Frequently Asked Questions

How long has Masters Pest Control been in business?

Masters Pest Control has been a family owned and operated business since 1982. We are a licensed, registered, and insured pest control company.

What territories do you cover?

We are a licensed, registered, and insured to provide pest control services in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Our territory includes Orange and Southern Sullivan County of NY, Pike County Pa., and Sussex County NJ.

What “bugs” do you control?

  • Wood damaging insects like: termites, carpenter ants, powder post beetles, and carpenter bees.
  • Parasitic pests like: bed bugs, fleas, ticks, bird mites, and mosquitoes.
  • Stinging and biting insects like: spiders, hornets, yellow jackets, and wasps.
  • Occasional invaders like: Stink bugs, Asian lady beetles, conifer beetles, flies, centipedes, ground beetles, crickets, earwigs, and others.
  • Mice, rats, and roaches.

Why should I hire Masters Pest Control?

Accountability! As the owner of a family operated business my name and reputation is literally a part of every job we do, and every service we perform. My name is on our trucks, service uniforms, and all stationary. We have an A rating in Angie’s List, and an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Find out what or customers are saying by clicking on our “Testimonials”. Page. Here you will see honest reviews.

Are your products safe?

This is a huge question. First we need to ask, “What is safe?” Is water safe? How about sugar, salt, bleach, tooth paste just to name a few common house hold products? All of these can cause harm or death if not used properly. Have you read your toothpaste label lately? Webster defines safe as “Being free from harm or risk”. Are these products “free from risk”? By definition no, but neither is driving, nonetheless it seems to be an essential part of our daily lives. Every time we put loved ones in our vehicles to go somewhere we conclude that the benefits of driving outweigh the risks. So much so that we rarely give it a second thought. When pesticides are used by professionals the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Are the treatments that we use as PMPs risk-free? No, but ask yourself, “Does the benefit of using a professional pest control service outweigh the risks associated with exposure to vermin like fleas, ticks, mice, rats and mosquitoes that are known to be vectors of disease?” A serious question indeed. Not to mention the pain and injury associated with aggressive stinging and biting insects like hornets, yellow jackets, and spiders.

There are also those insects that can damage our homes like termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and wood boring beetles. The benefit of our professional pest control service is that we can help protect you and your home from injury or costly damage repair by using a more accurate application of pesticides to those areas where the target pests are known to be attracted to.

It is also important to consider that:

  1. We follow label directions.
  2. We protect ourselves.
  3. We follow sensible IPM practices.
  4. We choose products and procedures based on training and experience.
  5. We carefully consider if the benefit of a professional pest control treatment outweighs the risk of not doing such a treatment. Could there be a better way of controlling a pest situation that doesn’t require a pesticide application? Perhaps a non-pesticide solution like physical alteration (a mechanical barrier to help prevent pests from entering like steel wool for example), removing a source of moisture, removing a source of food, or something as simple as just cleaning up, can be done in lieu of a pesticide application. But we also have to consider this: What if we don’t do a treatment? Will we be putting people in harm’s way by exposing them to the real threat of bee stings, structural damage, or exposure to vector borne diseases if we don’t treat?

As I mentioned, you have to ask yourself what poses the greater risk, exposure to disease carrying pests like ticks, rats, mice, roaches or fleas, or a professional pest control service. As Pest Management Professionals we are trained to help protect public health and property. I’m not advocating the use of scare tactics, but these are real choices. I feel it is my obligation to inform the public of the risks and rewards of a well done pest control service.

The book Truman’s Scientific Guide to Pest Management Operations is an industry standard in pest control for information and learning. There is a great line in that book that goes like this: PMPs (Pest Management Professionals) have a legal, professional, and ethical responsibility to apply pesticides in a way that reduces risk. We can’t eliminate all risk, but by being informed, prepared, well trained, and professional, we can greatly reduce the risk for potential harm to people, pets, non-targets and the overall environment.

By law pest management professionals generally can’t use the word “safe” when talking to customers; but when asked “Is the product safe?” I focus on the reasons I do what I do. The benefits of our professional pest control service and the risks associated with the pest we treat. Chances are, you’ve heard some really scary stuff online about pesticides and the pest control industry, and I would like to provide some balanced information and to educate customers about what we do, how we do it, and the importance of a professional pest control service.

My favorite, “is this safe”, inquiry was from a woman smoking a cigarette, giving me a rash of bologna about pesticides. When I asked her about the cigarette, she said, and I quote, “That’s different”. Imagine that.

What can I do to prevent pests?

  • Store food in air tight containers.
    • Plastic and paper bags are no match for a rodent’s teeth or tiny insects. Products should be stored in insect-resistant packaging such as hard plastic or glass containers with tight fitting lids.  Don’t forget about bird seed and pet food (a favorite of mice) – these should also be stored inside trash can-type containers with tight-fitting lids.
  • Keep garbage cans sealed, cleaned and placed away from you home.
    • Pretty much everything you put in the garbage is going to have a certain allure to wildlife, rodent, and insect pests.  Rodents and cockroaches will appreciate the proximity of a good meal to your warm home and will start looking for ways to get in.  Therefore, it is best to keep your bins about 10 feet away from the house. This way pest won’t associate the trash with your house and start looking for a way in. Always put trash in garbage bags and rinse out containers from time to time. The sugary residue in garbage cans is sure to attract ants and yellow jackets. Finally, fasten the lids with bungee cords. Make sure there’s no slack in the cord to ensure the lids are tight.
  • Inspect and correct any possible sources of moisture or standing water.
    • Water is the enemy. Most pests thrive in high moisture conditions. Some pests, like mosquitoes, requiring standing water to lay eggs and complete their life cycle. Other pests like termite, carpenter ants, and wood boring beetles rely on water to damage and weaken wood before they begin to damage the wood for nesting or food purposes. Plumbing should be checked regularly for leaking pipes.  In addition, you should check the seals around your bathtubs and toilets. If the seal is old and deteriorating, caulk it to prevent moisture intrusion and future infestations. Gutters are another source of excess moisture outside the home.  Gutters should be free of clogs with downspouts properly draining away from the foundation.  Crawlspaces are often overlooked as sources of moisture. Our inspectors have access to moisture meters to determine if conditions in the wood are favorable for infestations. If the humidity in wood is too high, it may be prone to be colonized by termites or other wood destroying insects and fungus.
  • Eliminate and reduce clutter.
    • Not only will clutter offer pests a quiet spot to live but it will also make you less likely to notice a problem, and more difficult to treat once a problem has been identified. Stored boxes that are seldom used and disturbed means pest infestations can grow without you being aware.
    • Particular attention should be made when storing wool and natural fiber items as these are a favorite for clothing moths and carpet and dermestid beetles.
    • Silverfish feed on glue, paper, books, and wallpaper. Therefore you should regularly discard newspapers and other items saved for recycling.
    • Anything that must be stored for an extended time should be put in tightly sealed containers after they are washed or dry cleaned.
  • Clean your home regularly.
    • Vacuum carpets and furniture regularly, especially if you have cats or dogs that can pick up fleas outdoors. Wipe counters, wash dishes and sweep the kitchen floor daily.  Inspect your pantry and spice cabinets regularly for meal moths and flour beetles that can enter the house in boxed grain products from the store.
    • You should determine what is a reasonable time to store food like spices, pasta, rice, and oats. These can be excellent source of habitation for pantry pests and should be discarded when not used.

By following these tips, not only can you reduce the abundance of pests around your home, but also the likelihood they will become a problem in the future.

I keep getting ants in my house. Even though I keep treating, they always seem to come back. What should I do?

Ants often require a sustained and determined effort. The first thing that needs to be done is identify the type of ant you have. Is it a carpenter ant, pavement ant, thief ant, odorous house ant, acrobat ant, pharaoh ant, etc.? The type of ant will determine the measures necessary to control the ant.

For example, the pharaoh ant. If you try treating the pharaoh ant with the common over-the-counter pesticide you will effectively kill a few ants, and you will effectively make the problem worse. The surviving ants will return to the hidden colony and warn the colony of the threat. This will cause the colony to disperse in many directions. Once the ants settle down in these multiple new locations, they will begin to reproduce in these many new locations. Now you have several nests when prior to treating you didn’t. This is called “budding”.

We know when to use insect baits, repellent insecticides, non-repellent insecticides, and dusts. This is determined by the type of ant, if the location is found, and what location needs to be treated. Understanding the biology and habits of the ant helps us determine the best approach to control the ants.

What are the expected results, reduction or elimination?

Very significant reduction and warrantied service satisfaction. Regardless what you may have heard or been told, elimination is very unlikely. For example, we treat for bees and after treatment you put flowers on your deck. Bees are drawn to the flowers. They are not nesting on the house, but are attracted to the flowers. In this scenario the bees are eliminated from your structure, but can still be a pest. Is this a failure of service or an unrealistic expectation of service? Our service will greatly reduce the risk of insects invading in or nesting on your structure, and we have over 35 years of satisfied customers.

How long do you think it will take to solve my pest problems?

Not to mince words but you would have to define “solve my pest problem”. We would define a “problem” as a pattern of pest activity to a particular area. Will you occasionally see a “bug”? Yes, but if that bug got into our product it will likely die, but not before you saw it. Is that a failure of product or lack of patience? Unfortunately pest problem are never “solved”. As long as there are pests in the environment, it is only a function of time before some settle into or on your house. Industry products last about 2 to 3 months before they are no longer effective at killing or repelling insects. That is why we recommend 3-month service rotations in an effort to stop patterns of pest movement towards or on your structure before they start.

How many of your technicians are certified by the state agency?

All my senior techs are state certified applicators (the highest level of state certification). My other service technicians may range from applicator, operator, or registered technicians. I may also have apprentices that will ride along with my technicians as helpers.

Will the technician servicing my house be state certified?

Yes, all my service techs are recognized by state agencies as being applicators, operators, or registered techs. All my service technicians have completed at least 8 hours of safety training, more than 40 hours of on-the-job training, as well as maintaining a schedule on continuing education training.

How much experience does that technician have?

Very interesting question. I hired a service technician a while back that had all sorts of stunning credentials and certifications and he absolutely sucked! I fired him. I tell this story to illustrate that experience can be good and bad. The tech servicing your house will have all the experience and training necessary to competently service your home and in a manner of customer satisfaction standards established by Masters Pest Control. In those rare instances that they come up on something they are not familiar with, they know enough to stand down and ask someone that does before continuing to treating an area. I have over 35 years’ experience, my son has over 10 years, and my other 2 senior techs have well over 5 years each.

Does the company offer a service warranty?

Service warranties are determined by the program you are have and the targeted pest. Service warranties would apply as written in the Service agreement provided you have given the product time to work and are in good standing. We generally as for 21 days for maximum effectiveness before we would consider going out on a call back.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancel anytime, we only want happy customers. A service agreement does not bind you or obligate you to a financial burden. I have the service agreement to make clear the intensions of service. Not to obligate you.

Final Thought:

We get paid to solve pest problems, not slop pesticides around. We are held to a higher standard. We have the equipment and experience to properly apply pesticide in a manner that is most effective at killing pest while simultaneously reducing exposure. Keep windows closed during application, and allow product to dry before reentry (generally about 30 minutes) and there will be no problems.

I hope I answered these questions to your satisfaction.