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Is Pest Control Worth It in 2024?

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Default Author Icon Written by Stephanie Koncewicz Updated 04/24/2024

Walk through the aisles of a hardware store or browse Amazon, and you’ll see dozens, if not hundreds, of DIY pest solutions. Sprays, poison baits, sticky traps, and essential oils promise to rid your house of spiders, rodents, and other pests. With these options, you may wonder if hiring a professional pest control technician is worth the expense.

You may be able to handle small infestations yourself. However, if the pests get a foothold in your home or yard, they can be difficult to remove without the proper expert know-how and equipment. In this article, we’ll cover the difference between DIY and professional pest control services and provide tips on hiring the right pest control provider for your home.


Benefits of a Professional Pest Control Service

In general, professional pest management services cost more than doing it yourself—at least in the short term. However, it can become a full-blown infestation if you don’t take care of your pest problem quickly. If this happens, you may spend more on DIY solutions than you would if you’d hired someone at the first signs of an infestation. Here are other professional pest control benefits.

Professionals Have the Proper Equipment and Training

To eliminate an infestation, you may need specialty equipment and knowledge about the pest you’re dealing with—things that most homeowners don’t have. Additionally, some pesticides may not be available to the general public, as they may require training and experience to use correctly. For example, professionals will know how to deploy insecticides and rodenticides without endangering you, your family, or your pets.

Some pests, such as mosquitoes and ticks, can carry infectious diseases, and technicians will have the know-how and proper safety equipment to deal with them.

Professionals Can Provide Proactive Pest Control Services

You may not consider how to prevent future infestations if you don’t have active pest problems. However, no home is immune to pest problems forever, and seemingly unrelated home issues like a damp basement or leaky windows can lure pests. A professional pest control company will know how to treat your current problem and can help you prevent potential pest issues in the future. For example, a professional can identify entry points around your home during an inspection and provide tips on sealing these areas.

Professionals Can Provide Peace of Mind

Simply put, if you hire a professional, you don’t have to worry about getting rid of pests yourself. You won’t have to apply and reapply pesticides, check and empty traps, or remove nests, saving you time and energy. Additionally, a professional who can take care of the problem quickly will greatly reduce the likelihood of your home or belongings sustaining any damage from pests.


DIY Pest Control vs. Professional Pest Control

Here’s how professional and DIY pest control compare on several factors.

FactorProfessionalDIY

Cost

Services are more expensive in the short term

Solutions are more affordable in the short term

Severity of infestation

Can treat all levels of severity

Best for small infestations

Time

Quicker and more efficient

May take longer to get rid of pests

Health and safety

A professional pest control service should have the proper training and liability insurance to protect you and your home

You’re responsible for the chemicals you use and any potential damage to your belongings or home’s structure

Preventative measures

Included in services

Optional


Before hiring a professional pest control company, consider these tips to help you weed out potential scam pest control services:
Check the provider’s professional license and liability insurance. Make sure the technician who applies the treatment has an up-to-date certification.
If something seems fishy, get a second opinion. Most trustworthy companies, such as Terminix and Orkin, will offer free inspections and quotes for pest control services.
If you sign up for seasonal services, read your contract carefully and ensure you understand what’s covered.
Read third-party customer reviews on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website and Trustpilot. Most reputable companies will have an active online and social media presence and respond to complaints about their services.

Our Conclusion

We believe pest control is worth it for homeowners with infestation issues. Untreated infestations can be costly and difficult to remove. You can opt for DIY pest control or hire a professional service. Doing the job yourself is more affordable and best for small infestations, but it may take longer to rid your home of pests. A professional pest control service is more expensive but more efficient and effective. It includes preventative measures and can treat all infestation levels.


FAQ About Pest Control

How much does pest control cost?

The cost of pest control will vary based on your location, the pest in question, and the severity of the infestation. For example, a severe bed bug infestation in Manhattan will be far more costly to remove than a few spiders in a home in Iowa. Here are some average costs for pest control:

  • The average pest control cost for a one-time service is between $300–$550.
  • If multiple visits are required, the initial assessment usually costs between $150–$300. Subsequent visits will cost less.
  • For year-round pest control, the price will depend on the frequency of the visits. Monthly appointments usually run between $40–$70, while quarterly pest control services cost between $100–$300 per treatment.
  • Ants, cockroaches, and spiders are some of the easiest pests to remove, while termites and bed bugs are often the most expensive and difficult to eliminate.

What does a pest control service do?

Professional pest control technicians do more than spray for bugs. They identify the specific type of pest you’re dealing with, locate the source of the infestation, and eliminate the pests. After this, they’ll work with you to prevent future infestations by providing home maintenance tips.

How can I prevent a pest infestation?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that you follow these tips to make your home less appealing to pests:

  • Store food and beverages, including pet food, in sealed containers.
  • Use trash cans with lids and take out the trash regularly.
  • Stagnant water draws pests, so fix leaks and remove any standing water immediately.
  • Patch holes in window screens and use caulk to seal cracks in your home’s structure.
  • Fill large holes in drywall or around pipes with steel wool.
  • Get rid of clutter in your yard, including leaf piles, toys, and yard debris. If you must have a woodpile, keep it away from the sides of your home.
  • Keep your lawn and plants trimmed and well-maintained.

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our pest control recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to score each provider objectively. We review pest control plans, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives by phone and online chat (if available), request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our review standards for plans and services, reputation and customer responses, customer service offerings, workmanship guarantees, financing, and availability to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

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