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AZEX Pest Solutions in the News – “Phoenix-area exterminators see boost from bedbug infestations”

biz-bedbugs0224   0220110120wdby William D’Urso – Feb. 24, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

PHOENIX — The mere mention of bed bugs might make most people uncomfortable.

But it’s a growing problem in Arizona and getting rid of them is turning into big business for exterminators.

Some pest-control firms have diversified and grown their businesses by adding bedbug eradication as a specialty niche.

National revenue in bedbug extermination and management increased to $258 million in 2009 from $98 million in 2006, according to the National Pest Management Association.

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PLEASE help our community. Be part of the solution, not the problem!

As you have probably heard, bed bugs have made a major comeback in the United States and Arizona is no exception. Please help our state prevent the spread of bed bugs. Take a moment and read through this article. It will answer most of your questions as well as offer you practical advice.
LET’S BE HONEST. Nobody wants to think or talk about bed bugs. Growing up, many of us thought it was simply a nursery rhyme. What’s all this media attention about bed bugs making a comeback? “Come on, it can’t happen to me!” Well, there’s been at least a 700% increase over the past couple of years, and predictions of stopping their spread is not encouraging. EVERYONE NEEDS EDUCATION about this old pest that is spreading at epidemic rates. A scourge of mankind since the caveman, bed bugs had been eradicated in most industrial nations for 50 years.. And now,
THEY’RE BACK!
Bed bugs are NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF!
Bed bugs are NOT a sign of dirtiness. REPEAT! Bed bugs have absolutely nothing to do with sanitation. But clutter IS the bed bugs’ best friend. It allows this pest so many more places to hide and lay their eggs.
Also, ALL types of homes are susceptible to bed bugs. They are found in million dollar homes, luxury apartments, cruise ships, 5 star hotels, dormitories, etc. Bed bugs often enter a home by hitchhiking on clothing, backpacks or luggage.
If you suspect bed bugs, DON’T PANIC!
FIRST, talk with your landlord. It’s better to deal with the situation
BEFORE it gets out of hand, than keep quiet because you’re embarrassed. Your landlord needs to address this before the situation spreads to your neighbor’s home.
SECOND, prepare yourself mentally for the idea that bed bugs are not the easiest pest to eradicate. But, rest assured, your landlord wants to help you solve this problem as quickly as possible.
THIRD, work closely with your landlord & the professional exterminator. Experience shows that cooperation between the landlord, tenant, & professional exterminator will dramatically affect the likelihood of successful treatment in the shortest amount of time.
How Do I Protect Myself & Family From Bed Bugs?
Take steps to try to avoid picking up bed bugs when … you or your family members travel, even overnight. Bed bugs can hitch-hike to your home from just about anywhere (even from sitting on an infested sofa at a friend’s home who doesn’t even yet know he has them!), but generally found places that have a regular change of occupancy like hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, multi-family housing, etc. They are also commonly found in moving vans and trucks. Check your luggage closely if you think you’ve encountered bed bugs (traveling or otherwise), and dry all clothing immediately in a dryer set at its hottest temperature.
Be careful of used mattresses and discarded furniture. You shouldn’t buy used furniture, especially bedding items or upholstered items. But if you do, at the very least, do not bring them into your home until you, or a competent expert, has inspected them carefully for any signs of bed bugs which would include live or dead bed bugs, eggs, fecal spots, or molted skins.
We encourage you to consider covering your mattresses and box springs with a plastic cover which you can seal shut (certified bed bug encasement’s) to prevent bed bugs from getting into them (or to permanently trap any already there from getting out).
What are signs of infestation by bed bugs?
Look for the following:
A raised, red, welt-like bite that itches, usually appearing in lines or clusters. They generally appear from one to 24 hours after the bite and last 1-2 days. Don’t forget, other insects or arthropods or medical conditions can produce similar bite reactions, so you must confirm by looking for live bed bugs, eggs, molted skins, and dark brown or rusty spots (feces) on the bedding, mattress and box springs. When inspecting you should begin at the head of the bed and move outward to include all furniture particularly night stands, sofas, carpeting, drapes, picture frames, baseboards, electric outlets, and electronic equipment. Also, don’t forget to look for blood smears on the walls (squished bugs).
What do bed bugs look like?
Adults of the common bed bug are a reddish – brown color. They have an oval shape with flattened bodies (after feeding, the body becomes swollen). They hatch about the size of a pinhead and young nymphs look like walking poppy seeds, eventually growing to about ¼ inch or longer. You may first notice them when they are the size of an apple seed and may be mistaken for a cockroach or tick. They do not fly, but they can climb, and they run very fast. Their eggs are white and small (1mm).You’ll have to look hard to see them glued in seams and cracks.
Where are bed bugs found?
Bed bugs are found anywhere that is frequented by people. Bed bugs are more likely found in locations with a high rate of occupant turnover, such as hotels, cruise ships, dormitories, multi-family housing, nursing homes, movie theaters, etc.. We also find them in moving trucks and vans.
Where do bed bugs hide?
Bed bugs hide in mattresses and box springs, bed frames, night stands, dressers, upholstered furniture, cracks, crevices, behind switch plates, electrical outlets, behind baseboards, window and door casings, the edge of and under carpeting, seams in wallpaper, behind pictures and other wall hangings, in draperies and blinds.
Bed bugs prefer a semi-dark environment and rougher surfaces such as wood, paper, or fabric.
How do bed bugs spread?
The common bed bug (Cimex lectularius) climbs easily up any fabric, wood or paper surface. Bed bugs often spread by “hitchhiking” on all types of household items, such as bedding, furniture, luggage, clothing, backpacks, purses, briefcases, animal cages, picture frames and electronic devices. Bed bugs can hide in any crack or crevice as small as the width of a credit card.
When do bed bugs feed?
They predominately feed at night between 2:00—5:00 A.M. (usually closer to 5:00 A.M.). However, they have also been known to feed during the daytime.
What do bed bug bites look like?
Bite reactions vary. Some people show no reaction, while others exhibit a raised itchy red welt at the site of the bite. Some reactions are immediate and sometimes they are delayed. Many times you will find two or more bites in a row. The bites are more likely to occur on an exposed area of the body such as arms, neck, face, shoulders, or back.
How do I treat the bed bug bites?
Always seek professional medical advice. There are anti-itching medications as well as antibiotic salves which may be helpful when applied to the bites.
What personal steps can be taken to avoid being bitten if bed bugs are found?
Continue to sleep in the bed, but turn your bed into a “safe island”. Pull the bed away from the wall at least 6”. Bed bugs do not fly, but will climb up walls, and drop on the bed They also travel along electrical cords etc. that are plugged in the wall socket. Clean the bed frame and encase the mattresses and box springs in a certified bed bug proof cover. Place bed legs in CLIMBUP TM Insect Interceptors. Wash blankets and sheets weekly in hot temperature, followed by 20 minutes or more in the dryer at high temperature. Check mattresses for bed bugs when changing the sheets, etc. Do not allow blankets, sheets, etc. to touch the floor. Do not place luggage, backpacks or other items on the floor or bed.
What Should I Do If I Suspect I Have bedbugs?
Getting rid of bedbugs often requires a multilateral approach involving professional exterminators, cleaning and prepping your apartment.
Don’t throw out mattresses or furniture. You may have heard this advice, but this may be unnecessary, as bedbugs also live in cracks and crevices of the building structure. Doing this can end up costing you extra money just to replace furniture you didn’t have to.
Inform your landlord of the problem. If you suspect bed bugs, let your landlord in on the situation. Even if you’re not sure yet (i.e. you haven’t yet seen an actual bed bug), it’s a good idea to talk to them and see if they’ve received reports from other tenants.
Capture a bedbug. If you haven’t already, as soon as you can, confirm that you have bed bugs by capturing one and sealing it in a glass jar or other escape proof container. One way to do this is to place CLIMBUPTM Insect Interceptors under bed legs or place double-sided tape around the bed. A captured bedbug will confirm the need to engage professional help.
Encase your mattress in plastic. .Since bed bugs are fond of living in the folds of mattresses , bed bug certified mattress encasements, much like those used by people who are allergic to dust mites, will help reduce the number of bugs…and bites.
Launder all bedding, etc in hot water (at least 120F) and dry on the hottest setting for at least 20 minutes.
What types of treatment options are available if I do get bed bugs?

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Hotel Bedbug Elimination

100% room occupancy is the goal for all hotels, but not if the occupants are bedbugs. An AZEX Pest Solution’s heat treatment can eliminate the unintended occupants safely, effectively, and in an environmentally friendly manner without relying solely on chemicals AND turn that room back over for human occupancy within 24 hours.

AZEX Pest Solutions uses AZEX Heat for the application of heat to individual rooms, or the entire structure. AZEX Heat is the genuine and most effective heat treatment on the market today. We have over five years of experience applying heat to structures such as hotels. We’re trained and licensed to use the application for hotels, inns, motels, and residential structures throughout the State of Arizona. Another byproduct of applying heat for pest control are; oxidizing odors like tobacco and eliminating allergens. No other heat treatment on the market can claim that!

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The reason why AZEX Pest Solutions targets insects outside before they become a problem inside!

In-Home Pesticide Exposure Increases Parkinson’s Risk

SAN DIEGO, CA – Pesticide use and exposure in the home and garden increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a study of almost 500 people newly diagnosed with the disease. Researchers announced their findings at a presentation at the American Academy of Neurology’s 52nd annual meeting in San Diego, CA, April 29 – May 6, 2000.

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Multimodal Bed Bug Abatement Program

Recent outbreaks in bed bugs are causing major issues for homeowners and the housing industry.
Many occupants report red marks and bites after one night’s rest resulting in loss of revenue and an overall negative perception of the affected structure. Studies show an increase of 800% in bed bug activity in the last few years as a result of increased world travel. The bugs can have one blood meal and gain six times their regular weight, and survive off that meal for up to one year. The female can lay up to 400 eggs in her lifetime.
Treatment options are numerous and the effectiveness of each is debatable. However, through a thorough proactive Integrated Pest Management Program utilizing a number of Bed Bug eradication techniques including Heat, Residual Chemicals and K9 Inspection and detection, 100% eradication and prevention of future infestations can be achieved in a highly cost effective manner.

AZEX Heat

• Integrated Pest Management (IPM), reduces chemical exposure rates to tenants and or staff. 100% Non-Toxic and Highly Effective.
• Kills all stages of bedbug growth including the eggs.
• Penetrates deep into bedbug harborages, including furniture, electronics and walls.
• Treatment completed in as little as 4 hours. No development of resistance.

Chemical Treatment of Harborages

• Treatment of Harborages w/ Non-Repellent and highly Persistent Materials where possible.
• Insect Growth Regulators – Breaks life cycle through sterilization.
• Non-Repellents – Highly Effective on pyrethroid-resistant strains of bed bugs. Will not disperse or “lock in” bed bugs.

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Winter Pest Solutions

It is true that many pests die off for the winter, or go into hibernation, or retreat to their winter forts, such as ants. But there are many pests that would rather not take a winter vacation. Instead they fly, crawl, or jump to the more tropical weather provided by the shelter you know as your house. For this reason, residential pest control shouldn’t be skipped for the winter months.

Due to this fact, we at AZEX Pest Solutions wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to not let their guards down over these cool and cold months, and to take advantage of our great fall and winter spray and pest solution specials including gutter clean outs.

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Rodent 101- The first step to a successful rodent control program is the inspection process (1 of a 4 part series).

A successful rodent program is dependent on the implementation of the first critical step, “The Inspection”. Any quality PMP (Pest Management Professional) always takes their time when performing an inspection and does not cut corners. Your PMP needs to first listen to the questions and concerns of the customer to gain a clearer picture of the rodent problem at hand. Your PMP should ask some critical questions during this initial conversation, which include but are not limited to: How long have you noticed this rodent problem? What type of rodent evidence have you heard or seen? What part of the structure have you heard or seen this evidence in? Do you have pets or small children living with you? Have you had a PMP address this issue in the past? If so, what were their conclusions and/or treatment for the rodent problem? If there is adequate customer cooperation in answering these questions the PMP will gain a better understanding of the specific situation before ever starting the inspection.
The House Mouse, Norway Rat, Roof Rat, and Pack Rats are the 4 species of rodents that a homeowner will most likely encounter in the southwest region of the U.S. There are 10 tail-tail signs to a rodent infestation that the PMP should be looking for, which include:
1. Rodent Tracks- Rodent tracks can be seen in areas where there is a layer of dust or soft and moist soil. The foot pattern of the rodent track will easily give away various types of different rodent species.
2. Grease Marks- Rodents produce grease or rub marks from the oil and dirt that collects on their bodies. These marks can be seen on walls, entry/exit points, and on common rodent runways.
3. Burrows or Nests- These are clumps of nesting material that show a rodent harborage or breeding site. These burrows or nests usually contain material that is found around the house which is chewed up and clumped together. Identifying material that is used to make the nest can indicate which part of the structure the rodent frequents when it goes out to forage (i.e. attic insulation).
4. Urine Stains- These stains caused by rodents can look and smell very distinctive. These stains are easily spotted through the use of a black light. Under this light the stains will fluoresce and give away frequently used runways.
5. Fecal Pellets (droppings)- One of the most obvious signs of a rodent infestation is the presence of fecal pellets or droppings. During the night hours rodents are most active and defecate quite often. A competent PMP should be able to distinguish between the different shapes and sizes of droppings to identify which type of rodent is present.
6. Rodent Sounds- A PMP who performs a quiet and stealthy inspection can usually hear one or more of the sounds that rodents make such as: high pitched squeaks from young pups, digging, gnawing, scurrying, scratching, or the rustling from two rodents fighting.
7. Gnawing Damage- The presence of gnawing damage can be another sign that you have a rodent infestation. Rodents are constantly gnawing on things and your PMP should be able to tell what type of rodent your dealing with by the size and shape of the gnaw marks or the pattern and shape of the hole that was chewed into food packaging.
8. Runways- Rodents are creatures of habit and repeatedly use the same pathways to travel between food and nesting sites. Therefore these runways can be very distinctive and typically have a strong urine odor associated with them.
9. Rodent Odors- There is typically a very distinct smell associated with rodents especially in a moderate to large sized infestation. Rodents are very active creatures who defecate and urinate on a regularly and continuous basis. An experienced PMP has a good nose and will pick up on this odor immediately when they encounter it.
10. Live or Dead Rodents- The presence of dead rodents is a good sign that an infestation is present or was present at one time. Usually a PMP can tell by the decomposition of the rodent if it is an old infestation or a new one. Typically dead rodents caught in traps or poisoned will not deter the living population from the area or cause them to create an alternate runway around them. Because of this your PMP should continue their trapping and baiting on that same rodent pathway until no results are found.
A complete and thorough inspection by a qualified Pest Management Professional will yield a cost-effective, efficient, and successful rodent program for the customer. A careful and meticulous inspection of these 10 signs of a rodent infestation will enable the PMP to formulate a very effective game plan therefore maximizing their chance of a successful remediation and minimizing their chance of a long, drawn-out, and costly endeavor.

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Integrated Pest Management – A Lesson in Environmental Responsibility

Insects and pests have been invading our homes and gardens since before our times in the caves.   Of the 900,000 plus currently known insect species of the world, only about one-and-a-half percent cause any health or economic concern or harm.  Many, if not most of the species of insect and pests, in fact, provide indispensable services to humans and are an integral parts to the ecosystem as a whole.  Your property and home is indeed an extension and mixture of both artificial and natural ecosystems and deserves to be treated in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner in terms of preventing and managing our unwanted intruders with respect to the environment at large.

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Bedbugs are back!

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Recent outbreaks in bed bugs are causing major issues for homeowners, hotels, and the summer camp industry. Studies show increase of 800% in bed bug activity in the last few years as a result of increased world travel and resistance to pesticides. Bed bugs can have one blood meal and gain six times their regular weight, and survive off that meal for up to one year. The female can lay up to 400 eggs in her lifetime!

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