Back in the day, exterminators used to go into a home or business and just automatically spray all the baseboards with pesticides whether it was needed or not. People called them “Baseboard Jockeys” who used the “Spray and Pray” method. What’s worse, the pesticides they were using then were much less safe than those used now. Thankfully pest control has come a long way, baby. Would you believe it’s possible to control pests without ever having to spray a thing? Seems obvious now, but it wasn’t until the late 1980’s that pest management professionals developed the theory of pest control used today – keep them out in the first place! Which means that the greatest amount of effort and treatment happens on the exterior of the structure, stopping pests from getting in at all. The pest industry calls this theory Integrated Pest Management (IPM) because it incorporates and integrates several different pest control measures. The majority of those measures don’t involve spraying pesticides.
So: how do we control pests?Today we rely more on inspection and monitoring than on “preventive applications” of pesticides, and we use sanitation and exclusion to deny pests the things they need to survive. We limit any use of pesticides within a building by establishing lines of defense. These enable us to intercept pests before they become a problem inside. The more pest elimination we accomplish outside of a structure, the less work we need to be do within.
Inspections & PreventionOn each service visit, the technician performs a thorough inspection. We look not only for pests and their signs, but also for conditions that might support pests. A few examples would be a door that doesn’t shut right, providing an entry path for pests; cluttered conditions in a storeroom; or accumulations of food debris behind kitchen equipment. Pests are enough trouble on their own, let’s not give them any help!
Sanitation, Exclusion and RepairsOur technicians make small repairs (sealing a mouse entry point with copper mesh, etc.) on the spot. We'll also point out places where we recommend larger repairs. We'll make recommendations as to how you could improve sanitation practices to eliminate or prevent pest problems.
Trapping & MonitoringWe place zone monitors (small “sticky traps” that act as 24-hour-a-day pest “sentinels”) in vulnerable areas. These helpful tools work in storerooms, utility rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, or anywhere else where you've spotted a pest. Pest insects trapped on zone monitors serve as an early warning.
Limited Pesticide ApplicationRoutine, preventive applications of pesticides are not done in most cases. We rely on inspection, sanitation, and the use of zone monitors to help us target our applications. Then, if we have to treat on the interior, we follow these rules regarding the use of pesticides:
- First, we perform a careful inspection on each service visit. We look for ways in which improvements in structure or sanitation can help prevent the entry or survival of pests.
- We make recommendations for needed improvements in sanitation and structural repairs.
- Our technicians only use pesticide after confirming the presence of pests (by positive sighting or zone monitor).
- Whenever we have to apply a pest control material, we only use the least volatile material possible.