Updated: Apr 28
Pests can happen to anyone. There are a lot of steps that you can take to deter pests from entering your home. Consistent household cleaning is great for your health, and when there are no crumbs lying around, pests have less to feed on. Making sure your doors are weatherstripped and installing door sweeps can help stop critters from getting in.
Once an infestation has started, however, preventive measures may not cut it anymore. You can store your food in airtight containers, move everything to the upper shelves, and lay bait everywhere, but you may still need professional help to take care of pests. This guide will help you understand what prep work needs to be done before your pest control contractor arrives.
No two pests are exactly alike, and every infestation is going to be a bit different. Your contractor is likely to give you a list of steps to take before they arrive, and those steps are going to depend heavily on the kind of pest you have. Keep that in mind as you peruse this guide and though these steps are an excellent starting point, things can change. GL Pest Control advises that each pest control contractor may give you different instructions depending on their methods and the kind of infestation you have.
You should keep track of exactly where you’ve seen the pests and give detailed notes to your contractor. They’ll also need to know if you have any pets, young children, or elders in your household as they are especially sensitive to some of the tools and chemicals contractors might use.
Make sure to clean your home thoroughly before your contractor comes by. You’ll also want to move furniture away from walls; your contractor will want to check every corner of each piece of furniture and may also want to check for holes in the walls.
Seal up food in airtight containers and store all food items in cupboards. You’ll also want to store items you use to prepare food.
Pest control is often made easier if lawns are short. Short lawns allow contractors to track the movement of pests more easily. Cut your lawn about a day before your contractor arrives.
In many cases, you’ll need to ensure that you and your pets are out of the house when the pest control operation begins. Find something fun to do for the day and ask a friend to host your pets. You’ll need to cover any aquariums tightly so chemicals won’t enter into them. You may also need to turn off aerators.
Bed bugs are notoriously hard to kill, so there are a number of steps you’ll want to take before your contractor arrives. The most important of these steps is to remove all of your bedding and wash it at the highest heat possible. You’ll also want to remove any clothing, toys, or other personal items from the premises before treatment begins. Be sure to inspect all of these items thoroughly for signs of bed bugs and check your bedding once it’s washed. You may have to discard a number of items. Read more about getting rid of bed bugs.
While it’s important to note where pests are coming from in all cases, it’s especially important when it comes to rodents. You can restrict rodents’ access points a bit more easily than you might be able to with insects. That means finding the access points, which starts with monitoring where the pests keep showing up.
You can actually find a lot of access points yourself; mice can get through extremely tiny holes (about the size of a dime) and they like to chew through anything smaller. When you see holes in your walls, fill them with steel wool.
When your pets have fleas, they all need to be treated simultaneously, otherwise, the fleas can jump from one pet to the other. At the same time, a contractor will have to treat your home and possibly your yard. You should consider throwing out all pet bedding or at the very least, use extremely hot water to wash it.
Want to go DIY?
Here are tips on getting rid of fleas.
Cockroach and Ant Control
Ants and cockroaches are often controlled by using gel bait. The insects believe the bait is food; ants will even bring it back to share it with the rest of their colony.
Following the general guidelines above is usually enough. You want to be especially careful to let your contractor know about any allergies or other health conditions in your household.
While bug infestations often need a pest control professional, there are some bugs you can kill on your own. Sterifab acts as both an insecticide and a disinfectant- plus it’s entirely nonresidual so you can come right back home and curl up on your sofa.