Pest Exterminators Grab TV Spotlight

Cable TV has taken us into the heaving northern Pacific to experience the harrowing life of crab fisherman in search of the Deadliest Catch. We’ve followed the Ice Road Truckers on their perilous journey across the frozen lakes of northern Canada. We’ve cringed and flinched as the Ax Men wield the dangerous tools of their trade in remote forests. TV’s next amazing reality show targets the creepy, crawly world of the dedicated pest exterminator. Yes, it’s finally our turn to shine! Watch this fall when A&E debuts Billy the Exterminator. (Yeah, we’re a little disappointed by the name too. We were hoping for something more macho like Terminator Exterminators.)

Patterned after Dog the Bounty Hunter, the new show will feature fellow pest control expert Billy Bretherton, 37, an 11-year industry veteran. You may have seen Billy on the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs this past year. The new show will follow Billy and as-yet uncast sidekicks as they battle insect invasions and combat out-of-control wildlife to keep America safe and pest-free! If our own experiences at Stern Environmental Group are any indication, the show should be entertaining. Pest control certainly has its share of comic blooper and icky gross moments. Should make for riveting TV. Tune in this fall!

Are There Ants in Your Computer?

I’ve heard of “bugs” in computers, but ants? Swarms of hungry ants are eating their way through electronics in Houston. Dubbed “Crazy Raspberry Ants,” it is believed that the insects with an unusual taste for electronic wiring arrived in Texas on a cargo ship, though their original home is unknown. The ants are creating havoc in Texas and the Deep South where their munching has left an expensive path of destruction. They have destroyed PCs in countless homes and businesses, taken up residence in homeowners’ gas meters, ruined pumps at a sewage treatment plant, and placed NASA’s Johnson Space Center on full alert, according to Associated Press reports.  

“If you open a computer, you would find a cluster of ants on the motherboard and all over,” pest expert and namesake Tom Raspberry told Computerworld magazine. “You’d get 3,000 to 4,000 ants inside and they create arcs. They’ll wipe out any computer.”

The tiny ants, about the size of fleas, congregate on electronics by the thousands and exhibit frantic behavior. One victim said their movements were like watching an Indy 500 car race. “They’re going fast, fast, fast. They’re crazy,” Patsy Morphew of Pearland, Texas told PC Pro. At that rate, these nasty little critters could give a whole new meaning to the phrase “bugs in my computer”!

Bed Bugs and Lawsuits

Perhaps you have heard about the Fox News employee who is suing the owner of the office building where she had been working. She claims she has post-traumatic stress disorder which was caused by being bit by bed bugs at work. So far she is not suing Fox News.

She stated she can no longer work due to the trauma. I am wondering what percentage of bed bug victims have stopped working due to being bitten. I once suffered from bee stings but I kept on working. Perhaps I should have been on Oprah to tell my brave story.

I hope this doesn’t get out of control and residents of bed bug infested apartment buildings stop working by the thousands, go on worker’s compensation and sue the owners of the properties for being traumatized. Perhaps being slightly annoyed will suffice.

She speculates that a co-worker brought the bed bug infestation to her workstation. I am wondering if the women suing actually brought the bed bugs to work and is now suing for something she might have caused herself. Just speculation on my part.

I live near a lake and I am often bitten by mosquitoes. If a lawyer is reading this, perhaps we should have lunch and discuss the issue.  

Honeybees Set Up Colony in Home

Recently a bee keeper removed thousands of bees and buckets of honey from inside the walls of a home in Elk Grove, California. At first the homeowners thought the buzzing might be an electrical problem but soon feared bees had moved into their bedroom walls. “I heard the buzzing, louder than my electric toothbrush,” homeowner Jennifer Ferkel told the local CBS news station. “I turned it off and then I heard the drones.”

An estimated 40,000 honeybees were found living behind the dry wall and insulation of Ferkel’s home. Honeycombs built between the wall studs yielded about 5 pounds of honey. Let than a month old, if left untreated the bee colony would quickly have doubled in size.

The Ferkel’s problem isn’t as rare as it might seem. Ten years ago, honeybees found their way under my neighbors’ siding in Chicago with similar results. My neighbors not only had to replace the siding along one side of their home, but also the wallboard in two rooms that had become soaked with honey. It took much longer to completely remove the sickening smell of fermented honey that permeated their home for months.

If you hear buzzing in your walls or ceiling or start finding bees in your home (they can  enter through electrical sockets), call a pest control professional immediately. Click here for more information on bees and wasps.

Bed Bugs Free Zones

Bed Bugs are everywhere. Hotels, apartment buildings, mansions featuring Italianate architecture, summer camps, airports, train stations, kind of, sort of, maybe upscale restaurants and the space shuttle. Not the space shuttle, but has anybody checked?

In 2003 a nationwide pest control company treated bed bug problems in 35 states. By 2007 they treated structures in 48 states. A spokesperson believed the other two states have bed bugs. Canada is also having problems with bedbugs. I’m not sure about Bulgaria.

I am wondering when apartment building owners will be placing huge signs outside of their property with the statement “BED BUG FREE BUILDING.”

 Instead of city councils enticing new businesses to their areas with tax breaks,  free land and a variety of money saving coupons perhaps they will soon be advertising their city as “free of bed bugs.”

Perhaps in cities with bed bug problems homeowners will pay to have an inspection so they can sell their homes as a “bed bug free residence.” However if bedbugs are found in the home the enterprising owner may say “Oops!” are something like that.

If you live in a bedbug infested apartment building or other dwelling ask the property owner if he has considered Cryonite to destroy the pests.