updatediconLast Updated : October 23, 2020

What Is Pest Control?

We have all had issues with pests crawling in our homes. Pests are highly capable of taking over our living spaces and spreading dangerous diseases. From cockroaches to spiders and mosquitoes to bedbugs, we regularly find ourselves up against such creatures that create impediments to our daily course of life. 

Pest control refers to methods of eliminating or reducing various undesirable creatures such as bedbugs, cockroaches, rodents, ants, etc. using multiple techniques. 

Pest management, on the other hand, is all about preventing the occurrence of potential pests. Prevention is undoubtedly more straightforward than dealing with an imminent pest attack. But if the pest infestation has passed the stage of prevention, then there is no way out other than pest control.


We have all had issues with pests crawling in our homes. Pests are highly capable of taking over our living spaces and spreading dangerous diseases. From cockroaches to spiders and mosquitoes to bedbugs, we regularly find ourselves up against such creatures that create impediments to our daily course of life. When such confrontations occur between pests and humans, we manage their presence in our living spaces by using various techniques of ‘Pest Control'.

Pest control and pest management are often assumed to be the same. But in reality, they differ from each other in several aspects.

Simply put, pest control refers to methods of eliminating or reducing various undesirable creatures such as bedbugs, cockroaches, rodents, ants, etc. using multiple techniques. On the other hand, pest management is all about preventing the occurrence of potential pests. Prevention is undoubtedly more straightforward than dealing with an imminent pest attack. But if the pest infestation has passed the stage of prevention, then there is no way out other than pest Control.

Top Pest Control Companies

Based on the reviews and ratings from our community, Consumera has compiled this list of the top Pest Control companies.

Orkin
Orkin
0/ 5

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Has a team of technicians trained and certified in world-class facilities to offer innovative pest control solutions. One of the largest companies. 

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Terminix
Terminix
5.0/ 5

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A leading pest control company; plans offered by Terminix are flexible and cover several factors, such as location, season, and pest activity. 

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Rentokil Steritech
Rentokil Steritech
0/ 5

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Known for their customer-comes-first approach over 90 years of business. Offers a diverse range of pest control products and services. 

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Bell Environmental Services Pest Control
Bell Environmental Services Pest Control
0/ 5

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Business experience of over 50 years in exterminating pests. Has expertise in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) by trained and certified exterminators.

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Insight Pest Solutions
Insight Pest Solutions
0/ 5

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Offers safe solutions involving minimal product application. Limited to a few states but has highly responsive customer care.

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Massey Services
Massey Services
0/ 5

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Business experience of over 70 years. Offers lawn maintenance in addition to pest control and has a team of over 2100 trained specialists and 1900+ vehicles.

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Ehrlich Pest Control Services
Ehrlich Pest Control Services
0/ 5

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Uses advanced technology developed by an in-House entomologist and Research & Development team. Offers vegetation management and bioremediation services.

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Truly Nolen Pest Solutions
Truly Nolen Pest Solutions
0/ 5

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Have served over 150,000 customers with research-based treatments applied by rigorously trained exterminators.

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Home Paramount Pest Control
Home Paramount Pest Control
0/ 5

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Holistic pest management services offered with 75+ years of experience in pest control. Team of certified inspectors and technicians.

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Cook's Pest Control
Cook's Pest Control
0/ 5

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Offers specialized services to treat termites and mosquitoes with free home inspections for pests. A leading company in the Southeast.

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Wondering which Pest Control company is right for you?

What Are The Common Types Of Pests Found In America?

There are many different kinds of pests. While some pests are dangerous to our health, others are a menace to our property. Knowing a little about the various types of pests and their habitats can allow you to control them effectively.

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Ants

These small creatures are no small problem. Ants enter homes or buildings through crevices and cracks. These critters are found in kitchens or other rooms where food gets widely exposed. Generally, ant nests are located in dry soil, lawns, and under pavings.

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Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are a big problem in apartments, homes, hospitals, etc. Contrary to their name, bed bugs are also found in small cracks and crevices. Bed bugs feed on human blood & leave behind telltale signs on mattresses, furniture, rugs, and bed linen.

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Termites

These are some of the most destructive pests in America. They look quite similar to ants, and hence an untrained eye may fail to distinguish between ants and termites. They usually live in wet areas on the ground or underground colonies.

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Cockroaches

These pests are one of the vilest creatures. Cockroaches are popularly regarded as one of the most potent carriers of diseases. They live in wall cavities and come out to feed when it is dark.

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Mosquitoes

These pests are one of the major public health concerns in America, especially in the spring and summer. They are vectors of pathogens such as the Zika virus, West Nile virus, etc. They live and breed in stagnant water, and the females feed on human blood.

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Rodents

Rodents are one of the most common, dreaded pests in America. Besides spreading diseases, these pests are a potential threat to building structures as they chew through walls, electric cables, and damage the insulation.

The above list of pests is just a glimpse of the various pests bothering Americans. There are many other lesser-known pests that wreak havoc in our living spaces. Suppressing these pests with the help of professional pest control service in America can help you protect your health & property.

What Are The Popular Pest Control Techniques?

As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure,” it is wiser to take measures to prevent pests as far as possible. However, if the pest infestation is out-of-control, then it can be dealt with using various pest control techniques. While some methods involve the usage of chemicals, some others include using noisemakers, traps, etc.

Mechanical Approach

This approach involves pest elimination using various physical tactics such as trapping, row covers or screens, weeding, or simply removing the pest by hand. Some of the popular mechanical pest control methods include:

  • Traps - Although primarily used for rodents, this method can also be used for other pests if the infestation is concentrated only in one area.
  • Changing physical condition - Another mechanical pest control method is to change the physical conditions of the room like temperature, to make it less conducive to pests.
  • Poison bait - It is commonly used to control pests such as rodents and cockroaches. The pest control poison comes in two forms: granules & jelly/gel, placed near a pest activity area.
Chemical Approach-

The chemical approach is one of the most common pest control methods. In this method, synthetic compounds formulated to target specific pests are used. Chemical pest control approaches are of various types, such as:

  • Insecticides - These are the chemical products designed to kill critters such as ants, flies, etc. Insecticides are available in the form of spray and granules. Granulated insecticides treat ants, whereas spray removes fleas.
  • Fogging - This is an alternative method used to control flying pests such as mosquitoes, flying ants, etc. It is applied using an ultra-low volume (ULV) fogging machine. It spreads a small amount of insecticide and is environment-friendly.
  • Fumigation - This type of chemical method is used when there are serious infestations. During the process, the home or building will be sealed for 2-3 days, and strong pesticide is sprayed in large amounts. In addition to killing the adult pests, fumigation will also destroy eggs or larvae.
Electronic Approach

With advancement in technology, the permanent elimination of pests is now possible. Although relatively new, this method is efficient in controlling undesired pests. Electronic pest control methods are of three types:

  • Electromagnetic Method - This type of electronic pest control approach is used to control rodents and insects. It modifies the wavelengths of the existing frequency signals in the wiring of the home and turns the entire home into a pest-repelling device. The altered signals affect the nervous system of the pests and eliminate them.
  • Ionic method - This method involves the creation of negative ions to ward off insects and rodents. Since negative ions occur naturally, this approach does not cause any harm to human beings.
  • Ultrasonic method - It is used to repel large pests entering the house. The approach involves using ultrasonic waves that agitate pests. The human ears do not detect the ultrasonic sound waves and hence do not disrupt the daily activities.

How Does Pest Control Work?

Pests such as cockroaches, bed bugs, rodents, etc. are an absolute menace in our homes. When the pest infestation becomes severe, it is ideal for pest control to come into the picture.

Identify pests that wreak havoc. Determine what the pest is, its behavior, and its habitat before beginning with the treatment. Check if the target pests have caused any damage and assess the extent of the damage.

After identifying the pests & damage caused, consult suitable pest control service providers. Talk to them about the precautionary measures to be taken and the time required to eliminate the pests. Generally, it takes about 2-3 days for the completion of pest control treatment. Follow the guidelines given by the professionals. If required, vacate your home entirely for a couple of days and let the treatment do its job. Clean your home only after consulting the professionals on the estimated time the treatment required to act on the pests.

If the pests still exist, get another round of treatment. Though pests can return after treatments, ensuring proper sanitation and thorough pest management can considerably reduce the pest infestations.

Why Is Pest Control Important?

  • Most pests may be tiny organisms, but given a chance, they will multiply exponentially and cause serious problems. Pests like pantry moths and bed bugs can lay about 400-600 eggs in their short lifetimes. Rodents reproduce very quickly, producing multiple litters within months.
  • Pests are carriers for many dangerous diseases, making pest control important for human health. Many insects carry germs like Salmonella and E.coli. They can contaminate food, water, and other sensitive items in your surroundings. Their droppings and body parts can cause illnesses. Rodents travel several miles, gathering many disease-causing germs, which they can then drop into any food they come in contact with.
  • Pests can aggravate allergies among people who are vulnerable to them. Wasp and bee stings can trigger anaphylactic shock if you are severely allergic.
  • Pests such as aphids and mealybugs can stunt the growth of plants in your garden. If you enjoy growing vegetables indoors, a pest attack can devastate your efforts. Pests can introduce fungal and bacterial diseases that can even persist in the soil, rendering all your efforts to regrow your garden or your pot plants, useless.
  • The damage to property caused by pests such as termites can be costly. They can even weaken the structural foundations of houses, putting lives at risk. Termites hide within walls going unnoticed for ages before the damage begins to show visible signs. Rodents can chew through wiring, putting our house at risk for fires.

How To Select The Ideal Pest Control Company?

Many a time, household pests can be controlled through a blend of preventive measures such as home maintenance, and proper sanitation. However, if a pest has spiraled out of control, only professional pest controllers can help you get rid of them.

Today, there are several companies in America claiming to be the best in business with respect to pest control services. Choosing the ideal pest control company from a pool of options can be arduous. Besides prices and competency, consider several other factors before approaching a company.

To help you, we have listed a few key aspects to look for while choosing the ideal pest control company.

Check for licensed and insured professionals

This is one of the vital factors you should look for before choosing a company. Ensure that the company which you are opting for is a state-licensed pest control company. Check if the technicians are certified. Also, check if the company you are hiring is insured to encompass property damage (if any) and to lessen the liability in case any technician gets injured during the process.

Treatments 

The Environmental Protection Agency strictly regulates the use of pesticides. Pest control companies use various chemicals to eliminate pests. Enquire about the chemical products used and ensure that they aren’t harmful to human beings and pests. Also, make sure to check if the company uses environment-friendly treatment options.

Extra services

Pests like rodents cause structural damage. Many pest control companies provide additional services like sealing entry & exit ends, caulking cracks, and preventing the entry of pests. Note that you might be charged extra for these additional services.

Company reputation

Good pest control companies will have proven work records. They will also provide full disclosure of their charges, solutions, and safety information. Check the typical time they require to eliminate pests from the entire home and most importantly, their customer reviews.

Service contracts

You should carefully study the contents of long-term agreements. Look for labor guarantees and refund clauses.

In addition, check for genuine contact addresses, guarantees, and customer reviews. Besides respective company sites, you can also visit websites that list genuine customer reviews to choose a suitable company. Consumera is one such website which helps you out by listing the top companies and compiles authentic consumer reviews.

What is Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an environmentally conscious approach to controlling pest populations and their impact. It places emphasis on the monitoring, control, and prevention of pest attacks or invasions. IPM incorporates inter-disciplinary inputs from biological & habitat knowledge, cultural practices, and strategic pest management approaches.

The objective is to eliminate or reduce the usage of pesticides as much as possible to effective but harmless levels while also upholding economic interests. An attempt is made to use chemical pesticides as infrequently as possible and judiciously when necessary.

There are six principles of integrated pest management:

Setting Action Levels for Pest Control

The intention is not to eradicate but control pests. Many pests may be beneficial to local level ecosystems and agriculture and may even help in controlling others. IPM programs first study the area and the local environment to determine at what level, serious pest control action will be needed, and what can be done to prevent reaching such a point. This will help reduce the likelihood of pests becoming resistant to control techniques.

Adopting Preventive Measures 

Existing structures may be retrofitted, and prevention principles are incorporated into the design of new structures wherever applicable. Many insects remain in the wild and would come into human dwellings only due to the availability of attractants. Prevention is the most preferred pest control approach as it carries the least risk to people and is cost-effective.

Monitoring 

This entails regular observation so that pests are identified, and their behavior & occurrence patterns are recorded meticulously. Identification of the pests matters, especially when control methods that work on one may not be effective on a similar-looking pest. This helps evaluate the performance of control strategies and when to begin them for optimum results.

Mechanical Control Methods 

The first line of defense against troubling pest populations is the physical control method. It can be very important in dealing with pests like rodents, cockroaches, termites, etc. Sample measures include netting over entry points, food sources, caulking up cracks, and maintaining hygiene.

Responsible Application of Chemical Control Methods 

If the use of chemical pesticides become necessary, appropriate amounts are applied at specific points of the pests’ life cycles. Equipment for application is carefully calibrated, and targeted spraying is done to ensure minimal harm to humans and pets. The least toxic options are always preferred.

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Frequently Asked Questions?

Most pest control companies give guarantees about their services. The extent of the guarantees varies from company to company. Many companies promise to return for as many follow-up treatments as required to eliminate the problem fully. It is important for the resident of a home to participate actively in the pest control efforts by fulfilling their role as prescribed by the company.

Pest Control Companies give price estimates for a pest control job after checking the size of the treatment area, the extent of pest infestation, among other factors. Hiring a pest control company can cost from $50 to upwards of $200. The more severe the infestation and the bigger the property, the more expensive the plans may be.

Hiring a reputable exterminator is very important to ensure that you will have effective results, and the pests won’t return once the program is completed. A dodgy company with unqualified technicians will do more harm than good. The health of your home depends on it. If your garden is an area of treatment, you don’t want your plants dying because the exterminator had no idea what they were doing.

  • Does the company have a license from the appropriate authority (such as a state agriculture department)?
  • Have the company’s exterminators acquired the certification to be a pest control operator?
  • Will the company provide a written service guarantee or an enforceable contract?
  • Does the company have genuine testimonials or reviews attesting to their service quality?
  • Are the treatments safe for humans and pets?

DIY methods can be useful in controlling pests, but up to a certain extent. You can go a long way in controlling pests by keeping an eye out for their entry points and keeping your house clean to not attract pests. A nascent pest attack can be managed by DIY baits, traps, and killers.

Most pests like rodents are drawn by improperly covered garbage and food smells, hence avoiding such triggers is easy. Pests like mosquitoes and flies can be dealt with to a large extent with physical barriers like nets.

However, it may be hard for you to assess the extent of the pest attack accurately. The infestation may have already overrun your home while you are only seeing a handful of scouts. Pest control agencies have the expertise to root out such problems effectively.

Also, if you suspect termites and bed bugs, a pest control professional is your best option. These pests are experts at hiding in unpredictable spots and persisting through control efforts.

The pest control company provides a follow-up schedule, and treatments are done periodically as per the plan opted. Generally, pest control treatments should be done every 2-3 months. The exact frequency is determined by the severity of the pest infestation and the type of pest. Sealing off entry points, and following the exterminators’ advice can also influence the success of pest control efforts.

This is easier said than done. Most pest control companies recommend Integrated Pest Management for gardens, especially. It is important to distinguish between garden pests and beneficial pests.

Bees may be pests within your home but are very much needed in your garden. There are also many insects that naturally help control the populations of actual pests. Therefore, you should use pesticides only after consulting an expert about what the best approach for your garden is.