Quarterly Pest Control
New pest control technology now allows everyone to protect their home from
most pests without constantly spraying indoors and outdoors with pesticides that
have limited residual. Safer products in the synthetic pyrethrin class of
insecticides are being formulated in wettable powder (WP) and microencapsulated
concentrates. These formulations last longer and require less frequent
Professional insect baits
are available in many different forms: granules, gel, liquid and solid bait
stations. The active ingredients in the new baits are more effective and
the attractants used are constantly being improved. Armed with the proper
tools, you can now treat your home for most pests just a few times each
year. Most of our customers treat their homes about three times each
year. Pest control service companies are offering quarterly pest control
and even yearly pest control.
In this article you may read about events that have made quarterly and annual
pest control possible, products for quarterly do-it-yourself pest control;
annual pest control is also covered.
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Quarterly Do-It-Yourself Pest Control
Annual Pest Control
Control Supplies Household
Before the introduction of wettable powder insecticide concentrates
(especially those containing Cypermethrin) most pest control services
concentrated on monthly spray services and regarded these accounts as their
"bread and butter." Even do-it-yourself pest control called for
treatment every month or so. The clear reason for this 30 day cycle was
the type of pest control products being used: emulsifiable concentrates (EC)
that had about 28 days of residual action or staying power.
Dursban and Diazinon were the mainstay of general household pest control for
many years. In the 1980's, a new product was introduced that literally
changed the way technicians worked and how pest control accounts were
sold. This new product was Demon
WP, an odorless insecticide concentrate
in wettable powder
The first impact Demon WP (and shortly after, Cynoff
WP) had was in control of
German cockroaches. The flushing action of this new Cypermethrin
insecticide was amazing; the roaches had never been exposed to this type of
product and would run out of the walls quickly, trying to avoid the
material. Roaches were killed quicker than with previous products in
use. (This flushing action was so great that many pest control technicians
felt that they no longer needed to use dusts or aerosols for crack and crevice
The next impact of Cypermethrin wettable powders was in the types of service
provided to customers. There were many pest control technicians that had
customers drop their service because they (the customers) rarely saw any
unwanted bugs in their homes that had been treated with Demon or Cynoff.
Since the new wettable powders (WP) gave such great residual and long term
control, the smart pest control operators began pushing quarterly pest control
service over monthly service.
For the customer, the quarterly service meant less frequent intrusions into
their home and (usually) less money out of pocket. (Total payments for
quarterly pest control service is normally cheaper than total payments for
monthly service; once-per-year pest control should save even more money.)
Pest control operators were at first a little hesitant about quarterly
service. Most had spent their entire careers building trust and confidence
with monthly visits to their customers. Quarterly service would (in their
minds) separate them from their customers. "Losing touch" was
thought to be a big taboo.
What the true professionals found was that a great door of opportunity had been
opened. Instead of a hired technician working 10 to 20 accounts each day
(at about $20 per month each) the technician could work 10 or more quarterly
accounts each day (for $45 to $90 each). This simply translated into more
dollars for the PCO.
(Dollar amounts are figures taken from the era - not present day.)
Pest control technicians begin to pay more attention to integrated pest
management (IPM) procedures instead of being mere baseboard jockeys.
Looking at the total picture (better inspections) showed them that they did not
have to spray a pesticide at every problem that popped up.
It is amazing that the introduction of a single product can have such an
impact on an entire industry. Demon WP is the single product that changed
professional pest control services and changed the way that individuals are
involved in do-it-yourself pest control.
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Do-It-Yourself Quarterly Pest Control
Do Your Own Pest Control
Every person can have their own preferences and each
home or business can have specific needs when it comes to a pest management
program. (For a list of products to choose, go to pest
control summary.) A good example would be the control of German
cockroaches in an apartment complex or mobile home park. There are, of
course, other pests such as spiders, ants and a number of others that come be a
problem on occasions. If German cockroaches are the only pest of concern,
baiting or spraying for roaches on a three month schedule will work. (As
discussed in the bait
contamination article, you never use an insecticide spray in the same room
where you use a roach or ant bait.) Once large infestations are under
control, use Maxforce Gel roach bait two to three times per year.
If other bugs (spiders, ants) are in the apartment complex, use Demon WP, Cynoff
WP or Suspend SC every few months. Spraying every month is now no longer
necessary - unless you need to be inside of the units more often for
Residential homes have several choices of products/ procedures from which
to choose. The first question to ask yourself: Which pest is my major
If roaches are your only pest, you can choose between roach baits or a good,
odorless spray such as Demon WP. Flea problems are best controlled by a
combination of Suspend SC and an IGR such as Precor or Archer. Combining
the insecticide (Suspend) and an IGR in the same mix, you can treat your home
for a multitude of pests while protecting against possible flea
infestations. This treatment should be done 3 or 4 times per year for
As can be seen above, you can use a bait for roaches or you can use a spray;
fleas require an IGR for long lasting control. An IGR is great for a few
selected pests. Baits do a good job for ants, carpenter ants, fireants,
roaches, crickets and silverfish. There are other pests that cannot be
controlled with an IGR nor can they be controlled with a bait. Spiders,
scorpions, centipedes, millipedes, white-footed ants, carpet beetles, ticks are
examples of pests that are best controlled with a long residual, odorless
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Pest Control Summary
German Cockroaches Fleas
Ants Household Pests,
German Cockroaches -
Bait with Maxforce Gel Roach Bait for heavy infestations; use either bait or
spray for quarterly control. Demon WP and Cynoff WP are best; Suspend SC
can also be used. In sensitive areas, you can
use Gentrol IGR alone or with Maxforce Bait as a roach prevention program.
Fleas - Spray every three
or four months with Suspend
SC and Nylar.
(Nylar is an IGR; Archer
can also be used but a 4 ounce bottle of Nylar is enough for most people.)
A pint of Suspend SC will last for a long time; each bottle makes 10 to 20
gallons of solution! A 4 ounce bottle of Nylar will be enough for the
average sized home (1,500 square feet.) Mix 1.5 ounces Suspend and 1 ounce
Nylar in one gallon of water. Spray the inside of your home with this
solution on a quarterly basis. Spray the exterior surfaces of your home
every few months to keep other pests (spiders,
ants, roaches) from entering your home.
Ants - Before eliminating
an existing problem, you must identify the ants that have invaded your
home. Carpenter ants and fireants are examples of ants that will accept an
ant bait; they can also
be eliminated with a spray in some cases. Pharaoh
ants are a species that should never be sprayed for unless it is for
prevention. For more details on which products to use for these tiny ants,
go to Pharaoh Ant
Control Products information page.
If you have carpenter ants, skip down to the carpenter ant
Identify the ant for elimination of existing infestation.
Once the ants are under control, you may choose to bait or spray for prevention.
Ant Baits: Maxforce
Ant Killer Bait Gel and Gourmet
Ant Gel are great for indoor baiting; Maxforce
Granular Bait can be used around the perimeter of the home to kill ants,
crickets, roaches that live in mulch and landscaped areas. Bait indoors
and outdoors on a quarterly basis, if necessary.
Ant Sprays: Demon
WP, Demon EC, Cynoff
WP, Cynoff EC, Demand
CS and Suspend SC
are all great for ant control; they are also odorless.
Wettable powders (WP) give the longest residual but might leave a visible
residue on dark surfaces. Demand
CS and Suspend SC
do not leave such a visible residue. Suspend SC is labeled for
broadcasting on carpets and furniture. This is important if you ever have
to spray for fleas, ticks, carpet beetles in your home.
Carpenter Ants: Minor
infestations can be treated with any of the Ant Sprays
listed. Heavy or stubborn infestations of carpenter ants usually require
the use of Advance Carpenter
Ant Bait, Maxforce
Carpenter Ant Bait. Read Carpenter
Ant Baits for better details on baiting for these pests. Read
about Carpenter Ants.
Index of Household Ants
Bait and Spray: Many people prefer not
to spray inside of their homes. The best suggestion for this case is to
use a general purpose spray on the exterior surfaces of the structure and use
baits indoors only when ants, roaches or silverfish are present indoors.
Any of the spray products mentioned using for ant control
will do a good job on the outside of the home.
Maxforce baits are
good for roaches and ants; Niban
FG is a good bait for silverfish
and can also be used for ants
Household Pests, General:
To prevent most household pests, you need to use an odorless product that gives
a long residual. Demon
WP and Cynoff WP
have the longest residual but do leave a residue on some dark surfaces. If
you have dark surfaces on the exterior of your home or have dark baseboards, use
Demand CS or Suspend
SC. Many pest control operators are now broadcasting a band of Talstar
Granules around the perimeter of structures to enhance their exterior spray.
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Yearly Pest Control, Annual Treatment Programs
The best spray products to use that have a long residual are wettable
powders. A wettable powder will last 3 to 6 months on average; longer
results have been reported many times. Insecticide dusts can last several
months when properly applied to attics, voids, crawl spaces and other areas
where people and pets will not come into contact with the material. In dry
areas where sunlight and other factors will not have any affect, granular insect
baits can last for many weeks at a time.
As you can see, none of these products are rated for lasting a year or
longer. So, how can pest control companies offer once-a-year or annual
pest control services? When you pay for annual pest control, the pest
control technician will probably do a very thorough job with the pest management
tools at hand. These tools are not guaranteed for a year - but the service
you purchase is guaranteed for a year.
How can you do this same type of service? By treating inside your home, in
attics, crawl spaces, wall voids and by treating the exterior surfaces of the
home and also the ground around the home, using the same sprays, baits and dusts
used for most pest control jobs.
Example: Using a power
duster, apply Drione Dust or Delta
Dust to every possible void, crawl space or attic where bugs travel but
where you and your family will not come into contact with the insecticide.
Using a Crusader Duster, inject the same
insecticide dust into every possible crack or crevice to get the insecticide
into wall voids. Inside the home, spray beneath cabinets and appliances,
along baseboards and pay attention to other possible "hot spots" such
as closets, garages, laundry rooms, etc. Now turn your attention to
outdoors. Spray around all possible entry points, including the seams
around doors and windows. Bugs like to hide behind shutters, around
exterior lights and in mulched areas, flower beds. These areas also need
to be sprayed. For long term control, use Cynoff WP
or Demon WP at double
You now have treated your home to the best of your ability, using the best pest
control products available. Will your spray treatment and dusting last for
a full year? Maybe. Will you be re-treating your house for
bugs sometime in the next few months? Probably not.
Remember that a pest control company treats your home and gets paid the fee for
a yearly account. If a problem pops up before the contract expires, you
call the pest control company and ask for them to take care of the problem - at
no extra charge.
There is no guarantee for products to last for a year but you can do the best
job possible for your home.
Many people plan to treat their homes on a quarterly basis but find that
their initial treatment lasts much longer than expected.
Pest Control Supplies
Pest Control Information