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What do exterminators handle?

Exterminators, also called pest control professionals, handle the creepy crawlies of the home so you don't have to. Exterminators specialize in detecting the presence of pests in a home, diagnosing the seriousness of the infestation, and utilizing various remedies to get them out of a dwelling and keep them out. This can mean utilizing traps to contain and eliminate pests or as a recon to find out exactly where they're frequenting. It could mean chemical treatments to handle infestations where traps are not an option, or in the case of some bugs it requires a temperature treatment (such as the heat treatment for bed bugs). Another important job of exterminators is preventive measures if you live in an area prone to infestations such as apartment buildings or townhomes.

The short answer to this is no. While you can have wildlife get inside your home (such as squirrels or racoons in the attic) wildlife and house bugs are not the same thing and require different levels of professionals to handle. In most states, your local exterminator is only going to be licensed for the control of insects through use of approved pesticides. Dealing with local wildlife invading your home is known as a wildlife conflict resolution and requires much more knowledge than exterminators who deal only in bugs.

If you've got wildlife in your home, you need to call a wildlife professional who can trap the animal for release and handle any situations that could potentially become dangerous (such as the spread of diseases like rabies). But, also keep in mind before calling wildlife specialists that some pests such as rats or mice are the domain of exterminators. When in doubt, you can always ask.

Depends. There are certainly steps you can take to ensure your home is less inviting to pests. This means keeping surfaces clean, not having dirty dishes in the sink, using trash cans with lids, preventing clutter, and regular vacuuming. Some bugs are lone wolves and can be handled on their own. But some bugs, such as cockroaches, exist in swarms and spotting one or two is indicative of far more hiding within your walls. This is why you should call a professional at the first sign of a bug to get it handled fast.