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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Pest Control Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

Photo: Leading Edge Pest Management, Inc. (2013)

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a pest control company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified pest control service. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated pest control exterminator and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you’ll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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David Osborn is a 35-year veteran of the pest control industry and owner of Osborn Spray Service, a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (925) 405-6964 or by email.

David Osborn

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

David Osborn: Full Circle

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

DANVILLE — Born the son of a pest control professional, David Osborn hadn’t planned on following in his father’s footsteps, but through a series of turns, his path eventually came full circle. “My father started his pest control business right after I was born, so I basically grew up in it,” he explains. “As I got older, I thought about becoming an accountant or a meteorologist, but I didn’t like the idea of being stuck behind a desk. When I went to college, I chose to major in Forestry. However, after meeting a few other Forestry majors who were unable to find work after graduating, I switched to plant science.”

During the course of his education, David increasingly found connections between his field of study and that of pest control, which enabled him to see his father’s profession through a new lens and later prompted his return to the family business. Today, as second-generation owner of Osborn Spray Service, David says his academic background continues to influence his approach to pest control. “I consider myself a forester because my company does a lot of work with trees. I also take a conservative approach to fumigation and avoid spraying unless there’s really a need for it.”

David says interacting with customers is his favorite part of his job. “I appreciate the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people and educate them about our industry. I figure if my customers are more informed, they’re more likely to appreciate what I’m doing.” David says he also enjoys working alongside his son, Kyle, who represents the third generation of family involvement in the business.

A native resident of Danville (where he lives with his wife, Sherry), David likes to take advantage of the diverse Bay Area landscape. “Some of my favorite pastimes are riding my Harley Davidson and backpacking in the Sierras with friends,” he says. “My wife and I also like to travel, both within the United States and to places like Mexico.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, David says he’d relocate to a new setting. “Our daughters, Kate and Kari, both live in Salt Lake City, Utah with our grandkids, so we’d probably move somewhere closer to them. I’d also ride my motorcycle and travel more.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: If you could visit any country in the world, where would you go?
A: Australia or New Zealand. I find that whole area fascinating, and I’d love to see the Great Barrier Reef.

Q: Do you have a favorite movie?
A: I have two: “Jeremiah Johnson” and “The Hunt for the Red October.”

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird.

Q: How do you like your eggs?
A: Over easy.

Q: What was your favorite Halloween costume as a child?
A: I don’t recall my favorite, but there’s one I’ll never forget: When I was in the fifth grade, my mother dressed me up in a bunch of tin cans and said I was a “cannibal.”

Read more

2 Tips for Keeping Rats Out of Your Home


DANVILLE — Any pest infestation is a problem, but a rat infestation can be particularly unsettling. That’s why it’s wise to take preventative measures to keep rats out of your home. Here are two simple steps: Keep your roofline clear of vegetation.… Read more

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home


DANVILLE — The warmer temperatures of spring and summer lead to an increase in insect, spider, and rodent activity, which is why homeowners need to be proactive about keeping these pests at bay. One common concern people have is how… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Keeping Rats Out of Your Home

Complete Video Transcription:

DANVILLE — Host, Sarah Rutan: Few things are as unsettling as a rat infestation in your home. To learn some preventative tips, we’re in Danville with Kyle Osborn… Read more

Mario Martinez is a 16-year veteran of the pest control industry and owner of All N One Pest Eliminators, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (888) 344-0552 or by email.

Mario Martinez

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Mario Martinez: A Friendly Connection

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

ANTIOCH — After 15 years in the pest control business, Mario Martinez traces his industry roots back to a friendly connection. “In 2000, a friend of mine got promoted to branch manager for a local pest control company, at which point he offered me a job,” he explains. “Prior to that, I had been working for a company that manufactured chemical landscaping products like liquid fertilizer and weed killer, so it sort of overlapped with pest control. My friend brought me on board and helped me get licensed. After about 10 years working with him, I started my own company, but we continue to be good friends today.”

Today, as owner of All N One Pest Eliminators, Mario says he appreciates the many opportunities his job affords him to help others. “Few pest control companies offer all the services a customer might need, so I like being able to provide a broad range of solutions. Also, as the company has grown, I’ve been able to provide employment for many people, including members of my family, which feels really good.”

A longtime East Bay resident (where he lives with his wife, Kristy, and their two children), Mario expresses his appreciation for the temperate local climate. “Great weather—that’s what I love about working in the Bay Area,” he says. “My job requires me to work outside most of the time, so the nice weather really makes it a pleasure.”

Outside of work, Mario’s favorite pastime is exploring the diverse Bay Area landscape. “My job keeps me pretty busy, but when I get a chance, I like to get away with my family,” he says. “One of our favorite activities is going camping, fishing and jet skiing at local lakes like East Park Reservoir. We just like seeing different places and enjoying everything the Bay Area has to offer.” However, as much as he loves being out and about, Mario also enjoys relaxing at home and watching TV, movies, and sports.

In his life and career, Mario espouses the centrality of honesty. “Honesty is the most important thing,” he affirms. “For example, if we find ourselves in a situation where we aren’t able to help a customer, it’s on us to be upfront and let them know rather than just save face. Even in such instances, which are pretty rare, customers appreciate being told the truth and being treated in a respectful way.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Mario says he’d take a trip. “My wife and I really enjoy traveling, so I’d probably plan a vacation. There are plenty of places we’d like to see and experience, so that would give us an opportunity to do so.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: Definitely a dog person. We have two dogs: a miniature chihuahua and a pit bull.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Stay home, order a pizza and watch a movie.

Q: What do you like on your pizza?
A: Pesto, white garlic sauce, artichokes, bacon and chicken.

Q: What’s your favorite holiday?
A: It’s a tie between Thanksgiving and Christmas—everybody gets together and it’s a great family time.

Q: What was your favorite toy as a child?
A: My WWF action figures. I used to have a bunch of them, including Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper, and always had a blast playing with them.

Read more

Keeping Rodents Out of the Home


ANTIOCH — Do you have a rodent problem in your home? Have traps and similar appliances failed to provide a permanent solution? It may be because you haven’t done anything to stop rodents from accessing your home in the first place. You… Read more

How to Combat a Rodent Infestation


ANTIOCH — There are a couple of ways to combat a rodent infestation, but in order to ensure both safety and effectiveness, it’s necessary to have an understanding of correct application techniques. One popular option for combating a rodent infestation is… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Combating a Rodent Infestation

Complete Video Transcription:

ANTIOCH — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you have a rodent problem in your home, you’ll want to combat it in a way that’s both safe and… Read more

John Gingrich is a veteran of the horticulture industry and owner of Gingrich Horticulture Service, a Diamond Certified company. He can be reached at (925) 979-5913 or by email.

John Gingrich

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

John Gingrich: Plant Doctor

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

CONCORD — From an early age, John Gingrich knew he wanted to be in a profession that would allow him to spend his days outside, working with plants and nature. While he assumed this would mean a career in landscaping, he eventually discovered a niche that held an even greater appeal. “After working as a landscaper for several years, I decided I wanted to stand out a little more in the field, so I enrolled at Cal Poly as an ornamental horticulture major,” he explains. “That’s when I really began to cultivate my interest in landscape health care.”

Following his college stint, John moved to the Concord area, where he applied his education by working for a local company. Fifteen years later, he struck out on his own and founded Gingrich Horticulture Service in 1999. Today, John continues to use his expert knowledge of horticultural health to assist Contra Costa County residents. “Our aim is to keep plants healthy, vigorous and growing to their full potential,” he says. “A lot of people install plants in their yards but don’t really understand what those plants need. That’s where we come in.”

A longtime resident of Concord (where he lives with his wife and business partner, Diane), John says the Bay Area’s temperate weather makes it an ideal environment for someone in his line of work. “An area’s climate dictates what kinds of plants can be grown there, so we’re very fortunate to be in an area that allows for such versatility. From plants that require winter chilling to subtropicals like citruses and guavas, it’s fun having such a vast horticultural pallet to choose from.”

Outside of work, John extends his love of the outdoors to a variety of pursuits, from hiking and camping to water- and snow-skiing. “I enjoy just about any activity that I can do outdoors, especially water sports like diving for abalones and spearfishing.” In addition to these active pastimes, John enjoys avocational hobbies like raising honeybees and making wine. “My wife tells me I have too many hobbies,” he laughs. However, as busy as his work and hobbies keep him, he also makes sure to keep up with his and Diane’s two children, Ian and Ashley, who are pursuing their respective vocational goals in college.

When asked about a personal philosophy, John quotes a verse of Biblical scripture: “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” “As a consumer, when I hire somebody, I look to see if they’re going to deliver what they’ve promised,” he explains. “That’s something I really try to live by—not only to do what I say I’m going to, but to do it to the best of my abilities.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, John says he’d take a trip down under. “I’d probably go visit my son, who’s currently attending a university in Australia. Also, my wife is from Australia, so it would be a chance for us to spend some time with her family as well.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Naan ‘n’ Curry in Concord.

Q: What’s your earliest memory?
A: Swimming in my family’s Doughboy pool while Jeffrey, our German Shepherd, ran around and barked at us.

Q: Are you an early bird or a night owl?
A: An early bird. I like being up in the quiet of the morning.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A: Eggs Benedict with lox.

Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Boats. I have two sailboats and a fishing boat, not to mention four kayaks.

Read more

A Consideration for Plant Selection


CONCORD — Consumers have a tendency to think bigger is better, and this is no exception when it comes to shopping for plants at a nursery. That’s why, when selecting among plants of a similar species, most people are likely to assume… Read more

Identifying and Treating Fire Blight in Trees


CONCORD — Fire blight is a growing concern among Bay Area property owners. It’s a bacterial disease that affects both ornamental and fruiting varieties of pear and apple trees (along with several other closely-related plants), and it’s so named because… Read more

3 Aspects of Lawn Care


CONCORD – If you have a lawn, you’ll want to keep it as lush and healthy-looking as possible. To do this, you’ll need to address three critical aspects of lawn care: mowing, watering and fertilizing. 1. Mowing Anyone with a lawn knows… Read more

How to Plant a Tree


CONCORD − Planting a tree on your property may seem like a simple task: dig a hole, put in the tree and refill the hole. However, to ensure a healthy transplant, it’s important to know some of the nuances involved in the… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Dealing with Lawn Grubs

Complete Video Transcription:

CONCORD — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re having a problem with raccoons tearing up your lawn, you may not realize the true root of the issue. To learn… Read more




  • Termidor

  • Agrifos

  • Bayer

  • Dow

  • EcoSMART

  • Univar

ArborSystems Tree Insecticide
ETEX Electronic Pest Control
Merit Tree Insect Control
Taslstar Insecticide
Phantom Insecticide
Roundup Weed Prevention
Exterra Pest Control
Bayer Insecticide
Demon Insecticide
Malathion Insecticide
Bayer Premier Pesticide
Avid Pesticide
Clark Pest Control
Orkin Exterminators
Hitmen Pest Control
Ecolab Pest Control
Hydrex Pest Control
Raid Insecticides
Terro Ant Bait
EcoSmart Pest Control
Termidor Termite Control

rat pest control
insect pest control
non-toxic pest control
plant pest control
beetle pest control
residential pest control
pest extermination
mouse control
ant control
rodent control
cockroach control
earwig control
pest elimination
mosquito control
indoor pest control
garden pest control
lawn pest control
outdoor pest control
termite pest control
organic pest control
natural pest control
ultrasonic pest control
orange oil pest control
green pest control
preventative pest control

Bay Point
Bethel Island
Discovery Bay
El Cerrito
El Sobrante
Hilltop Mall
Los Medanos
North Richmond
Pleasant Hill
Point Richmond
Port Chicago
Port Costa
Rheem Valley
San Pablo
San Ramon
Tara Hills
Vine Hill
Walnut Creek
Walnut Heights
West Pittsburg


California Structural Pest Control Board (CSPCB) (http://www.pestboard.ca.gov)
California Department of Pesticide Regulation (CDPR) (http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/)
California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) (http://www.calepa.ca.gov)
California Code of Regulations (http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/legbills/calcode/chapter_.htm)
California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) (http://capca.com)
Pest Control Operators of California (PCOC) (http://www.pcoc.org/index.cfm)

Know What You Want
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Beginning Your Search for a Pest Control Company in Contra Costa County

Before you begin interviewing pest control companies in Contra Costa County, ask yourself what sorts of services you need, and what you are looking for in a pest control company. Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified pest control extermination company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Are there any chemicals I am sensitive to?
  • Am I wanting to go as natural as possible, utilizing non-chemical methods of pest control?
  • Do I want an integrated approach to my pest control problem?
  • How often do I want to have pest control in your home? Is this a one-time event, or do I want a regular visit every month, or within some other time frame?
  • Am I looking for prevention as well as control of the current problem?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask When Meeting with a Representative of the Contra Costa County Pest Control Company in Person

After you’ve interviewed several Contra Costa County pest control companies by telephone, it’s time to meet with a few in person. You may do this in their offices, or they may want to come into your home or cropland to evaluate the pest problem. You should not feel pressured to have anyone in your home if you are not comfortable; therefore, you may want to consider meeting in their offices first and arranging a walk-through by appointment during a time when you will be home with someone. Always go with whatever is most comfortable for you.

When meeting with a company in person, there are some questions you should ask regarding their services:

General Questions:

  • To ensure an accurate estimate, what process do you follow prior to giving an estimate?
  • What if my pest problem is more severe than originally thought?
  • How soon can you start?
  • Once you start treatment, how long will it take to complete?
  • Do I need to move out of my home while you work?
  • How long will I need to stay out of the area?
  • Is there a drying time for any wet chemicals?
  • Will clean up afterwards be required? If so, am I responsible for that?
  • Will there be any lingering odors?
  • Is the work warranted? If so, for how long?
  • What does the warranty entail and is it a written warranty?
  • Will repeat treatments be necessary?
  • If the problem doesn’t go away after you have completed treatment, will I be charged for you to come back and do it again?
  • Will I need to wash all surfaces and dishes, etc. before using them after you have applied treatment?
  • Are you insured and/or bonded? (Ask to see a certificate of insurance and find out if the company carries complete insurance coverage with adequate coverage that includes an “errors and omissions” clause that covers accidents like inadvertent staining on carpets or breakage of items.)

If the Pest Problem is a Crop Issue:

  • Will this harm my crops?
  • Will the residue remain on the crops, and if so, for how long?
  • What if it rains right after you apply the treatment?
  • What precautions need to be taken when picking crops?
  • Can I enter my fields right away, or do I need to wait for a certain period of time?

If the Pest Problem is a Rodent Infestation:

  • What treatments will you use to get rid of rodents?
  • I have pets. What precautions do I need to take?
  • What can be done to prevent them from coming back?
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  • What To Ask References
    Interview Other Contra Costa County Pest Control Company Customers

    It’s best to choose a Diamond Certified pest control company because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can’t pass. If you want quality from a pest control company in Contra Costa County, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you’ll never be fooled by fake reviews. That’s because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can’t find a Diamond Certified pest control company within reach, you’ll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it’s wise to call some references provided by your pest control company. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the pest control company are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That’s because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company’s 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    • What type of work did this Contra Costa County pest eradication company do for you?
    • Did they do a thorough assessment of your problem?
    • Were the employees of this company courteous and helpful?
    • Did they explain clearly what they were going to do so you could ask questions?
    • Did they provide you with pest control options?
    • Were you pleased with the work they did for you and the length of time it took to complete the work?
    • Were you satisfied with the pest control services from this Contra Costa County pest control company?
    • Was the work completed in a timely manner?
    • Do you feel the price was fair for the work that was done?
    • If you needed this type of service again, would you use this Contra Costa County pest control company again?
    • Would you recommend this company to others who have experienced pest infestation issues?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire a Good Pest Control Company in Contra Costa County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Pest infestations in the home or the field will require different types of treatment, depending on the type of pest; therefore, your choice of a pest control company in Contra Costa County will depend on your needs. It is important to evaluate all of the information you have received after speaking with different companies and talking to references. In addition, before deciding on the best pest control company in Contra Costa County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions:

    • Can a pest control company in Contra Costa County satisfy your needs and eliminate your problem?
    • Is the company willing to spend the time necessary to communicate with you exactly what needs to be done and how it will be done?
    • Is the company willing to provide follow up care for minimal or no cost, if their first treatment doesn’t work as planned?
    • Is the company willing to warranty their work and guarantee your satisfaction?
    • Are they willing to provide you with a written contract and warranty for their work?
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  • How To Work With
    Before You Hire a Contra Costa County Pest Control Company

    Pest control can involve hazardous substances that can be harmful to you, your family, and your pets. Before you hire a pest control company, you will want to find out what safety precautions they take when working with possibly hazardous materials, and what you will need to do prior to them coming into your home, and what precautions need to be taken after they are finished.

    Once you hire a local pest control service, it will be important to maintain contact with the pest control company to ensure everything is going according to plan and no problems have come up in the process, such as there being a larger infestation than originally thought.

    Sign a Contract with the Pest Control Company
    When you are satisfied with the information your Contra Costa County pest control company has given you, sign a contract that includes a warranty for the extermination services or pest control work to be done. Any changes to the contract should be completed in writing. Do not give a verbal agreement for anything without having it put into writing and signed by both you and the company.

    Some things to look for in a well-written pest control contract include:

    • Possible exclusion clauses in the contract. Exclusion clauses specify the things that can cause the contract to be canceled.
    • Can either you or the pest control company cancel? Will there be penalties assessed if you cancel the contract?
    • Is there an arbitration clause or other method to settle possible disputes?
    • The contract should be signed by both parties.
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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Pest Control Company Customer?

    It’s the pest control company’s responsibility to ensure they are meeting all safety and quality pest control standards when working in your home or on your land, but you play a big part in the success of the work. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring a Contra Costa County pest control company.

    • Be clear and upfront with the pest control company. Let them know what you want from your pest control company, the long-term outcome you’re expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a pest control company in Contra Costa County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the pest control company representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local pest control companies occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they’re working in your home or fields. The work will move along more smoothly if your pest control company can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • Ask your pest control company representative if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • When the company calls you, return calls promptly to keep the treatment process on schedule.
    • Pay for the pest control company work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Pest control companies in Contra Costa County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest, and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

    Read moreRead less
Check The Work
Check the Pest Control Services Against the Invoice

Upon the completion of the treatment in your home, you will want to sit down with the Contra Costa County pest control company representative and go over the invoice and the work completed. Have the pest control worker explain clearly the work that was done, and any follow up work that needs to be done by the company or by you. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what has been done in your home, or on your land, so that, should the problem arise again, you will be able to communicate with the company clearly regarding what was done and what may still need to be done. Additionally, obtain an accurate list of any chemicals that were used in case you or someone in your home has a reaction to them.

Finally, review all work completed with what is on the invoice you receive from the pest control company to ensure all work being paid for was actually done, and that all work was done to your satisfaction.

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Written Warranties
Ask for Written Guarantees on Pest Control Applications

When the work is completed, your Contra Costa pest control company is required to give you a written invoice for all extermination services.

This should include:

  • The name and physical address of the company and their license number.
  • An itemized list of all work performed.
  • What part of the work is under warranty.
  • How long the warranty is valid.
  • Any charges for special equipment utilized.
  • Any applicable hazardous waste disposal fees.
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Top 10 Requests
Common Pest Eradication Services Provided By Exterminators in Contra Costa County

There are many reasons why a homeowner may need to hire a pest control company in Concord, Richmond, Antioch, Walnut Creek, Pittsburg, San Ramon, Danville, Brentwood, Martinez, Pleasant Hill or the surrounding towns, but the most common reasons to contact a pest control company in Contra Costa County are:

Ants will come into a home if there is a food source. Many times you will see a line of ants marching single file across your countertop or floor to or from a food source. What is the food source? Will removing it get rid of the ant problem? Can you locate and plug the hole they use? If the ants have built a colony somewhere within your home, the issue could be bigger than you think.

In many states bats are a protected species, but bats can cause serious problems if they are in your home. First and foremost, bats can carry rabies. If someone is bitten by a bat, there is a high likelihood of needing rabies shots, especially if it is unknown if the animal is a carrier of rabies. Better safe than sorry is the view of most people as rabies is a very serious disease that has no known cure. Additionally, bat droppings (guano) can harbor bacteria and the fungus known to cause Histoplasmosis, and be a food source for other pests, such as roaches. If you have bats in your home, it is best to consult a professional regarding the removal and cleanup of the infested space as special equipment and suits may be needed depending on the amount of guano.

Bed Bugs
Bed bugs can be a serious problem, and there has been a recent increase in infestations. If you suspect you have a bed bug problem, you will want to seek help immediately to get the problem under control.

Bees/Wasps/Hornets/Yellow Jackets
Bees can be beneficial to crops, but some types of bees, such as carpenter bees, can cause damage to your home. Also, wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets can be aggressive when defending their home territory. If someone in your home is allergic to bees, this can be a serious problem. Whether you want the creatures moved or eliminated is up to you, but a professional can help decide the best options for you and the creatures.

We love our pets, especially the cuddly, furry kind like dogs and cats. They are members of our family and bring us a lot of joy. Unfortunately, they also may bring us ticks and fleas. Regular treatment of our pets can help prevent this problem, but once an infestation is in the home, it may be very difficult to eliminate the problem. Fleas can hide in the carpet and lay eggs and regular vacuuming may not be enough to get rid of them. Unfortunately, fleas and ticks live on the blood of animals, and human blood is just as good as dog or cat blood, but fleas and ticks can carry disease, such as Lyme Disease and plague.

Mice in a home can be a problem as they breed and produce large litters in a relatively short period of time. In a year a female mouse may have up to 60 babies, which will be ready to begin reproducing within 10 weeks of birth (sometimes earlier). While mice may appear to be cute and cuddly creatures (to some), their droppings are unsanitary, and many mice carry the bacteria that causes salmonella. Additionally, mice can gnaw through walls, damage furniture, and make a mess in our homes. They also eat crops and food meant for livestock. As mice are a natural food source for many predators, too many mice in and around the home can cause there to be a large number of predatory creatures, such as snakes, around our homes. As many snakes are poisonous, having a readily available food source for them can cause problems.

Mosquitoes hatch where there is standing water. If you live near a pond, lake, or swamp, you may have issues with mosquitoes and eliminating them may not be possible; however, there may be ways to prevent them from invading your yard or home. Since mosquitoes can carry diseases, if you have a large number of them in and around your home, you may need to contact a professional to help you find ways to get rid of them.

It isn’t often that spider infestations in a home are an issue, as spiders prefer to be where there is a food source; however, it is possible. While most spiders can be considered beneficial, some are poisonous and can be hazardous to humans, including the Black Widow Spider and the Brown Recluse. If you notice a large number of these creatures in and around your home, you may want to consider eliminating them before someone gets bitten.

In addition to these common pests, there are a large number of insects that can affect crop production, including cutworms, slugs, snails, many types of beetles, and various rodents. Depending on how widespread the problem is, hiring a pest control company to deal with the problem may be the only solution to saving your crops.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Pest Control Terms Used By Local Exterminators

Like any specialized business, the pest control business may have its own language. A list of commonly used terms used in the pest extermination industry is as follows:

A substance that attracts a specific type of animal to it. Sometimes used to attract pests to traps or poisoned baits.

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

band application
Application of a pesticide in a strip alongside or around a structure, a portion of a structure or any object.

Also known as: barrier application

beneficial insect
An insect that is useful or helpful to humans. Beneficial insects are usually those that provide crop polination or pest control services. Beneficial insects often contribute to organic gardening (including in enclosed spaces such as greenhouses) and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plans, and may include some species of bees, wasps, flies, beetles and ladybugs.

Also known as: beneficial bugs

biological control
The control of certain creatures by using their natural enemies, such as predators, parasites or disease.

Also known as: biological pest control, organic pest control

broad spectrum
Something that affects a wide range or large number of organisms. In pest control, the term ‘broad spectrum’ usually refers to broad spectrum insecticides or pesticides that kill a wide variety of insects.

An inert liquid, solid, or gas added to an active ingredient to make a substance dispense effectively. A carrier is also the material, usually water or oil, used to dilute a product for application.

certified applicators
Individuals who are certified to use, or supervise the use, of any pesticide covered by their certification.

The amount of a product in a certain volume or weight.

crack and crevice treatment
Application of pesticides into cracks and crevices with no residual on outside surfaces.

To remove or neutralize a product so the environment is safe.

The measured quantity of a product used at one time.

The effectiveness of a product.

Food and Drug Administration

Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act

A spray of very small pesticide-laden droplets that remains suspended in the air for a time.

general-use pesticide
A pesticide that has been designated for use by the general public.

A pesticide used for the control of weeds

An invasion of pests within an area such as a building, greenhouse, agricultural crop or landscaped location.

To prevent something from happening.

insect growth regulator (IGR)
A type of pesticide used to disrupt the normal development of certain insects.

integrated pest management (IPM)
Eliminating pests by using multiple control methods.

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)
An information sheet provided by a chemical manufacturer describing the qualities, hazards, safety precautions, and emergency procedures to be followed in case of a spill, fire, or other emergency.

National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
The federal agency that tests and certifies respirator equipment for pesticide application.

Does not last long. Non-persistent insecticides are sometimes preferred for short-term pest removal.

Animals or plants within a pesticide treated area that are not intended to be controlled by the pesticide application.

A plant or animal that gets all of its nutrients from another organism. Parasites often attach themselves to their host or invade the host’s tissues.

A microorganism that causes a disease. Some pest insects carry pathogens that can be dangerous to human health.

Pest Control Operator

Any substance intended for preventing, destroying, or repelling insects, rodents, nematodes, fungi, weeds, or any other forms of life declared to be pests. Also any substance intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant or desiccant.

pesticide resistance
Genetic qualities of a pest population that enable individuals to resist the effects of certain types of pesticides that are toxic to other members of that species.

A pesticide used to keep certain pests away from a treated area by saturating the area with an odor that is disagreeable to the pest.

Traces of pesticide that remain on treated surfaces after a period of time.

restricted use
Any substance for which a special license or permit is required before it can be purchased or used.

A pesticide used for control of rats, mice, gophers, squirrels and other rodents.

selective pesticide
A pesticide that has a mode of action against only a single or small number of pest species.

spot treatment
Treatment of a specific, limited area, instead of a general overall application.

structural pest
A pest that attacks structures or buildings and destroys or damages them. Structural pests include wood boring insects includng termites, wood beetles and carpenter ants.

The ability to endure the effects of a pesticide without exhibiting adverse effects.

The potential a pesticide has for causing harm.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Local Exterminators and Pest Control Companies

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified Pest Control Company?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a pest control company with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only pest control companies rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can’t pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you’ll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified pest control company.

Q: What is IPM?
A: IPM is Integrated Pest Management. The goal of IPM is to control pests by using the best control methods after carefully considering each method’s safety, effectiveness, cost, and its effect on non-target organisms and the environment. IPM does not necessarily eliminate the pest, but works to control it.

Q: Why should I hire a professional pest control company?
A: Sometimes the pest control problem involves the use of chemicals that may be harmful to humans and pets. It’s important to know how to apply the chemicals in a way that will protect you and everyone else in the home. A properly certified and licensed pest control company can provide someone who can do that safely.

Q: Shouldn’t all the baseboards in my home be sprayed?
A: No. It is not necessary and needlessly exposes people and pets to pesticide. Pests may live behind baseboards, or inside them, but never on them. If pesticides are applied, they should be applied to the cracks, crevices and voids where pests spend most of their time.

Q: If I want ongoing, periodic service, what should the service consist of?
A: Once any existing infestations are brought under control, any further service should involve ongoing inspection for further infestations, and treatment if further infestations are found.

Q: What frequency of service is best?
A: The frequency of service depends upon your situation and the type of pest involved. Once your pest problems are eliminated, you may choose to retain periodic service, but that service should focus on inspection and spot treatment of pests, if and where they are discovered, rather than routine pesticide application.

Q: Who can I call if I suspect my house is not being properly serviced?
A: First express your concerns to the technician who provided your service. If you’re not satisfied with the technician’s response, call the company. If issues still cannot be resolved, you can contact the Better Business Bureau, Attorney General’s office, or the agency that regulates structural pest control in your state.

Q: Are pesticides always necessary to control pests?
A: No. Not all pests require pesticide use. Many can be managed by using only less toxic formulations such as baits, dusts, and microencapsulate pesticides that present less risk of human exposure. Talk with your pest control service about which alternative pest control methods will be effective in controlling the pests in and around your home.

Q: Are pesticides safe? What if I am pregnant, or I have an infant or small children?
A: No chemical is absolutely safe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registers all pesticides, after determining that each presents tolerable risk when used according to label directions. Any use inconsistent with a pesticide’s label is a punishable violation of federal law. In general it is the misuse of pesticides that is hazardous, though the EPA recognizes that risks associated with pesticide exposure may be greater for pregnant women, children and infants, and takes this into account when registering pesticides. If you have any concerns about pesticide use, have your physician review the labels of pesticides that will be used in your home.

Q: How much should pest control service cost?
A: The best way to determine this is to compare estimates from several companies. It can be unwise to hire the company offering the lowest price, because there are many other factors to consider such as licensing/certification and reputation. The more information you gather, the easier it will be to decide if the price is right.

Q: Who do I call if someone is accidentally exposed to pesticides?
A: First call the Poison Control Center in your area. It’s best to have the name of the pesticide so you can inform the Poison Control Center, emergency medical technicians, and your physician. If you do not know the name of the pesticide, the technician or their company should be able to tell you, or you can check the service reports they gave you after each treatment. Always save these reports! They are required to show what pesticides were used. Follow the Poison Control Center’s instructions.

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