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How to know when it’s time to hire a pest control professional

A pest problem in your home, whether it’s rodents, birds, or insects, can really test your patience. Many invading pests are not only annoying to deal with, but some can damage your property and others pose serious health risks to you and your family. While there are all sorts of DIY solutions to pest problems, there comes a time when you need the services of a pest control professional.

pest control contractor spraying home

When is it time to hire a professional?

Using DIY pest control products is certainly more affordable than hiring an expert, but these remedies are only effective for superficial problems. Consider the severity of your pest problem and the type of pests you’re dealing with before going forward with pest control solutions you picked up from the department store.

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Consider how big your pest problem is

If you have a significant infestation on your hands, sprays and traps from the home improvement store may be ineffective. To determine how big of a problem you’re dealing with, look for the tell-tale signs of infestation.

  • You see the pests frequently. If you’re seeing living cockroaches around your house, for example, this means that their hidden nest has become populated enough that individual roaches are being forced out into the open.
  • You’ve found nests. If the pests have built their own home on your property, the problem is a big one. This means the pests aren’t just roaming through your house looking for food. They’ve set up camp and will start breeding soon if they haven’t already.
  • There is damage to your property. When there’s visible damage to your food boxes, wood paneling, carpeting, or walls, there’s likely a large number of pests in and around your home. They probably have a nest somewhere on site and eradicating them on your own will be difficult.

Consider the type of pest

Some pest problems are safe to treat on your own, while others can be dangerous to deal with yourself. Getting rid of bees or wasps, for example, can put you in harm’s way. Additionally, some pests, like certain birds, are protected species, so you need to hire experts that know how to remove the animals without hurting them.

Have your DIY attempts failed?

If you’ve already tried all of the recommended home remedies for your pest problem without success, it’s definitely time to call in the professionals. The longer the critters survive, the more they breed and the more involved their eradication will be. There are a couple of reasons your DIY attempts may be failing.

  • You haven’t located and addressed the source. If you’re only killing individual pests and not addressing the source of the problem, like the nest, colony, or entry point in your home, the critters will keep coming back with a vengeance. Pest professionals, however, have methods of locating and eradicating the source to exterminate them for good.
  • Your pest problem is bigger than you know. It’s not always easy to tell how bad the pest problem is, and if the pests keep popping back up, it may be because there are more critters lurking around your home than you know of. A pest control professional can examine your home, determine how big the problem is, and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
pest control contractor spraying cockroaches in kitchen

Benefits of hiring pest control professionals

While DIY pest control products may seem like the easiest and cheapest route to addressing your pest problems, calling in the experts will give you some peace of mind.

  • They save you time. Using DIY pest products take a lot of time and effort on your part, especially if they aren’t effective the first time around. Professionals can eradicate the pests with rapid treatment methods, and they’ll be in and out of your house in a few hours.
  • Confidence in complete eradication. Since DIY treatments often fail the first few tries, you’ll likely see those pests coming back time and time again. Professional treatments can get rid of pests efficiently and completely within a single visit.
  • Ensure the pests stay away. Pest control professionals eradicate your pest problem and can also schedule preventative services that will ensure your home stays pest-free going forward.

Dealing with pests in your home can be an arduous, stressful, and expensive ordeal. If your minor problem has become a full-blown infestation, it may be time to call in the pros. While sprays and traps are efficient solutions to handle a few stay bugs that found their way into the home, turn to the experts who will keep your home bug-free.

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Dealing with creepy crawlies is frustrating and exhausting, especially if you have to exterminate these invading insects year after year. Whether you're dealing with ants, flies, spiders, or roaches, having bugs in your house is more than just unpleasant. Many pests carry diseases and some can even cause damage to your home's structure with their burrowing, digging, and breeding habits. By engaging in a few proactive and preventative measures at the right time of year, you can minimize the bug population before it takes over your home.

The life cycle of most invasive bug colonies
In order to put preventive measures in place, it's important to know how and when these critters grow and multiply so you can plan your extermination around the times they're most vulnerable.
As winter approaches and the outdoor temperatures begin cooling down, pests start to creep indoors in search of a safe, warm shelter.  You may notice a few stray bugs during this time, but likely not enough to cause any alarm. Unless you hire a professional for an inspection, you probably won't even notice them.
When the weather outside is frightful, you won't see much activity from pests in your home. They are dormant and hibernating in a safe and inaccessible place in your walls, cabinets, or woodwork. Many of the bugs won't survive the winter and will simply die off during the cold season. Long story short, whether they're in the home or not, they won't be very active.
When the weather warms up around March and April, invading pests begin to emerge from hibernation. At this point, they're more active as they look for food and a safe place to breed. You may see limited activity from pests during this time, but not necessarily enough to warn you of their coming infestation.
The colony is most populous during the summer months when the pests have had ample access to food and water and several weeks to nest, breed, and multiply. This is when you'll see the most pest activity.
The best time of year to spray the house for bugs
The best way to prevent an infestation from occurring in the first place is to hire an exterminator to spray chemical pesticides around the house to deter bugs from entering and exterminate the ones that are already there. This is most effective during the early spring months when the weather is warm enough for the bugs to start emerging but before they've found a spot to nest. When bugs first emerge from their dormant period, they are weak and in search of food, so they are not yet breeding, so this is the perfect time to stop them in their tracks.
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A pest infestation is every homeowner's nightmare. If you're facing the frustrating and embarrassing problem of bugs or rodents in your home, don't freak out quite yet. While you can often address minor pest problems with DIY pest-killing products, don't hesitate to call a professional to deal with major disturbances. In this instance, fumigation may be the only way out.

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The process of fumigation rids the home of pests by sealing the house and filling it with a poisonous chemical to eradicate the infestation. The amount of time needed for proper fumigation depends on the size of the home and the severity of the infestation, so it can take anywhere from 24 hours to an entire week. Since these chemicals are harmful to humans as well as critters, people and pets need to stay out of the home during the entire process. It's best to let the home air out for a few days after fumigation as well, just to ensure there are no lingering chemicals in the air.
How often should you fumigate your house after infestations?
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Pest control based on the type of pest
The frequency of your inspections and fumigations will also depend on the type of pest you're dealing with. Some problems only take one extermination treatment to solve, whereas others may require more continual maintenance.
When your home is fumigated for termites, the first treatment should last several years. If your home has had a history of termite infestations, make sure you hire a professional for inspections at least yearly. Termites are extremely destructive and, if left untreated, can damage the wooden foundation of your home.
In general, professional pest control companies use sprays and baits to exterminate cockroaches as opposed to fumigation. The process takes 1-2 weeks to kill the colony completely, and an additional round of treatment may be required for especially bad infestations. Cockroaches are very tenacious, so keep your home clean and well-sealed to prevent them from returning. If you're still seeing roaches after a month or two, opt for a more thorough inspection to find and plug the vulnerable areas where they're getting into the home.
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The occasional presence of rodents in your home is not always a sign of an extensive infestation, particularly in rural areas near open fields or woods. However, it's better to be safe than sorry, so if you see one of these furry creatures running around, call a pest control company to set bait and traps (either humane or otherwise) and locate and seal off the entry points. Unless you see evidence of their remaining presence, you likely won't need a second round of extermination.

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