To fight pests, think local

I have been a pest-control professional myself, right here in Augusta, for the past 35 years, and a resident all 56 years of my life.


So I was initially very excited to read that The Augusta Chronicle would be adding a column about the management of residential pests to its weekly Today’s Home section. After reading “The Bugman’s” columns, however, I am puzzled why The Chronicle has given a platform to a New Mexico author whose practical experience had been confined largely to the mystical “Land of Enchantment” to write about pest problems in Georgia.

I assumed that, of Georgia’s almost 10 million residents, at least a few – particularly University of Georgia pest researchers – would have been more qualified to write and comment on controlling Georgia’s pests than someone living in a state more than 1,500 miles away.

To that end, I am deeply troubled that the recommendations contained in the “The Bugman’s” latest column (“Poisons not needed for termites,” April 10) directly conflict with those of the University of Georgia’s Center for Urban Agriculture.

Contrary to the advice of experts from the University of Georgia, “The Bugman” states that a homeowner can treat a home for termites for less than $100. Whom would such a homeowner consult if termites continue to eat their biggest investment? The store clerk or the cashier won’t be able to give advice concerning ongoing infestations.

Specifically, UGA’s Center for Urban Agriculture states:

“Termite control requires specialized equipment and knowledge. Retain the services of a competent, licensed professional termite-control service. For a list of the name of termite eradication professionals, contact the Better Business Bureau, Georgia Department of Agriculture Pesticide Division, County Extension Service, Georgia Pest Control Association and experienced friends or neighbors you can trust.

“Get at least three estimates. Don’t automatically go with the lowest estimate. Select the professional you have the most confidence in and feel the most comfortable working with. Find an expert to eradicate termites.”

I urge The Chronicle’s readers to follow the advice of the University of Georgia’s experts, and I hope The Chronicle will reconsider its decision to have a resident of New Mexico tell Georgia homeowners how to manage their kudzu bugs and other pests that those living in a dry, arid climate don’t have to deal with.

I hope our local readers will trust one of their locally grown pest control professionals over a dreamer from across the country. We are in the business of taking responsibility for your satisfaction, not just getting paid to spout theory.

Jeff Annis



(The writer is CEO of a prominent pest-control business; past president of the Georgia Pest Control Association; and a former appointee to the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission, the body that regulates pest control operators in Georgia.)



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