Pest Control FAQ

Image of text saying ``Pest Control keeps your home and family safe and gives you peace of mind.``

1. What is pest control?

At the most basic level, pest control is the process of keeping unwanted pests out of your home or business. Pests can be rodents, insects, or spiders. Some pests carry disease, while others can cause costly damage to your property. Either way, it is unsafe to allow pests to coexist with you. Pest control professionals can identify and remove unwanted pests, and they can then take preventive steps to keep them from coming back. Pest control keeps your home and family safe and gives you peace of mind.

Image of text saying ``Without Pest Control your home and family are at risk.``

2. Why do I need pest control?

You need pest control because without it, your home and family are at risk. Pests can carry bacteria and expose your family to harmful diseases. Uncontrolled pests also can cause costly damage to your property. Pests do not simply go away on their own. You must take the proper steps to get rid of them. You should be in control, not those unwanted pests. Pest control is all about regaining that power and peace of mind.

rat standing on a mouse trap

3. How does pest control work?

There are different methods of pest control — chemical pesticides, natural measures, preventive best practices, baits and traps, and exclusionary steps, to name a few. The goal of each of these methods is to get rid of unwanted pests that are currently invading your home and then keep them from returning.

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4. When should I hire a pest control company?

The simple answer is this: right now. Preventing pest problems in the first place is the best option. And even if you can’t see them, you may have unwanted pests lurking about in your home. They need to be dealt with before the issue gets larger and out of hand, which it can do rapidly with certain types of pests. If it has already gotten to the point of seeing pests frequently or seeing evidence of them (like droppings, tracks, webs, etc.), there is absolutely no time to waste. It’s especially imperative to call a professional when removing rodents and pests that could be dangerous. When in doubt, call a professional for guidance.

image of text saying ``The 3 basic types of pest control are extermination, removal, and prevention.``

5. What are the three types of pest control?

The three basic types of pest control are extermination, removal, and prevention. Extermination kills the unwanted pests. Removal includes trapping and removing live pests as well as removing dead pests, which can be just as unpleasant and dangerous. Prevention is about taking the steps necessary to keep them from coming back … or from invading in the first place. A professional pest control provider will be able to advise you on which type is best for your particular pest situation.

hand holding a can of bug killer spraying a dead cockroach

6. Can I do pest control myself?

Yes, you can do pest control yourself. But just because you can, that doesn’t mean you should. Doing it yourself can become time consuming, costly, and even dangerous in certain conditions. Hiring a professional is often your best chance to safely and effectively control those unwanted pests.

mouse chewing on an electrical wire

7. Is it worth it to get pest control?

Yes, it is worth it to get pest control. Pest control keeps your home and family healthy and safe. Pest control can prevent costly damage to your property. Pest control can save you the time of dealing with bigger pest issues and give you peace of mind.

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8. How much should pest control cost?

HomeGuide reports that the national average for pest control ranges from $250-$400. Actual pest control costs vary according to the type of pests you’re dealing with, the severity of the issue, type of treatment, and size of your property. For example, large, wide-spread infestations will cost more to deal with than small ones. It’s always best to get an estimate based on your specific situation before hiring any pest control professional.

image of text saying ``You're paying for experience, expertise, skills, and knowledge that you don't have yourself.``

9. Why is pest control so expensive?

When you hire a professional pest control service, you’re paying for experience, expertise, skills, and knowledge that you don’t have yourself. You should be getting service from a company that’s properly licensed and insured for your protection. You’re getting peace of mind knowing that the job is getting done right for the health and safety of your family, and for the prevention of more costly problems in the future. Professional pest control costs more than doing it yourself, but you also get a lot more.

spider being place on man's face

10. What does pest control treat?

In general, pest control treats common household pests under the broad categories of rodents, insects, and spiders. Rodents can include rats (roof rats and Norway rats) as well as mice (house mice and field mice). Insects commonly treated by pest control methods include ants, hornets, wasps, yellow jackets, bumble bees, silverfish, earwigs, fleas, powder post beetles, pantry moths, drain flies, grain beetles, bed bugs, carpet beetles, and cockroaches. Some common spiders treated by pest control include aggressive house spiders, orb web spiders, hobo spiders, and brown recluse spiders. Of course, this is not an all-inclusive list. You should speak directly with a pest control professional to find out what they’re able to treat.

man fighting a swarm of bugs

11. Does pest control attract bugs?

Some methods of pest control attract bugs into traps using bait. And sometimes you’ll start noticing more bugs as pest control treatments start working. These are not new bugs coming into your home. They’re bugs that have been in your home all along, but now they’re dying or trying to find new places to live. Talk to your pest control professional if you’re noticing more live bugs once you’ve started treatment, because something may have been missed or just not be quite right.

image of text saying ``Pest Control is not the same as an exterminator, although sometimes pest control includes extermination.``

12. Is pest control the same as an exterminator?

Pest control is not the same as an exterminator, although sometimes pest control includes extermination. An exterminator, by definition, is a person or thing that exterminates — gets rid of something by killing or destroying it. In context of pest control, an exterminator generally gets rid of pests by the “controlled application of toxic chemicals.” Pest control professionals also get rid of pests, often by killing them, but not always in some circumstances. And pest control also uses preventive measures to keep new pests from coming back into the home.

image of text saying ``Pest Control services evaluate your unique situation, identify and remove unwanted pests, and keep them from coming back.``

13. What do pest control services actually do?

Pest control services evaluate your unique situation, identify and remove unwanted pests, and keep them from coming back. Sometimes keeping them from coming back includes sealing up holes and other access points where they can get in. Sometimes it means chemically treating certain areas. Your pest control service provider should provide a plan that is unique to you, your home, and your situation. When you’re ready, you can contact us for a free estimate and discussion of just what we can do for you.

woman working on her laptop

14. How do I hire a pest control company?

To find and hire a pest control company, many people search for “pest control near me.” Some people ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations. There are a few things you should know before you call any pest control provider and some background research you may want to do. For example, you want to be sure they’re properly licensed and insured. Also, make sure they’re a member in good standing of Better Business Bureau and ask if they’re members of any other professional organization (National Pest Management Association, for example). Talk to them and get a feel for their honesty and integrity. Look for reviews. And above all else, get an estimate so you know what to expect before you hire anyone.

woman cleaning bathroom in home

15. Should I clean the house after pest control?

Instead of cleaning the house right after pest control, it’s best to clean before. If your pest control treatment includes chemicals of any kind, you should ask your service provider how long you need to wait after application before you clean the treated area. Cleaning too soon can diminish the effectiveness of the treatment. If you forget to ask your pest control technician, you should always be able to contact the office (here at Classic Pest Control, we have a policy of getting back to you within the same business day) and ask a staff member for help in getting the answer to that or any other question you have.

family laughing on the couch in their home

16. How long should pest control last?

There are so many variables that affect how long pest control should last that the best answer to this question really is “it depends.” It depends on the severity of the infestation. It depends on the type of pest control treatment performed. It can even depend on the weather. Generally speaking, you should plan to have regular pest control treatments every 2-3 months. To get a more exact answer for your specific situation, it’s best to ask your pest control professionals directly.

rain covered window glass

17. Can pest control be done in rain?

Yes, pest control can be done in the rain … generally. However, some modifications may need to be made or certain areas skipped. For example, if the area to be treated is completely exposed to rain (a child’s play structure in the middle of your yard, for example), your pest control technician may not be able to spray while it is raining heavily. However, if the pest control treatment isn’t a liquid pesticide, there shouldn’t be any issue at all. Most areas of your home receive enough protection from rain — even outside walls are somewhat protected by the roof overhang — that rain shouldn’t make you change your schedule. An honest and ethical pest control company like Classic Pest Control will tell you if rain will affect your treatment or not, and they can advise you on your best course of action.

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18. Do pest control services really work?

Yes, pest control services really work … as long as the company has the knowledge and experience necessary to properly identify the kinds of pests you’re having issues with so that they can use the proper treatment plan to get rid of them and keep them from coming back. This is critical, because if the pest control treatment doesn’t match the actual pests you have, then it won’t work. Pest control is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and to get the best results, you need to hire experienced professionals who know what they’re doing. At Classic Pest Control, we’ve been a full-service pest control company since 1997, so we can say with confidence that pest control services work when done right.

animation of a cockroach eating a cheeseburger

19. Why do I see more roaches after pest control?

It’s common to see more roaches after pest control treatments as the treatment takes effect. You don’t actually have more roaches in your home than before treatment. They were already there. But as they respond to the treatment — looking for new food sources and different nesting spots — you will typically see them more. You should talk to your pest control service provider if you’re worried about the temporary increase. They can advise you and put your mind at ease about exactly what you can expect as “normal.”

a bug's life scene with bugs walking

20. Why do I see more bugs after pest control?

Sometimes you see more bugs after pest control treatments. And you may question if the treatment is actually working because of this. Don’t worry. The extra activity actually is a sign that the treatment IS working. Not all pest control methods kill bugs on contact. But once the bugs have been disrupted by the treatment, they will become more active while they try to find a safer place. Once they either move out or die, you’ll stop seeing them. If you continue to see more live bugs once you’ve started treatment, be sure to notify your pest control company because something may have been missed or just not be quite right. Technicians are human, after all, and if there’s a problem, we want to fix it for you. At least, that’s our policy here at Classic Pest Control! We take care of problems, and we do it quickly.

woman vacuuming carpet

21. How do I prepare my home for pest control?

The steps to take to prepare your home for pest control vary depending on the types of pests and the method being used to get rid of them. So it’s always best to get specific instructions from your pest control provider. In general, if the treatment is outside, you’ll want to remove debris from around the exterior walls of your home. If the treatment is inside, you’ll want to vacuum and mop the floors, clean the baseboards, and remove any items that are in the areas to be treated (beneath the kitchen sink, for example). Some treatments require you and your pets to leave the home for a certain amount of time. Others don’t have this requirement. Again, ask your pest control provider for specific instructions on preparing your home for your particular pest control treatment.

giant flyswatter splatting a bug

22. How often should you do pest control in your home?

The determination of how often you should do pest control in your home also depends on the treatment methods you’re using and the severity of your pest infestation. You may need treatments more often as you’re initially treating the problem. You may need pest control visits less often if your treatment methods are longer lasting. The goal is that your home is always protected. Your pest control provider can help you create a treatment schedule to keep your home and family safe from pests based on all of the particulars of your situation. Here at Classic Pest Control, our philosophy is that we’re a service-based business, not a sales-based business. That means we work with you to provide what you need, not what we want you to buy. We believe you deserve that respect. So how often you should do pest control in your home, is not a one-size-fits-all answer. It’s unique and specific to you.

2 hours later still frame

23. How many hours do you need to stay out of your home after spraying for bugs?

The number of hours you need to stay out of your home after spraying for bugs depends on the pesticides and chemicals used. Sometimes this is two to four hours. Sometimes it’s up to 24 hours or more. If you or your family members have any underlying conditions that make you more sensitive to the pesticides and chemicals used, these time frames may be extended. This is absolutely a question you must ask your pest control provider. We recommend having this discussion when you schedule the service so that you’re fully prepared when the technician arrives. You should feel comfortable asking this question of any staff member who answers the phone or any technician who arrives at your home. At Classic Pest Control, we have a knowledgeable staff that you can trust with all of your questions.

woman spraying cockroach killer spray at the camera

24. How long do pesticides last in my home?

Various factors affect how long pesticides last in a home, and you should always ask your pest control professional for an answer specific to your situation. For example, some pesticides have residual effects and continue killing pests weeks and months after the initial application. Others are designed to work immediately without the residual life. Another factor is the surface to which the pesticide was applied. Porous surfaces like bare wood, concrete, and carpet will soak up the pesticide, while non-porous surfaces like glass, stainless steel, and tile will not. Other factors like temperature and humidity also will affect how long pesticides last. The knowledgeable staff at Classic Pest Control are happy to answer questions based on your unique situation.

image of text saying ``The most common type of pest control is known as Integrated Pest Management.``

25. What is the most common method of pest control?

The most common method of pest control is known as Integrated Pest Management. That’s a fancy way of describing targeted pest control. In other words, we identify what the customer is dealing with, then we determine if treatment is necessary based on whether or not the pest is interfering with daily living; if the pest is damaging/destroying property; or if it is adversely affecting health or morale. Once it is decided that treatment is necessary, we determine which treatment will be most effective and most environmentally sensitive, where it should take place, and when/how often it should be performed. Therefore, there is no true “most common method” because each customer’s situation is unique, and the treatment is specific to their own situation.

image of Angie's list Super Service Award 2020 - awarded to Classic Pest Control

26. Are all pest control companies the same?

No, all pest control companies are not the same. Not everyone holds themselves to the high standards that we do here at Classic Pest Control. What makes us different from others is our attention to detail, our knowledgeable staff, our quality service, our honesty, integrity, and professionalism. We’re proud to have been the recipient of the Angi Super Service Award for 11 consecutive years. Not all pest control companies can say the same. We are veteran owned and operated, and this is a family business. Our family cares about your family.

ant infestation on kitchen counter

27. Are pest control services guaranteed?

Pest control companies each have their own terms and conditions, including guarantees and warranties for pest control services. For example, Classic Pest Control offers a one year Exclusion Warranty on all openings diagrammed and sealed by us (certain terms apply), and this is extended to a Lifetime Service Warranty when combined with Rodent Preventative Maintenance Services. It’s always best to ask your pest control provider about their guarantees, terms, and conditions. We put ours in writing so you can clearly see all the details.

mother and daughter laughing on their couch in their home

28. Is Pest Control safe?

When safety guidelines and protocols are properly followed, pest control is safe. This is why it’s so important to hire pest control professionals who are knowledgeable, honest, and ethical. For example, when you hire Classic Pest Control, you don’t need to worry about your safety because our technicians work to industry standards. Based on the pests present and the treatment methods chosen, they can give you specific safety protocols and guidelines to keep your family safe. They can tell you whether it’s safe to spray specific pesticides indoors and if it’s safe to stay home after pest control. If it’s not safe to stay home, they will tell you how long it will be until it is safe to return.

puppy holding a stick and looking at the camera

29. Is Pest Control Safe for pets?

Not all pest control is safe for pets, so it’s important to let your pest control company know about any pets you have. This is an important factor in deciding which treatments are best to use in your specific situation. Because, of course, we only want to use treatments that are, indeed, safe for your entire family, including your pets. It’s this level of professionalism, integrity, and caring that makes Classic Pest Control different.

ants coming out from under a door

30. Does Pest Control help get rid of ants?

Yes, there are pest control methods that will get rid of ants. First, you must determine what kind of ants you have. Because the type determines the treatment. For some, like pavement ants, the right over the counter product, placed in the correct location, can remedy the problem. But for others, like carpenter ants and moisture ants, do it yourself treatments are not recommended. For this reason, it’s best to get a professional identification and recommendation. While most ants do not carry disease, some species can cause significant structural damage. So it’s best to deal with them sooner rather than later.

mouse crawling next to electrical wires

31. Does Pest Control get rid of mice?

Pest Control can help get rid of mice in your home, and it’s important that you do get rid of them. Rodents, including mice, can carry dangerous diseases … some fatal. They also can cause structural damage to your home. Since they are smaller than rats, mice can be hard to notice. So it’s important to know the signs to look for that can indicate that your home may have been invaded by these rodents. For example, you — or more likely your pets — may hear scratching noises at night inside walls and ceilings. You may notice droppings or urine stains. It’s best to get professional pest control help in getting rid of mice and sealing up entry points to prevent new invasions. Getting rid of mice will protect your family from disease and help you avoid costly repairs to your home.

rat in a metal cage

32. Does Pest Control help get rid of rats?

Yes, Pest Control also can help get rid of rats. Rats can destroy your home and steal your peace, so it’s important to get professional help right away to deal with these rodents. At Classic Pest Control, we know that it can be overwhelming to know there are rats in your home. That’s why we have a full-service plan including exclusion, cleanup and sanitation, and preventative maintenance to deal with them. Like mice, rats can carry dangerous diseases and can cause significant, costly structural damage. Whether they’re roof rats or Norway rats, they need to be gone. And it’s not something you should try to do yourself.

dead cockroach

33. Does Pest Control help get rid of cockroaches?

Pest control can help get rid of cockroaches. In fact, complete removal of these persistent pests takes time and special knowledge that most homeowners simply don’t have. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies cockroach control as perhaps a homeowner’s most difficult task. The CDC also identifies cockroaches as an allergen source and an asthma trigger for residents. There are four parts to an integrated pest management strategy to get rid of these pests: prevention, sanitation, trapping, and chemical control. Getting help from pest control professionals like Classic Pest Control to get rid of cockroaches is the surest way to protect you and your family.

flea on white background

34. Does Pest Control help get rid of fleas?

Pest control can help get rid of fleas, but it takes more than simply applying insecticide. To get rid of fleas, you must simultaneously treat all your pets and their environments, both inside and outside of your home. Before treating with insecticides, it’s important to thoroughly clean pet bedding, carpets, upholstery, pillows, etc. as well as bathe your pets using flea shampoo and then apply flea treatments to them. It’s best to get professional guidance, because multiple applications may be needed, especially in areas of high infestation.

woman falling backwards on bed after a long day

35. Does Pest Control help get rid of bed bugs?

Bed bugs — as warned about in the children’s rhyme “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite” — do, in fact, bite. Bed bugs feed on blood, and while they are not known to spread disease, the bites can itch. And excessive scratching can lead to skin infection. Pest control can help get rid of bed bugs with treatment methods similar to those for fleas. Both cleaning and use of insecticides are important parts of the process.

fuzzy spider moving its front legs

36. Does Pest Control help get rid of spiders?

Pest control can be effective in helping get rid of spiders. And it’s important to seek professional help to do so since there are at least 34 unique species of spiders found in Washington. Some are venomous, while others are harmless. Pest control professionals can identify the kind of spiders you have and treat them accordingly … and safely. Whether it’s Hobo Spiders, Orb Web Spiders, or the more dangerous Brown Recluse Spiders, professional pest control treatments can keep spiders under control and prevent dangerous infestations that can put you and your family at risk.

termite damage on wood surface

37. Does Pest Control help get rid of termites?

According to the National Pest Management Association, termites cause an estimated $5 billion in damage to structures in the United States each year. Luckily, pest control treatments can help get rid of termites. There are also preventative treatments to help avoid dealing with the damage they cause in the first place. It’s important to get regular termite inspections every 3 years and preventative treatments every quarter … or as advised by your pest control professional for your specific situation.

moth on a black and brown background

38. Does Pest Control help get rid of moths?

Generally, homeowners can get rid of moths by keeping carpets vacuumed, floors cleaned, and woodwork like moldings, baseboards, and shelves dusted. Moths are attracted to dust and dirt, so keeping everything clean is the best way to prevent them from invading. However, if you have a moth infestation that’s beyond your control, a professional pest control company like Classic Pest Control can help you get rid of them.

beetle stuck on its back

39. Does Pest Control help get rid of beetles?

Yes, pest control can help get rid of beetles. Like with other pests, proper identification is the first step in determining the appropriate treatment. It’s important that you don’t ignore beetles, because some, like powder post beetles, can do thousands of dollars’ worth of structural damage. In order to completely get rid of a beetle infestation, the affected areas must be sprayed with the proper residual product to both kill the existing beetles present in the larval stage as well as prevent adults from depositing more eggs.

bumble bee getting pollen from a flower

40. Does Pest Control help get rid of bees?

Professional pest control will help get rid of bees ONLY IF they are NOT honey bees. As pollinators, honey bees are incredibly helpful to our ecosystem, and we are committed to protecting them. Invasive bumble bees … and their relatives in the wasp family … are a different story, and yes, pest control can help get rid of them. While bumble bees don’t carry disease, they are venomous and a sting can create an allergic reaction. They also can cause structural damage if the hive is attached to drywall inside an attic. Bumble bee removal is not something to attempt on your own. Please call experienced pest control professionals like us at Classic Pest Control for proper identification of the type of bee and for their removal.

wasps crawling on their nest

41. Does Pest Control get rid of wasps?

While some gardeners like that paper wasps are pollinators and eat insects like caterpillars, flies, and beetle larvae, it is generally advised to get professional pest control help to get rid of wasps. Paper wasps prefer to stay away from people and aren’t as prone to sting as other wasps (like yellow jackets, for example), but they are venomous. Wasps are able to sting repeatedly, and their sting can cause allergic reactions. Their hives are most often noticed under the eaves of a home, as well as under and in the cracks and crevices of shake and tile roofs. Wasp nest removal is best left to experts like Classic Pest Control.

murder hornet walking past camera

42. Does Pest Control get rid of murder hornets?

Yes, pest control can get rid of murder hornets as well as other more common hornets. Hornets in general can be very aggressive when provoked, and because they are venomous, their sting can cause allergic reactions. Because of this, it’s best to let experienced pest control professionals get rid of hornets for you. While venomous, murder hornets don’t actually “murder” people. That is just one of the many common myths about murder hornets that aren’t true. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is more concerned about murder hornets’ threat to honey bees. So if you think you’ve seen a murder hornet, contact the WSDA right away at 1-800-443-6684.

yellow jacket on nest

43. Does Pest Control get rid of yellow jackets?

Yellow jackets are a type of wasp that is aggressive, so you should seek professional pest control help to get rid of yellow jackets. Hives can be found almost anywhere, including attics, crawlspaces, under decks, inside walls, in trees, etc. If the hive is built inside, they can cause structural damage as well as create a potentially dangerous situation. They are venomous, and their sting can cause allergic reactions. In addition to removing existing hives, pest control treatment for yellow jackets can include preventative treatments each spring and fall to reduce the chance of problems in the first place.

silverfish on white background

44. Does Pest Control get rid of silverfish?

Pest control can get rid of silverfish, and this is not a pest to be ignored. While they don’t carry disease or cause structural damage, they can destroy personal belongings and cost you a lot of money in the long run. Silverfish eat fabric (curtains, sheets, clothes, etc.) as well as paper, carpet, glue, hair, photos, and sugar. It’s common for them to invade pantries and get into food. Do it yourself is not recommended unless you have knowledge and experience in dealing with silverfish. It’s better to call experts like Classic Pest Control to properly identify and treat these pests.