Most homeowners occasionally see bugs or other pests in their home, but can take care of them with simple preventative and responsive measures on their own. For example, if you see a few ants in the kitchen, you can often get rid of them simply by cleaning the area thoroughly and placing a couple of traps.
But with more aggressive or problematic cases, it’s better to call a pest control professional. This can cost some extra money, but it will ensure the problem is taken care of responsibly and for good.
How can you gauge the severity of the problem you’re facing, and when should you make the call?
The Advantages of Working With a Professional
First, you should understand the importance of working with a professional, rather than attempting to handle the problem on your own.
- Correct diagnosis and evaluation. Sometimes, it seems like you have one type of pest, but you may actually be dealing with another. Other times, you may be severely underestimating the problem. A pest control professional will ensure you have the correct diagnosis and a full evaluation.
- Complete eradication. Pest control companies don’t stop until they’ve completely eradicated the problem. You won’t have to worry about your tactics not working, and you can rest assured the issue will be completely solved.
- Future prevention. Most pest control experts will also work to make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again, bringing you even more peace of mind.
- Responsible tactics. Some types of preventative measures, especially things like bug spray and poison, carry substances that can be harmful to people, pets, and even the environment. If you use these tools and ingredients recklessly, it could hurt someone or damage the ecosystem around you. It’s often better to hire a pro, so you can be sure they’re using the right tactics (and using them responsibly).
When to Make the Call
These are just some of the situations that should prompt you to call a professional for your pest problem:
- You’re in danger. First, if you or your family members are in any kind of danger, you should call a pro to help you out. There are many pests that pose an imminent threat to human beings, and they’re not easy to deal with. In some areas, you may have to deal with venomous scorpions or spiders, which can potentially kill a human with a sting or a bite. In other areas, you might have to deal with yellowjacket nests, which can result in very painful stings, or rats, which can carry infectious diseases. It’s not worth gambling your health; simply call a pro and take care of it.
- Your first line of defense isn’t working. You should also consider calling a professional if you’ve tried a first line of defense on your own and it isn’t working. For example, if you know there are mice in your house, but they don’t seem to be going for the traps you laid out, a professional may be your only realistic option. In many cases, a set of traps, a deep cleaning, and some habit changes are enough to get rid of the problem; but if these aren’t working, only a professional can take the next step.
- You’re dealing with destructive pests. Some pests, while annoying, are relatively innocuous. For example, houseflies buzzing around your living room may be irritating, but they’re not going to hurt you or cause any kind of major damage to your home. This isn’t the case with other pests. For example, if you have a bedbug problem, it could spread to your entire house and result in major long-term damage to your bed (and other possessions). If you’re dealing with termites, the structure of your home could be in jeopardy. If you’re dealing with especially destructive or costly pests, it’s better to call a professional and get it taken care of.
- You’re not comfortable. If you’re not comfortable with the situation for any reason, don’t hesitate to call a professional. You may be squeamish about dealing with pests directly, or you may be concerned about your family’s safety. You may also just feel more comfortable letting a professional handle the situation, rather than trusting your own judgment. These are all valid reasons to call a pest control pro to your home.
Hiring a pest control professional is more expensive than taking care of the problem with simple measures on your own, but it’s still not very costly—especially when compared to the potential damage you could suffer from letting the pest problem go unchecked. If you’re concerned about the pests in your home and you’re not confident in your own ability to control the situation, reach out to someone who knows what they’re doing.