General Pest Control
How would you know if you need pest control services?
Sometimes, the pest invasion is very visible. You might have a colony of fire ants in your yard. You might have pests around your kitchen.
Your pets might be aggravated with fleas. In those cases, when things are very visible, the need for services is apparent. However, there are many pests that are not easily detected by a casual glance.
That is when you need to start looking for evidence of their presence. It might appear as damage to your plants. It might appear as damage to the wood in your home.
It might come across as rashes or itchy areas of the skin. If you even suspect you have a pest invasion, bringing in the professionals is a good idea.
- What is pest control?
- What does pest control do?
- How much does pest control cost?
- How to prepare apartment for pest control?
- Where does pest control spray in apartments?
- What to do after pest control sprays?
- How often should pest control be done?
The pest control market around the world is valued at $18 billion, half of which is spent in the United States alone. This number encompasses pest control in homes, buildings, farms, and anywhere else pests impede human activities.
There are generally 4 types of pest control:
Chemical – involves the use of chemical treatments to deter or kill pests
Biological – involves the use of other living organisms to control a pest population, such as introducing a pest’s natural predator or enemy to its environment
Electronic – involves the use of electronic devices or gadgets to control the pest population, such as an ultrasonic device that emits high frequency sound waves that repel small vermin such as rodents
Physical – in absence of chemical, biological, or electronic means to control a pest population, more manual methods may be employed, such as trapping or baiting pests to capture and/or kill them
Such pest control measures may be performed as part of an integrated pest management (IPM) strategy, which is a broad-based approach to pest control that also includes preventative measures.
A great majority of pests associated in human dwellings are cockroaches, flies, mosquitos, fleas, and lice.
Pest control is essentially regulating or managing any pest population that has any adverse effect on human activities, including pests that cause harmful effects on food and living conditions. The pest control market annually grows by 4% to 5%, and is only expected to go up with rising global temperatures and denser populations, both of which are factors that greatly increase pest activity.
The two main objectives for contracting pest control services would be to keep you safe and healthy, and to prevent property damage. Pests can not only damage your property but also spread diseases as well as contaminate your food and water.
A pest control technician will come out to inspect the property and note which pests are present. They’ll note pest “hot spots”, their nests, where pests are coming in and out of the property from, and they may then present a plan for preventative measures. The technician then applies pest control treatment, whether chemical or physical, to control the pest population that is present.
Pests in commercial buildings damage property, including structural damage, and damage to cables, wirings, and electric receptacles, which can then be a safety hazard. Having an effective pest control strategy in place mitigates these damages and drives away cockroaches, mice, rats, and other bugs that are in turn driving customers away.
Prices for pest control vary widely by location and what extermination services you need. Prices also go up for more challenging pests, such as termites, as more advanced products and methods are needed to effectively get rid of them.
The frequency of needed treatment also affects the cost – one-time, recurring bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
One-time visits typically cost around $200 to $600. A pest control technician inspects the entire property and applies the appropriate treatments and control methods.
An initial visit – as part of a contract – typically costs $180, and subsequent periodic visits may cost anywhere from $40 to $60 for a monthly or semi-monthly (every 2 months) subscription, or $100 to $300 for a quarterly (every 3 months) subscription. Again, this depends on your location and what kinds of pests you’re dealing with. Some long-term pest control contracts may include free treatments if a pest problem occurs between each visit.
Some pest control companies also offer exclusion services, where they’ll completely close off pest entry points in and around your home.
The size of your property is also a factor in pricing. Some pest control companies may charge an additional fee for properties that exceed 1,500 square feet in size.
Eco-friendly pest products may also cost higher.
Make sure to check with your local pest control company to see if they have ongoing promotions and discounts. Get a free estimate with Watchdog Pest Control by reaching out via chat, email, or phone!
Pest elimination is more effective when there is a partnership between the pest control service provider and the property owner.
Some pest control companies may provide the property owner a to-do list to help prepare the home or apartment for treatment prior to the pest control technician’s visit. These steps are fairly standard, but may change depending on the pest infestation you need help with.
Some of these steps may be the following:
- Note where you often see pests
- Store all food items away properly
- Vacuum carpet and furniture
- Remove all personal items from the floor, including clothes, shoes, toys, etc.
- Remove all bedding
- Wash all bed linens in the hottest water setting possible
- Remove items from the top of the refrigerator and from under the sink
- If closets need to be treated, remove items from closets
- If pests are in your walls, you may also be asked to move all furniture and appliances 3 feet away from the walls
- If you have pets that cannot be moved, such as pets in an aquarium, make sure it is properly covered with large sheets or towels
It is strongly recommended you keep the house clean, as this makes it less attractive for a lot of pests. Keeping a clean environment also means less readily available food sources for them.
Pest control companies will spray along the perimeter of the property, as well as in pest “hot spots”, entry points, and nests – depending on the type of pest infestation you have, they may also spray around a wider area.
The products that Watchdog Pest Control uses take 30 to 45 minutes to dry. Once dry, it is completely safe for people and their pets.
Things you can do to limit exposure:
- Leave home during treatment process
- Ventilate upon returning by opening windows
- Stay away from treated areas until the spray has dried
- Remove personal items such as clothes, shoes, toys, etc. from areas that will be treated
- Remove bedding from areas that will be treated
- Store away dishes properly and keep them covered
Talk to the pest control technician to find out where they’ll be spraying, and if they have additional recommendations for other items to be removed.
Some pest control companies, like Watchdog Pest Control, use only eco-friendly products, and green treatments are available upon request.
Make sure to follow the pest control technician’s recommendations for preventative measures to keep pests away. And keep a clean environment – making sure your house is regularly cleaned goes a long way in keeping it pest-free.
For effective pest control, it’s important that there is cooperation between the pest control service provider and the property owner.
During the treatment process, the homeowner may be asked to vacate the premises and wait until the recommended time passes – for Watchdog Pest Control, our sprays dry in 30 to 45 minutes. Once dry, the area is then completely safe for you and your pets.
You can further limit exposure by ventilating a treated room. If you’ve left any food exposed, throw it away. Watchdog Pest Control professionals are trained well and will not leave a mess, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning up after our technicians – however, if you want to clean, don’t do it right away as it may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment. It’s important to talk to the technician if you have any questions or concerns.
The pest control technician will have recommendations for preventative measures you can take, such as repairing window screens, or caulking and sealing cracks and crevices along your walls and floorboards. It is important that these steps are followed so that pests don’t come back.
Some pest control companies also offer exclusion services, where they seal pest entry points off for you.
Having a readily available source of food and water is an important factor in pests coming into your home, so make sure you properly store away food, promptly and properly dispose of garbage, and fix leaking faucets and pipes.
Pest control companies generally offer one-time services, monthly services, bi-monthly services (every 2 months), or quarterly services (every 3 months).
Most pest control professionals would recommend having your home treated every other month, as that’s usually how long the treatment stays effective – but it depends on what kinds of pests you have in your home and the level of infestation.
Once your home has been treated for pests, following these steps goes a long way in helping to make sure they don’t come back (so you can also cut down on the number of times you may need to have your home treated for pests):
- Keep food stored away in hard plastic or metal containers that are airtight. Ants and other pests can easily chew through soft plastic and cardboard
- Never leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight, as these attract pests like cockroaches
- Dispose of trash right away and use garbage cans with sturdy lids
- Regularly clean your home to remove possible food sources (cockroaches can eat flakes of dead skin and even hair, both of which we regularly shed)
- Caulk and seal cracks and crevices on your walls and floorboards, as these are often used by pests to enter your home
- Install screens on windows, and mesh screens on all outside vents
- Consider installing weather strips to close gaps on windows and doors
- Fix leaking pipes and faucets, as pests are drawn to moisture
How often you need pest control may also depend on how much your house is susceptible or conducive to pests, that is, pest infestations tend to be more frequent in older structures.
20% of the world’s food supply is consumed by rodents
Termites cost Americans $5 billion in damage each year
27 spider species have been known to cause human fatalities
A flea can jump 130 times it’s height
Ants don’t sleep
Check out our blog entries on General Pest here.
- What do pest control companies use?
- What is biological pest control?
- How much does monthly pest control cost?
- How long after pest control can I bring baby home?
- How to do your own pest control?
- Who is the best pest control company?
est control professionals list the active ingredients in the products they use, and they also advise property owners of any potential safety risks, or any other steps that must be adhered to following the treatment application.
While each product likely has a unique formula, according to a study in the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology, the most common ingredients in professional-grade pesticides are pyrethroids and pyrethrins, and other common ingredients include piperonyl butoxide, and hydramethylnon.
Pyrethroids and Pyrethrins are included in more than 3,500 registered products for pest control, including household insect mitigation and pet protection products. They are generally safer for people and other animals than many other pesticides out in the market.
Piperonyl butoxide inhibits insect metabolism, and is typically added to pyrethrins and other insecticide agents to increase its effectiveness. Note that the EPA classifies it as a possible carcinogen, but it has low human toxicity. Ingesting it may cause vomiting and diarrhea, so as with any toxic chemical, use with caution.
Hydramethylnon is a slow insect killer, making them lethargic and eventually killing them over 3 to 4 days. It’s typically used in bait for ants, cockroaches, and termites. While it works slowly, it’s highly effective as the insects return to their colony or nests where they unknowingly spread it.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must first approve a chemical before it becomes available for public use, to ensure that not only is it effective against the target pest or pests, but that it’s also safe to use as directed.
Biological pest control is a method of controlling pests that relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or by any other natural mechanism – basically, it’s when pest control is achieved by using nature against nature.
This typically includes 3 basic strategies:
Classical biological control or Importation – where the natural predator or enemy is introduced to the environment in hopes of controlling the pest population that is present
Inductive or Augmentation – where a large population of natural enemies are administered for a more immediate effect
Inoculative or Conservation – where existing natural predators or enemies are maintained through regular reestablishment
These natural enemies of pests are also known as biological control agents. It could be the pest’s predators, parasitoids, pathogens, or its competitors.
Note that for plants that are pests considered as pests, such as weeds, these biological control agents are more often referred to as antagonists.
If biological pest control is administered by someone with limited knowledge, it may have unintended consequences such as a pest’s predator becoming more destructive to the environment than the pest population that was being controlled.
When attempting to control a pest population via biological control, make sure there is a thorough understanding of possible consequences and other unanticipated effects.
Prices for pest control services can vary greatly depending on where you live and what kind of pest it is you’re dealing with. More challenging pests such as termites tend to be more expensive, as more advanced products and methods are used to effectively exterminate them.
The cost for a monthly pest control subscription may be anywhere from $40 to $60, and again that would depend on where you live, what kind of pest infestation you have, and may even depend on the size of your property. Some pest control companies may charge an additional fee for properties exceeding 1,500 square meters in size.
To bring down pest control costs, make sure you follow the pest control technician’s instructions on preventative measures you can take to keep pests away from your property. Eliminating pests is always easier when there is cooperation between the pest control service provider and the property owner.
Some steps you can take to help keep pests away:
- Seal and caulk cracks and crevices on walls and floorboards
- Install screens on windows and any outside vents
- Install weather strips to close gaps on windows and doors
- Regularly clean home to eliminate possible food sources
- Store away food in hard plastic or metal containers with airtight lids
- Dispose of trash right away, and use garbage cans that have sturdy lids
- Get rid of old storage boxes – whenever possible, use plastic or metal containers to store items
- Get rid of detritus or debris on your yard that serve as safety zones for pests such as piles of rocks, wood, or leaves
Ask your pest control technician for input, as they will be able to assess your current situation more thoroughly.
Once the spray dries (and with the products Watchdog Pest Control uses, that would be 30 to 45 minutes), it’s safe for you, your baby, and your pets.
You can also further limit exposure by following these steps:
- Prior to the pest control treatment being applied, remove all personal items such as clothes, shoes, toys, etc. from the room being treated, and store them away properly
- If closets need to be treated, remove all items from inside of it
- Make sure dishes are stored away and covered in case of spray drift
- When dealing with bed bugs or other pests that are in your sleeping area, remove all bedding prior to the treatment being applied, and wash it in the hottest water setting possible
- Ventilate treated room once treatment is finished
Exterminators list the active ingredients in the pesticides they use, and always ask your pest control technician for potential safety risks or for advice on what else you can do to limit your exposure – depending on what kind of pest infestation you have, different products and methods will be used. You can also ask your technician for when you can clean a treated room, as cleaning right away can reduce the treatment’s effectiveness.
Pests are attracted to human dwellings for the same reasons you are – shelter from the environment, and readily available sources of food and water.
You can help keep your home pest-free by keeping it clean:
- Regularly sweep or vacuum and mop floors, especially in the kitchen
- Scrub cooking appliances as food residue is a food source for pests
- Keep food preparation surfaces clean
- Do not leave dirty dishes in the sink overnight as these attract cockroaches
- Do not leave pet food out overnight
- Store food in hard plastic or metal containers with airtight lids
- Get rid of storage boxes – whenever possible, use plastic or metal storage containers
- Use garbage cans with sturdy lids, and promptly take out trash
- Repair leaking pipes and faucets
You can eliminate the pests that are in your home by using chemical sprays, baits, traps, or by other more natural methods such as sprinkling diatomaceous earth along pest “runways” and other “hot spots”.
Then work on sealing their possible entry points so other pests stay outside, where they belong:
- Caulk and seal cracks and crevices on walls and floorboards
- Install screens on windows and outside vents
- Consider using weather strips to close gaps on windows and doors
And remember, regularly cleaning your home means disrupting pests and taking away possible food sources. Pests also prey on other pests (spiders eat cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, etc.), so keeping your home as pest-free as possible means significantly lowering their numbers.
Watchdog Pest Control is a rapidly expanding pest control company located in Phoenix, Arizona, servicing Phoenix and the surrounding cities – we aim to provide excellent pest control, and even better customer service!
We specialize in any type of nuisance insect or animal, some of which may be scorpions, ants, cockroaches, spiders, bed bugs, or rodents. We only use EPA approved products that are safe for you, your family, and your pets, and we also have green treatments available upon request.
Give us a call for a free estimate and our customer service team will schedule a pest control technician to come out to your property at your convenience. We’ll thoroughly inspect the property, apply the best treatment possible, and advise you on the best preventative measures you can take. We also provide exclusion services where we seal off possible pest entry points so they stay where they belong – outside!
We have one-time, monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly services available, and our rates are competitive – we may also have ongoing promotions or discounts, so please feel free to ask us when you get in touch.
Our technicians are extremely knowledgeable, absolutely thorough, and we’re great with pets! Give us a call today at (602) 842-5290, or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.