Archive for September, 2010

Check out these Pest Control Blogs!

September 29, 2010

Check out some of these great posts from around the pest control blogosphere!

Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus as Georgia heads into peak of season

Jerry the Bug Doctor

Fight the Bite!

Niketown NYC Re-Opens After Bed Bug Infestation


10 steps to help keep head lice and their eggs out of your child’s hair

It’s Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Race Time Again!!


Maggots found in eye socket of man in nursing home with Palm Beach County ties

September 28, 2010

Maggots found in eye socket of man in nursing home with Palm Beach County ties

September 13, 2010|By Charles Elmore, The Palm Beach Post

Maggots have been discovered in the eye socket of a 76-year-old man under the care of a Gainesville nursing home with ownership ties to Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, his outraged daughter said.

A state investigation is under way.

“It’s absolutely inexcusable,” Patrice Ripley said. “Quite frankly, I’m angry.”

Her father, John Stumpp, had been under the care of Gainesville Health Care Center when the maggots were found in an examination at a Veterans Administration facility, according to Ripley.

The Gainesville nursing home is part of a chain that includes Glades Health Care Center in Pahokee, controlled by the family of executive Maxcine Darville of Okeechobee.

An investigation by The Palm Beach Post last year found Darville and family members enjoyed salaries above industry norms and spent money on luxury cars and hot tubs while two of three nursing homes in the chain, including the Gainesville home, received the lowest possible one-star rating from state regulators.

Darville and other officials with the chain could not be reached to comment.

A VA official confirmed the agency filed a report with the Adult Protective Services unit of the Florida Department of Children & Families.

“Please note that the discussed veteran was not under VA care when this matter occurred at this non-VA nursing home,” said VA spokeswoman Cindy Gaylord in an e-mail. “The veteran was brought to our medical center for care and shortly thereafter, the issue was forwarded to Adult Protective Services, Department of Children/Family Service for investigation.”

DCF spokesman John Harrell said: “We are very concerned about these disturbing allegations. We are actively and thoroughly investigating to get to the bottom of what happened.”

Harrell said he was limited in the details he could provide because the investigation is ongoing.

The department has been sharing information with agencies including the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Attorney General’s Office, Harrell said.

Stumpp, who lost an eye to cancer, had an infection in the eye socket, his daughter said.

An unannounced AHCA inspection of the Gainesville Health Care Center on Aug. 18 cited the nursing home for failing to notify a doctor of problems carrying out a physician’s order to change an unidentified resident’s eye bandages twice a day.

The resident was often uncooperative and refused to allow staff to change his dressing on the second shift 43 out of 57 times, the ACHA report said. The nursing home was required to notify the resident’s doctor or legal representative, according to the AHCA.

The inspection found a bottle of liquid bleach was left on a resident’s dresser and an elevator needed repair and cleaning.

The landlord for the Gainesville Health Care Center is one of the most prestigious teaching hospitals in the nation, Shands, affiliated with the University of Florida, The Post reported last year. The annual rent: More than $1 million.

Palm Beach County Lawn Care, Pest, & Termite Control Services

Brevard Bedbug Control Services

September 27, 2010

Bedbugs inch toward Brevard

All this year’s hype boosted the bedbug’s bite as pest non grata, nationwide.

But the vermin infested only two establishments here this year, in Titusville and Melbourne, and both have long been in the clear.

What gives this story more legs (pun intended) is that bedbugs have infested several hotels in surrounding counties this month. More may soon hitch rides here via tourists’ luggage.

Nationwide, health and environmental officials warn of increasingly pesticide-resistant bedbugs and a “pandemic” creature comeback.

“In my opinion, we are at the point of crisis,” said Roberto Pereira, entomologist at the University of Florida. “We don’t have very adequate tools.”

DDT nearly wiped out bedbugs after World War II, when people soaked mattresses in the pesticide. The bugs first were reported to show resistance in the 1950s. Then the U.S.

Environmental Protection Agency ban- ned DDT in 1972 because of concerns about cancer and birth defects.

Over the next two decades, Malathion almost took care of the bedbugs that survived DDT. But the wily creatures grew resistant.

In more recent years, they’ve grown more resistant to commonly used pesticides. Since the 1990s, they’ve been coming back.

And those are migrating.

“What we see now is a consequence of what’s been happening for the past five to 10 years of increasing populations up north,” Pereira said.


Last month, EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a joint statement highlighting bedbugs as an emerging public health problem.

They’ve gotten so bad in the Midwest that the EPA also warned against using chemicals meant for outdoors to kill them. In June, the agency denied Ohio’s petition, backed by 25 other states, to approve the pesticide propoxur for indoor use because of its cancer risk.

Virginia Tech entomologists found in 2005 that many bed bug repellants don’t work, and two of the most commonly used products to control them killed only half the bugs after 10 days of exposure.

When poisons fail, others have tried novel approaches. Last year, researchers at University of Florida found that special heaters kill bedbugs inside furniture without harming belongings, if the temperature exceeds 113¤degrees Fahrenheit.

But that and many types of eradication don’t come cheap, said Pereira, who
just returned from the first-of-its-kind bed bug summit this week near Chicago.

He was among 400 attendees who surely scanned their bedding carefully at the Hyatt Rosemont during “BedBug University: North American Summit 2010.”

“Every time I go into a hotel room, I always check the mattress,” Pereira said.


Bed bugs stow away in the seams and folds of luggage, clothes, overnight bags, bedding, furniture, anywhere they can slide and hide their flat, brown bodies.

Last month in the Big Apple, that included an AMC movie theater, a Victoria’s Secret, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, and offices for Elle magazine and the Brooklyn district attorney.

Closer to home, bed bugs closed two libraries in Lee County this month.

“We have seen a slight increase of complaints,” said Alexis Lambert, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The department inspects lodgings. Rooms can’t be rented for two weeks and until a follow-up inspection.

Repeat violators face $500 to $1,000 fines. Of this year’s 66 infestations, only two got fines: one in Fort Lauderdale; the other in Jennings.

In mid-April, inspectors issued a warning to a motel in Titusville, after finding bedbugs in one room. A month later, an inspector found bedbugs in five rooms at a hotel in Melbourne.

Both cases have since been resolved without fines.


Bedbugs can cause severe allergic reactions. But their impact may be more psychological and economic.

They die hard, and expensively. Eradicating them can cost in excess of $1,000, Pereira said.

“It’s not a hygiene thing, because bedbugs get into fairly clean places,” he said.

They cause insomnia, anxiety and — well, give us the willies.

“Of course, the good thing is that they don’t carry any disease, but it’s disgusting,” said Sally Scalera, an agent with Brevard County Extension Service in Cocoa.

John Blamer of Brevard Bugmaster Pest Control Services, based in Cocoa, says he averages about one bedbug call a week. Most turn out to be fleas, biting ants or imagination.

“People remember stories from years and years ago about bedbugs,” Blamer said. “It just conjures up fears in their minds of something that’s not as horrible as they think it is.”

Contact Waymer at 242-3663 or

Florida bedbug control

Frustrated parents can’t contact company behind recalled formula

September 24, 2010

Frustrated parents can’t contact company behind recalled formula

LEE COUNTY: A Southwest Florida mom claims the formula she fed her son gave him a rash. That formula has been recalled because bug parts were found inside! Now, she says she can’t get a hold of the company.

Kelly Davis keeps a close eye on her two young sons – and what they eat.

“We don’t eat bugs for a reason and I don’t want to serve it to my little baby,” she said.

That’s why Davis immediately stopped feeding her 10-month-old son Cody his regular Similac formula after she heard reports that it may contain small beetles or larvae.

“We have $150 worth of formula sitting at our house right now that we can’t use,” said Davis.

The maker of the formula, Abbot Nutrition, says contaminated formula could cause stomach aches and digestion problems.

And Davis says her son may have had another symptom as well.

“When he woke up this morning, it was just giant hives everywhere and the doctor said there wasn’t any explanation except potentially the formula that was recalled,” she said.

Davis says she has also had a hard time getting an explanation about a refund online or by phone.

“I called last night probably a hundred times only to get a busy signal every time,” she said.

While some parents can’t get through by phone or online, Similac says they can return the formula to stores where they were bought.

Their vice president released a statement Thursday saying the company is taking action so parents know their products meet the highest quality standards.

They go on to say they regret any inconvenience this has caused to parents and consumers.

Meantime, Abbot expects to lose $100-million in connection with the recall. Davis says that’s a small price to pay for the safety of her child, and millions of others.

“We’ll be trying something different today and hope it all works out for him,” she said.

We’ve been trying to call the hotline and log onto the website to look for the recalled formula, but the lines have been busy and the website seems to have crashed.

Because a lot of parents haven’t been able to get on the website for the past 24 hours, or reach anyone on the hotline, you can click here to find the list of recalled formula.

By Danielle Rotolo

Al Hoffer’s Home Page

Suncoast officials on alert for signs of West Nile Virus

September 22, 2010

Suncoast officials on alert for signs of West Nile Virus

SARASOTA COUNTY – There are two confirmed human cases of the West Nile Virus out of Collier County, less than two hours south of the Suncoast, and one of those victims died.

Sarasota County had a chicken that tested positive back in June, and just last week three chickens tested positive for the virus in Manatee County. Should Suncoast residents be concerned?

Mosquito control officials say anytime there are confirmed human cases of the West Nile Virus, it’s an indication that it could be anywhere.

Eric Schreiber, director of Sarasota County Mosquito Management Services, says he’s not surprised by the recent outbreaks of West Nile in Florida. “This is the type of year that we start seeing cases in both our sentinel chicken flocks, and we do have human cases.”

Just last week, three chickens tested positive for the virus in Manatee County. “One in Duette, one in Duette Park, and one on State Road 64…Myakka Head.”

Mark Latham, director of the Manatee County Mosquito Control District, says that despite the positive tests, people should not be alarmed. “Three chickens means yes the virus is out there. But is there a lot of activity? Probably not.”

Officials monitor the mosquito population throughout the year. Helicopters are used to do aerial sprays and trucks to do ground sprays. Mosquito control also has chickens at various locations throughout the county that get tested once a week for any viruses that mosquitoes transmit. “7 or 8 years ago we were getting anywhere from 30-40 chickens per year testing positive, and yet we only had one case in the entire time we’ve been here,” says Latham.

They say to avoid the mosquito that carries the West Nile Virus, avoid being outside after dark. “The mosquito that’s involved in the transmission of West Nile, it’s one of the 46 species we have in Manatee County. And it tends to be a mosquito that doesn’t bite until the sun goes down.”

Officials say you should follow the five D’s:

–Dusk and Dawn: avoid being out at those times, when mosquitoes are the most active.
–Dress: wear clothing that covers your skin.
–Deet: use repellents that contain Deet.
–Drainage: check your home for any standing water; that’s where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Mosquito-borne West Nile virus takes a life

September 20, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A southwest Florida man has died and another was hospitalized after contracting the mosquito-borne West Nile virus.

Collier County health officials urged residents Friday to use mosquito-repellent.

Symptoms include fever, rash, headache, fatigue, weakness and dizziness.

Officials encourage residents to protect themselves by avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn, when the bugs are more active; wear clothing that covers most of your skin; and use mosquito repellent with DEET. Also check around your home to get rid of standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Read more:

Bebdugs: The beauty shots

September 16, 2010

Found some great photos while surfing the web via TIME.

Check em’ out with the link below, but try not to bug out!

Bed Bugs: The Beauty Shots

The Pest of the Year shows off its stuff in microscopic detail
Photographs by Adam Nadel / Polaris
Scanning Electron Microscope provided by Tescan USA / Jack Mershon

Read more:,29307,2019344,00.html/r:t#ixzz0zjvWwgDT

Back to the homepage

Cyborg Insects

September 15, 2010

Bedbugs inavde

September 13, 2010

How to deal with bed bugs

Don’t bring home hitchhikers: Traveling? Inspect your hotel room before you call it a night. Examine your luggage thoroughly with each new place you go. Wash and dry clothes with hot water and high heat as soon as you get home.

Freeze it: Bag small items; place in your freezer for 30 days.

Buying used furniture, bedding, clothes? Inspect thoroughly. Wash and dry bedding and clothes with hot water, high heat. Steam is an option, but make sure stuff dries out so it doesn’t mold.

Check everywhere: Keep bedroom furniture an inch or two from the wall and a flashlight handy for easier cleaning and inspecting. Bed bug-proof mattress covers and light-colored bedding make them easier to spot.

Remove: Say goodbye to clutter in your bedroom to get rid of bed bug hiding spots. Getting rid of stuff?  Cover in plastic so bugs don’t fall off and make sure the items are in a dumpster or ruined so people don’t take them home.

Vacuum often: Floors, walls, mattresses, baseboards, furniture … Get rid of the vacuum bag as soon as you’re done in case you sucked up a bed bug.

Pesticide options: Leave it to the professionals. Some sprays simply repel bed bugs, spreading them around. Make sure pesticides are labeled specifically for bed bugs. Always read and follow the instructions on the label.

Learn more

Bed bugs are back! An IPM answer. 388k pdf file

Bed bug FAQs

Bed Bug Fact Sheet at Cornell’s Insect Diagnostic Laboratory

Bed bug information cards, 1.4Mb pdf file

How to Talk to Callers about Bed Bugs, a guide for master gardeners. 220k pdf file

Guidelines for Prevention and Management of Bed Bugs in Shelters and Group Living Facilities.

Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office.

… and search our database of online publications.

War on Bedbugs: Could ‘Mood Killer’ Chemical Work?

September 9, 2010

Check out this great article on bedbugs!

War on Bedbugs: Could ‘Mood Killer’ Chemical Work?