Isn’t precaution better than cure? Well, it certainly is.
When it’s about protecting your home from pest invasion or as a long-term pest solution, then preventative pest control measures always help.
It not only keeps your home pest-free by detecting early signs of infestation but also protects you from incurring heavy costs associated with full-fledged pest control.
But is quarterly pest control worth it?
Or is it a scam that pest control companies try to push to make a quick buck from you?
You’ll get honest answers to both of these questions. This post will help you decide if you should go for preventative quarterly pest control or not.
So, let’s figure it out.
Should You Do Quarterly Pest Control – Factors To Keep In Mind
Two factors should influence your decision on having a regular pest checkup for your home, quarterly or half-yearly.
These factors are –
- The weather of the state where you live
- The history of pest infestation in your home
Why do they matter? Let’s have a look.
Weather And The Place Where You Live Determines How Prone Your Home Is To Get Pests
It’s a known fact that the weather of your town, city, and state, along with your neighborhood’s overall conditions, determine how prone your home is to get pests.
For example, suppose you’re living in the south. In that case, the likelihood of termites infesting your home is more than in any other region.
Rat, roach, and bed bug infestation are high in big cities like New York and Chicago.
Weather and higher population density play a significant role in the likelihood of pest infestation.
Humidity and temperate weather are perfect conditions for pests to breed in large numbers. And so as garbage.
Also, suppose your neighborhood has many homes infested with pests. In that case, it’s only a matter of time when pests will invade your home or property.
Not every homeowner is attentive to the early signs of pest infestations.
Some ignore the symptoms, and they don’t even do the necessary pest control when it’s needed. In multifamily homes and apartment complexes, it’s a common issue.
And pests, especially bed bugs and termites, spread from one home to another quickly.
So, if your home is at a place where pest infestation is expected and if the weather is humid and tropical, then quarterly pest control is necessary.
If you don’t, then it’s only a matter of time that pests will infest your home.
The History Of Pest Infestation Of Your Home
Do you face the problem of recurring pest infestation? Do specific pests keep coming back?
If yes, then either the pest removal wasn’t thorough or your home is prone to get those pests.
In that case quarterly pest control is vital for your home.
Many homes go through elaborate pest control often, especially for bed bugs and termites.
It’s because bed bugs can come back if you don’t do heat treatment for the entire home. And termite infestation depends a lot on their presence beyond your home’s area.
Suppose you’ve to go through pest control every one or two years. In that case, it means that either the pest control wasn’t thorough or the overall conditions in and around your home caused re-infestation.
And the only way to stop it is quarterly pest control.
Quarterly pest control will nip the problem of pests coming back, saving you a lot of money on recurring pest control costs.
Not to mention, it’ll also save you from the losses that damaging pests like termites will inflict on you.
You must hire a professional for regular pest inspection if you’re tired of seeing pests making a comeback and spending vast amounts of money.
Professional pest controllers are skillful in spotting the early signs of pest re-infestation and removing it.
4 Major Benefits Of Quarterly Pest Control Services
Now that you know the factors that you should keep in mind before you decide on hiring a professional for quarterly pest control, let’s deep dive into the benefits of it.
The Pest Control Technician Detects The Early Signs Of Pest Problem
Many DIYers take pest control into their hands. But the success of pest control lies in spotting the signs of infestation and zeroing in on the places where pests hide.
These are skills professionals learn by being on the field. And if you’re not doing pest control for a living, then you might not have the expertise.
It’s always wise to leave it in the hands of a professional exterminator to deal with it.
If you miss one hiding spot or the minor signs of infestation, which at times are not visible to the untrained eye, then you’re helping the pests to make a comeback.
Also, you always don’t use an aerosol spray or a bug bomb, or vinegar for getting rid of pests. Sadly, removing pests from your home isn’t as simple as that.
Professionals use equipment to go straight to the infestation source, like nests, to remove every possibility of pests resurfacing in your home.
Quarterly Pest Control Reduces Your Pest Control Costs
Do you think quarterly pest control is expensive and not worth the money?
Let’s get into the numbers – the average price of quarterly pest control costs $200 per quarter for an average-sized two-bedroom home.
So, the yearly cost of preventative quarterly pest control is $800.
But if you act after the infestation of damaging pests like bed bugs or termites have increased, then the average cost of treatment is at least $1150 for the home of the same size.
So, you end up losing more money.
Quarterly pest control is just like your regular health checkup.
It costs money way less than what you’ll spend to remove a home-wide pest infestation in your home.
Quarterly Pest Control Gives You The Peace Of Mind
The warranty coverage differs from company to company. But there’s a peace of mind that for a fraction of actual pest control cost, you’re avoiding a massive pest infestation.
And on top of it, your budget for home maintenance is always under control, with no surprise pest control costs lurking in the corner that will create a hole in your pocket.
Are there any drawbacks to quarterly pest control? When done through a reliable pest controller company, there are none.
The Controller Always Follow A Schedule
Another good thing about quarterly pest control is that the controller maintains a schedule that is inline with the seasons when specific pests are active.
For example, during the winters, they’ll check for bugs like stink bugs and kissing bugs in your home.
And during the spring and summer, when the maximum number of pests are active, the controller will keep an eye on the signs of the pests that show up in homes during these periods.
The Quarterly Pest Control Process Explained
When you hire a reputable company for quarterly pest control services, it’s process is simple.
It comes and check for the signs of bugs and pests on a regular schedule. On finding any, it takes them measures to remove them at the early stages and ensure that there’s no infestation in your home.
Depending on the pest infestation history and the locale where you live, the technician will look for the most common bugs that sneak inside homes.
The best part?
If any pest infestation show up, then the controller or the technician remove will remove it at no extra cost.
Bed bugs have no bed bug season. They can be active all year round. So, the pest controller will look for the signs of bed bugs in your home, especially when there has been a recent bed bug treatment in your home.
It’s because bed bugs are tricky to eliminate. And they’ve got a reputation for coming back even after three treatments.
Also, some bed bugs can escape the pesticide sprays and hide in the cracks and gaps of your home’s walls and furniture.
They can make a comeback even after 18-24 months of dormancy.
So, the pest controller will look at the places where bed bugs can hide. And on finding any signs of bed bugs, he’ll take the steps to eliminate them.
Ants have a reputation for suddenly disappearing in the winter. Many homeowners think that ants have moved out.
But that’s not the case.
Ants recede to their colonies that they build inside your home in the winter months to hibernate.
And when the spring arrives, the ants suddenly appear out of nowhere.
The pest controller will look for any ants colonies that are lying dormant in your home and even in outdoors.
If he finds any, it’ll eliminate those nests. And that will remove an ant infestation that could have occurred had the technician didn’t remove the nests.
The pest controller can also lay barrier, which are granules, around your home’s perimeter to ensure that ants don’t move inside your home from the yard.
The technician will also use sprays at the exterior of your home to keep bugs away.
Let’s face it. Termite infestation don’t show up overnight. They take time to develop.
And by the time signs of termite infestation are visible, it’s too late.
When you book quarterly pest control services, the technician will take the measures to ensure that termites don’t attack your home.
It’s important especially when your home had a termite infestation or there are neighbors with termites problems in their homes.
The pest controller can even lay down the termite granules around your home’s perimeter to ensure that subterranean termites don’t attack your home from the underground.
Additionally, the technician will also seal the gaps and cracks on the walls, window sills, and doors of your home so that the bugs don’t sneak inside your home through these cracks.
Spiders make a move inside your home when your home has too many bugs and the weather outdoors become too hot, wet, and cold.
Spiders love temperate weathers, and they also hunt the bugs live inside your home.
But spiders sneak inside homes from your yard or garden where they initially hide.
The pest controller will look for any spiders, including venomous spiders the black widows and the brown recluse, hiding in your yard and remove them.
The controller will also check places like attic, basement, storage rooms, and other cluttered places in your home and take necessary actions so that bugs don’t hide in these places.
Wasps, Hornets, And Bees
Wasps, hornets, and bees are stinging bugs that are active during the spring and summer months.
They can build their nests in the wall voids, roof eaves, shingles, trees, under the sheds, and even in places like your garage.
When you book quarterly pest control, the controllers will take measures so that none of them build their nests in your property.
They take steps like spraying repellants on the places where they can build their nests and laying traps to capture them.
The controllers will also seal the wall voids in your home so that wasps and hornets don’t build their nests in these places.
If you’ve got a swimming pool, pond, fountain, or a lush garden in your home, then they can be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes will lay eggs in these places.
The technician or the controller will ensure that he sprays or use dunks so that your property doesn’t become the breeding ground for mosquitoes.
There are four species of roaches that invade homes in the US. The big brown American roach is one of them.
And like most of invading pests, it’s hard to spot roaches till there are too many in your home.
In quarterly pest control, the pest controller checks places like the undersides of the sinks, kitchen, basement, bathroom, and even your yard to see if there are any roaches in these places.
On finding any, the controller will use sprays and keep baits to nip the roach infestation before it raises it’s head.
Rodents Like Mice And Rats
Mice and rats also sneak inside homes through vents in the attic, chimneys, and from many other sources.
Roof rats in Texas and rats in New York are some of the examples how these rodents are a menace to homes and apartments.
When rats and mice and enter homes, they leave behind subtle signs like rat gnaw and grease marks.
And you can easily miss these signs.
The technician will thoroughly check your home for rodent signs and their presence in your home.
On finding any rodent in your home, the controller will remove them.
But there are many scams that run in the pest control industry. Many mom and pop pest control shops open that claim themselves as experts.
Below is an exhaustive list of red flags that you must never ignore while hiring a pest control company.
Avoid Pest Control Companies That Are Scams
There are times when many unscrupulous pest control companies can take you for a ride if you don’t know what you’re getting into.
In this section, you’ll get to know some red flags to look out for when hiring a company for quarterly pest control.
You should always engage with a licensed pest controller for sure.
But if you keep the upcoming point in mind, no pest control company will be able to defraud you of your money.
Eco-Friendly Or Green Pest Control Company
No pest control company which is good at doing its job is a green or eco-friendly pest control company.
It’s because pest control always entails the usage of chemicals or pesticides in most cases, except when you do heat treatment against bed bugs for your home.
They might use eco-friendly methods of disposing of wastes, but no insecticide is organic.
And pesticides always harm you and the environment unless you take precautions.
If a pest control company uses these terms, then better disengage and move forward.
You might not be aware of the technical terms that they’ll use during the conversation, so they might be successful in winning your trust.
You shouldn’t hire a company that will use bleach or vinegar to prevent pests from showing up in your home.
Most importantly, state regulations don’t cover pest control companies that are “green.” So, if anything goes wrong, you’ll be left alone to fend for yourself.
Avoid Pest Control Companies That Give You A “Rough” Estimate
Estimation or a ballpark figure is always good to know the information. It gives you an idea of how much you will spend on quarterly pest control.
But if they give you an estimate after they’ve visited your home, then it should ring your alarm bells.
Once they do a home tour of your entire home, they must quote the exact amount you’ll need to spend. This amount should be fixed and not floating.
Also, they should mention what kind of pests they’ll do the quarterly pest control for and the warranty that comes with it.
Reputable pest control companies don’t change their costs. They’re crystal clear with all activities they will perform and what the results would be.
Avoid pest control companies that keep things open to change.
Avoid Pest Control Companies That Will Charge You For Extermination Treatment During The Quarterly Pest Control Process
Reputable pest control companies will do whatever it takes to get rid of pests, if they find any, during the quarterly pest control process.
And they’ll do it for free.
For example, if your home needs fumigation treatment against termites, which they’ve found out during the quarterly process, they’ll do it at no extra cost.
Avoid engaging with a company or signing a contract with a company that will charge you extra for pest extermination during the quarterly process.
Many companies don’t need any contract for quarterly pest control and inspection services.
Don’t Hire Door-To-Door Pest Controllers
Over the past few years, thieves masquerading as pest controllers and robbing homes have increased.
These individuals will typically pose as pest controllers who’ll do free inspections for your home.
Some of them also move around with portable heaters claiming that they’ll do heat treatment against bed bugs inside your home for free or for a minimal cost.
Heat treatment is expensive, and no pest control company does it for free.
Don’t risk yourself by letting these individuals enter your home.
Should You Do DIY Pest Control For Your Home
DIY pest control is a good idea as long as you’re sure about what you’re doing. And the effectiveness of DIY measures depends on the pest that you’re dealing with.
DIY ways will always fail if you’re trying to get rid of resilient and tough pests like termites, bed bugs, cockroaches, wasps and hornets, and fleas.
But if you’re dealing with insects like centipedes, silverfish, and earwigs, that don’t carry an infestation threat, then DIY ways work.
Also, you need to be an expert in handling pesticides and finding out the infestation source.
DIY methods will fail if you don’t go to the root of the infestation.
And remember, pests like termites and bed bugs need more than aerosol sprays.
Over the years, these pests have developed immunity against many pesticides. So, getting rid of them is more challenging than ever before.
Leaving it in the hands of a pest controller is the best course of action to eliminate destructive pests.
Is quarterly pest control worth it? Yes, it is. It’s a preventative measure that savvy homeowners take to keep pests and nasty bugs away from their home.
The biggest benefit of quarterly pest control is that gets rid of the pests before they become a severe infestation. That saves your home from serious damages and saves a ton of money in the long run.
Quarterly pest control is a preemptive way to protect your home from invasive pests and to keep your pest control costs massively low in the longer run.
To help you in choosing the right pest control company for your home’s quarterly pest control, we’ve also mentioned what red-flags to look out for. Avoid them, and you’ll always be in safe hands.
Nang Chen is an Entomologist and Arachnologist who is associated with Vienna’s museum of natural history. He’s also a consultant with real estate groups, insecticide conglomerates and law enforcement groups as a forensic entomologist. Nang Chen holds an M.S. from South China University and he’s a regular contributor to our site.