Polar Cold Tough on Pests; But Bed Bugs Still Thrive

There has been one bright note in this year’s cold, snowy winter. The extreme polar cold is taking a toll on some of New York and New Jersey’s most problematic insect pests. Scientists say prolonged exposure to sub-zero temperatures appears to be taking a bite out of emerald ash borer, southern pine beetle and stink bug populations.

Populations of these tree and crop-killing pests exploded last summer as a result of the previous mild winter. Stink bugs, which suck nutrients from plants, did billions of dollars of damage to New Jersey crops last year. They’ve remained a problem this winter, making unwelcome appearances inside homes as they flee their overwintering hiding places inside soffits and wall voids for indoor warmth. This winter’s freeze appears to be killing stink bugs that cannot escape the cold.

The severe cold appears to be taking a similar toll on the southern pine beetles that have decimated more than 30,000 acres of the Pine Barrens. Emerald ash borers, responsible for the felling of thousands of infected trees are also succumbing to the cold.

Unfortunately, the cold won’t provide any relief from bed bugs. It takes temperatures well below the ones we’ve suffered this winter to kill bed bugs. Stern’s Cryonite system uses CO2 snow frozen to minus 110 degrees F. to kill bed bugs, which is well below anything the Polar Vortex has sent our way!

Don’t count on the cold to solve your bed bug problems; call the bed bug extermination experts at Stern.

Rat Tracker Keeps Tabs on NYC Rodents

Rats are on New York City’s radar and the city wants rats to be on your radar too. In an effort to increase awareness of rat infestations, the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recently opened an online Rat Information Portal. The website tracks rat activity throughout the five boroughs, making it easy to identify the city’s most heavily infested neighborhoods. Using health department inspection information, the website also provides a history of rat infestations in various neighborhoods and specific buildings. This historical information provides a helpful tool for commercial developers considering a move into one of these areas.

Tips for Navigating the Portal

The Portal is relatively user friendly, but a few navigation tips will help you find the information you’re looking for more quickly:

• Read the Quick Start Guide before you use the site.

• Enter the location you want to search.

• To see infested and inspected areas, you have to click on Show Rat Inspections on the Map link at the bottom of the right-hand navigation box.

• To see the color-coded data, you have to zoom in the map nearly to the + sign on the top left tool bar.

• Clicking on a specific location will provide details about rat inspection reports.

If rats are active in your area, contact Stern’s experienced rat control experts. We provide commercial rat extermination services throughout the Greater New York City and northern New Jersey area.

Atlantic City Seniors Irate Over Bed Bug Infestation

Irate over a persistent bed bug infestation, residents of an Atlantic City, New Jersey senior housing complex say property managers are gambling with their health. Residents, many of whom are blind or disabled, say property managers have failed to act on their complaints. One family member notified that a bed bug had been spotted in her mother’s apartment was horrified to find “thousands upon thousands” of bed bugs crawling over everything her mother owned, according to a NBC40.net report.

Complaints by residents and their families have finally attracted the attention of the city council and bed bug victims seem to have found an ally in Councilman Marty Small who told NBC, “Management seeming to be ignoring the problem and just doing enough to get by and we’re not going to stand for that. And I would like our Code Enforcement to put their foot down. Obviously if they think they’re doing enough, they’re not doing enough. The problem is still happening over and over again and it’s not right.”

We’re happy to report that the Atlantic City council has ordered the Code Enforcement department to conduct an immediate and thorough inspection of the housing complex. But that’s just the first step. Exterminating bed bug infestations in multi-unit housing requires the cooperation of management, residents and experienced bed bug extermination experts. Visit our website to find out what you need to know about identifying and getting rid of bed bugs.