Pest Control Services

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Is it safe to use an exterminator spray?

Exterminator sprays and pesticides are generally toxic, and toxicity levels can vary by product. Therefore, it’s best to speak with the best pest control specialists near you to determine the safest way to get rid of your pest problem and reduce the risk of exposure. If a pesticide is needed, it’s likely safer to let the pro spray your home. 

Keep these tips in mind if exterminator spray will be used in your home: 

  • Exterminator spray is not safe to swallow, inhale or touch. 
  • Leave the house when the spray is being applied indoors.
  • Ventilate your home by opening windows and doors upon return. 
  • Keep pets and pet supplies away from the chemicals.

Is monthly pest control necessary?

Monthly pest control service is only necessary for certain situations. For example, severe ant or cockroach infestations may require monthly pest control in order to destroy the infestations at the source. 

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 do you check for bed bugs?

If you are concerned you have a bed bug infestation, look for physical signs of their presence. Bed bugs love to hide in small, dark spaces and typically come out to feed (generally on human blood) after dark — although they will come out in daylight if hungry enough. The Environmental Protection Agency states that indications of an infestation can include seeing shed exoskeletons of bed bugs, rusty spots on your bedding (which are either bug droppings or bloodstains), live bed bugs, bed bug egg casings, a sweet and musty odor (if the infestation is severe), and evidence of bites on your skin.

To spot bed bugs, look in and along mattress seams and bedding, in curtain and furniture folds, inside cracks or crevices in the walls, behind picture frames and mirrors, under loose wallpaper seams, on recently used luggage or backpacks, inside electronics, and inside clothing or cluttered areas such as closets. If you see signs of bed bugs, be careful not to disturb them too much as you don’t want them scattering to other parts of your house.

How long does a bed bug treatment last?

Bed bug extermination can last forever as long as the treatment killed all the bed bugs (and their eggs) and if new bed bugs are not transported into the location. Factors that can affect the outcome are how severe the infestation is and whether all bed bug sources were properly identified and treated. When working with a pest control professional, the EPA recommends you check and call references; ask if they offer both chemical and non-chemical treatment options, if they recommend both encasements and interceptors, and if they offer two or more service visits and follow-up. Bed bugs are tiny (adults are roughly the size of an apple seed) and can hide anywhere a credit card can slide into. They squeeze into cracks in walls, behind electrical outlet sockets, in bedding, and in other dark places. Learn how to prepare your home for a bed bug treatment for the best outcomes. Michigan State University shares some examples of possible reasons that a bed bug extermination is not 100 percent effective:

  • Not all sources (aka hiding places) of the bed bugs were identified during initial inspection.
  • Not all sources of bed bugs were treated.
  • The insecticides used were not effective or, in the case of heat treatment, there was insufficient contact time.
  • Infested items such as bedding or other materials were reintroduced into a cleaned area.
Reviews for Ashburn pest exterminators
Jeremy D.
James is the Zen master of bed bug extermination, never met anyone more professional,honest and down to earth. Highly recommended
X-Out Pest ServicesX-Out Pest Services
Michael L.
Very professional and understanding of your situation, punctual and quick to do the job. Highly recommend if this is your first time using an exterminator service
X-Out Pest ServicesX-Out Pest Services
Esther V.
Exterminator showed up early explained what he was going to do went about his business and 3 days later no sign of bugs. Thank you!
Bulwark ExterminatingBulwark Exterminating
Tasha L.
X-out was very quick from the start! Once our exterminator arrived he was very informative and thorough. He explained everything and answered all of our questions. Thanks Josh!
X-Out Pest ServicesX-Out Pest Services
Kathy G.
Not only did he treat the termites but now he comes to exterminate on a quarterly basis. He also does pest control at my mothers. Always on time....polite and very nice!!
Southwest Termite & PestSouthwest Termite & Pest
Thumbtack Customer
We had an awesome experience. Tech was here early, last time I hired an exterminator I had to wait 2 hrs before he arrived. Would definitely recommend and plan to use him again. Thank you.
Southwest Termite & PestSouthwest Termite & Pest
Thumbtack Customer
Raul did a great job in getting rid of hornets and wasps that had taken up residence in my roof/attic. Very thorough and his work comes with a warranty. If you need an exterminator, this is definitely the one to call! I highly recommended him.
Southwest Termite & PestSouthwest Termite & Pest
Thumbtack Customer
Exterminator was very professional. Explained what he was going to do. Price was very, very reasonable. Did his job quick and efficient. I am definitely hiring him! He is a keeper! Will highly recommend his business to all my friends!!! ?
Southwest Termite & PestSouthwest Termite & Pest
Michael M.
Extremely good pricing! Excellent service! By far the very best bed bug exterminators I have ever used. They were very flexible and accommodating with the rather overbearing situation Air BnB put me in during the follow-up stages. Highest recommendation!
Tornado Pest Control And Pressure Washing LLCTornado Pest Control And Pressure Washing LLC
Paula J.
Jose, Richard and Ricky were great. On the initial phone call they were friendly and gave me a reasonable estimate. I had a mom and baby racoon that needed to be removed. They removed the baby and sealed the point of entry so the mom couldn't get back in. Jose walked around the house and showed me places to close to help for any future attic invaders. Tornado is awesome!! I've found my future exterminators
Tornado Pest Control And Pressure Washing LLCTornado Pest Control And Pressure Washing LLC
Thumbtack Customer
The customer service at Bulwark has been great since my first call. The house had some pretty stubborn roach and rodent issues but were quickly taken care of after the first two visits. From time to time a little critter shows up and that's my cue to give the guys at Bulwark a call. They quickly get help my way, and our exterminator, Jose has done an excellent job and is just a really cool guy. Keep up the great work!
Bulwark ExterminatingBulwark Exterminating
Marc B.
The service provided was better than we expected. The professionalism and personable nature of Mr. Esparza was refreshing...not to mention the fact that he stuck with his base price; which was very fair and in many cases far below his competitors. He explained the process well and even set a few extra traps around the property at no additional cost. We didn't catch anything in our Attic, but caught (x2) Raccoons and an Opossum using the outdoor cages. Mr. Esparza even takes them to areas better suited for them to thrive instead of killing them like most Exterminators. We would definitely recommend his services to anyone.
Southwest Termite & PestSouthwest Termite & Pest
Rey Q.
When I was first contacted by this company, they stated that they would call me. I waited over 4 hours and had to remind them to call me. They promised to send me an email with the services they would complete and they did not. I called again to request that email and it never came. I requested a text before they arrived and that did not happen. They told me it was going to take an hour to complete the exterminating and it look 20 minutes. I payed for the "intensive full home clean out" that was nothing more than just spraying. I called to talk to someone to pay and they hung up on me. I called again and they could not locate my account. I requested a call back at 1pm and received it close to 8pm.I spent longer trying to find my invoice with them then they spent in my home. I received a text an hr after they left to confirm appointment that already took place. They promised to remove wasp nests and they did not. When I spoke to a supervisor about it, they wanted me to rent a ladder and they could remove them. I will never use them again. I paid for there services but I would never recommend to anyone.
Bulwark ExterminatingBulwark Exterminating
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What you need to know about pest control services.

How much should pest control cost?

Depending on where you live and the exact services you need, extermination services and pest control costs an average of $60-$125. Several factors may affect the price you'll pay for bug control or pest control, including the size of the treated space, the number of visits required, the frequency of the visits and the type of pest you need to remove. 

In some areas of the country, it may be necessary to have your property treated seasonally for certain infestations. A pest control professional can help you determine how often you may need to have your home and yard treated to prevent recurring infestations. 

For an accurate estimate based on your situation and location, request price quotes from professional pest control services near you. 

What company is best for pest control?

The best company for your pest control needs will likely be a local company that specializes in solving your type of pest problem, such as infestations that involve rodents, ants, termites, bed bugs, cockroaches and other critters.

When hiring a pest control company, it's important to check their credentials first. Check to see if the service you’re considering has positive reviews, high ratings and the required licensing in your state. 

How much do pest exterminators cost?

Local exterminators and pest control services set their own prices, so it's crucial to get an estimate based on your situation. Much depends on whether the pest control companies you contact routinely solve similar problems for their clients. You may need a single visit, or it may be necessary to schedule multiple appointments to get the problem solved. It also depends on the type of treatment plan your pest problem requires.

What do exterminators do? 

Exterminators provide a variety of services to help homeowners and business owners eliminate pests that could carry disease or cause damage to their property. Bug control companies may specialize in eradicating termites, roaches, ants, wasps, mosquitoes or spiders using pesticides, traps and other forms of treatments. 

Some exterminators also handle rodent infestations. Mice, rats and other similar pests can do major damage to a home by chewing through wiring, destroying insulation and spreading disease through their droppings.

Is it worth getting an exterminator?

If you have a severe pest infestation problem, hiring an exterminator may be your best course of action — especially if the pests pose a risk to your home and health. For example, you don’t want to try treating a termite problem on your own or delay contacting a professional. Termite damage may be expensive or even impossible to repair, so if you think you have this type of problem, call a local pest control professional right away. 

Who is the best bug exterminator? 

When searching for pros, find out if the pest control services you’re considering are licensed and insured. Also, the best bug exterminator companies will have good customer ratings and reviews. 


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