Pest Control & Exterminators
SOONER OR LATER, we’re all pestered by pests. Whether it’s ants in the kitchen or weeds in the vegetable garden, pests can
be annoying and bothersome. At the same time, many of us are concerned that the pesticides we use to control pests can cause problems too. How can pests be controlled safely? When and how should pesticides be used? This is intended to help answer these questions. The questions have no single right answer, but our Guide to Pest Control and Pesticide Safety gives the information you need to make informed decisions. You should be able to control pests without risking your family’s health and without harming the environment. The major goals of this site is to help you understand.
What steps to take to control pests in and around your home. What alternatives to chemical pesticides are available, including pest prevention and non-chemical pest controls. How to choose pesticides and how to use, store, and dispose of them safely. How to reduce your exposure when others use pesticides. How to choose a pest control company. What to do if someone is poisoned by a pesticide.
PLANTS, insects, mold, mildew, rodents, bacteria, and other organisms are a natural part of the environment. They can benefit
people in many ways. But they can also be pests. Apartments and houses are often hosts to common pests such as cockroaches, fleas, termites, ants, mice, rats, mold, or mildew. Weeds, hornworms, aphids, and grubs can be a nuisance outdoors when they get into your lawn, flowers, yard, vegetable garden, or fruit and shade trees. Pests can also be a health hazard to you, your family, and your pets. It’s easy to understand why you may need and want to control them. Nowadays, you can choose from many different methods as you plan your strategy for controlling pests. Sometimes a non-chemical method of control is as effective and convenient as a chemical alternative. For many pests, total elimination is almost impossible,
but it is possible to control them. Knowing your options is the key to pest control. Methods available to you include pest prevention, non-chemical pest controls, and chemical pesticides. Each of these methods will be described in more detail in the sections
The most effective strategy for controlling pests may be to combine methods in an approach known as integrated pest management (IPM) that emphasizes preventing pest damage. In IPM, information about pests and available pest control methods is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. An example of using the IPM approach for lawn care is presented in the next section of this
Identify the pest problem. This is the first and most important step in pest control—figuring out exactly what you’re up against. Some pests (or signs of them) are unmistakable—most people recognize a cockroach or a mouse. Other signs that m1ake you think “pest” can be misleading. For example, what may look like a plant “disease” may be, in fact, a sign of poor soil
How to Find & Hire a Professional Pest Control Company
What Do Exterminators vs. Pest Control Companies Do?
Exterminator and pest control company are interchangeable these days. These services treat existing pest or rodent infestations and help prevent future invasions. Reputable pros practice integrated pest management (IPM).
How Does Pest Control Work?
Unlike one-time extermination, pest control is a long-term process that relies on regular inspections, preventive measures, chemical and non-chemical treatments. Integrated services may save homeowners time and money by preventing expensive structural damage or infestation caused by pests like termites and bed bugs.
IPM practices attempt to control and/or eliminate insects and rodents through these five steps:
Inspection – A pro will check areas in and around your home where insects or rodents are common.
Prevention – After an inspection, pros will recommend measures like reducing food or water sources or performing structural maintenance.
Identification – Accurate identification helps a pro select the most effective treatment with the least impact to people, pets and the environment.
Treatment – This may be chemical, non-chemical or a combination of the two.
Monitoring – Pros will follow up to ensure treatment is effective. He/she will also suggest a schedule of regular inspections.
What Do Pest Control Companies Use?
Professionals often start with non-chemical pest control. If those methods don’t work, they might use a chemical treatment containing one or more active ingredients proven to kill or repel the insect.
In most cases, manufacturers register active, pest-control ingredients with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This registration indicates the product has been tested to determine potential environmental or human side effects. You can find this information on the product label and in the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS).
How To Choose The Most Qualified Pest Exterminator
When Should I Use Professional Pest Control?
When you have a pest control problem, it’s best to contact an exterminator. Realizing you need a professional is easy. However, because there are so many to choose from, knowing which company to hire can be overwhelming. Not all pest control companies are equal. Do your research – you don’t want to hire just any random company
How Do I Choose A Pest Control Company?
When considering a pest control company, find out if they are licensed. Are they bonded? Most importantly, are they properly trained? These are things you need to know before letting pest control technicians into your home.
Being licensed, bonded, and trained better qualifies a pest control company to treat your residence or business. You can confirm that a company is licensed by contacting the local agency that issues pest control operators’ licenses. A pest control company must be bonded to ensure they will pay for any damage that might occur when your home or business is being serviced. Often the state pesticide agency will offer certifications and training to local pest control companies. Don’t be afraid to ask a pest control technician questions about the specifics of his/her training
Pest Control Do it Yourself or Hire a Professional?
Most of the animal and plant species that share our world do not make a nuisance of themselves. Many are beneficial, such as ants and termites, when they do not interfere with human property and activities. In fact, less than 1 percent of all species are pests that negatively affect our lives by invading our space, damaging our property and threatening our health.
Rodents (rats and mice) annually consume and contaminate about 20 percent of the world’s food supply. Without pest control, half of our food might be destroyed by crop and stored product pests. Rodents also do untold damage to property – their gnawing is a suspected cause of fires attributed to unknown causes. As for insects, termites alone cost Americans about $1.5 billion each year in damage repair and control – more than the combined cost of all natural disasters.
Pest tolerance in crop land is usually based on the cost of control. Sometimes pests can be numerous and do considerable damage to a crop before the cost of that damage outweighs the cost of control. However, we are less tolerant of pests in the urban environment. Most of us are very concerned upon finding insects living with us, so much that the presence of a single cockroach or flea will prompt pest control in the home.
Structural pest control decisions are sometimes based more on emotion than economy. After all, fear of arthropods (insects, spiders and their kin) is our third most common fear (behind public speaking and heights), and spiders are the second most feared animal (behind snakes)
While fear, often unfounded, can sometimes be the stimulus for initiating pest control services, some pests do pose a very real threat to humans. Health concerns associated with structural pests include venomous stings and bites in addition to the transmission of diseases including food poisoning, allergies and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Pests also can have a psychological impact on us, for example, from the unsettling feeling of knowing (or suspecting) you are living with insects, spiders, rats or mice.
Tips for Choosing a Pest Professional
In order to get the quality service you need, however, you will want to use the following steps to ensure you get the best:
Find out if the exterminator in Baltimore has experience with your type of pest problem. Sometimes, pest control companies specialize, but you will want one with expertise with your specific pest problem.
Best practice – get references. There really is no substitute for this, so go with one that comes with referrals from your friends or relatives that have used the company.
Find out if the Baltimore exterminator is trained and licensed.
Look to see if there are any guarantees. If they are dealing with termites, you also want to know if they have liability insurance – just in case they never actually get rid of them.
Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are complaints against the company. Your state will also have a similar list.
Get at least 2 or 3 estimates before you buy, then compare services offered and price before you choose one.
Find out how long the service is good for. There will be a contract, and it will state how many months the Maryland exterminator will service your home or business.
Learn what chemicals they use and how they are distributed in your home or business. In most cases, you want to go for limited amounts and limited distribution. Note that warmer climates may require a wider usage.
Understand how often treatments are repeated and how many treatments are covered in the contract.
For termite contracts, find out if the damaged wood will be replaced, and when reinspections will be performed. Also learn about where treatment stations will be placed and the types of chemicals used – get the labels.
Find out what the company will do in the way of prevention, how long it will take, and how often they need to return for inspections, cleanup, etc.
Depending on the particular pest, your service professional should always perform the services as covered in the Agreement. Do not expect anything to be done for you if it is not in print. Make sure that you understand all aspects of the Agreement, too, before you sign anything.