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Finding good pest control services shouldn’t cost homeowners an arm and a leg. Here’s a complete guide to getting connected with a trusted pro in your area.
According to the Smithsonian Institute, there are over 91,000 described species of insects in the United States alone. Adding insult to injury is the 73,000 undescribed species.
Are all these creepy crawlies creeping you out? If you have a pest control problem, you’re not alone. Surveys show that 84 percent of Americans have had a pest control problem in the last year.
You don’t have to go it alone either. In fact, there are over 28,000 pest control businesses currently operating in the United States. The problem, it would seem, is finding a good pest control service. We’ll answer that here.
What Types of Services Do Pest Control Companies Offer?
This is an important question to ask before entering into a contract with a pest control service. If your problem is termites and your provider doesn’t cover them, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, most pest control companies cover the usual suspects.
It doesn’t matter where you live. With over 10,000 species of ants in the world, ants are a common problem we all face. Your pest control company will identify the species and treat them with bait that will be carried back to the colony and eliminate the problem.
A far more common problem than you might think, and they don’t stay only in your bed. Treating bedbugs is far more difficult. It involves taking apart everything in the affected room, including wall plates, electronics, and furniture.
Termites are a big problem once they’ve infested your home. Prevention systems are generally managed through perimeter control measures.
Fortunately, these pests don’t usually nest inside homes, rather you’ll find them in the bushes or up in the eaves around your house. Aerosol sprays kill on contact. There have been cases where bees have nested inside walls of homes. Ripping out walls can get messy and expensive.
Cute when they’re in a cage, but when they are chewing through your pantry, not so much. No one has built a better mousetrap, so if you don’t want to dispose of dead mice there are baits that can be used. The mice eat the bait and then get thirsty. They leave the house to get a drink and die. Hopefully. Sometimes they don’t make it out.
These aren’t usually an indoor problem, unless you’ve got a dirt basement and water accumulating. Treatments are usually done with a spray of the affected area. Keep in mind that if you live near a body of water mosquitos are going to be an issue. You might want to contact city or town officials to alert them to the problem if the water isn’t on your property. Mosquitos present a health hazard to us all, and most communities are pro-active in controlling them.
The dreaded cockroach, rumored to be able to survive nuclear fallout radiation. So how do you kill them? Poison of course. Your pest control company will have chemicals they spray around the house both inside and out.
If you have pets, you’re going to eventually find fleas in your home. Keeping your pets bathed and on a flea prevention program is the most important deterrent. Once they become a problem it usually takes fumigation to get rid of these tiny creatures.
The best pest control companies treat things like millipedes, centipedes, earwigs, roaches, ants, rats, mice, silverfish, spiders, and even scorpions. If you are under contract they will come out free of charge for most pests. If you don’t have a contract these services can cost anywhere from $100 to over $200 depending on the severity of the infestation.
Even if you do have a contract, some creepy crawlies aren’t covered. You might have to pay additional fees to get your company to remove the problem.
How Much Does Home Pest Control Service Cost?
Home pest control services have two types of pricing structures. The ideal choice for them is a service contract billed monthly. Pricing starts at around $60 per month for small homes and goes up from there depending on the size and services provided.
Rodent and Pest Service Contracts
Every company will come out for one initial visit, talk with you about past issues, problem areas, and other concerns like pets and children. Having a contract also gives you the ability to call them out whenever a situation arises, usually for no charge at all.
During this initial visit, they will do a comprehensive treatment inside and out. For the inside, they will treat perimeter walls, baseboards, under sinks, in bathrooms, crawl spaces, and pretty much anywhere bugs might breed or go.
They will treat these primarily with a chemical spray. This spray is safe for pets and children once dry, which takes about an hour. If you have children or pets they will avoid those areas with the spray if you’d prefer. The best pest control services will have alternative treatment options for these scenarios.
For specific pests like ants, they will locate the problem area and treat these with something like a liquid gel as bait. No matter the style of bait, the idea is the ants eat the bait and return to the colony and infect the entire group, killing them.
Pest control companies will set bait traps in specific areas based on what you tell them. For instance, silverfish traps usually are hidden under sinks and in cabinets.
For the outside, they will spray the foundation of your house, and across every threshold, garage door, root cellar, or any place the bugs could possibly enter the house. This is a typical barrier-defense style most companies use.
Termite treatments are done twice a year and the chemical is inserted into tubes sunk in the ground at intervals around the outside of your home. The idea is to attract the termites to this bait instead of your house.
If mice, rats, or other rodents are an issue they will set bait stations in inconspicuous areas around the house, but usually close to where they might enter or find food and water.
The second pricing structure is menu-driven. You have no contract, but you have a problem so they charge you for addressing the specific problem. There are no other treatments involved.
Pricing for these services can be costly, ranging from $100 up to several hundred or more. Without a contract you have a lower priority too, meaning you might not get immediate attention. Having to wait days or weeks for someone to come out to help you with ants or roaches can be frustrating.
With a contract, most pest control services will come out free of charge immediately if you call them with an issue. The cost of single treatments can add up quickly, and many homeowners prefer the monthly service fee over the unexpected $200 bill, especially if you have multiple pest issues.
Is Pest Control Worth the Money?
The overriding answer here is yes. Getting rid of pests is always worth the money, otherwise, you’d call them pets or houseguests.
But in reality, as always, this type of question is relative to two things. First, do you have money in your budget to afford the service? Or second, is the problem something you feel comfortable handling on your own?
For the first question, having the money budgeted for this will give you and your family peace of mind that if anything happens your pest control company is a phone call away. This is even easier to answer in the affirmative if your schedule is crowded, or you travel a lot.
Your spouse may not be comfortable handling pests on their own, so having a company on retainer to come and handle insect uprisings makes everyone feel better.
If you feel comfortable handling pest control yourself, more power to you. However, you should know that for those do-it-yourself guys, two-thirds are unable to resolve the problem.
Another issue is purchasing baits and sprays and traps can be expensive. You also need a place to store these items, many of which are chemical in nature and dangerous to people and pets.
Who Are the Best Pest Control Companies?
As stated earlier there are over 28,000 companies providing pest control services. Finding the best might seem overwhelming, but there are some tried and true companies to choose from. Here’s a look at five of the top companies.
With over 100 years of experience dating back to its inception in 1904, Orkin has been known as one of the best pest control services in the world. They are one of the largest as well, with over 8,000 employees and 400 locations globally.
They offer standard pest control services, as well as, a variety of whole home solutions like moisture control, attic insulation, and lawn treatments.
Another giant in the industry is Terminex. They have been in business since 1926 when E.L. Bruce, owner of a hardwood flooring company in search of a termite solution, created the first termiticide. The company’s name is derived from its ability to “Nix” the termite problem.
Much like Orkin, they provide normal pest control services along with home solutions for attics, yards, and crawl spaces.
In the 1920s, pest control services were limited, but the products used to control pests were well known. Julius Erlich sold these products, and when a customer expressed a desire to have him apply them, Erlich the company was born. Now, Erlich is one of the leading pest control services on the eastern seaboard.
In addition to their standard services, they also offer bird management, vegetation control, and bioremediation products.
4. Truly Nolen
Founded in Miami in 1938, Truly Nolen is still a family-owned and operated pest control company today. Their approach to pest control stems from founder Truly Wheatfield Nolen’s son who graduated from the University of Florida with an Entomology degree.
They continue to lead the industry in the research and development of innovative and eco-friendly pest control services, and their service area crosses the country.
5. Arrow Exterminators
While they don’t boast the service history of the top four on this list, they have been around since 1964. The company began with termite control on new construction in Atlanta and broadened its services to cover all pests.
They have since grown to be the 6th largest pest control company in the nation. Family-owned and operated, they continue to grow with the goal of becoming the largest privately-held pest control company in the country.
Who Is Better, Orkin, or Terminex?
Both companies have long and storied histories, from humble beginnings to industry giants. Orkin’s service protection plan is comprehensive, covering all the common pests you’ll find in your home, plus the knowledge-base of unique pests that might crop up at any time.
Orkin’s six-step approach starts with their initial investigation, both inside and outside your home. Step two is the treatment of the outside of your home to set up a barrier of protection.
Step three is unique. Orkin will do whatever they can, including sealing, caulking, and plugging any gaps that might give pests access to your home.
Step four is a combination of inside treatments and installing pest monitoring stations in likely areas of your home. Step five is a comprehensive report of their findings complete with recommendations.
Step six is the follow-up, done in scheduled visits throughout the year, and by following up with you between these visits to ensure their program is working. Orkin will come out between service calls free of charge should you ever have an issue.
Terminix uses a seasonal approach to its standard service, coming out four times per year. As the weather changes, so too do your pests, and they address these seasonal changes with appropriate treatments.
They too set up barrier protection on the outside, treat the inside, and provide detailed reporting and recommendations. Whenever you have a pest problem between scheduled service calls they too will come out free of charge.
How Much Does Orkin Cost?
Exact pricing depends upon the size of your home and the treatment services you select. Basic pest control will start around $60 per month for smaller homes and move up from there. Additional services are menu priced and range from $100 up to $300 or more depending on the size and type of infestation.
How Much Does Terminix Cost?
The same holds true for Terminix when it comes to exact pricing. They too are competitive with the industry with initial plans starting at around $60 per month. They offer additional services as well, and their expertise with termites gives them an edge over much of the competition. Bundling termite and pest control will save you money.
Finding a Local Pest Control Service
If you’re looking for a good pest control service in your area you should contact us today. We can provide you a detailed list of services, pricing information, and answer any questions you might have.
Find a Pest Control Service Near You. We work with pest control companies all over the US and in your area so you can get free quotes from top providers.
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