Most homeowners will have to deal with pests at some point. It may be an ant infestation in your kitchen, a mouse running around your living room, or some stranger animal affecting your quality of life.
In any case, there are several steps you can take on your own to rid yourself of the problem; in some cases, simple traps or lifestyle changes can get rid of your pests in short order, and in other cases, the problem might be temporary, going away on its own.
In other cases, you’ll need to call in a professional pest control company to handle the problem. So how can you tell when it’s appropriate to make the call?
What Pest Control Companies Do
First, you need to gain an understanding of what pest control companies actually do.
There are many different types of pest control services, but nearly all of them mean making changes to your home to prevent or mitigate the appearance of animals. Bed bugs, spiders, rodents (e.g., rats and mice), flies, fleas, cockroaches, and birds are all common nuisances to deal with. A pest control company might perform extermination services, getting rid of the pests directly, or they might make improvements or changes to your living situation, such as sealing holes in your home so new animals can’t get in.
Usually, these services start with a consultation to determine the extent of your problem and the ideal approach to resolve it. Then, the pest control company will provide the services necessary to resolve the problem, followed by possible continuing services to prevent the problem from recurring.
When to Call a Pest Control Company
There are several conditions that should signal you to call a pest control company:
Immediate danger. If you’re dealing with a pest that poses an immediate danger to you or your family, you should call a professional right away. For example, if you notice a deadly spider infestation in your house, it’s best to call in a professional before attempting an extermination method of your own. A single bite could pose a significant health risk to you and your family, so it’s not worth trying to handle things on your own.
Failure of prevention methods. Many pests can be eliminated and prevented with simple lifestyle changes and prevention methods. For example, sealing your food in airtight containers, cleaning your kitchen and living areas thoroughly, and following other hygienic habits can all make your home less attractive to rodents and insects. If you’ve tried these methods but the pests aren’t going away, it may be time to call a professional.
Failure of basic elimination methods. Some pests can also be eliminated through basic consumer strategies. For example, sometimes, a store-bought trap could be all it takes to catch the mouse or rat that’s scurrying around your kitchen. You may even be able to make a trap of your own. If these basic traps and natural elimination methods aren’t working, it’s a good idea to call in a pro.
Considering the use of chemical pesticides. If you feel that the problem is severe enough to warrant the use of strong chemical pesticides, you should call a pest control company. Chemical pesticides can be deadly to human beings if they’re used improperly and/or irresponsibly, but a pest control company will be able to use them effectively and safely. For the most part, it’s a bad idea to try using strong chemical pesticides on your own.
Prolongment of the problem. You’ll also need to call a pest control company if the problem has been going on for a long time. While unlikely for a pest problem to simply go away on its own after a while, with the right prevention methods in place and a little luck, you could see the disappearance of your pests in relatively short order. If the problem has persisted for more than a couple of weeks, it’s important that you call a professional.
Certain pests. Some pests are much harder to deal with as an individual, and practically demand that you call a professional as soon as possible. For example, while it’s possible to get rid of bed bugs on your own, it’s incredibly difficult to do so. Learn about the challenge you’re facing, and only attempt to solve it on your own if it seems possible to do so.
If you’re not sure whether or not to call a pest control company, err on the side of caution and give one a call. They’ll be able to help you determine the true extent of your problem and recommend the best course of action for your situation. Professionals are far less likely to handle things incorrectly or irresponsibly, so you won’t regret calling them.