RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s an offer generating a lot of buzz around the country: A pest-control website, that says it’s based in Raleigh, North Carolina, offering $2,500 to a household willing to have about 100 live cockroaches released in their home.
The offer, posted on the Pest Informer website, caught the attention of media outlets and websites across the world. But before you consider it, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has a word of advice.
“Buyer beware,” cautioned Victor Lennon, deputy director of the department’s Structural Pest Control section.
This isn’t the first time Pest Informer has advertised a similar offer with a stated goal of testing pest control techniques. The website says the idea was first contemplated in 2022 — which is when the N.C. Department of Agriculture first looked into the website and its owner, who is listed as David Floyd.
“We could not find any record of Mr. David Floyd or Pest Informer,” said Lennon. “And we have researched it today; we still do not see any record of Mr. David Floyd or Pest Informer being licensed in our state for structural pest control.”
“We tried the phone number and emails. We even have filled out the contact information and we have not been able to reach Mr. Floyd or Pest informer,” he continued.
Nexstar’s WNCN couldn’t reach the company either. Calls to the phone number on the website couldn’t be completed, and there was no building or mailbox at the listed mailing address of 509 E. Davie Street in Raleigh.
“The big takeaway we have is just to proceed with caution,” said Meredith Radford, with the Better Business Bureau serving Eastern Carolina. “If you want to do any sort of business with this company, including signing up to have bugs put into your home, just use extreme caution.”
She further cautioned consumers — who are considering doing business with any entity — to do their research before giving away a name, address, or any other personal information to a business for any purpose.
“Do your due diligence. Try to talk to the person running the whole thing in person if you can, or over the phone if you can, and do not give away personal information.”
Lennon says inviting numerous live cockroaches into your home could also pose a health concern.
“Cockroaches do pose a health hazard,” he said. “Especially for folks who have allergies.”