News : Pest Control, Naturally

Jun 9, 2014

Published in Coastal Zone Magazine

By Jim Cavan

Local firm offers a low-impact pest control alternative

Chances are you have had this experience: It’s the first truly warm day of the year—late March, let’s say—and you have just gotten back from an unseasonably balmy park walk or seashore picnic. You walk through the front door, take off your shoes, head to the kitchen to start preparing the night’s dinner, and happen upon a trail of slowly moving black specks on the counter.

Carpenter ants. Dozens of them—and those are just the ones in plain view. In New England, carpenter ant infestation constitutes one of the most common pest problems, affecting some tens of thousands of households in New Hampshire alone and causing millions of dollars of damage nationwide. While there is no shortage of professional exterminators capable of eliminating these destructive critters, rarely does the process take on a collaborative air that touts a more efficient use of the tools of the trade.

Enter Tom Pray, founder of the Eliot, Maine-based Ecotech Pest Control and a degreed entomologist with over 25 years of experience in the field. Settling on the trade as much for the science as for his fascination with the insects themselves, Pray launched Ecotech in 2000. His aim was to help homeowners beat pest problems, not through hard-hitting chemicals alone, but by managing the environment responsible for fostering the infestation. Indeed, Pray prides himself on building a collaborative, communicative dynamic with his clients—an approach he says has helped expand his customer base.

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