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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : features : real estate April 16, 2014


1/17/2013 9:59:00 PM
Ask the contractor: Don't turn to bug bombs as way to fight bedbugs

Sandy Griffis
Yavapai County Contractors Association


Q: We have a minor infestation of bedbugs in our home. Will "bug bombs" do the trick?

A: Bug bombs will not work on bedbugs because the majority of bedbugs spend their time hiding in protected areas such as under sheets and mattress seams, in cracks and crevices and along carpet baseboards. Bug bombs do not penetrate these areas.

According to the Journal of Economic Entomology, there is no one single treatment or technique that is effective. Bedbugs can be controlled by using combined integrated pest management techniques. Registered pesticides can provide effective control if used properly through licensed and qualified and professional applicators. Bedbugs have reached epidemic proportions and, according to Tim Goeringer and Matt Goehller, owners of the local Orkin Pest Control, bedbugs are extremely common right here in Yavapai County, and they see infestations on a weekly basis. Tim said that bedbugs have increased dramatically, and they are considered a public health nuisance.

Accordingly, Yavapai County Health Department states bedbugs are not known to transmit infectious diseases even though bedbugs carry at least 28 different types of human pathogens. Some people are severely affected from bedbug bites.

Complex measures must be taken to prevent and control bedbugs once they have been discovered in a home or place of business and controlling bedbugs takes time. There are chemical and non-chemical treatments to eliminate bedbugs. Orkin is now using a high heat treatment that is a superior solution to eliminating bedbugs.

It is important to remember that bedbugs are super hitchhikers and can be moved from used second-hand furniture to baggage to boxes in a short time. They are extremely resilient and can survive for months and months without eating. It is a myth that bedbugs live in dirty places. They are not attracted to dirt, but, instead, to warm and cozy areas and they feed off human blood. Tim and Matt from Orkin said it is important to learn about the signs of bedbugs and if discovered, you should immediately call for pest management and control.

Q: Last week we received a call from a homeowner who was interested in installing a heated driveway. They have a rather steep drive with a northern exposure. Here are some items to consider if you are interested in a heated driveway.

There are two options: electric and/or installing a boiler. The electric option is made up of heat cables and the boiler option uses hot water that is pumped through PEX tubing. An automatic sensor also can be installed that detects snow and ice and would then activate the system.

There are pros and cons to both systems. For example, electric can be more efficient, heat the surface quicker and take less maintenance, while the boiler system can be a little more costly to purchase and install and require more maintenance. With winter storms and freezing temperatures, steep driveways and sidewalks do create a hazard and we all know the hard work of shoveling. Heated driveways offer a great benefit for the assurance of a safer environment and no more sore muscles.

Another positive impact of heated driveways is the increased longevity of the concrete. Heated driveways are resistant to corrosion, because ice-melt material is no longer required. Also keep in mind you must take into account the cost of tear out/haul-off and re-pour of concrete for the drive, so depending on the amount of concrete required, there will be this additional expense for concrete. One can always look at pavers versus concrete for a cost comparison.

Proper design for a heated driveway is critically important from layout to coverage, and local weather must be taken into consideration. A Prescott heated driveway layout will be entirely different than a heated driveway in Flagstaff or Montana.

Last but not least, do not forget the unattended consequences of a heated driveway. From cute deer and rabbits to javelina and skunks, these animals like warm areas to snuggle into at night. Heated driveways have been known to invite the critters over for a warm night's sleep.

***

Thanks to so many of our wonderful readers for taking the step to safety by buying a fire extinguisher. We have three fire extinguishers remaining. These are 5-pound rechargeable ABC extinguishers and because of our partnership with B&W Fire Security, we are selling these for $30 each - they normally retail for $46 each. These are not low-cost throw-away extinguishers. Be safe and put a fire extinguisher in your home today.



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