PEST CONTROL BLOG
FIND OUT WHAT'S ON OUR MIND
Bed Bugs - The Plague of the 21st Centure - November 7th, 2014.
Here's a sign of the times. A mental health patient walks into the probate court carrying bed bugs on/in his clothing. Somehow the courthouse clerks become keen to the fact that he brought bed bugs in and an extermination is ordered. While the article doesn't get into specifics, I'm left wondering how they found out. Regardless, the same man is expected to be in the courthouse every Thursday. These clerks now have a face to go with the "itchy" feeling caused from this particular bed bug carrier. I can just picture terrified people avoiding the man and everything he's touched like the plague. If he can't afford afford an extermination for himself, is it fair that the courthouse (and therefore the taxpayer) foot the bill for all the extermination treatments the courthouse will have to endure? Is this man even going to be treated fairly from now on? Working the phones at Premier Pest Control, I've learned that bed bugs are sometimes a random misfortune and there is no easy fix. Stories like this pop up from all over the place, not just in the probate court. Coworkers getting bed bugs from coworkers, newlyweds bringing the bugs back from their honeymoon and military personnel coming home with them. Bed bugs cause untold embarrassment, lost sleep and a host of other problems. Forget the zombie apocalypse, start preparing for the bed bug apocalypse! The best prevention is to be prepared, check out our bed bug survival page: Click Here
"Commissioner, what is your annual budget for cockroach abatement?" - November 5th, 2014.
Working the phones here at Premier Pest Control I often find myself out-talked by a frantic customer with a pest problem. We all hate getting creeped out and it certainly means a lot more to us when it's in our own home. Some people are quick to call an exterminator, some people will live with an infestation for years before getting help. We call this the pest threshold. The pest threshold is the level of pest activity that would require an action. In these financial times, where pennies are pinched yet debt keeps ballooning it's tough to decide where the money gets spent. Especially in politics - we don't need to relive that.
In Chicago at a meeting with the city council, the big wigs were discussing budgets with the commissioner of Fleet and Facility Management. One of the items the commissioner was responsible for was pest control. Ironically, a large cockroach walked up the wall disrupting the meeting and prompted the question "Commissioner, what is your annual budget for cockroach abatement?"
While the commissioner surely must have been embarrassed by the question, it brings forth an important debate: how important is pest control? In times of rampant cuts for financial reasons we're often the first to get the ax. No one deserves to live with cockroaches. It breaks our hearts when we go into family housing and witnessing an infestation that most likely has gone untreated for some time. What isn't known is where the cockroaches came from. Imagine a young family unknowingly brings home cockroaches because of their desk job at the city. Cockroaches don't magically appear in dirty apartments, they get brought their unknowingly.
I am sorry to say there is no excuse for cockroaches infesting a city hall. This is a bad omen for a city and a health threat to city workers. While it was stated that the city hall receives a regularly scheduled treatment, apparently that isn't enough. A few cockroaches is never what it seems. Perhaps the exterminator has been providing a poor service, but more likely the city has cut back on treatments because of cost and chosen the cheapest bid for pest control services.
Springtails - A Sign of Spring! - February 24th, 2014.
I am sure we've all seen that beating, moving mass of small black bugs hanging out on the last island of snow from the winter. Those little buggers are known as spring tails. They don't cause any structural damage but they can from time to time gain access to the interior of a home. The best way to get rid of them from the inside of a house is by lowering the humidity. This can be done by running a dehumidifier.
Springtails are interesting insects because they have an antifreeze-like chemical in their blood which helps them flourish on ice. This chemical has scientists interested in its potential to help preserve human organs. Believe it or not, there are even springtails on Antarctica.
Springtails have a stiff rod or "tail" that hooks to their underside. When tension is removed, this tail flings the insect in the air like a flea-rodeo. There is lots of movement but no control.
It's unclear why snow fleas hang out in large groups on the snow, but most likely it's for mating purposes. We do know that snow fleas are great decomposers and a beneficial bug! So next time you see the snow flea gang, you can admire them without having to get disgusted or worried.
Moisture - A Compound Problem - February 21st, 2014.
A little moisture can go a long way. Moisture weakens wood. It opens the door for fungus and insect problems to develop which further deteriorate the wood. Carpenter Ants, Powder Post Beetles & Termites love damp wood and moist conditions. When we do our yearly interior inspections & treatments, that's one thing we're looking for. No matter the season; winter, spring, summer or fall a damp basement is always problem. But how can it be corrected?
1.Borate treatments can be made to exposed surfaces of wood. This natural product kills and prevents wood destroying insects and 100 types of wood decay fungi.
2. A polyethylene vapor barrier can be laid across the floor in dirt floor crawlspaces. This barrier prevents moisture from passing up from the ground.
3. Install an energy-star rated dehumidifier. For around $200 you can program one to keep your basement at the ideal humidity level that drains directly into the sewer pipe.
4. For basements that get lots of standing water, a "sump pump" can help remove excess water.
5. The roof is another hot spot of moisture issues. Frost heaves along the gutters force water to back up through the rubber membrane under the shingles and onto the plywood roof. Over time this can leak down into the joists or drywall. Have your roof and gutters checked by a professional.
6. Attic vents allow air circulation and help remove moisture from the attic.
7. Check and clean your gutters regularly. Install corrugated drain pipes and attach to the downspouts to help remove water away from the foundation.
8. Fix leaky pipes, make sure the bathroom tile is grouted correctly and use a vent in the bathroom - but make sure it vents to the outside and not the attic.
Removing sources of moisture isn't just important inside the home, the environment surrounding your home is also important. Make sure no plants touch the house and leave a 2 ft wide pest free zone around the home and foundation. Don't use mulch around the foundation, either. If possible, use a more permeable and equally aesthetic ground cover like crushed rock. Just remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Insects choose their surroundings for a reason!
Bed Bugs, They're Everywhere! - February 3rd, 2014.
When you think of bed bug infestations, what do you think of? Like most people, you may associate these bugs with hotels, motels, bars, dorms, homeless shelters, etc... However, bed bugs should not be associated with cleanliness or socio-economic standings. We've battled bed bugs in 3500+ square foot mansions, city offices, doctors' offices and the finest hotels in the area. Bed bugs are excellent travelers and extremely hard to detect. They live off of blood, so we're all potential hosts.
A bank in New Bedford, MA has been struggling with their bed bug infestation. Employees have sat down at their desks and found bed bugs crawling up the cubicle walls and along desk surfaces. One employee said this has been going on for over 8 months. The contracted exterminator described it as a "very extensive" infestation. The infestation at the bank is not the only problem, though. With 110 employees going in and out of the offices - the further spread of bed bugs is imminent. The bank has offered to have the residences of those 110 employees treated. This is no small task! Could you image sitting at your desk all day knowing you're in the middle of an infestation? Ahhk!
This particular case in New Bedford, MA is more common that you'd expect, but not all cases make it to the media. This bank is now the unfortunate face of a bed bug infestation. In reality, it could have happened to any of us. This is just one example of the ugly after effects of a bed bug problem.
The full article can be found by visiting SouthCoastToday or by clicking here.
January 23rd, 2014
Many often wonder what pest control means in the winter. A lot of our business is residential properties. Their main concern is the warmer months: spring, summer and fall. So when the temperatures get cooler they stop worrying about the pests. This can be a big mistake. All insects are cold blooded. This means their bodies cannot generate enough heat on their own, they need the environment to warm them. Bugs would much rather be inside a home where it's nice and warm. Those bugs that live through the winter are mostly pregnant females. They survive the winter and lay their eggs as the weather warms in the spring because the eggs would freeze if laid prior. The warmer a bug stays in the winter, the more likely it will survive and produce offspring in the spring. Complete control of insects is hard to obtain, and we want all the help we can get. In the winter, we finally get a chance to be on the offensive; targeting insects when their most vulnerable. When the weather warms and the insects are all over we'll be playing defense again. Help us hit 'em when it hurts, schedule your winter service now!
December 27, 2013
We hope everyone had a great holiday and we wish you all a safe, happy new year. For current customers, we will continue to offer our 10% discount on our yearly services if you choose to prepay. Those prepay letters will be going out next week. Right now we're midway through our winter rounds. Now is a great time to thoroughly inspect the basements, attics, etc... for signs of mice and other insects. If your winter service is coming up, please make an effort to be home. If you havn't pulled the trigger and choosen us as your exterminator, now is a great time. Why not start before the bugs cause problems? It just may save you money in the long term.
November 5th, 2013
Who says insects aren't active in November? We just got a call from a customer saying little white larva-looking insects were eating her wooden statue. She sent us a picture and sure enough they were termites. With the cold frost this morning, she was a little surprised insects were active in weather this cold. This just goes to show how adaptable insects are. After finding termite in her yard, we inspected the inside to make sure they hadn't started chompin' on the wood inside yet. Sure enough, there was damage! This just goes to show, if you find termites in the yard it's a good idea to have the inside of your home looked at too, just to be safe!
September 15th, 2013
Frank Presslier - owner of Quality Pest Control in Ware, MA passed away unexectedly on July 13, 2013. During the month of August, we started getting Quality Pest Control customers calling our office looking for service. We've always been friendly competitors with Frank; we're both small, local businesses and our service terretories overlap. We wanted to know what was going on so we reached out to his home phone and learned of his passing. In relief of his widow, we took over Frank's advertisement burden and his phone number. All current customers of Quality Pest Control were mailed a notice of his passing and the transition of the company. For those of you that knew Frank, we're sorry for your loss. We will do our absolute best to fill his shoes and hold the flame from here on.
August 29th, 2013
Premier Pest Control got an emergency call last night. There was a large bee's nest about 100ft up by a cell tower. The cell tower had been damaged by some destructive squirrels chewing on the wires. People trying to call out in this city would get their calls dropped - even emergency calls. The technicians couldnt get up to fix it with this nest looming over them. Using a bucket suspended 100 feet up on a crane, the boys of Premier took care of the nest and saved the day! Check out our YouTube video and facebook page for the visual. Our First YouTube Video!
May 24th, 2013
Welcome back for another installment in the Premier Pest Control blog. We appreciate you checking in to see what's new in our little world of bugs. The temperatures are finally rising, I think we just saw our first day in the upper 70's this past week. All in all the temperatures are down year to year, but that's not stopping the bugs! We're getting a lot of phone calls about wasps. It seems like everyone is seeing the foraging activity that is common during the spring. Before you call a company and spend a dime, there are a few things you need to know. Wasps are social insects and their colony contains all females. There is 1 queen with many female workers - similar to an ant colony. Each fall, the female workers die off. The young queens (females that have mated and hold fertilized eggs) seek protection from the cold of the winter. They find harborage away from the elements and wait out the winter. When the weather warms up in the spring, these pregnant females come out and hover around your eves, your deck, lawn, gutters, etc... You may think they have a big nest hidden somewhere - which they may - but this might not be the case. When you come out for the spring they're looking for spots to build their nests, they're looking for food (spiders & various insects) to feed their young, and bits of cellulose (wood, grass, etc...) and water to construct their home. This is why it is common for them to hang out by your gutters and wooden deck. If you feel comfortable, take a walk around and see if you can decipher what the wasps are doing. It's always easier to wipe out nests when they're just starting than one that's fully formed. Also keep in mind that some people consider wasps beneficial insects because they keep other insect populations in check. And with that, have a great Memorial Day Weekend!
April 12th, 2013
Congratulations, Guy George A.C.E.! The owner of Premier Pest Control just become one of only about 10 others from the state to become Associate Certified Entomologists by the Entomoligcal Society of America. Guy had to prove he's been in the industry for a length of time and pass a rigorous exam.
On a second note, we had a dig into Guy a little and find out what's going on this year with the bugs! The cooler weather means the bugs are not coming out quite yet. But this cooler weather is NORMAL in New England and isn't affecting the bug populations just yet. With a warm up of around 70 degrees next week, Guy says expect to see alot of Termite Swarms (winged termites) in your basements and Carpenter Ant swarmings!
February 15th, 2013
Happy Friday. We're here at the office today working non-stop on the webpage. In case you havnt noticed, everything is new... and hopefully improved. It's an ongoing process as we switched from a template to html and we're constantly tinkering with everything. So please, give us some time to get things right.
Other than that, we're also looking to hire another technician. We've put our ads out there on MassLive and CraigsList and we just began holding interviews. I have attached the ad below. Interested? Let me know firstname.lastname@example.org
Premier Pest Control is seeking an energetic and motivated person to join our team. We're hiring full-time pest management service technicians. Do you have experience in pest management? Are you a dedicated pest management professional looking to start anew? This stress-free, enjoyable industry is predicted to increase by 26% by the year 2020 by the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics -- that's more than the average of all other industries. And unlike other occupations, we're virtually recession proof. We're a small company that has grown every year we've been in business! With the steady increase in our customer base, we're in need of immediate help. We offer competitive pay, health benefits, paid vacation and sick time plus performance based bonuses. Respond to this ad via email or mail your resumes to:
Premier Pest Control, Inc.
PO Box 425
Granby, MA 01033
- High School Diploma (or GED)
- Valid Drivers License w/ Good Driving Record
- Professional Appearance
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- Advanced problem solving skills and proven time management
- Ability to work in a team environment
- Current Pesticide License or Willing to become certified to apply pesticides
- Ability to lift or carry up to 20 pounds (8-10) hours per day
- Able and willing to work in various weather conditions (8-10) hours per day
- Be willing to submit to CORI Background Check & Drug Screening
PREMIER PEST CONTROL, INC.
PO Box 425
Granby, MA. 01033