Does Pest Control Actually Work and How Long Before You Start Seeing Results?

Alison Kasch
Written by Alison Kasch
Updated November 10, 2021
Pest control spraying home

If you’re bugging out over hiring a pest control service, here’s the 4-1-1

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Pests take over your home as well as your peace of mind, so the last thing you need is for them to eat into your hard-earned cash. If you're antsy to know whether pest control treatment is worth the investment, we cover the benefits—and how soon to expect them—below.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Exterminator

DIY pest control treatment might make your wallet happy, but there are a few key benefits you miss out on. Here are the extras you’ll get when you hire a pro.

Identifying and Eliminating Pests

Professionals have the training and experience to hone in on your pest problem. Most pest control companies can eliminate all sorts of different types of pests, from rodents to spiders and all sorts of bugs. If it makes you say “nope,” these pros know how to deal with it.

Access to the Most Effective Chemicals and Pesticides

Different types of baits and chemicals work for different types of pests—and you won’t be able to find many of these treatments on your next department store run. The pesticides that consumers have access to often aren’t as powerful as professional-grade. Pros also have the expertise of where and when to apply them for the best results.

Preventing Future Infestations

If you eliminate the pests but don't find the source attracting them to your home, more infestations are likely. A local exterminator can determine the cause of your problem, find the specific source, and eliminate it to prevent future infestations.

Avoiding damage

Bugs and rodents can do some real damage. Termites can gnaw away at your prized wooden deck, while cockroaches can make your entire designer shoe collection feel tainted. Rodents can live in your walls and treat your insulation like a port-o-potty. Waiting too long will force you to repair the damages or pay for a total insulation replacement, which might cost more than you’d have paid the pros in the first place.

Protecting Your Health

Beyond the “ick” factor, pests can carry harmful diseases and bacteria. For instance, cockroaches can carry E. coli and salmonella on their bodies, spreading these pathogens wherever they scurry. Ants can contaminate your food, and bees or wasps can trigger dangerous allergic reactions. Many pests can also cause or intensify allergies and asthma.

By attempting your own pest control, you become vulnerable to any diseases that might be present in pests or their droppings. Hiring a professional exterminator is the best way to rid your home of these hazards for good.

Saving You Time

A professional pest control company can provide quicker and more effective results than if you tried to fix the infestation yourself. They have the know-how to implement extermination plans and eliminate all pests in a relatively short amount of time. If you try the DIY route, it’ll be much more of a guessing (and waiting) game.

Does Pest Control Work?

Couple discussing exterminator costs
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Getting a pest control service costs $200 to $600 on average, which is quite a bit more than a can of insecticide or a 12-pack of mouse traps. So, is it worth the investment? If you’re mulling over whether to hire an exterminator, chances are the answer is yes. 

Maybe you’ve already thrown some money down and are still seeing intruders, or maybe you’re just grossed out with no idea of where to start. Either way, having a pro intervene is the best way to regain your peace of mind and avoid any unnecessary spending. Many pros will also offer a guarantee, so you’ll know that money is going to a good place.

How Long Will It Take to Get Rid of Your Pest Problem?

The amount of time it takes to eliminate pests will depend on the type and severity of the infestation. Most companies can complete pest control treatment within one to six hours, while larger problems requiring fumigation can take up to a week.

As for when to expect results, you’ll usually notice fewer of the little buggers within a couple of days. You might notice more of them immediately after treatment, but this is actually a good indicator that it worked. The rest of the nest is running for the hills, meaning their ill-gotten lair is now uninhabitable. Once covered in the pesticide, it’s unlikely that the bugs make it for more than a week or so. Be patient, and know that you’re nipping the problem in the bud.

Hiring a Reputable Exterminator

To avoid pest control scams and get back to how things were before your pest problem, you’ll need to find the right pro for the job. Don’t worry—the market’s not infested with bad apples, but it’s important to do your homework before you hire. Look up top-rated pest control companies in your area and verify that they are licensed and insured. 

It also helps to read reviews and get proposals from at least three different companies. That way, you can compare rates as well as value and choose the best bang for your proverbial buck.

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