Posts Tagged ‘Florida Pest Control’

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

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10 Most Diabolical Creepy Crawlies On Earth

April 28, 2011

10 Most Diabolical Creepy Crawlies On Earth

by Karl Fabricius

Electron_microscope_photo_of_a_Flea_86_times_magnificationPhoto:
Photo: RBirtles

Evil, diabolical call them what you will, the wingless microscopic or near microscopic critters we’ve gathered together here are a veritable roll-call of the repulsive and the abhorrent. Fleas, lice, ticks, mites and bedbugs make up the minuscule menagerie, and alongside the mug shots we’ve endeavoured to explain what it is each featured pest does to us that makes it equally if not more repugnant than it looks. Feeling itchy yet? These little guys are certainly getting bloated.

10. Bedbug: 4–5 mm long

Bed_bug_bites_and_sucks_up_bloodPhoto:
Photo via Alternative Health Journal

Ever been bitten by Bedbugs? Well, it isn’t pretty; in fact it’s excruciating. Feeding on the blood of humans and other mammals, these night-time nasties get their name from their preferred habitat of mattresses, bed frames, sofas and other furniture, and are often picked up in hotels. Although visible to the naked eye, they’re masters at moving undetected and hiding out of sight in nooks and crannies. They reach their host by crawling or by climbing the walls to the ceiling and jumping down, paratrooper style, on feeling a heat wave.

Elusive menace: Bedbug
Cimex_lectularius_the_common_bedbug_from_slides_at_the_University_of_EdinburghPhoto:
Photo: Adam Cuerden

Like fleas, Bedbugs are attracted by warmth and CO2. Once landed on their host, they pierce the skin with two tubes, one of which injects saliva while the other sucks up blood. The bites cannot usually be felt until much later, when the welts caused are often accompanied by a severe itching as the skin reacts to the anaesthetic injected. Stress, insomnia, and in rare cases nausea are among the reactions to Bedbug infestations, which are undergoing a global resurgence. Infected? The thermal death point for these insect horrors is 45°C.

Infest! Bedbug cases are on the rise
blood_fed_Cimex_lectularius_bed_bugsPhoto:
Photo: A.L. Szalanski

9. Cat Flea: 1.5–3.3 mm long

cat_flea_in_a_microscope_as_a_modelPhoto:
Photo: gucic

Like other fleas, the Cat Flea – one of the most widespread on earth – is an insect with mouthparts modified for piercing skin and sucking blood – to distinctly itchy effect. Housecats are its choice host, but it also commonly infests dogs, and will bite humans – albeit without being able to breed on us. A few Cat Fleas are unlikely to cause much harm unless their host is allergic to substances in their saliva, but they can transmit other parasites and infections to pets and humans including murine typhus and tapeworm. Nasty.

Flee! It’s the Cat Flea
Cat_Flea_head_showing_small_round_ocellus_(simple_eye)_Magnification_Approx_X225Photo:
Photo: Used with permission from the University of Bath

8. Human Flea: 1.5–3.3 mm long

slide_mounted_human_flea_Pulex irritansPhoto:
Photo: David Walker www.micscape.org

Despite its name, the Human Flea will gleefully infest a range of mammals and birds. Like all fleas, its hind legs are adapted for jumping about 130 times its own body height; its tough body is able to withstand great pressure; and it is compressed, allowing ease of movement through hairs, feathers or clothes. An adult flea’s number one objective is to find blood so that it can mate. Human Fleas can also act as ‘middlemen’ hosts for parasitic flatworms and tapeworms. No need to be a good host to these agile little suckers.

Up close and personal: Human Flea
Electron_microscope_photo_of_a_Flea_86_times_magnificationPhoto:
Photo: RBirtles

7. Oriental Rat Flea: 1.5–3.3 mm long

Plague_infected_male_Xenopsylla_cheopis_28_days_after_feeding_on_an_inoculated_mousePhoto:
Photo: CDC/Dr. Pratt

Although a parasite primary of rats, the Oriental Rat Flea is also a dark agent of potentially deadly diseases like bubonic plague. Transmission occurs when the offending flea first bites an infected rodent and then a human. The unsavoury pathogens are spread due to the way the flea’s mouth functions, squirting saliva or partly digested blood into the bite at the same time as sucking up blood. It should be jumping out at you by now that the Rat Flea – onetime bringer of the Black Death – can be much more than just an irritating nuisance.

Harbinger of disease: Rat Flea
Scanning_Electron_Micrograph_of_a_FleaPhoto:
Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / Janice Carr

6. Scabies Mite: 0.2–0.45 mm long

Sarcoptes_scabei_under_the_microscopePhoto:
Photo: Kalumet

The name Sarcoptes Scabiei is a bit of a giveaway of the sin this critter commits as it quite literally gets under our skin: the skin infection scabies. The fertilised female of this pernicious parasite tunnels into the skin, laying eggs in the ever-lengthening S-shaped burrow she digs using her mouthparts and blade-like front legs. The larvae then hatch in 3-10 days, climb out onto the skin’s surface, roam about the place, and turn into nymphs, before maturing into adult Mites to begin the cycle all over again.

Under the microscope: Scabies Mite
Sarcoptes_scabei_Scabies_mitePhoto:
Photo via liberty4you

All this moving about on and inside the skin causes some pretty intense itching, but it’s the presence of the eggs that seals the scabies deal, bringing about a massive allergic reaction and yet more often unbearable itching. The resultant scratching of this rash can severely damage the skin, particularly through the introduction of infective bacteria, which may lead to nasty secondary infections like impetigo. Making matters worse, Scabies Mites are easily spread through the house by skin contact with carriers, clothing and bedding.

Scabby? Could be Sarcoptes Scabiei
Photo_taken_at_100x_magnification_through_a_microscope_of_a_scabies_mite_(Sarcoptes_scabiei)Photo:
Photo: Joel Mills

5. Body Louse: 1–3 mm long

body_louse_microscopic_imagePhoto:
Photo via Impact Pest Control

It’s time to deal with the true cooties, beginning with Body Lice. While indistinguishable to look at from Head Lice – indeed the two interbreed under lab conditions – in their natural state Body Lice have evolved to attach their eggs to clothes. These dress rather hair styled insect parasites are not only an annoyance due to the intense itching they cause, but are also vectors of diseases such as epidemic typhus and louse-borne relapsing fever, whose recurring symptoms include fever and chills. If in doubt get boiling your linen.

Engorged: Body Louse on human skin after blood feeding
A_female_human_body_louse_(Pediculus_humanus_corporis)_on_human_skin_after_blood_feedingPhoto:
Photo courtesy of Richard Webb

4. Head Louse: 1–3 mm long

Pediculus_capitis_Human_Head_LousePhoto:
Photo: Department of Biology, Gettysburg College

Next up is the Head Louse, the foul parasite that spends its entire life on the human scalp feeding solely on our blood and laying eggs called nits. This light-shunning vampire is so specialised, its stumpy legs are unable to even walk capably on flat surfaces. Its mouthparts are highly adapted for piercing skin and bloodsucking – when it may also excrete dark red faeces. Nice. Infesting new hosts usually comes about via head-to-head contact. About the only nice thing you can say about the Head Louse is that it is not a known transmitter of disease.

Itchy, flaky scalp? Male Head Louse
Male_of_head_louse_under_the_microscopePhoto:
Photo: KostaMumcuoglu

3. Pubic Louse: 1.1–1.8 mm long

Pediculus_humanus_Human_Body_LousePhoto:
Photo: Creepy Dreadful Wonderful Parasites

Pubic Lice, commonly known as crabs, are infamous for infesting the – ahem – human genitals, though they may also live on other areas with hair, including eyelashes, armpits and beards. While sharing the flattened body and claw-like legs of its cousins – ideal for crawling from hair to hair – the Pubic Louse is otherwise distinct in appearance and more distantly related. Still, this is one mean sucker as those infested will testify – albeit discreetly. Infection usually comes through sexual intercourse. To ensure full removal of nits, shaving is advised.

Nice claws: Pubic Louse or crab
Pthius_pubis__crab_lousePhoto:
Photo: PHIL

2. Sheep Tick: approx 5mm

Ixodus_ricinus_5x_sheep_tickPhoto:
Photo: Richard Bartz

Last to grace the stage, it’s the not so loveable ticks, represented first up by the Sheep Tick. Small arachnids similar to mites, ticks are external parasites, living by feeding on the blood of various animals as well as humans. Like others of their kind, Sheep Ticks are found lurking in tall grass and shrubs where they lie in wait. They then attach themselves to passing hosts by inserting their cutting mandibles and feeding tubes into the skin, with backward pointing teeth-like spikes acting as an anchor. The Sheep Tick is an agent Lyme disease in humans.

Tick love: Male Sheep Tick copulating with a much larger female
male_Ixodes_ricinus_tick_(smaller)_shown_copulating_with_a_female_tick_(larger)Photo:
Photo: WHO

1. Deer Tick: approx 5mm

Adult_deer_tick,_on_skin.Photo:
Photo: University of Wisconsin

However, the Deer Tick that is by far the most notorious vector for Lyme Disease, a condition transmitted by the bite of infected ticks whose more serious symptoms may involve the joints, heart and central nervous system. Given its name due to its habit of parasitizing the white-tailed deer, the female Deer Tick latches onto a host and drinks its blood for several days, then once engorged, drops off and overwinters on the forest floor. Naturally this little glutton has a taste for humans too. A suitably disgusting, not to say dangerous, critter on which to end the post.

Ticked all the boxes? Deer Tick
A_deer_tick_Ixodes_damminiPhoto:

Bug Bites: Which Ones You Should Worry About

April 12, 2011

Bug Bites: Which Ones You Should Worry About

AP/The Huffington Post By LAURAN NEERGAARD

WASHINGTON — It’s that time of year when the bugs emerge to bug us.

Some can pose real threats – Lyme disease from tiny ticks, West Nile virus from mosquitoes, or life-threatening allergic reactions to bee stings. But most bug bites in this country are an itchy nuisance.

How itchy or big the welt depends in part on your own skin, how much of the chemical histamine it harbors. Yes, some people really are mosquito magnets. And no, most of the bites people blame on spiders aren’t from them at all.

In fact, chances are you won’t be able to tell the culprit unless you catch it in the act. Yet doctors and entomologists alike field calls asking, “What bit me?”

“People call up really bummed out,” says spider expert Jonathan Coddington of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, who points to just two worrisome types in the U.S., the black widow and brown recluse family. Spider phobia, he says, is “out of all proportion to actual risk.”

It’s not uncommon to have a large skin reaction to any bite or sting, and Dr. Reid Blackwelder, a family physician from East Tennessee State University, sees a couple of them a week in the early spring and summer.

“Most of the time, what people need is reassurance,” he says.

To explore the most bothersome biters, Coddington offered the AP a behind-the-scenes look at some of the millions of specimens in the Smithsonian’s entomology collections that scientists use to identify and study insects and arachnids.

Mosquito bites probably are the most common. Sure we’ve been told to watch out for them at dusk and dawn. But the Asian tiger mosquito – a fairly recent immigrant that has spread to 30 states since arriving hidden in some tires in Texas – bites all day long. It’s a more aggressive, harder-to-swat version than native species, Coddington says.

If it seems every mosquito’s after you, well, there are about 3,500 species around the world and Coddington says most don’t bite humans, preferring other animals instead. But those who do can be attracted by sweat, alcohol, perfumes and dark clothing.

Bedbugs are the latest headline-maker. Scientists can’t explain why they’ve suddenly rebounded in many U.S. cities after all but vanishing in the 1940s and `50s. But once they’re in a building, they’re famously hard to eradicate. You won’t feel their needle-like bite, but you might see a line of red dots in the morning.

Not so with horse flies and black flies. They cause painful welts, and they’ll chase any blood meal. And yellow jackets may be a bane of summer picnics, but they’re most aggressive in the fall, the reproductive mating season, Coddington notes.

Most people face no risk other than infection from scratching, but there are some important exceptions:

_Blacklegged tick species, commonly called deer ticks, that are as small as poppy seeds can transmit Lyme disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted more than 35,000 confirmed or probable cases of Lyme in 2009, the latest data available. These ticks are most active from May through July, and are most common in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, upper Midwest and Pacific coast.

If a tick’s been biting for less than 24 hours, chances of infection are small. So do a daily tick check. And the CDC recommends using insect repellent with DEET.

Antibiotics easily cure most people of Lyme. But other than Lyme’s hallmark round, red rash, early symptoms are vague and flu-like. People who aren’t treated can develop arthritis, meningitis and some other serious illnesses.

Different tick species around the country can transmit additional diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tickborne relapsing fever, and STARI or Southern tick-associated rash illness.

_West Nile virus is the main mosquito concern in the U.S. Although cases have dropped in the last decade, the CDC recorded 45 deaths from West Nile last year. Severe symptoms fortunately are rare but include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, muscle weakness and paralysis, and the neurological effects sometimes are permanent.

To avoid mosquitoes, the CDC advises wearing insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Empty standing water where mosquitoes breed.

_At least 40 people a year die from allergic reactions to stings from bees or other insects, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Potentially life-threatening reactions occur in fewer than 1 percent of children and 3 percent of adults.

But seek care quickly for signs of an emergency, Blackwelder stresses: Swelling on the face or neck, shortness of breath or feeling dizzy. People who know they’re allergic should carry an EpiPen.

_Bites from a black widow or brown recluse can require medical care, although fatalities are incredibly rare. You may not feel the black widow’s bite, but within about an hour pain spreads through the abdomen, with cramping or rigid abdominal muscles. Poison centers stock antivenom, but most people do fine with muscle relaxants and other care, says Blackwelder, a spokesman for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

A brown recluse bite eventually forms an ulcerlike lesion that can get fairly large but usually requires just good wound care, he says. But other infections can be mistaken for these bites, so Coddington says bringing in the suspect spider helps identification.

Citrus still matters in Southwest Florida

April 1, 2011

Citrus still matters in Southwest Florida

Written by LAURA RUANE

Southwest Florida’s citrus industry still has the juice, despite tree diseases and a struggling economy.

Gulf Citrus Growers Association, marking its 25th year, isn’t as big as it was in the go-go years of the 1990s. However, it remains a major player in the region’s agribusiness, which produces an estimated $1.6 billion in sales to farmers and ranchers yearly.

One example: Association members helped to pioneer and promote the concept of “citrus health management areas,” which encourage growers to work together to combat citrus greening, particularly through spraying to kill the Asian citrus psyllid insect that spreads the disease.

“It’s neighbors, helping neighbors,” said Callie Walker. She’s association treasurer and a partner in the English Family Limited Partnership, which grows oranges for juice in east Lee County.

In its early days, the association focused on establishing a regional brand for fresh citrus grown, packed and shipped from Southwest Florida. When growing fruit for the fresh market declined in favor of juice production regionally, the association adapted.

“It evolved into an issue-oriented advocacy group,” said Mark Colbert, association board member and citrus general manager for A Duda & Sons Inc.

These issues include land and water use, environmental regulation, farmworker relations, transportation, domestic and international trade and marketing programs.

The association has a volunteer membership that includes growers and allied trades. The region it represents – Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties – still produces approximately one-fifth of Florida’s citrus crop.

A player statewide

Citrus is Florida’s iconic industry, plowing more than $9 billion into the economy yearly, and employing more than 75,000 people, directly and indirectly.

The region’s citrus association took root shortly after the freezes in the 1980s, which prompted a major industry shift from Central Florida to counties south. Between 1986 and 1996, the region’s citrus land exploded from 72,480 acres to more than 179,000.

Southwest Florida’s citrus industry still has the juice, despite tree diseases and a struggling economy.

Gulf Citrus Growers Association, marking its 25th year, isn’t as big as it was in the go-go years of the 1990s. However, it remains a major player in the region’s agribusiness, which produces an estimated $1.6 billion in sales to farmers and ranchers yearly.

One example: Association members helped to pioneer and promote the concept of “citrus health management areas,” which encourage growers to work together to combat citrus greening, particularly through spraying to kill the Asian citrus psyllid insect that spreads the disease.

“It’s neighbors, helping neighbors,” said Callie Walker. She’s association treasurer and a partner in the English Family Limited Partnership, which grows oranges for juice in east Lee County.

In its early days, the association focused on establishing a regional brand for fresh citrus grown, packed and shipped from Southwest Florida. When growing fruit for the fresh market declined in favor of juice production regionally, the association adapted.

“It evolved into an issue-oriented advocacy group,” said Mark Colbert, association board member and citrus general manager for A Duda & Sons Inc.

These issues include land and water use, environmental regulation, farmworker relations, transportation, domestic and international trade and marketing programs.

The association has a volunteer membership that includes growers and allied trades. The region it represents – Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties – still produces approximately one-fifth of Florida’s citrus crop.

A player statewide

Citrus is Florida’s iconic industry, plowing more than $9 billion into the economy yearly, and employing more than 75,000 people, directly and indirectly.

The region’s citrus association took root shortly after the freezes in the 1980s, which prompted a major industry shift from Central Florida to counties south. Between 1986 and 1996, the region’s citrus land exploded from 72,480 acres to more than 179,000.

March News

March 15, 2011

March news from Al Hoffer’s Termite-Lawn-Pest

Fruit flies found in South Florida

February 14, 2011

The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Two Mediterranean fruit flies have been found during routine monitoring in South Florida.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported Friday that the flies were found in a residential area of Pompano Beach in Broward County.

State and federal officials are placing 2,000 additional traps in a 50-square-mile area around the positive find. The department is also setting up a certification process for host materials to move in and out of the quarantine zone.

Officials say the Mediterranean fruit fly is considered the most serious of the world’s fruit fly pests because of its potential economic harm and threat to the food supply. It attacks more than 250 different fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/02/11/2062679/fruit-flies-found-in-south-florida.html#ixzz1Dy3mKWRO

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.

PHONE NUMBERS
Toll Free:
866-923-2847
Brevard:
321-752-5504
Indian River:
772-589-8628
St. Lucie:
772-873-1404
Palm Beach:
561-274-8885
Broward:
954-753-1222
ONLINE FORM
CORPORATE OFFICE
12329 NW 35 Street
Coral Springs, Florida 33065
SELF-SERVICE CENTER

700 W. Eau Gallie Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32935

Self-Service Center

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=

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 www.bedbugsaredeadbugs.com 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.

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.