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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The increase in bed bug infestations in the U.S. is a result of increased travel, lack of knowledge about preventing infestations, increased resistance of bed bugs to pesticides, and ineffective pest control practices, explains the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It’s easy to mistake bed bugs for carpet beetles or similar-looking bugs, so infestations are often not noticed when they first occur. Prevention tips include keeping areas free of clutter, regularly washing sheets and mattress covers in hot water (and don’t forget to wash the laundry bag, too), and vacuuming regularly and safely disposing of the sealed vacuum bag. Not everyone has reactions to bed bug bites, which also may be mistaken for the bites of other pests such as mosquitoes, so timely bed bug extermination depends on identification of bed bug activity. If you notice physical signs of an infestation, contact a bed bug extermination professional as soon as possible to learn about chemical and non-chemical (such as heat) treatment options. An integrated pest management plan may incorporate one or more methods.
Whether you need to get rid of bugs or rodents, pest removal professionals can be lifesaving when you have an infestation. Pest control prices will vary based on what type of pest is being removed. The national pest control price range is $80-$130, although prices can be much higher for tasks like wildlife removal (raccoons, bobcats, etc.), which might start at $250 and exceed $500, depending on the animal and the trapping measures required.
The cost of eliminating a termite colony ranges on average from $240 to $400, but these costs can increase greatly if the whole house is infested. The average cost to kill cockroaches is between $80 and $130, while bedbug extermination ranges from $320 to $400 on average. The main factors that will affect your pest control price are the type of pest, the extent of the infestation, the accessibility of the infested areas, and the type of treatment required.
Exterminators and pest control services are often worth the money if you have a serious infestation or you don’t know how to identify the source of the problem.
Often, a professional is better skilled at identifying the source of the infestation and taking measures to prevent future infestations. This may include severe infestations of ants, termites, cockroaches, rodents and other pests that pose a threat to your health and the structural integrity of your home.
However, pest control services may not be worth the money if it’s a problem you can take care of yourself, like cleaning the house to stop attracting flies or ants, or sealing exterior openings to keep mice out.
If you’re unsure if you need to hire a professional or if you can combat the problem on your own, talk to some of the best exterminators near you. They can help you determine if you need professional help.
Bed bugs can happen to anybody and there typically more than 200,000 cases in the U.S. per year. They are sneaky little pests that hitchhike into your home in a variety of ways. Getting a bed bug infestation is not a reflection on how clean a home is; bed bugs can infiltrate the cleanest of places — although their presence is easier to detect and eliminate in clutter-free spaces. Here are some tips from the EPA to prevent bed bugs from entering and taking up residence in your home:
- Carefully inspect secondhand furniture, beds, or couches for any signs of bed bug infestation before bringing them home.
- Use a protective cover (encasement) over mattresses and box springs to prevent bed bugs from hiding in them. Select an encasement in a light color to make bed bug spotting easier. Also choose one of a strong material that won’t tear, and check it often for holes.
- Keep your home clutter-free to eliminate bed bug hiding spots.
- Vacuum your home regularly and dispose of sealed vacuum bags carefully.
- Shared laundry facilities can lead to bed bug exposure in both directions. Transport laundry in plastic bags (if you have an active infestation, use a new bag for the journey home). Remove laundry from the dryer directly into the bag and fold it at home. Use high heat to kill any potential bed bugs.
- The EPA suggests that if you live in a multi-family home, isolate your unit by:
- Installing door sweeps on the bottom of doors to discourage movement into hallways.
- Sealing cracks and crevices around baseboards, light sockets, etc., to discourage movement through wall voids.