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Exterminator vs. Pest Control: The Differences You Need to Know

Exterminator vs. Pest Control: The Differences You Need to Know

When you find unwanted visitors in your home like termites, rodents or carpenter ants, your first reaction is right. ‘Call an exterminator!’ you yell while doing a quick internet search for ‘exterminator, Roanoke, VA.’

Exterminator has the word ‘terminator’ in it, and it conjures up images of that famous movie cyborg assassin who ‘handled’ things. An exterminator does ‘handle’ unwanted pests, and you do want those pests out of your house – forever.

But wait a minute. Your neighbor gave you the business card for their pest control technician.  Doesn’t ‘exterminator’ and ‘pest control technician’ describe same person? Not exactly. While the descriptions are used interchangeably, there are differences between the two roles that are important for you to understand when dealing with household pests.

What an Exterminator Does

You call an exterminator when the pests have invaded your home or property.  A good exterminator will follow these steps to address your concerns:

  1. Develop an inspection plan after talking with you about what you’ve observed.
  2. Conduct a complete inspection of the infested areas and areas where infestation might be present.
  3. Check areas around your home and property for possible sources of pests, like wood piles or mishandled trash.
  4. Review findings with you and discuss options for getting rid of pests.
  5. Develop a treatment plan based on the findings and your input. Treatments can include:
    • Pesticides
    • Traps with bait
    • Sealing your home and using gas for severe infestations
  6. Execute the plan, then monitor results.
  7. Repeat treatment if necessary.

That last step is important. Remember that famous line, “I’ll be back”? That is an exterminator’s line, too, since many pests do come back. That’s where the pest control technician steps in.

What a Pest Control Technician Does

Pest control is focused on preventing future infestations. Companies providing pest control services may use a variety of techniques, often called an integrated pest management program (IPM). An IPM may be collaborative, with you as the homeowner following through on some of the steps. Activities in an IPM include:

  1. Preventing infestations.Pest control services will remove pests’ food and water sources. They’ll encourage you to block access into your home by caulking around windows, doors, and utility line entrances. Repairing holes in window screens and using door sweeps also prevents easy access.
  2. Managing the environment. The pest control service will point out changes to make in your environment to reduce its appeal to pests. This includes landscaping with pest-resistant plants, removing rotting wood or piles of leaves, and keeping your foundation clear of mulch or shrubbery.
  3. Using physical methods. Traps may be placed around your home and property for non-chemical pest control.
  4. Using natural enemies.Ladybugs and spiders are two ‘natural enemies’ that can help protect your property from pests. Flowering or nectar-producing plants encourage these natural enemies and help with pest control.
  5. Applying pesticides.Treatments around the perimeter of your home or on interior problem areas can create chemical barriers to deter pests from returning. Ideally, pesticides would be used in conjunction with some of the non-chemical methods. The pest control services company will talk with you about the products they’ll use and any risks to pets or the environment.
  6. On-going inspection.By monitoring your home and property, you and the pest control company can recognize early signs of infestation and take immediate action.

Many companies, including Killinger Pest Solutions, provide exterminator services and pest control. They’ll address an existing infestation and work with you on a program to prevent pests from returning.

Choosing the right pest control services company

Here’s a quick checklist to use when selecting a pest control company.

  • Confirm qualifications.
    • Verify the state licenses the company’s technicians.
    • Ask how they stay up-to-date with changes in products, techniques, and regulations.
  • Determine experience as exterminators and pest control service providers.
    • Learn about the company’s ability to deal with your specific pest issue.
    • Ask how long they’ve been in business, their safety practices, and how they train technicians.
  • Assess their reputation.
    • Friends, co-worker, neighbors, and family can be good sources of information.
    • You can also check online for reviews, Better Business Bureau ratings and any complaints lodged with the state.
  • Evaluate value and service.
    • Make sure technicians treat you with respect, listen to your issues and respond with complete, easy-to-understand information.
    • Ask if the company guarantees their work or offers free follow-ups.

If you’d like to learn more about Killinger Pest Solutions’ exterminator and pest control systems, contact us here.  We’d like the opportunity to prove we’re up to the task and the right team for your pest problem.