Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Pest Control Questions Answered
Pest control costs to treat single family homes in the Cleveland area are as follows:
General pest control service for ants, spiders, centipedes, and wasps start at 175$. This comes with a 60-day warranty.
Quarterly Maintenance Plans start at 108$ per service.
Mouse Control 3 visit plans cost 300$. and come with a 90-day warranty. Single Services cost 175$. Follow-up visits for this option cost 90$ within 60 days of initial service.
Rat Control Service costs 300$ for three visits. Extra visits cost 90$ per visit.
Flea Control Service costs 250$ plus tax for two visits and a 60-day warranty.
2-Visit Cockroach Treatment plans cost 250$. It comes with a 60-day warranty if there are no sanitation issues. If there are sanitation issues, the cost is 185$. Extra visits within 60 days are half price.
*Pest control is subject to sales tax.
We combine thorough inspections with detailed treatments. As a result, you decrease pesticide use and service intervals. While this is true, we do not have a magic eraser that removes all signs of pests. We select the most effective pesticides and apply them according to the Law.
Weather might affect the treatments at times. Or pests might be able to access the home in ways to avoid our pesticide application. For example, ants often use vegetation as a bridge to the home.
Single service general pest treatments come with a 60-day warranty. Many customers opt for a year-round warranty with the quarterly maintenance plan. In this case, the warranty is for all perimeter pests. You will receive 20% off non-covered pests and wildlife service.
The 3-visit mouse control plan allows us to maintain the traps/ bait over a period. This confirms that there is no more activity by the final visit. As a result, you receive a 90-day warranty. Keep in mind you should repair all potential entry points to keep more mice from entering. If practical, do your best to make any extra recommended repairs.
You must prepare according to our guidelines for roaches, fleas and bed bugs. To keep the provided warranty, you must follow the guidelines.
Please allow some time for the treatments to work.
Give general pest treatments approximately 5 days before requesting a follow-up service.
Mouse problems generally take about the same amount of time to see results. Please report any activity that occurs two weeks following the previous service.
Fleas and cockroaches especially, take time to establish themselves. Likewise, elimination can take some time. Hence the need for 2 treatments. With these pests, expect to not to see any in about a month.
Your technician will provide you with what to expect at the time of service. Additionally, you will receive a follow-up email a few days post treatment. We ask that you reply to this email with any follow-up questions that you may have. If you need follow-up service, we will return to address any issue. Enjoy free follow-ups during your warranty period (with current activity). One thing to keep in mind is that we treat the home to control and prevent pests from the structure itself. We cannot guarantee that you will not see ants, spiders, or bugs outside, away from the home.
We need people and pets keep out of the treatment area until the spray has dried. This is true for both indoor and outdoor pesticide applications. Drying times can vary depending on many factors. On a sunny summer day, an exterior pesticide application will dry fast. Expect longer drying times when the ground is damp with cooler temperatures.
Likewise, a flea and bed bug treatment will take longer to dry. The treated upholstered furniture dries slower than a surface spray.
When we use dust formulations inside, we need people to keep out of the area for at least 45 minutes.
For interior applications, the treatment area need to be vacant for at least an hour.
And at least 4 hours for bed bug treatments.
For ants, centipedes, and spiders plan to keep out of the rooms that we treat for a couple of hours.
We will be able to treat with less restrictions when you follow these guidelines. We will not be able to use aerosols or dusts if we are treating inside, and occupants are nearby. Make sure you follow any preparation guidelines, and vacate the treatment area.
Pesticides are generally considered safe since we apply them according to the Label. Do your part of keeping the area vacant for any liquid pesticides to dry/ dust to settle out of the air.
Most questions pesticide safety questions come from scheduling service for ants. During the spray season most ant infestations only need an exterior treatment. Interior pesticide application is rarely required. If it is, then we make every attempt to keep the application to cracks and crevices. That way, there is minimal risk of exposure to occupants.
Popular flea medication share the same active ingredients as top ant control sprays. With these medications, you apply it to to your pet’s skin monthly. It is also at a higher concentration for spot-on flea medication, than we use for ant control. Pets do not live long enough to develop “chronic” toxicity from the flea medication. On the contrary, we remind customers to keep their pets out of the treatment area until the spray has dried. By doing so, you will reduce risk of “acute” toxicity.
Our most used ant spray has a Meta Active effect. Which differentiates between target insects and non-target organisms. The target insect ingests the pesticide. Then, its own enzymes turn it into a molecule with pesticidal properties. While toxic to pests, it is low risk around humans and pets.
The granular bait that we use to locate ants outside is a borate. Like boric acid, it is an organic pest control product. We apply gel baits with a syringe to areas of ant activity. These products have a very dilute quantity of pesticide in them. It would likely have no effect on a pet if they licked a bit of it.
In our opinion, the products utilized in our cockroach protocol are very low risk. We dust cracks and crevices, bait cabinets, spot spray hotspots, and place sticky traps. Additionally, you can add HEPA vacuuming to provide extra control without the chemicals. We dust the voids between the cabinets and in electric outlets. We need the home vacated for dust applications. Generally, we use a borate dust which is organic. While we apply it to crevices, some of it may go airborne. Hence the need to vacate the home.
Like ant gel bait, roach bait is carries a very dilute amount of pesticide. And we make every attempt to place it in areas inaccessible to children and pets.
For any liquid applications, we mix two products. The main spray that we use is an EPA Reduced Risk Product. That pesticide mixes in with an insect growth regulator. This IGR targets the growth hormones of insects. Since we do not have these hormones, it poses minimal health risk to people and pets. IGRs are often used in organic pest control as an alternative to the regular bug sprays.
Cockroach treatments occur inside sensitive areas of kitchens and bathrooms. The products are low in toxicity compared to many other pesticides though. And the way we apply them, minimizes exposure to occupants. Do your part by following our preparation guidelines. And vacate the home for approximately three hours during the initial service.
Our general use pesticide that we use for spiders is micro-encapsulated. This formulation puts a polymer coating around the spray particles. This is like microscopic water balloons. The result of the polymer coating reduces the ability to absorb it through your skin. It also makes it last longer. Micro-encapsulated products generally have lower toxicity than products without this coating. We use it because it lasts a long time and has one of the highest LD50 (low toxicity) of general use pesticides.
For cockroach, flea, and bed bug treatments, we provide preparation guidelines. Click here to view them. We ask that you remove any food sources, do a general cleaning of the infested area, and clear any clutter/ debris.
Ants like your crumbs. So, clean them as best as possible. This includes cleaning under the appliances where food debris tends to accumulate. If ants are feeding on pet food, move the food dishes. they also sell ant-proof pet dishes. After removing food sources, it helps to wipe down the kitchen with a vinegar solution. This helps to remove their pheromone trails.
Keep an eye out for where they are popping out of the wall/ entering the living space. While ants may be feeding in the kitchen, they might be coming from the chimney in the living room. When treating ants inside, it is our goal to track the ants as far back to their nest as possible. Then apply control products to the crevices in which they emerge. If you are unsure of these areas, then please pre-bait. By placing capfuls of sugar water or honey in areas that you have been spotting ants, you will see their trails. This will allow a solid pheromone trail to develop before our arrival. As a result, you will see increased control. Otherwise we will be blindly treating a kitchen without much current activity.
Please refrain from spraying any store-bought ant killer before service. These sprays are generally pyrethroids. These will kill ants too fast. As a result, they counteract our slower acting products. Additionally, they can contaminate our bait. Finally, they can mess with their pheromone trails. In other words, you want a well-developed pheromone trail to track them back as far as possible. Then apply bait or another slow acting product. Spraying over the counter products does not allow for this. It will kill a few ants, but it has little effect on the colony unless you drench the nest. In some cases, over the counter sprays can cause budding. Which splits the ant colony. Not something you want to occur.
Many people are indecisive at the time of service, about what areas, they would like treated. During the spray season of March- November an exterior treatment is always included. This treats the structure to keep spiders from entering the structure. We include treating around sheds, and garages. But we do not treat away from structures generally. So, if you want some shrubs or a patio sprayed, you will have to let us know.
Our company attempts to reduce pesticide use indoors. We recommend that you set a threshold for pest levels. For example, if you saw one spider in your bedroom over the past year, it might not justify spraying in that area. If you have seen five in the past week, that might exceed your threshold. A pesticide application to that room would is then justified. Keep in mind, treated rooms will need to remain vacant until the spray has dried. If you want many areas of the living space sprayed, please plan on vacating the home. We can treat wherever you would like. And we cannot guarantee that you won’t see spiders in an untreated area. Most people opt to treat the exterior, basement, and attached garage. Leaving the occupied areas of the home untreated when spider sightings are low.
Educating our customers in ways they can reduce pest populations is key. With spiders you will want to focus on reducing the amount of light coming from your home after dark. This will attract flying insects in which spiders feed upon. Turning off outdoor security lights when not in use, goes a long way. Or you can switch to yellow light bulbs, or install motion detectors. Pulling your blinds/ curtains at night will produce results also. For example, many people keep the light on above the kitchen sink all night with a window right there.
Eliminating stored belongings helps also. Move firewood away from the home, or any other stored items that can become a spider habitat.
Please close windows before arrival. You can open them once treatment is complete.
We treat around windows, overhangs, porches, under the bottom siding, and the foundation. In most cases, this band extends a couple feet out from the foundation. As a result of this, please clear belongings away from the exterior perimeter of the home.
While we attempt to reduce drift, we do spray above our heads. Some of it falls down. So, move things like toys and strollers.
Wind up your hoses, rake up fallen leaves and move personal items so we can spray the foundation.
Reduce irrigation in the spray zone.
And pull weeds, especially flowering weeds. We do not spray flowering plants, even if they are weeds.
Having a solid band around the foundation helps control your pests. Help us by clearing the area and closing windows so we can treat uninhibited.
When a plant or an animal gets a bug attacking it, it is usually because the plant or animal lacks vigor. A lack of vitality/ vigor is usually a result of a factor in the environment weakening it. In the West, we use prescription medication to resolve this type of issue in animals. Pesticides are like prescription drugs. They are very similar. Pesticides are even manufactured by Bayer and other companies that also produce pharmaceuticals.
A prescription drug can help combat pathogens in plants and animals. It is not ideal to only rely on only pharmaceuticals though. For example, you wouldn’t want to take cholesterol medicine and continue to eat fried foods. And you wouldn’t want to take blood pressure medicine without reducing stress in your life. You will want to remedy the factor in the environment that tends to be the source of the problem. It is the same with your pest infested house.
When your home gets a pest, it is like a plant or animal getting a pathogen. And there are three different ways to control pests/pathogens: Chemical, Cultural and Mechanical.
Chemical control is using pesticides. Or in our animal analogy; taking a prescription.
Cultural control is manipulating the environment to affect the pest/ pathogen. This can be as simple as removing any potential food sources. Running a dehumidifier will help control silverfish and other bugs. Turning off outside lights to reduce the spider population. This is a perfect example of how important customer involvement is. For example, we can spray for spiders outside. If you leave the lights on, more spiders will come into the area once the spray breaks down though.
Mechanical control is also important to use in any pest control plan. The more non-chemical control methods that you can use, the better. That is pretty much the key to performing integrated pest management. Mechanical control is vacuuming before flea control service. Removing infested items and setting sticky traps are also examples.
Mechanical control goes hand in hand with many of our services. Flea medication for your pet is a must. It goes with our flea treatment.
What makes these two things better are mechanical control. For example:
Use a flea comb in conjunction with the pet medication.
Wash the fleas off your pet.
Vacuum up the larvae on the floor.
Wash the pet bedding. Bedding cannot be sprayed with pesticide.
Trap any flea-ridden wildlife on your property.
These are all solid examples of mechanical control methods. Preparation guidelines are our way of using nonchemical control methods. If you use many nonchemical control methods, you increase your chances of success.
When certain environmental factors exist, it can be difficult to end infestations. Some customers want us to wave our chemical control wands and make the pests vanish. But this is not how pest control works. And there are certain things that we cannot do for the customer. We can’t take your pet to the vet for flea medication. We can’t wash your bedding before we do your bed bug treatment. Hence the need for preparation guidelines.
While the exact products used at your house will vary, we do use a specific arsenal of pest control products. Keep in mind that we leave it to the technician’s discretion to what products to apply and where. We do apply pesticides according to the Label. And we have protocols that are very effective. With that, we will take into consideration any concerns that you have. If there is an area that you do not want pesticides in, please let us know beforehand. We will accommodate if it does not break our protocol. To provide you with our warranty, we will need to follow our protocol as close as possible.
If you can’t vacate, or if we are not provided access to certain areas, than this can reduce likelihood of success. This will affect your warranty. Please follow your preparation guidelines. Follow all instructions, and any recommendations to the best of your ability. And we will do our best to apply pest control products in a responsible manner.
Customers do not usually comprehend talk about specific product use. Without a formal training, they can be difficult to understand. We do use professional products. We choose the most effective products tailored to specific applications. The safety and toxicity of products is also taken into consideration.
Organic products do not mean that the product poses less health risk. For example, some pyrethrum is pretty toxic, compared to the synthesized versions (pyrethroids). They formulate pesticides for effectiveness and safety. Millions of dollars go into getting a product registered. With that said, there are some cool products out there. And we take advantage of that.
Pest control has evolved from keeping a chemical barrier inside and out. This included consistent sprays to the foundation and baseboards. Nowadays, State authorities teach integrated pest management. That is what I learned in college. IPM includes customer involvement/ education. You also want to set action thresholds and monitor activity. And prioritized are the use of baits and other low risk options. We integrate as much of this as possible. While keeping our protocol affordable and efficient.
Another thing that we keep in mind is pesticide resistance. When you use the same products over and over, they tend to become less effective. Let’s say that you use the normal home defense bug killer. As a result, most of the insects that encounter it will die. The ones that do not, will reproduce. Their offspring will have resistance to this product. Let’s say some time goes by and you spray for these new offspring. Most die but not as many. The next rounds of offspring can end up coming away unscathed from that same jug of bug killer. This is pesticide resistance.
It is not only the products that you use- it is the entire class of pesticide that becomes less effective. So you can’t switch your Raid with Home Defense. They are both the same class (Pyrethroids). And guess what? The only real sprays that they sell to homeowners are Pyrethroids. Bug sprays in stores are pretty much this one class of pesticide. Homeowners do not have many chemical control options when it comes to treating pesticide resistant pests.
In most cases, we retreat using a different class of pesticide. Different classes of pesticides have different modes of action. They kill them in different ways. Pyrethroids work on the sodium channels of a pest’s nervous system. If we suspect pesticide resistance, we will apply a different mode of action.
Another way we approach this is to use multiple modes of action within a single treatment. Our cockroach protocol is a good example of this. We apply borate or silica gel dust to crevices/ electric outlets/ wall voids. Borates prevent a pest from gaining nutrients from the food they eat. Silica gel pulls the oil from their exoskeleton. Both are different classes of insecticide because they kill the pest in a different way. Then we usually mix a neonicotinoid with an Insect growth regulator. These two products are in a class of their own also. We carry baits and other sprays that are in even different classes than the other 4 mentioned.
So you can see the pesticides that we use will vary by the situation. The technician figures this out at the time of service.
We use a microencapsulated pyrethroid for spiders, and general/ all-purpose bug spraying.
For ants, we use Advion products with the meta-active ingredient. Or fipronil sprays along the foundation. We rotate other products in such as neonicotinoids. Borate granular bait is used outside in conjunction with the sprays and a variety of gel bait.
We mentioned cockroaches above. Fleas are similar in respect that they also need us to mix in an insect growth regulator with the spray.
For bed bugs we generally use one hybrid spray product with three classes of insecticides in it. Silica gel dust is also utilized. We also rely on the performance of ActiveGuard liners. Which is a mattress liner lined with a pyrethroid.
We generally apply dusts into inaccessible stinging insect nests. And contact (fast acting) sprays for wasp and hornet nests out in the open.
Flies depend on the species. For house flies we use bait that goes on windows. For fruit flies we treat the drains with a borate- disinfectant foam.
We are happy to discuss any pesticides that we will be applying during our visit. Until we perform the inspection, we cannot state exactly what we will be applying. I hope this gives you a better understanding of what pesticides we use.
We have developed multiple treatment options to better suit our customer’s needs. This makes us a better fit for a variety of customers. As a result, some people have a hard time deciding what treatment plan is best for them. If you can’t decide after reading this, we recommend starting with the most basic option. You can always expand off the Technician’s recommendations once he is at your place. You might find that a single service was satisfactory too.
For certain pests, we provide two visit plans. Cockroaches, fleas, moths, springtails, and bed bugs are all examples. We plan for 2 visits, based on the pests lifecycle.
Ants, spiders, and centipedes, have options for a single service or quarterly service. White homes close to the lake are like magnets for spiders. Similarly, ants can come from a colony that expands out into neighboring properties. If you receive a lot of pest pressure, quarterly plans provide a year-round warranty. You would have to decide if that is of value to you for the price. There is value having a reliable company to respond if any pest problem pops up. Some people need it, some people enjoy the convenience and peace of mind. One thing is for sure, you won’t see many spider webs on your house with ongoing treatment.
Another benefit of the quarterly plan is that we can target mature colonies of ants over time. A single service is enough to stop ants from infesting your home for an extended period. But, it usually isn’t enough to control a mature colony of ants living in your trees or under your driveway. Ant populations are usually high for them to expand their feeding range inside. While the ants in your kitchen might have popped up today, it is likely that the colony has taken years to develop. In turn, it would take an extended period to eradicate them from your property.
We have a ton of people that only need single services for ants- granted the majority get it done each year. In this respect, most of our customers are on the quarterly maintenance plan. As far as revenue per service goes, our single service ant control comes in third place. It is in high demand and very effective. We support both levels of general household pest service. I hope this helps you decide what is best for you.
Coming in at second place in revenue per service is our single service mouse control. Moreover, we offer mouse control in single service or a 3-visit plan. Taking this into account, single service mouse control is more popular. Single services are budget-friendly. The initial service is similar for the 3-visit plan as the single service. Yet we tend to use traps more often with the 3-visit plan, instead of bait stations.
After discussing, you may decide that the use of rodenticide (bait) is not a great option. Then you’ll want to go with the 3-visit plan. Especially if you do not want to maintain mouse traps yourself (we set them, you check them).
Both mouse control services come with the same inspection. You get the same amount of repairs too.
The single service is best for budget conscious people. As long as you do not mind us using bait stations to control mice in the unfinished parts of their homes. Or we set traps for the customer to maintain.
The 3-visit plan allows us to maintain the interior control products. As a result, we can confirm that there is no more activity in the structure. Because of this, we provide a 90 day warranty.
You need to repair all potential entry points to control mice long term. Both services include a square foot area of patchwork repairs at ground level. In other words, this includes as many holes as possible that you can fit into a square foot area. Patchwork repairs are made with spray foam, Xcluder fabric, and clear sealant repairs.
Remember that upon inspection, there might be extra repair recommendations. This includes any repairs that need a ladder. And repairs underneath porches or decks. Screening vents, and tuckpointing with mortar are additional repairs too. And any patchwork repairs that exceed a square foot area.
Where mice are getting into attics, expect us to quote the repairs separately. In this case, the repairs would likely need a ladder. We do not remove lattice panels from around porches. If you want more than a visual inspection under porches, then you will have to provide access by removing a panel.
We attempt to seal up as many holes that we can included. There may be extra repairs needed to prevent mice from accessing your home. Even though the 3-visit plan costs more, it does not mean that we patch up all the potential entry points included. The extra cost covers the 2 visits to maintain the traps/ bait placed during the initial service.
Whether done on the phone, email or in person, gathering details helps us help you. If you are home during the service, give us the tour. Tell us what you have been experiencing and where. This is a time where we can answer any questions that you have and ask questions to better solve your problem. With each job we have a mental checklist running. After we tap into your knowledge, we fill in the blanks with a good look into key areas. Our goal is to find out what is happening and why.
A Detailed Inspection
Inspections are a key component to any pest control service. A detailed inspection diagnoses even the most complex pest problems. People overlook the value of a skilled exterminator evaluating their home for pests. Pests will exploit the vulnerable points of your home, especially wildlife. A good exterminator will identify these areas. In other words, we take time to look for the source of the issue.
For example, a customer of ours had mice. We located the entry point underneath the front porch. The problem was resolved by repairing the entry point in the foundation. And by trapping the rogue mouse. We also found out that the foundation hole developed from a broken downspout. The hole would have grown into significant damage if we didn’t figure that out. So, you can see the value of pest control service. Not only will we treat the problem, but we will also make our best effort to get to the bottom of things.
Unlike some companies that send out a salesperson, we come ready to treat. People hire an exterminator to get rid of their pests pronto, and with little effort on their part. Our services cater to this fact. You will receive a pest treatment that we have refined for over a decade. Our tailored services exceeds the needs of our local customers. It rids homes of high populations of pests. And it considers the safety of people, pets, and the environment.
Warranty or Discounted Follow-Ups
For most pest control services, you are purchasing a home warranty against pests. Warranty your home year-round with quarterly maintenance. Buy a bed bug treatment plan and you receive a 60-day warranty. Same thing with ants, spiders and stinging insects.
A warranty does not guarantee that you will not find problem pests at your home. If you find evidence of pest activity covered under your warranty, contact us. We will respond to provide you with free follow-ups until the activity subsides. Since we are backing our service with free follow-up visits, we do everything we can to rid you of your pest problem.
Some services do not come with a warranty. Instead, you will receive discounted follow-up services. This for pest problems caused by sanitation issues, or for our budget-friendly options.
For example, we offer a 3-visit mouse control service that allows us to make sure no activity remains. As a result, you receive a 90-day warranty. In some cases, the 3 visits are not necessary. Or customers would rather check the traps themselves than to pay us to check them. Or people might not have 300-400$ to spend on mouse control. So instead, they buy a single service without a warranty. They can still call if needed. In these cases, follow-up visits are about half the cost of the initial service.
We do the same for cockroaches. You can buy a warrantied 2-visit service. Or you can buy a single service with half priced follow-ups. Sometimes there are sanitation issues that stop us from being able to provide a warranty. As a result, we offer discounted retreatments within a certain time. Flies are one pest that are always a result of a sanitation issue. Fly larvae feed on decaying organic material. For example, a dead carcass, feces, or dirty drains. Due to this, we do not provide a warranty for fly issues.
Save time trying to do it yourself.
You will also save money on products that do not work- then paying an exterminator on top of it.
Immediate resolution. People usually complicate the issue by waiting and trying things themselves.
Reduce stress of having pests in the household. This is a big one. Pest infestations stress people and entire households. We do a lot of counseling for our customers. Paying for professional relief is well worth it!
I am a big advocate on putting a price on your time. For example, you want to buy a ping pong table. The options are to buy one new for 500$, or buy one used for 250$. The new one comes delivered, assembled and with a warranty. The other comes as-is, assembly required, and you must transport it to your home.
While the used one is half price, you must factor in the cost of renting a truck to move it. Then you must buy your friend pizza for helping you move it. Let’s say that adds on 100$. Someone is likely to get a sore back or stub a toe moving it too. Factor in going to the bank, planning with the seller, renting a truck, moving it, and assembling it. After all that, is it worth it to buy a used ping pong table without the assurance of a warranty?
There is a lot of value in making a few clicks online to have a brand-new ping pong table delivered to your doorstep. Likewise, there is a lot of value in paying for a skilled tradesman to provide a service to your home. Open time to do more important things. You reduce the chances of the problem persisting and becoming worse. You also reduce the stress that you and your household go through living with the pest for a long time.
Depending on how you value your time and quality of life, determines if pest control is worth paying for. All our customers fall into two categories. First are people who value paying to resolve a problem that they are not trained to resolve. Second are people who have tried to resolve it on their own and failed. Which one do you want to be?
They say that about 80% of the population will never hire a pest exterminator. Most people trying to do it themselves end up taking many trips to the store for products. They live with the pest for a long time, creating a lasting disruption of the household. They carelessly apply pesticides in a manner that exposes themselves and their family. All in all it complicates the issue way more than it must. And money gets wasted without solving the problem. We know!
Everyday people call us after trying to do it themselves. These people are worn out and frazzled. One thing about pest control, is that it isn’t like repairing a broken water pipe. Instead of hiring a plumber, many people will watch a how-to video. Pest control is not as straight forward. There are variables. It takes training to know what to look for, and what to do. There is more to it than applying bug spray or setting mouse traps. Likewise, you need to know how to set the traps strategically or apply the products properly. We all know that few people read instructions. I would bet that around 95% of DIY pest controllers do not read the pesticide Label on how to legally apply it. Do you want to be one of those people?
Your technician will determine what areas need to be treated at the time of service. We will address an active pest problem inside a crawlspace. Keep in mind that many pest problems are better handled from the outside. Interior treatment is not always necessary. If your crawlspace is a confined space, there will be restrictions on our ability to perform work inside of it. In our experience, it is not usually necessary to enter confined spaces. We will discuss options at the time of service, before treatment begins.
How long pest control lasts, depends on many factors. Pest pressure can vary between houses. Some homes, never get pests inside and do not use pesticides. While others often need pest control. Many websites state that pest control lasts 60 or 90 days. This is a very generalized statement. They base this on the residual of the products used, not on the control achieved from the products used.
Manufacturers market pesticides to kill insects for up to 60 or 90 days. This is true in a laboratory setting. It doesn’t really hold up for that long when applied in and around the home. Let’s say you spray a product in a cool, dark and dry basement. This will kill insects much longer than the same thing sprayed outside during a 90 degree summer day. As popular as it is to spray the foundation, you really only get a few days to a week out of that type of application.
Although we apply a band around the foundation, we also apply spray under the bottom lip of the siding. This area is where most pests enter the home. It is also shaded from the sun and rain. Pesticides break down by heat, moisture and UV light. Moreover, pests are less likely to die when they cross over dried pesticides. Pests have to spend time with the pesticide for it to have an effect on them. That is why we apply the pesticides to the crevices in which pests enter homes and the crevices in which they hide. These are also areas protected by the elements. So the products work better and for a longer time.
The whole pest control lasting 60 or 90 days is more of a marketing ploy. If you are basing that on how long of a residual a pest control spray has, I would lean more towards the 20 day mark. Once you factor in environmental factors, 20 some days is a good number. Dusts applied to cracks and crevices last much longer. Organic pest control uses a lot of dusts, since organic sprays hardly have any residual at all. Dusting is usually done once a year.
Sometimes sprays aren’t used at all. So it makes the 60 or 90 day statement pretty irrelevant. For example, you might put out ant or cockroach bait. While the bait may dry up in one week, it can have lasting effects. Yet how long it works for, is a result of how much pest pressure there is, along with many environmental factors.
Your ant bait might knock out the ant nest in your window, but it won’t kill the super colony underneath the driveway. It might take a year for the colony to reestablish a nest in that same window. Unless you perform many treatments to knock a colony back, they will reoccupy the same areas.
One example is if you have carpenter ants in your home during winter. Any carpenter ant nests inside your home consist of workers and older larvae. The queen is in a tree outside. You can kill the ants inside. The main colony will send out more ants to the nest inside your home once the pesticide wears out. So you really need a second service to treat the trees outside during the summer.
Another example is for bed bugs. They hitchhiked inside from somewhere. Our service might eradicate the bed bugs inside of your home. If you introduce another bed bug inside, then pest control will not last as long.
Same thing goes for spiders. You might be getting spiders from leaving the porch light on. We can spray and kill what is there. But if you keep leaving the porch light on, the treatment won’t last as long as it should.
As you can see, pest pressure dictates how long pest control will work, not how long a bug spray can kill bugs for. We recommend treatments every other month during the spray season (March- November). It usually takes a couple months for pests to reoccupy the treatment areas. That is why our warranties are for 60 days. We try to educate our customers and teach what they can do to keep pests from coming back.
Base how often you get pest control done on an action threshold that you set for yourself. Let’s say you get a kitchen ant invasion every spring. Then that is when you get a pest control treatment done. Otherwise, you can set a different threshold. Some people do not mind spiders outside. Yet if they see two inside within a week, they are going to call an exterminator. This would be an example of a threshold you can set.
It is basically your breaking point. Everyone reaches their breaking point before calling for pest control service. Consider setting your threshold in a practical manner. It might be difficult to eliminate all centipedes from your basement. In that case, set a threshold at 3 sightings in one week to warrant another treatment. Monitoring devices help to find out how much pest activity there is. In some cases, one pest sighting is enough to warrant a treatment. While you might not pick up the phone for one ant in your home, one rat sighting and you’ll want us to come right away!
Some people are stuck in a very old way of thinking about pest control. They ask for the strongest product or ask to bomb the place. More pesticide or higher toxicity doesn’t always relate to better control. An example of this would be using the best mouse trap or ant bait station possible. While it might be the best product, if it isn’t placed in the correct location, then it won’t do much good.
It is the same with any pest control product. If I gave my buddy some of our bed bug spray to apply, it is unlikely that he will fix the problem. He doesn’t know how or where to apply it. Just because they sell bug spray next to the weed killer in stores, it doesn’t mean that you can expect results. You must read the pesticide Label, know the pests’ habits and lifecycle, and know how to diagnose a house.
Pest control used to be all about creating a chemical barrier, inside and outside of your home. People used to have these barriers in place. So much that bed bugs almost went extinct. Pest control has changed to an integrated pest management approach. We use baits for ants and roaches more than sprays inside. We apply products to cracks and crevices more than a regular soaking of your baseboards. Advanced pest control products require a certain strategy for them to work. As a result, we do not recommend specific products to be used by homeowners. And each year, we evaluate our use of products for safety and efficacy.
For bed bugs, we recommend installing mattress encasements. Do a DIY inspection while laundering bed linens weekly. We do not recommend applying over the counter products. Likewise, using traps we have found only increases anxiety in occupants. The main thing with bed bugs is learning how to prevent bringing any bed bugs into the home. Consider limiting guests. Analyze the places that you and other occupants visit. And limit bringing used items into the home. A lot of people expose themselves to bed bugs at work. We recommend protecting yourself by changing clothes and shoes before entering the home.
For cockroaches, sanitation is key. They do not need much to eat. They can survive on the tiny bit of filth underneath your toilet rim. Yet they can become well established in homes that cook with oil. Grease residue around stoves is the most common factor in cockroach infestations. Empty your trash nightly and do a clean sweep of water before bed. Cockroaches need water. The more you dry out the kitchen and bathroom before bed, the better off you will be. I have seen roaches living off a damp kitchen sponge stored under the sink
For ants, the main thing is to perform multiple treatments. These ant colonies affecting your home are usually old and established. While one treatment can keep back them out of your house for the season, it’s not likely to last much longer than that. Of course, carpenter ant queens are in a tree outside and nests inside are in water damaged wood. Replacing water damaged wood is the best long-term control for carpenter ants inside. Treating the tree where the main colony is key too. Sometimes that tree is on a neighboring property. If you don’t have an infested tree on your property, you might want to get permission to treat your neighbor’s tree.
To locate carpenter ant nests, look for trails along your foundation and up trees. Do this a half hour after sunset.
As mentioned, you want to make the outside as dark as possible outside for spiders. Keep security lights on motion detectors or use yellow bug lights. Pull your curtains and do not store items close to the home, or have debris on the ground. While lights outside attract web-weaving spiders, debris clutter attracts active-hunting spiders. Brown recluse are an example of an active-hunting spider. Make sure you store firewood away from the home, and clean up fallen leaves.
Centipedes, silverfish and other basement bugs need high humidity. Running a dehumidifier helps prevent these pests. Along with installing glass block windows. Spiders can use window frames as a home or as entry into the home.
In a nutshell, every living thing needs food, shelter, and water to survive. As a homeowner, you can manipulate these things to control pests. This type of pest control is a cultural control method. Combined with chemical control, you can really knock a pest out. Use mechanical control methods wherever possible too. This includes vacuuming for fleas, using traps for roaches or picking bugs off your roses. If you would like to know what you can do to stay ahead of pests, so they don’t come back, please ask! We are all about educating customers on what they can do themselves. Things that doesn’t involve applying over the counter products.
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