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No bug bombs

Posted by Robert J. Russ on July 26, 2019 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Trying to get rid of roaches? Why 'bug bombs' don't work


Raleigh, N.C. — Got roaches? Researchers at North Carolina State University say a new study shows a popular way people try to get rid of them does not work.

"A lot of people are using these foggers, and what we found with the bug bombs is nothing happened," said Dr. Zachary DeVries.

DeVries said the bug bombs do not work to help get rid of the roaches in our homes. In an effort to study them, he and his team raise the bugs in their lab.

For the study, DeVries used Triangle homes with known roach problems. In some, they used pesticide gel baits, and in others, they used bug bombs.

"We came back two weeks later, after we set off the bombs, and there were still just as many roaches as there were at the beginning," he said. "Two weeks later, and then a month later ... so, nothing had happened to the roach population."

The researchers give two reasons, first, the pesticide lands on many surfaces but not where roaches typically hide, including underneath ledges and in cabinets and crevices. The other problem they say, is that roaches are almost immune to that pesticide.

"These cockroaches are so resistant to these products you could put out a hundred foggers in a home and you're never going to control the cockroaches," said DeVries

So, what does work?

"The number one thing when we're talking about cockroaches are gel baits," he said. "We put those in, and the cockroach numbers plummeted. They dropped very quickly and, even within one month, we were down to 10 percent of what we were at the beginning."

Multiple retailers sell them. They look like a syringe and you can dab the gel in the areas where the roaches run most.

Devries says roaches eat it, and that it spreads to others through their feces. And, he says, that will rid your home of more roaches than a bomb ever will.

Another big part in battling roaches - we have to make our homes less comfortable for them. Don't leave out any food, including pet food.

Foggers are no cure for German cockroaches

Posted by Robert J. Russ on February 4, 2019 at 6:35 PM Comments comments (2)

NC State Study: ‘Bug Bombs’ Are Ineffective Killing Roaches Indoors


Not only are they ineffective, but they leave behind toxic residue, according a new study from North Carolina State University.

Bug-bomb chemicals fail to reach places where cockroaches congregate the most – on the underside of surfaces and inside cabinets, NC State researchers say. Besides leaving behind numerous cockroaches, bug bombs also leave behind nasty toxic residue in the middle of floors and countertops, areas cockroaches generally avoid but which are heavily used by humans and pets.

“There’s been a general assumption that bug bombs work to eliminate cockroaches indoors, but no one had conducted a formal assessment of their efficacy and any exposure risks,” said Zachary DeVries, an NC State postdoctoral researcher and the lead author of the study, published in BMC Public Health. “We’ve done that simultaneously in this study.”

To understand more about the effectiveness of total release foggers, the researchers tested four different commercially available bug bombs with various insecticide active ingredients in five different apartment complexes with moderate to severe infestations of German cockroaches (Blattella germanica), common indoor household pests.

“All the fogger products contained pyrethroids, a class of fast-acting insecticides, and some contained piperonyl butoxide, a chemical that prevents roaches from metabolizing, or breaking down, the insecticide,” said Coby Schal, Blanton J. Whitmire Distinguished Professor of Entomology at NC State and senior author of the paper.

After gauging estimates of cockroach populations in 20 homes, the researchers set off the bug bombs, following the labels’ instructions – and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines on preparing the homes for fogger release – to the letter.

The researchers then monitored cockroach populations two weeks and one month after the bombs were released and found no declines from the pre-intervention estimates.

“The bug-bomb products did absolutely nothing to control cockroach populations in these homes,” DeVries said.

Meanwhile, the researchers treated 10 additional homes with either a commercially available gel bait or a professional-grade gel bait. Gel baits are generally applied in small dabs via syringe, so they can be placed directly in the places where cockroaches hide. In contrast to the bug bombs, these baits were effective, after two and four weeks, in eliminating cockroach populations in the 10 homes.

To further test the effectiveness of bug bombs, the researchers placed both roaches raised in the lab and roaches captured in the homes into greased cages – making them inescapable – and set the cages on the floor and in upper cabinets of the studied homes during the deployment of the bug bombs.

“The lab roaches, which are not hardy, had high mortality, as expected,” DeVries said. “The roaches captured in the homes and then brought back, however, had far lower mortality rates than you would expect from direct exposure to bug bombs, confirming the ineffectiveness of these products when used for German cockroach control.”

The researchers also examined whether bug bombs increased insecticide exposure risks in the homes. Prior to doing that, however, they swabbed floors and kitchen surfaces and found insecticide residue already present.

“Baseline levels of insecticides in these homes makes sense, because residents with moderate to severe cockroach infestations are likely to use insecticides to attempt to eliminate roaches,” DeVries said. “However, what was most disconcerting was that these swabs were collected from the middle of floors and kitchen surfaces, locations where roaches don’t generally congregate.”

Four to six hours after the bug bombs were deployed, the researchers again swabbed floors, kitchen surfaces, walls and cabinets and found average insecticide residues increased 600 times baseline levels on all horizontal surfaces.

One month later, those surfaces were swabbed again; 34 percent still had higher insecticide residue levels than the baseline.

“Bug bombs are not killing cockroaches; they’re putting pesticides in places where the cockroaches aren’t; they’re not putting pesticides in places where cockroaches are and they’re increasing pesticide levels in the home,” DeVries said. “In a cost-benefit analysis, you’re getting all costs and no benefits.”

“This is of particular concern in low-income communities, where bug bombs are frequently used because professional pest control may be too expensive,” Schal added.

A thank you from a customer

Posted by Robert J. Russ on September 28, 2018 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

McClure Vacations is a Vacation Rental company in Ocean Isle Beach.  We service over 100 of their properties, and today, I was pleasantly surprised to receive this thank you card in the mail. 

Hurricane Florence

Posted by Robert J. Russ on September 17, 2018 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

We're all safe from Hurricane Florence, but we're not running a route just yet.  It's not safe for our employees to be out in certain areas just yet.  I will ask all our customers to please be patient with us as we try to get caught up on our route next week, and for the rest of the month.  Hope you're all safe, and keep the faith.

Martha M. Russ

Pest Management Month

Posted by Robert J. Russ on March 31, 2014 at 11:35 PM Comments comments (18)

The governor of North Carolina has proclaimed April 2014 to be Pest Management Month.


April 1, 2014

WHEREAS, effective pest management in homes, businesses and public places throughout North Carolina is an important factor in maintaining the health and well-being of all North Carolina residents; and

WHEREAS, pest management professionals help protect our food supply, homes and the environment from disease and pest-related illness; and

WHEREAS, from how to combat childhood respiratory problems due to cockroach allergens to the best ways to guard against termite infestations in the home, pest management professionals can offer citizens sound advice on protecting their health and property from pests; and

WHEREAS, it is important to offer all residents of North Carolina an opportunity to understand and appreciate the important role that pest management providers play in ensuring the health and well-being of everyone; 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, PAT McCRORY, Governor of the State of North Carolina, do hereby proclaim April 2014, as “PEST MANAGEMENT MONTH” in North Carolina, and commend its observance to all citizens.

 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the Great Seal of the State of North Carolina at the Capitol in Raleigh this twelfth day of March in the year of our Lord two thousand and fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.




New truck

Posted by Robert J. Russ on March 13, 2014 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

New addition to our fleet.

Considered dangerous

Posted by Robert J. Russ on June 11, 2013 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

The United States Postal Service has posted a list of items that they considered dangerous.  Fireworks, ammunition and gunpowder, of course, are considered Class 1.   What I considered interesting is that I'm often asked if the chemicals that I use are toxic.  I usually answer, "No more toxic than the bleach you clean with, or caulk, or hydrogen peroxide.   The USPS classifies perfumes as a Class 3 item; pool chemicals, hydrogen peroxide and bleach are a Class 5 item, and pesticides are farther down the line as Class 6. 

Bed bugs

Posted by Robert J. Russ on April 22, 2013 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (4)
This just in from the National Pest Management Association.  4/22/13

New Bed Bug Survey Shows Problem is Not Waning; Bed Bug Awareness Week Calls for Attention

National Pest Management Association and University of Kentucky find nearly all pest professionals in the U.S. have treated bed bugs in the past year; most in residential settings.

The new 2013 Bugs Without Borders Survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) and the University of Kentucky, found that bed bug infestations in the United States continue at high rates and the pest is as much, if not more of a problem than in years past. The survey of U.S. pest management professionals, found that 99.6 percent of respondents encountered bed bug infestations in the past year and that infestations have increased in the majority of locations in which pest professionals typically treat for bed bugs. The study is being released during Bed Bug Awareness Week (April 22 through 26), a national observance by NPMA and Chase's Book of Lists to help spread public awareness about bed bugs and what people can do to help curb infestations.   
NPMA would like to thank the Professional Pest Management Alliance (PPMA) for commissioning the study and the promotion of Bed Bug Awareness Week (BBAW).  PPMA Guardians and Contributors will find additional resources to help promote BBAW on PPMATools.org.

Brunswick Biz

Posted by Robert J. Russ on April 9, 2013 at 6:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Our local cable company has a channel dedicated to local businesses, and during the month of April, they're featuring Home & Garden Pest Solutions.  You can view an interview with yours truly on YouTube.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2YE_dT-mhk&feature=youtu.be

Our newest member

Posted by Robert J. Russ on December 10, 2011 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome our newest team member, the Portable Aerosol System.  It's like having a new employee. 

Pest control often requires more than one application method such as delivering a residual liquid to harborages, and an aerosol to infest voidsand enclosed spaces. This combination is effective for cockroaches in kitchens,bed bugs, and carpenter ants in wall voids.  With this system, we can integrate liquid and aerosol application. 
The aerosol system also allows a precise amount of insecticide to areas that are prone to bed bug infestation, since the spray penetrates into cracks and crevices.  Also, the high volume of air flushes out bed bugs from where they hide.