Archive for November, 2010

Bed bugs infestation force out USF student

November 30, 2010

Campus Lodge Apartments; Bed bugs infestation force out USF student

Spring Hill, FL – “I thought it was because of stress because its finals week and because I work full time,” said Michael Bennett, 21, who says it took him a week to realize what was causing the welts all over his body.

Around 3:00am Tuesday morning, Bennett made the disgusting discovery.

“I turn on my light and I see a bug crawling on me so I instantly take it off, put it down and I look over and I had another one on my arm. So, I take them off and I got kind of nervous because I’ve never seen this kind of bug before. I’ve been in Florida my whole life,” said Bennett.

He got on the computer and made a match: bed bugs.

“I looked between the mattress and the box spring and that’s when I saw a big line of them. I had a couple scurry off and that’s when I flipped out, just ran out of my room,” said Bennett.

Management with the Campus Lodge Apartments in Lutz says they have had “only four cases” of bed bugs this year.

Tim Hanson with corporate management out of Texas told 10 News on Wednesday they had an exterminator in the apartment within 24 hours to start the chemical process. Hanson says they are replacing Bennett’s bed and giving him two options: he can immediately move into a different apartment on the property; or if he doesn’t want to come back, they will advertise the open room but Bennett will have to pay rent until they find someone.

“I don’t feel that is a fair option. They aren’t paying for any of my clothes to be washed, not paying for any of my doctor bills, not paying for my time off and who knows how this is going to affect my finals exam week. they’re not even caring about that,” said Bennett.

Now, at his parents‘ house in Hernando county, Bennett’s mother Sharon agrees, “You don’t pay rent for somewhere you can’t live.”

She will accept nothing less than lease termination without fees. “All I’m really wanting is a termination of the lease. I want him out.”

Meanwhile, all Bennett wants is to study, work and sleep in conditions much cleaner than waht he woke up to on Tuesday.

Since it is the Thanksgiving holiday, apartment management told the Bennett family the issue will not be resolved until next week.

BED BUG TIPS: If you are traveling this holiday weekend, inspect your room for the small, tick-like insects. If you find any bed bugs, ask to move to a room with no history of the creatures and make sure it is nowhere near the infested room. Keep your bags off the floor and bedding because bed bugs live in the upholstery and carpet. Plus, before you come home, spray your bags with an EPA-approved over-the-counter chemical that kills biting bugs and their eggs.

South Florida bed bug control company




November 29, 2010
Rat close-up

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2010

Frequently Asked Questions: EEE

November 23, 2010

What is Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE)?

EEE is a rare disease that is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. EEE virus (EEEV) is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). In the United States, approximately 5-10 EEE cases are reported annually.

How do people get infected with EEEV?

EEEV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. Disease transmission does not occur directly from person to person.

Where and when have most cases of EEE occurred?

Most cases of EEE have been reported from Atlantic and Gulf Coast states. Cases have also been reported from the Great Lakes region. EEE cases occur primarily from late spring through early fall, but in subtropical endemic areas (e.g., the Gulf States), rare cases can occur in winter.

Who is at risk for infection with EEEV?

Anyone in an area where the virus is circulating can get infected with EEEV. The risk is highest for people who live in or visit woodland habitats, and people who work outside or participate in outdoor recreational activities, because of greater exposure to potentially infected mosquitoes.

How soon do people get sick after getting bitten by an infected mosquito?

It takes 4 to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito to develop symptoms of EEE.

What are the symptoms of EEEV disease?

Severe cases of EEEV infection (EEE, involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, and coma. Approximately a third of patients who develop EEE die, and many of those who survive have mild to severe brain damage.

How is EEE diagnosed?

Diagnosis is based on tests of blood or spinal fluid. These tests typically look for antibodies that the body makes against the viral infection.

What is the treatment for EEE?

There is no specific treatment for EEE. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses, and no effective anti-viral drugs have been discovered. Severe illnesses are treated by supportive therapy which may include hospitalization, respiratory support, IV fluids, and prevention of other infections.

How can people reduce the chance of getting infected with EEEV?

Prevent mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or preventive drug.

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing. The repellent/insecticide permethrin can be used on clothing to protect through several washes. Always follow the directions on the package.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
  • Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.

What should I do if I think a family member might have EEE?

Consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.



Mosquito Control Services

Al Hoffer’s Pest Termite & Lawn – South Florida

November 22, 2010
Al Hoffer’s Pest Termite & Lawn – South Florida

Al Hoffer’s Pest Termite & Lawn services has been providing superior pest management  and lawn care across South Florida since 1975! We offer Florida pest inspections, lawn care, and termite control in addition to our self service center. With a Self service center in Melbourne. Our South Florida“Do-It-Yourself” Pest & Lawn Care retail store offers professional grade pest control and lawn care products, making it easy for you. We are devoted to constant customer satisfaction and our employees are trained and licensed to the highest degree by the state of Florida.

Toll Free:
Indian River:
St. Lucie:
Palm Beach:
12329 NW 35 Street
Coral Springs, Florida 33065

700 W. Eau Gallie Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32935

Self-Service Center

David Letterman – Bedbug Top Ten

November 19, 2010

A look at the pest control blogosphere

November 17, 2010

Check out some of these great pest control blog posts!

Cockroach Races!

Termites dig deeper for food in colder months

Help fight cancer

DIY: How to seal your home from pests during the winter

The NPMA Blog

Officials Warn Floridians To Protect Homes From Bed Bugs

November 16, 2010

Officials Warn Floridians To Protect Homes From Bed Bugs

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Press Release:

November 15, 2010

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson and State Surgeon General Dr. Anna Viamonte-Ros are urging consumers to choose a licensed pest control company to help control breakouts of bedbugs in homes. Efforts by homeowners to treat bedbug infestations rarely succeed, and using the wrong pesticide or using it incorrectly can make you, your family and your pets sick.

Prior to the 1950s, bedbugs were common pests in the United States, but few people know much about them today due to the use of chlorinated pesticides like DDT and lindane, which successfully wiped them out in the past.

However, over the last decade, bed bugs have slowly made a comeback as many of the pesticides of the past can no longer be used. Staying at a hotel, going to the movies, riding in a taxi or spending time in other places where people congregate are now commonplace activities that can spread bedbugs.

Like many states, Florida has recently had an increase in the number of bedbug complaints with people traveling today more than ever, and controlling the pests has proven difficult with pesticides that are available today.

The treatment for bedbugs is a growing cause of concern. They come out at night and are hard to detect. Since they can often remain unnoticed while breeding an even larger population, it can frustrate those having to battle infestations.

“Reports of pesticides and other chemicals being misused in the treatment of bedbugs have made headlines in many states across the nation,” Commissioner Bronson said. “Due to the difficulty in controlling this pest, the public may resort to the use of pesticides in ways that are not in compliance with their label directions and are frankly unsafe.”

As a result, he is urging consumers to choose a licensed pest control company to combat infestations in a home or business.

State Surgeon General Viamonte-Ros agrees:

“Application of pesticides or chemicals by untrained or unlicensed individuals is a primary concern of the Department of Health because misusing pesticides in a desperate attempt to control infestations can lead to harmful exposures in private homes, public housing, workplaces and institutions such as hospitals, nursing homes and schools.”

Avoiding bed bugs and finding them early are important in controlling these pests. The following are a few hints for consumers that are recommended by the University of Florida:

— Choose a licensed pest control company which has experience, knowledge and knows how to manage bedbugs.

— Effective control of the pests often takes more than one visit.

— Proper fumigation by a pest control company can control bedbugs with a single treatment.

— Consumers should know that bedbugs are not known to carry diseases.

— Adult bedbugs are the size of an apple seed while immature ones are smaller. They can be found in the seams of bedding and sofas, behind headboards, picture frames, dressers, backpacks and many other places.

— Signs of the pest include small brownish-red to purple spotting on infested materials.

— Not all people react to bedbug bites so reacting to a bite is not always the best way to determine whether your home is infested by the pests.

— De-clutter your home to decrease places where bedbugs can hide.

— Use bedbug monitors and traps as an easy, relatively inexpensive way to find bedbug infestations that can help target treatments (

— Inspect items before entering the home with them and take precautions against bringing home bed bugs after traveling.

— Follow pesticide label guidelines for the use of any registered pesticide.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Press Release

Be careful trying to kill bedbugs on your own

November 10, 2010

Be careful trying to kill bedbugs on your own

By Ivan Penn, Times Staff Writer
In Print: Saturday, November 6, 2010

With the knowledge that some seemingly mythical bug actually might bite us while we sleep, a new fear has arisen: the impact of the pesticides needed to kill them.

Bedbugs die hard. The little creepy crawlers generally take heavy doses of chemicals to get rid of them, though some companies offer a non-toxic option they say works better than the more harmful industrial strength pest control products.

So what’s a consumer to do?

The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services plans to issue a consumer warning in the coming week, admonishing Floridians not to take the do-it-yourself approach to battling bedbugs because of the difficulty in destroying them and the risk of health hazards from toxic chemicals.

“You’re dealing with a matter that requires a good dose of chemical, and you don’t want to do that in your house,” said Terry McElroy, a spokesman for the department. “You really want a pest control professional.”

Retail stores have begun offering over-the-counter products to battle bedbugs, and some companies are offering pesticides online. The state says be cautious about the offers.

Tom Sexaur runs Florida Fresh, a St. Petersburg company that has been offering a “nontoxic” product that he says kills bedbugs and their eggs on contact. His website stated that the product, called EcoBugFree, was “100% non-toxic.”

But Sexaur changed his website and labeling after inquiries by the St. Petersburg Times.

By U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Standards, the product is considered “nontoxic,” Sexaur says. “It’s a minimal risk pesticide. It just works differently. We literally break down the exoskeleton.”

Les Bridwell, vice president of sales for K-4 Products, which manufactures EcoBugFree, says 100 percent nontoxic would not be an accurate way to describe the product. But Bridwell maintains that because the product’s toxicity is below EPA levels of concern, it is safe for consumers.

It is sold in bottles as small as 3 ounces for $9.99.

“All of our ingredients are generally regarded as safe,” Bridwell says.

But Steve Dwinell, assistant director of the state’s Division of Agricultural and Environmental Services, says it takes “a mixture of techniques” to control bedbugs, including a toxic pesticide.

“If it’s nontoxic, how does it kill?” Dwinell said of products such as EcoBugFree. “All pesticides are toxic. That’s what makes them work.”

The National Pest Management Association says there are a variety of bedbugs with varying levels of tolerance to pesticides.

“Bedbugs are the single most difficult pest to eliminate,” said Missy Henriksen, a spokeswoman for the association. “They can live in hiding for up to a year.

“All I can say is to take the advice our mothers used to give: ‘If it sounds to good to be true, take caution,'” Henriksen said.

So here’s the Edge:

• Avoid using heavily toxic chemicals on your own. One of the safest ways to handle a bedbug problem is to hire a licensed professional to do the job, because they are held accountable for the job they do through state regulation.

• Get more than one estimate. Ridding your home of bedbugs can take more than one treatment. To avoid getting overcharged, get three estimates from licensed pest control professionals.

• Be cautious about over-the-counter treatments. There are a growing number of products offering a solution to bedbug problems at retail outlets. Save time and money by researching the product and the company before you buy.