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rat survey program

Bottom Line on Rats in Chicago

Greetings Andy--- Thanks for your inquiry. A rat survey program requires that we walk through a city block inspecting yards, alley, sidewalks and streets that enfold a city block. Details uncovered regarding rat movement, will show specific activity; point to infrastructural, or lateral surface movement of local rat activity, specific to the subject block. Often, we will note that rats are surfacing from within the private sewers which connect to the municipal system. Our function, through a survey, is to supply quarterly reports to a core group of property owners so they can export the reports to the greater body of property owners as well as their aldermanic offices. We feel that reports coming from expert testimony will work to effect a better cooperation from municipal services, and from the private owner sector. We do rat elimination work. Those who choose, will find that our correction work is complete and all-encompassing. The information gained from our quarterly evaluations becomes extremely valuable to property owners.

This type of work is handicapped by those residents who do not wish to participate in this group effort.  We do not want to project a negative view of this kind of project.  We find that eventually additional neighbors wish to embrace this block overview.

It's all about education combined with a degree of patience.  We know that we have the expertise to lead a block to a point where they see the results from a coordinated effort such as ours.

Nothing is achieved by relying completely upon city municipal services.  The leadership from private sector experts will make all the difference.

Best regards,George Manning, Consulting Entomologist


Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs

General Pest Control

QUESTION: Two questions:

1. Is the pest control industry anywhere near a chemical or biological  control for the BMSB?

2. Should I powerspray my house to cover the siding to prevent aggregation?  How about a powder under the siding?

Any advice is useful because I have these awful creatures...Thanks


ANSWER: The onset of Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs is of recent time.  They were imported from Asia; probably Korea or China via shipping containers.  They are spreading throughout the East Coast, first noticed in Eastern Pennsylvania.  Oregon has reported this pest also.
At this time, they are not a serious pest of crops; however, they may eventually become a serious agricultural pest.

Chemical controls will be with a pyrethroid such as Deltamethrin as a liquid which should be applied to the entire west and southside of the home's exterior, and topically along cracks and crevices from roof to foundation elsewhere.  Include vents in your prevention.  This spraying should not be done before mid-September, in my opinion.

Currently, you would be seeing BMSB exiting from their over-wintering sites.  Vacuum inside as they appear and, if you like, sprat outside to reduce the next cycle of bugs.

As to in wall treatment, caution should be exercised as not to kill in wall voids during winter.  The resulting kill will attract scavenger critters such as carpet beetles, and larder beetles, as well as a host of ants, and maybe certain mite specie.

As regards biological controls; there is research in progress.  You might contact the University of Ohio, since they are beginning a research project, I think.

Pheromone traps are currently under way, but I have no information regarding any availability at this juncture.

As regards powder under the siding where you suspect easy access; you can apply DeltaDust in the Fall as an adjunct to your Deltamethrin spraying with Suspend SC.  The dust is also Deltamethrin.

Best wishes, and let me hear from you as to your success Jim,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: thank you for your response.

What you are saying is that I should not apply any insecticides until the Fall?

Also, should I spray attic vents, soffits and chimney?  It seems like these things can get in anywhere?  

An experience level is helpful.  If you attempt to treat every possible area, you will have difficulty discovering the necessary applications.  I like to try south and west side, and any sun-soaked surfaces first.  I do believe that color of surfaces could enhance or detract from stinkbug egress to your home's interior.  This is only an observation.

Correct, wait for Late September to spray the exterior surfaces of the home.  In the meantime, you can seal cracks and crevices around windows, doors, etc.

Best wishes Jim,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist


Interesting Question for George Manning about Cockroaches

General Pest Control

Here was an interesting question:

If you look at animals such as shrimp, lobsters, crayfish, crabs, scorpions, cockroaches, etc they are all cousins to each other in the animal kingdom. I can look at all of these animals and not think much of them. But why is it that when I see a cockroach, just the sight of one wants to make me vomit? Those things are so disgusting... even though they are harmless and do not bite or attack humans (unlike their cousins, they are actually more scared of us than we are of them) But the roach just gives me a disgusted feeling of utter revulsion and goosebumps all over my body. Any clues as to why this is? Could it be that a cockroach is linked to poor hygiene?


You are asking an interesting question. I will draw from my own observations. Have you ever watched a Praying(Preying)Mantis turn its head to follow your movements, while the rest of the body remained motionless? As a youngster, I did get an eerie feeling that the critter was watching my every movement---almost human-like behavior to me. The cockroach will also watch you in certain instances, in the same way moving its head to follow your movement. Of course, with a sudden quick move, you'll cause the critter to run. Since they appear as if from nowhere, one can get the feeling that roaches, as invaders, hold some power over one, since they come and go as they like. When you look for them, they may be displaying their antennae only, waving, to and fro, as the rest of the body remains hidden in a crack or crevice. The mere fact that they can multiply in increasing numbers, partake of your food supply, defecate anywhere, can gross someone out. How about their ability to be a vector of microscopic disease organisms? I once visited a Florida trailer park. I noticed that all the children living in one particular trailer home were without eyelashes, and eyebrows; entering the home, pushing open the screen door, caused thousands of roaches to move out of the way. I soon discovered that every conceivable crack, crevice, and void was occupied by roaches. The ones on the floor were not able to hide since all areas were already occupied by their fellow roaches. With that, I knew that the roaches had eaten the lashes and eye brows of the children living in that trailer. I hope to not have contributed to further "creep-out", but you just set me up to write this. thanks to you, it will now be available for the World to read. If I can be of any positive help, please let me know.

Best wishes, George Manning

Consulting Entomologist

American Pest Solutions


subterranean termites


Dear George,

We live in the Caribbean and we have subteranian termites by the tons. Our home is 100% concrete including the roof. Our resources here are rather limited. I have an area in which I really cannot install by excavation a chemical barrier because the immediately adjacent concrete wall is the external wall of our 28,000 gallon cistern. Our problem is that when I prune the woody landscape plants in this area, the mites tunnel up from the earth, up the outside of the trunk of the plant, enter through the pruned wound, eat their way downward and eventually kill the plant by destroying the root system.  Yes, they are termites and yes they produce the clay tunnel and no, they are not merely attacking a plant that is sick from another disease.  I can gently pop the top edge off of the tunnel and watch the little buggers.  I have let them go on one plant just to make sure my theory was correct and I was right on.

Here's the it really true that Sevin has no impact on termites?  I know it is not labeled for termites but I have found a couple of references on the web to it working anyway, in two cases recommended to a homeowner by an exterminator in terms of routinely applying the powder or spray to an infected stump.  How about Tralomethrin .03%?   If I apply one or the other of these regularly to the ground around the base of these plants and the termites have to tunnel through this to tunnel up the stump, won't it have some effect?  I am comfortable with these products on the surface of the ground or cultivated in to a shallow level a few feet out from the cistern but not with the routine termiticides.  In the long run, I will go for the bait, but wonder if it is really true that these two insecticides have NO impact on termites or if it is merely true that they are not labelled for such because in the larger sense, they will not be as effective as the termiticides.  Is there any homemade termiticide that works at all?  Thank you so very much!

All the ---methrins(pyrethroids) are residual in the soil to my knowledge.  A carbamate like Sevin should do some termite damage too.  Label expansion to include additional insects is expensive, and that is why so many products list only the target specie that have been tested on the efficacy test runs for field and lab type testing.

I am not at all sure that those products, you include, Tralomethrin, and Sevin would be safe near a cistern.  I think, obviously leaching can possibly invade your cistern in time.

Insect growth regulators dispersed throughout the field of termite activity, sounds like a winner in this case.  There are over-the-counter IGR products out there.  If you have a local supplier, check with that agency, otherwise, our website has a link to a supplier.  You can discuss this with him too.  Mention you talked to me.

Best regards,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
Chicago Pest Control
Chicago Exterminator

American Pest Solutions


Tiny black bugs- Flea Beetles

General Pest Control

Dear George,
I live in Nevada and have been infested with some type of tiny black bugs, They are through hout my gravel, dirt, etc, and travel over my cool decking around the edge of my pool and eventually end up in the pool. When I look at them up close they appear to look like some type of mite?? I will try to get pictures up later. Can you Please help!

I have only seen flea beetles moving in mass once.  I saw this and thought to mention it here.  Unless I see a specimen, and according to the description that you send, I am restricted in what I can tell you.
Flea beetles are difficult to kill.  They have no natural predators.  The black flea beetle, Phyllotreta cucumeris, might be the culprit.  They are found in crop lands, also in Sudan grass.  It is possible to migrate from this grass or from crops.  The adult beetle will feed on leaves, and their larvae feed on root systems.
See if the hind legs are larger than the first two pair of legs.  The larger legs are built for jumping.  You are welcome to send a specimen to me at 9138 S. Baltimore, Chicago, Illinois 60617.
Best regards Thelma,

George Manning
Consulting Entomologist
Chicago Pest Control
Exterminator Chicago

American Pest Solutions


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