Cockroaches are one of homeowners’ biggest fears – the very word elicits feelings of uneasiness and disgust. Because an infestation can make your home an unpleasant and unhealthy place to live, if you’ve seen cockroaches in your home you should call a professional exterminator. He’ll have the right tools and knowledge to eradicate the pesky insect once and for all.
Why Call a Professional?
While the average lifespan of a cockroach is just one year, during that time a female roach can lay up to 400 eggs. Although exterminators and pest control experts in other warm cities will tell you that cockroaches prefer warm climates, the bugs can survive freezing temperatures, little or no food, and live underwater or without oxygen for short periods of time. As a result, it’s hard to get rid of them without strong chemicals.
In most cases, when one cockroach is spotted, there are additional ones lurking around. While it’s possible for a lone cockroach to find its way into your home, if you spot more than one you likely have or are about to have an infestation. Though many over-the-counter sprays, poisons and traps are available at local home and garden stores, in most cases these products will only delay the infestation or kill a small portion of the roaches. In addition to being ineffective at eliminating the problem, these products often have strong chemicals that can be dangerous to humans.
How Much Will it Cost?
The cost of cockroach extermination varies depending on the size of your home and the type of treatment necessary. Exterminators may use a fogger to apply insecticide in mist form, they may spread desiccants which dry out and kill the bugs, or they may use neurotoxins. The cost for such a service will be anywhere from $100 to $400 depending on the severity of the infestation. In addition, your exterminator may recommend periodic maintenance visits which can cost between $30 and $100 each.
Dangers of Infestation
Aside from the discomfort homeowners feel with having cockroaches sharing their home, an infestation can also be a health risk. Because cockroaches molt regularly, their discarded skin turns to dust and can become airborne, causing asthmatic reactions and other problems to people with respiratory issues. Additionally, cockroaches can spread diseases, contaminate food and cause allergies.
The best way to rid your home of cockroaches is to prevent them from nesting there in the first place. If you seal all your food and wash up the dishes and take out the garbage in a timely fashion, your home will be less attractive to cockroaches. To get rid of moisture, make sure to fix any leaky pipes. The points of entry should also be located and sealed off. Check for cracks, holes and small spaces behind counters, cabinets and appliances. The best method to close these up is with caulking, but if you discover major damage to your cabinets or counters you may need to hire a carpenter to do some repairs.
When hiring an exterminator, make sure he is experienced and licensed. In addition, discuss the different treatment options and what this will mean for your family. Find out how long you’ll have to leave your home for and if the exterminator offers any guarantees for his service.
Mark Stevens is a writer from New Jersey who has written over 100 home improvement articles. Want to ask Mark something? Send him a message.