When you notice an insect or other pest in your home for the first time, it can be daunting. No longer do you feel like your home is the sterile, safe environment that you once thought it to be. Even just spotting one roach in your home one day might have you triple checking your food before eating it and sleeping with one eye open.
So, the next thing you might do is call a professional extermination company to get a handle on your bug or pest problem. However, there are some things you should know first if you wish to have the most realistic understanding of extermination and get the best results possible from such services.
Some Household Pests Are Inevitable
As much as exterminators want to tell you that your home will be 100 percent pest-free if you opt for their services, that just couldn’t be further from the truth. Certain pests are bound to appear no matter how clean and well-structured your house is. It’s unfortunate, but it happens.
It’s true that the goal of professional exterminator is to get control over infestations. But of course, the occasional house fly or ant colony might still find their way into your precious space. It happens even in new construction homes and in spaces that are very clean and organized.
A small opening underneath your door, a tiny crack in the wall, through your fireplace, through an open door or window… there are many ways pests can enter.
Exterminators Use Toxic Sprays
Many people wonder how exterminators are able to get rid of pests so easily and quickly. It’s because they use sprays that contain powerful chemicals. But it’s the harshness of these chemicals that make them so effective in killing insects and the like.
If you have pets or children in your home or have other concerns regarding chemicals being near or inside your property, speak with your local exterminator first. Or, look into non-toxic options for getting rid of pests.
If you must go the professional exterminator route and worry about your family coming in contact with the chemical sprays, put extra precautions in place.
Open a few windows to air out the place after a spraying. Make sure little ones and pets don’t come in direct contact with areas of your home that have recently been sprayed. Ensure that all food and kids’ toys are put away prior to an exterminator even coming out and spraying the place.
Not All Insects Are Harmful
Due to their annoying, inconvenient, and unattractive nature, it makes sense why people would deem all insects harmful. Some bugs, as we all know, can bite or sting us. Some are even poisonous and/or deadly. The truth of the matter is, though, not all of them are bad or dangerous.
In fact, there are certain bugs you might even not mind being in your home. For instance, there are varieties of harmless beetles, like ladybugs, that feed off other insects that you wouldn’t want in your home. These are what we call beneficial insects since they do us a favor and don’t really do anything to harm us.
Roaches Are Attracted to Water Sources as Much as Food Sources
So, you have a case of roaches inside your home, but you know for a fact that you’re careful to not leave sources of food out that would attract them. You frequently sweep the kitchen. You don’t leave filthy dishes piling up. You make sure to throw away your leftovers or store them in the fridge in an airtight container.
What about sources of water in your home? Maybe you leave wet towels or clothes lying around or have an active water leak on your property that could be leading to excess moisture inside your home. And of course, roaches love that.
Dumping Your Trash More Often Could Help You Avoid House Flies
We get it, taking out the trash is such a gruelling task. But let us remind you how important it is to take out those stinky, food-filled trash bags and throw them in your trash bin outside. Flies absolutely love those leftover food bits you throwaway and even the nasty stench of your trash can alone.
However, once you get a better hold over your trash situation, you might notice less flies inside your home. It’s really as simple as that in many cases. In addition to dumping your trash often, it’s critical to not leave trash scraps around the house, like empty pizza boxes on the kitchen counter or an old can of soda on the floor.
House Inspectors Don’t Always Notice Pests
So, you recently bought a house and are happy to say it passed inspection. Woohoo! To you, that’s great news and surely something to celebrate. You feel confident that your new home is going to be a clean and safe place for you and your family.
But not so fast. A quick run through a house during an inspection doesn’t mean any pre-existing pests are going to be noticed. That’s why it matters to ask for pest control records from the current owner of the property or to hire a pest control company yourself to do a more thorough check for bugs, mice, and the like.
Failing to Listen to Your Exterminator’s Advice Could Lead to Bad Results
It’s all fun and games until your exterminator gives you a little homework. They might ask that you get that leaky water heater fixed or to clean up more around your home as these issues can encourage pests. It’s all up to you to decide if you want to listen to your exterminator or ignore their advice.
However, the issue is, if you ignore the exterminator’s advice, you can expect their services to either not work, not work as well as they could, or to initially work – only for the pests to return later. To truly get a hold of the issue, you must be willing to make any necessary changes.
Plumbing Problems Can Lead to Silverfish
Issues with your plumbing like a leaky faucet are bound to bring a variety of issues. With plumbing problems, your water bill is likely to be higher, you might notice the production of mold and mildew, furnishings and floorboards might become warped, and the presence of pests like silverfish might be noticed.
While you can certainly hire an exterminator to get rid of the pest issue, the issue is only going to return if you fail to deal with the underlying problem, which would be the plumbing malfunction. That being said, it’s critical to get the pest and the plumbing issue dealt with as soon as possible. You can’t really do one or the other.
Don’t Call an Exterminator for Head Lice
There are many reasons to call an exterminator, like, for instance, if you need mice & rodent control. However, if your family has a case of head lice, this is not a reason to call an exterminator out. Head or body lice should be treated in a medical manner, like with lice shampoo or medicine prescribed by a medical professional.
After all, head lice is not an issue with your home itself. While lice can be found on your clothes and in your bedding, lice need a source of blood to survive. So, once they are eradicated from your head or body, the problem should no longer persist.
Ants are Difficult to Get Rid of
You might find that getting rid of ants can be quite the challenge. So, that’s why you might resort to calling out an exterminator to deal with the issue. But the truth is, ants can be difficult for professionals to get rid of as well.
The issue with exterminating ants is that even if you get rid of an ant colony, the few ants that might have survived and escaped can quickly build a new colony. Then, next thing you know, you have a new, full-blown infestation on hand. That said, getting rid of an ant problem inside your house can take time and strategy.
Don’t See Pests in Your Home? It Doesn’t Mean They’re Not There
Sometimes pests can be very sneaky. Even roaches, as big as they are, can hide in broad daylight. Then when you turn out the lights at night, they come out and roam. They can be quite secretive and even fast – bolting across the room right before your eyes.
For the latter reason, sometimes it can be difficult to know if you’re a victim of an infestation or not. Other times, you might spot one or two bugs here and there inside your home but not think much of it. In truth, there might be hundreds of those guys dwelling in your home under baseboards, within bedding, and the like.
Some Infestations Can Be Dealt with at Home
Exterminators are more than happy to help you with your pest issue. It’s their job after all. However, you’ll be happy to know that not all infestations will require you to elect the help of a professional. In fact, you might be able to get a grip on it on your own with the right product(s) on hand.
For instance, an issue with houseflies might be manageable with a cheap sticky trap or a fly swatter. And because houseflies don’t live for very long anyway, even if you do nothing about the small batch of flies in your home, it likely won’t ever be a true infestation, just more of an inconvenience for a few weeks or so.
Your Bugs Might Return
Exterminators are not God. As much as you want to tell yourself that hiring an exterminator to get rid of an infestation on your property is going to be a cure-all, it more than likely won’t be – although, you will notice a big difference.
After service, bugs can return for many reasons. As mentioned, it’s inevitable for some insects to enter your home. Not to mention, many homeowners revert to the same bad habits that landed them with a pest infestation to to begin with, like leaving out wet towels or dirty dishes caked with food for long periods of time.
The best way to ensure an infestation won’t start up again is to avoid doing the very things that triggered the infestation from the get-go.
Sometimes the Most Expensive Baits are the Least Effective.
Consumers often believe that spending more automatically gets them a better product. In reality, some of the most expensive baits and other pest control products on the market aren’t necessarily the best at deterring insects, rats, and the like.
Sometimes that cheap-y roach spray that’s been on the market for decades, for instance, is going to be the better buy in the end. Or, sometimes it’s just better to call your local exterminator to handle the job for you.
Have a Pest Problem? Talk with Your Neighbors
Sometimes if you’re dealing with a pest problem, your neighbors might be too. They could be the reason you have an infestation on your property, or you may even be the reason if they happen to have an infestation like you.
Especially if you live in a duplex or apartment, it’s a good idea to speak with neighbors living adjacent or within close proximity to you. Ask them if they’re dealing with the same issue. It could be a result of, say, your next-door neighbor having a hoarding problem or your landlord failing to repair a nearby water leak.
If and when you find out if your neighbor(s) are dealing with the same issue, you can often pinpoint the reason why and then work from there to get the issue resolved. In some cases, the resolution for the pest issue might involve speaking with your landlord, going to court, or talking with the city.
Pest extermination services can be quite helpful, especially when you have a bad infestation. However, even the top exterminator in your area has their fair share of secrets, and some of those secrets you might not like. But in the end, it’s critical to hold a realistic perspective on professional extermination.