I can’t kill it twice #whatbugsme
During my years in Knoxville pest control I have had many problems posed to me. Most of these I relish the opportunity to fix for my customers. Some problems have no fix just because that’s the way nature is set up and some solutions rest solely on the customer. The most frustrating problem is one that cannot be fixed, or more accurately doesn’t actually exist.
One of these problems I run into is delusional parasitosis and is the saddest one on the list. The call usually goes something like this.
“Phoenix Pest Control, this is Aaron, how can I help you?”
“Yes, I have these bugs that are biting me at night. You can’t see them but I know they are there because I dug one out of my arm. Can you come look at this paper towel I have in a ziplock bag?”
“OK, well, where and when are you seeing the bites”
“They are everywhere.”
“Are you seeing signs of anything else?”
“I see the bugs but they are so small you can’t see them.”
I know, I know, you are probably asking the same question as I am. How do you see tiny bugs that no one else can? There are a few explanations to this experience that don’t involve mental issues but there is no point trying to go through the motions once I identify a parasitosis case. The best thing to do is refer them to a dermatologist and let them medically take them through the process of getting help.
The other explanations for this odd problem are rarely believed by customers but I urge you to pay attention. In the fall when it starts to get cold and you turn the heater on for the first time it can dry your skin out. In this state your skin is more susceptible to irritation. I get calls this time every year. After the skin is dry it can be irritated by dust and fibers in the air kicked up by starting the heater for the first time. Especially in office situations irritation can come from static electricity caused by computer towers on carpet, proximity to other people, and the use of coats and blankets that have been in storage. I have seen many times an incorrect diagnosis of a pest problem leading to improper pesticide use which actually caused more irritation. You can also find what looks like bites from a change in soaps and detergents. I recently was called out to inspect for bed bugs and couldn’t find anything. After interviewing the customer further she told me that she had recently changed fabric softener about the same time as the “bites” showed up. After changing back the “bites” went away.
Sometimes I get a call that they saw a bug and want me to come out and fix the problem. Because my whole purpose here is to keep you bug free, I head out to eliminate the infestation causing you heartache. Upon arrival I ask the pertinent question. “Where are you seeing bugs?” The concerned mother takes me to the offending area and shows me a bug on the floor tits up. Yes, it’s dead. It was dead when she found it and magically, it is still dead when she points it out like the plague. What I want to say is “cool, it’s dead, my treatment is working.” However, I can’t say this as it would be viewed as insensitive to my freaked out customer. The reality is I cannot kill it twice. What does she expect me to do? She doesn’t want to see a bug, live or dead. Since it will serve no purpose to give Mr roach CPR just to kill it again, what do I do?
Just like anything else in our lives prevention is the key. I can kill pests all day long but wouldn’t it be better for them to not be there in the first place? Adjusting your environment is the most effective way to achieve this. If you have an active pest problem you need me to exterminate them. I hate the term exterminate, pest control is more appropriate because there is no such thing as exterminating. If there was we would all work ourselves out of a job. It has been said that only 2 things are guaranteed in life Death and Taxes. I’ll add pests to that list. I have billions of confirmed kills under my belt but haven’t even begun to scratch the surface as to what is out there. The estimated ratio of insects to humans is 200 million to one, says Iowa State University entomologists Larry Pedigo and Marlin Rice in their textbook, Entomology and Pest Management. 200 million bugs per person! That will never be exterminated. My kill count is nowhere near that but I can tell you how to not need me in the first place.
Some pests like german roaches and bed bugs almost always have to be brought into the home by people. No amount of treatment can prevent you from walking Mr bed bug into your home after visiting Aunt Sally. Existing treatment when you do bring them in can prevent an infestation but won’t stop your initial infraction. You however can prevent this by avoiding situations prone to infest you. For the rest of the pest population you can pull the welcome mat from them. If your home is attractive to pest the chance of having a visit skyrockets. Mulch, excessive landscaping, trash, and certain plants like peonies, make your home inviting for pests. It all starts on the outside, where the pests naturally belong. If they don’t find things around your home they want to eat or hide under they probably won’t want to come in. Even when they do try to come in, if there is no hole for them to physically enter the structure then you don’t have a problem no matter what is going on outside. The reality is you can’t seal a house 100% but the more you do the better off you will be. The most common areas of entry are pipe and wire holes. Sealing around these with caulk or foam can save you much heartache. They also love to sneak in around windows and doors. These gaps can be caused by damaged weather striping, settling, or poor construction. One thing to remember is many of the prevention tasks are cheaper than calling a pest control company.
I can kill a million bugs a day by treating your home. Unfortunately there is no way to control where they croak and I can’t kill it twice. Taking the previously mentioned steps will cause most if not all the pests to die outside keeping your blood pressure in the normal range. So if you find dead bugs in your home, good, the treatment is working. Now you have an indication that you have a hole or crack that needs to be dealt with. I can help you find these holes and even seal some of them for you but I can’t kill it twice. Here in East Tennessee, pest control is a necessity. Welcome to bug country and put my number in your phone. You’ll need me at some point.
Phoenix Pest Control serves Knox and Blount counties in East Tennessee
Call today for your FREE Diagnostic Inspection
(865) 963-8867 Knox
(865) 455-8571 Blount