3 Important Steps to Choose Your Exterminator
If you have a problem with pests and you are thinking about hiring an exterminator to come in and help you out then you must consider a few different tips and tricks to help you find the best professional for your needs. There are actually some very important things that you have to consider. If you have never selected an exterminator before then you have to watch out for these things.
Pest Problem: First and foremost, you have to know what you are going to be exterminating. You have to know what type of bugs you are dealing with so that you know what type of exterminator you are looking for. All bugs and pests are going to respond differently to different types of treatments. If you do not know what type of bugs you have then you will not know what type of exterminator to call. Once you have established what type of pests you are dealing with and then you can move to the next step.
Candidates: Make a list of exterminators. Find out if each of the exterminators you are considering actually knows how to treat the pests that you have in and around your home. This can help you narrow down your search rather quickly. You do not want to pay a professional that cannot help you. Knowing the bugs that you have can help you avoid this problem.
Guarantee: Finally, always find out if the exterminator that you are thinking about hiring will come back and treat the area again if they need to. The best exterminators are going to come back and treat the area a few times. If you really start doing your research you are going to see that many of the companies out there are going to be able to offer you different contracts and guarantees. Take the time to read these in order to see which one will give you the most service for your money. Then you will know that they are going to come back and treat again and you will not have to worry about paying for it. Yes, these guarantee contracts can be expensive but they will be worth it in the end.
Factors to Consider While Selecting the Pest Control Company
The first thing you need to do is check on the following factors before moving on to choosing a pest control company.
License to Operate: Determine if the pest control contractors have a license to operate in your state. Also, check if the organizations hold any special certifications to authenticate their expertise. You can contact the state’s pesticide regulatory agency to check the validity of the license held by the contractor. You can also enquire about the types of licenses that contractors are required to provide pest control services.
You can also check if the contractors are affiliated with any other national pest control associations like Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO). This will prove their knowledge and expertise in pest control operations and regulations.
Liability Insurance: After license verification, the next step is to determine if the pest control companies offer liability insurance against damages caused during the pest control operations. This is especially important if you are trying to eradicate insects like termites from your premises. If the pest control company doesn’t offer any liability insurance, you can enquire about preventive steps taken by them to safeguard the property.
BEWARE OF COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS THAT…….
- Want to do pest control as part of a package deal, such as general home repair or tree trimming or that will give you a special price if treatment is done immediately.
- Don’t have a listed or working telephone number.
- Sell services door-to-door or target the elderly or infirm persons who live alone. CHECK THEIR IDENTIFICATION AND CREDENTIALS!!!
- Arrive unexpectedly and show you insects they have found in your neighbors house as evidence of a neighborhood problem.
- Quote a per-gallon price. Termite control can require several hundred gallons of diluted insecticide.
- Claim to have a secret formula. All pesticide products must be registered by the U.S. EPA and the States Departments of Agriculture. Registered pesticide labels contain a list of active ingredients.
- Try to pressure you into immediately signing a contract by suggesting your house is structurally unsound and may collapse if not treated.
- Claim to have excess material left over from a previous job and offer a reduced price for immediate treatment.
- Claim to be endorsed by the States Departments of Agriculture, the U.S. EPA or other government agency. Government agencies DO NOT endorse any service company or specific pesticide product.
7 Steps to an Effective Pest Management Program
IPM programs are successful for a simple reason. They recognize that pest management is a process, not a one-time event, and that relying solely on chemical controls when so many other tools are available is never the best solution. By addressing the underlying causes of pest infestations – access to food, water and shelter – IPM can prevent infestation before pesticides are even considered. In practice, IPM is an ongoing cycle of seven critical steps:
Step 1: Inspection
The cornerstone of an effective IPM program is a schedule of regular inspections. For food processors weekly inspections are common, and some plants inspect even more frequently. These routine inspections should focus on areas where pests are most likely to appear – receiving docks, storage areas, employee break rooms, sites of recent ingredient spills, etc. – and identify any potential entry points, food and water sources, or harborage zones that might encourage pest problems.
Step 2: Preventive Action
As regular inspections reveal vulnerabilities in your pest management program, take steps to address them before they cause a real problem. One of the most effective prevention measures is exclusion, i.e., performing structural maintenance to close potential entry points revealed during inspection. By physically keeping pests out, you can reduce the need for chemical countermeasures. Likewise, sanitation and housekeeping will eliminate potential food and water sources, thereby reducing pest pressure.
Step 3: Identification
Different pests have different behaviors. By identifying the problematic species, pests can be eliminated more efficiently and with the least risk of harm to other organisms. Professional pest management always starts with the correct identification of the pest in question. Make sure your pest control provider undergoes rigorous training in pest identification and behavior.
Step 4: Analysis
Once you have properly identified the pest, you need to figure out why the pest is in your facility. Is there food debris or moisture accumulation that may be attracting it? What about odors? How are the pests finding their way in – perhaps through the floors or walls? Could incoming shipments be infested? The answers to these questions will lead to the best choice of control techniques.
Step 5: Treatment Selection
IPM stresses the use of non-chemical control methods, such as exclusion or trapping, before chemical options. When other control methods have failed or are inappropriate for the situation, chemicals may be used in least volatile formulations in targeted areas to treat the specific pest. In other words, use the right treatments in the right places, and only as much as you need to get the job done. Often, the “right treatment” will consist of a combination of responses, from chemical treatments to baiting to trapping. But by focusing on non-chemical options first, you can ensure that your pest management program is effectively eliminating pests at the least risk to your food safety program, non-target organisms and the environment. You’ll also see higher pest control scores at audit time.
Step 6: Monitoring
Since pest management is an ongoing process, constantly monitoring your facility for pest activity and facility and operational changes can protect against infestation and help eliminate existing ones. Since your pest management professional most likely visits your facility on a bi-weekly or weekly basis, your staff needs to be the daily eyes and ears of the IPM program. Employees should be cognizant of sanitation issues that affect the program and should report any signs of pest activity. You don’t want to lose a day when it comes to reacting to an actual pest presence.
Step 7: Documentation
Let’s face it, the food safety auditor’s visit can make or break your business. Since pest control can account for up to 20 percent of your total score, it’s imperative that your IPM program is ready to showcase come audit time. Up-to-date pest control documentation is one of the first signs to an auditor that your facility takes pest control seriously. Important documents include a scope of service, pest activity reports, service reports, corrective action reports, trap layout maps, lists of approved pesticides, pesticide usage reports and applicator licenses.
Professional Pest Control
Ultimately, regardless of how much you educate yourself, you are not going to approach the experience and flexibility of a major pest control company. If this sounds like too much work to you, you will probably want to employ the services of a professional. Pest control companies know the optimal place to treat, and how often to keep treating to give you the best chance of permanently keeping the problem at bay. Additionally, many companies offer service guarantees, particularly for stubborn pests like termites, and offer no cost return visits until the infestation is rectified.