Don’t blame the pool guy if you have white fly!

I have a whitefly infestation. How do I choose the right pest management company?

You’ve got a whitefly infestation and you’ve decided to go the professional route. That’s great because a trained professional will know the in’s and out’s of the whitefly life cycle, the different varieties of whitefly (there are about 75 varieties of whitefly in Florida), how to detect them, best treatments, and most effective times to apply the treatments. Knowing that level of detail, as a regular homeowner, would be a time-consuming nuisance. However, you still need to evaluate which professional company would be best.

How do I choose the right company to manage whitefly infestations?

whiteflyThere are a number of things to consider when evaluating pest management companies. First, take a look at their business. Do they have an up-to-date business license and proof of adequate insurance? Do they carry their individual pest control operator’s certificate issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture? Can they provide client references for similar projects? Do they drive a clearly marked, tidy vehicle with the company name and phone numbers? A “yes” to all these questions indicates a professional and reputable company.

Second, you need to identify whether or not the professional is well-trained on whiteflies in particular. You can find a list of professionals that have participated in whitefly training by doing a search for “Florida Whitefly Training Participants”. This will enable you to confirm that your professional has received the proper training.

Third, it is recommended that you obtain a minimum of three bids for the job. This way you can accurately compare services and choose the best one. In order to be able to accurately compare, you’ll need to make sure each bid contains similar information.

What information do I need to look for in a whitefly treatment bid?

Project bids are rarely standard across different pest management companies; however, at the minimum, they should provide the following information:

  • Active Ingredient and strength of application (in rate of active ingredient per area).

    Most active ingredients are available under different brand names and cover a range of different strengths. It is required by law to follow the instructions on the label and it is illegal to exceed the labeled application rate. However, companies do have flexibility in applying rates that are lower than the maximum rate on the label. You’ll want to have this information so that you can accurately compare the service you’ll be given.

  • Application method.

    There are differing methods, such as, foliar spray, soil drench, basal bark spray, and trunk injections. Costs vary between the methods. Also, different methods may require different follow-up routines, such as, whether or not you’ll be in charge of watering in a soil application.

  • Length of guarantee.

    Most pest control applications have a guarantee. They can range from 6 months to one year.

  • Treatment specifics.

    The bid should include specifics on which trees, plants, and areas will be treated and what time of year the treatment will be done. Time of year can be very important to soil treatments. This should also include when re-treatments, if any, should occur.

  • Written proposal and documented problems.

    While the company may do a verbal recap of what they found and what they can do for your property, they should also provide a written proposal that itemizes the problems they found and the plants affected. The proposal should be specific, not vague or an obviously generalized template.

Finding the right professional to treat your whitefly infestation can be a daunting task. Have patience, look for quality versus cost (after all, the adage that “you get what you pay for” does apply), and be clear with them about what you are looking for.

While I wait for the whitefly treatment to work, how can I enjoy the outdoors?

Finally, while you are managing a whitefly infestation you can mitigate the effects of the infestation. You can hose down plants, decks, and outdoor furniture on a regular basis. You can up the ante on your pool maintenance. For example, we have trained professionals at Pool Doctor of the Palm Beaches that will come up with a maintenance plan to keep your pool in top condition.  You needn’t be trapped inside during this entire process. Contact us by clicking here for more information on how we can help.

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