insects have spread slowly, and Walgenbach said they’ve probably lived in North Carolina for a few years in small, isolated populations.

But their potential for growth in the Tarheel State could spook any farmer or proud home gardener.

“(This year), I expect to see pockets of high populations in a few areas,” Walgenbach said. “In some apple orchards, I suspect the populations will be fairly large … peaking in September and October.”

North Carolina has the perfect conditions for Asian stink bugs:

The state’s warm climate will allow the insects to reproduce as many as four or five times each season, increasing the number of crop devourers with each generation.

All of the plants the stink bug loves to eat grow in plentitude here – in farms, gardens and the wild.

The insect has no natural enemies in the United States. American parasites that prey on native stink bugs won’t adapt to the Asian stink bugs for years – if they ever do.

Scientists also have yet to identify a targeted insecticide that works on the Asian stink bug. Broad-spectrum insecticides would kill the Asian stink bug – but would terminate all the beneficial insects in the area, too.

And turning to broad-spectrum insecticides would disrupt decades of pest-management research, Abney said.

“You don’t want to kill all insects in an area,” he said. “Many are beneficial, and some that are pests (are) in low enough populations that they’re not a problem.

“Plus, you run the risk of developing resistance, so you might get some populations that explode because you kill off their predators or enemies – aphids and whiteflies, for instance.”

They’re hard to kill, too

Besides that, the Asian stink bug seems to show incredible resilience, as farmers in the mid-Atlantic states have seen.

“There are so many stink bugs out there in places where there are high populations, they can treat the bugs that are present, and it will kill them, but then more bugs move in,” Abney said. “And the residues don’t kill the bugs that come later.”

At this point, farmers in N.C. have no defense.

So Walgenbach and Abney are monitoring and trapping Asian stink bugs in the field, hoping to devise a plan for crop rotations that might hinder the insect’s spread. And they are breeding stink bugs in the lab, with plans to test an array of chemical sprays against the pest.

The hope is that, by the time the stink bug population spreads across North Carolina, we’ll know how to manage the insects – and mitigate the damage they can do.

“Agriculture is still our No. 1 industry, and the diversity of agriculture in North Carolina is pretty astonishing,” Abney said. “It’s a lot more diverse than to the north. The potential hosts (for the Asian stink bug) are plentiful.


Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Bed Bug Control Questions

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

What do bedbugs look like?

They are brown, about a quarter of an inch in diameter, and look like an apple seed or a lentil.

Has there really been a resurgence in bedbugs in the U.S. and how do you know?

There HAS been an increase in bedbug infestations.  Pest control companies who received 1 or 2 bedbug calls a year are now reporting 1 to 2 each week.  According to 2010 research conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, 95% of pest control companies report encountering a bed bug infestation in the past year. Prior to 2000, only 25% of pest control companies surveyed had encountered a bed bug infestation.

In addition, another survey by NPMA found that one in five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel.

Where have you been finding the bedbugs?

These pests are not limited to any one specific type of environment.  Pest control companies have been reporting infestations in both single and multi-family housing, apartments, hotels, hospitals, college dormitories, public transportation, laundry facilities and even movie theaters.

What states have been affected?

Pest control companies have reported bed bug activity on a national scale.  Bedbugs are being found from the East to the West Coast; and everywhere in between. Every state has reported bedbug infestations.

Why are bedbugs so hard to treat?

Bedbugs should NOT be equated with filth or sanitation problems — in hotels or in homes, for that matter. Bedbugs are VERY elusive, transient and nocturnal pests. They are often found in other areas besides the bed, and they are hardy.  They can live for a year or more without eating and can withstand a wide range of temperatures from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bedbugs CAN be controlled with vigilance, constant inspection and treatment by professional pest control companies.

What can a consumer do to protect themselves from bedbug infestations?

To prevent bedbug infestations, consumers need to be vigilant in assessing their surroundings. When returning from a trip, check your luggage and clothing.  If you think you may have a bedbug infestation, contact a pest control professional.  This is not a pest that can be controlled with do-it-yourself measures.  To find a pest control professional in your area you can visit

Why are bedbugs an issue for hotels, visitors, and homeowners?

Bedbugs leave itchy, bloody welts on human skin.  Adult bedbugs can live for a year without eating, making them especially hard to control.  Once inside a hotel or home, bedbugs spread rapidly from room to room – through pipes, in vacuum cleaners, on clothing and luggage.  In a hotel, bedbugs can even spread to neighboring rooms, since guests are may end up moving to another room.

Are bedbugs just in beds?

Bedbugs are not just in beds.  They can be in chair cushions, sofas, behind electrical outlets, cracks and crevices around baseboards, or even behind picture frames.  In other words, they can live pretty much anywhere.

How does one control bedbugs?

Any effective bedbug control strategy should start with a careful, thorough inspection by a pest control professional of all known and suspected spots where the bugs may be harboring.  This is not a pest that can be controlled effectively with do-it-yourself measures.  As they are discovered, the pest control professional will develop a treatment and control strategy with the customer depending on the extent of the infestation.

Bid on Carl Edwards Meet & Greet and NASCAR Race in NC on May 29th!

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Bid on Carl Edwards Meet & Greet and NASCAR Race in NC on May 29th!

Attention race fans!

Bid on a chance to meet NASCAR front-runner Carl Edwards at one of the hottest races of the season—the “Coca Cola 600” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race on May 29 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, NC! The limited-time auction package on CharityBuzz will score the winner two tickets to the race plus two cold garage passes for a meet-and-greet with Carl trackside.

Get an insider’s look at the cars, the teams and the excitement—and wish Carl luck as he gets ready to get behind the wheel and defend his first place standing in the Sprint Cup Series. Then, join fans in the stands to cheer him on as the engines roar! This package also includes a parking pass.

Best of all? Proceeds from this package go to help Malaria No More “speed up” our work to end malaria deaths in Africa.

Bid now at charitybuzz!

Twitter is raging with cicada news, check it out below.

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

Travel Channel: Top Spots to Pick Up Bed Bugs

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Top 10 Bedbug Infestation Spots

You’ve heard all about bedbugs in hotels, but did you know they’re also hiding (and waiting to hitch a ride home with you) in these common public places? Bedbugs are smaller than a grain of rice, but visible to the naked eye. So be on the lookout, and check out the top 10 places to accidentally pick up bedbugs.

Top Picks

Public Libraries

Crawling into bed with a good book has taken on a whole new meaning if you’re borrowing books from the public library system. Before you head home with a stash of bestsellers, check the pages and spines for bedbugs circulating from one reader’s home to the next.

Retail Stores

From clothes to furniture, bedbugs are just waiting for moving day. In the summer of 2010, retail shops around Manhattan were closed for fumigation when bedbugs were found hiding out in the goods. Investigate any possible purchases for unusual stains and shake out clothing before bringing it into the house.

Movie Theaters

You may catch more than a matinee at your local cineplex. With cushy, upholstered seats and plenty of human hosts, the movie theater is prime real estate for bedbugs looking for a meal. Limit the personal belongings you bring with you to avoid bringing home your own critter horror show.

Planes, Trains and Buses

All kinds of people take public transportation, and bedbugs ride for free on planes, trains and buses. Bedbugs are small and hard to detect, so it’s unlikely you’ll see the pests getting cozy in your seat. However, you can take precautions when you return home — don’t place your bags on your bed, and closely inspect your belongings when you unpack.

Daycares, Schools and Colleges

Stuffed animals, cubbies and dorms are incubators for all things gross, and bedbugs are spreading along with the rest of the germs among students and roommates. Kids in daycare share their cots and beloved toys from home. College kids bring home their laundry and bedbugs. Check in with the school director or resident advisor for reports of a bedbug invasion.

Places of Worship

Is nothing sacred? Clearly not for bedbugs who have been known to congregate in the holiest of places including temples, churches and religious meeting halls. Know how to spot a bedbug, and don’t let your guard down, even when offering up a prayer and gathering with like-minded worshippers.

Business Offices

The newest agenda item for many businesses is battling bedbugs that are just as likely to nestle into the carpet or furniture in the boardroom as they are in a bedroom. With clients and packages coming and going, bedbugs may move into an office space traveling on backpacks, briefcases, boxes, business suits or casual Friday clothing.

Laundry Facilities

If you’re sorting and folding in shared spaces, there’s more to worry about than mixing your lights and darks, as bedbugs invade even the cleanest spots in town. Bedbug victims are often instructed to wash and dry infected clothing and personal belongings using extremely high heat. Avoid cross contamination in the laundromat by keeping your dirty laundry to yourself, investigating tables and chairs, and using the hottest washing and drying temperatures possible.

Hospitals and Nursing Homes

Bedbugs don’t discriminate against the sick or the old, and to prove this point, hospitals around the country had to quarantine patient rooms and triage centers in late summer and fall 2010 to deal with bedbugs. You won’t likely have time to investigate beds and furniture if you get sick, but rest assured, bedbugs do not carry or spread disease.

Consignment, Thrift Shops and Yard Sales

Forgo the bargain-hunting and splurge on new goods to avoid bringing home bedbugs. If you just can’t pass up a sale, at least try to stay away from used mattresses, bed frames and headboards. You may save money, but professional treatment for a bedbug infestation can set you back thousands of dollars.

Bed Bug Exterminator

Bed Bug Survey Provides Insight

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Bed Bugs in America: New Survey Reveals Impact on Everyday Life

One out of five Americans has had a bed bug infestation in their home or knows someone who has encountered bed bugs at home or in a hotel according to a new survey released by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).

“Most Americans recognize that bed bugs are back in a big way. Our survey shows that people are taking the bed bug resurgence seriously and are modifying their daily routines to avoid infestations,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA. “Although it appears bed bugs are here to stay, it is important that the government and pest management industry work together to provide accurate information to educate the public. The public, in turn, needs to practice vigilance to help in minimizing infestations and act immediately if they themselves have an infestation.”

The “Bed Bugs in America” survey offers a look at how the bed bug resurgence is impacting the lives of Americans. Here are key survey highlights:

1.  Americans who have encountered bed bugs tend to be younger, live in urban areas and rent their homes. The incidence of bed bugs is three times higher in urban areas than in rural areas due to factors such as larger population size, apartment living and increased mobility, which are conducive to the rapid spread and breeding of bed bugs.

2. Bed bugs are found in all 50 states. Specifically, the pests were encountered by 17 percent of respondents in the Northeast; 20 percent in the Midwest; 20 percent in the South; and 19 percent in the West.

3. Most Americans are concerned about bed bugs and believe that infestations in the United States are increasing. Nearly 80 percent are most concerned about encountering bed bugs at hotels; 52 percent on public transportation; 49 percent in movie theaters; 44 percent in retail stores; 40 percent in medical facilities; 36 percent in their own homes; and 32 percent equally pointed to places of employment and friends’ homes. The fear of getting bitten topped the list of concerns.

4. As the public’s awareness of the bed bug resurgence grows, many Americans are modifying their behaviors to minimize their risk of an infestation: 27 percent have inspected or washed clothing upon returning from a trip; 25 percent have checked a hotel room for bed bugs; 17 percent have inspected or vacuumed a suitcase upon returning from a trip and 12 percent have altered or canceled travel plans because of concern about bed bugs.

  • 16 percent inspected second-hand furniture they have brought into their homes; 15 percent have checked dressing rooms when trying on clothing and 29 percent have washed new clothing immediately upon bringing it home from a store.
  • Of the 13 percent of respondents who said they knew someone who had a bed bug infestation in their home, 40 percent said they avoided entering the infested home and 33 percent discouraged those who had the infestation from entering their own home.

5.  Despite the availability of information, most Americans still have misconceptions about bed bugs. Nearly half of respondents incorrectly believe that bed bugs transmit disease.  However, research conducted to date has shown that bed bugs do not transmit disease to their human victims, although some people may experience itchy, red welts; 29 percent inaccurately believe bed bugs are more common among lower income households, and 37 percent believe bed bugs are attracted to dirty homes. Bed bugs do not discriminate in regard to household income and are found in both sanitary and unsanitary conditions.

Bed Bug Control & Removal Services ~ Bug Busters USA

How to inspect for bedbugs

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Bedbug Control