How to Know When to Hire a Pest ProfessionalBy Missy Henriksen
Sunday, April 21, 2013
Why Do-It-Yourself Measures Aren't Always Enough
When pests find their way indoors, homeowners are often tempted
to try and control the problem on their own, but the truth is that
most pests are better left to professionals. After all, pest
professionals have the knowledge, tools and training to safely and
properly eliminate pest infestations.
"When a homeowner attempts to treat a pest problem on their own,
they are often treating the 'tip of the iceberg', and not the root
cause of the problem," says Missy Henriksen, vice president of
public affairs for the NPMA. "The pests you see might be
eliminated, but a larger infestation can continue to grow out of
sight. These infestations can pose significant health risks
to your family and cause damage to your property."
There are several pest scenarios that should always be handled
by a professional. These include:
Termites and other wood-boring insects
- Wood-boring insects like termites, carpenter ants, carpenter bees
post beetles can damage important support beams in your home,
resulting in expensive repairs that are not typically covered by
homeowners' insurance policies. Termites alone cause approximately
$5 billion in property damage every year and are known as "silent
destroyers" because of their ability to chew through wood, flooring
and even wallpaper, silently and undetected, 24 hours a day, seven
days a week. This is even more concerning when you consider the
fact that 52 percent of Americans have never had their home
inspected for termites.
- Bed bugs are
notoriously elusive, hiding out in hard to detect places like
behind electrical switches and under wallpaper. In addition, they
are very hardy pests, having been known to live for several months
without a blood meal, and withstanding a wide range of
temperatures, from nearly freezing to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
In fact, according to the NPMA's
Bed Bugs in America survey, bed bugs are THE most difficult
pest to treat - more difficult than cockroaches, termites and ants!
Even when working with a professional, it can take several
treatments before the bugs are completely eliminated.
- Stinging insects - such as wasps, yellow jackets
ants - should always be left up to the professionals. Many
stinging insect species will swarm en masse if their nests are
threatened, posing a serious health risk to homeowners. In fact,
these pests send more than half a million people to the emergency
room every year. Those with allergies to insect stings are
especially at risk.
- No matter the type of pest, if you have an infestation that
keeps coming back, it's time to contact a professional. More likely
than not, there is an underlying cause that needs to be addressed
before the problem can really be resolved. A trained professional
will be able to inspect your home, identify the infestation and
determine a plan to treat the problem most effectively.
If you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should
always be to call a qualified and
licensed pest professional. They have the tools and know-how to
properly identify your pest problem and recommend an appropriate
course of treatment. They can also recommend DIY steps to prevent