Your home is your castle, as they say, and you certainly don’t want anyone or anything invading it. Without you even realizing it, your home could be invaded by a variety of pests. While you might not be able to see them, they are busy at work, eating, chewing and devouring areas of your house. By the time you notice, extensive damage could be done in various areas of your house. Besides physical damage to the house and just the sheer annoyance of having pests, your health and the health of your family could also be at risk. For example, various insects and rodents can cause respiratory ailments from their droppings, which could also trigger allergies. For these reasons and more, it’s crucial to deal with infestations once they are noticed. If you don’t, the problem will only increase because the pests will multiply.
Pest have been around for as long as Man. Farmers would often have to burn pieces of their land to rid of pests, destroying both land and crops. During other times, people would be exposed to toxic chemicals to rid of pests, causing them harm if not death. Thankfully, those days are gone and pest control companies offer the safest methods to rid of pests without causing you or themselves harm.
Some people try to get rid of pests themselves. There’s no problem with that if we are talking about minor problems and if you have caught it in time. But when problems caused by pests get too big and expand, companies experienced in pest control will be able to deal with the problem in better ways than you can. Often you will need professional help because to the untrained eye, you might not be able to tell the difference between dirt surmounted by earthworms and wooden bits eaten by termites, because they seem similar in appearance. You might notice when the problems gets too big, so in both cases hired professionals would be better for you.
When you choose a company, it might be a good idea to have a head start on pest control companies so you know how to choose, and what to look for in a company.
So here is some information to know about what the company will do for you and how they will handle the problem.
Whether it’s an individual or professional company, make sure they are licensed to do the job. Local pest control with Natura Pest Control are licensed and have experienced individuals who know where and what to look for in your home. Every state does require that pest control businesses or individuals to be licensed, but the terms might differ from state to state. Depending on which state you live in, you can find out if the terms and conditions in your state are followed by the company you hire. Also make sure the license is up to date. You also want to make sure that the company is bonded. This means that the company will reimburse you for any damages caused by an employee during the process. So these are qualifications you should look for, and any reputable and responsible company should have them.
Insured company: Hiring an insured company will protect you in the case of any accident happening to the hired employee working on your premises. Some companies insure their employees or have workman’s compensation plan. There is no law that requires a company to have this type of insurance, but if you find a company that does, and meets all the other requirements you want, then go for it.
If the company does not give a service guarantee of its work, that is not a good sign, so you might be better off to choose another company. Besides the company’s side of the guarantee, also know what is expected of you. In some cases, your guarantee might no longer be valid if you have made structural alterations to your home, after extermination, without informing them.
Avoid certain companies: Some companies might try to impress you and tell you they use ‘special’ products. There is no such thing as all types of pesticides must be registered by legal bodies for its use. Regular consumers cannot even purchase certain pesticides which can only be issued to licensed companies.
Also avoid companies that offer you a fixed date to come and exterminate without checking the premises first. A proper, reputable company will always examine the area first, and many times might even offer a free estimation of the cost.
Special prices, unless you are familiar with the company, are also not the best way to go. You can find pushy salespeople but you can just push back and take your time to choose. ‘You get what you pay for’ is not just an expression and is often true. So you can find cheaper costs from one pest control company to another, but cheaper might not work for you in the long run.
Questions to ask:
You can ask anything you want, but make sure to get the right questions in. Take into consideration some of the questions below and make sure that the company is clear in its answers to you.
- What types of chemicals will be applied?
- How will it be applied?
- When will it be applied? (This question does not have to do with the date you’re expecting workers to come. It has to do with the growth stage of a particular pest. So you want to know if this is the best time to apply the substance the company will use.)
- What do you need to do to prepare?
- Do you have to leave your home or is it safe to stay?
- Is there a drying or ventilation time and will there be a lingering smell?
- Will the process be necessary to repeat?
- When should you be seeing results?
If you are satisfied with the answers and give them the OK, the company will send you over their professionals. They will examine the interior and exterior of your home. This would also include the roof, and around the windows and outside door. You will probably find them often using poles to poke into areas to find the soft spot which is very likely the source(s) of the problem. When a soft spot is found you will probably find a hole in the wood. Wooded areas are often the first that get damaged from termites. The damage is eroded wood or wood that’s been eaten away enough to cause holes in it.
After the initial inspection, a report will be written out for you describing the issues at hand. Decayed wood which needs to be repaired or replaced should also be included in the report. Other areas of the house might also need further investigation such as the bathroom or kitchen. Bathroom or kitchen tiles can often have pest action happening under them, so this might need a tile or two to be ripped out to be able to inspect properly.
This is a paid service, and like any other paid service you have the right to discuss the situation and inquire about it with the company. Any company will tell you: what the damage is, where it is, which pests are affecting your home, what the recommendations are to treat the damage, what sort of methods will be used, and what sort of products or chemicals will be used. You might need to ask further questions about: the active ingredient that will be used, potential health issues related to the active ingredient, needing to leave the premises for a duration of time, and about if there are any alternatives to using poisonous chemical products. You can ask what the least toxic chemicals are that can be used, and the company will be able to provide you with enough information to know if it is suitable for your type of problem or not.
Common methods used:
Here we’ll tell you a bit more about 4 common methods that are used.
- Biological pest control – This is an old but effective and chemical-free method that involves using living organisms for pest control. In other words, it is introducing one species to another intentionally. It is most effective in weed and plant diseases, insects, and mites.
- Chemical pest control – This method diverts insects and rodents off your property. It exterminates by repelling. It’s a popular choice of pest control and comes in the form of solutions or sprays. If there is severe infestation, a space fumigation is used.
- Mechanical pest control – This method involves devices or equipment that get rid of pests. This method is often used for rodents such as rats or mice.
- Physical pest control – The physical pest control technique includes the removal of pests by setting up barriers, eliminating their breeding grounds, removing items which are often occupied by pests, such as wooden structures which attract termites.
The strategies used will always differ according to the type of pests, the extent of the damage, and the size and area that has been affected among other factors.
For decades now, people have become much more aware of world’s ecosystem and the need to take care of the planet, so professional companies take all this into consideration and will come up with solutions that are both safe and effective.
Pesticides can be categorized according to the types of pests they kill.
There are 7 types:
- Insecticides – insects
- Herbicides – plants
- Rodenticides – rodents (rats and mice)
- Bactericides – bacteria
- Fungicides – fungi
- Larvicides – larvae
- Rodenticides – used to kill rodents. These poisons are usually put into food to make poisonous baits which rodents eat.
Pesticides can come in solid form, liquids, granules, and aerosol. Depending on the type of pest, the correct form will be used.
Keep in mind that much of the time, pest control companies are used to eliminate pests on a massive scale which is why pesticides are still the most popular means to treat infested areas.
While we’re on the topic of toxic chemicals, a number of pest control companies are joining the move to go Green in the types of chemicals they use. Traditional companies might still use extremely toxic pesticide and this would often require you to leave the premises, not to mention remove all kitchen utensils to a safe place. Even after you return home, you would still be extra cautious around your house, especially if you have a crawling baby or toddlers. Yet now, there are ways or products used that are less damaging to us and the environment around us. Some greener methods can use natural items found in almost any kitchen. Orange peel or mint oil has a suffocating effect on bugs, for example.
Finding better and safer ways to control infested areas is important not only for your own health, but also because pest control is not just done for houses. Office buildings, shopping malls, residential skyscrapers, hotels, motels and any type of structure has pest and bug problems and need regular pest control. It is not doable to ask people to leave the premises nor can you tell them to stay if there is a health risk factor is involved. The only solution, up to now, is to use products that are safe for humans but damaging to pests. Yet, depending on the severity of the problem, there can be cases where people would have to leave the premises.
Hundreds of pests
There are literally hundreds of different pest that can enter into your home, make themselves comfortable and damage areas. At minimum, it’s a nuisance and can put your life on pause till you get down to the core of the problem. At maximum, pests can be a health hazard and cause severe damages to your home or your land. In either case, it is not a problem to be ignored and won’t go away by itself once an area is infected. Pest control is needed for a cleaner and safer place to live in.