Pest Control Q & A

Question: What should a homeowner look for when selecting a pest professional/Exterminator?
  • A qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations.
  • Ask friends and neighbors to recommend companies they have used successfully.
  • Buy value, not price.
  • Be sure you fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary prior to signing a contract.
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment.

If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, and what kind of continued prevention is necessary.

What can homeowners do to reduce the risks from mosquitoes?
  • Eliminate or reduce mosquito breeding sites by replacing all standing water at least once a week. Including bird baths, ponds and swimming pools.
  • Remove unneeded vegetation or trash from around any standing water sources.
  • Introduce mosquito-eating fish such as gambusia, green sunfish, bluegills and minnows to standing water.
  • Screen windows, doors, and other openings with fine mesh, sealing around all screen edges and keeping doors and windows shut to prevent entry.
  • Avoid going outdoors when mosquitoes are most active: during dusk or dawn.
  • Use repellent on exposed skin whenever mosquitoes are likely to bite. The most effective repellents currently available contain the active ingredient N,N- diethylbenzamide (DEET). Wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants, preferably treated with a repellent as well.
What are termites?

Termites are wood-destroying insects. While they play an important role in nature, experts estimate they cause billions of property damage each year.

Termites eat wood. In their natural state, they eat fallen logs and stumps off the forest floor. But on your property, they can eat away the equity you have built up in your home and property.

What is the best way to get rid of roaches?

Answer: First, determine what type of roach you are dealing with. If it is a roach that infests inside, like a German roach, that treatment will be different than for outdoor roaches.

As with ants, baits are very effective for treating roaches but take a little longer. Liquid sprays can work faster but you run the risk of the roaches moving into wall voids and areas that are not treated, which can make the infestation worse.

Roaches are adaptable pests, which is why they have survived for so long. If one product is not working, it may be time to try a different formulation. There are numerous products available for roaches that are available to pest management professionals, so if you are not seeing results, suggest to your company that they try something else.

Finally, good sanitation is essential to your success in eliminating roaches.

What is the best and safest way to get rid of fire ants?

Fire ant control can be difficult. I am hesitant to say you can get rid of fire ants permanently, but they can be successfully managed if you stay on top of them. Although baits are slower acting, they are a better long-term solution to controlling fire ants.

Some baits contain insect growth regulators that can provide long-term control (some up to a year). Baits contain a very small amount of an active ingredient, so they are generally recognized as safe to children and pets. The main goal with any treatment is to eliminate the colony via the queen, if not you will only have limited success.

How do termites get in?

Answer:  Answer: Because termites need moisture and have a low tolerance to air and light, they live underground, attacking a home from below. A loose mortar joint, a minute space around a drain pipe or a settlement crack in the basement is all they need to gain entry.

If I haven't seen swarming termites or traces of damage, can my home still be in danger?

Answer: Unfortunately, yes. When a colony swarms, the winged termites may be in the air for just a few minutes and you may not see them. Termites also eat wood from the inside out, making their activity detectable only by professional termite inspection.

When is the right time to call in a termite professional?

Answer: Termite treatment is a fixed cost. But the longer you delay treatment, the more damage termites will do. Repairs will become more extensive and more expensive. Generally speaking, the sooner you approve treatment, the better.

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