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Bainbridge/SPS Pest Control In The News

Dale Arvay, President/CEO of Bainbridge/SPS Pest Control, has given lots of presentations about pest control & integrated pest management over the years to small business associations, Rotary Clubs, and more. In addition, he's been used as an "expert" in several community newspapers and newsletters, as well as having contributed articles. Here's a small selection of news articles and bulletins from the past 20+ years.

Bedbugs Are Back (Originally appeared in Spirit of Bainbridge, December 18, 2010)

Well, not a creature was stirring. Not even a mouse... until the bedbugs found the mouse, the bat, the cat and the home occupants. What’s with this stuff about bedbugs on the news and everywhere in the papers? Read more...

Until rather recently, we haven’t heard much about bedbugs. In fact they were nearly eradicated almost 50 years ago during the WWII era. Your grandparents may have recited the old nursery rhyme: “Go to bed, sleep tight, and don’t let the bedbugs bite.”

And you would say... really? “Is there such a thing as a bedbug? What are they that I have to worry about them biting me in my warm bed? Isn’t this just a myth?""

Hardly! When DDT reigned supreme, this topic pretty much came to an end. Well, we don’t employ these insecticides. In fact, we’ve done away with a lot of routine spraying in businesses, homes and schools. Now they have mounted a serious comeback over the last 10 years or so. Increased use of baits for insect and cockroach control is also a factor in their widespread appearance in hotels & multi-family housing. But the rise of international travel seems to be one of the biggest reasons.

The bedbug (family Cimicidae: cimex lectuarius) is now being seen throughout Ohio, including Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Mansfield and elsewhere. Long associated with poor housekeeping, the reason for an infestation may not be lack of cleanliness. The common bedbug hitchhikes in luggage, bedding, beds, clothing and furniture. Public places such as theaters, buses, trains, cruise ships, dormitories, shelters and changing rooms in clothing stores can harbor these creatures. Shopping at second hand stores, and purchasing used furniture, box springs and mattresses and even the moving van itself can have them.

What do they look like? Well, they are tiny reddish brown insects 1/5” (or 5 mm) as adults, or even smaller in the nymphal stage. They are blood thirsty little critters, and need a blood meal an average of 45 times to reach maturity. Their eggs are almost clear to light colored and are almost impossible to see. They will feed on humans, cats, dogs and there is a version that feeds off bats... called a “bat bug.”

The female bedbug deposits eggs in batches of 10 to 50. A total of 200 to 500 eggs are laid, at a rate of three eggs a day. In about 10 days, if conditions are warm and suitable, they hatch. One to two months later, they can become fertile egg laying adults, and start the process all over again. The adults live an average of 10 months. The adults are capable of withstanding starvation from 80 to 140 days. In unheated buildings without food, they can actually live a year or longer. Nymphs and adults feed generally during the night when the host is asleep. They engorge themselves with blood in three to 10 minutes and their bites are generally painless.

They hide in the smallest of cracks, near their hosts. Sites include bed frames, box springs, mattresses and nightstands. But once established, they can occupy almost any area in the bedroom. Including waterbeds, electronics, computers, headboards, under carpet, inside electrical outlets, dropped ceilings, behind wallpaper and paneling, pictures and furnishings.

As with other blood-sucking species, the bites of bedbugs can produce a range of reactions in humans. From vidtually no reaction at all to welts and local inflammation and red splotches on the skin. Bedbugs have not been known to transmit pathogens, so they are not considered vectors of disease. However repeated bites can cause great anguish and interrupted sleep. In lab studies, the hemoglobin count has been reduced in some when large populations of bedbugs are present.

So, how do I know if I have bedbugs? If you are getting mysterious welts on your body, or see blood stains on your sheets, or fecal spots that look like pepper marks, or experience a characteristic pungent odor, you may have bedbugs. Inspect your bed frame, box spring and mattress with a flashlight. Consider encasing your mattress and box spring with a bedbug proof protective encasement.

Keep clutter under your bed to a minimum, since they can hide in boxes, shoes, and other items stored under a bed. Watch out for them when traveling. Inspect your room before unpacking if staying at a hotel. Check under the mattress and box spring near the headboard for live bedbugs, fecal droppings or blood spots. If you suspect your room may be infested, ask for another room. Let the hotel manager know if you find them.

While on a cruise recently, I made a thorough check of my cabin and my daughter’s before unpacking our suitcases. It’s a good idea to travel with a small container of bedbug spray to use before repacking your suitcase.

Avoid bedbug-infested materials. Do not scavenge for mattresses, beds, bed frames, headboards, or other discarded furniture, especially upholstered furniture. We have seen them hiding in the undersides of these items. If in doubt, have them treated by a professional before placing them inside your home.

Get a professional pest control service to treat your house at the earliest stage in detection. Don’t wait to treat for bedbugs. The jobs are quite labor intensive and can be costly.

This information was provided as a public service by Dale T. Arvay, President/CEO of Bainbridge/SPS Pest Control Inc. Close article...

SPS And Chagrin Valley Rotary Club (December 2010)

On Dec 21st, Bainbridge/SPS Pest Control appeared in a joint presentation with Molly Patton of Patton Pest Control at the Chagrin Valley Rotary Club. Topics covered involved biology and history of bedbugs from the cave man fighting them off to the current situation. Modes of transport were discussed including luggage transfer from hotel rooms, to the moving van, cruise ships, airplanes, and trains. Read more...

Members were shown actual insect samples in alcohol and were shown photos of actual mattress and box spring infestations. Treatment methods and prevention were discussed in detail.

For more information about bedbugs visit or call 440-543-0482 for information on preventive programs and bedbug treatments. Close article...

Wasp & Yellow Jacket Season is Upon Us (Originally appeared in Bainbridge Banter, August 21, 2008)

Yellow jackets, hornets and paper wasps are all social wasps. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean they’re friendly or social to people! They can act downright unfriendly and when they feel their colony is being threatened, they present a real danger because large numbers of them will attack and sting the intruder. Read more...

Paper wasps are the least aggressive of these wasps. They build nests with many entrances (in a dome or umbrella shape, hence they are called umbrella wasps by some people), and their nest typically contains less than 250 workers.

Yellow jackets and hornets build large nests that can house many thousands of wasps, always with just a single entrance. One of the biggest yellow jacket nests ever found was discovered in late 1990 in Tyler, Texas. It contained over 14,000 wasps and measured approximately 6 1/2 feet high by 6 1/2 feet wide by 2 1/2 feet deep!

Here are a few things you can do to help prevent wasps from becoming a problem.

  • Pick up ripe fruit under trees and dispose of it, and keep garbage cans clean and closed so wasps won’t be attracted to your yard.
  • Screen and weatherstrip doors, windows and vents, and caulk cracks in outside walls to keep them outside.
  • Remove hollow trees and other nesting sites from your yard.

If you have a yellow jacket or hornet nest in your yard, or a paper wasp nest too close to a doorway or pathway, a pest control specialist can treat the problem safely and effectively before anyone gets stung. Close article...

Carpenter Ants In Northeast Ohio (Originally appeared in Spirit of Bainbridge, March 22, 1996)

Seen any unusual sawdust in your garage? Are you hearing clicking sounds in your paneled walls or doors? Have you seen big black ants inside your dishwasher? Are some ants with wings showing up in your window sills, kitchen, bath or attic areas of your house? Read more...

Well, if you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, then, you might have structural pests known as Carpenter Ants. No they don’t have a union card, nor are they equipped with hammers, chisels, and power saws. But they are serious wood destroying pests that can cause damage to your home.

What attracts them? Trees touching the structure; moisture problems in your porch additions, decks, joists, or roof. Leaks in the attic chimney flashing, soffits, ice damaged gutters, humid bathrooms and kitchens, leaky shower stalls, and heavy mulching around the foundation.

“Carpenter ants can have as many as 3200 members in their family, can 'bite; with their large mandibles, and weaken our structural timbers,” says Dale Arvay, President of Bainbridge/SPS Pest Control. Virtually any home in Northeast Ohio and the Midwest is subject to attack. “Many of our residential communities today have all the ingredients of a continuing carpenter ant problem. Bainbridge and Auburn have serious problems because of the rural nature and close proximity to a large number of trees in the area.

“It is important to call a professional pest control company if you suspect a problem. The average homeowner is ill equipped to deal with this insect once it gets established. We know where to look and what techniques will solve the problem.” “Spraying around the baseboards” is not an effective approach because the colony must be pinpointed. In addition, it is important to verify which pest you really have.

There are many species of ants, and termites may have wings too. Each species requires a different treatment approach to get results. It is important to save a specimen if you call a pest control contractor so they can correctly identify your problem. Close article...