Chelle Hartzer, B.C.E.: Preventing and Solving Pest Problems | On the House #29

In this episode, host Gabriella Joustra is joined by Chelle Hartzer, who is a consulting entomologist with over a decade of experience in the pest management industry

The pervasive pest control issue spans from common household nuisances to more formidable pests demanding professional intervention. With practical advice on sealing entry points, eradicating potential food sources, and maintaining cleanliness, homeowners can thwart infestations. 

Meet Chelle Hartzer

As a professional entomologist at 360 Pest Professional, Chelle Hartzer has been in the pest control business for more than ten years. She helps small and medium-sized businesses by providing expert assistance, up-to-date technical information, good training, and more.

Chelle holds a BS in Entomology from the University of Delaware and an MS in Entomology from Kansas State University. She is a board-certified entomologist in Urban and Structural Entomology. 

About the episode

According to Chelle, food is a significant factor in pest infestations. It attracts ants, cockroaches, and rodents. Primary preventive measures include proper food storage techniques such as sealing pet food, sanitizing areas with food remnants, and securing edibles in airtight containers. 

Chelle also guided homeowners through inspecting their residences for telltale signs of pest infestations, including droppings, chew marks, and trails. Rodents can carry salmonella, E. coli, and listeria, necessitating professional intervention. Flies and cockroaches are highlighted as potential vectors of foodborne diseases, urging individuals to seek professional assistance for effective problem resolution. 

Raccoons, foxes, and possums invading attics and walls, termites compromising wooden structures, venomous snakes, and stealthy bed bugs are also significant concerns. Having them at home requires professional attention and poses substantial threats to homes. In the case of bed bugs, Chelle suggested using mattress encasements and cautioned about bringing bed bugs home after traveling.

She highlighted the significance of maintaining trimmed vegetation. This ensures plants do not directly contact the house, which becomes a potential hiding spot for pests. Additionally, regular inspection and upkeep of door seals play a pivotal role in fortifying the home against insects.

A clean setting can keep many pests away, but some, like bed bugs and lice, are drawn to people, so sanitation alone is not enough to eliminate them. Weather conditions and seasonal changes also impact pest populations. Floods and droughts, for instance, can push pests towards homes. Chelle highly suggested that a homeowner should do pest inspections every three months.

In conclusion

The cornerstone of effective pest management lies in proactive measures. These pests bring diseases that are harmful to human health. Sealing structures, eliminating food sources, and maintaining cleanliness create a less appealing environment to potential invaders. Early detection, quarterly inspections, and addressing root causes can help prevent pest-related challenges in the future.

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