Pest Myth Busters

Crazy as a Bed Bug

MYTHS — Oh, there are so many myths about Bed Bugs.   So I will tell you up front they are ALL untrue!

  • The TRUTHs about Bed Bugs are:
  • They are NOT invisible.
  • They DO NOT fly.
  • They ARE NOT only found in beds and bedding.
  • They ARE NOT caused by being poor or dirty.
  • You DO NOT generally pick them up while traveling or in places like movie theaters and restaurants.

Bed Bugs, like fleas, are a blood-sucking parasite which likes to feed on hosts (people or animals) while the host is asleep.

Of Mice and Myths

MYTH —

After eating rodenticides, mice will go outside looking for water.

TRUTH —

Mice seldom if ever consume free water. They get all the moisture they need from their food. There is not now, nor has there EVER been any truth to the line about “going looking for water”. It is, quite simply, a lie that exterminators have been telling for many years in order to sell jobs.

MYTH —

They will die in my walls and stink!

TRUTH —

Though we have no control over where mice die from rodenticides, keep these facts in mind: Mice only live about 90 days. They breed six at a time every six weeks. They spend nearly all of their time out of sight inside your walls and in other hidden areas.  Now do the math: They have been living AND dying inside your walls right along!  However, since the body fluids in a mouse amount to only about 2cc (half a teaspoon) there just isn’t much to a dead mouse to create an odor. And THAT is why you seldom smell them.

MYTH —

The poor things bleed to death!

TRUTH —

Rodenticides, for the most part, are anticoagulants. A/Cs thin blood. Blood carries oxygen to muscles, heart, and brain. Thin blood doesn’t do a very good job of this. What happens when your muscles, heart, and brain don’t get enough oxygen? Asphyxiation. That is what kills the rodent. Other products do the opposite… they thicken the blood. The heart can’t pump mud. Same result.

MYTH —

We spray for mice.

TRUTH —

There has never been a liquid spray for rodent control. If someone tells you he will “spray your house for mice” you should get that in writing then call DEM’s Division of Agriculture and ask for Pesticide Enforcement. 222-2781 There are fines for lying to customers about pesticides. I am sure the Department of Business Regulation would like to hear this story too!

MYTH —

Cats control mice.

TRUTH —

Cats that grow up wild MAY kill mice. Hungry cats MAY eat mice. Many house cats catch them and play with them and some ignore them altogether.

MYTH —

Rodenticides are hazardous to cats. If my cat eats a mouse he will get sick from the pesticide.

TRUTH —

It CAN happen, but it is extremely rare.  Rodenticides are formulated to mitigate secondary toxicity. In other words: Cats eating mice are not likely to become sick from eating a poisoned mouse…  At least not any more sick than they should get from eating a mouse to begin with!

NOTE:

Cats and dogs CAN eat rodenticides even though bait stations are designed to prevent this and though the baits themselves taste awful and are designed to be unattractive to them.  KNOW what is in the baits used at your home.  Ask for a copy of the relevant information (It should also be on the station.) and keep this handy in the event an exposure necessitates emergency medical attention.

Ant Tales

MYTH —

Carpenter Ants eat wood.

TRUTH —

Carpenter ants DO NOT eat wood. They chew it up to make voids that they can nest and travel in. Soft, wet and rotten wood is easier to chew, so it’s their favorite target.

MYTH —

You can’t have Carpenter Ants and Termites

TRUTH —

Ummm… yes, you can. In fact, carpenter ants will move into termite infested wood, enlarge the holes for their own uses and dine very happily on termites.

MYTH —

If my neighbor’s house was treated for termites the treatment is going to push them to my house.

TRUTH —

Termite colonies can be huge. Several houses in a neighborhood may, indeed, share a termite colony and treating one house among them, thereby making it off limits to the termites, will doubtless make them more active in the other infested homes. But you can’t cause a termite infestation in one house by treating another. You can, however, SOLVE a termite problem in one house by treating another, usually with a baiting system. Termites feeding at both the Jones house and the Smith house are affected by bait brought into the colony from the Smith’s and activity suddenly dies off at the Jones’s. It could happen.  It could also happen that two houses near each other both have termites under totally independent circumstances from unrelated colonies.  Either way, treating one house cannot cause problems for another.

MYTH —

You can’t get rid of Carpenter Ants.

TRUTH —

This is another story created by some pest control people. Generally BAD pest control people. Granted, some infestations are more tenacious than others and can be more difficult to solve, but statements like this are made simply because it is much easier to blame one’s failure on the problem at hand than on one’s own lack of ability.  What they should really be saying is, “I don’t know HOW to solve your problem. You need to call Coventry Pest Control!”

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