Your pest infestation has grown beyond control, and now you have decided that it is time to hire a professional exterminator to perform services in your home. However, maybe you have never hired a professional pest control technician before, and you have a lot of questions about the process. Or perhaps you have had an exterminator in your home before, but you’d like to make sure that you are covering all of the right bases. I’m here to tell you that accommodating a pro pest control technician doesn’t have to be complicated!
So, what do you do before and after pro pest control? Follow all instructions that a professional exterminator gives you. Ask as many questions as you can before and after the exterminator’s visit. Keep all humans and pets safe; move your pets out for a short period if possible. Throw out any food that was laying out when chemicals were sprayed. Don’t clean right away following extermination.
Let’s talk all about what you can do both before and after professional pest control comes to your home. I feel like these are tips that everyone should know if they are thinking about hiring the services of an exterminator. I have even taken the liberty of including a simple, yet comprehensive, checklist for you to follow.
Why Do We Need Pest Control and Pro Pest Control Services?
In this day and age, there are many methods to practice do-it-yourself pest control in your home. Some people may choose to do at-home pest extermination because they enjoy taking care of their own home. And others may choose this path in order to save money on extermination costs. While many people decide to buy products to handle pest extermination by themselves, there may be times when it is simply not effective to do so.
Severe infestations – some pests are more difficult to get rid of than others.
Most commonly, people will hire a professional exterminator to get rid of severe infestations of pests such as bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, or other insects. Some pests are more difficult to get rid of than others.
For example, bed bugs are very tiny, can hide anywhere, and they replicate very quickly. Severe bed bugs infestations often require the need for a skilled exterminator. And while cockroaches can spread disease, they can also lead to your home being condemned.
Hire a professional pest control service when your small infestation turns into a big one
One of the biggest reasons you should consider hiring a professional pest control service is when your small infestation turns into a big one. Large pest control infestations may become overwhelming or even impossible to deal with by yourself. Don’t take it as a failure, since pests have overcome many of the best of us before.
Pests can be a hazard to your health
Pests can be a hazard to your health and to your home. Even if it may cost more to hire professional services, you may end up saving a significant amount of money in the long run.
This is especially true if you catch pests before they cause any severe damage, or before they grow to larger numbers.
How do I choose a Pest Control Company?
Before officially hiring the pro pest control technician, make sure to research the company and the services they offer. Also, if you hire an exterminator, make sure that they have all of the right qualifications. Furthermore, when you are hiring pro pest control services, make sure to ask about the following things:
Make sure you are choosing someone who is knowledgeable
Make sure you are choosing someone who is knowledgeable about and experienced with the specific pests you are fighting. You don’t want to hire someone to get rid of bed bugs if they are only experienced with cockroaches!
Talk to the exterminator about the pests you are dealing with, and ask them what experience they have with that specific kind of pest.
Some exterminators and pest control technicians must have specific certifications in some areas. Make sure whoever you are hiring has the required training that they must have by law.
Pest Control Company Should Be Insured
Any company you hire to work in your home should be insured and bonded. This is for the safety of both the exterminator and for the sake of your home.
Ask for the Safety Sheets
Ask to have the safety and information sheets about any pesticide products the exterminator plans to use in your home.
Ask for a clear explanation about the terms
Ask for a clear explanation of what the price will be, and if it is for a one-time treatment or monthly treatments.
Ask about the products they use
In most cases, severe infestations may require the use of fast-acting synthetic pesticides. But if you are insistent that you only want natural pesticides used, ask around to find an exterminator that uses natural products.
Ask your exterminator about what kind of pesticides they use, and if you can have the information on each chemical that they are spraying in your home. Be mindful of if your exterminator uses any chemicals that your or family members might be allergic to.
Make sure that they are reputable
When you choose an exterminator, you need to make sure that they are reputable. If possible, talk to past customers to get an idea of how the process goes with that particular company. Some websites even provide reviews so you can read all about the pros and cons of a specific company or specific exterminator.
Let them have a look at your home beforehand
And before you officially hire someone, you should consider having them out to your home to take a look and give you a price estimate first. However, this may be difficult to do if your situation is an emergency.
What to Expect From a Professional PestControl Service?
A professional pest control service exists with the sole purpose of getting rid of your pest infestation. They are trained in-depth on proper pest control procedures. Professional pest control services may come out for a one-time extermination treatment, or you may hire them to come out on a monthly basis.
They prefer an essential service since you can face many downsides from having pests in your home. In fact, a severe pest infestation could lead to serious health problems, or even having your home condemned.
Your pro pest control technician should be professional in every way, should thoroughly explain everything to you, and should take the time to answer all of your questions. In addition to inspecting your home, a good exterminator should also inspect your yard for signs of pest infestation. They should give you a report of their findings so that you understand the services you are hiring them for. This should include an estimate of the prices they are charging you for extermination services.
How do I prepare for a pest control visit?
You may not know what you need to do in preparation for your extermination visit. After all, you want to make sure that everything goes as well as possible in order to get rid of all of the bugs in your home.
Here is a handy list of things to do before professional pest control services:
Ask for a list of instructions you need to do before a pest control visit
Most exterminators will give you a list of things you need to do in order for them to come out and perform successful services. However, you should ask for a list of instructions if your exterminator does not give you one first.
Follow the list as closely as you can, as this will make sure that your upcoming extermination goes well.
Ask if the pesticides used are safe
If anyone in your family has allergies, asthma, or any other health conditions, ask if the pesticides used are safe for that specific health ailment.
Ask as many questions as you can
Ask as many questions as you can when you are going through the process of having a pro pest control technician come in your home. This is the most important part of preparing for an exterminator to come into your home! You have to be very well-informed about the process so you can prepare accordingly.
Make sure that your home is as neat and clean
Make sure that your home is as neat and clean as possible before your professional pest control technician shows up. This will make sure that the bugs will be attracted to any baits that your exterminator sets out, and it will make the baits more effective.
Put away all baby or children things
If you have a baby or a child, put away all of their things so that they are not tainted by pesticides. After all, the pesticides your exterminator is using may not be safe for exposure to children.
Have someone else take your plants
If possible, have someone else take your plants, since pesticides may kill them. Some plants can be covered during the extermination process, but covering may also cause some plants to wilt or die from this, too.
Take everything out of your bathroom
When pesticides are applied to the bathroom area, you should consider taking everything out of your bathroom.
Do not have any pets in your home during the extermination
Pesticides may be extremely harmful to a variety of pets, including dogs, cats, and other pet animals. This may mean that you will need to make arrangements for your pets to stay elsewhere during the extermination.
Ask your exterminator how long it will be until your pet can come back into your home. To be extra safe, you should also ask your veterinarian how long it will be until your pet can safely return to your home after pro pest control services.
Ask, when it is safe to return home
Often, people cannot return home for a certain period of time after the pest control services have been performed. This may be between several hours to several days or more. Ask your exterminator about this, and be very clear on what the answer is so you know when you can safely return to your home.
Get rid of any garbage inside of your home
Get rid of any garbage inside of your home before the exterminator comes. This will help increase the effectiveness of any pesticides used, especially if you are struggling with an ant or cockroach infestation.
You should also get rid of any unused paper products that you don’t need since pests can hide in piles of paper.
Cover objects in plastic wrap or secure them in airtight containers
Cover objects in plastic wrap, or conceal certain things in airtight containers. Usually, your exterminator will give you a list of items that you should protect from the pesticide sprays. Alternatively, there are some objects they may request you not conceal.
Do not allow any food to sit out
Do not allow any food to sit out before the pest control professional shows up. If you leave any food sitting out during extermination, you may have to throw it out when you return to your home.
Now, hopefully, you have a better idea of the things that you should do before a professional pest control service comes out to your home. Let’s discuss some of the things that you should do after they’ve already performed their services.
What to do After Pest Control?
Many people often ask me what they should do directly after their pest control professional has performed extermination services at their homes. After all, you want to make sure that the pest control measures that have been taken in your home will be effective long after the exterminator has left. You want to make sure your infestation will be gone for good.
Fortunately, here are some things you can keep in mind after you’ve had pro pest control services:
Ask your veterinarian how soon it may be safe for your pets to come back
If you have pets, they may not be safe to come back into your home right away. After all, some animals may be more sensitive to pesticides than human beings. This is especially true if you have small animals such as rodents, lizards, or birds.
Therefore, ask your veterinarian how soon it may be safe for your pets to come back into your home.
Do not use additional at-home pesticides immediately afterward
These may interfere with the pesticides that your pest control technician has used. The mixing of certain chemicals may also create toxic reactions.
Call your exterminator and ask for a free evaluation
In the unfortunate event that you may still have pests following your final home treatment, call your exterminator and ask for a free evaluation. They may be able to assess why you still have an infestation in your home.
If they were at fault, they might even be able to provide free follow-up treatment.
Ask your exterminator how long it will take until you no longer see any live pests
But if you have only had one of your first home treatments, you may expect to see live pests for a short period of time. Ask your exterminator how long it will take until you no longer see any live pests. On average, it should take about two weeks or so.
Do not immediately clean right after your return
Cleaning right after extermination may wash away some of the pesticides that are there to kill pests. Ask your exterminator how long it will be until you can clean your home again.
Throw away any food sitting out during the extermination process
If you left any food sitting out during the extermination process, you need to throw it away immediately. At the very least, do not eat this food. If it was sitting out during pest control treatment, it may be contaminated at best and poisoned at worst.
Consider using gloves
Consider using gloves to handle any sprayed surfaces after you return back into your home. This is to protect your skin and avoid any ill health effects. While most pesticides are not at all harmful to humans, you should still take every simple precaution.
Make sure to schedule the next appointment if needed
If you require multiple treatments, make sure to schedule the next appointment with your pest control technician as soon as possible. Scheduling appointments after a certain amount of time may be important to make sure to keep pests at bay.
Now that you know what you should do both before and after pro pest control services, hopefully, you will have a better idea of what to expect on your end. Since every exterminator’s process and pesticides are different, they will give you an idea of their specific expectations. If they don’t, you should ask for a thorough list before any services are performed.
A Word of Warning: Pest Control Side Effects
On occasion, some people may have serious health side effects as a reaction to pesticides being used in their homes. If you experience any serious adverse health effects after returning to your home following pest extermination, you should talk to your doctor right away.
Some of these adverse health effects include:
- throat irritation
- trouble breathing
- skin rashes
- fainting or worse.
You may have to leave your home for longer than you anticipated if you have adverse health effects because of the pesticides.
If you have existing severe health complications or you are pregnant, you may want to stay out of the home for longer than average.
Comprehensive Checklists for Before and After
Even though I have laid out everything for you, there might still be some confusion about what you should do before and after having professional pest control services. Allow me to restate things in the form of a clear and straightforward checklist.
What to do before pro pest control services:
- Research your exterminator extensively before they perform services.
- Ask as many questions as you can to understand the process, and what you need to do on your end. Every exterminator’s process may be different.
- Get rid of any garbage, and clean your home out before extermination services.
- Don’t let any food sitting out before extermination services begin.
- Make arrangements for your pets in advance to keep them safe.
- Safeguard any objects in your home that you don’t want to be affected by pesticides. This is especially important for any baby or children items.
- Place certain objects in airtight containers, and cover some things with plastic.
- Before extermination services, take everything out of your bathroom.
- Talk to your exterminator about any health conditions of family members in the home, and address if pesticides will affect any of these health problems.
What you should do after having pro pest control services done:
- Make sure you stay out of the home until it is safe to return after the extermination process.
- Keep all pets and children out of the home until they can return, as well.
- Throw out any food that may have been sitting out during the extermination process; it is no longer safe to eat.
- Do not clean your home right away after the extermination services.
- Do not be alarmed if you see pests right away, unless it is past the time that your pest control technician says you should see the last of the pests.
- Do not use any additional pesticides that you have purchased yourself.
- Consult your doctor if you or anyone in your home develop adverse health effects.
- Buy gloves in case you need them to handle certain things after the extermination is over.
- Schedule your next extermination treatment as soon as possible.
I hope that these checklists will help you get everything in order before your first extermination treatment. Remember, you can never ask too many questions when you are hiring a professional pest control technician!
Some At-Home Products to Try
If you still have a need for at-home pesticide products, I’ve decided to list some for you. All of the products I am listing can be found at Amazon, which is why I will also list their Amazon rating here for you to know. Every pesticide I have listed below is safe to use inside the home. Remember, you should take caution when using an at-home pesticide product right after having exterminator services.
Eco-Defense Home Pest Control Spray
This Home Pest Control Spray is made by Eco-Defense. You’re in luck if you prefer natural pesticides since this spray is all-natural and organic. This fast-acting spray is safe for your home and your family.
It will help you kill and repel a variety of pests, including roaches, spiders, ants, fleas, earwigs, stink bugs, mites, and more. If you are not completely happy with this spray, it comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Orange Guard 103 Water Based Indoor/Outdoor Home Pest Control
And this water-based indoor/outdoor spray is manufactured by the Orange Guard company and it is advertised as being safe to use around “food, humans, and pets.”
The main ingredients in this spray are water and orange peel extract. Use it to get rid of bugs such as ants, roaches, and fleas. This product is confidently registered with the EPA as being environmentally friendly.
HOME-OUTDOOR Safer Brand 5025 Houseplant Sticky Stakes Insect Trap
If you’re interested in something other than a spray, these sticky insect traps are manufactured by the HOME-OUTDOOR company. These sticky traps have earned 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and they come in a 2-pack of 7 traps each for a total of 14.
And these traps attract a variety of flies, gnats, and other flying insects. This product contains no synthetic chemicals, and they are fully disposable when you are done with them.
Wondercide All-Purpose Organic Home & Garden Insect Control
The final product I will list is this all-purpose organic spray from Wondercide. This all-purpose spray has received a 4.0 out of 5 stars on Amazon. This spray is made in the USA, and it features only organic ingredients.
With this spray, you will be able to repel roaches, ants, flies, gnats, dust mites, moths, and more. You can use this Wondercide spray every day since it is non-toxic and fully safe to spread indoors.
Final thoughts: What to do Before and After Pro Pest Control?
Today, we talked all about what to do before and after hiring a professional pest control service. We started by talking about why you may want to hire a professional exterminator, and what qualifications an exterminator should have. I have also included a handy checklist for you to make sure that you are prepared for professional pest control services.
If you have any of your own advice about what to do before and after a professional exterminator comes to your home, make sure to leave a comment! At Pest Control FAQ, I always love to hear from my readers.
And here at Pest Control FAQ, you will find advice for subjects ranging from checking for bed bugs to whether bird repellent gel works or not. There is no pest problem too big or too small that it cannot be solved entirely.
How much does pest control usually cost? Services from a professional pest control technician may cost more than at-home pest control, but the effects are usually better. If you are getting a one time home treatment from an exterminator, it may cost between $200 to $600. However, monthly treatments may cost significantly less, ranging from $40 to $60 on average. Make sure to ask your pest control service for an estimate before having services performed.
When should I call a pro exterminator? It is up to you to decide when you should call a professional exterminator. It is acceptable to call an exterminator at the first sign of an infestation in order to keep it from growing bigger. However, you may absolutely have to call an exterminator when your infestation has grown too large to manage by yourself.
Can I treat a small infestation by myself? You may be able to treat a small pest infestation by yourself with the right pesticides. You may also be able to effectively reduce the number of pests in your home by tidying up and performing a good deep cleaning of the entire house. But you should not attempt to treat a massive infestation without the assistance of a professional exterminator.