You must know their weakness before you can destroy them.
The Fruit Fly (Drosophila)
Life cycle: Eight days. Female can produce 500 eggs in life.
Where to find them: Drains or anywhere there is decaying organic material. “They don’t need much,” says entomologist and director of technical services Frank Meek of the pest control services provider Orkin. “Moisture from a single grape can be enough for them to breed.”
Why they’re so bad: Speedy reproduction means they can quickly get out of hand. A tiny puddle can quickly attract thousands in a conspicuous area, giving customers the impression of filth.
How to destroy them: Keep things clean and dry, scrape drains and clean them with a biological cleaner.
The German Cockroach (Blatella germanica)
Life cycle: One year. Females reproduce at one month. She’ll produce an average of five egg capsules in her life, each containing about 40 eggs.
Where to find them: Ovens, cracks in walls and anywhere there’s food. Generally carried in food cartons or in people’s clothing and bags.
Why they’re so bad: “They’ve been around for millions of years and are extremely adaptable. They can adapt to become resistant to pesticides,” says William Puricelli of Advanced Exterminating. “They can live off everything—glue, excrement, even their own young.”
How to destroy them: Seal cracks and crevices. Apply an insecticide bait material in cracks. The roaches will then die and other roaches will eat them and their feces and they’ll die too.
The Indian Meal Moth (Plodia interpunctella)
Life cycle: One year. 300 of those days are spent as larvae, then they turn into a cocoon then into a moth. A mature female moth will not eat but will produce over 400 eggs.
Where to find them: In pantry products—bags or boxes of grains, cereals, nuts, dried fruits, powdered milk, chocolate, spices, candies etc. Also can be found in potpourri. Look for the webbing they create when they form cocoons.
Why they’re so bad: “They live in products that we use everyday, but it’s when products aren’t rotated properly—first in, first out—that the pests can start multiplying,” says Meek. “They can result in much food being thrown out.”
How to destroy them: Infected product must be discarded. Keep new products in tightly sealed glass or plastic containers. Put Insect Growth Regulators in cracks; this won’t kill them, but will keep them from reproducing. Rotate product instead of pushing unused goods to the back of a shelf.
The House Mouse (Mus musculus)
Life cycle: About one year. Females can breed at one month. The gestation period is 19 days. She can have eight litters a year, six mice per litter.
Where to find them: Anywhere they can find harborage and food—especially grains. Dumpsters, pallets and walls are likely shelters. They can get anywhere where there’s an opening the circumference of a pencil.
Why they’re so bad: “They can learn,” says Puricelli. “If you put down a glue trap and he gets stuck and gets out, the next time he’s not going to get onto the glue trap.” They also can leave disease-filled droppings on areas that should be sanitary and create holes in walls or products.
How to destroy them: Stop up holes and cracks with metal mesh or
cement. Keep windows and doors closed. Use multi-catch mousetraps, like the Ketch-All.