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« Monitoring: an essential part of IPM | Main | Bed Bugs in Schools »


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Certainly an important, potentially life saving piece, especially in multifamily housing. This also happens with older electric eye type alarm systems although without the dire consequences.
On a more humorous note I remember back to 1982 when smoke detectors were mandated in NYC apartments. About a year or so later we experienced an unusual call increase in regard to crickets in apartments. So following proper IPM protocols of inspecting first we found the cause to be the dreaded "expiring nine volt battery" as folks were experiencing the first year of hearing the replace battery chirp, chirp chirp which having never heard before assumed was caused by an actual cricket. Now folks are used to that sound.

Due to late night false alarms with my interconnected smoke detectors, I am now shopping for bug-proof alarms myself. It actually seems to be a fairly common feature on commercial detectors. The only standard residential alarm I can find that is "fully insect screened" with fine wire mesh is the 9000 series by Gentex. This is an AC device with battery backup so may not be suitable if you are seeking a battery only unit.

Thanks for sharing! Let us know how these work out. I haven't seen any studies and would love a testimonial.

I have a gentex alarm that goes off about 3 times in the middle of the night and 3-4 times in the day. I have four kids so everytime it goes off my heart skips a beat and I search the house only to find no smoke! I don't want to disconnect this alarm but when something burns in the kitchen it doesn't go off and for no reason it does. I'm confused...I been reading and read that the photo electric alarms can be triggered by roaches, which just started to take over my house (yuck). They will be packing their bags come wed. Thanks to adams pest control. So is it possible that the roaches are causing the fire alarm to wig out?

It could have been, but more likely it was an old alarm or one that was installed to close to a bathroom or another steam source. Hopefully you got the cockroach infestation under control. If not, check out

Best of luck and thanks for the post!

I was wondering if I could make my own bug proof net by using some tooling and a rubber band. I am not very handy but I am desperate. I am up at 3 a.m. using canned air to clean out the stray fly or beetle that wandered into one of my 8 smoke alarms.

If you were to put netting or anything else around a smoke detector, it may impact the effectiveness of the alarm. If insects are getting into your smoke alarms, bring in a professional to deal with the insect issue, rather than risking that your fire alarm is impeded.

I'm changing out batteries in my smoke alarms they are hard wired and someone told me you have to disconnect the wires before you change the battery. Is that true

I'm Sorry Ralph, your question is beyond my expertise. You can try the manufacturers website or often your local fire department is a good resource for those questions or they will at least know where to send you. Good luck!

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