Pest control professionals (or exterminators) are adept at dealing with hundreds of unwanted house and office guests, including flies, birds, fleas, ants, termites, bees, hornets, wasps, roaches, silverfish, rats, mice, squirrels, moles and raccoons.
Pest control is important because most pests combine exceptional reproductive zeal with an equally powerful likelihood for carrying disease. Without control, one pair of German roaches can expand to more than 2 million in less than a year. It’s not unusual for bacteriologists to find salmonella bacteria on cockroaches. Additionally, cockroaches are believed to spread viruses, and they can cause allergic reactions for many people, especially asthmatic children.
Birds can also spread disease through feces, and birds such as woodpeckers can cause property damage with their incessant urge to drill.
Pest-control tools and techniques are as varied as their targets. Perhaps the best known of these are the fly swatter and the mousetrap, although more advanced solutions abound. Professional exterminators employ methods that include poisons, bottle and bag traps, glue sticks and glue paper, foggers, aerosols sprays, bait stations, and even ultraviolet light traps. Non-toxic pest control products are increasingly popular in recent years.
Exterminator service professionals emphasize prevention as an essential element of any pest control program. Among tactics they suggest are covering garbage cans, practicing extreme cleanliness in the kitchen, storing pet foods in sealed containers, and sealing all potential pest entry points. A mouse needs only a 3/8-inch crack or hole to get inside. Pay special attention to places where wires, pipes, or other utility lines enter a building.