How Vacuuming Can Control Pests – Advice from the Pros
By Chris Williams on April 15, 2011.
Vacuuming is a legitimate pest control tool. Many pest management professionals incorporate targeted vacuuming as part of their service, particularly in sites where they want to reduce the use of insecticides and promote integrated pest management. Pros use specialty pest control vacuums with various attachments designed just for pest problems. Special vacuum tools can even collect insects for identification and special filters can remove insect and mouse allergens from the air. But there’s plenty that you can do on your own with your household vacuum to prevent and remove pests:
• Vacuuming removes food for pests. Ants, cockroaches, and flies are all attracted to food spillage. Some fabric pests such as clothes moths and carpet beetles are found in areas that are not frequently vacuumed where they feed on lint, pet hair, and accumulated food crumbs.
• Vacuuming can remove a large number of pests. Although vacuuming alone will rarely eliminate a pest infestation, it gives a head start for other control measures.
• Vacuuming is the recommended control for small numbers of pests that occasionally enter homes such as stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, boxelder bugs, millipedes, or clover mites.
• Vacuuming can remove droppings, shed skins, webs, egg cases, sawdust piles, and other evidence of pests so that you can see if new evidence appears indicating an ongoing infestation.
• Vacuuming can remove dust and debris from surfaces and cracks and crevices so that an insecticide treatment is easier to apply, is more effective, and lasts longer.
• Vacuuming can fluff up carpeting which will allow an insecticide treatment to carpet to penetrate the fibers.
• Vacuuming is the control of choice in sensitive sites where insecticides can’t be used such as around electronics, or in stoves or refrigerators.
• Vacuuming helps remove insect bodies, shed skins, pest droppings and other sources of pest allergens that can cause health problems.
Check with your pest control company to see if they want you to vacuum before they come out for service. Vacuuming just before treatment means you are less likely to vacuum right after treatment which could remove the applied insecticides. Whenever you are vacuuming for pest control purposes always be sure to discard the vacuum bag immediately after in a sealed plastic bag so that insects don’t escape or eggs hatch inside the vacuum.