Tips for Selecting a Pest Control Service:
How do we select a competent pest control service?dead roach

First of all, many of us as homeowners, renters and landlords can control household pests through a combination of preventive measures, including proper sanitation and good home maintenance practices. However, some pest infestations may be extensive, or a particular pest may be difficult to control, requiring the services of a pest control company.

You should select a pest control company the way you do any other service – Look for Quality and Value. Costs and competency are important. When selecting a pest control service, cost should not be the only factor that determines the company you pick. It is important to make sure the pest control company you choose is competent. If pesticides are misused, both health and property can be damaged. Before contracting with a pest control company, consider the following:

Questions to Ask a Prospective Pest Control Firm
How many years have you been in business at your present address?
Contact organizations such as the Better Business Bureau, the States Departments of Agriculture, or the States Attorney General’s Office, or the EPA to determine if complaints have been filed against the company or its applicators for misusing pesticides.

Would you provide me with a list of references?
Contact several references to find out if they are satisfied with the service provided by the pest control company.

Will the person(s) performing the services be a certified, licensed pesticide applicator or a licensed technician?
Each company must have at least one certified, licensed commercial pesticide applicator in the proper service category. Other company applicators must be certified applicators or licensed technicians under the direct supervision of an certified applicator.

Licenses may be verified by calling the various State Departments of Agriculture.

Would you provide me with a copy of your pest control license, copies of the labels for all pesticides used and the rates at which they will be applied?
Reliable applicators will show you their credentials and will be able to provide you with copies of pesticide labels that indicate how the product should be applied, including the proper application rates, and the necessary precautions. Source


Commercial buildings often have frequent foot traffic, large inventories entering and exiting, doors opening regularly, extensive heating sources and many surrounding water sources. Because of these things, commercial properties require regular pest control maintenance.

Foot traffic brings in flies, rodents and general pests running through that need to be controlled. Large inventories, such as food and other products, generally cause issues from either the products themselves, or from when the products are brought into structure. Commercial properties also tend to have higher heating and cooling usage and often have units operating at more frequent times. Increased heating and cooling usages cause more nesting sources for rodents, roaches and insects. Additionally, most commercial properties have larger water sources than residential properties. These sources are caused by flat roofs, multiple downspouts and little soil absorption. These standing water sources cause increased populations of insects due to the fact that water leaving the structure has limited areas to be absorbed.

It is imperative to have a professional pest control company licensed in IPM that will recognize all of these issues in your structure(s) and will implement a plan to not only take care of any existing issues but also implement a program to prevent any issues from occurring in the future. Although recurrence frequencies tend to depend on the usage of the structure, a proper IPM professional will implement a maintenance plan to occur on a on a fixed recurring schedule. It is always best to have an IPM professional evaluate the structure prior to determine at what frequency the structure requires service to best control any current issues and to prevent any future issues from occurring.

Communication between owners/managers and the IPM professional is key. Every visit should have contact between IPM professional and manager. Treatments vary depending on season, due to the four drastically different seasons here in Baltimore County, MD, creating four drastically different seasonal pests. However, general pest issues can occur at any time. It is key to have a clear line of communication between the owner/manager and the IPM professional in order to ensure that, should any weather-related pest issues arise, the owner/manager can be in contact with the IPM professional without delay.

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