What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Calling in Professional Pest Control

We have never in all of our almost 35 years of marital bliss had to deal with any type of pest control that would involve hiring a professional agency.  Then we bought the house in Florida.  Even though it was only a couple of years old we finally broke down and hired a professional pest control company to deal with palmeto bugs and fire ants.  We bought this house and started moving in the first of September to later uncover a rodent and ant problem.  We started dealing with it ourselves with sealing all food sources, trapping, baiting and sealing all entry points.  Within the last two weeks we have trapped three mice and let me tell you that can easily be a mess.  My husband made the executive decision to call in the professionals.  This was not an easy decision because quite frankly calling in the professionals costs money but if you want the job done right sometimes that is what you have to do.

What to expect:
Professional pest control services will target from attic to basement or crawlspace.  They will deal with any pest problem you have.  They will charge between $300 (vacation home) and $600 or more (permanent residence) based on square footage for regular pest control (eg. ants, rodents, insects).  If you have a problem with skunks, raccoons, or squirrel there will be an additional charge for trapping.  The service personnel will first assess the problem then treat as necessary.  All trapping including bait traps is very, very discrete.  You and your guests won't even notice any signs of pest control anywhere.  They will place bait traps that insects and rodents can take back to the nest where it will kill them off.  The bait traps are colourless and odourless.  If rodents are a problem they set specialized bait traps where rodents will take the bait back to the nest preventing any trapping (aka killing in the home).   They may spray down drains, into the dead space under cabinets, in electrical outlets and behind appliances but you will never see it.  Everything they do is and I can't stress this enough very discrete.  They will bait and spray as necessary outside of the home as well as notify you of any potential pest problems.  From start to finish our experience has been about 2 hours for the initial visit.  They will check any traps and your property upon request if the pest(s) they treated for is spotted again and at regular intervals as part of their maintenance plan.  The maintenance plan will call for regular inspections, resetting traps and putting out fresh bait.  Expect the maintenance follow-up to last between 40 minutes and an hour each time.

The cost will depend on the size of the home and what they are treating for.  In general expect to pay between $300 and $600 for an annual guaranteed treatment.   Included in that cost will be quarterly inspections in addition to any emergency treatment required free of charge.  That is included in the initial cost.  Other costs may be occurred as a result of pest damage but in general that is the responsibility of the home owner not the pest control company.

A reputable pest control service will give you a solid guarantee.  We pay $300 per year for pest control at our vacation home (mainly insects).  If we see anything moving inside the house that shouldn't be moving we just call them and they treat the house again.  We just paid $600 at our permanent residence which is larger square footage and adds in the problem of mice but the same guarantee stands.  Anything moving, call them and they will take care of it with no additional charges.  That is what you are looking for with this type of service.  Get the initial treatment then use whatever follow-up treatments recommended.

Annual vs. One Time Treatment:
In general, once you have a problem with a pest it will come back even if eliminated initially.  Some pests have homing devices where they will return to where they were born but others are simply location selective.  If you border on rural land, farm land or you are in certain pest heavy zones the annual treatment is the way to go.  If you have a transient problem with raccoons or squirrels getting into your home then a one time treatment should solve your problem

Garden Gnome