Ask the Experts


Brian Olson, president and CEO, The Bugman

By Jill Fales

Springtime is upon us. Even along the coast we can feel the changes. Flowers are blooming, fruit trees are exploding with flowers and buds, the days are longer and warmer. Springtime is also when we notice more bugs and critters making themselves a little too comfortable in our homes and yards.

Brian Olson, expert exterminator and owner of the Bugman, offers advice for how to most effectively eliminate and prevent unwanted bugs this Spring.

According to Olson, the most eco-friendly method to deter bugs and rodents in your home and yard is prevention. “A thorough inspection of your home can be done, which will determine the cause of infestation. Just cutting back shrubs, purchasing door sweeps, or sealing cracks can eliminate the need to use chemicals,” Olson said.

Once pests are present, the least aggressive solution should be used first. “For instance, the material used to eliminate termites is an odorless material which works like a bait. Termite workers will come in contact with the drywood, take it back to the queen termite and eliminate the colony. This is referred to as a localized treatment in the industry. The same material is used for roaches, and ants too.”

Olson warns that many companies will often market methods as being non-toxic or eco-friendly that actually are not. “There’s been a lot of hype about orange oil lately, but the active ingredient in it is actually a chemical that is used frequently in cleaning supplies called d-limonene.”

Consumers need to inform themselves and do their homework. Important questions to ask to ensure the exterminator you use is reputable is if they have a money-back guarantee. Also, ask for current references. Be careful of companies that try to get you to sign up for service too frequently. Olson points out that many exterminating companies prey on fear, but really there is nothing to fear.

The most prevalent pests along the coast include termites, ants, earwigs, snails, mice, rats and fungus that deteriorate wood.

Drywood termites swarm a few times per year, and March and April are considered a busy month with drywood termite swarming activity. Often times, homeowners have a feeling they have termites, but once termites swarm say in a living room, then the issue becomes critical to resolve.  Prevention is the key to managing termites. This gives the homeowner time to prepare and choose the best solution to eradicate the termites.

Also, in the last few years, bedbugs have been an increasingly significant pest. Bedbugs have been in the news a lot lately and whereas three or four years ago they rarely received a call for bedbugs, Olson says they currently receive at least one call a day. Although bedbugs are not dangerous and are easily eradicated, an inspection on a home for ants takes about 15 or 20 minutes, whereas an inspection for bedbugs can take up to two hours because all bedding, furniture, and carpeted areas must be inspected. Olson suggests when traveling, to unpack the suitcase outside of the house in the yard and immediately wash everything.

As far as frequency of service, the Bugman believes that a general rule of thumb, a once a year inspection will keep your home under control. From there, Olson says his company strongly believes in coming up with an individualized plan for each family. “One size does not fit all. The least intrusive methods are best and pest control depends on the environment.” Homeowners are the ones who live in their homes and spend time in their yards. They know if they have seen an ant on the counter or an infestation in their cupboards. Olson’s motto is: “The homeowner knows best.”

The Bugman is a family-owned and operated company specializing in homes, businesses and multi-unit buildings. The Bugman was founded in 1958 by Herb Olson in Fullerton, Calif. Brian Olson, currently president and CEO, joined the family business in 1983. The Bugman company, which was voted the No. 1 exterminator in Orange County, is recognized around town with their bright yellow and blue trucks. Reach Brian Olson at 714.992.1292 or