In the United States we tend to take for granted that our favorite restaurant will be rat and roach free, and when a mosquito bites us, we will not be afflicted with malaria. These basic expectations of our way of life are made possible by the hardworking men and women in the pest control industry. As pesticides, and those who utilize them, are often maligned, we should remember that the most dangerous animal in the world is not a lion, a bear, or even a great white shark off the Cape of Good Hope, it is the pesky mosquito. In the mid 1300’s, it is believed that between 75 million and 200 million people died of the Bubonic Plague. This Pestilence, which forever altered the story of the world, was ultimately linked back to fleas on rats, AKA pests out of control.
It is accepted that modern pest control practices have saved millions of lives and prevented disease outbreaks that in generations past would have wiped out many. When discussing pesticide use and safety, it is important to balance legitimate environmental concerns with the also legitimate public health concerns. As a whole, the pest control industry has embraced their role as protectors of the environment, while striving towards public health and safety and an adequate food supply.
Pest Control Statistics
Pest control is a broad term and encompasses many of the undesirables in and about your home. Many traditional pest control companies specialize in the most common general household pests such as roaches, ants, rodents, bed bugs, and termites. Other pest control companies specialize in keeping your lawn, trees, and bushes green, healthy, and pest free. A growing area of interest for many pest control companies is wildlife trapping, removal, and prevention. Squirrels, opossums, racoons, and bats sometimes nest in attics and wall voids. Pest control technicians have the perfect skill set and tools to easily handle these wildlife situations.
According to Fortune Business Insights, globally, in 2019 the pest control market size was 19.73 billion US dollars. By 2027 the global pest control market is projected to reach 31.94 billion US dollars. Rising urbanization and concern over vector-borne diseases are the primary contributing factors to this dramatic rise in the pest control market. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 17% of communicable diseases are vector-borne accounting for more than 7,000,000 deaths per year around the world. The pest control industry’s embrace of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices also accounts for much of this projected growth. IPM teaches pest control professionals to use smart and sustainable practices to solve pest problems while limiting pesticides to strategically placed applications. This revolution away from extraneous indoor pesticide applications, enables homeowners, governments, and industry to feel more comfortable inviting pest control professionals into their domains.
In the United States, COVID-19 correlated with an increased demand in pest control services. With people working from home, more pest problems were encountered that demanded attention. In 2010 United States Pest Control market value was 11.8 billion dollars. The pest control market rapidly grew, and in 2022, the market value of pest control in the United States was 20.3 billion dollars. This growth occurred despite COVID-19, difficulties in hiring and retaining employees, and high inflation. Analysts expect that the growth within the pest control sector will continue into 2023, with revenues projected to be approximately 26.2 billion dollars. Recently, the pest control industry has experienced more growth than many other industries within our economy.
Despite these positive trends in the pest control statistics, like all aspects of the economy, inflationary concerns and labor shortages may impede the expected growth. Many pest control companies dread the idea of raising prices, but the price of fuel, labor, insurance, and necessary supplies all dictate the price quoted to customers. To accommodate these growth goals, many pest control companies are offering additional services which help to minimize pests around the home. For example, pest control companies may begin offering pest exclusion services, termite treatments and prevention, wildlife trapping, or even gutter cleaning.
Health Toll of Common Pests
Many insects that pest control professionals are called upon to treat carry the risk of dangerous diseases, bites, or stings. Ignoring problem pest populations can have a negative impact on your health and that of your family. While many insects are beneficial and should be left alone to play their role in the ecosystem, other insects should be removed to protect your family. Often the decision to live and let live, or take action against an insect species depends upon the specifics of your situation. If a hornet’s nest is on your child’s swing set, you’ll probably have it removed. If the hornet’s nest is high up in a tree in the back 20 acres of your property, you’ll probably leave it alone and wait for it to die out. Allergies, sensitivities, infestation placement, and the time of year all play an important role in this decision.
Bees are the lucky recipient of much goodwill and protection due to their importance as pollinators. Thankfully, the campaign to save the bees has engrained in most Americans the importance of the humble honeybee. Important bee saving measures have been embraced by the pest control industry as our food supply would crumble without the honeybee. However, some situations warrant removing a bee hive to protect your family.
Most bee, wasp, and hornet stings can be taken care of with at home palliative care. However, it is estimated that between 5% and 7% of Americans are allergic to the venom injected when a bee stings you. This allergy will result in an anaphylactic reaction, causing swelling of the throat, difficulty swallowing, and difficulty breathing. This life-threatening reaction sends thousands of people to the emergency room each year. Anaphylactic reaction is easily reversible if a dose of epinephrine is quickly administered. If you have ever experienced this type of reaction to a bee or wasp sting, chances are high (60-70%) that it will occur again should you be stung again.
Data from the CDC shows that between 2000 – 2017 approximately 1,109 Americans died as a result of a bee or wasp sting, for an average of 62 deaths per year. 80% of those that died were males. Some people argue that this number is artificially low as some bee sting deaths may be attributed to a heart attack or stroke.
Mosquitos spread some of the world’s most deadly and debilitating diseases. They are responsible for more human death any other animal known to ever exist. Yet, they are a vital part of the food web. Mosquitoes’ main source of food and energy is nectar from flowers, therefore they too are pollinators. In addition, mosquitos are an important source of food for many fish, bats, and dragonflies.
However, worldwide mosquitos are much more than the irritation and itch producer that they are here in the United States. Mosquitos spread malaria, which is a parasite that is transferred to humans when the female mosquito bites. Despite advancements in pest control methods and medical malaria prevention, throughout the world approximately 241 million people were diagnosed with malaria in 2020. Most of the world’s 627,000 deaths during 2020 were children in sub-Saharan Africa. This heartbreaking statistic reminds us that the battle against mosquito-borne diseases and parasites is not won, even though it is rarely a concern in a United States suburban neighborhood.
Other mosquito-borne diseases that devastate populations globally are: • Dengue Fever • Chikungunya • Eastern Equine Encephalitis • St. Louis Encephalitis • West Nile Virus • Yellow Fever • Zika Virus Mosquito bites are also responsible for the risk of heart worms to your pet. Thankfully, preventative treatments for heart worms are available from your veterinarian to prevent your pet from needlessly suffering.
The fact that these most of these devastating diseases are hardly on our radar here in the United States reminds us to be grateful for developments in many industries that have mostly alleviated these concerns in the industrialized world.
Rodents spend their time in sewers, trash, back alleys, and subway stations. They scurry, crawl, and nest through the filthiest places we humans have created. As a result, there are over 35 diseases that rodents are known to spread to humans. Rodents can directly spread diseases to humans, but also indirectly by carrying fleas, ticks, and mites, into our homes, offices, restaurants, and public spaces. Disease can spread from rat to human when you accidentally touch rat urine or feces, eating food contaminated with this waste, or breathing air that is polluted with rodent waste.
Many of the diseases that rodents spread are fairly rare in the United States. However, rats appear to be on the rise. New York City seems to be experiencing a tangible influx in the rodent population. Dr. Robert Corrigan, the nation’s most renowned rodentologist, argues that rats are on the rise in New York City, but it is difficult to put an exact number on the percentage of increase. With the city’s new rat czar job position only recently being filled, and the bustling city’s trash piled high on the sidewalk, cases of rat-borne diseases are on the rise.
In September of 2021, New York City issued a statement informing residents that 14 people had already been diagnosed with leptospirosis that year. Of the 14 people, 13 were hospitalized for liver and kidney failure, 2 had severe lung disease, and 1 person died of the disease. Leptospirosis is spread to humans by contact with rat urine. Rats do not have control over their urine, nor do they have a specific place within their nest to release their waste. Instead, they nearly constantly urinate and defecate as they scurry about your home, on your counter, in your pantry, in your attic insulation, or the basement wall.
Without aggressive rodent control programs, rats flourish. Rats reproduce quickly and often. Female rats typically give birth 6 times per year, with an average of 5-10 baby rats. In less than 2 months, these babies reach sexual maturity and begin having babies of their own. Female rats can be ready to breed again even the same day they give birth! This rapid life cycle causes exponential increases in rat populations unless measures are taken to disrupt this progression.
According to the CDC the most common rat-borne diseases include:
Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome
Rat Bite Fever
When assessing a rodent control program, an honest evaluation of the risks from rodents should be conducted. Most people agree that a rat inside your home is a valid reason to act. But, think about the larger picture. Do local governments and businesses have a compelling interest in keeping the rat population in check? I would argue yes, as unchecked rodent populations can become a health hazard and a safety to the citizens.
Cockroaches are another example of how pests affect public health. When cockroaches live and reproduce within kitchen cabinets and bathroom drawers, most people view this with a certain fear of the pest or simply as foul and revolting intrusion into their home. No one wants cockroaches scurrying across your plates or toothbrush in the dead of the night; after all cockroaches are known to carry bacteria and pathogens. In truth, cockroach infestations carry significant health risks. For those whom professional cockroach control is unattainable, cockroach infestations can affect their health every single day.
Up to 60% of big city dwellers who have asthma also have an allergy to cockroaches. Asthma, an already dangerous condition, is exacerbated by cockroach allergens within many urban homes and apartment buildings. Many studies show that children with asthma who are exposed to cockroaches need to go to the hospital more often than asthmatic children who are not exposed to cockroaches. Because of their developing immune system, it is usually the children in these cockroach laden environments that suffer the most. Roaches are consummate survivors. When cockroach infestation levels are high and food is scarce, roaches will even eat the eyelashes, eyebrows, and fingernails of sleeping children.
Common cockroach allergy symptoms include:
Itchy, red or watery eyes
Itchy nose, mouth or throat
Postnasal drip (a flow of mucus from behind your nose into your throat)
Itchy skin or skin rash
If your cockroach allergy triggers your asthma, you may also experience:
Chest tightness or pain
A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out
Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
German cockroaches are small roaches that under certain conditions, seem to multiply by the day. German roaches reproduce quickly and often require professional assistance to fully eradicate the infestation. Unlike larger cockroaches, like American cockroaches or Australian cockroaches, German roaches find everything they need to reproduce indoors. As they progress through their life stages, they leave behind feces, egg casings, saliva, exoskeletons, and even carcasses of dead cockroaches. Specific proteins in these discarded body parts trigger allergies and even asthma. In situations where the roach infestation is severe, these proteins are spread through the house as the roaches accumulate in cracks and crevices. These allergens become airborne and circulated throughout the home where they are inhaled by all of the inhabitants.
In addition to the allergies and asthma risk posed by cockroaches, they are known spreaders of disease and bacteria. There is a reason the health department inspects for roach infestations and shuts down restaurants that are experiencing a roach infestation. Roaches are a danger to public health. As roaches dart about at night seeking food and a safe space, they may accumulate pathgens on their feet and legs. When they finally decide to cozy up in the cabinet where your plates are kept, they may spread this bacteria to your clean plate. When food is served on this contaminated plate, you have inadvertently ingested the illness-causing pathogen that the roach picked up from the trash can or other filth.
Roaches are known to contribute to the spread of many diseases, but the following are the most common:
Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria are normally found in the intestines of healthy people and animals. E.coli is spread by unknowingly ingesting contaminated fecal material. Some strains of this bacteria can cause diarrhea and stomach discomfort. According to the CDC, other strains of E. coli can cause more surprising symptoms such as urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and pneumonia.
Salmonellosis – The CDC estimates that the Salmonella bacteria is responsible for 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalizations, and 420 deaths in the United States every year. How many of these instances are attributed to cockroaches is unknown, but roaches are most certainly involved in the dissemination of “food poisoning.” Common symptoms of Salmonella involve diarrhea, stomach cramping, vomiting, and fever. Symptoms can range from mild discomfort to hospitalization and death for the elderly or immune compromised.
Staphylococcus aureus, is a bacteria which sometimes causes infections which do not respond to traditional antibiotic treatments. A study performed in 2019 analyzed both German cockroaches and American cockroaches collected in the presumably pristine hospital environment. Antibiotic resistant strains were found in the guts of 52.77% of the American roaches collected and 43.33% of the German roaches collected.
Cockroaches are thriving living in close proximity to humans; therefore they are often termed a peridomestic species. As we excavate sewers and subways, they have excelled at using them for food and shelter. As we build large city centers and generate large amounts of trash, they have moved right on in. The goal of smart pest control is not to eradicate all cockroaches from environment. With modernized Integrated Pest Management (IPM) procedures, cockroaches can be controlled on the inside and kept outdoors where they fill a role in the ecosystem. Cockroaches should be viewed as more than a phobia or emotional reaction. With their link to serious bacterial diseases, allergies, and asthma, they are a public health hazard and should be treated as such.
Economic Impact of Common Pests
Sometimes in our comfortable middle class suburban bubble, we can forget that pest control is more than fretting about the trail of ants on your bathroom counter. Insect pests cause serious economic damage to many sectors of the economy. As farmers attempt to feed the world’s population, they are on the battlefield against insect pests. Termites can cause significant damage to homes and businesses which is often NOT covered by insurance. Restaurant owners expend limited resources to keep rats and roaches at bay. Hotel owners must factor bed bug prevention and treatment into their budgets. Food supplies, damage to structures, costs incurred to safely do business, and lost revenues when pest issues spiral out of control, accumulate to pest control and prevention to have a major impact on the global economy.
For home-owners and business-owners, termites are likely to be the greatest economic risk associated with insect pests. In areas of our country where termites are common, it is generally accepted that most homes will be affected by termites at some time. Termites damage approximately 600,000 homes per year in the United States. Between repairing termite damage, treating active termite infestations, and preventing termite colonies from accessing your home, Americans spend approximately $5 billion dollars per year. When termite damage is found, a home-owner spends on average $3,000 to repair the damage This data is several years old, so with the increase in cost of building supplies in recent years these numbers are more likely about $10,000 or more in today’s dollars. Keep in mind, there are plenty of situations where serious structural damage has occurred and the cost is even much higher.
To avoid serious structural failure due to termites, proactively take annual preventative measures. A trustworthy and competent pest control company can inspect your home and offer an assessment of your termite risks. Depending on your area, you may have little to no risk. But, if you are in a Formosan termite infested zone, you should be more cautious. Formosan termite colonies are large and aggressive. They can cause significant damage to your home in just a few years. Different species of termites have vastly different treatment methods. Since the integrity of your home is on the line, it is imperative that the termite job is done correctly. Treating termites early in their meal reduces the likelihood that you will have extensive damage. Depending upon the type of termite infestations, there are many treatment options, many of which are considered green and eco-friendly.
Farmers Battling Against Pests and Our Food Supply and Cost
Farmers have battled insect pests since the advent of farming ancient farming practices. Farmers continue to struggle against both native and invasive species which affects food prices and availability. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that insect pests cost the global economy approximately $80 billion dollars per year, and approximately 40% of crops grown around the world are lost to insect pests and plant diseases.
Compounding the effects of Covid-19, in 2020 – 2021, a locust plague of Biblical proportion swept through Africa decimating and ravaging grazing lands and farms. These locust swarms have as many as 80,000 locusts. Each swarm consumes as much food as 35,000 humans per day. In these already food scarce communities, these locusts make starvation a very real risk for as many as 5 million people.
Throughout the world, controlling pests is central to food production and human health. Feeding the world is a job that requires balancing the nutritional needs of humans with the Earth and the ecosystem in general. Controlling pests that devastate food supplies is a necessary and proper use of pesticides.
Bed bugs have plagued humans since the dawn of civilization. It is believed that bed bugs originally inhabited caves and fed on bats for sustenance. However, as humans sought shelter in the caves, bed bugs began to feed on humans. Thus began the relationship between humans and bed bugs. The Greeks and Romans both despised bedbugs and simultaneously used them for medicinal purposes in tinctures and cocktail “cures.” In the centuries that followed, bed bugs travelled the world and ultimately inhabited all of Europe and Asia. They hitchhiked across the Atlantic aboard colonial ships and promptly settled into the seaport cities which were busy with trade and commerce. Bed bugs were an irritating part of life; people went to extreme and dangerous measures for a bug free night’s sleep. Some early bed bug treatments include treating the cracks and crevices of beds with arsenic, sulfur, boiling water, pyrethrum powder, or coating the bed frame with bacon grease.
In the early 1900’s when central heat become commonplace, bed bugs became even more prolific. Much energy and resources were devoted to getting rid of bed bugs. In the early 20th century, the most common and effective treatment for bed bugs was a fumigation with hydrocyanide gas. This dangerous gas causes one to fall unconscious within seconds and causes death within minutes; however it was the best option until DDT. DDT protected soldiers in WWII from diseases carried by lice, fleas, and mosquitos. After testing on bedbugs, the USDA said in 1945 that DDT was, “the perfect answer to the bed bug problem.” In addition to being absolutely lethal to bed bugs, DDT was readily available to the public and was relatively inexpensive. In fact, DDT was so effective against bedbugs, within 5 years of widespread usage, bed bugs were all but eradicated. Bed bugs did begin to show signs of resistance to DDT, but in 1972 the United States banned DDT because it takes many years to break down in the environment.
After a brief reprieve from biting bugs in bed, bed bugs have come back with a vengeance. Bed bugs are expert hitchhikers. With the ease and convenience of international travel, bed bugs were reintroduced into America’s big city resorts. From there, they were carried across America in one briefcase or duffel bag at a time. Currently, bed bugs are found from sea to shining sea. Bed bugs do not discriminate, anyone is susceptible to an infestation. Public awareness campaigns and education is imperative if we are to gain the upper hand from bed bugs again. Catching bed bug infestations early is key. Periodic checks of the mattress, bed frame, and the bed side table can help to keep a bed bug introduction from turning into a full-blown infestation.
There are many tools in the pest control professional’s toolbox when dealing with bed bugs. Just as resistance was observed to DDT in the 1950’s, bed bugs have quickly become resistant to many of the chemicals that have been recently thrown at them. Insecticide resistance is similar to antibiotic resistant bacteria. Similar to the way antibiotics are no longer effective against certain germs, some insects become “immune” to certain insecticides. With this new superpower, they procreate and their bed bug babies can likely resist the same insecticides. Insecticide resistance is a world-wide problem. It is an issue with not only bed bugs, over 500 species of insect pests have shown resistance to common chemicals including many species of roaches and fleas.
Insecticide resistance has led to creative, effective, non-chemical pest control solutions… especially in the bed bug realm. In addition to chemical control, there are many effective non-chemical control for bed bugs including heat treatments, cryogenic freezing treatments, and even biopesticides. Educating consumers and raising awareness of bed bug conducive conditions is fundamental to success. With greater access to travel than ever before, more belongings in our homes for which bed bugs to hide, and resistance to traditional pesticides, bed bugs have proven to be a challenge. However, with research based innovation and new scientific product development, the professionals in pest control will answer the bed bug call with safe and effective treatments.
Advancements in Pesticides
Balancing environmental concerns with human health and safety is a potentially divisive issue. For a pesticide to be approved for use in the United States, the EPA must thoroughly evaluate the product, including its effectiveness against the target pest, the possible health and safety ramifications of the product, and the environmental impact of the product. As the chemical sciences has progressed, the safety of the approved products has increased as well. We have moved well beyond the days of indiscriminately applying DDT to every bug that bothers.
Scientists now develop pesticides which can target specific insects and allow for lower volume of use yet have greater efficiency. According to the EPA, nanopesticides “show remarkable advantages over conventional pesticides.” Nanopesticides are pesticides which may contain particles which are smaller than 100 nanometers in size. Scientists can adapt these extremely tiny particles to react in very specific ways. Potentially, nanopesticides adhere better to the applied surface, which allows for the use of less pesticide. The active ingredient can also be encapsulated to control its release into the environment. Nanopesticides can be developed to target individual organisms which prevents fallout for non-target organisms. This technology shows great promise, but as with all new technology and science, it takes time to fully understand the ramifications of this new tool. The EPA is developing testing and approval procedures for new pesticides that utilize this and other similar technologies.
As a whole, pesticides are becoming safer for people and pets and more targeted against the target pests. By using safer pesticides and greater implementation of Integrated Pest Management Principles, the pest control industry as a whole has embraced their role as protector of both people’s health and the environment.
As pest control professionals, we are often confronted with bug bites and asked to determine which bug has caused the bite. Nine times out of ten, we identify the bug bite, confirm our suspicion with an insect ID, and treat the pest, providing instant relief to the bug bite sufferer. Occasionally, despite insistent complaints of bug bites, no bugs are found. Often, people who insist they are being bit by bugs are shuffled between medical doctors including dermatologists and psychiatrists, and pest management professionals. When this itching, scratching, and irritating sensation persists, despite no insects being found, it is termed delusionary parasitosis.
Delusionary parasitosis is an imperfect term. The medical profession defines delusion as an unshakeable or fixed belief that something is true despite evidence to the contrary. Parasitosis simply means an infestation of parasites. Therefore, the hallmark characteristic of delusionary parasitosis is the unshakeable belief that a person is being bitten by microscopic or tiny insects or parasites. The fact that no insects or parasites being found does not discount the fact that the itching, burrowing, or crawling sensations may in fact be a real physical condition that needs remedied. Many times, there are perfectly valid reasons for the physical sensations that are being experienced; it is simply not entomological in nature.
Common Characteristics of Delusionary Parasitosis
Patients afflicted with delusionary parasitosis often complain of paresthesia, which is the sensation that their skin is being walked on, pricked, or a general tingling feeling of the skin. They may complain of itchy skin which may intensify at night, and the belief or feeling that they are being bitten by an unseen adversary. With these sensations, they begin to scratch at themselves and cause physical wounds or cuts from aggressive scratching.
Delusionary parasitosis is most commonly found in older women. As the feeling persists, many sufferers take extreme measures to alleviate the problem, which they steadfastly believe to be related to insects or bugs. They may throw out furniture or beds, obsessively launder and clean, or use pesticides in dangerous and unlabeled manners. When repeated use of pesticides throughout the home do not alleviate the itch, they often resort to dangerous home remedies, such as applying gasoline, bleach, essential oils, and other harsh chemicals to “kill the bugs.” They often repeatedly provide samples of what is biting them only to be told, they have captured lint, dust, and dirt. Sadly, people often suffer for years, usually seeing many doctors and speaking to many pest management professionals with no relief.
Delusionary parasitosis is a serious disorder which significantly impairs the patient’s ability to function. In extreme cases, they may abandon their home or job hoping the bugs will not follow them. They often suffer from social isolation and damaged personal relationships. They are often resistant to psychiatric treatment, instead insisting that small insects are the source of their torment.
Causes of Delusionary Parasitosis
Delusionary parasitosis simply explains the belief that insects or parasites are to blame for the uncomfortable nature of the subject’s skin. Despite the flaw in the rationale, their skin is undoubtedly uncomfortable. There are a host of reasons why a person may experience the physical symptoms that are being complained of.
Physical Causes of Delusionary Parasitosis
When skin discomfort is initially felt, it is human nature to scratch. If scratching is persistent, you can break the skin and perpetuate the intense discomfort. Infection may settle into the wound and hairs and cloth fibers may become entrapped in scabs or crusty fluid. These situations may resemble antennae of insects, furthering the belief that bugs are the root of the problem.
As this disorder continues, harsh chemicals and/or pesticides are often placed in large quantities on the skin. This will further skin discomfort, irritation, and redness. In addition, skin irritants such as fiberglass, insulation, and other building materials could be causing the feelings experienced. Skin sensitivities can change as we age, and dry sensitive skin is at particular risk of these phenomena. Using different or more frequent laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and household cleaners can also cause these items to build up on bed linens and upholstery potentially irritating the skin. This causes more irritation and triggers a response to “treat again” and re-launder linens. The cycle gets worse and worse each time. Besides changing detergents or fabric softeners, we have seen customers who have purchased new sheet sets, typically very cheap low quality sets, which further causes skin irritation. Miraculously, after weeks of issues, the situation is resolved when they switch back to their old sheets set. Look closely at any recent changes in linens, furniture, detergents, or cleaners as possible causes.
Some experts believe that static electricity explains some of the feelings and observations of those tormented by delusionary parasitosis. The static electricity generated by computer equipment may cause particles to stick to legs or hands. In addition, people claim to see flying insects when what they actually observe is dust floating in the sunlight drenched window.
Possible Medical Causes of Delusionary Parasitosis
In today’s fast paced medical environment, deep dives into complicated or unusual symptom are rare. However, the feeling of being pricked, bitten, or being crawled upon could be a result of allergies, nutritional deficiencies, drug reactions, or another medical diagnosis. Numerous medical conditions and prescription drugs list itching and skin irritation as a possible side effect. Many commonly prescribed medications are known to cause “biting sensations” as a side effect. An allergic reaction to laundry detergent, soap, lotion, or shampoo may provide a logical explanation for the skin sensations experienced.
If you or a loved one are experiencing unexplained skin irritations, take a close look at your medications and any possible drug interactions. Many drugs, particularly those prescribed to the elderly, list skin issues as a possible side effect. For example, the fifth most prescribed medication Prozac, include 5 possible side effects commonly attributed to delusionary parasitosis. Make sure to review any herbal supplements or vitamins you may take as well.
Look closely at recent changes since symptoms developed. Frequent treatments to the home or your skin, changed medications, new laundry detergents, buying new linens (different fabric type), frequent laundering linens, etc. have all been the root cause of delusory parasitosis cases in the past. Once this was identified and corrected, the symptoms went away permanently.
Pest Control Response to Delusionary Parasitosis
There are many physical and medical reasons that a person may get the “creepie crawlies” and skin irritations. However, it is often very difficult to ascertain the root of the problem when the sufferer will consider no other possibility than insect activity.
There are certainly times when unusual pest infestations are located, treated, and the skin irritation resolved. However, to apply a pest control treatment with no proof of insect infestation only serves to further the delusion and delay a resolution of the true problem. As a Pest Management Professional, our code of ethics requires a confirmation of insect activity before applying pesticides to your home or business. This confirmation may come from a thorough inspection of your home by a professional or samples captured on sticky insect glue boards, tape, or other means of collections. Responsible pest control companies have policies against applying pesticides without having identified a target pest. There are no invisible bugs. Even the smallest insects and biting mites are visible and can be found using sticky-board monitors and other insect trapping techniques.
Delusionary parasitosis is a life-altering disorder which severely affects the quality of life for those who suffer. If you have had your home inspected by multiple pest control companies, and no insect activity has been located, it is probably time to consider alternate reasons for your discomfort. If you or a loved one suffers from symptoms described above, we encourage you to speak with a medical practitioner for the best course of treatment.
Drain flies is a term sometimes used collectively to refer to all small flies that can breed in drains such as true drain flies, phorid flies, and fruit flies. In this article we will focus on true drain flies. With their moth-like appearance, drain flies may not inspire immediate concern in a commercial kitchen like roaches or rats, but do not ignore their presence. As a restaurant, hotel, food truck, or other kitchen run for commercial purposes, the general public is relying upon your vigilance to remain healthy. As you know from your training and experience in your kitchen, you have a high duty to the public to ensure good safety practices and cleanliness.
Drain flies, sometimes called a moth fly, are small flies that are hairy or fuzzy like a moth. These nuisance flies are usually found resting on walls or ceilings, but their mere presence indicates a breeding site is nearby. Drain fly breeding sites are problematic in your commercial kitchen because it shows things are not being cleaned as thoroughly as they should be.
Drain flies lay their eggs in the slime and gunk that accumulates in drains and other wet areas. Anywhere that holds water can be the drain fly breeding ground. Moist, slimy, decaying organic matter and gelatinous film that forms over the water, is ideal for drain flies to lay their eggs. Drain flies really like breeding in sewage. Sink and floor drains in restaurants are the most common source of the drain fly larvae, but do not overlook drain pans under the refrigerator, around or inside of garbage containers, wet sewers or leaky toilets, condensate lines for ice makers, and even under a leaking washing machine. Drain flies have been known to propagate in a water and organic matter than accumulates under a broken or loose tile.
Drain Flies and Kitchen Health and Safety
Drain flies do not bite humans, but can spread diseases related to contact with fecal matter such as E.coli. For example, if drain flies are breeding in sewage they may pick up E.coli bacteria and then land on a food prep surface or a soda fountain spreading the bacteria to food and beverages. In addition, a knowledgeable health inspector will know to give you an extra thorough inspection if they notice a drain fly on the wall. Because accumulations of food bits, grease, and grime are required for their presence, it may indicate that roaches and other pests have easy access to food in your commercial kitchen.
As a restaurant or other commercial kitchen, you must take every precaution to prevent pests from becoming established. Proactive procedures should be followed to regularly clean drains, pipes, underneath and behind appliances and food prep areas. Allowing these areas of moist organic matter to fester, not only breeds drain flies, but more insidious insect pests as well.
How to Get Rid of Drain Flies
Despite your best and most efficient efforts to keep your commercial kitchen spick-and-span, drain flies can overrun even the tidiest of kitchens. The most important factor in getting rid of drain flies is determining where they are breeding. Drain flies are poor fliers; the adults usually remain close to the area in which they hatched, grew as larvae, and pupated. However, in a commercial kitchen with many sinks, floor drains, disposals, garbage cans, there are many potential breeding locations. Your drain fly infestation could be emanating from one drain or multiple locations. If you are unsure where the drain flies are breeding, test various drains by inverting plastic cups lined with adhesive or a light coating of petroleum jelly. If the drain is actively infested, after a few days you should capture adults as they emerge from the drain. By isolating the areas of activity, your control efforts will be more efficient.
The only way to get rid of drain flies is to disrupt and eliminate the drain fly nursery. Drain fly larvae are pretty hardy considering their tiny worm-like appearance. Ineffective attempts at control include pouring boing water, ammonia, bleach, or baking soda and vinegar down the drain. Remarkably, drain fly larvae can survive all of these attacks. Drain fly larvae have the unique ability to trap air bubbles and remain submerged for about 24 hours. In your attempts to remove the drain fly scourge, do NOT pour insecticides down the drain. It is likely illegal, and it will NOT kill the drain fly larvae.
To truly halt the drain fly life cycle, you have to actually get into the drain and scrub it clean. This not only physically removes the immature drain flies, but also removes the food source for any future drain fly. Once the drain is free of the gelatinous rotting matter, the larvae will not succeed. To adequately clean the drain, it should be opened as much as possible and aggressively scrubbed with a long handled stiff wire brush. Make sure to scrub all crevices, grooves, bends, and threading of connections.
Professional Drain Fly Control For Your Restaurant
Drain fly control should be a part of any pest control program initiated in your restaurant. Once the drain is thoroughly clean, your pest management professional can place bacterial drain treatment in the areas that tend to accumulate gunk. These products are not pesticides, rather a live bacteria that consumes organic matter that it comes into contact with. Regular application of this product keeps clean drains and sinks from accumulating enough organic matter to support a drain fly colony. However, simply pouring this product down the sink does not allow the bacteria sufficient time to do its job. Your Pest Management Professional has specialized equipment which converts the product to a foam allowing it to cling to the sides and crevices of the treated area.
By taking active steps to treat and prevent drain flies, many other insects will also find your commercial kitchen less hospitable… which is of course the whole point! Call Nextgen Pest Solutions today to schedule a pest control inspection of your commercial kitchen. Our experienced professionals can develop a custom protocol to address insects (including drain flies), rodents, mosquitoes, and anything else that may pester your customers or needlessly appear on your health inspection.
Home Sealing for Pest Control – Bug Proof Your Home
The goal of every homeowner is to ensure a pest free home with minimal inconvenience and pesticide use. Pest prevention is often the most effective form of pest control. The most successful and environmentally friendly pest control methods involve Integrated Pest Management techniques, also known as IPM. IPM encourages pest management professionals, and homeowners, to retire the idea that pest control is achieved by thoughtless indoor pesticide treatments of all baseboards, cabinets, and other surfaces. Rather, IPM promotes homeowners and pest control technicians to focus on keeping bugs and pesticides outdoors, and strategically placing low toxicity pesticides indoors if necessary.
The principles of IPM sometimes require out of the box thinking and an upfront investment, but the return in the simplicity of your pest control is worth the effort.
Prevent Bugs by Sealing Entry Points
There are a few bugs that can live and breed indoors and most pest insects travel indoors from outside. Properly sealing these entry points can prevent roaches, ants, stink bugs, rodents (rats and mice), and many other bothersome insects from entering your home. Sealing your home against bugs is a worthwhile investment that will prevent many concerns in the future.
To properly seal your home a thorough inspection should be conducted. If you can look under a door or around a window and see even a small amount of light streaming in, roaches, ants, and possibly even rodents can sneak inside as well. Take a close look at all the screens on the windows and the pool cage. Any hole or cut in the screens are potential pest entry points. Walk around the outside of your home. Viewing the exterior from the perspective of whether or not a roach or carpenter ant can enter, allows you to see how effective home sealing for pest control can be. Finally, if accessible, look at the vents for appliances and the attic located on or near the roof. If unsealed, these areas allow for rodents (rats, mice, and squirrels), and even birds, bats, opossums, and racoons to enter your home and nest in the attic.
Initially, if you cannot seal every potential entry point, start where you will gain the greatest advantage against the pests who are entering, and build upon that success.
Sealing Windows and Doors
A logical starting point for most people battling common household pests such as roaches and ants, is sealing the windows and doors. A simple trip to the hardware store may prevent palmetto bugs from flying at you in the night! The miniscule gaps under your doors can be sealed by installing door sweeps or thresholds at the base of all exterior doors. Once properly sealed, no light should penetrate the base of the door. Garage doors can be fitted with rubber seal and sliding glass doors can be sealed by lining the bottom of the track with foam weather stripping. It should go without saying, but strongly encourage your children and others in the household to quickly and firmly close exterior doors behind them. Damaged and broken window screens are an easy avenue of entry for pests of all sizes. In the spring and fall when we open the windows to bask in the fresh cool air, many insects are attracted to the light from our windows. Window screens with splits, tears, or holes give easy access for pests of all kinds. Take a walk through your house and repair or replace any damaged screens so you can enjoy the fresh fall air without worrying about insect invasions.
Sealing Exterior Entry Points
As you walk around the outside of your home with your pest inspection hat on, you will be amazed at the number of bug access points. Many homes have multiple holes drilled for various utilities through the years, such as a phone line, cable lines, power lines, plumbing and HVAC lines. Many of these lines are not even used any more… looking at you phone and cable company! Pests access your home via these holes and any small crack along the foundation or siding. Depending on the situation, there are various materials that can be used to seal these exterior entry points. Any hole or crack should be filled with a material that fills the hole yet can blend into the exterior of your home. Silicone or latex sealants are good options for small cracks near windows, but a larger hole may require expandable foam, copper mesh, or stainless-steel wool fill. If you take the time, effort, and expense to seal these larger holes, think about rodents and their knack for gnawing. They can chew right through some materials used for sealing, but not others.
Sealing Entry Points on the Roof
A truly pest sealed home, requires the entry areas up high to be addressed. Chimneys, attic vents, soffits, and laundry vents should all be sealed. There are many specialized products for each of these areas that are easily installed. A common method is simply to install ¼” hardware cloth over these open areas to prevent birds, rats, racoons, and bats from nesting in your attic. Use caution not to divert water with your exclusion materials or you may unintentionally create a water leak.
While you are inspecting or sealing these high areas, take a good look at any trees that are close to or touching the roof. Tree branches that directly touch the house allow for squirrels and other rodents easy access to your roof, but also provide a highway for ants and may encourage an aerial termite colony to spread to your attic rafters. For a myriad of reasons, keep branches trimmed off your roof.
Nextgen Pest Solutions Pest Prevention
Our pest control technicians are experienced in the behaviors and habits of all pests. With years of experience, we know where and how insects and other pests are entering your home. Sealing pests out is an investment into your family’s health and safety and allows for a pest free home with limited chemicals. Here at Nextgen Pest Solutions, we adhere to the tenants of Integrated Pest Management and encourage all of our customers and friends to pest proof your home by sealing the bugs out. If you’d rather let the professionals handle the sealing of your home, call us today for a free quote and more helpful tips.
Typhus is a disease caused by rickettsia or orientia bacteria. You can catch it through infected mites, fleas, or lice. Although modern hygiene has mostly eliminated typhus, it can still occur in areas where basic sanitation is lacking or when it is spread by an infected animal. Typhus does not transmit from person to person; hence it is not contagious. People who live in locations where there are current typhus outbreaks, on the other hand, are at risk of contracting the disease due to the presence of fleas, lice, or chiggers, which spread the bacteria.
What is a flea-borne typhus?
Rickettsia typhi, often known as endemic or murine typhus or flea-borne typhus, is a bacteria that causes typhus in fleas. People contract the flea-borne typhus after coming into contact with infected fleas and when contaminated flea feces are rubbed into cuts or scrapes on the skin. Flea-borne typhus is a disease that affects rats and their fleas in tropical and subtropical areas around the world.
Rats are the primary animal hosts for fleas infected with the flea-borne typhus in most parts of the world. In the United States, cat fleas discovered on domestic cats and opossums have been linked to cases of flea-borne typhus. In the United States, the majority of cases are documented in California, Hawaii, and Texas.
Unlike ticks, which are known for transmitting Lyme disease to dogs and humans, fleas don’t appear to be as dangerous. The microscopic bloodsuckers are mostly seen as a nuisance for pets and humans, rather than a major threat to anyone’s health.
Fleas, on the other hand, can spread a startling number of diseases to both animals and people.
Flea bite diseases can be itchy, unpleasant, and frightening for both humans and animals. A flea infestation is more likely to happen if you have a pet, but it isn’t just pet owners who are at danger.
Fleas can get into your house through any fabric or fur. Their short reproduction cycle means they can quickly become a nuisance once inside the house.
Flea-borne typhus symptoms
Flea-borne typhus symptoms appear two weeks following encounters with infected fleas. Headache, fever, nausea, and bodily aches are all symptoms of typhus. A rash that starts on the trunk of your body and extends to your arms and legs may appear five or six days after the initial symptoms.
If you suspect you have flea-borne typhus, consult a doctor right away. Antibiotics can be used to treat the infection, but if you wait too long, you may need to be admitted to the hospital. If left untreated, the disease may linger for several months.
Avoiding close contact with fleas is the key to avoiding flea-borne typhus. Remember these two things to minimize your chances of contracting a flea-borne typhus.
Keep fleas away from your pets, your yard, and your home. Flea treatment, both oral and topical, is commonly accessible for dogs. Flea-control mists, sprays, and powders should also be used to keep yards and houses flea-free.
Keep yards free from wildlife – To prevent animals from entering and living in yards and homes, they should be kept clean and in good repair. Check for any cracks or nesting spots where animals could enter and live and have professionals exclude your home. Lawns should be trimmed and debris or other things should be removed. Feral cats, opossums, and other animals can be attracted to trash cans and other food sources (accessible pet food).
The Powassan virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick. Although relatively uncommon, the number of people infected with the Powassan virus has risen in recent years. Powassan virus was initially discovered from the brain of a small boy who died of encephalitis in the town of Powassan, Ontario, hence the name of the virus. The Powassan virus disease is most common in those who are exposed to tick-infested brushy or woody settings. The majority of afflicted people in the United States live in northern states including Massachusetts (including Cape Cod), New York, New Jersey, and the Great Lakes region, where ticks are most active from late spring to early fall.
Ticks live in grass, forested areas, and brush, so seeing them in your yard is not uncommon. They don’t usually enter homes, but they may bite if you walk through where they’re waiting, and once they bite, they latch on and don’t let go.
What Are the Symptoms?
Tick bites can cause a variety of illnesses, but most people associate Lyme disease with tick bites. Many individuals who have been infected with the Powassan virus do not show any symptoms. People with Powassan virus symptoms, on the other hand, can take anywhere from a week to a month to feel sick after being bitten by a tick. Fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness are some of the usual symptoms. The Powassan virus symptoms can be very serious, such as an infection of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, and seizures are some of the most severe symptoms. According to reports, one out of every ten people suffering from severe symptoms dies. Approximately half of those who survive a serious illness face long-term health issues, such as recurring headaches, loss of muscle mass and strength and memory problems.
The patient’s history; particularly a tick bite and physical examination, as well as ongoing signs and symptoms, are used to make the diagnosis. If the Powassan virus disease is suspected, blood and spinal fluid tests may reveal antibodies to the virus, allowing the diagnosis to be confirmed. If this rare disease is detected, an infectious disease specialist is frequently consulted.
Nymphs, or young ticks, are the size of a poppy seed. Ticks with black legs are about the size of a sesame seed. Ticks, both nymphs and adults, can spread diseases, although nymphs are usually the most dangerous. They are compulsive feeders and so small that they might be difficult to spot on the body unless you look closely. When checking for ticks, keep in mind that ticks prefer places where they can hide. When checking for ticks, keep in mind that ticks prefer warm, damp environments. Always examine behind the ears, the back of the knees, the armpits, the groin, the scalp, the back of the neck, and the back of the neck. If you locate a tick on your body, use fine-point tweezers to remove it as soon as possible. The tick’s body should not be squeezed or twisted; instead, grab it tight to your skin and pull it straight out with constant pressure.
How to Avoid Getting Infected
It is critical to avoid tick exposure in order to avoid contracting Powassan or other tick-borne disorders. When outside, remember to tuck your pants into your socks, stay on well-lit paths, apply insect repellents, dress in light-colored clothing, shower after being outside, and check your pets and family members at the end of the day. Ticks should be removed as soon as possible. If a tick is infected and the longer it remains connected to your skin, the greater the chance of illness. Powassan-infected ticks can transfer the virus in about an hour, whereas Lyme disease-infected ticks can take up to 36 hours to transmit the infection.
Ticks are also especially dangerous to dogs who spend more time outside than most other pets. We recommend that dog owners see their physicians to see if their pets will benefit from a Lyme disease vaccine or other tick prevention items. If your dog spends time outside, check it for ticks on a regular basis and remove any that you find. To check for minor bumps, the CDC recommends lightly stroking your fingertips through the dog’s fur. Examine the dog’s ears, eyelids, collar, beneath their front legs, between their back legs, between their toes, and around their tail. Ticks should be removed with fine-tipped tweezers, gripped as close to the skin’s surface as possible and pulled steadily upward as well.
Once infected with the Powassan virus, there is no specific therapy. Supportive care, rest, and fluids to prevent dehydration are all part of the treatment plan. Reduce your risks of being bitten by a tick by taking precautions. Ticks are most active in the summer, from late spring to early September. Ticks can also be found outside at any time when the temperature is above freezing.
Ticks in treated areas of your yard might be reduced by using insecticides. Although spraying will not lessen your chance of infection, it is still best to maximize all opportunities in protecting yourselves and have the exteriors of your home sprayed. Always call your local pest control business before using pesticides since they are experts on how to follow pesticide label instructions and know when and how to apply pesticides.
Hantaviruses are a virus family spread by rodents that can cause a wide range of diseases in humans all over the world. In the Americas, hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome (HCPS) is common, whereas hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is common in Asia and Europe.
The majority of illnesses are caused by direct airborne transmission of rodent excretions, although in Argentina and Chile, person-to-person transmission of the virus occurs. Hantaviruses are a type of negative-stranded RNA (ribonucleic acid) virus, some of which are highly dangerous to humans. Before the epidemic in the United States in 1993, hantavirus-related disorders were assumed to be confined to Europe and Asia.
Each hantavirus is associated with a single rodent host species or a group of closely related rodent hosts. Hantaviruses are spreading across Europe, with new areas becoming infected and the incidence of hantaviruses increasing in numerous already endemic areas.
In rats, hantavirus infections are chronic and subclinical, with the virus being shed consistently in the feces and urine. Hantaviruses are zoonotic diseases or illnesses that can be passed from one animal to a human.
What Are the Symptoms of Hantavirus?
Strains typically found in Asia and Europe harm the kidneys and can cause serious respiratory issues.
Patients with hantavirus disease have a wide range of clinical symptoms, ranging from asymptomatic to severe. The incubation time is typically 2–3 weeks, although it can last up to six weeks.
In endemic places, common hantavirus symptoms are an acute fever is accompanied by severe headaches, abdomen and back pains, and no apparent respiratory symptoms.
Fatigue, fever, and muscle aches, especially in the big muscle groups – thighs, hips, back, and even shoulders – are early indications of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, according to the CDC.
These are universal signs and symptoms. Approximately half of all HPS patients have symptoms and the disease is considered to have a 38% death rate.
In May 1993, a hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) outbreak was discovered in the southwestern United States, characterized by an early symptom of fever and myalgia followed by a sudden start of respiratory distress.
From hantavirus-specific RNA recovered from tissues of patients and mice collected at their homes, nearly identical genetic sequences were amplified, providing direct confirmation that the culprit was a previously unknown hantavirus.
How Do You Catch Hantavirus?
Hantavirus disease can be contracted by coming into touch with infected rodent droppings, urine, saliva, nesting materials, or particles from these. The strongest risk factor for infection is exposure to poorly ventilated areas with active rat infestations in homes.
Infection can also be spread by entering infrequently accessed or seasonally closed buildings with rodent activity. Frequent visitors of rural areas and nature resorts, such as campers, hikers, and those who mostly engage in outdoor activities, may also be exposed to the virus.
There is no specific known hantavirus treatment, and because there is no vaccine available yet, the best approach to avoid contracting the hantavirus is to simply stay away from rats.
How to Protect Yourself from Hantavirus?
Rodents can be discouraged from entering your home by caulking cracks and holes, setting traps, excluding your homes, and keeping places as clean and food-free as possible.
Do not remove mouse urine or excrement by using a vacuum, or wondering if Lysol kills hantavirus; this operation may raise the risk of HPS by generating an aerosol. There is no proven disinfectant that kills the hantavirus.
One way that the HPS risk can be lowered is by inactivating hantaviruses in the environment and reducing contact by wearing gloves and a mask. Rodents collected in traps should be treated with the same extra caution. This is why hiring professionals to assist you if you suspect rodents in your home is very important.
Hiring a professional pest control firm like Nextgen Pest Solutions to eliminate your pest problems, particularly rat infestations, is the best option to keep you and your family safe from any threat. Contact us for a free rodent control quote.
Professional pest extermination adheres to a set of guidelines. In some circumstances, rat biology knowledge is required to effectively defend pest control companies against rodent-borne viruses.
Most people associate pests with homes. But any living area for humans can also be attractive to pests. One such example is your personal vehicle. Cars, trucks, and other automobiles provide the shelter pests look for, as well as the food and water they need to survive.
Some pests, like spiders or flies, might invade one at a time, taking advantage of an open window. But others, like ants and bed bugs can invade by the hundreds, and if you have bugs in your car and want to get rid of pests like roaches, ants, and bed bugs, this resource is for you! Lets get started.
Common Pests in Cars & Car Pest Control
To an insect, your car is essentially no different from your home. It’s a warmer space with places to hide that provides protection from predators and possible access to food. As a result, almost any pest can find its way into a car. Some of the most frequent invading insects include:
Ants – An ant infestation in a car is usually caused by a food source such as leftover food or a spill. Ants can smell food from several meters away and enter the car through a small crack to reach it. If your car is regularly parked near the ant colony, ants will be able to remember it, and it can provide an ongoing food source if not properly handled. You can also get rid of ants in a car naturally.
Roaches – You will most often find cockroaches in a car when they have a source of food, such as leftover crumbs, and water. They can crawl in through tiny cracks or be carried in on clothing or belongings. Roaches are known to carry bacteria and cause diseases like salmonella. They can survive off very little food, so a cockroach infestation in a car can grow quickly, even if you clean.
Spiders – Most spiders are harmless to people, and can be killed or captured and removed if you find one in your car. If you are frequently noticing spiders in your car, this can indicate a presence of other bugs that are serving as their food source, or a more significant problem with local pests in general.
Bed Bugs – Despite their name, bed bugs can be found in locations without beds, including your car. Bed bugs feed off of your blood and are one of the few pests that can be sustained in even the cleanest cars. They prefer feeding at night but have no problems feeding in the day, and they often hide so well that those with bed bugs in their cars rarely know they’re there.
Carpet Beetles – Carpet beetles are a unique invading bug. The larvae for these beetles eat natural fibers, such as wool and leather found in cars. Larvae can eat holes in seats and flooring, and can also irritate the skin. Adult carpet beetles feed on pollen instead of fibers, but their presence in your car could mean eggs or larvae are nearby.
Once inside, each pest’s behavior depends on the insect. They all require a continuous source of food, and will often leave a car if food is no longer available. Most regularly used cars, however, can provide the sustenance that pests need, making it possible for the infestation to last. Because pests are also survivors, abandoning your car is not only impractical for your life – it may not even be enough.
How to Get Rid of Roaches, Spiders, Ants, and Bed Bugs in a Car
Bugs typically find their way into your car by climbing in through a crack or open window or by clinging to the rider’s clothing or belongings. Bugs will often come in to escape the elements, but an infestation can happen at any time of the year if your car has food and a way to get inside.
Taking these preventative steps can make your car less appealing to bugs and reduce the risk of an infestation:
Keep Windows Closed – When the car is parked, keep windows rolled up. Even a small gap can be enough space for most bugs to enter through.
Remove Food and Drink Containers – After eating in your car, the smell and residue on the containers that held your food can attract pests.
Clean Up Spills – As soon as possible, clean up any food or drink spills. Use a gentle cleaning solution and cloth on plastic surfaces, and carpet shampoo for floors and cloth seats to remove any residue.
Vacuum Regularly – Vacuuming removes stray crumbs that could be a food source for pests. It can also catch pests like ants and bed bugs to keep the population under control.
Check For Hitchhiking Pests – Before loading your car, check all boxes, bags, and luggage for any pests that may be riding along.
Get a Car Wash – A regular car wash can remove any pests living outside, like spiders before they can make their way into the interior.Many of these steps can be enough to remove insects that have invaded your vehicle. Cleaning spills and crumbs eliminate the bugs’ food source, forcing them to go elsewhere. Vacuuming can physically remove bugs and their eggs, though some pests – like bed bugs – are very likely to need additional support.
Professional Pest Control May Be Needed
A single bug in your car is often not a cause for concern, and you can simply remove it with a napkin. But consistent pests in the car – or an infestation of one type of pest – indicates a much larger problem. If you find your car overrun with ants, cockroaches, carpet beetles, or other insects, professional pest control can help you exterminate them.
A single-vehicle pest control treatment can cost anywhere from $295* and higher depending on the type of vehicle and treatment needed.
Many reputable pest control companies will include your vehicles in your home plan if you request it.
At Nextgen Pest Solutions, we use a range of techniques and treatments to eliminate pests. Each solution is tailored to the type of pest invading your car with options that include traps, insecticides, special vacuums, and more. All of our methods are eco-friendly and safe for use inside your vehicle.
If you’ve noticed strange pests, like little black bugs in your car, but aren’t sure what pests you’re dealing with, our pest control professionals can also identify the pest and use their knowledge to find every spot bugs are hiding.
Removing Pests From Your Vehicle with Cryonite (Freeze Treatments)
To remove common pests from a car’s interior, trunk, or even engine area, Nextgen Pest Solutions offers cryonite treatments, also known as freeze treatments. We use a special cryonite nozzle to direct carbon dioxide gas, chilled to negative 140 degrees, toward any spot a bed bug might be hiding. The CO2 kills the bugs instantly without damaging the interior or electrical fixtures of your vehicle.
In addition to providing top-notch pest control treatments for cars, trucks, and other standard automobiles, Nextgen Pest Solutions also extends its services to larger vehicles, including semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and recreational vehicles (RV). Unlike many competitors who rely on traditional fumigation methods, we offer a cutting-edge Cryonite CO2 treatment. This innovative approach uses carbon dioxide to freeze pests, effectively eliminating them without leaving any harmful residue or unpleasant odors. This means drivers and operators of semi-trucks can quickly return to work without any downtime, ensuring their vehicles are pest-free and safe for use
Contact Nextgen Pest Solutions to Remove Bugs in Your Car
If bugs have invaded your car and can’t be removed through simple cleaning alone, Nextgen Pest Solutions is here to assist. We can apply treatments that eliminate bugs completely and make your car unattractive for future pests. Give us a call at (470) 336-4315 today to learn more about what we offer and get a free quote for your vehicle pest control.
*Pricing is only an estimate. An exact price based on the best recommended treatment option for your vehicle and pest problem will be provided when discussing with our customer service team.