The best way to get rid of termites is to act fast. Termites are a problem that will only get worse — and no matter how much you want them to, they usually don’t magically move out on their own. There are three main types of termites: drywood, dampwood and subterranean. Drywood and dampwood termites sneak through cracks in your exterior paint, nail holes, and gaps near windows and other openings and begin to eat through your wood. Subterranean termites enter your house from the ground up by creating mud tunnels. In all cases, they survive by eating the wood of your house. The type of termites you have can steer the treatment plan.
Methods of termite extermination include fumigation, use of pesticides, and use of natural elements that are poisonous to the bugs. The extent of your termite infestation will help determine the treatment method. If you have drywood or dampwood termites that have infiltrated all aspects of the wood in your home, the pest control pro may recommend enclosing the whole house in a tent and gassing the termites via fumigation. If you have subterranean termites, often the entire footprint of the home must be treated by drilling liquid treatments into the slab or foundation of the home to exterminate the colonies. In any case, once you see signs of termites, it’s time to take action and call a pest pro.
Pest control companies handle all aspects of bug, rodent and animal extermination or removal. Pest control professionals visit your home or office to identify the type of pest that is troubling you and offer various treatment plans — complete with clearly outlined costs. Once you and the pest control company have a signed agreement, the pro will begin treatment. Pest treatment can range from the use of spray pesticides and gel bait to live and/or kill traps. There are a wide range of types of pesticides, many of them nontoxic for humans and other small animals. This means you may be able to have your home treated for pests without harming nearby wildlife or your dog and cat. The pest control pro will carry out the treatment plan and, depending on the service agreement, provide follow-up such as emptying traps, inspecting access points, or reapplying pesticide spray if the pests return. Costs will vary based on the type of pest you are having removed and the extent of the infestation.The average national pest control price range is $80-$130. From a minor bedbug event to an entire home termite infestation, pest control companies have got you covered.
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.
Bed bugs are visible to the naked eye, but depending on where they are in their life cycle they can be hard to see. Adult bed bugs are the easiest to spot. According to the EPA, they are roughly the size of an apple seed and the height of a credit card. Adults are flat and oval-shaped, have six legs, and are rusty red in color. Bed bug larvae, also referred to as nymphs, are white-yellow or translucent in color and are much harder to spot due to their small size. The nymphs go through five stages of life, shedding an exoskeleton at each stage. Throughout these stages the nymphs grow in size from approximately 1.5 millimeters to approximately 4.5 millimeters. Bed bug eggs can be the most challenging to see as they are roughly 1 millimeter — about the size of a pinhead — and are white or clear. Bed bugs tend to be more active at night, as this is when they feed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bed bugs can travel into your home via luggage, secondhand furniture or clothing, and other items that have been exposed to the little pests. Bed bugs are tiny and flat (about the size of an apple seed and the height of a credit card), so they can easily hide in dark, small places and hitchhike into your home. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people don’t even know they’re transporting bed bugs as they travel from location to location, infecting areas as they travel. The sooner you notice a bed bug infestation in your home, the easier it is to get rid of it. The EPA suggests an integrated pest management plan to get rid of bed bug problems. This means a multi-pronged approach that takes the bug’s life cycle into account, uses chemical treatment where needed, and takes all necessary measures (use of encasements, high heat washing and drying of bedding, etc.) to stop current and future life cycles. Unless you feel confident about controlling a bed bug infestation, it can be wise to hire a pest management professional to prevent the problem from getting bigger.