When you think of pest control, a laser-focus on sustainability and science might not be the first things that come to mind. Then again, JP McHale Pest Management—from its early connections to Sing Sing, to the science labs of Cornell—is not your average pest control company. We chatted with president Jim McHale on what makes his company stand out from the pack, and why you should leave pest control to the pros (here’s a hint: stingers!).
What’s the history behind JP McHale Pest Management, Inc.?
My dad was a Sing Sing Prison Corrections officer. He started a beer tap cleaning business as a part-time venture in late 60s. He connected with another guard, Patrick McCauley, who had an exterminating company. At some point my dad performed beer tap cleaning, simultaneously working for Mr. McCauley. In 1971, my dad took over the company, incorporating it as JP McHale Exterminating Service and sold off his beer tap cleaning business. I worked on and off with my dad throughout grade school. Full-time employment for me started in December of 1988, after I received my degree in entomology from Cornell University, where I was introduced to the term “integrated pest management” by Dr. Jeff Scott. In 1992, I, along with my two brothers, started our company. We altered the name to reflect a new era of environmental sustainability.
What should people worried about the chemicals in pesticides know about your services?
We are the only Westchester Green Business certified pest management company in the world, and are also certified Green Pro by our National Pest Management Association. Our holistic solutions are environmentally sustainable, comprehensive, chronic, and pesticide-free in many instances. Pesticide applications are precise in nature, deployed in formulations that work in a particular environment, and are hydrocarbon free. Most products are botanical based and toxicity is acute in nature. We even offer organic pest control treatments upon request.
What advice can you give for people to avoid accidentally bringing bedbugs or other pests home with them from vacation?
Traveling today can be tricky. Once you enter a hotel room, check behind the headboard, bed frame, nightstand, and seams of mattress for signs of bed bugs. Signs include the bugs themselves, blood, or droppings. Don’t use the folding luggage rack in the closet. If you’re suspicious at all, a smart move is to store your luggage in the tub. Once you get home, toss all your clothing in your dryer to kill all stages of bed bugs. Leave your luggage outside in garage for a few days for observation.
What’s the biggest mistake homeowners often make when they try to tackle pest control themselves?
At the end of the day, homeowners spend an incredible amount of money, and still have a problem, or the problem is even worse. Especially with bedbugs, because they can scatter so quickly. Also, homeowners trying to treat wasp nests themselves often accidentally force the wasps inside the house by contaminating the nest entrance with product. Plus, the queen remains alive due to misapplication. Not only is this dangerous, but it also leads to escalated fees to properly remove the nest. Once people realize how much time and money they can waste, calling a professional is really a no-brainer.
JP McHale Pest Management, Inc.