Frequently Asked Questions
Pest control and extermination services have been deemed an ESSENTIAL SERVICE by the United States Department of Homeland Security. 360PestControl has accepted this responsibility and we are following all CDC and State guidelines for the protection of our customers and employees.
Our technicians wear appropriate level PPE including gloves, shoe covers and masks if we need to enter your home or office. All employees must wash their hands before and after the service call. We practice social distancing and ask that you do as well. We send all invoices, agreements and service receipts by email so you will not need to sign anything for our service call.
If you have been diagnosed with or exposed to COVID-19, we ask that you notify us so that we can take additional precautions if service is required in your home or office.
We are fortunate and none of our staff has been diagnosed with COVID-19 to date. If that should change, we will follow CDC guidelines for quarantining and no employee will be allowed to return to work until medically cleared.
We take the COVID-19 threat seriously and we will take all measures known to protect our staff and customers.
Many insects and rodents such as cockroaches, flies, rats, and ants transmit viruses and bacteria by tracking the virus on their feet, regurgitation or in their feces. Insects and rodents are disease vectors who easily carry germs from one location to another. Studies report the COVID-19 virus can remain viable on surfaces for hours and even days in the right environment. Maintaining a pest free and clean home or workspace has never been more important.
The answer is, absolutely. People with severe allergies, asthma, emphysema or other pulmonary functions issues should be careful in who they hire for pest management services. Insecticides used for general pest control are quite safe however exposure to vapors can trigger allergies or asthma attacks by inflaming or constricting nasal passages, the throat or lungs in some people.
We recognize the potential health hazards in using insecticides and we never, ever conduct broadcast spraying inside a structure. If you believe the pest control technician is not doing a good job unless they “spray the baseboards”, we are not the company for you. What you should understand though is “spraying all the baseboards” is simply not necessary nor is it safe for children, pets and anyone with breathing issues.
Your pest management professional should have knowledge of the biology and habits of the target insects. Insect control depends upon delivering the right insecticide, in the right amount, in the right place, in the right delivery method and at the right schedule. It has nothing to do with blanket spraying in and around your home. In other words, we treat where insects live – not where you live.
It is not unusual for people to get widely different quotes for bed bug treatment. The first thing you should understand is the price will depend upon four primary things:
- The severity of the infestation. If a bed bug infestation can be treated early in the development stage of the colony, or if the infestation is confined to one area, you should expect a lower fee. Often, eradication of the colony can be performed in one visit.
- The quality of the company performing the treatment. Like all professions, there are differences in the quality of the service provider. Just because a person has a pest control license does not mean they arecompetent or trained in safe, bed bug removal. Some companies are known to do nothing more than spray chemicals onto every surface in the room including the mattress and pillow you sleep on. That is certainly not what a professional should do.
- The amount of preparation needed such as bagging clothes, linens, etc. It takes time and labor to collectand bag everything in a room (toys, clothing, decorations, etc.). The technician(s) need clear access to move and treat all furniture (bed, dresser, nightstand, etc.), the floor and baseboards. Bed bugs are alsoknown to harbor behind drapes and picture frames. If the technician has to bag everything in the room you should expect to be charged accordingly. We recommend you remove all clothing and linens in a sealed bag and have them laundered and dried with heat over 140 degrees F. Backpacks, purses, stuffedtoys or suitcases should be bagged and sealed so the technician can treat the contents.
- The type of treatment being quoted. Some companies use heat treatment, some use general use chemicals, some use steam and some use a proprietary or combination method for treatment. There are benefits and drawbacks to each. Bringing the temperature of the room to 140 degrees during a Florida summer day might not be pleasant and high heat may be detrimental to some furnishings or finishes.
Some companies simply douse everything with an insecticide and sell you a mattress cover. We do not agree with this approach, especially for children, the elderly or anyone with asthma.
Some companies use a combination of steam and a product like Aprehend® for safe and effective control of bed bugs. This is the method we prefer. Aprehend® is a natural biopesticide which is applied strategically in narrow bands where bed bugs travel. Eradication is achieved within about 4 days with no chemical off-gassing. Safe for people and pets. We use steam to remove eggs, kill active bed bugs and to clean the feces and trails of the insects.
As you can clearly understand, taking the time to steam and use a targeted natural treatment is superior to all other treatment methods and safer so you should expect this will cost more than someone who simply shows up and douses your room with an insecticide.
Most termite guarantees cover the Eastern Subterranean termite only. There are many other termite species which can cause structural damage. Some termite companies may offer additional coverage for other termites such as the Formosan Subterranean termite, Drywood termites or Powderpost Beetles.
The answer is yes. There are many types of termite guarantees. Some include Repairs and Retreatment, some only include Retreatment and some may offer no guarantee other than Monitoring Only. Assuming coverage for a specific named termite so if your home as Wood Decaying Fungi, Powderpost Beetles or Drywood termites, you would not have coverage and we think this is important information you should have before you purchase a home or commercial property.
Further, you should understand most termite guarantees have exclusions for failure to repair damage, failure to maintain the home, faulty sprinkler systems or other conducive conditions like overgrown landscaping. A termite company can deny your claim for coverage if any of these conditions are documented.
Lastly, most people do not understand the treatment on the home may be severely outdated and compromised. Termite companies are notorious for maintaining annual guarantees on ineffective treatments. They are gambling with your money. Chemical barrier treatments have a life cycle and none should be relied upon for more than five years. Most lose over half of their effectiveness within the first two to three years. Some homes have nothing more than a minimal borate treatment on the bottom two feet of wall framing which may be working or not (you won’t know and neither does the termite company). Some may have in-ground bait stations which have not been inspected in years (some companies offer the homeowner a nominal discount to waive the annual inspection) so you are assuming a termite protection system which neither you nor the company knows anything about. You are just an account on a computer spreadsheet.
No one should automatically assume an existing termite guarantee! Have the home inspected for WDO, educate yourself on what treatment was performed, the age of the treatment and understand the effectiveness of the treatment system used. Find out if the current termite company has performed annual inspections and request copies of those inspection reports!! If the company cannot provide them, decline the contract and shop around. You do not have to assume the guarantee in place.
According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), wood which is damaged by sunlight or exposure is not a Wood Destroying Organism. It is simply wood that has been exposed to moisture and may have delamination but no fungi present.
Many WDO inspectors falsely note water damaged wood as a WDO. They do this as a means to control risk (if I call everything a WDO you can’t sue me) or they do it to please a real estate agent who, for some unknown reason believes they cannot get a Seller to fix the damage unless it is on a WDO report. In either case, it is wrong and unprofessional.
An organism which damages wood is a fungus which consumes wood like brown, white or soft rot. These are living organisms which can be detected under a microscope. It is easy to see the entry/ holes of the organisms under a microscope but you won’t find many WDO Inspectors who own a microscope or would know how to use one. You should look for an Inspector who does.
Real estate sales agents should also understand a Seller who agrees to sell a home under FHA or VA mortgage loans should know they may have to repair any “water damaged wood”. That is a loan condition and is not reliant upon a WDO report. Water damaged wood should be noted in a home inspection report or in a lender property appraisal report and either should suffice as documentation of needed repairs for water damage. Real estate agents should stop demanding a licensed WDO Inspector note WDO when it is not WDO. That is a disservice to all parties and it could be used against your client should they have a termite claim in the future and failed to disclose the finding to their termite service provider!
Wrong, but the termite inspection should be conducted before the drywall is installed! Most new home builders order a minimal termite protection program designed to do nothing but satisfy local building code. Florida Building Code requires termite treatment on all new construction, but code allows for several treatment methods like borate treatment on the bottom two feet of wall studs, slab pretreatment (spray termiticide below the slab and at plumbing penetrations), liquid barrier treatments (rare these days) or bait stations. What Florida building code or builders do not require is certification that the home does not have termites or other wood destroying organisms! That is correct: code requires “prevention” but it does not require the home “not have termites”.
We have found live termites in many new construction homes. One of three things happened:
- The termites were in the lumber brought in to construct the home.
- The termites were in cardboard boxes containing appliances or other building components.
- The home was constructed in an area with active termite pressure – most likely.
Also, and equally important, there is no protection or prevention on a new home against drywood termites, powderpost beetles, wood decaying fungi or Old House Borers. These are all structure infesting arthropods which cause millions in damage each year.
You absolutely should have your new home inspected for Wood Destroying Organisms before the drywall goes in. Combine it with a Pre-Drywall Home Inspection and save some money too.
We provide home inspections and WDO inspections for new construction buyers.
Aside from damage to furnishings, clothing or personal items caused by many insects – cockroaches, ants, flies and rodents are the most serious as they are vectors for disease. These pests carry and deposit bacteria, germs, protozoa and viruses throughout the home.
A pest management company can earn the QualityPro certification in several disciplines. Less than 4% of pest management companies nationwide have earned the credential. In the pest management industry, it signifies we have met the highest criteria for service excellence and trade knowledge. We are certified as a QualityPro company, and we are also credentialed in Food Safety, Schools and Green Pest Practices.
Why wouldn’t you want to hire the company with the best qualifications?
Insects are not always visible. Finding the nest or areas where they congregate is important to successfully control insects and rodents. This technology gives us an advantage. It saves time, materials and reduces call-back treatments. In turn, this saves our customers money and frustration.
This technology is expensive, and few pest management companies are willing to invest thousands of dollars in their Service Technicians. We feel it is critical and we see the results daily.
- Our TermaTrac uses radar, thermal imaging and moisture sensing to find insects and rodents where they nest and their travel routes behind walls/ceilings. This allows us to fully identify their location and determine the colony size. Further, it allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment as we observe the death of the colony or nest.
- We use advanced thermal imaging cameras to scan walls/ceilings for heat signatures given off by nests or rodents. We can also identify areas with elevated moisture and we often are able to advise our customers about hidden leaks they were not aware of.