Posts Tagged ‘AL hoffers Pest’

Florida Do It Yourself Pest Control Store

May 23, 2011

At our Melbourne pest control and lawn services store, not only can you get professional products, but you can also get advice from our professionally trained technicians. They will give you information like how, what, where, and why to apply different products for different pests.

Florida DO It Yourself Pest Termite Control & Lawn Care

News from AL Hoffer’s Termite Lawn Pest

May 6, 2011

News from AL Hoffer’s Termite Lawn Pest Services in South Florida

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

Rat Crawls on Man in Subway

January 21, 2011

Rat Control

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

Treating bedbugs isn’t a do-it-yourself project

December 20, 2010

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Treating bedbugs isn’t a do-it-yourself project

12/18/2010
By Kate Spinner

If dreaded bedbugs invade, don’t make a run for the store pesticide aisle.

Bedbugs have developed resistance to almost half of the 300 pesticides listed for their control. And even the pesticides that do work can make infestations harder to beat if they are not applied correctly.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, Florida’s surgeon general and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently issued public warnings urging people not to tackle bedbug problems on their own.

Rampant misuse of pesticides in Ohio, New Jersey and New York, where bedbug infestations are skyrocketing, has led to home explosions and illnesses from over-exposure to toxic chemicals.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure Florida is aware of those kinds of issues so that people don’t do things that are harmful to themselves,” says Michael Page, chief of the Bureau of Entomology for the FDACS.

Instead, they advise working with a pest control company with a strategy to eradicate the bugs.

“This pest is not like roaches or flies or fleas, where you can treat once or twice and the problem is gone,” Page says.

Largely absent from public dialogue four years ago, bedbugs have become a common pest problem throughout the United States. International travel and the bug’s ability to swiftly build resistance to even the toughest pesticides, including banned DDT, has allowed the irritating bugs to spread rapidly.

In desperation, homeowners dangerously are setting off multiple bug bombs in their homes or buying outdoor pesticides on the Internet to spray in their bedrooms.

“Typically, in the consumer world, if one is good, two is better and five is really good,” says Wayne Walker, senior pest control technician at the University of Florida Department of Housing and Residence Education. “They don’t understand the ramifications of over-applying the pesticide.”

The problem has become so immense that Congress has held forums to develop a national bedbug strategy and last year considered passing a bill — the Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite Act — to fund state inspection of hotels.

People are downright terrified of bedbugs because of the high cost, the difficulty of treatment and the social stigma. According to a recent survey funded by a major pesticide company, 30 percent of people say they would rather have a root canal than find bedbugs at home. Bedbugs, though icky and annoying, are not known to transmit disease to humans.

Improper use of pesticides can be much worse than a bedbug’s bite. Instead of trying to manage infestations alone, which rarely works, people should hire outside help, says Fred Santana, entomologist with the Sarasota County Extension Agency.

It is important, however, to make sure the professionals know what they are doing. Santana says experienced companies will use an integrated approach, combining methods such as heat treatments, fumigation and strategically placed powders.

People should interview three to four companies before settling on one. Ask to see licenses and ask questions about their experience, strategies and pesticide choices.

In other states, unscrupulous or unlicensed companies have put clients at risk by over-using pesticides or using outdoor products indoors, exposing people to chemicals that can cause nerve damage and cancer.

“If there’s a least-toxic approach, try the least toxic first,” Santana says.

Heat has proven to be one of the best controls. Professionals place special fans or heaters in a room to bring temperatures to at least 113 degrees, hot enough to kill all stages of bedbugs, from adults the size of apple seeds to their nearly invisible eggs.

Most companies inspect for free and provide an estimate, which usually ranges from $500 to $1,500, depending on the size of the house and the level of infestation.

People will need to work with their pest company and follow instructions that range from throwing clothes and sheets in the dryer to packing items in plastic. They also should be prepared to live with the problem for several weeks before the bugs are successfully eliminated, says Cindy Mannes, spokeswoman for Arrow and Hughes exterminators.

“Pest control may have to come back three, four, five times, depending on the infestation,” Mannes says. “It can be controlled; it’s just not an easy process.”

Bedbugs are extraordinarily tough to control and a lot of over-the-counter applications can make problems worse. Many products claim effectiveness, but have only been tested in lab situations.

“It leads the consumer into false beliefs that it will do things that it may not do,” Walker says.

Bedbugs are so hard to control because they hide easily in small crevices, develop chemical resistance quickly, their population can explode exponentially in months and they can go long periods without food.

Foggers often make bedbugs disappear from sight, but the insects escape the poison by moving to other rooms or taking refuge behind light switches, picture frames or baseboards. They can travel 15 to 20 feet to feed, so a new hiding spot will not keep them from their sleeping prey. Repellant sprays, such as those containing pyrethrins, have the same scattering effect that in the end makes the problem harder to combat.

Contact sprays can work, but only on those that actually get sprayed. Also, it is not guaranteed that all bugs that come in contact with the spray will actually die. When insects survive a dousing, they produce resistant offspring.

A female bedbug lives six months to a year and lays an average of 500 eggs, at a rate of three to five per day. Eggs hatch in 10 days, with the young reaching sexual maturity 30 to 45 days later.

“They develop resistance really fast because their life-cycle is really fast,” Walker says.

Further, a female only mates once and afterward moves several feet away from her original colony.

It only takes one fertilized female to start a full-blown infestation. And that single bug can live for more than six months on just one meal.

“It’s a challenge for the pest management industry and if you know it’s a challenge for us, what does the homeowner do when he gets ahold of the pesticides?” Walker says.

People resort to extreme measures to eradicate bedbugs because it is a frustrating and demoralizing experience, Walker says.

For many people, the bed is a safety zone, the place where they hid from lightning storms as children.

“Here is an insect that invades that safety zone and feeds on you at night while you sleep,” Walker says. “People do some really drastic things to deal with this issue.”

Part of the problem is the high cost of treatment. Many people, including minimum-wage hotel and motel workers who are most at risk, cannot afford to pay $500 to $1,500 to get rid of their pests. They either live with the problem and spread it, or try, usually unsuccessfully, to control it themselves. When homeowners do not have the financial means to hire pest control, they should at least consult an bug expert with the county extension service for advice before attacking the problem on their own.

“The solution is they’ve got to find some cost-effective method of dealing with this insect,” Walker says. “Right now there’s not a cost-effective method that’s available to the general public that is also effective on the bedbugs.”

Florida Bed Bug Control Services

Officials Warn Floridians To Protect Homes From Bed Bugs

November 16, 2010

Officials Warn Floridians To Protect Homes From Bed Bugs http://www.wctv.tv/video/?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5296127&flvUri=&partnerclipid=

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 (http://bedbugger.com/forum/topic/homemade-bed-barriers-climbup-interceptors).

— 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

Keep Pests From Crashing Your Holidays

November 9, 2010

Keep Pests From Crashing Your Holidays

(NewsUSA) – For many Americans, colder weather means seasonal decorations and holiday baking -; but if you’re one of those who set out gourds and holly or cookies for Santa, you might be opening your home to some unwanted guests.

“Mice, rodents, spiders and other pests find their way into homes by hiding in boxes of holiday decorations that have been stored in attics, basements and garages since last season,” says Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). “They create homes in these undisturbed items and then find new places to infest once these boxes are moved into family living quarters.”

The holiday season may also bring out pantry pests, which make themselves at home in pantry foods like flour, cereal, dry pasta, spices, nuts and dried fruit, as well as in decorations made from dried flowers and potpourri. The most common pantry pests are beetles, ants, weevils and Indian meal moths.

So, what can you do to deter unwelcome holiday guests? The NPMA offers the following tips:

* Store seasonal decorations in airtight containers. Items like dried foliage, potpourri and Indian corn should be carefully stored in the off-season. Keep them in a dry environment, such as a closet or office, and unpack them outside.

* Inspect fresh decorations before you bring them indoors. Look over wreaths, Christmas trees and garlands to make sure you’re not bringing insects into your home.

* Store food properly. All food should be stored in plastic or glass containers with sealed lids. Keep cabinets, pantries and countertops clean and free of crumbs.

* Examine pantry items before you use them. Check packages before you bring them home from the store. Never buy any item that appears damaged. Throw out expired ingredients. If you have any ingredients that haven’t been used in the past year, inspect them before use.

If you do find pests, contact a pest professional. They will know the best way to treat an infestation. For more information on preventing pests from crashing your home this holiday season or to find a licensed pest professional, visit www.pestworld.org.

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