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Contact a few references to find out if they're satisfied with the service provided by the pest control company.

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Will the person(s) performing the services be a licensed, licensed pesticide applicator or a licensed technician

Each company needs to have at least one certified, licensed commercial pesticide applicator in the suitable service class. Other company applicators must be licensed applicators or licensed technicians under the direct supervision of an certified applicator.

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Can you provide me with a copy of your pest control license, copies of the labels for all pesticides used and the prices at which they will be implemented

Reputable applicators will show you their credentials and will be able to offer you copies of pesticide labels which indicate how the product ought to be applied, including the correct application rates, and the necessary precautions.

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Want to perform pest control as part of a package deal, for example general home repair or tree trimming or which will give you a special price if treatment is done instantly.

Sell services door-to-door or target the elderly or infirm persons who reside alone. CHECK THEIR IDENTIFICATION AND CREDENTIALS!!!

Arrive unexpectedly and show you insects they have found in your neighbors home as evidence of a neighborhood problem.

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Quote a per-gallon price. Termite control can take a couple hundred gallons of diluted insecticide.

Claim to have a secret formula.  All pesticide products should be enrolled from the U.S. EPA and the States Departments of Agriculture.  Registered pesticide labels contain a listing of active ingredients.

Try to pressure you into instantly signing a contract by suggesting your home is structurally unsound and may collapse if not handled.

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Claim to have excess material left over from an earlier job and provide a reduced price for immediate treatment.

Claim to be endorsed by the States Departments of Agriculture, the U.S. EPA or other government agency.  Government agencies DO NOT endorse any service company or specific pesticide product.

Some pest control companies provide support contracts in which structures are routinely treated for a particular pest. Contracts may be necessary in some situations such as warehouses that get crates often infested with cockroaches. In general, routine pesticide applications in and around your house are not good unless there is a constant infestation with a pest and non-chemical approaches have failed to control the pestinfestation.

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Generally, it's customary for termite control work to be guaranteed from one to five years.  Ensure you know what the guarantee covers and determine whether there is a yearly inspection charge.  In addition, find out whether the pest control company is responsible for structural damage if the treatment fails to control the termite infestation.

If the service person asks you to do certain things before, during or after the pesticide application, cooperate and follow instructions. For instance:

If the service person asks you to remove personal items from the ground, empty kitchen cabinets and eliminate pets, make sure you have done this until they arrive.

Aquariums should be removed from the treatment site or coated with heavy plastic and the air conditioner turned off.

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If the service person proposes non-chemical procedures of pest control in addition to the pesticides, make sure to follow the instructions.

Fantastic cooperation between you and the pest control company will help eliminate fleas and reduce pesticide usage.

Pesticides are inherently toxic and may cause health issues and/or harm to the environment if used in a manner inconsistent with the label directions.  Certain pesticides can pose higher risks than others.  To determine the pesticide which best fits your needs, contact your regional University Extension Service.

Information in this article was adapted from Missouri Department of Agriculture and Illinois Department of Public Health publications.

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There are around 300 species of termite in Australia, but only a handful cause problems. Subterranean termites (also called white ants) cause most of the damage around the country. They feed off cellulose-containing materials such as wood.

Termites can cause significant structural and economic harm to homes and commercial basics buildings by eating the inside of the construction and leaving only a thin shell for protection against the outside environment.

Mud shelter tubes that they build for protection (pictured). These can occasionally be seen in brick foundations or in architraves.

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Easily broken skirting boards, door jams or architraves (since termites take away the structural integrity of wood, a small knock to these areas can cause damage).

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Cracked paint or plaster (termites eat away at timber they impact the structural integrity causing fractures in paint or about his plaster).

Temperature and rainfall appear to have the largest impact on behavioural action, followed closely by the house's age. If you stumble upon a termite nest on your house, don't disturb it until you've determined an appropriate termite management plan using a skilled pest manager. Once disturbed, termites might discover this abandon the area, move elsewhere and remain undetected.

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