Archive for January, 2011

Man accused of purchasing 500 illegal exotic roaches online – Ft Lauderdale Cockroach Control

January 31, 2011

Man accused of purchasing 500 illegal exotic roaches online

By Barbara Hijek January 31, 2011 05:47 AM

Florida is the cockroach capital of the world, so why would we need more?

Apparently there is a need.

The online purchase of 500 illegal exotic roaches, coveted as gourmet reptile food because of their soft shells and high protein content, sent an Orlando man to jail on felony charges, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

Agents with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Derek Alan Rader forged a permit to make it appear as though he could legally purchase the creepy crawlers, known as Blaptica dubia, a native of South and Central America.

While the roaches are a tasty and nutritious treat for many reptile pets, state entomologists consider them an invasive insect in Florida.

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Entomologists said the state already has the largest number of roach species in the United States, and one-third of them were introduced into the state by humans.

The banned bugs, also called the Guyana Orange Spotted Cockroach, is a species “capable of causing harm to Florida’s delicate ecological system,” said Greg Hodges, bureau chief of entomology at the state’s Division of Plant Industry.

Officials on Wednesday detained Rader on an arrest warrant and booked him into the Orange County Jail.

He is charged with forgery of a public record certificate, fraud and introduction of pests affecting plant life.

He left jail after paying $2,500 bail.

Court records show Rader in October contacted an insect and reptile enthusiast in California by e-mail, requesting 500 of the banned insects.

The person agreed to sell the insects but waited until Rader forwarded a copy of his permit.

Rader sent the seller a receipt for the payment and a copy of his permit, which showed he was allowed to purchase the insects.

The seller tried to confirm the accuracy of the permit with state officials in Florida but sent the insects before getting a response.

The seller mailed the bugs to Rader at a post office box in Orlando.

Investigators said Rader altered his expired permit to show he could buy the banned bugs in Florida.

An online search of insect vendors shows 500 roaches sell for about $100.

It is unclear why Rader purchased the bugs. However, when detectives rummaged through his garbage looking for evidence, they found 1,500 fliers showing he ran a website named FlyCulture.com.

That website is no longer active.

Ft Lauderdale Cockroach Control

Lodgings in Broward, Central Florida lead state in 2010 bedbug violations

January 27, 2011

Lodgings in Broward, Central Florida lead state in 2010 bedbug violations

For the Gipson family of Harvey, La., last summer’s trip to the Liki Tiki Village condo resort in Winter Garden is one that they will never forget.

“Pretty much all of them went to the doctor and got creams,” Archie Gipson said about eight of his dozen relatives, including a 9-month-old baby, who vacationed together and who, he said, were bitten by bedbugs. “No one got fever, but the bites were kind of severe.”

Bedbugs are persistent parasites that have likely been around as long as the human hosts from whom they suck blood. Since 2000, there has been a resurgence of bedbugs around the world. The bugs’ resistance to pesticides, international travel and the growth in human population all have been blamed.
But no expert can pinpoint the reason for the parasites’ defiant prominence.

They prompt headlines when they bite people in movie theaters and clothing stores or hitchhike in children’s backpacks.

In 2010, inspectors from the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation found bedbugs in 68 accommodations, accounting for just 0.18 percent of 36,947 licensed hotels, motels, apartments and condos, an agency spokeswoman said.

In 2009, when there were slightly fewer lodgings, 30 establishments, or 0.08 percent of 36,866 licensed facilities, had bedbug violations.

People, who can carry the bugs in their clothing, laptop computers and luggage, brought them to Florida counties with the most popular destinations: Broward (with 13 establishments cited) and Orange County (10 accommodations with bedbug violations) led the state with confirmed parasite infestations.

And no lodging, whether fancy, family-friendly or budget, is immune from the scourge.

In New York City, even the Waldorf- Astoria on Park Avenue has been stricken by bedbug infestations and is reportedly being sued by customers who claim to have been bitten by the parasites.

The glamorous landmark has hosted President Barack Obama, as well as other heads of state, royalty and celebrities. A spokesman for Hilton Worldwide, which owns the Waldorf-Astoria, said that for hotel management, “the safety and comfort of our guests are our top priority” and that the hotel “maintains high levels of vigilance and performs regularly scheduled inspections.”

“If the Waldorf can get ’em, anybody can get ’em,” said Allen Fugler, executive vice president of the Florida Pest Management Association. “Bedbugs are not respecters of property or prestige. They are equal-opportunity offenders.”

While Broward leads the state in bedbug violations, Nicki E. Grossman, president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, said of the county’s approximately 565 hospitality business owners: “Unfortunately, any location that hosts world travelers is susceptible. Broward hoteliers, many of which carry the top flags in the hospitality industry, are aware of the global issue and are diligent in their operating procedures to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness and fix any problems that might arise.”

The global issue is fueling “a steady number of calls for support,” Fugler said of the growth industry for the pesticide control group’s 800 members.

“It’s good, steady business, at a higher level than two years ago,” he said. Those were the days when the state’s exterminators did not even report doing bedbug work, Fugler says. “Now there is a segment of the industry dedicated to it.”

Specialists use tactics like bedbug-sniffing dogs and heat treatments for building interiors to bake the bugs to death.

Fugler thinks international travel is the most probable cause, considering that Broward and Orange counties attract tourists from around the world.

“Aircraft containers are likely prospects, with luggage adjacent to each other in dark holds for a long time,” Fugler said. “Because aircraft are not kept on the ground for long, with luggage holds there are not large opportunities to do treatment, and holds are not the most frequently thought of places to treat. More often, experts are treating the galley for cockroaches because of food and beverage service.”

Though travelers rely on websites like bedbugregistry.com to see if hotel rooms and apartment buildings are infested, Fugler says, “those sites are consumer-driven, not monitored, not verified and information cannot be considered conclusive or authoritative.”

But such sites can give peace of mind, along with searching a hotel bed’s headboard, mattress seams and the 8-foot floor area surrounding it for the bugs, blood spots and fecal matter, as Fugler advises.

And if the telltale bites appear on your body, or the bugs scurry in your luggage or bedroom, experts advise you to forgo home remedies and use a licensed pest-management professional with experience in the identification and treatment of bedbugs.

That’s what community college instructor Archie Gipson did after his family’s long, itchy trip home to Louisiana.

“We had an exterminator come to two houses as a precaution,” Gipson said. “Total it all up, it was close to three or four grand, with the exterminators and doctors.”

He called last summer’s trip “a lost vacation.”

“It killed the whole spirit of the thing,” he said. “We were talking about that for weeks.”

He said that he asked Liki Tiki, which did not respond to the Sun Sentinel’s request for comment, to make amends.

“It’s a beautiful place. You wouldn’t expect that to happen because of all the staff they have on duty,” Gipson said. “Seems like housekeeping should have found it.”

He said he belongs to a time share, and that Liki Tiki was the family’s destination to enjoy Walt Disney World Resort or the Universal Orlando Resort every two years for the past 15 years. But Orange County won’t be the family’s 2012 destination.

“We would always go there, but I’m going to another [time share] instead near Daytona, because it’s brand new and will be near the beach,” Gipson said. “The kids don’t want to be bit no more.”

Florida Bed Bug Control

Man starts fire trying to kill bedbugs

January 25, 2011

Man starts fire trying to kill bedbugs

MOUNT CARMEL, Ohio, Jan. 24 (UPI) — Firefighters in Ohio said a man attempting to kill bedbugs with rubbing alcohol while smoking a cigarette sparked a fire in his apartment.

Union Township firefighters said they received a call about 5 p.m. Friday about a fire at a Mount Carmel apartment complex, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday.

“The occupant was trying to self-exterminate bed bugs and was spraying the couch with rubbing alcohol while smoking a cigarette,” Fire Chief Stan Deimling said.

Deimling said the fire destroyed the man’s couch and damaged the carpet. He was treated at University Hospital for burns to his hands.

“As far as we’re concerned, this is an accidental fire. The damage will be between the tenant and the landlord,” said Deimling, who estimated the damage at about $600.

Bed Bug Registry

January 24, 2011

Be sure you check out the Bed Bug Registry before booking your next vacation. www.bedbugregistry.com allows users to get online and post bedbug sightings on the web in order to alert others as to where bed bug infestations are. A great tool for any traveler.

Florida Bed Bug Control Experts

Rat Crawls on Man in Subway

January 21, 2011

Rat Control

The Pest Protection Daily

January 20, 2011

Florida+Pest+Control+Company

Click Here to read the Al Hoffer’s Pest Daily

Florida Bed Bug Control Services

January 19, 2011

Bedbugs by the Numbers: Few Take Preventive Measures

Chances are you’ve had bedbugs or know someone who has had them in a home or encountered them in a hotel, according to a new survey from the National Pest Management Association.

The word is definitely out about bedbugs: 79% of survey respondents have seen, heard or read about the pests in the last few months. Despite the bedbugs’ growing fame, effective education remains rare. Nearly half of all respondents incorrectly believe that bedbugs transmit disease.

As The Journal reported, residential bedbug complaints in New York City rose nearly 7% during 2010, according to city data from the city’s Department of Housing, Preservation and Development. There were 4,846 bedbug-related violations and 13,472 complaints, up slightly from 4,811 and 12,594 in 2009.

Growing awareness of bedbugs, however, has not translated into changed behaviors. The bedbug survey found that 54% of respondents have not changed their behavior in order to avoid contracting the pests.

“There’s a small percentage of people that are doing some of the things that they should be doing to best protect themselves and their families,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association.

Some examples: Only 29% of respondents washed new clothing, and just 27% inspected and washed clothing after returning from a trip. One in four people checked their hotel rooms for bedbugs and only 16% said they examined second-hand furniture.

“Those are some easy things people can be doing to minimize the likelihood of infestations coming their way. They are very easy and only take a couple of minutes of your time. I don’t think people are being as active as they can in safe-guarding themselves,” Henriksen said.

People may be doing little to prevent the spread of bedbugs, but survey respondents still felt that the government isn’t doing enough to help. Nearly three out of every four people surveyed, 72% said the federal government wasn’t doing enough to control the pests.

The adoption rate of bedbug-protection products also remains low: only 14% of those surveyed said they had purchased any.

The demographic profile of those most likely to contract bedbugs is “younger, a renter and from an urban environment,” Henriksen said. By age, people in the 18-34 category were 28% more likely to have encounters with bedbugs than other groups to have bedbugs, the survey found.

Florida Bed Bug Control Services

Rat Attack!!

January 18, 2011

Mythbusters: Are elephants afraid of mice?

January 14, 2011

Pest Tolerance Poll

January 13, 2011