What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with an exterminator during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Ask exterminators in your area if they would be willing to offer a consultation over a phone call or video chat. You can then ask them any questions you have about the upcoming appointment. Make sure to ask what precautions they are taking to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic and whether they are observing social distancing guidelines. You may ask them if it's possible to conduct the appointment virtually or without person-to-person contact.
How can I find out if an exterminator is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?
Essential service providers during the COVID-19 crisis are defined by individual states, cities and localities. For the most accurate information, visit your official state or city government website to see what is considered an essential service.
CISA is the government agency that defines critical workers on a national level, so you can check its website for more information. However, note that not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
Can I use digital payments to pay for pest control services?
You may be able to use digital payments such as Venmo, Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash or Zelle to pay for extermination services. Many businesses accept methods of payment besides cash and credit cards. Check with pest control services in your area to see if they have changed their payment methods as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are there ways to be safe if I hire an exterminator when social distancing?
If you need pest extermination services inside your home, talk to the exterminator first to be sure that you both feel comfortable completing the project. Also, follow the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing. You can also arrange with the exterminator to take extra steps to stay safe, such as waving instead of shaking hands, staying at least 6 feet apart, using digital payments and sanitizing any common spaces before and after the project is complete.
Do exterminators offer remote or virtual services?
Typically, extermination takes place at your home or place of business, but you can ask if the business is offering special accommodations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you come across a profile that states the exterminator is offering remote services, ask what those services include. But if the job has to be done in person, be sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines on social distancing or see if you can postpone your appointment.
Does an exterminator need to enter my home?
If you have an outdoor pest infestation, it’s unlikely an exterminator will need to enter your home. But if your pest infestation is inside your home, the exterminator will likely need to enter your home. Check with the exterminator beforehand to explain the extent of the problem, the layout of your house and see if they can complete the job outdoors. You can also ask the exterminator to video chat or set up a phone call to exchange as much information as possible before you begin the project.
What are the signs of pests in your home?
Signs of pest infestations vary by the type of pest. Here are a few signs to watch out for when it comes to some of the most common pests:
- Ants: Stray ants walking around or large numbers congregating, wood shavings, ants emerging from hidden crevices, ant nests
- Rats or mice: Droppings, chewed objects and wires, scampering noises, holes in walls and floors
- Cockroaches: Cylindrical droppings, brown smear marks, live cockroaches
- Fleas: Small and dark spots on your pet’s skin, your pet starts scratching excessively, pepper-like “flea dirt” in bedding, carpet or furniture
- Bed bugs: Droppings in the seams of your mattress, rusty/reddish stains on bed sheets, bites on your skin
- Termites: Mud tubes, wood-scented droppings, small holes in walls, peeling or bubbling paint, wood damage
- Bees or wasps: Excessive number of bees and wasps, dark patches on the walls or ceilings, and papery nests or hives under roof eaves, behind shutters, on balconies or in garden sheds
If you notice any of these signs in your house, contact the best exterminators near you.
How often should pest control be done?
This depends on several factors, including:
- The type of pest
- The severity of the invasion
- Your home’s characteristics
- The quality of the pest control company’s work
In some cases, you might require pest control services three to four times a year. Or, you might need services monthly or every few months.
Talk to the best exterminators near you to get an idea of what type of service you need — and how many times you’ll need follow-up treatments.
How much does it cost to get rid of cockroaches?
Cockroaches are not only ugly, they are difficult to get rid of. Quick and resilient, they can be hard to get rid of without professional help once they have inhabited a house. Nationally, the average range for cockroach pest control cost is $80-$130. Extermination professionals typically provide a free estimate to determine the extent of the infestation. They’ll check for the main sources of the bugs, identify bug access and entry points into your home, and determine the best method for elimination. There are a variety of cockroach extermination tools including gel baits and traps, pesticide foggers, desiccants (which dry out the cockroaches), neurotoxins, and other pesticides. Pest control costs can also cover preventive measures like regular spraying and trap maintenance. Some regions of the country are much more prone to cockroach problems than others, so pest control costs may need to be part of your quarterly budget. Cockroaches love dark, humid, and warm areas and water sources, so place traps near your washer and dryer and under your sinks.
Do I need to leave the house for pest control?
It depends on the type of pest control service you require. Your exterminator can often tell you beforehand which products they’ll be using and where they’ll be applying it.
If the pest control company will be applying toxic chemicals, limit your exposure, according to the National Pesticide Information Center. For example, consider leaving your house during application and ventilate your home thoroughly when you return. And always keep your pets and their supplies away from the applied pesticides.
Talk to pest control companies near you for advice on what you should do while they’re treating your home for pests.