You have created a beautiful home, and a lot of the creatures in your area think so, too.
In fact, they may feel so comfortable that they make themselves at home, potentially using your house for food, too.
Taking immediate action can prevent costly damage to your home and an even larger infestation.
You can try to handle the problem yourself, or you can get professional pest control services.
Who wants to pay the money, though?
Is the expense justified?
We analyze the top five reasons pest control service is worth it.
Is Pest Control Worth It? (5 Reasons It Is)
1. Keep Your Pantry Pest Free
The pantry holds all the dry food items in your home that you can’t store in your kitchen cabinets or on the counter.
Dry items can last for years, and that’s if you actually check the expiration dates, so who knows how long that loosely secured bag of rice has been in the back corner?
Numerous critters may crawl their way into the pantry looking for access to food.
Their good fortune means you won’t be able to use whatever they find.
Their most popular menu items include cereal, rice, nuts, flour, sugar, and pet food.
If you do notice a tampered item, use the motto of “better safe than sorry” and get rid of it.
Don’t forget to check the other items for holes to ensure that the bugs or rodents didn’t get into anything else.
Common Pantry Pests
Knowing the enemy can help you best deter them, so it’s best to know the most common pests people find in their pantry.
- Ants: Not only do ants like the smell of sugar, but they also have an excellent sense of smell. When one ant finds its way into a supply of sugar or cereal, it will let all of the other ants know about the score and bring them along next.
- Weevils: Weevils enjoy grains such as barley and bread. These bugs often sneak inside through items you bought at the grocery store, but they can also come from your lawn. When they do get in, they reproduce vigorously, increasing numbers quickly and drastically.
- Mealworms: Mealworms enjoy moist, humid locations as well as mold, attracting them to expired items, so you should keep an eye on the expiration dates.
- Flies: Most flies prefer the sweet items in your pantry, such as dried fruit. However, they can feed off of moldy items as well.
How To Prevent Pantry Infestations
To reduce the chance of an infestation, start by ensuring that all food remains in durable containers with secure lids at all times.
Chip clips and flimsy Ziplocs may not provide the security you need.
Many homeowners forget to check the pantry since it isn’t an especially high-traffic location in your home.
However, you should clean the pantry regularly, such as once a week or once every other week.
While you are cleaning up any crumbs you see, also monitor items for damage or bite marks.
2. Protect Wood
You expect your home to stay standing for a very long time thanks to its sturdy wood frame.
However, houses made of wood can tempt termites, ticks, and other bugs that eat wood and organic material.
Termites may eat at the wood in your home, such as the wood in your wall frames or wooden furniture.
While different termites have different dietary preferences, these hungry little bugs will feast on just about any wood they find when they need to eat.
Signs Of Termite Damage
It can take time for you to notice termite damage since termites usually work from the inside out.
However, the longer you wait, the more extensive the damage will be.
To inspect for termite damage, look for noticeable discoloration to any part of the area in question, including the paint.
You can also knock on the wood to determine if it sounds hollow.
You may notice the termites before you notice the damage itself.
Termites leave droppings and broken wings behind.
Different Types Of Termites
Different termites may gravitate toward different materials and live in different parts of the country.
Some of the different types of termites:
- Formosan termites: Destructive and persistent, Formosan termites cause the most damage and are the hardest termite to get rid of. They are mostly found in the South.
- Drywood termites: Preferring dry wood and dry conditions, drywood termites don’t require the moisture some other species prefer. These termites are usually found on the Gulf Coast as well as in California.
- Subterranean termites: Living underground, these termites feed on the items in your pantry more than wood, but they come in large numbers and cause serious damage.
- Conehead termites: This aggressive termite species recently migrated from the Caribbean to Florida, and who knows how far they will spread?
Cost Of Termite Damage
Termite damage costs $3,000 on average.
Of course, the cost varies based on the extent of the damage and the quality of the materials that you need to replace.
Lumber prices are currently at an all-time high and don’t seem to be going down any time soon.
As of this writing, October of 2021, here are the prices for one linear foot of the most common lumber options:
- Maple: $3 to $7
- Poplar: $2 to $5
- Oak: $6 to $8
- Walnut: $10 to $14
- Koa: $40 to $60
Don’t forget to include the tools, paint, and other extras in the cost of your repair.
In some extreme cases, the critters may even damage plumbing or wiring in the process.
Naturally, these problems will incur additional repair costs.
How To Prevent Termites
To prevent termites, avoid using wood in the construction of your home and throughout your design.
If you prefer to use wood, take efforts to reduce the moisture levels in your home since most termites prefer humid conditions.
Fix any leaks and install a dehumidifier.
You should also keep firewood and all other wood at least 20 feet away from your house.
If the termites do reach your home, you should have a protective covering specifically designed to protect the wood from termites.
Of course, you will definitely succeed at preventing termites if you get regular pest control maintenance at your home to stop the problem before it begins.
3. Maintain A Healthy Home
While absolutely disgusting to look at, the larger reason to get pest control is to ensure you maintain a healthy home for yourself and your family.
Pests can create a wide range of health problems, including skin irritation, respiratory conditions, and diseases that you can prevent with pest control maintenance.
Some of the most hazardous pests:
- Bed Bugs
Generally speaking, mosquitoes are the most dangerous while bed bugs are the most annoying.
However, health hazards can come from just about any infestation thanks to the debris most critters leave behind.
Skin irritation, or dermatitis, can develop when someone comes into contact with droppings or the bugs themselves.
Most people experience a mild case of dermatitis, but the unsightly condition can still cause a significant annoyance.
Some pests even pack a bit of a bite themselves which can result in a sting or itchy bug bites.
Once again, the problem usually doesn’t result in anything serious unless you have an allergy.
If you get bed bugs, the skin irritation will not go away until the bed bugs do.
Unfortunately, this is not necessarily an easy task.
First, you will need to get rid of the mattress and clothing the bed bugs touched.
Then, professional services are definitely recommended before you buy a new bed.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) inside the home plays a large role in a person’s respiratory health.
When bugs leave waste in the home, particles get into the air you breathe.
Eventually, poor air quality can lead to asthma, allergies, or even more serious respiratory problems.
Many pests carry diseases with them since they feed off of less-than-desirable material.
Ticks carry Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that makes the body feel extremely sore.
In most cases, the disease can be cured.
Mosquitoes carry numerous diseases, including the Zika Virus and West Nile virus.
These diseases originated in Africa, showing just how far a mosquito can carry an illness.
The common housefly can carry typhoid fever, E. coli, and cholera.
All of these diseases affect the gastrointestinal tract and can sometimes become fatal.
4. Professional Training And Tools
The truth of the matter is that many DIY pest control methods aren’t exceptionally effective.
Professional pest control technicians have the training and professional tools to get the infestation under control the first time.
Not only will the pest control tech be able to diagnose the problem accurately, but they will also know the best way to treat it.
They know where pests hide and what behavior to expect.
Even with hours of internet research, you may not quite know what the problem is or how to resolve it, at least not as well as someone who does the job for a living.
One of the most common pest control methods incorporates harsh chemicals in a commercial sprayer.
While very effective, the chemical sprayers can sometimes cause even more damage than they do good.
Some chemicals can cause poisoning or serious respiratory problems when breathed in.
Furthermore, the chemicals can damage the air quality in the home, even after the professionals have cleaned it out.
The chemicals may even damage certain aspects of your home such as your plumbing or your carpet.
More and more pest control companies use natural solutions to promote better health practices and an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Most natural cleaners use enzymes and other natural materials to get the job done.
However, organic options may not work as quickly and may not produce the best results.
Some pests benefit from removal via a cruelty-free trap, such as a raccoon or rat in a particular portion of your home.
Most cages now aim to capture the creature so that you can release it back into the wild.
Just be sure to release it far away from your home.
If you prefer a more standard mousetrap option, your pest control company may provide that for you as well.
In many cases, it’s not enough to get rid of pests, but you also need to keep them away.
Talk to your pest control technician about how they plan to help you prevent the problem from coming back.
In most cases, using an appropriate repellant is already part of the routine.
Similar to chemical sprayers, you can find both chemical-based and organic repellants.
In some cases, the repellant and chemical sprayer come together.
Be careful not to purchase a repellent that doesn’t apply to your needs, as some may be made for outdoor use only.
You can do your part by using known natural repellants from items you may have in your kitchen.
Some items are known for acting as repellants:
- Basil Leaf
These items won’t keep all pests away, but they can contribute to your whole-home pest control strategy in conjunction with additional methods.
5. Peace Of Mind
When you hire professional services, you will likely feel far more confident about the results than if you did the work yourself.
You’ll sleep easier without fear that you may see or hear your unwanted critters return.
How can you possibly know that the job was done, though, especially if you have a recurring problem?
Most reputable pest control companies offer a satisfaction guarantee on the work.
If the problem does return, they will come back to fix it for you within the agreed-upon amount of time.
Always verify the company’s policy concerning the problem returning before starting the work.
Not that you should have to worry about it if you pick the right pest control company.
How Do I Pick The Right Pest Control Service?
You can find a quality pest control service by reading reviews and asking the right questions before coming to an agreement.
Almost every company has a website and social media account these days.
You can research the pest control service to learn about the experience other people had with the company.
Ideally, you want to focus on companies that have a large number of reviews so that you can get the best picture.
When you schedule an appointment with a sales rep, you should ask your questions right then and there so that there are no surprises after you have already purchased the service.
Try asking some of these questions if they apply in your case:
- Are you licensed and insured?
- How does your company suggest we handle the pets?
- Do I need to be home?
- Will I need to leave my home while you work?
- What happens if I’m not happy with the results?
- Do you offer a maintenance program?
- What is the cost of your services?
- What are the most common unexpected changes that occur?
- How do I prepare for the service?
- Do you have natural options?
Only move forward if you feel comfortable with the rep’s answers to your questions and the way they treated you as a new customer.
Pest Control Cost
The national average cost for a pest control visit is $300 to $550.
If you get quarterly visits, you can expect to pay $1,200 to $2,200 annually.
If you need to fumigate your whole home, it can run anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000 based on the size of your house ($1 to $4 per square foot).
Certain pests require more effort and resources than others, so the cost also depends on the type of infestation you have.
See the average cost for one visit for each of the most popular pests:
- Bees: $95–$200
- Cockroaches: $120–$160
- Mosquitos:– $100–$500
- Spiders: $145–$200
- Termites: $1,000–$3,000+
- Ticks: $100–$1,300
What Are The Costs Associated With Running A Pest Control Company?
Some generous estimates state that someone can start a small pest control business with only $10,000.
However, a strong start can make the difference between failure and success, so it’s important to set things up properly.
Potential startup expenses include:
- License and insurance
- Work vehicles
- Office supplies
- Protective equipment
- Operations software
Monthly expenses follow immediately behind the startup investment, including employee salaries, gas, internet, and other subscription services.
All of these expenses help determine how much a pest control company must charge for services to break even.
Pest control service can get rather pricey.
However, it’s always worth the cost when you know that your home won’t run into an unsightly infestation that can lead to health hazards.
Natural pesticides and homemade repellants can help, but they can only do so much.
If you have unwanted tenants in your home already, professional services will remove the problem effectively while also taking measures to prevent them from coming back.