State Ag Commissioner reminds residents to protect homes, businesses
Spring has sprung in Georgia. This season is always a busy time for insects and pests in Georgia, but it is especially the case after such a mild winter. In honor of National Pest Control Awareness Month in April, Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) Commissioner Gary W. Black reminds residents about the risks posed by household pests.
“We are already seeing more insects and pests earlier this year due to the warm winter Georgia has had,” said Commissioner Black. “Every year, pests cause millions of dollars in damage for our residents and it is important for Georgians to prepare a plan of action to help prevent damage from occurring.”
In addition to fees paid for control and preventative services done by pest control professionals, Georgia residents spend untold dollars to repair damage caused by pests such as termites, rodents and carpenter ants who chew through walls, flooring and even electrical wiring. Residents also pay for expenses related to the treatment of medical conditions; mosquitoes can carry West Nile virus while house dust mites and cockroach allergens trigger asthma attacks, and stinging insects send more than half a million people to the emergency room every year.
“I encourage all Georgians to take proactive steps to prevent infestations in their homes and businesses,” said Commissioner Black. “All it takes is a few simple, preventative measures to help protect year-round.”
In April, consider these tips and suggestions:
- Trim back trees and shrubs so they are not physically touching any building structures;
- Walk the perimeter of a structure’s foundation and seal up any cracks or small openings;
- Install window and/or door screens and check once a year for holes or tears;
- Keep wood debris and piles of wood (including firewood) at a distance;
- Check plumbing and pipes to eliminate sources of moisture or standing water;
- Tightly secure all food and garbage to prevent pests from finding their way to the source (this includes pet food dishes and storage containers); and
- If there are any visible signs of pests or an infestation, contact a licensed pest professional immediately.
“April is a great time to have your home or business checked to determine if it’s necessary to re-establish any pest control measures, such as termite protection” said Commissioner Black. “And if control or treatment is necessary, that is one homeowner project best left to the professionals.”
Consumers are urged to only seek advice and use licensed professional pest control companies. If a company is not licensed by the GDA, it is illegal for them to practice pest control protection as a business. Residents can find a list of all licensed professional pest management companies at www.kellysolutions.com/GA/Structural/searchPCOCo.asp, or contact the GDA Structural Pest Section at 404-656-3641.
Note: Consumers can learn more about Pest Control Awareness Month, the GDA’s Structural Pest Section and hear from industry partners in a short video clip available on the Department’s website homepage starting April 1: www.agr.georgia.gov.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture is responsible for licensing the professional pest management companies who perform termite control. There are approximately 1,200 of these companies operating in Georgia. Learn more online at www.agr.georgia.gov.