Think like a pest inside the "bug house"

Published: Oct. 24, 2012 at 9:39 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 24, 2012 at 11:40 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Depending which study you read online, you're never more than ten feet away from a spider. You might be even closer than that.

What you may not realize is that seeing a spider usually means more insects aren't far away.

WBTV Consumer Reporter Kristen Miranda learned quite a bit about bugs when she became a bug inspector for the day at Rollins University. Rollins is the parent company of Orkin, the pest control people.

Near downtown Atlanta, Georgia, the company operates a one-of-a-kind "University" where it's employees learn to track down where bugs hide.

"Here's the key to pest control. You have to think like the pest," said Greg Baumann, the Vice President of Training and Technical Services for Orkin.

It's a 30,000 square foot training center with several full-scale mock-ups of places where bugs might live. There's a fake hotel room, a hospital room, a commercial kitchen, a dining room and bar area, even a supermarket with phony soda spills under the shelves.

"We want to let them touch and feel and get on their knees and look under areas where pests might be present," Baumann said.

Stepping out back we find two more structures. A house in various stages of construction is called the termite pavilion.

"Termites will build tubes to get into houses so this is an easy way, by looking for these tubes, to see if you might have a termite problem," said entomologist Ron Harrison.

Next to that is a fully constructed home, yes with bugs inside, where workers can train in how bugs get into homes and where they go once they're inside.

"Spiders are a great indicator of where bugs are. In fact, if you have spiders around your doorways and you have air coming in then insects are probably coming through there," Harrison said.

Everything here shows pest control experts where to start looking. They say you should start looking for cracks, gaps, hiding spots and holes in your home now.

"This fall, stopping them is the goal, so they do not get established inside your home. Once they do, then it's the next spring or late winter that you have to worry. When they come back out and think they are going to go eat somewhere and they end up coming inside your house or down from the attic. That becomes a problem," Harrison added.

To learn more about bedbugs and where they hide, watch the video on the top of this page. You'll learn one place where bed bugs might hide in a hotel room. It's a place you might never think to check.

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