If you think your home is safe from termites, bed bugs, or carpet beetles, think again! In this episode, we're talking to Rory McCarty, owner of Bug Boys, a pest control company that services the Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania area, to find out how to prevent and treat these nasty pests that can wreck havoc in and around your home!
Find Rory at Bug Boys Pest Control.
Email Rory your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bed Bug Infestations
Termite Treatment videos
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Serena: [00:00:00] I am on a podcast with Rory McCarty. He is the owner, one of the owners of Bug Boys, a pest control that serves Maryland, DC, Northern Virginia, and a bunch of other places.
Rory: [00:00:11] And I'm so excited, Rory, to talk to you. This is something that I've really been wanting to do since last summer when you came and treated my house for termites
Right. We were so busy last year. It was so hard to get one.
Serena: [00:00:26] I think the only word that comes to mind is I was really enthralled by you because not only did you represent yourself in an honest way, because you're somebody dealing with termites and you're scared that you're going to run into the wrong person who's going to take you for a lot of money.
Rory: [00:00:41] That's right. That's why I open this company.
Serena: [00:00:44] You're looking for hard working people, honest people who are going to just help you solve this problem.
But also you've got a YouTube channel and I've never seen anybody get as excited about termites as you do. So I thought, you know what, I'm hiring this guy. And when you came to my house, I just loved you. And I said, if I ever do a podcast, I'm going to have you on. And then I'm going to put you on my YouTube channel and all that good stuff.
So welcome Rory.
Rory: [00:01:11] Welcome. It's nice seeing you again.
Serena: [00:01:14] Yes, definitely. And so how I had met you just for everybody who's listening is about a year ago, I got some pictures from my tenant who lives in my townhouse that we rent and it was termite-- and I knew that it was termite damage just by looking at it, the telltale signs.
And I'd never dealt with termites before. And I remember calling around to a couple of places and I can't quite remember how they wanted to treat, but I remember when I talked to you, you're like, Nope, this is what we got to do. And this is how much it's going to cost. And this is going to get rid of the problem.
So can you walk me through, like for someone that has a termite problem or how do they even know if they have a termite problem and what's the first thing that they do? Walk me through what happens, what that process is like for a homeowner who thinks they might have termites or an even better question is, does everybody need to have a termite inspection?
Rory: [00:02:06] Absolutely. And if you watch my videos I plead with Homeowners, be proactive! Get your house treated. Don't wait till you see the problem, because what happens is between the 9th to 12th year, so when your house is built between the ninth and 12th year, that's when termites coming, knocking. People don't understand that termites are so prevalent in and around , of course, down in Florida and as you get North, it starts, more North towards Canada, things like that, it's less, but our area, the Silver Springs, the DC, the Northern Virginia, all the way out, it's prevalent everywhere. So every house it's not, if, you're going to get termites, it's not, if you're going to get them, it's when you're going to get them.
And people, what they do is, it's out of sight out of mind. So they wait. So they got a problem. And usually when they see a problem, it's because of the termites are swarming or someone is changing a door, the front door or their windows. And when they open up the windows and get behind the drywall, bam, that's when they see the problem.
So I tell people one, get your house checked every other year. If you don't get it treated. Get checked every other year. But what you'd seen is, you see the swarm. So this timing here right now, March, April, May, and June, this is the time of year to keep your eyes out. You will see little black bugs swarming now with long silky wings.
Most people think they're are they're ants. And what they do is they get the bottle out and they spray it and I always tell people, don't spray nothing. Don't spray nothing. Because what I do is when I come in, I want to get this treatment right on top of where they're coming out. So I don't want to kill them right away.
The ones you're seeing that are swarming out are all kings and queens. They're not even the ones that do the damage. So people think, I'll kill those. Then I don't see them anymore. And the problem goes away. But they didn't understand to stand inside the walls, the white ones, the workers are eating your house 24 hours a day. They don't sleep. They don't hibernate. So what they're doing is, they're coming up, swarming, eating your house, and then going back down. And the swarms that you see, it's mating season. So they're warming out. They need to leave the colony forever. So when they swarm, it's like now, and they give a pheromone off and it's Take flight and they want to get outside to pair up, to mate, to start forming them. They're a whole new colony to attack your house or attack the other houses that are nearby. Sometimes people will come home and the swarms gone and they see all these wings all over their floor and they don't think anything of. It is Oh, okay. Then next year it happens again.
But when you see that, that's when you need to not spray nothing, call me right away so I can give you a free inspection. I hope that helps.
Yes. It's a very frightening thing. And I'll tell you several years ago, I want to say 2014, I was renovating my laundry room and I was about to do the flooring. I took off the trim and I saw what I knew to be termites.
It was so scary. And it is was so gosh, how do I even explain it? Just what's going to happen now? How much is this going to cost me? And I remember calling, I don't even remember the company, but I called this company. They came. They didn't do anything related to what you did. And I, we can talk a little bit about that in a moment in terms of how you actually treat for termites.
And remember, I took so much footage. I think I didn't even share that when you came to treat my house for termites, I didn't even share that footage yet. So I'm going to put this footage in the video, but the man who came to, to treat this, all he did was he did an inspection and he literally just walked around.
I don't really see anything, but let's put this little, I don't even know what it's called. I'm going to call it like a feeder box or something right at that location. And that's it. Nobody came back to check. I didn't see any other signs, damage. I didn't see any warmers. So I thought, but I have seen the termites in my yard.
We had this big Oak tree or maple tree, and whenever I would peel back those heavy bricks lining the tree, I would see them under there. So I'm like, okay, I know we have them in the yard. I've seen them in the house. But again, it was this fear of, Oh my gosh, if I call somebody, it's going to be very expensive.
maybe we don't have a problem. what you're describing people will say, Oh, they're gone. there's no more problem.
Rory: [00:06:30] That's the thing about the industry, the bug industry has a black eye, unfortunately. And when I worked for companies before it's high pressured sales.
If you didn't come back with a sale, you had to sit down in front of you or your your branch manager. They want to know where you were, what you proposed and things like that. And it was just to the point where, these guys have got to sell something. They got to come back to sell something.
So when they're going out, it's high pressure sales. We need to sell something. So it can be to the point where, Oh, you got termites and things like that. So when I opened this business, I wanted it to be that person of honesty and integrity to build this company. So it was never the point where when you do that, the homeowners or see that. They see that honesty in you.
And I explained to them, listen, I didn't find no problem. But I always encourage homeowners to get their house treated. So a lot of companies, you hear people saying, Oh, I know you're going to find termites no matter what. And I don't, I don't find termites. it's that question of not whether you have it or not,
it's a matter of when will you have this problem now, but are there certain parts of the country-- so the people who are listening to this, my readers, my viewers, not all of them are going to live in this area or live down South, or I guess technically Maryland is South it's below the Mason Dixon line.
But what about other parts of the country? Are there parts of the country where termites generally are not a problem?
Termites are in every state except Alaska. They're in every single state except Alaska. And like I said, as you get, from the Florida to the Texas, to the California, there's Formosan termites, which are twice as worse than the subterranean termites that we deal with on the East coast, the Maryland, Virginia. but as you get farther North up into higher of PA of course, PA I know a lot of company, we, we treat PA, but when you get farther North toward Maine, it starts lacking off. Michigan starts lacking off, but again, there's termites in those areas.
But the major problem is from Florida all the way up to Pennsylvania, Ohio has got a problem, but as you get out East or West into Phoenix and California, then you're dealing with Formosan termites, and then you're dealing with damp wood termites, and you're dealing with dry wood termites, which they don't even have to go back into the ground.
And that's when people have to come in and fumigate, put a tent over your house to fumigate your house, to get rid of them.. But of course in our area, thank goodness, we don't have to worry about that yet.
Serena: [00:09:05] Yeah. So for people who are let's say there's people who are moving into a new house, they're buying a house, whether it's newly built or whether it's an existing home.
So we know based on what you said, everybody should be getting termite treatment just for preventative measures. can you talk a little bit about what those, what that looks like? what does a preventative treatment of course, going to get inspections every two years, but what does it look like and how--
Rory: [00:09:33] It's the same process. If you're getting, if you're treating your house, if you had termites, okay. you don't want to do anything different. When you're buying a house, like I always tell people when they're buying, I go out and do an inspection In a lot of real estate that you have to have a termite inspection before you can buy a house. A loan company doesn't want to loan you three, $400,000 if there possibly could be hidden infestation. So when they buy a house, I do the inspection. I clear it. Okay. There's no evidence of termites, but I'll always tell them. You should get, even though I check your house, because think about this. When you're looking at a house in the basement's completely finished. Termites, what they do is, and a lot of misconception is , I'll always hear people say, Rory, I got a brick home.
I've got a solid poured concrete foundation. Why would I need to protect my house for termites? They don't know inside that home, your joist, your headers, your floors, your drywall, the back of your drywall has that paper. you have 2x4s. It goes your whole structure, the cavity of your house, is cellulose.It's wood.
In termites, what they do is, they're deep in the ground, 50, 25 feet deep in the ground. A colony, a termites subterranean termite colony, lives in the ground. They do not live in your home. They're eating your home. So what they're doing is they're coming towards your house and once they hit your foundation, they run the foundation, searching for cracks, concrete cracks, brick cracks.
All they need is 1/64th an inch. That is the width of a piece of paper.
Serena: [00:11:15] That's not very, that's not very thick at all.
Rory: [00:11:18] Once they get like a brick home, that brick is against the block. They come up between the brick and the block and they get into their house and they build their tubes. So everywhere they travel, they have to travel in mud.
Okay. They're not like an ant. You won't see them going across unless they swarmed out but they have to build a tube from Point A to Point B. So a crack, they get inside. They build up through. Termites are in your wood. Termites will be in your house 10 to 15 years before you notice that you have a termite problem.
And then what happens is, if you don't get anything treated and you wait Rory, I don't see nothing. I'll call you, if I see something I'm thinking, not going to see anything. You ain't going to see anything until they start coming through your drywall. So if you watch my videos, I always tell people, don't wait for termites to come through your drywall.
Get your house treated now, because if they are in there, by treating it, every termite in your house has to go back down into the soil every 48 to 72 hours to get moisture and also to feed the colony. So they're coming up and down. So by treating the exterior the soil of your house, what we're doing is applying a product that binds with the soil. So with these termites, when they come up, it is the same ingredient that you put on the back of your cats and pets, what's called fipronil. So those termites can smell that. They like it. They rub up against it. And as a tunnel through that soil to get to your house where as they're leaving your house, they tunnel through that soil. termites are very clean.
They have to groom and lick each other. If they don't, mold, fungi can grew through the colony and kill them all. So they're always picking stuff off of each other. So what happens is when they get this dose in them, they go back to the colony. It starts flaking off into the colony and starts killing the workers, the secondary reproductives, the Kings, the Queens, the nymphs, to the point where it eliminates the colony. Before, when you treated your house, back in the day, when he used chlordane and dorisphan, and these other chemicals, it deterred the termites.
That's when you treat your house smelled so bad. You come home Oh my goodness, I can't even stay in this product here has no smell to it. So the termites come up. They don't know it's there, or they are attracted to it where the chlordane they smelled it and it deterred them. So it created a barrier so they couldn't get in. This here, we don't create a barrier anymore. The termites tunnel right through it andget it on them. Okay?
Serena: [00:13:54] And what's really interesting too, is how there, how you actually drilled in the concrete around my home. So I don't know, was it every few feet I believe in concrete driveway and then they patched it up afterwards and I didn't even know that you were there, then--
Rory: [00:14:13] There's two different ways you could treat for termites. Okay. It's through the bait system, which I'm not a fan of because I did over 20, probably 25,000 of them over the 25 years of being in this business. I stopped using it years ago, because what happens is companies will come in, they'll install a bait system around your house and it wants to bait the termites in, but what happens, they will charge you ,okay, $350 to $400 a year for them to come out, take 20 minutes, opening up, see if there's anything in it, put it back one time a year. Most companies only do it one time a year. Some companies do it twice a year. Now imagine paying 350 to $400 every single year. Then it goes up after three years, if you read your contract it will go up every three years.
So we do is we want to treat the exterior of the house all the way around the soil, around your house. So if you have a slab that butts to your, structure, we need to drill through. That now, depending on what product we're using, where if we're using the high efficiency stuff, we do it every 18 inches.
And see, that's the thing I've believe it's between us and other companies is we take time, once we drill your concrete or have to lift your patio blocks up or whatever, we want to put everything back the way it is. So we take time, like you have to pass a test, you have to pass a test by me in order, if you were even allowed the patch holes or not.
There's some people in my office are not allowed to get near the cement when we're patching holes. That's just not their strong hood. So we want to treat 360 degrees around the exterior of your house. If we run into a slab, we drill every 12 to 18 inches, rodding injecting this treatment under that slab.
One of the main areas where termites will attack first is a slab because it holds moisture and its holds warmth, two of the things the termites need to survive. So when we want to do this right up against your foundation, all the way around your house. Now, if you have soil, we want to dig a trench, a four by six inch trench or a two by two inch trench up against the foundation, rodding, injecting this treatment.
So when them termites leave that house, they come through-- termites are forgers. They are forging 24 hours a day and a, any six months period of time, termites will range all the way out to 300 meters. That's a football field away. Wherever a termite colony is, imagine they can go a 300 meters in all directions to attack John that's a football field away and then come all the way back.
So in that range, wherever termites are at, whatever cellulose is going to be checked, that's why they can find a stump. They can find a woodpile. They could find a fence post. And imagine your house, how big your house is. They could easily find your house.
Serena: [00:17:15] Which leads me to my next question, because we had a really interesting conversation as you were treating my house, about some misconceptions.
About putting wood chips around your home, which leads me to my question. My question is what are the, I want to say the risks of bringing termites to your home and what are some of those misconceptions
Rory: [00:17:37] That is huge, when you know, you always hear people, when I find them in the mulch they say, Oh my goodness, it came in the mulch.
I just brought that mulch in. They came into mulch, which is just not true. And I always, I like mulch because this is the reason why. Okay. again, if you watch enough of my videos, like most of the houses I go to have rock. Okay. and they put rock down thinking that they're doing they're deterring the termites.
So imagine a termite come into your house. It's deep in the ground. They have no idea there's rock there. They have no idea there's mulch there. So they're hitting your foundation. Okay. They're going to get in, regardless of whatever you have there. With the mulch does it acts as a early warning device, like a security alarm.
Okay. If you have mulch around your house, you can go out there every year and lift up the mulch because what does mulch do? It keeps them to the surface, the hidden invaders in the open. So it lets you know, when they hit your mulch, that's when you know to get your house treated. But if you have rock, okay, they come up, they hit the rock.
There's nothing for them to eat. There's nothing for them to keep them at the surface. So they go down low, they hit your foundation, they run your foundation, into your home. I just did a guy. I wish I could tell you his name because he literally said he was so mad that when I went into his basement, he had so many termites and he had rock all the way around his house.
And he said, I literally put rocks so I wouldn't get termites. He said, do you know how much money I spent to prevent termites, getting the rock and and I see this all the time. So when every time I go to a house and I'm videotaping and putting on YouTube, I will always upload it. Okay, we got another house with rock.
Let's see if it worked, I go down to the basement and their house is just ate to pieces.
Serena: [00:19:35] So we definitely know that, based on that, we definitely want wood, a wood chips around the home, which can be an early detector. What are some other things that could draw termites, even though it's a matter of, not if, but when. I know that I've heard, never keep wood piled close to the home.
Are there other things that homeowners can do in order to reduce their risk of getting--
Like I was telling, you termites or forwarders, you're talking about an insect that doesn't sleep and that doesn't hibernate. Okay. And so when they're in your ground, they're there. Okay. That's their home.
So they're going to be out foraging 24 hours a day, searching for food. Okay. So you as a homeowner, what can you do? One of the things that, that I do, like we did at your house is when we got done treating your house, I'll take these pine stakes, they get it, like a home Depot or a Lowe's, there's just a piece of pine 1X, and I'll stick them up against the foundation of your house.
Some people who say don't want to, can't afford to get their house treated at this time. what did would, they would want to do is take a pine stick, stick it up against the house, around about every 15 feet and every year, go out and check that pine stick. That's one thing that you can do Yeah, of course.
Keep woodpiles away from your house. But if you get your house, treat it like. like I always tell people, do I recommend that you put mulch down? No .I have rocked out at my house. I think rock looks a lot better than mulching plus, I don't have to change it, but my house is treated. So if you get your house treated, I'm not saying to go out and go buy yourself mulch. You can put rock.
Keep, debris away from your house and things like that. So it's easier to come out and do an inspection every year, if that makes sense. But one of the things that I do recommend is getting those stakes. Now, the stakes are not bulletproof. You could-- they might not get into the stakes.
They might be low into the ground where they're getting into your basement floor the expansion joint in your basement floor. So they don't ever come up and hit the stakes. But what can a homeowner do? The biggest thing is get your house checked every other year and be proactive if you can afford it and get your house treated.
Yeah. And I think also during the visual inspection too, especially if someone is listening to this and they've never really thought that they had a problem, they now are thinking, Oh, maybe I need to go and check my yard. How would they check? Like before they call you or who, or wherever they are in the country, what are some things that homeowners can do to check their own home, again, putting that would stake, but how do they identify mud tubes?
Rory: [00:22:18] Yeah. One of the things, again, go to my Facebook page and watch my videos and they can be, they can literally become a professional, just, because every scenario is on there, of houses. But one of the things that a homeowner can do is when they go to, when it go to the foundation of house get a screwdriver, get some knee pads.
And if you do have mulch, okay, the black paper that you have underneath it, termites love the moisture. that underneath that black paper, even rock. If you have rock, you can pull your rock back from, pull up the black and look for the little workers. They look like white little worms that there'll be moving.
But one of the things you want to do is look when your foundation go around and look for tubes, little mud tubes and break them open. If you see anything, if there's anything active. And again, you could see all this on my on my page. if you do have a woodpile go to the bottom up, pick it up, take it out from the house and stomp, in, in see if any white little wormy things fall out.
if you have a woodpile that 20 feet from your house and you want to know, one of the things that I'll do is I would want to know when I go to a house, okay. Is there a termite present anywhere near the house? So I'll go 20, 30 feet out from the house. I'll go to the woodline. I'm in a lot of, I believe woods where I can't find termites at all.
So you can go to the woodline, start opening up branches to see if you do have a potential risk of possible termites attacking your house at one time. But you can go down in your basement, have a flashlight, check your sills where the, where your it's your sill plate, where it sits on the block on the top.
Check your sills. You'll see little tubes running your sills. Pull your insulation back where your joists are running, where your joists hit your header panel. Look for trails, mud trails that are running behind your insulation. You want to do that all the way around your house. Doing a termite inspection should take-- if you get someone in to inspect your house, he should be out there for at least one hour on his hands and knees going all the way around your foundation and an inside of your basement, pulling your ceiling tiles down to look up inside there, to see if you do have any activity. But the good news is if you get your house treated, if there are in there, it's going to kill them.
it's going to prevent them from continuing to eat and always remember, people always say I will call you when I see the damage. Remember some of the houses I've treated 20, $30,000 with the termite damage that's not covered under your homeowners policy. A lot of people don't know that. The biggest investment you ever make in your life is your home.
The biggest threat to that home is termites. $5 billion in damages that cause more than fires, hurricanes and tornadoes combined. The biggest threat to your home is termites. And people lack on that because there's no such thing as termite insurance. You can't go out and get yourself insurance like you can, for a house fire or whatever. Only thing you can get, your insurance is through a you know, professional bug company.
Serena: [00:25:31] You know,, it's really interesting that you mentioned that because in the last podcast, I actually talked to an insurance agent and we had, gosh, probably an hour long, if not more, conversation about insurance and all the things that are covered or not covered. And I don't think at any time we even mentioned termites. It didn't even come up. So I'm glad that we're talking about that because people don't realize--
Rory: [00:25:53] Growing up, I started in the bug business when I was 24 years old and I'll be turning 52. Some companies will offer like a, a different called a protection plan or something like that.
So if you get termite damage they have to replace and repair it. But if you Google that, you will see, you can just Google it itself. Do companies replace and repair damage. Google that you would be horrified by the people that that these companies did not honor that. And they charge you three to $400 a year, every single year.
And then after the third year, it has the right to go up. Some companies are up to $450 a year. Well add that in 10 years, 20 years. That's a tremendous amount of money for that. And then you find out, Oh my goodness, they're not going to replace and repair the damage in the first place.
Serena: [00:26:45] So talking about the cost to replace. thinking about having to rebuild part of your home or, putting a new headers because they've been eaten by termites I keep using the word frightening. That's the best word that I can think of because I can just imagine how expensive that is .Even for myself, and I'll be honest with you. I feel in this part of my home, and I guess maybe you can speak to this, in the part of my home, where I first saw those termites in 2014, I feel, I don't know, maybe there could be some damage in there. So I feel like I need to cut a piece of the dry wall and just have a look in there, put a little camera in there.
So how do people move forward after they treat for termites to make sure that they don't have structural damage that could cost thousands?
Rory: [00:27:34] Yeah. just be vigilant. That's the thing, I look for any inconsistencies in your drywall if you've got white walls, just go through them everywhere and just look.
Cause if you can almost take your finger and just almost, push where the termites are actually at. When someone calls me and says, I think I got something coming through my drywall, I'll literally push my finger on it and then I'll follow the tube all the way down and then I'll go up in the basement and it's just a mess, but just be vigilant, always be looking at your baseboards, always be looking at inconsistency of your drywall.
And be looking in the spring, March, April, May, and June for any winged insects. If you're outside. and the termites decide to swarm it's an amazing sight where you will actually see just a swarm of above. that look like flying ants with these silky wings. and if you see anything, the biggest thing is call somebody who like I'm on Home Advisor and Angie's List. We have almost, it's like a 4.9 rating on Angie's List and Home Advisor.
we have the reviews, you can go, people can go check out our reviews. People are writing paragraphs about us. But it's important that you get somebody who knows what they're doing, because anybody can treat for ants, mice, things like that. When you're dealing with termites and bedbugs, you're on a whole different ball field.
Okay. If it's different ball field, I just can't explain to you. Two people who have been in the business two or three years, great for them, but I'm telling you, you need someone who is very experienced. Who knows where the look for termites. They'll give you a good, honest, free inspection and people can go to my website and they can go to my email.
Anytime they ever have any questions, they can send me pictures. I will help them in any possible way and give them honest answers if they feel like, something fishy is going on.
Serena: [00:29:32] Yeah. And that's why I really, that's why I really liked talking to you when I first initially called you.
And I was like, Hey, I've got this townhouse, this rental property. I know it's got termite damage and you were on it. You were out there quickly. And then I said Hey, I knew I had some termites in my yard. I know at some point I saw something in my house several years ago. Can you come out?
But one other thing, and I'm glad that you mentioned bedbugs. Cause we'll, let's talk about that in just a moment. I know there's a question that had come from one of my readers, who said, can you talk about bedbugs? So let's get to that in just a moment. But back to the other question that I had about once someone actually treats for termites, what's the next thing that they need to do again, to make sure that their house is structurally sound? Like, should they just open up a little section of drywall, look to see if there's damage?
No, I wouldn't recommend doing that. because you're literally, you're trying to find a needle in a haystack. It's once you get your house treated, like what now I'll be, I've gone to houses to where we know, I'm in the basement, say, and they have drywall on their basement ceiling.
Okay. There's no way I can get up there to check that. And they had a warm right above that. Okay. And the termites bring the second level in the baseboard and the daughter's room coming out, the baseboard and the second level. I always, I, I tell them, listen, you might want to open up that drywall because termites had to ate their way up, from when I did a house, just in in Vienna, Virginia it was literally an addition 10 years old and termites were in her hardwood floors so bad,
it was just pulling it up. And I told her, I said, listen for them termites to get up there, they had ate their way up. We went down in the level one and I said, if you take this drywall down, you are going to see a site. This is on my YouTube channel. You can watch this.
We're going to watch that video. That sounds interesting.
Rory: [00:31:28] She brought her brother. Thank goodness was a contractor. They were there opening the drywall the next day when we were treating it. And I told her, I said, they're going to eat their way up. You would not have believed, addition 10 years old. It was amazing. It was just pure destruction.
And it would have cost her, if her brother wouldn't have done it, it would have cost her about $25,000 to repair because you literally had to, jack your house up.
Serena: [00:31:57] Re-build the entire thing. Yeah.
Rory: [00:31:58] But one of the, I mean, your question is what can they do? I would not recommend start opening up drywall and looking at things like that.
Ask your professional the person who treated it, what they would recommend If there, if you do suspect termite damage in that area and you do need to open it up yet, you can open it up. But you don't want to get into more costs because, just to get a guy, come out there, open up your drywall can cost you a couple of hundred dollars to repair it once you do that.
I would definitely ask the person that's treating your house, what they would recommend. To go and just start opening it up now, I wouldn't recommend,
Serena: [00:32:34] Okay. Now bedbugs. Now here, Thrift Diving we love thrift stores. We love anything that's free roadside. Someone's getting rid of something and you're shaking your head.
You're like, yeah, you might want to reconsider that. And this is a question that had come, not a direct question for you, but it was a topic that had come about because this woman had said that she and her daughter had discovered when her daughter, I think she was helping her daughter move in with her or something and they discovered some bedbugs.
And so she's like, I really wish you would talk about bedbugs. And because here at Thrift Diving on my blog, on my channel, we do go to the thrift store. I think most of us for the most part are pretty careful about what we bring in. I try not to bring upholstered stuff into my house, but there's, dressers or things that I've brought in where, sometimes I'm a little suspect.
So in terms of bedbugs, my question would be, what are the things that you definitely would recommend people do not bring into your home that's used, because those tend to be carriers for bedbugs from, your professional point of view.
Rory: [00:33:40] When you see what I get to see when I go into people's homes and bedbugs is devastating. It is a horror Bedbugs are the hardest, most expensive bug to get rid of because they can lay hundreds of eggs. And what people think is when they have a bed bug problem, what's the first thing they do?
They take their mattress and they take everything that they lay on and they throw it out and then they buy a new mattress and bring it right in, not knowing bedbugs are everywhere. They're there in your outlet covers, they're in your light switches. I did a house where I opened up the door knobs in their bedroom.
When I opened it up, there's eggs all through the the door knob. So now we take all the doorknobs off. They're behind the walls. They're in every crack. If you have CDs, books, everything that's in your room, those things will lay eggs. Again, go to my YouTube page and watch a nightstand I just treated. I literally picked this nightstand up.
And it was in the place where it's not like the place was dirty or anything. Where people think that you gotta be dirty.
Serena: [00:34:53] I think it's a very shameful thing. It's a very shameful infestation.
Rory: [00:34:57] I'm treating doctors, I'm treating lawyers, I'm treating nurses, I'm treating top executives and yes, I'm treating folks that, you know that that doesn't have as much as they do, but bedbugs, they're literally going to catch a ride.
they're hitchhikers. You could go to anywhere. You can go to a waiting room. You can sit in someone's couch at their house. You can go to the mall and sit somewhere. And if that person had bedbugs and they climbed off of them, you go and unluckily sit there and they climb on you and you take them home.
But when I go to a house and people say , where can I get these bedbugs? Where do I, and the first questions I asked the ask is, did you get anything used? Okay, that's my first question. And then I'm like, Oh my goodness. We just got that couch from such and such, they didn't have a problem until they just got that couch.
We just got a mattress. We needed a mattress and we got it at such and such. so that's one of the things. And then I asked him, did you ever have you did your husband stay hotel or did you all go on a trip? Things like that because that's where people get in the hotels. Who do you have coming into your home?
Oh my, yes. Our daughter had three or four friends over. and as I think about it, her one friend supposedly had bedbugs, So this is what happens. So you need to watch who you bring into your home, and sit down on your couch. There's a thousand different ways that you can get bedbugs, but you need to find out, okay, how did I get these?
In some cases, we can't figure out how they got them, but when you're buying something sometimes you can even buy from new furniture stores because people go into new furniture stores. They have a bed bug problem and, they sit down and try it out and things like that. And they crawl into the couch.
I would just, if you're going to buy something, I would not bring it into your house until you inspect it, that you know what you're looking for. I've done videos to show that. I've done videos on my YouTube channel, that before you go into a hotel room, exactly what to do, where to put yourself, you can watch all those videos.
Serena: [00:37:07] And we will link to all of those videos down below in the show notes, because we need to know that. So let's say that someone does find some bed bugs in their home, in their bedroom. How do they let me ask you this. Is it possible to treat it yourself? Because I have had friends and I believe this woman, but also another friend said, and she even said, look, it was very difficult to get rid of.
Is there any amount of infection that homeowner themselves can do, or is it something that once you find one, you need to have a professional come in? I've had many cases where people have found one. Okay. And I've go there. They said, listen, it was crawling on my daughter's bed. I flipped everything over.
I checked so thoroughly, nothing. I can't find nothing. Okay. I tell them because to go out and to treat that whole room can, it can get costly. So I don't want them to go and get into a cost that you don't need to get into it. Listen, she could pick this up anywhere. Do this wash everything. Okay. And then be vigilant and watch to see if you find any more.
Okay. Because this is after the inspection, after the inspection, I couldn't find anything. And people don't call me back after that and I'll see them or something like that. They said, yeah, we didn't see anything. I said, well good. Then I'll go into homes where I'll inspect the house. The one lady I inspected the house.
I couldn't find nothing. literally I was three minutes down the road. She calls me, says, Oh my goodness! This is even on my YouTube channel. Oh my goodness. I found them. I found them. I'm like, you're kidding me. And then I went back there and there, she found them underneath, literally it was just right there.
She said, get it treated. But one thing that bedbugs, when you do have an infestation, should you treat it yourself? Again, there's so many misconceptions. I go into to so many homes. Everybody's got this earth stuff that they put everywhere.
Oh, the diatomaceous earth.
Rory: [00:39:01] They got it everywhere. And it drives me crazy because I have to literally suck all that up in my vacuum cleaner while the dust is flying everywhere because it didn't work.
Serena: [00:39:15] Right.
Rory: [00:39:15] Then I'll go into homes where they have alcohol bottles in their spray bottle, just spraying their beds. And I'm literally-- can't breathe from the alcohol smell that they've been spraying for the last six months. And it can't get rid of the bed bug. So I always tell people, if you find out that you have a bed bug problem, literally don't do anything.
Get out of that bedroom, shut it up. Call me right away so I can come in and do an inspection because what happens is people start to spraying and putting all this stuff down and they say the bedbugs are just one room. But what they're doing is they're spraying, they're doing all the wrong things and what's, the bedbugs are going to do.
They're going to run. They're going to scatter because they're going to go to the other rooms and start laying eggs in the other room. So a one room problem develops in to the whole house. So now your payment just went from cheating, a half, a room for four or five, $600 just went to 25 to $3,500 to treat your whole house for bed bugs.
So I always tell people, you don't want to make the problem worse and when you get online, some of the things I read online, I'm thinking, Oh my goodness, I can't believe it says to do that. Because we use a three-point treatment. When I go into a home, some companies use heat. Heat's expensive.
To buy the heaters itself are expensive. You can get into 30 to $50,000 just to buy the heaters. You heat up the room 120, 130 degrees for three hours and cook them out. But what happens is these bedbugs will get into a void to where the heat doesn't get to. And if the heat doesn't get to in three, four, five, six months, all of a sudden you've got a bedbug problem again, after you just got done spending all that money, to heat your house.
I'm not a fan of heat. Heat works. I'm just not a fan of it. When I first started treat for bedbugs out, I did it all the wrong way. Completely was doing it all the wrong way. Then I started doing the right way to where I take all the people's belongings, put them in Rubber Maid containers, seal them off, then put a band strip, a prozap strip inside there and bring everything to the end of the, of one side of the room.
And I treat do vacuuming. I take every outlet, cover off every light switch, cover off all their books or CDs, I open up their drawers. I'm sucking with a vacuum, a hypo vac vacuum cleaner. And I go in and use a flusher and I flushed the bedbugs out from their hiding space and suck them up.
And then I do a broadcast spray with a product that I don't like to give out because I found that it was amazing against bedbugs. And I don't want my competitors to know what that is because we have such good success. We're like the last resort. And I always tell people, if you want cheap, don't call me because I put value on how good I am. And people will have two or three companies come in and they'll finally call me and said, I've had such and such and they can't get rid of my bed. But I said, what have they been doing? And they tell me, I was like I can see why this is what we're going to do. So the "treat it yourself", I've only seen two people in, my goodness, when the bedbug epidemic hit probably about six years ago, two people actually get rid of their bedbugs themselves.
One lady, she almost did. She sealed all her kids' clothes up. Cause that's one thing you hear. So everything in the dryer, turn your dryer. Which is fine, but make sure that you treat all your house before you bring all your clothes back in. Because if you heat everything up and the bedbugs are behind the wall or in your light switch or in your CDs or your books or wherever you can be you bring everything back in , them eggs start hatching. Then you got the problem all over again ,so ...
Serena: [00:43:10] It's so extensive, just listening to you talk about packaging everything up into these big containers, having to suck everything up. It's just, it just sounds overwhelming.
That really it's really about prevention. if you can just prevent it.
So when you're buying things just rechecking. And I've heard with people who are, let's say, and I thought about this too, because I just bought a new mattress. Our mattress was pretty old. And I was crossing my fingers the whole time. Please don't bring any bedbugs please, because what happens is, when you order a mattress, a lot of times they will take your old mattress.
And so if you've got something on your old mattress and there's a new mattress in the back of the truck, it can bring them in. So it's very scary to think that they can really get in in any kind of way. I know when I buy something from the thrift store, I try to look it over. Even at the thrift store, I leave it outside in the garage.
Do bed bugs tend to, like in colder weather, can you die them out if they're cold? I'm out if they're yeah.
Rory: [00:44:07] It's gotta be like 30 below in order to kill a bedbug, gotta be 130 degrees for over a certain period of time to kill a bed bug. Bed bugs can go months. you've heard people say bedbugs can go one year without feeding, that they can go months upon months without feeding. And in if you, one of the things I want to tell to get this is when you come home from vacation and you bring all your luggage in, keep that stuff in the garage, keep that stuff on a porch and get all your clothes, put them in garbage bags, take them straight to the, into the washer, put everything in there.
Don't put any, just don't throw it on the laundry floor. Whatever you're bringing in, they're put into the laundry, washing on it warm and dry it some things you can't dry, but take it out if you can't dry, make sure it's warm, good warm water, but don't bring all your stuff into the house and that that's boots, tennis shoes, that's everything.
So be very careful what you bring in after you, you stayed somewhere to at a hotel. Yeah.
Serena: [00:45:12] And are there parts of the country where you notice that there's, or that you know of that tends to have more bed bedbug activity than other parts?
Rory: [00:45:20] No. it's through travel. That's where sleep tight,
don't let the bedbugs bite. We always thought that it was just a, a nightly nursery rhyme.. and back in the fifties, when they had such a bad bedbug problem, and then it took a 30 year, 40 year hiatus. And never came back. And then with the traveling to different countries and things like that is what's brought this booming epidemic back to all cities, all hotels, a lot of people think, and you can Google, when you go to travel, you can literally, there's bedbug sites that you can go to and read the reviews to see what kind of problems. So when I go to a hotel, I say, listen, I know you've had bed bugs. Every hotel has got bed bugs. Just put me in a room that there is no bedbugs, okay.
That you didn't have a problem. I said, because I'm going to inspect it. If I find it. I'm going to give you a shout out,
Serena: [00:46:09] That video and what to look for when you go to a hotel. So I'll be sure to link that down below. one, one last pest. I know we've we know everything we know about ants, but there's one other pest that I want to ask you about.
What can you tell me about carpet beetles? Because I know for myself, I've seen carpet beetles around here and it's always during the March, April, may, when it starts to get warm, We don't have, I don't think we have an infestation, but I've seen them enough to where I'm like, okay, I know that's a carpet beetle.
And also I think I had some cut flowers in my van and I don't think I've told very many people this, but I had a carpet beetle infestation in my minivan. I had to rip out everything in the van. I took the seats out. I had to shampoo, not shampoo, but there was a spray that I ordered online and it was supposed to kill like the, the nymphs or whatever.
And I didn't have any problem after that, but it was traumatic. But what can you tell people about carpet beetles? What do they look like? How do they get in? And I know that they're common.
Rory: [00:47:06] Yeah , very, very, very common. And actually people mistaken them with bedbugs because carpet beetles when you check the mattress and you flip over into the box spring, you have that plastic on the corners and you open it up.
You have the carpet beetles in there. Carpet beetles, they're just prevalent in almost every home. What always recommend people do is vacuum. And then after you done that vacuum, vacuum some more, because the vacuuming is what's going and get yourself a really good vacuum cleaner and just vacuum like you're mad.
And you will see a hu-- cause. how many people pull out your their beds and vacuum? How many people pull out their couches, their heavy couches and vacuum? some people do it once a year if they even do that, because when I'm checking, I pull that out. there's so much
dirt and grime that no, one's got back there, so they're not vacuuming, but if you really want to keep an infestation down, you want to vacuum. Plus we do quarterly pest control to where we come out every three months. and we treat for a a quarterly fee. We take care of bees, ticks, fleas, moths, spiders,, mice, rats, silver fish, house, ant, carpet beetles.
You know, The whole works. Oh, I think I'm scheduled for my my three month checkup, like in two weeks. I think I've got you on my calendar. Yes. That's something also, if you if you're not in the Northern Virginia, DC, Baltimore Annapolis, all Montgomery County, Winchester all the way out, Western Maryland, up to Deep Creek Lake.
if you're not in those areas and in the South of Pennsylvania and you call somebody, you might want to get one to some type of scheduling. Now I don't have to be here every three months. You can do it two months. You can do it one time a year. You can do it seasonal when it's just warmer. but but I would recommend that, but with carpet beetles, vacuum. But one of the things I'll also just wanted to let you know is,
one of the other services that we're going to be getting into is soft wash of your house. Okay. It's, when you when you, some people call it power washing your house but we call it soft wash because you don't want no power wash to damage your siding and your roof.
If you look on somebody's roof and you see those black stains and those algies that starts growing. In a roof, you can spend 15, $20,000 put your, a new roof on. Where we come in, we spray the roof, when we soft wash it, we clean it.
It will literally preserve and get that 25, 50 years out of your shingles, it was at it's supposed to, and you're siding also, there's certain fungi that will grow in your siding that will feed off of that and stain your siding, where you want to keep that in by doing this. And the reason why I'm doing this is because of, when you go out there and you treat all these spiders and things like that, everyone's, their siding is so marked up with the spiders.
So we want to get that all cleaned off and by keeping a good clean outside of the house will help the longevity of the house. And we'll also help with giving you a pest free environment. But I want to plug that in there to let you know that we're going to be starting that side of the business.
So if somebody has that green algae growing
Serena: [00:50:17] , I see that a lot in neighborhoods when I'm out walking, I see that. And I'm like, do homeowners not see that? Why are they not tackling that? Because--
Rory: [00:50:26] Getting on a roof can be dangerous. You know, Your soffet, your facia, you know, for your, let your, let your roof breathe.
A lot of people get that just grind.. You get that stuff on there and you don't clean it off, it's going to, it's going to age your roof quickly, and it's going to cost you a lot. And your gutters, getting those gutters cleaned out.
And the last thing you want to do is get up on your roof and your gutters and and fall and, endanger yourself.
Serena: [00:50:49] Exactly.
Rory: [00:50:50] Something to keep in mind with your listeners. Yeah.
Serena: [00:50:53] And it's funny that you had mentioned about cleaning the roof. I'm literally not kidding on this. I was just thinking about this the other day.
I was like, when should we clean the roof? Cause it's never been done. and when you see someone that's just had a roof done, like it's beautiful, it looks fresh, it looks clean. doing that yourself as that, I know for a fact, I don't want to be up there because I don't want to fall in and kill myself.
but I was just thinking about that the other day. Like when should we be cleaning our roof? I'll pull this altogether and just saying that it sounds like a lot of what you do is about preventing, you're getting the termite inspection. you're getting the termite treatment, even if you don't have termites, because it's not a matter of if it's a matter of when, so let's prevent, let's prevent the bedbugs by thoroughly checking things.
Don't just bring it into the house. Making sure you're taking all these things out. We went on a trip to, Oh gosh, I think it was a Belize. And they had these little ants in the bathroom that drove me crazy. And when we came back I said, do not bring that into the house. Take this, put it out. I will get everything out and put it in the washer immediately.
So it's really about preventing and that's what Thrift Diving is about. it's about not just decorating, improving, but it's about maintaining your home. And I think all the things that we talked about is about maintenance, is doing the preventive things, making sure that you set money aside to do those, because it sounds to me like the cost to, to treat it once it's become a problem is three, four, five, if not more times more difficult.
Rory: [00:52:21] Oh my goodness. Yes.
Serena: [00:52:23] And I think people, who are listening to this, especially first time home owners they just, th they may not have known this because I know when I moved into my home, I didn't know anything about what I should be doing to maintain. And it's been a lifelong, I say, lifelong, the life that we've lived here,
for the last 10 years, it's been a lesson in learning how to properly maintain my home. And I say myself, but that's also knowing the knowledge of what I need to do and when.
So thank you so much, Rory, your contact information is going to be down below but tell people where they can find you on YouTube, on your website.
Rory: [00:52:56] Yeah on Facebook. I am BugBoysPC (https://www.facebook.com/BugBoyspc) bug boys, PC on on Facebook. YouTube, just Bug--, just Google on YouTube Bug Boys Pest Control. That'll come up. I'm on I'm on Instagram Bug_Boys on Instagram. I'm on Tik TOK. wow. I can't believe our Tik TOK. We've got almost 50,000 followers on Tik TOK.
Yeah, it's amazing. Just by posting bug videos. You make it interesting though. I'm telling you anybody, who's listening to this, you have to look at Rory's YouTube channel. It's so captivating the way that you're showing termites in an up close way that I've never seen before and in the way you describe it.
Serena: [00:53:39] And the information that you're giving people, it's really helpful, which is why I was like, I got to talk to you. Like people have to know who you are, because you're amazing at what you do.
Rory: [00:53:47] If anybody has any questions, if you ever have a question you can always send me an email email@example.com
and I, I get phone calls at three in the morning saying I got bedbugs. I answer it. because we have 24 hour emergency service, so if you ever have a question, anybody can go send me pictures. You can send me a picture. If you see a bug, send me a picture. Of, I don't know what it is I sent it to my entomologist. We'll find out what it is. But if somebody tells you that they have termites and it could be flying ants, send me a picture, get a good, clear picture firstname.lastname@example.org. Say, Rory, what is this? And we'll make sure that your people are being honest.
Serena: [00:54:31] I love that. I love that. Well, thank you Rory so much. And the below, down below in the show notes, you'll have all the links to everything and we will see you on the next episode.
Rory: [00:54:40] All right. Thanks Serena.