Paying tribute to the pest control industry, the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) founded National Pest Management Month. The April event seeks to raise public awareness about pest control and the risks associated with household pests, and provide information to homeowners on avoiding infestations.
This month-long event comes on the heels of massive rainstorms—which translate into a heavy pest season. With all the rain we’ve had this year, pests such as fleas, termites, carpenter ants, and cockroaches will be out in full force. Assistance from a pest control professional will be key in helping protect yourself and your family against possible health and structural threats.
To find out more about National Pest Management Month and to get tips on protecting your home, visit the NPMA’s website at www.pestworld.org. To check the license of a pest control professional, visit the Structural Pest Control Board’s website at www.pestboard.ca.gov.
On June 16 in Berkeley, California, six students died after a balcony they were standing on collapsed. Inspection reports showed that the collapse was caused by dry rot. On July 3 in Folsom, California, a man was killed when a stairway at an apartment complex fell on him. Dry rot is the suspected cause of the collapse. Since then, dry rot has become a hot-button issue.
Dry rot is a type of wood-destroying fungi that compromises the structural integrity of wood due to a variety of factors, such as excessive moisture or conditions deemed likely to lead to (or cause) infestation or infection of the wood (e.g. leaking pipes or condensation).
For homeowners with raised, wooden decks and lofts who are also concerned about their safety, there are measures to take that can help to prevent or to repair structural dry rot damage.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION:
- Regularly inspect your wood deck/loft carefully for cracked, warped or splintered boards to see if they are soft or moist and free from any insect infestation. If you notice any signs of damage, it may be necessary to contact a licensed professional to determine what repairs, if any, are needed. Making a small investment early on can save a lot of money and worry down the line.
- CHECK FOR WATER LEAKAGE: Make sure there aren’t any broken water pipes or sprinklers in your yard that allow water to seep under your deck or loft.
- WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS TURN TO A PRO: If all this sounds like too much work, you can always hire a licensed professional. After all, they’re trained to observe and detect things that you might overlook.
- WHO TO CALL: The Structural Pest Control Board is here to help. If you have questions about a structural pest control company and need to verify their license status, log on to www.pestboard.ca.gov or call (916) 561-8700. You can also contact the Contractors State License Board at (800) 321-CSLB (2752) or log on to www.cslb.ca.gov to check the status of a contractor’s license.
Yet another issue concerning the drought—an increase of household pests. The lack of rainfall is causing bugs such as ants, spiders, and cockroaches to come indoors in search of water. In addition, the past winter, which had fewer days than normal of freezing temperatures, didn’t do its typical seasonal job of killing pests’ eggs.
According to the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Structural Pest Control Board (Board), many household pests are easily controlled: “Good housekeeping and thorough sanitation are important as aids to control or prevent infestations of many pests.”
However, if your home’s pest infestation gets out of control, you may want to seek help from a professional pest control operator. Prior to hiring a company, make sure you’ve done your homework. Be aware that any company that controls mice, rats, pigeons, spiders, ants, roaches, and other household pests must be registered with the Board. Also, the operator who applies the pesticide must be licensed, so ask to see proof of licensure. You can also confirm a company’s registration or a license by contacting the Board’s Licensing Unit at (916) 561-8704 or doing a license search on the Board’s website, www.pestboard.ca.gov.
For more information about pest control and finding a qualified and licensed pest control operator, visit the Board’s website at www.pestboard.ca.gov.