Archive for May, 2011

May 29, 2011 – Not A Problem To Be Ignored


If those of us who do bee control do not also “open walls” and remove the nest do you have any particular suggestions for how to go about enlisting the services of a contractor. I have had several customers ask me to take care of the construction process/hive removal or have wanted me to arrange to have it done for them. Now, I can see a possible opportunity here to work in conjunction with someone to our mutual advantage. I guess what I’m wondering is if this sounds reasonable and practical. If it is, what do you think might be the best approach to doing it? I don’t want do construction work but I want to see that my customers are satisfied with the work (both mine and the construction guy’s). What are your thoughts?


This is a good question, and I will say that around my own neighborhood we have sort of an informal list of building and maintenance contractors who we have had good experience with and who we can feel confident sharing with our friends. Word of mouth advertising is some of the best, and I suspect that nearly all pest control companies also have gotten business from referrals by satisfied customers. As with any business there will be good building contractors and really bad ones, and you might just start asking friends and customers if any of them have ever hired someone to do repair or remodeling work and were very satisfied with what they received. I regularly watch the TV show out of Canada of the contractor who goes back in and repairs the work done by other contractors who were so horrifically sloppy, so short cuts do happen.

Bottom line on honey bees is that their wax hive really should not be left in a structure once the bees are eliminated. You are in Arizona, and this becomes really important there where the temperatures that would melt the wax are going to be present more months of the year than in most other states. Once the bees are no longer there to maintain the integrity of the wax hive it will melt and the wax and honey will flow wherever gravity takes them, which results in serious messes and damage to the home’s interior. You should put this recommendation for hive removal in writing and have the customer sign it so you can prove they were told.

The process should be to locate the hive itself so that the minimal damage can be done to open and remove it physically. Then you or someone else can take the hive out and dispose of it and follow up by thoroughly cleaning the surfaces the hive contacted. This removes as many traces as possible of the honey and other substances that would attract ants, carpet beetles, and other scavengers that could come in to do their work. There even are a couple of moths that will feed within old bee hives.

I would think that building contractors, along with most other service businesses, would be hungry for legitimate work, and if you can determine a few that are reputable, licensed properly, will take out the necessary permits and treat your customers with a good sense of Customer Service (since it would be a reflection on you) you could interview them to see if they would be willing to receive these kinds of referrals. I can’t imagine why anyone would turn down the chance to make a few hundred bucks.

We had a local contractor redo the texturing on our sheetrock walls after we removed wallpaper, and other neighbors had used him also with glowing recommendation. I would imagine this kind of person would be willing to do removal of the wall materials to expose the hive, allow you or a cleaning service to come in and remove the hive and clean the interior, and then he could replace that wall surface properly and finish it for painting by the customer or some other contractor. It is really a matter of YOU finding someone you are comfortable with who is willing to accept this kind of small job, so ask around and do the interviews and hopefully you can get a network that will do good work.

View past Ask Mr. Pest Control questions.

May 30, 2011 – Anticoagulant Truths


I recently researched toxicity of rodenticides for a customer and came upon a paper from a large veterinarian school that claims second generation anticoagulants are extremely toxic to pets, and standard known antidotes (vitamin K1) are not as effective as we are led to believe. For me this muddies the water as to which product to use in bait stations. Please provide some clarity on this topic, as the pending new rodent regulations may have us all doing more rodent work for consumers.


I have always been nervous about the word “antidote” when referring to Vitamin K for anticoagulant poisoning. In my mind, and perhaps in the minds of many other people, the word antidote summons up the vision of a one-time injection of something that reverses the effect of a toxin, and this is absolutely not the case with anticoagulant rodenticides. To me a much better word (instead of antidote) would be “treatment”, because it may be necessary to continue to treat that animal for as long as it takes for the animal’s system to metabolize and excrete the active ingredient, and this (according to some manufacturers) could be as long as 4 months.

Dr. Robert Corrigan states in his book on Rodent Control that this misconception may exist, and that a single injection often is not sufficient. It depends on the species of non-targeted animal (cat, dog, hawk, etc.), the specific active ingredient involved, how much was eaten, the age, health, and weight of the animal. It may be that the veterinarian is going to need multiple doses of the treatment over a long period of time, possible blood transfusions, and possible surgical needs.

The first generation anticoagulants (warfarin, diphacinone) are metabolized and excreted from a dog’s body much more quickly than are the second generation anticoagulants (brodifacoum, bromadiolone, difethialone). The reason these secondary actives are called “single feeding” is because their toxicity is so much higher than the first generation products, and for this reason they require a MUCH smaller amount of bait to be eaten to cause their death. This definitely could translate to their being a much higher hazard to pets and wildlife if used improperly, and also leads to that greater concern of non-target animal consumption and secondary poisoning.

I am not certain that there is any change in how effective Vitamin K is for treating anticoagulant poisoning, other than the need to continue the treatments for a much longer time than may be necessary with first generation active ingredients. This concern with the second generation products is likely a major part of the decision by EPA to completely eliminate the sale of second generation actives to the unlicensed and untrained general public. After June 4 this year the new laws go into effect, and once existing inventories are depleted you will find the important new labeling on rodent baits.

So, without reading the exact wording of this paper you read it sounds to be fairly spot-on correct. However, there has been recent animal-rights activity in the California media that slams rodent baits, and claims that rodenticides are the current Environmental Armageddon, and suggests that wildlife is dropping dead in large numbers due to secondary poisoning. I think this is likely a terrible exaggeration on their part in their effort to be noticed, but the fact is that we need to be very, very careful of how we use rodent poisons, and that secondary poisoning could occur.

View past Ask Mr. Pest Control questions.

Housing officer in jail threat over ant infestation – InsideHousing

One of the England’s highest paid housing officers is being threatened with jail for contempt of court for allegedly failing to carry out agreed pest control work on a tenant’s home. In a highly unusual move, law firm Anthony Gold secured a court order …

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Venomous species of Brown Recluse found in Coweta – Newnan Times-Herald

The Mediterranean Brown Recluse spiders, whose native range was originally the Midwest, were recently found by Active Pest Control employees at a home in southwest Newnan. Specimens were confirmed to be the Recluse variety by State Entomologist Dr. Daniel …

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Avoiding bite of uninvited guests –

The warmer weather brings out more of the disease-carrying pests, and all North Carolinians are urged to take simple steps to prevent mosquitoes and ticks from biting them and to reduce breeding sites around their home. “Spring rains and warmer weather …

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Bedbugs Alarm Des Moines Firefighters –

Bedbugs were found in an office, on two chairs, on stools and on four mattresses at Station No. 4. Because the firefighters eat and sleep at the station during their 24-hour shifts, they worry about accidentally taking some of the little pests home.

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Michael Eckert: Hopeful answers for pests – Port Huron Times-Herald

Federal biologists are coming to St. Clair County next month for a little fishing. Let’s hope they don’t catch anything. Chances are, though, they will. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service crew of fishery biologists and technicians will be looking for sea …

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Pest control important during this wet, cold weather – Grand Junction Free Press

Pest control important during this wet, cold weather
Grand Junction Free Press
Applying an insecticide now, especially if it has systemic qualities, will help control these pests and the damages they cause. Another insect you can't do much about now is the lilac/ash borer. The adult lilac/ash borers, a clear-wing moth,

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NYC Ranked Worst In US For Bedbugs –

Pine Tree

NYC Ranked Worst In US For Bedbugs
Bedbugs were almost eradicated from the United States following World War II, but increasing international travel and other factors have allowed these pests to regain a foothold in the United States. Because of the bedbugs' tendency to hitch rides from
Annual List Identifies Where Bedbugs Bite Most Across U.S.PR Newswire (press release)
Bedbugs In Houston: Hey, We Ain't Too BadHouston Press (blog)

all 44 news articles »

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Rosemount prepares for emerald ash borer – Rosemount Town Pages

Rosemount prepares for emerald ash borer
Rosemount Town Pages
The treatment involves injecting the tree with a substance that stops the insects. The trees will have to be treated every couple of years, said Schuster. “We want to be proactive in protecting trees that serve a purpose,” said Schultz.

and more »

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