When To Call A Pest Control Professional

by Maura Forsyth | May 6, 2019 |

Your home is your greatest asset. You want to protect it, but you don’t want to spend more than you have to. How do you know when to DIY and when to call a professional?

Check out our guide on how to prevent, how to treat, and when to call in the experts:


The best pest control by far is prevention. Here’s how to keep some of the most common pests from ever entering your home:

  • Ants & Cockroaches – These pesky critters both want the same thing: food and water. Sweep floors regularly, mop up spills, and keep the kitchen sink clear. Pantry foods should be stored away in sealable packaging. And make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed as well — if there’s a gap, the bugs will get in.
  • Termites – Regularly check your home’s exterior for signs of rot. Clear gutters of leaf clutter that can hold moisture against the roof. Keep trees and shrubs trimmed back from the house. Don’t store firewood against the exterior of your home.
  • Bed Bugs – Take care to wash clothes and linens well after staying away from your home, such as in a hotel. Wash sheets, curtains, pet beds, and towels regularly. Vacuum all other soft surfaces that can’t be washed.
  • Silverfish – These insects show up in bathrooms so often because they love to feast on the soapy residue in your tub or shower. Keep showers and tub basins clean and make sure not to leave standing water in drains. Sweep floors of hair and dead skin that will attract these pests.
  • Rodents & Wildlife – Rats, mice, squirrels, birds — they all just want a warm place to sleep. Inspect your home’s exterior for points of entry and seal them up. Make sure there are no cracks in masonry or loose roof tiles that critters could slip through. Keep food away from disease-carrying rats and mice in sealable containers.

Do It Yourself

There’s plenty you can do on your own to rid your home of the occasional pest. Here’s how you can evict those unwanted guests:

  • Diatomaceous Earth – A talc-like powder that can be purchased from any home improvement store. It can be sprinkled anywhere that insects are frequently seen and acts as an irritant. The tiny sharp particles wedge their way under the exoskeletons of crawling insects such as ants, roaches, bed bugs, silverfish, and others, and will eventually kill them. Diatomaceous earth is not harmful to children or pets.
  • Soap & Vinegar Traps – Place a bowl of dish soap and water in a room with flying insects and float a smaller bowl of red wine vinegar in the soapy water. Fruit flies, house flies, and stinging insects will be attracted to the vinegar but get trapped in the dish soap. Use the same technique with a shallow-lipped plate on the floor to catch ants and beetles.
  • Sticky Spider Traps – Coat the inside of a paper towel roll with corn syrup and leave around baseboards to catch spiders and other small crawling insects. Simply throw the roll away and replace with a new one every few days.
  • Mouse Traps and Cages – Commercial spring-loaded mouse traps will only catch the smallest mice and some feel they are an inhumane catch method. Opt for spring-door cages and use thick work gloves when removing. Contact your local wildlife service for proper release protocols of wild animals. You will still need to have your home inspected for how these animals got in to fix your rat or wildlife problem for good. 

When To Call In The Pros

How do you know if you’ve done all you can? Here’s when to step back and let the experts take charge:

  • Ants – If they go away for a while but keep coming back time after time, you might have a nest under or inside your home. Let the professionals locate the nest and destroy the colony in one go so you can be done with your ant problem for good.
  • Roaches – Like ants, roaches live in colonies and often make their nests within walls. If roaches are showing up in more than one area of your home and keep coming back even after sealing up windows and doors, you might have a bigger problem that needs to be handled by professionals.
  • Bed Bugs – If you’ve tried washing, vacuuming, and treatment products but still wake up with the occasional itch, you may still have bed bugs. Bed bugs don’t bite every night and hide when they aren’t feeding, so even if you don’t see them they could still be around.
  • Mosquitos – Citronella candles and sprays are great at keeping mosquitos out of your immediate area but they aren’t a foolproof deterrent for biting. If you are still getting “eaten alive,” call the professionals who can treat your entire yard so you can barbecue in peace.
  • Termites – Termites are hard to treat on your own. Even if you manage to take out the nest, more can spread to new areas of your home. Don’t hesitate to call the experts right away to treat your entire home and repair areas of termite damage.
  • Rodents & Wildlife – Animals don’t exactly rent out a room in your home, they wedge themselves into walls, in crawlspaces, and in attic rafters. If you’re hearing bumps in the night but not seeing any pests, call in the experts to locate and remove them without causing damage to your home. Remember, wild animals also often carry disease, so don’t try to handle them on your own — let the professionals keep your home and family healthy and safe.

Don’t wait any longer! Call our experts right now to get started with your home pest remediation and start living pest free today.

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The creator of this review received compensation by RMICPA, LLC on behalf of Terminix®. This review is the opinion of its creator and its claims are not endorsed or evaluated by RMICPA, LLC.

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