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Pest Control Questions and Answers - Paul W. Smith Show - WJR Detroit

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


[Paul]   The Paul W. Smith show, WJR Tuesday morning June 20- June 5 rather. I'm not trying to speed us along here, it's just the beginning of June. Mark Vanderwerp, is here with us. He joins us from time to time with one of our more popular segments, where we open the phone lines and the experts from Rose Pest Solutions, in this case Mark, manager of education and training at Rose, which you can find, by the way, or call them at 800-966-ROSE is in the studio and the happy recipient of half the sandwich that we just had. The great Slow's barbecue sandwich.

[Mark]   I am digging the Slow's sandwich, hey, good morning Paul.

[Paul]   It's really good. And you're of the first to have the plaid pig, that is in honor of John Osborne, Marie's son. Nice to have you here with us, I don't really want to talk to you very much because so many people are calling in, I want to get to every call that we can. When you hear someone hang up, know that you can call in, our WRJ toll-free number, 800-859-0957, 800-859-0WJR, lots to talk about, and Carl, in Howell, is up first! Good morning Carl, welcome to WJR!

[Carl]   Good morning Paul and Mark, thank you for having me on this segment. I've got a concern about boxelders! I've got little red dots that are running around in my mulch, near some smaller plants, and as they've gotten bigger, they appear to be taking on the shape of boxelders which found their way into my house last year!

[Mark]   Carl, yeah I think you have correctly identified the issue, I do believe. So boxelder bug adults are the ones that get into the house, but of course the little ones you'll sometimes see running around outside. What undoubtedly is going on, so these things are seed feeders. And so what probably happens is you've got a large maple tree, perhaps, near this landscaped area, and those lovely things shed helicopters.

[Carl]   Sure do.

[Mark]   Yeah, hey look at this! I'm like a shaman over here. So those helicopters that fall off the tree, a lot of those make their descent into your mulched bed, and when you go around and mow the lawn, and blow those seeds out, a lot of times, they don't blow out of the mulch all that well, so there's a bunch of maple seeds down in there, and that is prime boxelder bug food. So yes, sure enough, you see those little red bugs in there. So you could do a treatment on that mulch bed and take out those early stages of the boxelder bugs and prevent some of those from becoming adults, but of course you've got to keep in mind, the adults can fly, so you'll still probably see some boxelder bugs in the fall, but if you want to take care of these, go for it.

[Carl]   Mark, I appreciate the advice, thank you so much, sir.

[Paul]   Carl, thank you for clearing Howell of boxelders, we appreciate it. It's a job well done.

[Carl]   Alright Paul, have a great morning.

[Paul]   You do the same. Barbara's in Trenton, on the Paul W. Smith show, WJR, it's our Rose Pest Solution hour, what's on your mind, Barbara?

Barbara: Good morning, I have stinkbugs coming in my house, and not just a few, I mean, sometimes 30 of them, they're driving me crazy.

[Mark]   Yes. That is what they do, that is why they're here. No, they're actually here to destroy our crops and eat a bunch of plants that we like. So stinkbugs are gonna be a problem for the foreseeable future. They've been coming, we've known the wave's coming, and it finally crested and broke, and last year was a pretty big year for stinkbugs. Especially in southeast Michigan.

[Paul]   What makes it a big year for stink bugs? We've had great weather for them, or...?

[Mark]   So it's an invasive species, so the population is kind of rolling in from out east. So they started in the Pennsylvania area, in eastern Pennsylvania, and they've been working their way here ever since and they do well when there's abundant food and good growing conditions, which for stinkbugs, they do tend to like cold winters because they're an overwintering pest. So that's why they come into our structures, is to spend the winter in a safe place. Believe it or not, it is not to actually terrorize you, all of that is typically the result.

[Mark]   So they're kind of a tricky thing to deal with, they don't reproduce inside the structure, they don't infest the structure, per se, they just come in, sometimes en masse.

[Paul]   What can Barbara do?

[Mark]   Anything you can do to seal up the structure is a great start, although I realize this is often difficult, but if you know of gaps around windows or poorly sealed doors, those are great places to start. Other places they get in, you won't be able to seal, so certain things like chimneys. You don't want to seal that, you've got to have your chimney open, and that is a potential route in. So you typically want to do a kind of hybrid approach: seal the things you can, and do some exterior treatments in the fall when you start to see them on the side of your house. And if you time things correctly, you can certainly decrease the numbers you see inside dramatically, although you may not get to zero. But hopefully less than 30!

[Paul]   Alright Barbara!

[Barbara]  Thank you!

[Paul]   Best of luck to you, Jerry in Macomb, trouble with gnats, Jerry.

Jerry: Yes, good morning. I have a storage room in the basement that the gnats are only in that storage room. We don't keep any kind of food, except for the canned foods and toilet items, and shampoos, there's nothing in there that we know of that they're eating, but I've got one of those little lights down there with the flypaper behind it, and they're loaded on that after a while.

[Mark]   I have a guess what's going on here, I'd have to see the pest to be positive, but what it sounds like is these are small black flies. There's a good chance these are Phorid flies. Google that, P-H-O-R-I-D. And seeing if it looks like that is correct if that's the case, the problem is not anything in your living space, it's actually a sub-slab problem, likely tied into a sanitation line that has ruptured. I am just ...

[Paul]   The bearer of bad news here! [crosstalk 00:06:15]. You thought you had a gnat problem!

[Mark]   Turns out you may have a poo problem. No, a lot of times, this can be - you know it happens. So things rot and decay over time, and when a sanitation line goes, it can kind of saturate the soil beneath your structure, with our waste. And these little flies love that stuff and then they get into the structure through little cracks in the cement, that kind of thing. And that's my guess what's going on, although there are certainly some other scenarios that could be the case.

[Paul]   Jerry, you now have something else to look for, thanks for the call.

[Speaker 6]  You're hearing the Paul W. Smith show, News/Talk 760, WJR.

[Paul]   With his MSU degree, bachelor of science in entomology, firmly in hand, 13 years ago, youngster.

[Mark]   It's been a while.

[Paul]   Yeah. He is here. Mark Vanderwerp, B.C.E. of Rose Pest Solutions in Troy, manager of education and training. 800-966-ROSE, or, but he's taking your calls live here, right now, on the Paul W. Smith show, on WJR. When you call 800-859-0957, 800-859-0WJR. And happily, Mike in Clinton Township, held on the line because you were looking forward to this question. Hello Mike!

[Mark]   Yes.

[Mike]   Hi, I've started raising bees and I'd like to know how Rose Pest Control handles bee swarms when someone calls Rose Pest Control, what do you do. Do you remove the swarm and safely relocate it?

[Mark]   So, great question Mike. Rose Pest Solutions is very cognizant of pollinator protection issues going on right now. So we are certainly on the side of honey bees, and we try to never destroy a colony unless we have to. And sometimes you do have to. But swarms you really never have to. So I'm an amateur beekeeper myself, boy if I can get a honeybee colony to last two years, I'm happy, but I usually take wild-caught swarms and I'll stick them in a hive in my backyard. So we've had a few people in the company who will do that, would like to relocated them to their yards, and that's always fantastic, some of our offices don't have anyone who is a beekeeper, and what they typically do, will contact a local beekeeper who wants to pick up the swarm.

[Mark]   So that's typically how we handle it. Is if we have someone that can relocate it and deal with themselves, they do. And otherwise, we call for help.

[Mike]   Thank you.

[Paul]   Alright Mike, thank you. I think he wasn't having any problems, he wanted to make sure he didn't have any problem with the way you guys dealt with honey bees, so important pollinators. But you guys are very good to all bugs. Nicer than I would be.

[Mark]   We try to take care of the nice bugs, you know?

[Paul]   You're nicer to spiders and bugs than I ever would be. Tim is in Temperance, on the Paul W. Smith show, WJR, at 8:41. Tim has an issue with mosquitoes or a question. Hi Tim.

[Tim] Well, I understand that there are certain plants that you can put out that will discourage mosquitoes. With our record rainfalls, we're going to have, just a record number of mosquitoes, and we do down here in Monroe County. My other question would be, is there anything you could do to discourage Japanese beetles?

[Mark]   Boy, these are two widely disparate questions here, rolled into one. I'll see what I can - batter up, huh?

[Mark]   For the mosquitoes, yeah, there are things called mosquito plants that are supposed to keep mosquitoes away, we moved a couple years ago, and the previous occupant of the house had planted a bunch of these mosquito plants, and there's still plenty of mosquitoes. So I don't know how much stock you can put in this, and how much repellency effect can a plant really have, if it keeps the mosquitoes five feet away from the plant, does that really do you any good unless you're sitting on the plant? Probably not, so I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that, I think some of the more traditional mosquito tactics work a lot better, so put repellents on your body, where you want to keep the mosquitoes away from if you're working outside. You can put a fan on yourself if you're going to be sitting on a deck and not moving, just let the wind blow over you, and keep the mosquitoes away, and of course make sure the screens are in good shape, the house is sealed up to keep them out of the structure, these kinds of things.

[Paul]   Tim, good luck with your mosquitoes. More questions, more problems, and more solving of problems coming up. We're running out of time here, I want to quickly ask Mark Vanderwerp of Rose Pest Solutions, again rosepestsolutions. com, or 800-966-ROSE, if you don't get on, whoever's on the line, Mark will still answer your questions off-air, whoever is on the line, and you can also always call Rose, but quickly, the Wayne-Oakland Science Olympiad, you founded that right?

[Mark]   Not the Science Olympiad, but there's an event, called Amazing Arthropods -

[Paul]   That's your event.

[Mark]   - that I created a couple years ago. This was to get kids fired up about insects, and we just had a tournament this past weekend, went really well.

[Paul]   Good for you. You come up with anything else lately? Because that's pretty astonishing. Something that I think Rick Burkhardt, sitting in the studio, one of our top account executives, and myself did not ever come up with. No, huh?

[Mark]   Never created a bug event, huh?

[Paul]   No.

[Mark]   Haven't yet.

[Paul]   Nor did we know, until you came today, that you've now learned that ticks can live up to four years. And that's not even the most amazing thing, in those four years...

[Mark]   So ticks are an astounding animal, and we're in a tick Renaissance right now. So we need to start learning more about these things. But yeah, ticks! So in colder areas, southern Canada, northern Michigan, they can actually, the black-legged tick, the deer tick, can have a four-year lifecycle and it only eats three times in its life. So that means it might just not eat for a year and just hang out, and they're very patient animals.

[Paul]   What's fascinating to me is how patient the scientists who are following these ticks must be. Hey, he ate again, isn't that only twice in the last two years?! I mean that's the part that gets me, and they're being paid to do that. But anyway, quick last question -

[Mark]   Grad students Paul, grad students.

[Paul]   Alright, so grad students do all the work. Dave is in Royal Oak with some carpenter ants.

Dave: Yes, the quick question is this: wife planted azaleas with white flower and also pine bark wood chips, wanted to know, one, if they attract carpenter ants, two, are there any plants that would deter carpenter ants, and three, what would you recommend to kill the carpenter ants, Terro, which is like a Borax base, or would you recommend like an Amdro, which is a hydro-whatever something and another one is like an Ant Shield, Spectracide.

[Paul]   Alright we have one minute left to do this.

[Mark]   So Dave, here's the scoop on carpenter ants. If you've got big, mature trees in the area, you're going to have carpenter ants. So if you really don't want any carpenter ants, clear-cut all the forests. No, that's ridiculous.

[Paul]   He's kidding.

[Mark]   Carpenter ants aren't that bad. They're really cool! They're mostly beneficial unless they happen to be chewing on your house. So you do have to draw the line somewhere. A lot of the over the counter products can work, although carpenter ants can be a little tricky. They're primarily nocturnal so you don't always see where all the activity is. One thing that you can do, it's best if you can find the nest. 'Cause often, that is a sign that there is some structural damage, oftentimes a water leak or something like that is where they get started. So sometimes just putting out a non-toxic bait, some sugar water, what works great is maple syrup. Give those ants a free meal, follow them, see if you can find out where they're going. You may not be able to. But if you can find them, and just treat the specific area with a contact insecticide, that's a beautiful thing.

[Dave]  Great, I know you're of town, but if you want to continue a conversation offline, I also have an attaboy for your company, a guy came out and did a great job.

[Mark]   Fantastic, yeah sure, hold the line.

[Paul]   I'm going to put you on hold, and another attaboy for Rose, I give them attaboy's for when they've been out to my house too. Rose Pest Solution, 800-966-ROSE,, the place to go. Mark Vanderwerp, nice to have you back with us!

[Mark]   Hey, it was a pleasure Paul, thanks a lot.


If you suspect you have a pest problem Contact your nearest Rose Pest Solutions service center immediately for a free inspection. 

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