Are Pest Control Services Like Orkin and Terminix Worth the Cost?

orkin-manAccording to the National Pest Control Association, Americans spent over $3 billion on pest control and exterminator services last year. 

So what exactly do these services do, what do they cost, and most importantly…are pest control services worthwhile?

To find the answer to these questions I called the local extermination company in my area and asked them what services they could provide in combating a growing ant problem at my home.

Although our house was only 3 years old, we have seen a steady increase in the number of ants in our basement as well as on the first and second floors.

In addition to being unsightly, my wife and I were concerned about the health hazards these insects were creating for our two young children.

Having tried many forms of do it yourself ant extermination methods with limited success, my family and I decided to enlist Modern Pest Services to combat the insect problems around our home.

Our initial impression of the company was good.  In particular, we thought the companies choice of a service vehicle was particularly creative (see picture below!).

I couldn't resist taking this picture of Modern Pest Service's work vehicle during a recent service visit to my home in Maine.

Our decision to go with a professional pest control company was not taken lightly. 

Our first concern was the safety of our family.  We didn’t want any toxic chemicals being used that would adversely affect our family or pets.  We liked the fact that the termination service we chose used only “organic” agents to combat various insects.

Secondly, we didn’t want to spend an exorbitant amount of money.  We had already spent quite a bit on ineffective DIY methods and we wanted to be sure we could get a refund if the professional pest control service couldn’t control the problem.

With all of these concerns addressed by Modern Pest’s HomeCare Organic program, my family and I decided to pay a little over $600 for a years worth of treatment at the recommendation of the company.

I asked them if this would eliminate every ant in my home, and the inspector assured me that it would.

The Insect Inspection and Extermination Process

When the exterminator arrived at our house he did an initial survey of the inside of the house, as well as the surrounding lawn area.

He used a combination of gel and powder baits on the inside of the house and a stronger liquid spray on the outside perimeter of the house.

In the basement, he removed panels of insulation along the inside perminiter of the house looking for signs of ant damage and nests.  These areas were treated with extra powder bait (Borax?) to ensure the ants were taken care of.

I was a little bothered that I had to reinstall the insulation panels a few days later, but it was still easier than having the terminator come back and reinstall them.  Besides, I am a big stickler for properly insulating a home and I wanted to make sure that it was done right!

The Results:

Much to the delight of my family and I, we saw an almost immediate decline in the number of ants in our house.  In areas were we once found 10-20 ants crawling around, we saw only one or two.

As the days went by we saw fewer and fewer ants, until we saw virtually no ants for weeks on end.

A few months after the initial treatment (about the same time we were scheduled for another treatment) we started to see a couple of ants here and there.  We simply called up Modern Pest Services and they came over within a day to retreat our trouble areas.

Since this second treament, we have had no further issues with ants in our home.

Was the Extermination Company Worth the Time and Money?

Being this is a “frugal” living personal finance site, I can’t recommend a professional pest control company to everyone.  There are resources available on the Internet for treating various species of insects.

We have no regrets with our decision, and enjoy the piece of mind knowing that if another “outbreak” were to occur, help would only be a phone call away.

Additionally, if you are not sure what the identity of the insect is (or how to treat it), you can’t afford not to treat the infestation with a professional extermination service if there is a chance the insects are causing structural damage to your home.

Related Articles:
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Improve Your Vehicle’s Fuel Efficiency with These Easy Tips

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