Thrasher Termite & Pest Control Best Pest Control and Termite Control in Silicon Valley and San Diego Tue, 09 Dec 2014 09:14:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 One Simple Way to Protect Yourself from this Deadly Disease Tue, 09 Dec 2014 09:14:59 +0000  

Thrasher Termite & Pest Control Mosquito PreventionSimple Mosquito Prevention

Mosquitoes that spread deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever have been found in San Diego for the first time. They were already found in Los Angeles County, and are poised to make their way north. If you do only one thing to protect yourself, do this:

Dump Standing Water!

Dengue fever or “yellow fever” is transmitted by the  Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito breeds in anything with standing water and is more aggressive than California mosquitoes. It is small, and black with white stripes and bites during the day. Mosquito larvae – or ‘wrigglers’ – must live in water for only 7-14 days. A small puddle in the shade can easily last long enough to unleash a batch of these bad boys. Practice mosquito prevention by dumping standing water.

Dengue fever is a very serious disease. Don’t take this warning lightly. Download our free Homeowners Checklist for Mosquito Prevention and dump standing water now!

Aedes aegypti mosquito

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of dengue fever may not be obvious.

Many people, especially children and teens, may experience no signs or symptoms during a mild case of dengue fever. When symptoms do occur, they usually begin four to 10 days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of dengue fever most commonly include:

  • Fever, as high as 106 F (41 C)
  • Headaches
  • Muscle, bone and joint pain
  • Pain behind your eyes

You might also experience:

  • Widespread rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rarely, minor bleeding from your gums or nose

Most people recover within a week or so. In some cases, symptoms worsen and can become life-threatening.

Take mosquito prevention seriously. It is your first and best line of defense against disease carrying mosquitoes.

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How to Get Rid of Bed Bugs: Bad Idea #8 Throw Out Your Furniture Thu, 04 Dec 2014 00:39:42 +0000 Bed Bug Infested Curbside CouchThrowing out your bed bug infested furniture is like throwing out money. It won’t get rid of your bed bug problem, just make you poorer. Throwing out your mattress, couch or chairs is one of the worst things you can do when you have bed bugs. We know, tossing the furniture seems like a smart way to combat bed bugs, but it is not. Taking action may make you feel like you’re taking care of the bed bug problem, when in fact you haven’t. Sure, the bed bugs hiding in your mattress will find themselves on the street, but that just lowers the competition for your blood. Other bed bugs hiding in your home will literally come out of the walls to feast on your neck, arms, and legs. In a few days, even more bed bugs will emerge from the bed bug eggs under dressers, in wall voids, and behind floorboards. These almost invisible baby bugs will be happy to join the feast. How many mattresses and other pieces of furniture are you willing to throw out before you call a professional and have the bed bug problem taken care of for good?

Should you install bed bug proof mattress encasements instead of throwing out your mattress? No. Bed bug proof mattress encasements won’t do a darn thing on their own. They are part of a prevention and treatment strategy–not an active infestation cure-all.

If you have bed bugs, here’s what you do:

1. Call a professional

2. Follow the professional’s instructions, which will include installing mattress and box spring encasements AFTER the treatment for bed bugs.

3. If you still want to use bed bugs as an excuse to redecorate your home, by all means toss your old furniture AFTER the bed bugs are gone; otherwise you’ll just be adding new hiding places to an old bed bug problem.

Bed Bug Prevention

bed bug mattress encasement

When there is no immediate bed bug problem, bed bug proof mattress and box spring encasements make a lot of sense as part of a prevention strategy. They make it impossible for bed bugs to infest your mattress and make bed bug mattress inspections easier to conduct. They do not prevent bed bugs from crawling onto your mattress and biting you…

Insect Interceptors

To prevent bed bugs from crawling onto your mattress and biting you, I always recommend that clients place insect interceptors under the legs on their bed frame. These serve two purposes: they keep bed bugs from crawling up onto your bed (protecting you from bites) and they capture bed bugs so you can quickly identify that you have a problem. Insect interceptors are far more useful than sticky traps as a bed bug “early warning” tool. Different brands of insect interceptors use different containment methods. Some use talcum coated polyethylene, others used specifically engineered plastic to keep bugs from climbing out. Neither type uses chemicals, but both capture bed bugs in a slippery, dry moat where you can easily see them.

Purchase bed bug prevention products at our on-line store. Want to learn more about bed bug prevention? Read my book!

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Worst Christmas Gift Ever for Your College Student Mon, 24 Nov 2014 08:51:57 +0000 Thrasher Bed Bug Prevention KitThe Bed Bug Prevention Kit is possibly the worst Christmas gift you can give your college student. It rivals socks and fruitcake as the least desirable present under the tree, but it is a gift that keeps on giving…to mom and dad! To find out what’s in the Bed Bug Prevention Kit for On and Off Campus read on or download the FREE Guide to Bed Bug Prevention.

Bed bugs are an introduced pest and a persistent problem in campus housing and in many Greek houses. Students’ rooms may have already been infested with bed bugs they moved in, or the bed bugs may invade from the room across the hall. Students also put themselves at risk anytime they bring in used furniture, get a new roommate, or let a friend stay for the night or weekend. When those students travel home for the holidays, they may bring their unwanted bed bug roommates with them.

bed bug running from hand

Bed Bug On Sheet

One of my clients lives in a townhouse. One spring this really sweet couple realized to their horror that they had bed bugs. We treated the townhouse and the couple was relieved to be free of bed bugs. They never could figure out where the bugs came from.

Three months later, the bed bugs “returned.” The couple assumed that we hadn’t killed all the bed bugs. I immediately re-inspected the townhouse. During my inspection, I noticed a stack of college textbooks on the table. Their daughter had left the books behind after winter break. BINGO!

Yes, the couple had noticed bites two weeks after the daughter returned to college, and yes, the previous infestation began shortly after the daughter had visited for Thanksgiving.

It can’t be said often enough: bed bugs are an introduced pest. Bed bugs in the daughter’s dorm room had infiltrated her luggage and infested her parent’s home twice! Once the bed bug issue was eliminated at the college, and the daughter learned how to bed-bug-proof her belongings, the infestations stopped.

–Excerpt from The Bed Bug Battle Plan, Second Edition by Garrett Thrasher

Protect your students and protect your home from bed bugs. Download the FREE Guide to Bed Bug Prevention On and Off Campus, and then visit Thrasher’s Bed Bug Store to create your own bed bug prevention gift box. We’ve selected the items most essential for bed bug prevention. Some of the items, such as Ziploc (r) bags can be purchased anywhere, we just include them the Store for convenience. Other items may be more difficult to find but are just as essential to bed bug prevention and early identification.

Let us know how your student responds to the wonderful and thoughtful gift of sleeping bed bug free.

(If suspect you’ve been visited by bed bugs, call our office! We’re your bed bug elimination experts.)


FREE Bed Bug Prevention Guide

Visit the Thrasher Bed Bug Store

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Things You Absolutely Do Not Want To Know About Pumpkin Pie Mon, 17 Nov 2014 20:06:03 +0000 Pumpkin-sect Pie Chart

Some of the ingredients in pumpkin pie are not found on any label–for good reason. WARNING! Do not read further unless you are ready to be grossed out. 

As a pest control company we wondered what, if any, pests would be found in a pumpkin pie. We were happily surprised that pumpkin, eggs, and cream are pest-(not bacterium) free; however, it was shocking to discover that spices are very dirty indeed. (Our spicy findings are below.)

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) establishes the maximum levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods for human use that pose no health hazard. Natural things, you know, like ground up insects, mold, rodent hair and rodent poop. To set your stomach at ease, the FDA sets the MAXIMUM levels. The FDA states on its website:

The defect levels do not represent an average of the defects that occur in any of the products–the averages are actually much lower. The levels represent limits at which FDA will regard the food product “adulterated”; and subject to enforcement action under Section 402(a)(3) of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act.

In other words, you probably have more of a chance of finding one of grandma’s gray hairs in a slice of pumpkin pie than an actual bug (that is, unless grandma fails keep her flour sealed in an airtight container!).

Although we started researching pumpkin pie from a pest control perspective, the most disturbing finding had nothing to do with pests. The FDA also enforces the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act and has determined that articles labeled “pumpkin” or “canned pumpkin” may contain golden-fleshed, sweet squash, or mixtures of squash with field pumpkins. In other words, the delicious, custardy, sweet, cinnamon infused pie may not be pumpkin at all. It may be Squash Pie. It is no wonder that pumpkin pie made from homegrown or supermarket pumpkins tastes odd. It’s missing golden-fleshed, sweet squash–whatever that is.


The Spicy Findings

In recipe ingredient format, here are the ingredients that may find their way into your pumpkin pie:


All purpose flour 1 ¼ c. including up to 234 insect fragments and 5 rodent hairs
Sugar 2 t.
Salt 1/6 t.
Butter 1/4 cup
Lard ¼ cup (Lard is rendered and hydrogenated pig fat)
Ice water

“Pumpkin” puree* One 15 oz. can
Light brown sugar** 3/4 cup packed
Eggs, lightly beaten 3
Half-and-half 1-1/4 cups
Salt 1/2 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon 1 ½ t. including up to 57 insect fragments
Ground ginger ½ t. including a minute quantity of insect fragments and a minute quantity of mammalian excreta
Ground allspice ½ t. including up to 7 insect fragments
Ground nutmeg ¼ t. including up to 12 insect fragments

*Canned goods labeled “pumpkin” may be packed from field pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) or certain varieties of firm-shelled, golden-fleshed, sweet squash (Cucurbita maxima), or mixtures of these. Pumpkin and squash are sometimes mixed intentionally to obtain the consistency most acceptable to users.

**Brown sugar is not “raw sugar.” It is processed refined white sugar with molasses added back in. 

How to Combat Pumpkin Pie Pests

Smother the pie with whipped cream, empty your mind and enjoy your pie. Then when you have a real pest control problem, call Thrasher Termite & Pest Control, the best pest control in San Diego and Silicon Valley. We’ll take care of the pests troubling you, and even sample your pie, if you insist!

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Dangerous Things for Sale on Craigslist Mon, 10 Nov 2014 09:51:49 +0000 Insecticides on Craigslist pose danger

Sandwich baggies of rat poison, old containers of insecticides with missing labels, illegal pesticides smuggled in from China and Latin America, and products containing EPA regulated chemicals have all been found on Craigslist. These items are dangerous and all belong either in the hands of a trained and licensed professional or in hazardous waste disposal. That baggie of “rat poison” is as potentially harmful to a kid as a loaded handgun. Yes, there are pesticides on the shelves of most hardware stores that also have the potential to harm, so what do we have against Craigslist? The same three things we have against purchasing pesticides on Ebay, at the flea market, or at a yard sale: label, age, and origin.

Insecticide baggie on craigslist

First, the label. Pesticides are highly regulated for good reason: they kill things. When the label directions for dilution and application are followed, pesticides can be very effective against the target pests while minimizing the risk to other critters. Products purchased from secondary sources often have missing or damaged labels. Worse, they may not be in the original container (such as that baggie of rat poison).

Insecticide on craigslist

Second, age. Yes, chemicals age, breakdown, and expire. And are taken off the market! Some people still have containers of diazinon in their garage despite the fact that it was taken off the market 10 years ago. Old containers of this insecticide are still offered for sale. Just because the label is intact, doesn’t make it less dangerous for household use.

Third, origin. Because of the money involved, counterfeit pesticides have become a big business.

” Counterfeit pesticides are produced and packaged to look like legal products, but their contents may not match their labels. Counterfeit products may have less active ingredient than the legal version or they may contain cheaper, possibly more toxic, active ingredients. Because of this, counterfeit pesticides can be ineffective or dangerous to people, pets and the environment.”–National Pesticide Information Center

Products purchased by licensed pest control operators and products purchased from reputable stores are very unlikely to be counterfeit, and are definitely legal to use. Not so with products purchased on secondary markets. “Miraculous Insecticide Chalk” is really easy to find online, dangerous (not miraculous), and absolutely illegal. That baggie of rat poison? It probably contains an illegally imported pesticide called Tres Pasitos. The active ingredient is aldicarb. According to the National Pesticide Information Center, “The EPA considers aldicarb to be a very toxic chemical that should never be used in your home. Children and pets are especially vulnerable to poisoning by Tres Pasitos…Touching, breathing or swallowing even a small amount of Tres Pasitos can cause vomiting, weakness, dizziness, sweating, and shortness of breath. If you suspect someone was exposed to Tres Pasitos, call the Poison Control Center immediately at 1-800-222-1222 for medical advice.”

Insecticide chalk on ebay

“Miraculous” chalk is illegal and dangerous. The only place it belongs is in a hazardous waste container.

Sometimes pest control is a do-it-yourself activity. When it is, purchase products from a reputable source and follow the label directions. When in doubt, call the people who deal with pests and pest control products every day–trained and licensed pest control operators.




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