Pro Chat Landscape Pest Control Contractor 1.0
In The Garden – By Stephen and Kristin Pategas
In a Pro Chat, Stephen and Kristin interview a professional in a field related to the landscape industry. See May’s In the Garden for part two of this chat with Roi Levin.
Business Name: Environmental Pest & Lawn Services, Inc.
The Pro: Roi Levin
Service Area: Orange, Seminole, and Lake Counties
What is your background?
I immigrated to the United States from Israel in 1993. That was quite the transition! After high school, in pursuit of a career in Veterinary Medicine, I attended the University of Florida and earned my BS in Animal Sciences. As opportunities presented themselves, I became involved with work in the field of landscape nematology, which involves the identification and quantification of damage thresholds of parasitic roundworms in plants. As I was working with some of the finest nematologists in the country, they didn’t have to twist my arm too much when I was offered a fellowship to study and conduct research in landscape nematology. Then, one master’s degree and about 15 years later, here we are…
What certifications are required and how are they noted?
Certified Pest Control Operator (PCO)
Green Industries Best Management Practices Certification (GI-BMP)
Limited Commercial Fertilizer Applicator Certification
What additional certifications should a homeowner look for?
Membership in industry organizations such as the Florida Pest Management Association (FPMA), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), and Florida Turfgrass Association (FTA) are a plus.
What is the best part of your profession?
Over the years, I’ve surrounded myself with fantastic professionals who share my core values. It gives me great pleasure to provide multifaceted solutions to complex problems by collaborating with industry professionals. Additionally, I’m proud to integrate my unique expertise in entomology and nematology into my profession.
How can a homeowner best use your services?
I try to educate my customers about their unique home and landscape environment. Following a discussion of what a homeowner wants from their landscape and establishing expectations, we can develop long-term plans to achieve exactly what they want. It is so much more than what is typically thought of as a “spray service”!
What are “beneficials” and are they important?
Beneficial organisms benefit plant health and mitigate stress. They include insects, nematodes, arachnids (typically spiders), other animals, plants, bacteria, fungi, viruses, and nematodes (microscopic worms). Benefits include pest management, pollination, and maintenance of soil health. They provide the foundation to healthy waterways, soils, and landscapes. These underappreciated and underestimated beneficials not only manage pests and diseases, but also ensure that nutrients cycle and plants grow healthy to provide us with beautiful landscapes and clean air. So, while lady bugs are cute and eat aphids, we must not forget about the plethora of life out there that allows plants and us to quite literally live!
Hortus Oasis (FL26000315) in Winter Park is a boutique garden design company specializing in residential, commercial and specialty gardens. Stephen is a registered landscape architect and Kristin is a certified landscape designer. Contact them at Hortus Oasis (FL26000315) in Winter Park is a boutique garden design company specializing in residential, commercial and specialty gardens. Stephen is a registered landscape architect and Kristin is a certified landscape designer. Contact them at 407-622-4886/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
All photography by Stephen G. Pategas/Hortus Oasisby