We are living in a day and age where you need to be aware more than ever about the environment around you. And when it comes to your house – and the place you sleep and spend most of your time – you need to be even more aware of the little critters and diseases, viruses and damages they can cause if they get inside!
While we all know various pest and termite control companies in our regions, none have been as innovative and on the forefront of creating change across America than Accurate Termite and Pest Control in Southern California.
Accurate not only has been keeping people’s homes and businesses safe/clean using “green treatments” unlike others, but they have actually petitioned and created a change within the government; When the new strain of the Coronavirus reached California, his company was the first one to get regulations raised and changed.
We spoke more in-depth with Isaac Camacho, the director and top executive at Accurate to find out not only what people should be aware of these days with COVID-19 in the air, but what to look for themselves when hiring a termite and pest control company.
Your company was on the frontlines of getting regulations passed at the State level in California to allow pest control professionals to spear-head COVID-19 specific large-scale disinfections in community spaces. Why was this mission so important to you?
It was all about not repeating the mistakes made in Washington State, really. There are over 20,000 licensed Pest control technicians all over California who have been performing animal-strain Coronavirus disinfections for years. In early April, the EPA confirmed that one of the most popular virucides used in the pest control industry was also effective at eliminating SARS-COV2, which is the cause of the disease COVID19. That means that California has an army of 20,000 professionals trained, equipped and experienced at performing disinfections that specifically target Coronavirus but were being held back by minor technicalities. We saw how bureaucracy and failure to update protocols in this unprecedented context in the State of Washington crippled their ability to get ahead of the spread and contagion. We couldn’t sit idly by. We saw that consistent disinfections professionally done could play an integral part in keeping business open, protecting the vulnerable, and overall helping to slow or stop the spread in community spaces. However, decades-old regulations actively prevented the only trained workforce from doing just that, creating a hole that would surely be filled by unlicensed, unskilled, and inexperienced opportunists. It felt like this is what we had been training, qualifying, licensing for, and yet we were being benched by the agencies that so meticulously oversaw our training. Having a large untrained, unskilled force try to perform Coronavirus disinfections could yield more harm than good. A labor force untrained to deal with virucides could potentially misuse the product and expose our environment, water supply, and the ocean to a product that pest control professionals know how to handle and keep contained. An untrained labor force would potentially become carriers and unwitting spreaders of COVID19 instead of pest control professionals who are trained and skilled at contagion protocols to keep them from becoming disease spreaders. An untrained workforce would have put an undue strain on the health industry as they would have sought to make large purchases of personal protection equipment (PPE) when healthcare professionals need them most. The pest control industry already has all of the necessary equipment, including PPE, to perform large-scale Coronavirus disinfections. Then there’s the risk of untrained people causing themselves health problems by mishandling virucides in large quantities. We are an industry that is ready and willing to help fight the spread. We just needed regulators to update regulations to let us in the fight. In the end, multiple regulators agreed, including the Department of Pesticide Regulation, Structural Pest Control Board, and Governor Newsom’s office that pest control professionals are the best trained and equipped to help keep community spaces relatively safe while also protecting the environment and general public.
Why now more than ever before is it important to be spraying their homes and places of work?
Pests and rodents have learned to live from our scraps, waste, and leftovers. Since most of us have been spending more time at home than ever before, we have been producing more scraps than ever before, creating an even more significant incentive for pests and rodents to invade our living spaces. Infestations grow slowly out of homeowners’ sight until they have become so big that they overrun into our spaces and become noticeable. Proper and professional control methods now will prevent homeowners from experiencing an overwhelming infestation of pests or rodents down the road. Keep in mind that pests and rodents carry diseases and can exasperate health issues such as asthma.
How often do you recommend someone get spraying and/or inspection done?
Of course, you should consult with a pest professional to consider your specific needs. But, general pest control for ants, spiders, roaches, etc. should be done roughly every-other-month for a standard single-family home. Multi-family buildings, such as apartments or condos, and office buildings should have pest control maintenance services at least once per month. Houses and buildings should undergo termite inspections and local treatments once per year. Yearly termite inspections will help prevent excessive amounts of termite damage from building up and keep you from having to fumigate or ‘tent’ sooner.
What happens if someone doesn’t spray their home?
The fact is that pests and rodents have been around for thousands or, in some cases, millions of years more than we have, and they by far outnumber us. Professional pest control aims to establish a balance in which they can find refuge in wildlife and stay out of our homes. The goal is a balanced co-inhabitation of earth and not to wage a species war in which we want to make pests and rodents go extinct. Failure to have a responsible and professional maintenance protocol creates an opening for pests and rodents to invade places they can cause harm or property damage. Most people experience this is a minor nuisance of having bugs and rodents at home. But if left unchecked, in more extreme cases, they can exacerbate respiratory issues in children and elderly, or spread diseases to humans as has been the case with hantavirus, Lyme disease, and now Coronavirus.
You use “green treatments.” Please explain this to us and why this type is better than non-green ones.
Pest control is vital to establishing a responsible balance of cohabitating between us and the animal kingdom. We have a responsibility to make sure that we take a holistic approach to pest and termite control and consider the industry’s methods and products’ potential environmental impact. Especially now that more people are acquiring professional pest control maintenance services, we must do so without creating future ecological problems. There is no regulatory standard for what can be called ‘Green Pest Treatments.’ Thus, customers should be cautious not to assume anything when a company touts ‘Green Pest Control’ and should ask their provider what exactly ‘Green Pest Control’ means. At Accurate Termite and Pest Control, we can perform general pest control with minimal or altogether no use of over-sprayed pesticides to control some common household pests. We can perform local treatments for termite control using an all green product with a lower toxicity index than salt.
With it being Summer across the USA right now, what types of pests and termites should people be on the lookout for?
Summer is when ants are most active. Watch as ants of many different species look for cooler places and water. You may see them going for any food scraps their scavengers find on floors, counters, inside shelves, or looking for the quickest path to water in your sinks, tubs, or pools. Termites will begin to swarm as things continue to heat up. The most notorious and aggressive termite species in the US is perhaps the Formosan termite. The Formosan termite is mostly found in bible-belt states with a plentiful combination of heat and humidity but has also been found in less humid places such as Southern California. When the temperature is at about peak heat, you can expect drywood termites to start to swarm and try to make it into your structural wood components.
Which “creatures” carry COVID-19 or strains of COVID?
COVID-19 is the disease caused by the SARS-COV2 virus. The SARS-COV2 virus is the newest strain of other SARS-COV virus. Common vermin such as rats and mice have been known to experience SARS-COV outbreaks among their species. We know that some household animals such as cats and dogs can be infected with the new SARS strain we are dealing with, SARS-COV2.
What other regulations in California and across the rest of the USA would you like to see changed moving forward in regards to your industry?
California EPA and the Federal EPA restrict the products and quantity that we can use. Still, they don’t do enough to regulate the way companies market and sell these products. Any pest control company can use the words green, organic, or natural in their marketing and sales materials without disclosing the products they intend on using. Often this gives customers a false sense of security when a company markets themselves as green but then uses a synthetic pesticide at the time of service. It is still very often the case that companies that market and sell themselves as green, use the same products and methods as ‘traditional’ pest control companies. Terms green, natural, and organic should only be used when describing specific products that meet certain ecological and health criteria, not pest control companies as a whole. Or, if an entire pest control company is going to market itself as green, natural, and organic that company should meet and keep baseline criteria regarding the health and ecological impact of their operation as a whole.
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