Monthly Archives: January 2014

IndianaNewsCenter.com: Live Cockroaches Found in Koto Japanese Steakhouse

Friday afternoon, the Department of Health put a notice on the door of Koto Japanese Steak House & Sushi that it was closed for a pest issue.

A guest at Koto saw three live cockroaches while dining at the sushi bar and filed a complaint with the Department of Health on Tuesday. The complaint stated that one cockroach was on the wall behind the sushi grill, another was on the counter of the bar and one ran in front of the guest’s plate on the bar.

Upon inspection, officials with the Dept. of Health saw a live cockroach on an electrical box in the kitchen and at least five dead cockroaches in preparation areas. There was also a dead cockroach found in a glass sitting on a counter.

According to a previous pest control report filed on Nov. 21st, there was cockroach activity throughout the establishment then as well.

Koto must remain closed until the following is completed and the Dept. of Health approves it to operate:

1) Have pest control service establishment and provide a copy of the service report to the health department at re-inspection.

2) Clean up all live and dead pests throughout establishment.

3) Clean up food debris throughout establishment.

4) Seal back door so that no daylight is visible. Repair wall baseboard at sushi bar under hand sink.

5) Eliminate any sources of water throughout the establishment. Repair leaks and sinks.

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January Cold and Bugs

– National Pest Management Association

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Once my lips stopped shivering this morning, I sang the Baby it’s Cold Outside song all the way to work. As the car thermostat read a mere five degrees, it was only fitting. I suppose those who live in Chicago or the Dakotas may try and tell me I had it easy. I will gladly let them win the “we had it worse contest,” but regardless, cold is cold! Since everyone of late is writing about the freezing temperatures, I thought it would be appropriate to chime in with a perspective on what the unusually cold weather might mean in regard to bugs. In general, they don’t like this cold weather very much and a winter like this can only hurt insect populations. However, entomophobes – no rejoicing for you just yet.

Insects are equipped to avoid the bitter cold by migrating, entering houses and other structures, and burrowing below the freezing depth. Or, they can tolerate freezing temperatures by producing a substance similar to antifreeze, entering “diapause” (an overwintering like state) or by burrowing into leaf litter and soil. Their innate coping and adaptation skills are truly admirable and amazing. Believe it or not, many insects are able to withstand temperatures well below zero degrees. Invasive insects, however, may be more susceptible to death due to freezing depending on where they originated; emerald ash borer populations, for example, are believed to be greatly affected by Minnesota weather.

So the crystal ball question for those squeamish of spiders and insects has been “will this cold make bugs go away”? Answer: We aren’t sure. Generally, cold winters produce lower insect numbers than mild winters, but it is not 100% certain. It’s really the freeze-thaw cycles that are most determining for insect populations as the freezing causes ice crystals to form, which expands and ruptures cells. The more times this occurs, the greater the likelihood of severe damage or death. Gradually decreasing temperatures makes survival more likely. Hard freezes kill many insects, especially in southern states (perhaps due to rarity of this kind of weather and lack of snow cover). Extended freezes can potentially reach insects farther below ground and harm them. Snow cover insulates some overwintering insects and protects them from the extreme temperatures we have been experiencing across the country.

So, I guess we will just have to wait and see what Mother Nature has in store for us and the bugs throughout the rest of the winter season. Only time will tell.

*A special thank you to Dr. Bennett Jordan for his insight into this topic.

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Bed Bugs: Facts, Bites and Infestation

Bed Bugs: Facts, Bites and Infestation

By Megan Gannon
bedbugs
A bed bug nymph in the process of ingesting a blood meal.
Credit: cdc.gov

About the size of an apple seed, bed bugs lurk in cracks and crevices and feed on human blood. Though they don’t transmit disease or pose any serious medical risk, the stubborn parasites leave itchy and unsightly bites. Once bed bugs take up residence in homes and businesses, they can be difficult to exterminate without professional help.

Appearance, lifestyle and habits

Bed bugs are flat, round and reddish brown, around a quarter-inch (7 millimeters) in length. The ones that typically plague humans are the species Cimex lectularius and Cimex hemipterus. The insects can be found around the world, but they have been spreading especially quickly in parts of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The creatures don’t have wings and they can’t fly or jump. But their narrow body shape and ability to live for months without food make them ready stowaways and squatters. The creatures can easily hide in the seams and folds of luggage, bags and clothes. They also take shelter behind wallpaper and inside bedding, box springs and furniture. The ones that feed on people can crawl over 100 feet (30 meters) in a night, but typically creep within 8 feet (2.4 m) of the spot its human hosts sleep, according to the CDC.

Bed bugs reproduce by a gruesome a strategy appropriately named “traumatic insemination,” in which the male stabs the female’s abdomen and injects sperm into the wound. During their life cycle, females can lay more than 200 eggs, which hatch and go through five immature “nymph” stages before reaching their adult form, molting after each phase.

Bed bug bites

Bed bugs feed on the blood of humans (though some species have a taste for other mammals and birds, too) by inserting a sharp proboscis, or beak, into the victim’s skin. The critters become engorged with blood in about 10 minutes, which fills them up for days.

The insects are most active at night, though not exclusively nocturnal. Bed bugs are attracted to warmth, moisture and the carbon dioxide released from warm-blooded animals, according to Purdue University. On sleeping human hosts, bed bugs often bite exposed areas of the body, such as the face, neck, arms and hands.

Bed bug bites are small, red, itchy and typically arranged in a row or cluster. Some people, however, have little visible reaction to the insects’ nibbling and may not notice their home has been invaded until they actually see the insects.

The bites themselves don’t pose any health risk, since bed bugs are not known to spread diseases, but an allergic reaction to the bites may require medical attention, CDC officials say. Excessively scratching the itchy, bitten areas also may increase the chance of a secondary skin infection. Antiseptic creams or lotions can be used to ward off infection and antihistamine can be used to treat the itching. And an infestation can take a psychological toll on those affected: People whose homes have been infested with bed bugs may have trouble sleeping for fear of being bitten in the night.

Infestation and treatment

Bed bugs often invade new areas after being carried there by clothing, luggage, furniture or bedding. The creatures don’t discriminate between dirty and clean homes, which means even luxury hotels can be susceptible to bed bugs. The most at-risk places tend to be crowded lodgings with high occupant turnover, such as dormitories, apartment complexes, hotels and homeless shelters.

Getting rid of clutter may help to reduce the number of hiding places for bed bugs, but according to the CDC, the best way to prevent bed bugs is regular inspection for the signs of an infestation.

You should look for traces of the insects in the folds of your mattresses, box springs and other places where they are likely to hide. Besides the bugs themselves, other signs of their presence include the light brown empty exoskeleton shells that they shed after molting and the small, rust-colored spots from the blood-filled droppings they leave on mattress and furniture.

If you suspect an infestation, experts recommend finding a professional exterminator who has experience dealing with bed bugs. Sprayed insecticides are commonly used to treat infestations, and exterminators may also use nonchemical methods, such as devices to heat a room above 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius), a lethal temperature for bed bugs, according to the Mayo Clinic. You may have to throw out heavily infested mattresses and other items of furniture.

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Pest Control Technician
Smithereen is currently hiring in the fields of Bird Abatement, Wildlife Control, General Pest Control and Bed Bug Technician. Smithereen offers a complete training program at these entry level positions.

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Thermal remediation bed bug control services

Thermal remediation bed bug control services:
1. Apply Heat. Electric bed bug heaters are placed within the space; introducing and recirculating heated air with a target temperature not to exceed 135°F for the controlled application of heat.

2. Monitor. Temperatures are monitored in real time from a remote location using wireless sensors to ensure lethal temperatures are reached without damaging the space and its contents.

3. Move Air. High temperature fans move heated air throughout the space to reach insects in cracks and crevices or high infestation zones.