Saturday, April 9, 2011

When Should I Call a Professional?

Spend a little time in any hardware super store and you'll come across a myriad of products for do-it-yourself pest control. From sprayers to gels to traps and baits, everything the professionals use is available for sale to the layman. Or is it? Yes and no. Many of the products that you see for sale over the counter do contain the same or similar active ingredients as are available only to the licensed professional. That raises the question, why do professionals even need a license if what they use is no different from what anyone can buy? It's because of the concentrations of the chemicals that are available in your local supermarket or hardware store vs those that are available only to trained, licensed and certified professionals. What is found in the products that are available to the public are very low percentages of the pesticides available to professionals. Over the counter products contain small traces of these chemicals, often not even enough to kill the pest that they are intended for. Many times small concentrations of chemicals will deter a pest and cause it to move to another location in the same home. Later when it is rediscovered the home owner believes he has another infestation when really it is the same hoard of roaches, colony of ants or nest of mice. Some insects have a survival mechanism that causes them to breed faster once they have come in contact with these weak chemicals. So in reality the home owners attempt to fix his problem has only made it worse. High concentrations of pesticides are often required to thoroughly eliminate longer established colonies of insects such as bees, termites and ants. Most states have very strict guidelines for handling these higher concentrations and for good reason.Pest control is far more involved than just plopping down large amounts of poisons any place where you've seen the pest. Knowledge of the pests biology, nature and habits is essential in achieving effective results with the least amount of effect on the environment. pest control products applied wrongly are often completely ineffective on insects and animals that may never come in contact with them.So when can a layman attempt to
do his own pest control? It depends on the type of infestation, the degree and severity of the problem at hand. Many infestations can lead to dangerous situations for people and damage to the property so number one is safety.Ask: Is this situation threatening to humans or property? Termites, or a possible rabid raccoon on the property as well as rodents that may chew electrical wires are examples of dangerous infestations that require immediate professional intervention. If you are inclined to want to treat a pest control problem on your own do so immediately upon discovery of the situation. Early intervention is the single most agreeable factor on the side of the do it your self pest control novice. If you do not see results right away you may want to consider calling for professional help. The longer an infestation is allowed to grow on a property the more difficult it will be to overcome. Some home owners may have thorough and lasting effects with swift and proper use of over the counter products. If this is not the case, the longer you put off calling a professional the worse your problem becomes. Delayed intervention for the sake of saving a dime may end up costing more in the long run.
For information on how to prevent infestation in your home go to

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