Bed Bugs – The signs of infestation and how to treat.

If you are suffering from a bedbug infestation, it is important to not feel ashamed, as 5-star hotels have had the same problem. It is key to treat them fast, as they are persistent and a real nuisance. Here I will explain how to identify and successfully treat bedbugs.

Adult bed bugs are oval, and are up to 5/6mm long, they can be either dark yellow, red or brown in colour. The eggs are extremely tiny and white in colour. Both the eggs and adult bed bugs can be quite hard to spot, as they like dark, small areas. Places to look include your headboard, bed slats, stitching on your mattress, under your bed and around skirting boards. You may also find tiny black spots on your mattress or bed sheets, which are their dried excrement. Another sign that you may be infested with bed bugs are bites. Bed bug bites are commonly found on areas most likely to be exposed during sleep – EG arms, legs, hands, face and neck. Bed bug bites are often grouped together in a small area. Bites normally look like small, flat or raised areas that may become inflamed, itchy, red or blistered. However, not everyone will react to bed bug bites in the same way.

There are always three stages to a successful bed bug treatment, using a smoke bomb or aerosol to fumigate the room and kill the population open to the airspace, using powders to work into carpets and under skirting boards where the eggs will be harboured and using residual sprays on surfaces to give you an on-going form of pest control to deal with any insect missed from fumigation or powder.

The Pest Expert Formula ‘P’ Powder contains a potent synthetic insecticide called permethrin, you will want to apply this powder to the carpet of the room, paying close attention to the area beneath the bed and along the edges of the carpet where it meets the skirting boards; You will also want to apply powder to the stitching lines on the mattress and on joins in the bed frame. Due to its fine grade make up the powder will penetrate into the fibres of the carpet, into the joins and into the stitching, the key egg harbourages.

The Pest Expert Formula ‘C’ Spray is a vital component to any comprehensive eradication strategy. Formula ‘C’ is a water-based solution which can be sprayed anywhere you are comfortable having a light water dusting, it is non staining, odourless and solvent free. After 45 minutes the spray dries to form a film of Cypermethrin which will last up-to 12 weeks, completely safe for people and pets, contact neurotoxin to Bed Bugs. The key areas to apply the spray are on the mattress, bed frame and carpet. Formula ‘C’ acts as an ongoing pest control process, helping avoid the risk of missed bed bugs re-establishing breeding and causing re-infestation.

The Pest Expert Formula ‘P’ Fumer is another important component to a successful treatment. As Bed Bugs can live in the smallest of cracks and crevices a fumigator will fill up the volume of the room with an insecticidal gas/aerosol, penetrating these harbourages and killing on contact. Fumigation helps to remove the bulk adult breeding population, giving you a clean slate to work from when applying the powder and spray.

In terms of monitoring a bed bug infestation, the AgriSense monitoring traps are a great tool in detecting bed bug infestations but can also be used to monitor activity following an insecticidal Bed Bug treatment.

Due to the nature of bed bugs being one of the most resilient insect pests, they are more difficult to completely eradicate with one round of treatment, it is likely that if the infestation is established you may have to treat more than once.

However, it may not be imperative to conduct the full treatment again using the three stages detailed above, first treatments can be followed up with a second application of the contact dust and spray after 2-3 weeks. Therefore, all of the Pest Expert Bed Bug Kits contain enough product for a re-treatment if necessary.

All of the products mentioned above can be found by visiting our website www.pestcontrolsupermarket.com.  If you would like more information on bed bugs, please give our friendly sales team a call on 0114 2582407 and we will be more than happy to assist in any way possible.

 

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The Star-Nosed Mole

The star-nosed mole may take the prize for the most unusual looking mammal to exist. It has what looks like a fleshy, pink starfish coming out of its face. According to research it is the most sensitive organ of any mammals on earth, containing 22 appendages. There are 25,000 miniscule ‘touch domes’ on the star, and there are 100,000 nerve fibres supplying them.

The mole uses the star in the same way we use our eyes – moving around this little sensitive area for high resolution, and scanning with the other parts of the star. Also, the mole currently holds the Guinness World Record for eating speed. They can decide to eat something and continue to look for the next food source in about 200 milliseconds, which equates to a fifth of a second.

In addition to the amazing sensitivity to touch, the mole can also smell underwater, which nobody had believed to be possible for a mammal to do. It was filmed under water, thinking they would be less efficient but it turned out to be the complete opposite. The mole sniffs by pushing air bubbles onto things and re-inhaling the air bubbles to retain the smell.

The star-nosed mole lives in the North-Eastern United States, such as Pennsylvania. They are common, but very rarely seen. The mole is about 15-20cm fully grown, and they have 44 teeth. The moles are covered in very thick black/brown water repellent fur. They also have large, scaled feet and a long, thick tail which functions as a fat storage reserve for the spring breeding season.

 

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Where to find moths

Where do I find Carpet Moths?

The first stage of any successful Carpet Moth treatment is to establish the areas of activity.

Although we call them ‘Carpet Moths’ they will eat anything containing keratin (keratin is a structural protein found in hair and skin). Common sources of keratin include clothing, carpets, furniture and rugs.

Larval activity is never far from an egg harbourage; like many insects, moths will seek to lay their eggs out of the way of predators, we use the guide “dark spaces, cracks and crevices” to find areas of activity; for example, you should be checking by the skirting boards, under furniture, in drawers and in wardrobes for any sign of activity.

Common signs of activity?

  • Damage (Bald/worn patches in the carpet)
  • Adults or larvae
  • Silk Webbing (this looks much like snail trails)
  • Case-bearings (these look like grains of rice and often take the same colour as the food source due to the ingestion of dye by the larvae)

Once you have checked the property you will know where and in how many rooms the moths are present, this will help you determine which treatment pack is required and where to focus your treatment.

 

Are rodents feasting on your car wires?

As the weather begins to get colder, rodents will find many places to find warmth and shelter. One of the places you do not want to find them is in your car. One American resident woke up one morning and went to start her truck up, and it was completely dead. This is due to rodents not only making her car a home, but making a meal of it too. It cost her $400 to get repaired – around £298.

Jon Linkov, Consumer Reports Auto Editor says, “we’ve noticed lots of complaints about rodents chomping their way through wires, causing huge headaches for car owners”.

The problem is getting so bad that lawsuits have been filed against Toyota and Honda as apparently soy-based materials are being used to cover wires, which makes them attractive to rodents. The lawsuits also claim that the car manufactures should cover the bill of any repairs that should need doing.

To help combat the issue, Honda sells rodent-deterrent tape which contains capsaicin which is the active component in chilli peppers, making it extremely unpalatable to rodents.

What can you do to prevent rodents eating your car wires?

Jon Linkov explains that if your car sits on the street or a driveway for a while, it is a good idea to often check under the bonnet to see if you can spot any rodent damage. If you do spot some, you should use the rodent deterrent tape over damaged wires to prevent any more damage occurring. If you can see an area where the rodents may be gaining access – E.G a ventilation area, you should contact a mechanic and ask them to install a wire mesh.

The manufacturers have responded to this by stating that there is no evidence to support that substances used for car wiring cause rodents to chew through them. A Honda spokesperson commented, saying that rodents are prone to chew on wires, whether they are in cars or homes.

 

What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Curious case of the ‘Rat Effect’ in Hanoi

 

At the height of Empire, France deployed administrators, engineers and technocrats to develop, modernise and control Southeast Asia. Following the alarming work by Alexandre Yersin in 1894, who discovered the role of rats and fleas as vectors in the propagation of bubonic plague which still held a profound cultural legacy in western Europe, the colonial state became increasingly concerned about the presence of rats in their cities. Nowhere more so than Vietnams Hanoi did rats become the focus of the colonial states attention.

At this point it is worth noting the contribution of the German Economist Horst Siebert with his ‘Cobra Effect’, in short the ‘cobra effect’ is when an attempted solution to a problem only exacerbates the issue and makes it worse. The French Colonials in Vietnam and their rats are a case book example, above and beyond that provided by British Colonials in Delhi.

Legacy fear of plague became enflamed when the symbols of progress and order lavished upon the wealthy European section in Hanoi, such as sewers and flushing toilets, became a wide-ranging underground transportation network for rats and the ideal breeding ground. The officials decided that rats popping out from a Europeans toilet would simply not do, this lead to what Historian Michael Vann calls ‘The Great Hanoi Rat Massacre’.

The colonial regime created a bounty programme that paid entrepreneurial locals for each rat killed, tails were used to count kills. As time passed Colonial officials began to notice rats with no tails in Hanoi…further investigation releveling a network of emergent rat farms, with tails removed and rats freed to continue to breed and pump life into the new lucrative sector of Hanois economy.

Case book cobra effect. Where French colonial officials had tried to solve the rat problem in Hanoi they underestimated the intelligence and imagination of the residents, the problem had simply increased (less a few tails).