Yes, you can call a pest control company or pest exterminator service in your area, and chances are, they may be able to help you with your mosquito, flea, or lice infestation problems. A pest control company may treat your home or workplace with a variety of insecticides and insect repellents, and most of these treatments are applied by spraying.
Do Pest Control Companies Spray for Mosquitoes?
Pest control companies spray for mosquitoes in addition to other additional measures. The exterminators may use one or several types of sprays depending on a variety of factors. Homes and workplaces surrounded by a lot of shrubs, plants, tall grass, and other patches of dense foliage have a lot of hiding places for the biters, and these may require a barrier spray that bonds to vegetation. If your place has a water feature or an open waterway, these may require a separate treatment to get rid of the mosquito larvae as well.
Next, getting rid of mosquitoes in and around your home may require several treatment visits from the pest control folks. The cost to get pest control companies to spray for mosquitoes can go up in areas that have a longer mosquito season. In general, though, you can expect to pay more for mosquito eradication if you live in warmer areas. The shorter mosquito season in colder areas means lower costs for mosquito control, as you might expect.
What Do Pest Control Companies Use for Mosquitoes?
Pest control companies usually use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved mosquito-killing sprays and repellents. The EPA does warn, however, that no mosquito spray or pesticide should be considered as 100% risk-free. That said, some of the newer insecticides used by mosquito exterminators are shown to be safer not just for humans but for pets and birds as well, compared to the older ones. In general, many residential pest control services favor the use of pyrethrins, which are a form of pesticide also naturally found in chrysanthemum flowers.
Pyrethroids, the synthetic counterpart that mimics the effect of pyrethrins, are a common alternative, too. Both pyrethrins and pyrethroids have largely replaced the use of older organophosphate pesticides, especially for residential use. The organophosphate sprays, which are shown to be toxic to animals, birds, and humans, are falling out of favor compared to the more “natural” alternatives.
Pest control company workers usually deliver these sprays using backpack equipment, helping them cover a lot of ground as they go after the usual hiding places for mosquitoes. They generally target shrubs and nearby vegetation, and employees are careful to target the underside of leaves. They also go after other cold areas where mosquitoes like to take shelter in, such as under decks, stairs, and in outdoor sheds.
Does Spraying for Mosquitoes Really Work?
Spraying for mosquitoes is effective in reducing mosquito populations with the proper application and regular treatment. It’s important to understand that even regular spraying and misting will not eliminate 100% of mosquitoes on your property. Once treatment stops in the middle of a mosquito season, there is also a possibility the biters may come back in numbers.
In general, though, studies show that pyrethroid sprays significantly curb mosquito populations even up to six weeks after the first application. If the pest control company installed misting solutions around your home, then you can expect to keep mosquitoes at bay long after the exterminators are gone.
Do Pest Control Companies Spray for Fleas?
Pest control companies spray for fleas, and they use a chemical solution that requires you to be out of the home or office for as long as five hours or even longer. A flea infestation is a tough thing to clear out, and exterminators generally resort to a long-acting insecticide spray, in addition to flea bombs and foggers, to get the bugs under control.
Do You Need an Exterminator for Fleas?
Nobody wants to live in a home with fleas in it, but not everyone wants to pay for pest control service to come in and get rid of them either. That said, a flea infestation can quickly go from bad to worse. One flea can live for more than three months, feeding, and laying eggs all this time. They are resilient pests that can quickly multiply out of control, and they can be very difficult to deal with using off-the-shelf products.
Fleas can live in your furniture, on your pets, and outside your home. You may be able to treat your home and your pets for fleas, but until you apply the proper treatment to the ground cover outside your home, you may get another infestation in a few weeks.
Professional pest exterminators are trained to identify the full treatment your particular flea infestation case needs. More importantly, they are properly equipped with that effectively get rid of fleas safely. Reputable pest control companies use sprays and flea bombs that pose minimal risk to you and your pets while being effective enough to rid your home of the entire flea infestation. If you need help finding a pest control company you can make use of our free exterminator search tool.
What to Do Before an Exterminator Comes for Fleas?
Pest control services can be expensive, and there are things you can do to help make sure you can rid your home of a flea infestation with as few treatments as possible. Here’s what you can do to prepare your home before the exterminator comes over.
- Plan your schedule to give the treatment enough time to do its job. Ask the pest control people how long you need to be out – most treatments require around three to five hours to be effective. Once you know how long you need to leave your home, you can now make arrangements for the household and your pets. Don’t forget your caged pets as well. If you have birds, hamsters, or pet reptiles, make sure they are not around for when the exterminators come over.
- Speaking of pets, those hours you’re out of the house are a good time to get them treated for fleas at a veterinary clinic. This way, you get both your home and your pets treated at the same time, which significantly minimizes the risk of a flea re-infestation.
- If you have pet fish, make sure the insecticide is not getting into their water. Cover your aquarium with wet rags or paper towels to keep air out. Turn off the pumps as well just before you leave the house.
- Store or dispose of any open food containers. Make sure none of your food utensils or dishes are exposed to the treatment.
- Once the pets are out of the way, it’s time for a clean-up. Get rid of fleas in all your pet bedding by washing them in hot water. Clear the floor of all items and get the home tidied up.
- Do a thorough vacuuming around the house. Pay attention to the spaces between and under cushions, carpeting along walls and places where your pets frequently lie on. Make sure to dispose of the vacuum cleaner bag in a sealed garbage bag afterward. After the treatment, you need to give the insecticide time to eliminate lingering fleas and their eggs. You should not mop or clean your floors and carpets for two weeks or more after the flea treatment.
- Finally, collect all the bed linens, blankets, and pillowcases and wash them in hot water. This is especially important if your pets like to get on your bed.
- Your pest control service may turn off your air system and your stove pilot light for you, but you can turn them off yourself before you go as a courtesy to the exterminators.
Do Pest Control Companies Spray for Lice?
Yes, pest control companies can and will spray for either human lice or pet lice if you ask them to. Human lice live on humans, and these bugs will not be able to survive three days if they don’t have a host to feed on. Personal treatment, then, is almost always a better option for getting rid of a human lice infestation – you can get a lot more done by consulting your doctor about your lice problem rather than asking an exterminator to come over.
That said, certain workplaces and facilities may call for the services of a pest control company for specialized treatment to get rid of lice. Hospitals, for example, may ask for regular treatment to keep operating rooms and emergency wards free of any and all bugs, human lice included.
The same can be said for most cases of pet lice infestations. Pet lice, just like human lice, can’t jump. Instead, the infestation is directly transmitted from direct contact between your pets. Cross transmission of lice between humans and pets does not happen, too. That’s why it’s a more productive use of your time to treat your dogs or cats for lice so the bugs do not reproduce on their desired host.
Once your pets are properly treated for pet lice, cleaning up after any remaining nits and adult lice around your home can be done by simply keeping your floors and pet bedding clean. Wash pet bedding in high heat or hot water, and steam your carpets to get rid of any of the remaining adult pet lice.
If you do opt to ask a pest control company to do the work for you, they could use the same environmental spray products they use on fleas. These insecticides work just as well to kill pet lice, larvae, and eggs.
Does a Bug Bomb Kill Lice?
A bug bomb doesn’t do much to kill off human lice since you and your family have to leave the room or house to use it. Since head lice cannot live for more than two days apart from a human host, you are much better off treating the lice that are on the infested person rather than trying to get rid of lice from furniture or beds.
Aside from the fact that a bug bomb is entirely unnecessary for killing lice in beds and pillows, you also expose yourself, your family, and pets to pesticide risk if you use one as well.
The same goes for the idea of using a bug bomb to kill pet lice. It’s much faster, safer, and more effective to treat all your pets for lice than to set off an insecticide bomb in your home. With the right treatment, the lice population will quickly run out of hosts it can safely feed on, and your home will be pest-free before you know it.
Pest control companies will spray for mosquitoes, fleas, and lice if you need them to, and it’s usually a good idea to consult with one before trying to take on a full-blown infestation with DIY solutions. Reputable exterminators can offer you useful advice before you decide on a course of action. They have the experience and the right equipment to ensure your home is completely rid of bugs and parasites that can endanger your family’s health. If you want to learn more about how to properly vet a pest control company check out our article “Do Pest Control Companies Really Work?” which includes steps or check out the EPA’s official guide.