We got a complaint of mice in a rental home this month (April). I went to check it out and talked to the woman at the home. She told me that they moved in in mid December. They saw a few mice when they moved in and put some sticky traps down. She said the mice got much worse and they are now in every room in the house.
I inspected each room. The bedrooms on the second floor had an impressive amount of droppings in the closets. Oddly, the kitchen did not show much evidence of mice. The house was very clean and there was no obvious reason for the mice to be attracted to the 2nd floor bedroom areas. Something was going on. I decided to take a look in the basement and the women of the house said "you can't go down there because they are still working on the pipes". It was a mess. I went down there and looked around. There had been a big flood and obviously a lot of new pipes installed. The floor had standing water on it. I asked what happened down there. She told me that something broke after they moved in and there was a lot of water leaking. The owners fixed it.
My best guess is that the previous tenants had a lot of garbage in the basement. There was a build up of mice. Before the new tenants moved in, the garbage was cleaned out. The flooded floor drove the mice up into the residence in a mass movement. Lots of mice but not a lot of food sources. The tenants began seeing mice everywhere all at once. The woman told me that sometimes the mice wake her up by running down her arm while she is sleeping in bed. She also told me that her sister opened a kitchen drawer and a mouse ran up her arm.
I treated the place with a combination of traps, sticky boards, block bait, granular baits, and tracking powder. Each method was chosen to fit different situations in the home. I also blocked some obvious entry points on the outside. I followed up 4 days later. The woman said she had not seen any more mice.
Do not spray household bug killers, like Raid, on your children!
- These poisons were not made to be applied to the skin. They are lethal for humans, as well as bugs.
Do not clean your furniture with alcohol!
- Alcohol should never be used as a cleaning agent for large surfaces, like beds frames, dressers, or counter tops. As alcohol evaporates, the fumes collect as a gas in the air. This gas is highly flammable and easily ignited with a cigarette.
Dogs have an amazing sense of smell and can be trained to hit on a very specific odor. Properly trained Bed Bug dogs will correctly identify live bed bugs only and will ignore dead bugs and their fecal material. A Bed Bug dog would be most useful in hotels, theaters, and churches where people come and go. The dog can quickly determine if there are Bed Bugs present.
In the home, I just ask the person if they are being bitten by Bed Bugs. They can usually tell me yes or no and I inspect to verify. No dog required.
Everything on the internet tells you that Heat Treatment is the only way or the best way to treat for Bed Bugs. This is true in some cases. It is certainly the most expensive way to eliminate Bed Bugs. The cost to treat with heat is roughly twice the cost of using chemicals to treat Bed Bugs. The equipment and operating costs of the Heat Treatment equipment is high.
Even in the best circumstances, Heat Treatment will leave behind some surviving Bed Bugs. These survivors may start a whole new infestation again that may not be evident to the homeowner for several weeks. A chemical treatment will use products that have a residual killing action on the Bed Bugs for 90 days after application. After Heat Treatment, there is no residual action to kill any stray bugs. I advise clients that if they insist on using Heat Treatment to kill Bed Bugs, they should follow up with a pesticide spray that has a good residual action.
Bug Stop uses and recommends pesticide treatment for Bed Bugs in the home to keep the costs down and to guarantee the results. No Bed Bugs for 90 days, guaranteed.
Your inspector will tell you how to prepare for a Bed Bug Treatment.
The usual procedures are:
1. Remove all bedding from every bed and wash & dry. Pillows and comforters can be run through the dryer on high heat.
2. Pick up all clutter. If you have piles of clothing or other items, seal them tightly in garbage bags.
3. More serious infestations may require removing all clothing from dressers and closets and laundering them.
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