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Why Trust Diamond Certified Pest Control Companies Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise®?

Photo: ATCO Pest Control ©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 and Helpful Expertise® 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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Richard Estrada is 19-year veteran of the pest control industry and owner of ATCO Pest Control, a Diamond Certified company since 2009. He can be reached at (415) 669-4994 or by email.

Richard Estrada

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Richard Estrada: Getting the Bugs Out

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

NOVATO – When Richard Estrada first started working in the pest control industry, he was at a crossroads: burned out, overtired and looking for change. “I was delivering produce for a company based in San Francisco, which meant a lot of very early mornings,” he recalls. “I had just become a father a couple years earlier, and I found I wasn’t able to spend as much time with my son as I wanted because I was always trying to catch up on sleep.”

Richard knew he wanted to transition to a job with regular daytime hours, but he wasn’t sure where to start looking, so when he got an invitation from a friend to try his hand in a totally new industry, he didn’t hesitate to accept. “A good friend of mine owned a pest control company, and he invited me to work with him for a day to see if it was something I’d like to do,” he explains. “As it turned out, I found it very interesting and decided to keep working for him. Sixteen years later, I’m president of ATCO Pest Control.”

Born in East Los Angeles and raised in Iowa, Richard moved to the Bay Area in 1989, where he still lives with his wife, Stella, and their two sons, Nathan and Marcus. After nearly 25 years, he says he still appreciates the natural beauty of the indigenous landscape. “We have the bay, the mountains and so much more. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else at this point.” Richard and his family like to take advantage of all the area has to offer, engaging in a variety of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking and skiing. One pastime that Richard especially enjoys is golfing with his sons. “My boys and I go golfing quite often. It’s a great way for us to enjoy the beauty of creation and spend some time together.”

In his professional career, Richard says a crucial ingredient for success has been his personal associations. “When I went into business for myself, I knew it would be important to surround myself with people who were smarter than me when it came to business matters. Today, whether it’s industry colleagues or company employees, I continue to partner with people whom I can collaborate with and learn from.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Richard says it wouldn’t be a likely scenario. “Quite honestly, I can’t see myself retiring. I enjoy what I do and love working alongside my team members. I might travel and play golf a little more often, but I could never see myself fully retired.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: My smile.

Q: Which super power would you choose, flight or invisibility?
A: Invisibility.

Q: If you were an insect, what would you be?
A: I think I would be an ant—they’re hard workers and they don’t need to be told what to do.

Q: Do you have any memorable job stories?
A: One time, I got a call about an ant problem at a client’s house. As we were in the kitchen looking at the infestation, the client brought my attention to an ant farm that was sitting on the countertop. We both had to laugh at the irony.

Q: What’s one movie that people would be surprised you’ve never seen?
A: “Arachnophobia.”

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How to Deal With Ants in Your Home


PETALUMA — Ant infestations are a common problem in homes, especially during winter and summer. Many homeowners assume that using an over-the-counter insecticide is the best way to treat for ants. In reality, insecticides aren’t particularly effective against ants—they just… Read more

Avoiding Pest Problems Caused by Subterranean Moisture


PETALUMA — Moist conditions (such as standing water) beneath the home are a common issue. What’s more, since homeowners rarely look beneath their homes, it’s an issue that often goes unnoticed. Unfortunately, whether or not you notice it, an untreated… Read more

How to Prevent and Remove Rodents


NOVATO — When it comes to keeping your home free of pests, rodents are a primary concern. Here are a few tips on how to both prevent rodents from entering your home and remove them after the fact. Prevention The most… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Preventing Moisture-Related Pest Issues

Complete Video Transcription:

PETALUMA — Host, Sarah Rutan: Few homeowners realize that moist conditions beneath the home can lead to pest issues. Today we’re in Petaluma with Diamond Certified Expert… Read more

Felipe Montanez is operations manager of Hydrex Pest Control of the North Bay, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2014. He can be reached at (877) 312-1293 or by email.

Felipe Montanez

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Felipe Montanez: Diligence and Dedication

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter

PETALUMA — Years ago, Felipe Montanez was working in a tire shop and ready for a change of pace, so when he came across an advertisement for a career in pest management, he was immediately intrigued. “In particular, I was drawn by the increased independence and sense of ownership that came from taking care of people’s homes,” he says. Within just a few years of entering the field, Felipe progressed from the ground floor to upper management—a streamlined trajectory he attributes to due diligence. “At every step of the way, I just took the initiative to learn and do as much as I could, so when opportunities presented themselves, I was in a position to take advantage of them. I definitely feel like I’ve earned it.”

Today, as operations manager of Hydrex Pest Control of the North Bay, Inc., Felipe says his favorite part of his job is interacting with customers. “One thing I really enjoy is filling in when one of our technicians is out, because it gives me a chance to be in the field and talk face-to-face with our customers. When I ask how their service has been, they typically respond with glowing reviews, which makes me proud of our team.”

Originally from Washington, Felipe came to the Bay Area on a wine tasting excursion and liked it so much that he decided to permanently relocate. Today, as a resident of Rohnert Park, Felipe says he continues to enjoy all that the North Bay has to offer, including good wine, open spaces and scenic views.

Outside of work, Felipe spends much of his time with his wife, Linda, and their two-year-old son, Braydon. Additionally, he enjoys following his favorite Bay Area sports team, the Oakland Raiders. “As a Raiders season ticket holder, I’m very invested in the team, so it’s a big deal for me.”

In his life and career, Felipe espouses the importance of intense dedication. “When I was in the Air Force, my squadron had a saying: ‘Motivated, dedicated, can’t be stopped.’ That’s stuck with me ever since, and I’ve applied it in both life and work. Basically, in any task or goal that I undertake, I fully invest myself and strive to perform to the best of my ability.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he could retire tomorrow, Felipe says he’d head to an exotic destination. “I haven’t thought a lot about retirement, but if I were to retire tomorrow, I would probably surprise my wife with a trip somewhere. She’s a big fan of Thailand, so I’d take her there on vacation.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite TV show?
A: “Gold Rush” on the Discovery Channel.

Q: If you could time travel, would you go to the past or the future?
A: The future—unlike the past, I can’t read about it.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?
A: Fire up my Xbox and play some video games.

Q: What was your favorite video game as a child?
A: “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!”

Q: What’s your favorite winery?
A: I have two favorites: Kunde Family Winery in Kenwood and Domaine Chandon in Yountville.

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A Simple Way to Prevent Pest Infestations


PETALUMA — Two of the most common insects that pest control professionals deal with are cockroaches and ants. While there are various methods for eradicating these domestic intruders, the best policy is to prevent them from entering your home in… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: Preventing Ants and Cockroaches

Complete Video Transcription:

PETALUMA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you're concerned about pests, you'll first need to know the best way to keep them out of your home. Today we're… Read more




  • Termidor

  • Agrifos

  • Bayer

  • Dow

  • EcoSMART

  • Univar

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

mosquito control
natural pest control
ultrasonic pest control
pest elimination
organic pest control
garden pest control
orange oil pest control
green pest control
preventative pest control
indoor pest 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
lawn pest control
outdoor pest control
termite pest control

Agua Caliente
Alexander Valley
Bodega Bay
Boyes Hot Springs
Camp Meeker
Duncans Mills
El Verano
Fetters Hot Springs
Fort Ross
Glen Ellen
Mark West
Monte Rio
Rio Nido
Rohnert Park
Russian River
Russian River Meadows
Salmon Creek
Santa Rosa
Stewarts Point Rancheria
the Geysers
Sea Ranch
Two Rock
Valley Ford
Villa Grande


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 Sonoma County

Before you begin interviewing pest control companies in Sonoma 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 an integrated approach to my pest control problem?
  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Am I wanting to go as natural as possible, utilizing non-chemical methods of pest control?
  • Are there any chemicals to which I am sensitive?
  • Am I looking for prevention as well as control of the current 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?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask When Meeting With a Representative of a Sonoma County Pest Control Company in Person

After you have consulted several Sonoma County pest control companies by telephone, it’s time to meet with a few in person. You may do this in their offices, or you may want to have them come into your home or cropland to evaluate the pest problem. You should not feel obligated 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 for Sonoma County Pest Control Companies:

  • How soon can you start?
  • Once you start treatment, how long will it take to complete?
  • Is there a drying time for any wet chemicals?
  • 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?
  • Will clean up afterwards be required? If so, am I responsible for that?
  • Will repeat treatments be necessary?
  • 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.)
  • Is the work warranted? If so, for how long?
  • What does the warranty entail and is it a written warranty?
  • Will there be any lingering odors?
  • Do I need to move out of my home while you work?
  • How long will I need to stay out of the area?
  • 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?

If the Pest Problem is a Rodent Infestation:

  • What can be done to prevent them from coming back?
  • I have pets. What precautions do I need to take?
  • What treatments will you use to get rid of rodents?

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?
  • Can I enter my fields right away, or do I need to wait for a certain period of time?
  • What precautions need to be taken when picking crops?
  • What if it rains right after you apply the treatment?
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  • What To Ask References
    Learn From Previous Pest Control Customers in Sonoma County

    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 Sonoma 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, 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.

    Questions to Ask References of Local Pest Control Services

    1. What type of work did this local pest control company do for you?
    2. Did they explain clearly what they were going to do so you could ask questions?
    3. Were the employees of this company courteous and helpful?
    4. Do you feel the price was fair for the work that was done?
    5. Did they provide you with pest control options?
    6. If you needed this type of service again, would you use this Sonoma County pest control company again?
    7. Did they do a thorough assessment of your problem?
    8. Were you pleased with the work they did for you and the length of time it took to complete the work?
    9. Was the extermination or pest control service completed in a timely manner?
    10. Were you satisfied with the work from this Sonoma County pest control company?
    11. 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 Sonoma 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 Sonoma County will depend on your needs. It is important to weigh 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 Sonoma County for you, it’s important to consider the following questions:

    1. Is the company willing to provide follow up care for minimal or no cost, if their first treatment doesn’t work as planned?
    2. 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?
    3. Can a pest control company in Sonoma County satisfy your needs and eliminate your problem?
    4. Is the company willing to warranty their work and guarantee your satisfaction?
    5. 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 Local Pest Control Company in Sonoma County

    Pest control can involve hazardous substances that can be unsafe for you, your family, and your pets if not used in the correct manner. 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 company, in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Cotati, Guerneville, or one of the surrounding towns, it will be important to keep in 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 initially thought.

    Sign a Contract with the Pest Control Company

    When you are happy with the information your Sonoma County pest control company has given you, and you are ready to begin, you should sign a contract that includes a warranty for the work to be done. Any changes to the contract should be done 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 pest control contract are:

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

    • 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.
    • Before you hire a pest control company in Sonoma 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Pay for the pest control company work promptly.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Pest control companies in Sonoma County appreciate customers who are forthright, 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.

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Check The Work
Check the Sonoma County Extermination Services Against the Invoice

Upon the completion of the treatment in your home, you will want to sit down with the Sonoma County pest control company representative and go over the invoice and the work completed. Have the pest control worker thoroughly explain 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
Written Warranties on Pest Elimination and Pest Control Services

When the work is completed, your Sonoma County pest control company is required to give you a written invoice. 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
Top Service Requests for Exterminators and Pest Control Operators in Sonoma County

There are many reasons why someone may need a pest control company in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Cloverdale, Sebastopol, Cotati, Guerneville, and the surrounding towns, but the most common reasons someone would contact a pest control company in Sonoma County are:

Bed Bugs Extermination

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

Fleas/Ticks Extermination

We love our pets, especially the cute furry kind like dogs and cats. They are members of our family and bring us a lot of joy. Regrettably, 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 get rid of 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.

Ant Control Services

Ants will come into a home if there is a food source. You may 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.

Control and Removal of 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 bee stings, 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.

Removal of Bats

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, it is highly likely they will need 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.

Control of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes hatch where there is standing water. If you live near a lake, pond, or swamp, you may have issues with mosquitoes and getting rid of them may not be possible; however, there may be ways to prevent them from coming into 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.

Mice and Rodent Control

Mice in a home can be a problem as they breed and produce large litters in a relatively short period of time. In one 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 chew 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 larger predators, too many mice in and around the home can cause there to be a large number of predatory animals, such as snakes, around our homes. As many snakes are poisonous, having a readily available food source for them can cause problems.

Spiders Extermination

It isn’t often that spider infestations in a home are an issue as spiders prefer to be where there is a readily available food source; however, if you find your home has a lot of spiders, it is possible that you are providing that readily available food source without your knowledge. While spiders can be beneficial, many of them are poisonous and can be hazardous to humans, such as 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, snails, slugs, many types of beetles, and various rodents. Depending on how widespread the problem is, hiring a pest control company 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
FAQs for Local 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 that have passed the country’s most in-depth rating process. Only pest control companies rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise® 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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