Have any of these situations happened to you?
Standing in your kitchen you notice a steady stream of ants marching across your counter, disappearing through a hole in your woodwork. Moving a box in your pantry, you discover what looks like a nest of silverfish. Walking through your garage, you're assailed by fresh spider webs. Needing a midnight snack, you open the refrigerator and the light lands on something scurrying across your floor. You quickly turn on the light in time to see what appears to be a cockroach creeping under your stove. You open a drawer to remove a spoon, and notice small black things scattered throughout the drawer. Upon further investigation you discover they are mouse droppings. Your crops are being eaten, and it isn't by you. Further investigation reveals insects are eating your crops.
In truth, it's not about the cleanliness of a home, and many creatures, six-legged and four-legged, like our food just as much as we do. The fact of the matter is that there are far more insects and small rodents in the world than humans, and sometimes we end up sharing space with them, whether we want to or not.
Some insects are hazardous to human health due to poisons, such as spiders, and some carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, such as ticks and fleas brought into the home by family pets. Other insects can cause damage to the home, like carpenter bees; and some are just unsanitary, such as cockroaches. Additionally, when we have mice, rats or other creatures in our home, we risk illness as many rodents carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans through their droppings, or bites. And we all know that growing food is always a challenge since we have to compete with a population of creatures that exceeds our own.
When our home or gardens/fields are invaded by large numbers of insects or rodents, it's time to get help. The type of help you seek will depend on the type of infestation in your home.
Before you seek help from a professional pest control service in Marin County, you will want to see if there is anything you can do on your own to eradicate the problem. Sometimes you can take care of the problem yourself, if it's something simple, like ants getting into your home. If the problem is more severe, like bedbugs, roaches, mice, or some sort of crop-destroying insect, you will definitely need to call in the professionals.
In the Home
There are some things you can do to cut down on the number of pests in your home. These include:
- Seal all cracks around doors, windows, and exterior walls.
- Eliminate clutter where insects and rodents can hide, such as cardboard boxes, plastic bags, clothing lying on the floor, etc.
- Keep food covered and put away, including pet food.
- Wipe up food spills immediately, making sure to get into any cracks and crevices, especially between the stove and counter top.
- Since insects and spiders are attracted to trash, keep your trash bins away from your house.
- Keep the exterior of the home clean and free of debris to eliminate insects from congregating along the foundation of your home, and possibly finding a way in.
In the Garden or Field
There are some things you can do to cut down on crop destruction by pests, but if your fields are large, it may be impractical and costly. Some of these things include:
- Netting over the plants. A fine mesh netting spread over the plants as they grow will keep out many insects. The problem with netting is that it may also prevent those insects that pollinate your plants.
- Trenches filled with water or some other deterrent. Snails, slugs, and some types of worms may be prevented by the use of trenches between the rows of plants. The trenches will need to be plastic or some other substance that will hold a liquid in place to prevent the crawling bugs from crossing over into your crops.
- Fencing in the field or garden to keep out larger animals. Small fencing, such as chicken wire or a mesh type of fencing may work to keep out rabbits and deer, but it will not work against mice and burrowing rodents, such as moles.
- Planting crops that do not smell good, such as garlic or onions, next to those crops that are enticing to pests may also help. This includes certain types of flowers such as marigolds. Planting flowers around your crops also draws in those insects that help pollinate, so it can be beneficial.
These are some of the things you can do keep the pest population in your home and in your fields down. Unfortunately, sometimes this isn't enough, or the solution isn't practical, and stronger measures must be taken. That's when a professional pest control person can help. When choosing a company to come into your home in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross, Belvedere, and the surrounding towns, it is important to know what to look for, and research is the key, but if you do not want to take the time to do the research, and you want your pest problem taken care of right away, having access to companies that have been Diamond Certified can help.
Look for Properly Certified Pest Control Companies in Marin County
All Diamond Certified companies located in Marin County, including those in San Rafael, Novato, Mill Valley, San Anselmo, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito, Fairfax, Ross, and Belvedere, have been thoroughly researched for you, including certification verification, and reliability. If one of these companies does not appear to meet your needs, you will have to do the research yourself. Where to begin?
It's important to note that pest control is a carefully regulated industry in California due to the use of pesticides. Indiscriminate pesticide use can cause illness in people and animals, and affect crops in a way that is not good for human consumption. For this reason, it is important to ensure that your Marin County pest control technicians, applicators and supervisors are licensed and certified according to state regulations.
In California, the Structural Pest Control Board licenses pest control companies and provides courses and examinations that must be completed within three years of an applicant applying for a license. In addition, other organizations may certify or license a company for specialized training. In addition to initial licensing through the Structural Pest Control Board, pest controllers must undergo regular continuing education to maintain their licensing. In addition to being licensed by the Structural Pest Control Board, it is possible, depending on the type of pest control company, that they will need to be licensed by the County Agricultural Commissioner, and the California Department of Public Health, depending on the type of pest control.
Many pest control companies in Marin County may hold membership in other organizations, as well. These could include Pest Control Operators of California and/or the California Association of Pest Control Advisors.
In addition to proper licensing and certification, it is important that the Marin County pest control company you choose has employees who are properly certified to deal with your specific problems. There are many different certifications and types of licenses pest control workers can have, so ask questions, and find out if they are licensed or certified to work in the area in which you need them. If you are looking for an exterminator to get rid of bugs in your home, you will want someone who is licensed or certified as a qualified applicator, and possibly licensed in Integrated Pest Management. If you are looking for crop pest control, you will want someone who is licensed as an Agricultural Pest Control Advisor.
Now that you've done some research on pest control companies in Marin County, it's time to talk with a few local companies. When you interview them, make sure you have a written list of questions and note each company's answers. Don't settle for the first company you talk to. You have a right to explore your options, but keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more damage pests can do to your home or crops.View/Print