Small Heaters Big Problems?

Too slow bed bugs go!
Thermal Death Point Of Bed Bugs

With bed bug heat treatment we constantly see advances in programs and training that help the industry.
Most of this is provided by the experts that make it their mission to study bed bug behavior and determine the best means of eradication with the least amount of impact to the general population.
Lately, though we have seen the introduction of small heaters that run off of 120 V circuits that are being used to heat hotel rooms and small apartment areas to eliminate bed bugs. Thety have also been implemented in heating larger areas as well usually being left in place to heat areas over a 24 hour period. This is not only unsafe but I believe will only spread issues to other parts of the hotel or building in which the treatment is taking place.

The thermal death point of bed bugs is 117° Fahrenheit. Studies show that 100% of all eggs will be rendered nonviable at 130°F if held for 10 minutes at that temperature. (Thank you Stephen Kells.) In most cases, electric heaters are brought in that are generator fed so that temperature rise can be steady and usually lethal temperatures can be accomplished within 1 to 2 hours.

Newest equipment being marketed is fan based heaters which plug into multiple circuits and are left in place for 24 hours or longer until the heat treatment is completed. These units are usually used in smaller areas of 300 to 400 ft.². What is common that even with the smaller areas 4 to 8 circuits are typically required. Unfortunately, in many buildings, the electrical requirements are not there to sustain the amount of heaters to bring the temperature up to levels lethal to bed bugs at a uniform or fast enough rate.

Seeing firsthand the activity of bed bugs in response to heat this causes some concern as the new methods may not be helping eradicate bed bugs but may in fact, be spreading bed bugs to other units. We have seen this with bed bugs fogging or bombing whereas one unit is treated with a total release aerosol and the insects that are not killed flee to all surrounding units. Typically what we see is an initial response once we get over 100°F of insects emerging from areas that they are harboring. Upon emergence, we see a probing behavior where the insects are testing the areas that they are on to see if it is something that they can feed upon. In many cases we actually see bed bugs moving towards the source of heat being provided to treat the apartment.

Once we get closer to the thermal death point of bed bugs we see a change in behavior. In certain cases, this involves the bed bug attempting to dig deeper into its harborage area or it will start to move away from the heat source looking for an area of lower temperature. With traditional heating methods where you can maintain a good and steady temperature rise of 15 to 30 degrees per hour this is usually not an issue. Before the bed bug population can flee the area they have already been exterminated. With equipment that is providing a temperature rise of only several degrees in an hour the allotment of time that allows for escape is much too great.

Time will tell whether or not this new method (Small Fan based Heaters) is a good addition to what traditional thermal remediation companies are doing. But in many instances, these packages are being sold to management companies as well as hotels and motels that have little pest control experience. In addition, most pest application laws require a licensed individual to apply perimeter pesticides which would in this case help prevent the escape of these insects into adjoining areas. Overall though the main issue with these heating systems is the slow heat rise.

Based on my experience with thermal remediation tactics over the last 11 years I believe we will see a worsening of the issue, an increase in spread patterns in both hotels and buildings that attempt to do this on their own, and a detraction to the reputation of thermal remediation practices which have been, up until this point, when performed by professionals, stellar.

Bed Bugs Can Induce Deadly Systemic Reactions in Humans Reported By Researchers

What bed bugs look like after feeding.


Study recently published by the Australian Entomology Association depicts the reactions that occurred after repeated feedings of bed bugs. This shows that certain people may develop allergic reactions to bed bugs that could be life threatening. Although uncommon this study proved that these reactions may occur and that medical intervention may be necessary.


 Entomology http://Entomology

Systemic and erythrodermic reactions following repeated exposure to bites from the Common bed bug Cimex lectularius (Hemiptera: Cimicidae)



Bed bugs (Cimex spp.) have undergone a global resurgence over the last 15–20 years. They readily bite humans, producing a range of cutaneous reactions. This article documents systemic reactions in two patients following repeated bites from the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius. Both patients had previously fed bed bugs on themselves without any serious complication, however upon feeding a new batch of the insects subsequently developed systemic urticarial reactions. Patient 1 fed 40–50 bed bugs on himself and after 8 min, he developed itch, swelling of the face, lethargy, profuse sweating and widespread wheals on the torso and limbs. The reaction disappeared in 5 h after treatment with systemic prednisone and antihistamines. Patient 2 developed a similar reaction after feeding five to six bed bugs on himself. In this case, the patient also developed chest tightness and breathing difficulties. Following a similar treatment, symptoms disappeared in 4 h. In light of the increasing exposure of this insect to the general public, systemic reactions in patients may present more commonly to the medical practitioner.

With NYC Summer Heat Comes American Cockroaches

American Cockroach aka Waterbug

The American cockroach or waterbug is a large cockroach of about 2 1/2 to 3 inches that spends most of its life in moist and damp environments. In New York City these cockroaches inhabit the sewer system by the billions. They are a wonderful food source for rats but they are a bane to any apartment dweller that has had to confront them scurrying about their kitchen or bathroom. Providing pest control services to multimillion dollar units the last thing you want to confront is an ongoing onslaught of American roaches entering a unit through a broken pipe vent or another area that is as of yet unknown. Typically controlling the basement of the building that you are servicing is enough to prevent American roaches from getting into people’s apartments. But during extreme temperature fluctuations there seems to be an exodus from their common home the sewer, and in large numbers can invade buildings. During heat waves, this is especially true in New York City. The temperatures increase to such a level that it drives out many of the organisms living within it due to the oppressive heat. Summer seems to be the worst time for American cockroach calls and typically the months of July and August are the worst. We had one incident where there were cockroaches in a high-end building in the living room of an apartment that was unexplained. It had been renovated for the new owner and was visually stunning. Imagine the horror they felt as they dealt with American cockroach after American cockroach all typically within the same area of their newly renovated masterpiece. The last thing that you want to deal with his American cockroaches in a million-dollar apartment that has gone through $1 million-plus renovation. Eventually, it was determined that the area that we were seeing the activity had a vent line that had not been sealed properly and was allowing American roaches out and they were living behind the wall in a nice moist environment. Contractors ended up opening up that wall and we proceeded to vacuum out approximately 3000-4000 large roaches. It was quite the scene. This is atypical and uncommon. But science has shown that the American cockroach tends to like to travel vertically through buildings. So in most cases if you start out with cockroaches in the lower floors they always seem to end up in the penthouse units. Not something that you want to add to your views.

So what are your options if you are being inundated with American roaches. The first thing to do is to take a look at the basement area. If there are a lot of American roaches present in the basement they will eventually move to the upper floors. Instituting a residual baiting program will help in most cases eradicate the issues prior to them gaining access to the remainder of the building. If you are seeing American roaches in an area of the unit that is atypical it may be best to bring in a scope to view the interior of the walls in that area to determine if there is some type of opening or construction characteristic that is allowing cockroaches to live and breed. Moisture meters are very helpful in this respect as well as FLIR guns to determine areas that may be having an interior issue. Sometimes half the job is detecting the source of the issue.

A3 Superior Pest Control are experts in American cockroach control. You can learn more about our services here.

What YOU Should Know About Termites

Do you know the difference between a flying ant and a termite? Hint: Look at the BODY!


Prevent Damage > Control Termites

I had a friend that called me from California. We met up at a pest control conference a few years back and managed to stay in touch. He told me a story about a home owner that he had visited and the homeowner was complaining that the ant control program he was doing wasn’t working. For the last two Springs the ants swarmed and they found their bodies all over the basement floor and on the first floor and they were flying around outside and just being a general nuisance. And every spring the homeowner would run to the local big box store buy a jug of ready-made insect killer and spray all around the house. Course next year it would happen again. So at this point he was frustrated and he figured he would call in a professional to take a look and see how they suggest eliminating these ants. Unfortunately for the homeowner he did not understand the difference between an ant and a termite. So for the last two years he had been spraying to eliminate these ants and he wasn’t doing a thing to stop the termites that were feeding on his house. It’s important to note that typically ants will swarm in the latter part of the summer. Not always but the majority of time we find that towards the end of the summer we have winged ants flying off to start new colonies. In the early spring when conditions are just right termites swarm. It’s typically when the moisture conditions are just right because termites are very moisture sensitive and without moisture they die pretty quickly. So this guy was running off to the store picking up bottles of insecticide spraying his entire finished basement plus the first floor of his home and of course he wasn’t doing anything except putting excessive pesticides down for an insect that has to be treated an entirely different way.

How to tell the difference between a Termite and an ant.

If you take a look at the picture at the top will see some key differences between an ant and a termite. Primarily and usually the easiest way to differentiate between the two is the fact that ant bodies have three segments. They have the first segment, the second segment and the third segment. The first segment is called the head. The second section is called the mesosoma and the third segment is called the gaster. We usually identify ants especially the tiny ones by the petiole numbers between the mesosoma and the gaster. Now you don’t really have to know this but what you should realize is that if you are looking at a small insect flying around the inside of your home that has wings and it’s early spring and the body is pretty straight and if you pull the wings off it certainly would look like an ant body it’s probably a termite. And if you have a termite issue and it’s early spring you should call us to fix it if you’re in New Jersey or New York or Pennsylvania.

Good Termite Control is Important

The main benefit of dealing with professionals when it comes to termite control is that we can give you the options that are available to you that will serve you best.  A lot of people want to go with a baiting system but you have to realize that in some cases a traditional treatment using traditional pesticides or even some of the new eco-friend injectable products is going to be the way to stop the termite damage that is occurring on a daily basis. Once you have that section under control then a baiting program is fine. But you have to realize that in certain cases baiting can take anywhere from a year to two for it to be effective. And there’s a lot of do-it-yourself kits out there that you can go out and pick up and hammer them into the ground but it’s not really a very smart thing to do and I’ll tell you why. How much do you know about termite feeding habits? How about termite behavior? How about areas that they would prefer over areas that they might stay away from? Termite control can be very complicated. Not all the time but there are certain times that I walk into a job and wish I didn’t. Because of the construction characteristics, soil composition, amount of damage or suspected damage, or the areas that were going to have to access to treat properly. These jobs can be very tough. These jobs can be very tricky. What you are doing basically as a homeowner is paying someone to take over your problem. Because once you okay that agreement your termite issue is now my issue. I am now responsible for preserving your home and protecting your home and stopping the damage. So remember if it’s a warm moist Spring day and suddenly the air outside your home or inside your home is filled with small flying insects that could be ants take a close look. Break out that magnifier. If you don’t see any segmented sections it’s probably termites. Pick up the phone call a professional company and have it diagnosed. Most companies will do this for free.

Color Preferences Of Bed Bugs

Do Bed Bugs Like Certain Colors?

What does a bed bug look like?


Researchers recently published findings stating that bedbugs like certain colors over others. The latest findings show that the darker tints or colors are much more attractive to bed bugs then lighter shades. This of course makes great sense because bed bugs typically are not fast, they don’t fly, they don’t jump but they are really very good at hiding. In fact they are not only good at hiding it can probably be said that that is their best survival skill they have. Now research on bed bug traps from several years ago showed that the darker the trap the greater the catch. We recommend the blackout bedbug trap over the white climb ups because research showed that that had a 30% better catch rate over their paler cousin. Trapping of course is not the best method to eliminate bedbugs or to control bedbugs in your home but early detection is paramount and dark colored traps are best suited to capturing migrating bed bugs and giving you an early warning of their presence.

Bed Bug Color Preferences Are Discovered

In a Study presented by the Journal of Medical Entomology published April 25, 2016

“In addition to pheromones, color is also an important clue that hematophagous insects use to seek shelter (Green and Cosens 1983, Steverding and Troscianko 2004). These authors showed that traps with a blue exterior and black and red interior were very effective at attracting and optimizing tsetse fly trap captures.

Early studies by Aboul-Nasr and Erakey (1969) have documented that the common bed bug is able to distinguish between different wavelengths of light. Short-wavelength colors such as violet (hematoxylin 0.005% solution) and bluish-green (fast green 0.001%) were preferred compared with the other colors tested. Red (eosin 5%) had attractive qualities, while yellow (Bouin’s solution) appeared to be the least attractive. More recent studies by Singh et al. (2015) have also shown that aggregations of specifically adult male bed bugs and third–fifth-instar bed bugs prefer black and red harborages compared with other tested colors.”

How To Tell If You Have Bed Bugs

So these tests show that specifically black and red harborage is their preferred coloration and no wonder. The coloration of a bed bug is so similar that determining the presence of these insects in these areas makes it much more difficult to find them. So realizing that 30% of the population shows no reaction to the bite of the bed bug, and that typically people do not realize they have these insects in their home until after the second or third month, the best way to tell if you have bed bugs is by utilizing traps that are either red or black in color. These traps can be placed by radiators, the front door, in the bedroom, under the feet of furniture, as well as other locations to give you an early warning system that will alert you to the presence of these vampire insects. You can contact us and we will be happy to drop ship you as many traps as you need for your protection. The units that we recommend are as little as six dollars per unit ($6/unit) so not only are they effective but they are affordable as well.

Latest News On Zika

The Aedes is in our area.
The Aedes is widespread so the Zika Virsu is sure to be present in our area.
Nothing good to report on the Zika Virus. This was presented by the CDC on April 20th. This is looking more and more like it is going to give us a lot of trouble. Mix this with the similarities of the Asian Tiger Mosquito and we could be in for a rough summer.
“CDC Finds Causal Relationship Between Zika Virus, Birth Defects Agency Also Finds Zika Spread Through Gay Sex, Creates Pregnancy Registry
April 20, 2016 01:45 pm News Staff – It has long been suspected that Zika virus can pass from mother to child and lead to severe birth defects. On April 13, the CDC published a special report( in the New England Journal of Medicine that concluded there is a solid causal relationship between prenatal Zika virus infection and microcephaly and other serious brain anomalies.

In the report, titled “Zika Virus and Birth Defects — Reviewing the Evidence for Causality,” researchers noted that evidence supporting this causal relationship included Zika virus infection during prenatal development that was consistent with the defects observed. They also found a “specific, rare phenotype involving microcephaly and associated brain anomalies in fetuses or infants with presumed or confirmed congenital Zika virus infection.” In addition, data strongly supported biologic plausibility — including through identifying Zika virus in the brain tissue of affected fetuses and infants.

“Given the recognition of this causal relationship, we need to intensify our efforts toward the prevention of adverse outcomes caused by congenital Zika virus infection,” the report said.” The full story can be found here.

In addition there are ongoing studies on long term Neurological effects that will affect a certain number of the population long after exposure and recovery. In addition we have the paralysis that causes the repiratory system to shut down. So we have a scary situation arising that hopefully doesn’t get out of control. I have a feeling we will be seeing aerial spraying where municipalities can afford it. The remainder will have to fend for themselves. Remember in NJ and PA we can provide treatments that will help you reduce the risk of mosquitoes and we also carry several devices (see Mosquito.Tech) that will keep them and other biting insects away using organic methods. Stay tuned…

Latest Study On Bed Bug Resistance

Originally Published in PCT Magazine March 2016

Bed Bugs Resistant to Widely Used Pesticides, Study Finds

Bed Bug Supplement – Bed Bug Supplement

New research from Virginia Tech and New Mexico State University sheds light on bed bug resistance to the neonicotinoid class of pesticides.

March 8, 2016
Some of the most widely used commercial chemicals to kill bed bugs are not effective because the pesky insects have built up a tolerance to them, according to a team of researchers from Virginia Tech and New Mexico State University.Millions of dollars have been spent on insecticides to kill the bugs that have wreaked havoc on everything from hotels in New York City to homes in Los Angeles. But this is the first study to show that overuse of certain insecticides has instead led to an increased resistance to the compounds, making them much less effective than advertised.“While we all want a powerful tool to fight bed bug infestations, what we are using is not working like it was designed to do anymore and people are spending a lot of money on tools that aren’t effective,” said Troy Anderson, an assistant professor of entomology in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.A CLOSER LOOK. Anderson and Alvaro Romero, an assistant professor of entomology at New Mexico State University, published their findings in the Journal of Medical Entomology in January.The two examined neonicotinoids which are often paired with pyrethroids in commercial applications to treat bed bugs.“Companies need to be vigilant for hints of declining performance of products that contain neonicotinoids,” Romero said. “For example, bed bugs persisting on previously treated surfaces might be an indication of resistance.”The researchers conducted their study by comparing bed bugs from homes in Cincinnati and Michigan that had been exposed to neonics with a colony that a researcher has kept isolated since before the insecticide was used. For the last 30 years, the colony has been in an isolated lab run by Harold Harlan with the Armed Forces Pest Management Board.

They also examined a population of pyrethroid-resistant bed bugs in New Jersey that had not been exposed to neonics since they were collected in 2008.

The bed bugs from Harlan’s lab that never have been exposed to neonics died when they were exposed to a very small amount of the insecticide. The New Jersey bed bugs fared slightly better, showing moderate resistance to four different types of neonics.

But the bed bugs from Michigan and Cincinnati, which were collected after combinations of insecticides were introduced to the U.S., had much higher levels of resistance to neonics.

It only took 0.3 nanograms of a substance called acetamiprid to kill 50 percent of the nonresistant bed bugs from Harlan’s lab — but it took more than 10,000 nanograms to kill 50 percent of the Michigan and Cincinnati bed bugs.

Just 2.3 nanograms of another substance, imidacloprid, was enough to kill 50 percent of Harlan’s bed bugs, but it took 1,064 nanograms to kill the Michigan bed bugs and 365 nanograms to kill the Cincinnati bed bugs.

Compared with the Harlan control group, the Michigan bed bugs were 462 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 198 times more resistant to dinotefuran, 546 times more resistant to thiamethoxam, and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.

The Cincinnati bed bugs were 163 times more resistant to imidacloprid, 226 times more resistant to thiamethoxam, 358 times more resistant to dinotefuran, and 33,333 times more resistant to acetamiprid.

The researchers believe that the detection of neonicotinoid resistance in the New Jersey bed bugs, which were collected before the widespread use of neonics, could be due to pre-existing resistance mechanisms.

When exposed to insecticides, bed bugs produce “detoxifying enzymes” to counter them, and the researchers found that the levels of detoxifying enzymes in the New Jersey bed bugs were higher than those of the susceptible Harlan population.

“Unfortunately, the insecticides we were hoping would help solve some of our bed bug problems are no longer as effective as they used to be, so we need to reevaluate some of our strategies for fighting them,” said Anderson, who is also a researcher at the Fralin Life Science Institute.

“If resistance is detected, products with different modes of action need to be considered, along with the use of non-chemical methods,” said Romero.

LOOKING FOR NEW APPROACHES. Another researcher at Virginia Tech, Dr. Dini Miller, is also working on ways to tackle the bed bug issue.

Miller and her colleagues at the Virginia Tech Dodson Urban Pest Management Laboratory began investigating bed bugs in 2004 by studying pesticide resistance and new approaches to their control.

A large part of their work involves teaching people how to manage bed bug infestations in homes and businesses.

In addition, Miller works with home health care workers, social services, apartment and shelter managers, and school facilities personnel to raise awareness.

The preceding article was reprinted from materials provided by Virginia Tech University.

What I take away from this article is that heat will continue to become more and more of a primary treatment method for the extermination of bed bugs. You can find more about killing bed bugs with heat here.

Introducing Mosquito.Tech

2016-03-18_9-39-53 We are pleased to introduce Mosquito.Tech This is our new site that is dedicated to controlling and eradicating mosquitoes and protecting you and your family from the diseases that these horrible insects bring. Eventually we are going to have a full line of mosquito misting systems, screens, bed enclosures, both organic and general pesticides, and advice. We can be found here at With the World Health Organization sounding the alarm about the possibility of widespread Zika issues we believe it is time to be proactive in the control and elimination of these insects is much as possible around our homes. It’s important to remember that mosquitoes are generally poor flyers and in a lot of cases when currents can bring them to you. So if you are doing everything right; you’re making sure that you do not have standing water around your property, birdbaths are being treated with mosquito dunks, downspouts are clean and not filled with debris so that the water flows smoothly, there are no depressions that hold water for more than four or five days, planters are drilled through so that standing water will not accumulate etc. etc. if your neighbor isn’t and they are breeding mosquitoes then you are at risk.
Mosquito Sentry Large
One of our first products that we are presenting is the Mosquito Sentry. This is good for protecting about 2000 ft.² and up to 15 people so it’s perfect for a poolside area, your patio, or your deck. It uses 100% organic products as compared to DEET and is barely noticeable yet keeps the mosquitoes at bay. As an introduction we are having a special and providing free shipping to our first 100 clients. You can find that special here One of the main benefits of this product is that it’s quick and easy set up. Pretty much put it in the middle of the gathering, put in the premixed solution which is of course 100% organic (actually food grade material) and turn it on with the included remote control. To pretty neat unit and it works really well. One thing I hate is spraying on all the DEET based products. First of all I don’t like the way they smell and secondly I hate that sticky feeling. I was need to shower when coming in and I never go to bed and less I get that stuff off my skin. The Sentry puts out such a dry vapor that you don’t feel it at all and it has a barely perceptible floral scent. You can actually place several around the yard and control them with the remote control and only run them when you’re hanging out in that vicinity.

One of the things that I’m concerned about that the news really isn’t talking much about is the paralysis that’s being noted after people get sick with the Zika virus. In some cases it is so severe that they have to be put on life support to keep them alive. This is frightening. We need to put forth a concerted effort to eradicate mosquitoes in our environment. And I think there is a great need for the misting systems. Unfortunately even a small misting system can run over thousand dollars. Also the misting system can get pretty complex unless you are protecting just a small area. We will be offering full-service installation of the systems in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Mosquitoes Are Coming-Are You Ready?

Mosquito control is paramount!


Mosquito Control Tips

It’s mid February and the days are getting longer. Spring is coming even though as I write this it’s now 11° outside. With spring come the bugs. And that’s typically something that we as pest control operators look forward to happening. Not this year. I believe as does many of my fellow pest control professionals that this year will be different. This year we have Zika.

Mosquitos and Zika Virus

We don’t really understand the virus yet. We know that the mode of transmission is of course through the Aedes mosquito and subsequently through contact with bodily fluids. But we don’t know all the health effects that are associated with this virus. We’ve been told of microcephaly, increased risk of miscarriage, ongoing health effects to any child born that has been exposed to this in the womb and recently the possible link between Zika and Epstein-Barr. Right now the Aedes Aegypti is the primary vector But we’ve also been told that the Asian tiger mosquito can quite possibly be a vector as well. The Asian tiger mosquito carries a number of well known viruses and unfortunately has made its home in the US. One of the major problems with this mosquito is that it bites around the clock. Whereas many mosquitoes are more prevalent at dusk and dawn the Tiger will feed 24/7. In addition it is a much smaller and faster mosquito. It is very difficult to swat. So what can be done? Mosquitoes can breed by the hundreds and even an area of water as small as a bottlecap. In my area in Northeast Pennsylvania there are plenty of boggy areas where millions of mosquitoes are able to breed. In inner cities where we have tires, cans, sewers, dilapidated housing etc. we have the unfortunate situation of innumerable breeding areas. This I believe is going to lead to widespread spraying. Just like back in the 60s with the smoke man driving down through the streets for mosquito control we are going to see that again. Aerial spraying I’m sure will be taking place as well. You may think I am all for widespread use of pesticides. After all this is my profession. Unfortunately that is what many people think. Do you know that the military is the largest user of pesticides in the world. After that is the general public then comes the farmers and all the way down at the very end of the scale are pest control operators. We do not wantonly spray. We are modernized, we are environmentally conscious, we are guardians of our environment. And unfortunately due to the health risks associated with this virus widespread spraying may be the only way to combat Zika.

Tips For Controlling Mosquitoes

There are things that you can do. There are things that you should do not only to protect your family but to protect your neighbor as well. Survey your property. Find areas of standing water and make sure that they are emptied on a regular basis or treated with items such as dunks which is an organic product which kills mosquito larva. There are misting systems which use things such as essential oils on timers that will go off around your home and act not only as an insecticide but also as a repellent. Make sure that gutters are directed away from the home, the water is not pulling, and the gutters are clean so that they do not provide a breeding area. If you have trees that have natural bows that store water place a dunk there for the times when it rains or fill them with cement. This might be a lot of worry over nothing. But when the World Health Organization as well as many other health organizations around the world are all raising the alarm I think it’s time to sit up and take notice. You can read about the WHO’s emergency preparedness program here.

Protecting People Property and Reputations

x Shield Logo
This Site Is Protected By
The Shield →