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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

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.

How do you get rid of fleas?

You can get rid of fleas in your home by hiring an exterminator near you. This may involve treating your pet first, and you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian about the best flea control product for your animal.

Depending on the severity of the infestation, you might be able to do some damage control yourself. For example, experts recommend washing all bedding (including your pet’s) and vacuuming your cushion, furniture, rugs, carpets and floors thoroughly. 

Do roaches come back after extermination?

Cockroaches may return to your home after they’ve been exterminated from a structure — but this depends on your situation.

For example, if you live in a shared housing unit and your neighbors have a cockroach problem, your unit may be susceptible to the pests as well. Or, if you have unsealed cracks and holes in your walls, cockroaches may enter that way.

To get rid of roaches for good, contact a roach exterminator near you to perform regular preventative treatments

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.

How much does it cost to treat a house for termites?

Termites are not only creepy-crawly, they can literally eat your house out from underneath you. Termites feed on damp and dry wood and can chomp through your house at an alarming rate. The national average pest control cost for termite extermination is $240-$400. Treatment costs can be higher for an extensive infestation. Here are some examples of average pest control costs for termites:

  • Liquid treatment of subterranean termites: $3-$4 per linear foot.
    • For $75 per year, a company may offer a maintenance plan that provides inspection of the property and renewal of the warranty.
  • Liquid treatment of subterranean termites: approximately $400 for a 2,000-square-foot home at $3-$5 per linear foot.
    • The price is higher for additional work such as foaming and drilling inside of concrete slabs.
  • Fumigation treatment of drywood termites: $1,200-$1,500 for a 30,000- to 35,000-cubic-foot home
    • Fumigation is measured in cubic feet because it fills the airspace of the home and infiltrates the wood that the termites may be colonizing. The cost of fumigation is affected by the number of levels in the home as well as the square footage.

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. 

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 much does it cost for a pest control service?

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.

There are 16 five star Raccoon Removal Professionals in Ashburn, Virginia on Thumbtack.

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