When pests are causing problems in your home, you want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. That’s why so many people call an exterminator. But what exactly is an exterminator, and should you hire one?
The term “exterminator” used to be a negative one. It conjured images of terminator-like people spraying chemicals throughout a home, resulting in dead bugs falling from the ceiling. However, these days, exterminators are more concerned with preventing pests than simply eliminating them.
Rodents, insects and other critters can cause serious damage to your property and health. For example, rats can contaminate and destroy 20 percent of the world’s food supply. Their gnawing can also lead to house fires. Insects like ticks, fleas and mosquitoes can spread numerous diseases. Insect bites can be irritating and itchy, but they can also spread encephalitis, dengue, zika and malaria.
While you don’t want these creatures in your home, they do belong in the natural environment. The best way to deal with them is through pest control, which involves removing the things that attract them (food, water and shelter) and blocking their entry into your home. This can be done through sanitation, physical removal or traps.
For instance, you can remove rodents by putting out rat traps or setting snap traps. Insects can be trapped with sticky traps or sprayed with insecticide. You can prevent Hertfordshire extermination for pests from entering your home by sealing up cracks and crevices, repairing leaky pipes, removing woodpiles and keeping grass and shrubbery trimmed back away from the house.
Pest control companies often offer preventive services, which are less expensive than extermination. They can visit your home to assess the problem, then help you set up a plan to keep pests out. In some cases, they may use the same chemicals that exterminators do, but the products they use are more targeted and less dangerous to your family. This is because they take into account that your kids and pets are likely to be in the house, too.
Some preventive services include removing garbage regularly, using tight-fitting lids on trash containers, washing out food and drink containers in the sink and storing them properly. They can also make sure crawlspaces have vents and vapor barriers, that all exterior doors are closed and sealed and that windows and vent screens are tight. They can also help you create a barrier of gravel or rock around your foundation instead of wood mulch, and that all basements, cellars and crawl spaces are well-ventilated.
Some companies specialize in treating only certain pests, such as termites or cockroaches. Others are more general and may treat all types of pests. While there are many over-the-counter pest control products you can use yourself, it’s always best to consult a professional when the problem becomes severe. This will ensure you’re getting the best results and the safest ones. Most pest control companies will provide free quotes and waive the consultation fee if you sign up for service.