What Does an Exterminator Do?

An exterminator is a person who specializes in the control of pests, which are unwanted insects and rodents, such as rats and mice. Their job is to eliminate these creatures from a home or business by using a variety of methods, including chemical treatments, traps, and prevention techniques. In some cases, an Exterminator may also recommend improvements to a building or its landscaping to further reduce the presence of pests.

Pests can pose a serious threat to health and property, and if left untreated, some pests can cause significant structural damage to buildings or their contents. For this reason, it is important for homeowners to hire a qualified pest control expert when dealing with an infestation. The most common types of pests that require professional treatment include ants, termites, bed bugs, bees, wasps, and rodents.

A pest control company will typically charge a flat fee to inspect and treat a home for common pests. In some cases, the pest control company may offer a monthly service plan to prevent the return of unwanted guests. Other companies may offer a one-time only treatment for special pests, such as bed bugs or cockroaches.

Most exterminators have extensive training and knowledge of pest behavior and control techniques. They are able to create a plan to stop an infestation with minimal risk to the occupants of the home, their pets, or the environment. They usually start by recommending nonchemical methods of prevention and removal, such as adjusting plants and changing moisture levels to deter pests, before considering more intensive chemical treatments.

Some exterminators work in commercial settings, such as restaurants, hotels, and hospitals. They must be able to work around customers and employees while maintaining a professional demeanor. In these environments, it is especially important to follow strict safety protocols when handling chemicals and ensuring the safety of all occupants.

For some pests, such as cockroaches or ants, an exterminator may choose to use pesticides that are very toxic to humans and their pets. In these situations, the exterminator must be able to explain the dangers of the pesticide to the occupants and take precautions to minimize their exposure.

There are many different types of pests that can be controlled by an exterminator, including raccoons, skunks, and possums. In these cases, the exterminator must be able provide humane trapping and relocation services. There are also exterminators who specialize in bird control, and they can help homeowners prevent nuisance wildlife from returning to their homes.

When choosing an exterminator, it is important to consider the cost and reputation of the company. A well-established, reputable pest control company will typically be licensed by your state’s Department of Agriculture and will adhere to all local laws and regulations regarding the application of pesticides. Additionally, a good pest control company will be transparent about their pricing structure and fees. They should provide a free inspection and estimate before beginning any treatments, and they should clearly outline their agreement length, cancellation terms, and re-treatment policy in writing.