This simplified guide to pest control will help you learn what you can expect to pay for professional pest services, decide whether to DIY or call a professional, and figure out how to find the right pest control company.
How Much Does Professional Pest Control Cost in 2021?
The cost of professional pest control services can vary depending on what pest you are dealing with, your geographic location, and whether you live in an urban or rural community.
You can likely expect to pay somewhere between $200 and $500 to initially address a pest issue.
For treatments targeting pests such as ants and spiders, cost should be on the lower end of that range (about $200 to $300), while treatment for rodents or larger pests will be priced on the higher end ($300 to $500). Yellowjacket treatments are in their own category and generally cost somewhere between $150 and $300, depending on the circumstances.
DIY Pest Control or Professional Help?
When it comes to pest control, the internet is in no short supply of DIY options, but do they really work? First understand that if you don't know what you're doing, you could make your pest control issue worse, and potentially get hurt in the process. But the good news is that, if you're pretty savvy, DIY pest control can be simple if you are prepared to carefully address the issue according to the pest's biology.
Think Like a Pest
Whether you decide to DIY or shop for professional pest control services, it is absolutely essential that you understand Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, before getting started. A well-rounded IPM plan is based, in part, on the following:
- What is causing the pests to be drawn to that spot?
- What are the pests feeding on?
- What is their lifecycle, and where could they be reproducing?
- Where are they seeking harborage?
Keep in mind that certain situations may require some element of chemical control, but there are many downsides to chemical applications, especially when misapplied or overused. Many pest control methods (and well intentioned DIYers) focus too heavily on chemical treatment, while Integrated Pest Management seeks to focus on the entire surrounding ecosystem and limits the need for chemical applications by considering what conducive conditions are present.
If conducive conditions are present, someone with IPM knowledge can assess how to manipulate those factors to make the environment less desirable for the pest.
What Is a Conducive Condition?
A conducive condition refers to any condition present in an environment and/or structure that provides shelter, food, or water for pests, encouraging their presence.
DIY Pest Control
When it comes to DIY pest control, there are very few pieces of equipment as important as a quality flashlight. Professionals use them in a variety of situations, including crawlspace and attic checks, illuminating hidden rodent entry points along a roofline or detecting hard-to-see trailing ants along the foundation of a structure.
Look for a 500+ lumen flashlight and expect to pay somewhere between $20 and $50. Flashlights with the ability to clip to a hat will leave both of your hands free, making DIY pest control work much easier to complete.
Finding an IPM Specialist
If you have no interest in performing your own pest management or if you've attempted some DIY pest control with little success, it may be time to call in the pest specialists.
Pest control isn't easy, and sometimes a professional can make all the difference in resolving an unpleasant or puzzling pest scenario.
Build a Relationship
This may seem obvious, but finding a pest company you trust is of utmost importance. There are too many companies out there willing to tell clients what they want to hear just to make a quick sale. These companies do not have the best interest of their customers in mind.
Environmentally conscious, long-term pest control solutions can take time, work, and patience from both the pest specialist and the homeowner. An IPM expert will prepare you for this. Be on the lookout for a company that knows the biology of the pest you are dealing with and focuses on solving the issue from an Integrated Pest Management perspective.
Don't Get Hung up on "Green" Services
Green (natural, eco-friendly) products can be vital to certain pest control plans, but many companies use this green advertising jargon because they know it's popular and sells well (typically for higher prices). Overuse of chemical is overuse of chemical, regardless of whether the product is "green."
When looking for someone proficient in IPM, remember that their knowledge of pest biology is far more important than buzzwords.
More (and Cheaper) Isn't Always Better
Pest control can be expensive, but the allure of a good deal can cause some homeowners to fall prey to short-term solutions, many of which involve overuse of chemicals, including essential oils.
Many times these quick fixes end up being more expensive in the long run, can cause pest issues to worsen, and can also involve health and environmental risks that come along with improper chemical treatments.
If the 'ick' factor of pest control doesn't bother you, you can do this! Grab your flashlight, do your research, and be ready to address the biology of the pest. Should you find yourself in need of expert for whatever reason, you can feel well prepared to shop for professional pest control assistance with confidence and know that the cost will lead to fewer pests in your home.