Pest control isn’t done just for your peace of mind. It’s vital to your health and safety, as many insects and rodents can carry diseases that are harmful to the health of your family and pets.
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, it’s important to make pest control a part of your routine as you maintain your residence. You should factor theinto your annual costs.
You may be thinking, “Well, I don’t have an infestation or bug problem.” However, that can quickly change and often at no fault of your own. There are many factors that come into play, including your building type, location, weather and more. So, it’s better to be proactive rather than reactive.
Click on your state to view pest control plans available in your area. A professional can help you navigate the process and determine which specific options make the most sense for your situation.
How often should pest control be done?
There are a variety of pest control plans available, typically on a quarterly or annual basis. You can also request a one-time pest control service if you want to test it out (although this isn’t the most cost-effective compared to regular visits).
However, most pest control services recommend quarterly visits (a minimum of four times – once every three months) spread out throughout the year to ensure you’re fully protected from pests and rodents.
Pest control company Terminix said customers who opt for quarterly visits will work with a technician to determine a schedule that makes sense for them.
“Your local Terminix technicians come out to your home quarterly to inspect and adjust your pest control treatments as needed. This ensures that certain seasonal pests don’t thrive in or around your home as seasons and temperatures change,” Terminix explains on its website.
Learn more about the different pest control options and determine which makes the most sense for your needs.
If you’re experiencing an infestation or serious pest or rodent problem between visits, then you can call your provider and get an appointment scheduled on the spot. For example, Orkin said a licensed professional can respond to your reported issue “within 24 hours (or faster)” depending on the situation.
Do you need pest control when it’s cold?
Even the winter months can be problematic, as bugs like cockroaches and spiders seek shelter from cold weather. Rodents, in particular, are a big problem, invading an estimated 21 million U.S. homes in the winter months, according to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Most pest control companies use an environmentally-friendly Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach to prevent unwanted home invaders like spiders and roaches.
“With IPM, we target and remove or block access to what pests need most – food, water and shelter – allowing us to minimize or even eliminate the need for chemical pesticides,” Orkin notes.
The NPMA offers several winter-proofing tips to help eliminate the need for frequent sprayings, such as: filling cracks or holes, keeping boxes off the floors, keeping tree branches trimmed away from the home and more.
How much does pest control cost?
It goes without saying that the cost of pest control varies, considering every home and situation is unique. Plus, companies have different plans, discounts and offerings.
You may also require different services (like bed bugs, termites, etc.) outside of the standard comprehensive pest control plan. However, you should expect to pay at least a couple hundred dollars each year if you want sufficient coverage.
For a 1,500-square-foot home, you could pay anywhere from $300 to $550 for a one-time visit while quarterly visits range from $100 to $300 – possibly more, according to HomeAdvisor. Again, it depends on the company and your particular needs (type of pests). For example, infestations of fleas, ants and cockroaches can range from $100 to $500 on average versus pesky pests like wasps (between $100 and $1,300) and bed bugs ($300-$5,000), HomeAdvisor explains in a chart.
Many pest control companies, like Terminix, will give you an initial inspection free of charge to help craft a plan and explain what type of treatment your home may need based on its size, and location, among other factors.