Pest Control FAQs

FAQ’s: Residential & Commercial Pest Control Information

What should consumers look for when choosing a pest control company or an exterminator?

The National Pest Management Association, of which Bell Environmental is a member, recommends that residents:

  • Use a qualified and licensed pest management company that is a member of national, state or local pest management associations
  • Buy value, not price
  • Before signing a pest control contract, be sure to fully understand the nature of the pest, the extent of the infestation, and the work necessary to solve the problem
  • Find out if the company has liability insurance to cover any damages to your house or furnishings during treatment
  • If a pest control guarantee is given, know what a company covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.


How long has Bell Environmental been in business?

Bell Environmental was founded in 1963 by our owner Philip Waldorf under the name Bell Exterminating Company.  To further promote and demonstrate our commitment to the preservation of our environment, Bell Environmental Services officially changed its name from Bell Exterminating Company in 1982. At the same time we moved from performing a broad mix of residential and commercial pest control services to focus exclusively on offices, pharmaceutical companies, health care facilities, and large apartment complexes with Integrated Pest Management solutions.

In the last decade, we have returned to the residential market with solutions for difficult issues— pest birds and bed bugs, both of which cannot be solved with conventional pesticide or chemical-based treatments and require non-toxic labor intensive and mechanical solutions.  Because Bell Environmental is a specialist in providing non-toxic and mechanical means of solving pest issues—using methods like freezing bed bugs—we returned to the residential market in these areas, and now provide top quality and competitive bed bug control and bird control services to both consumers and businesses across our service footprint. Click here to learn more about our corporate history and milestones.

What are your services?

Bell Environmental has three divisions that provide distinct pest management services. Bell Pest Control provides Integrated Pest Management in an environmentally responsible manner using the Zero-Pest Zone System®. We provide these pest control services to corporate and large residential buildings and apartment complexes.

Bell Bed Bugs is a dedicated and separate division that provides bed bug detection using bed bug dogs and treatment services using carbon dioxide freezing for our residential, commercial, and health care customers. The InstantFreeze program of bed bug services is distinct from our conventional pest control efforts as the intensity and thoroughness of the treatment is much greater.

Bell Bird Control is an installation and service company specializing in permanent solutions to pest bird problems.

 What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

In 1980, the term Integrated Pest Management (IPM) introduced to the pest control industry.  The concept essentially reduces the reliance on pesticides in performing pest control operations.  Under IPM, proper sanitation, mechanical exclusion, behavior modification, improved storage techniques, and habitat alterations all play a role in assuring that pest infestations are prevented.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a science-based method and systems-based approach involving rational and sensible decisions to treat, control and prevent insect, rodent, and other residential and commercial pest control issues. Integrated Pest Management includes three main actions: inspect, identify and treat.

Treatment methods involve managing the environment to prevent pests from gaining food, water, and shelter inside a building.  Techniques and practices include sealing cracks and crevices, eliminating potential sources of food and water, and using chemicals if necessary.

Integrated Pest Management requires a cooperative effort between clients and the pest control company, that includes: recommendations for maintenance, sanitation, cleanliness, food storage, waste removal, and other elements that affect the presence of insects and rodents. Through these educational efforts, collaborative steps, constant monitoring, record keeping, and appropriate pest control actions, a client’s site can be kept pest-free with a minimal use of pesticides.

What are the advantages of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Integrated Pest Management gives clients the safest, most effective, most economical, and lasting remedies for  pest elimination. IPM lessens the risk from pests while it also reduces the risk of overuse or inappropriate use of hazardous pesticides and chemicals.

IPM is more effective than traditional pesticide based solutions.  Integrated Pest Management is much more labor intensive, depends on greater client cooperation, uses far less pesticides, is more environmentally friendly, and has fewer effects on human health than outdated practices that depend on the intense use of pesticides (e.g. bombing).

This approach and partnership between Bell Environmental and our clients  provides peace of mind that buildings and employees, homes and families, and hospitals and patients will be protected against pest-related health and property threats.  Bell Environmental’s Zero-Pest Zone System uses IPM approaches, ensuring a safe, effective approach to commercial pest control that incorporates non-chemical and low toxicity tools wherever possible. But, we go further: we view the best defense against pest infestation is a good offense. We behave proactively rather than responsively to prevent pest control issues before problems arise.

What are the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices that Bell follows?

Bell Environmental Services has been practicing and endorsing the IPM concept since the late 1970’s – before its recognized inception.  This concept of pest control without the reliance of pesticides was introduced to Bell Environmental by renowned entomologist Dr. Austin M. Frishman.  We embraced Dr. Frishman’s vision of this philosophy and implemented it into our pest control program because of his belief that excessive use of pesticides would adversely impact the micro and macro environments.

Integrated Pest Management encompasses a large range of practical activities that apply to pests, buildings, and situations. Our over 30 years of using these methods gives us certain “standard operating protocols” as well as making decisions and recommendations that will bring a comprehensive cure to your unique situation. But, there is no one size fits all. Integrated Pest Management (IPM)  Practices include:

  • Using trapping devices, checking and changing them often
  • Frequently emptying trash receptacles and keeping them clean
  • Regularly vacuuming and sweeping floors and furniture, especially near eating areas including employees desks
  • Caulking cracks and crevices inside and outside a building to keep pests from entering from outside

Bell Environmental Services currently uses thousands of strategically placed insect monitors to detect and monitor insect activity in our clients’ facilities.  The installation, maintenance and inspection of these monitors precludes the need for routine pesticide applications, which in turn protects the environment and its occupants from pesticide exposure.

More Integrated Pest Management examples and techniques and techniques can be found at

What is fumigation?

Fumigation is a term that is often misapplied as a synonym for all types of extermination, sprays, fogging, or any other residential or commercial pest control. The real definition of fumigation is the use of a toxic gas within an enclosed space (that is hazardous to people and animals) to kill a wide variety of insects including bed bugs, drywood termites, carpet beetles, clothes moths, and wood-destroying beetles.

Fumigation generally involves a specialized chamber and tools that allow the safe introduction, control, and aeration of the fumigant.  The most common fumigant is a true gas that is branded as Vikane® (common chemical name is sulfuryl fluoride).  The gas is colorless, odorless, and has no residue.  Fumigation is appropriate for furniture and any other household items, excluding food and opened medications.  The treatment is 100% effective for the target insects with proper dosage and exposure times.  The exposure time can be 24 hours with several hours of aeration after treatment.

Fumigation can be performed for items that are transported to a secure location. Fumigation should only be performed by licensed practitioners and companies under safe and secure conditions. Click here to learn more about how and when fumigation is helpful for consumers and businesses.

Contact us online or at  877-376-1775 to discuss a pest control service that’s right for your needs.