A roach scurrying across your kitchen floor, the skittering sound of paws coming from your attic, the telltale sign of wood damage left behind by termites: these are clear signs of a pest problem. No matter where you live, sooner or later you’re probably going to have a pest control issue. Whether these pests are raccoons, hornets, termites, roaches, ants, or squirrels, if you spot one of these unwanted guests, you should call on the experts to help. Waiting to fix the problem can lead to health concerns for you and your family as well as cause damage to your home.

However, once you decide to call a pest control expert, you might be posed with the question, “What kind of service plan do you need?” Though they have similarities, indoor and outdoor service plans target different areas of your home and property and have different methods for exterminating pests.

Indoor Service Plans

When the bug or wildlife invasion of your home is already underway, an intervention of the indoor kind is usually necessary. Indoor pest control plans typically involve the following:

  • Pesticide application. If your pest problem is serious enough, it may justify applying pesticides within your home. Rather than using a spray wand to squirt chemicals along the length of your baseboards, a modern pest management professional is likely to apply pesticides more judiciously and safely. For example, when treating indoors, a technician will probably use pesticides in the form of baits, gels, dust, or granules, which are less likely to get on humans and pets than aerosolized liquids. In general, a technician will treat areas inaccessible to children and pets, like inside cracks and crevices, behind switches and outlets, and in attics and basements. If you’re wary of applying any synthetic chemicals, don’t worry; plenty of companies also offer “green” pesticide options with fewer or no chemical additives.

  • Pest inspection and rodent exclusion. Many bugs, such as cockroaches and termites, prefer a warm, damp environment in which to breed. Rodents, like squirrels and mice, can live in a home throughout the year, using its attic, basement, or walls to keep their young away from predators—all a mouse or squirrel needs to get inside a home is a half-inch gap. To head off the problem, your pest control company will perform an inspection of your home to identify points of entry and possible nesting areas for nuisance insects and wildlife.

  • Bed bugs. Bed bugs have been featured in the news as a common pest problem, especially in urban areas, and they’re very difficult to exterminate fully. However, many pest control companies offer bed bug-specific eradication methods, including treatment with pesticide dust or aerosol and, in severe cases, fumigation. In order to completely eradicate bed bugs, homeowners must participate by laundering their sheets with borax, vacuuming, and installing bed bug interception devices around the legs of their bed.

  • Fumigation. Fumigation is usually reserved for infestations so serious that normal means of pest removal are not enough. A large tent encloses the home while the pest control experts treat the interior, poisoning or suffocating the vermin within the home.

Something to remember about indoor pest control: Since it’s important to minimize human exposure to pesticides, seek out holistic treatment programs that combine synthetic chemicals with natural chemicals and strategies like pest exclusion repairs. When it is time to apply a pesticide, a technician can help identify your problem and design a treatment to target that specific pest.

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