WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18: Whether you are annoyed by ants, terrorized by termites or cursed by cockroaches, Bermuda Pest Control can eradicate your problem.
The company’s red and blue fumigation tents are a familiar sight to most Bermudians, and its technicians can cover any size of property, from one-bedroom apartments to commercial buildings.
With a fleet of 14 vehicles and 12 technicians, the company covers the length and breadth of the island — even servicing ships and aircraft when needed.
The business is the largest pest control company in Bermuda, and this year celebrates its sixtieth anniversary.
Walter Saul, operations manager and licensed fumigator, said: “The company started in 1952 and is the most experienced on the island. We have the knowledge to handle any situation.”
It targets all kinds of bugs and insects but the most popular call-outs are for ants, termites and cockroaches — the biggest pests on the island.
“Aside from you burning your house down, termites are the biggest single thing which can devalue your home,” said Mr Saul.
“They can be catastrophic.”
Aside from tunnelling under wooden flooring, termites can invade the wooden rafters.
“Roofs can withstand a fair amount but once the problem is advanced, you’ve got a lot of stonework being held up by weakened woodwork and once a hurricane comes along, it can have dramatic results,” said Mr Saul.
Bermuda Pest Control started tenting homes and properties in 1967. Its fumigators are all licensed specialists in the use of Vikane gas by Dow.
Mr Saul said that in 97 per cent of cases, when you see a tented property there is a termite problem.
The company is also a specialist in eradicating other wood-eating insects such as the furniture beetle and woodworm.
In tent fumigation, safety is paramount. People, pets, plants and food, all need to be evacuated ahead of the gas procedure.
Security staff are then posted outside for the duration to prevent any admittance to the building. After two days the property is safe to re-enter and the gas does not leave a residue.
Mr Saul said: “We’ve done the buildings at Saltus (Grammar School), BHS (Bermuda High School) and Warwick Academy, so just those examples are a testament to the safety procedures and success we have.
“Whether it’s schools, residential properties or food preparation areas, we follow very stringent procedures.”
The company has three licensed fumigators.
“We are certified by the Bermuda Government and are also US-certified, which means we have to go away to get re-certified every year,” said Mr Saul, who has 34 years’ experience as a fumigator.
He explained the toxic gas works by penetrating the pores of the wood and into the tunnels of termites.
Bermuda Pest Control tent fumigation is covered by a seven-year warranty. The company gives free estimates and can also tent small items such as antique furniture.
If someone notices termites in their home however, the first thing the technicians do is come out to do an inspection, to determine the size of the problem.
If this is contained to a small area such as a door or window frame, they can eradicate the pests with localized treatments such as a liquid termiticide, injected into the woodwork.
Alternatively the occupier may be advised to replace the frame, depending on its condition, rather than going to the cost of tenting.
One of the other major pest problems in Bermuda is cockroaches.
There are two types of cockroach here — the small German Cockroach and the larger American Cockroach species.
“They are most commonly found around food preparation areas,” said Mr Saul.
“That’s why restaurants, wholesalers and hotels all have pest control and the Ministry of Health inspects them in order to license them.
“You may only see one or two, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg as they live in hidden places.”
People are therefore asked to empty their cupboards and pull out their drawers.
Getting ready for the pest control service involves removing everything from your kitchen cabinets, drawers and from under the sink, emptying the pantry and then stacking kitchen items in another room, covered with an old sheet.
People should then clear and wipe down their kitchen counter tops, shelves, stove and the sink, and sweep the floor.
In the bathroom, they should empty the medicine cabinet and sink.
People, pets, feeding dishes and houseplants should all vacate the premises before the treatment.
Spraying a stray cockroach with a roach spray such as Baygon will not get rid of your problem.
Bermuda Pest Control sprays pesticides into cracks and crevices, and can also leave bait material — food coated in insecticide — on the premises.
“There’s a number of tools of the trade,” said Mr Saul.
People can also help themselves to prevent cockroach infestation.
“Cleanliness in the kitchen is important, as well as keeping food in sealed containers and correct storage,” said Mr Saul.
“For example, don’t stack up cardboard boxes in a warm, damp corner.”
When it comes to ants, summer is just around the corner and ant activity is starting to stir.
“Ants only need a hole as big as a pushpin for access and can therefore invade your home,” said Mr Saul.
“They also secrete formic acid which can eat away at Bermuda stone.
“The first line of defence for ants is a treatment around the house.
“We would use a spray first around the foundations, the doors and windows, and after that we would use a granular material such as ant granules.
“Sometimes the problem is in the house. Even a crack in a foundation of cement leaves an open runway for ants, so in that case we would treat the inside as well.”
The company can also tackle flies, bedbugs and rodents.
contact Bermuda Pest Control on 232-7378 (BDA-PEST) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Website www.pestcontrol.bm/