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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 spraying.
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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Introduction    Quarterly Do-It-Yourself Pest Control    Annual Pest Control

Summary    Pest Control Supplies    Household Pests    Wildlife Control 

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 form.
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 work.)
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        Summary  

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 "inspections."

Residential homes have several choices of products/ procedures from which to choose.  The first question to ask yourself: Which pest is my major concern?
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 indoor control.
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 insecticide.
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Pest Control Summary

German Cockroaches    Fleas    Ants    Household Pests, General

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.  Use quarterly.

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 section.
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 SpraysDemon 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 and roaches.

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 strength.
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. 

Household Pests    Cypermethrin Products    Pest Control Supplies

Pest Control Information    Demon WP    Cynoff WP