Most of us don't think of a cute fuzzy caterpillar as being dangerous or frightening. But to some people, even the toughest, a bug is a threat. Recently president Obama released de-classified security papers that revealed some tactics the C.I.A has used to extract information from captured enemies. The top 10 listed of course water boarding, slapping, sleep deprivation, Barney music and things we’d think of as classic interrogation techniques. What surprised us is that insects made the list. Apparently a high-ranking Al Qaeda member, Abu Zubaydah, was slated for use of this insect method. It’s said he was deathly afraid of bugs so they told him he was going to be locked in a small area with a caterpillar. The interrogation never took place however (there’s no record of it at least) so maybe with the mere mention of it he spilled his guts telling all he knew. Chalk one up for the bugs!
With an increase in the spread of bedbugs and news reports about them we find an increase in the fear of bugs. Like any phobia the fear is real to people who experience it. It may be compounded by stress, allergic reactions, medical conditions and emotional states. People will go to extreme lengths to try to rid themselves of "bugs" they believe are biting them. It is sometimes difficult to determine if a real insect exists and if we can legally and ethically treat it or if the person is being attacked by seomthing that is unreal. There are a number of suggestions on the internet to help people overcome insect phobias. One suggestion is to get a toy bug and place it in your home in a location where you always see it to become more accustomed to bugs. We'll "bug out" about that advice.
There are many rating companies that have popped up on the internet in recent years. They can be useful, but they aren't perfect. As anyone who runs a business knows, if you never get a complaint you aren't doing much business. And, many of us still provide our service through people. Even the best of people have down days when they have not responded to a customer in a way the customer wanted. What seems obvious is that if a company gets a number of poor ratings you should watch out. Good established companies get consistent above average ratings and they deal with complaints. Probably the oldest organization rating companies is the Better Business Bureau. They say the type of business you are in also makes a difference. The type company with the most complaints - cell phone companies. Next are used car dealers, cable companies, collection agencies, banks, car repair shops, etc. We suspect pest control companies aren't too far down the list. The BBB isn't perfect, but we are happy to take their top rating.
Several decades ago we hired a PhD sanitarian and attempted to sell his services to our wholesale food manufacturers and distribution centers as a vital part of keeping their product safe from pests. We found little interest at that time. Companies often found it cheaper to pay the fines from government inspections than to take preventive action. Today the situation has reversed. There is intense interest from wholesale food customers in being sure their facilities are safe and they pass government inspection. They hire private companies to make unnounced sanitation inspections and receive grades on their condition. During the past few years Darrell Beetham from Paratex has worked hard to gain the knowledge necessary to help our customers keep their pest prevention standards high. He has become one of the leading authorities on food plant safety in our area relative to pest prevention. He often makes "pre-audits" for customers to be sure their conditions and documentation is in compliance.
According to the National Pest Management Association an estimated 21 million rodents search for warmth inside when it gets cold across North America. These very determined rodents try to gain entry through cracks in the foundation, dryer vents, around plumbing pipes and even gnawing their way in. Tree rats often reach your roof area through overhanging branches. Once inside they like to nest in the insulation. We're not sure how this trade association came up with their 21 million estimate but we know that even a few rodents is too many if they are inside your home or business. They present a risk to your health and your property. For more information on rodents and their control visit www.paratex.com or give us a call on 800 542 1234.
Well, actually the moths were alive, but the goat was already dead. It was part of a stuffed animal exhibit that was being infested by clothes moths. This marvelous specimen was having its hair fall out and the pupa casings of the web-making clothes moth were found in the hair. Paratex was called to the rescue and a program was set up to eliminate the infestation and prevent a reoccurence. Clothes moths have been increasing again as the use of long-lasting pesticides has been eliminated and imported woolen carpets have become popular. If you develop a moth problem we have solutions. As to the "killer goat," we don't think of goats as being dangerous, but a mountain goat did kill a man in the Olympic National Park in Northwest Washington in October 2010.
Most people think of bugs as beetles, bees and butterflies that crawl, jump or fly. They all belong to the same phylum,called anthropoda, which also includes crustaceans, like crabs and lobsters. Officially, a true bug is an insect in the order hemiptera. And, for every person on earth there are 1 and 1/2 BILLION bugs! They are not all dangerous, but 40 people die each year from the Japanes Giant Hornet (yep, in Japan). And, if you happen to travel to the Amazon area beware the Army Ant. They have massive machete-like jaws and are notorious for dismantling any living thing in their path, regardless of size. They are also completely blind, which makes it even worse. There are reports of animals the size of horses being overwhelmed and shredded by them. But,in the Pacific Northwest, we are not likely to face a horrible, dangerous bug. But, on the other hand, some bugs can be a big nuisance, and ocassionaly a threat to your health and property. If you get them just call 1-800 Got Bugs. Paratex is here to help.
We came across a picture on the internet of a Paratex pen on the checkout bill of a well-known local restaurant under the caption "Bad sign when the waitress gives you the pen to sign the check with the name of an extermination company." We checked and that particular restaurant isn't a customer, but many of the best restaurants are. Having a Paratex preventive pest control program is a very good thing. Good business managers know this and they are proactive by taking action before pests strike. Pests are a threat to both health and property. When you see a Paratex truck in front of a home or business you know it is a good sign the owners are good managers.
We understand some people are do-it-yourselfers when it comes to eliminating bugs around the house so we have a few tips. If you're a bit of a hoarder (like me) you probably have a lot of gadgets around the house that you don't use. They are tucked away in kitchen drawers, in your home office and in the workshop in your garage.
They looked clever on the store shelf or in a TV infomercial and you were convinced they would make your life easier. They were either too much trouble or they didn't work at all. Maybe they didn't even have a possibiity of working. My imaginary prize is my money machine. It works like a credit card machine. Just punch in the amount of the bill and it prints it out. An endless supply of money would make life different if not easier. But back to reality. Take gadget and place on bug. Then throw both away. It's cheap and you've eliminated two pests in one step.
With the increase in bedbugs there are many different pest professionals working to eliminate them and several different methods. There are dogs to find the bugs, heat treatments to kill them and the traditional insecticides. Unfortunately these methods don't always work and the bugs are still there after repeated attempts. The preferred method for complete eradication is fumigation with a gas. We have several methods to fumigate belongings and contents, including our vacuum chamber and fumigating items inside moving vans and trailers. We even fumigate the entire house on occasion. Our vault is 23 feet long by 10 feet in diameter. It is very heavy steel. The door alone weighs 1,300 pounds. For information on complete bedbug eradication give us a call or check out our website at www.paratex.com.