Is Quarterly Pest Control Worth It?
Because you are a responsible homeowner, you want to make sure that your property is being treated regularly by a pest control expert. Regular visits allow your exterminator to stay on top of any problems you’ve had like prior infestations. This also allows the exterminator to take preventative measures to ensure that no new issues develop.
However, some disagreements exist over how often these pest control treatments need to occur. Should your property be treated every month, every quarter, every six months or just once a year? The industry’s standard recommendation tends to be quarterly treatments. In this article, we’ll discuss if quarterly pest control is worth it, or if there may be a better approach to regular pest control.
Quarterly Pest Control Cost
Often, those who argue that quarterly pest control is an unnecessary and excessive point to the associated cost of having an exterminator come to your property four times a year. This is particularly true if your home has been consistently pest-free. You may wonder: what exactly am I paying for? Could I save money by doing biannual or even annual pest control? In a word - no. No matter where in the country you live, how meticulously clean you keep your house and lawn, and how rarely you ever see an insect of any kind, you don’t want to gamble with insect infestations.
The Cost of Quarterly Pest Control
Importantly, the cost of quarterly pest control is usually built into an annual contract that you, the homeowner, will sign with the pest control expert. A contract is helpful because there are no surprises. You will know when exactly the pest control expert is scheduled to come, and the exact cost of each visit. Every pest control service is different, but it is common that the cost of quarterly pest control is built into an annual contract.
So, what should you expect quarterly pest control cost to be? In 2019, the average cost of quarterly pest control was anywhere from $400 to $1200, annually. Different factors affect the annual cost, such as the size of the house, and the specific treatments required. Of course, there are exceptions, such as properties that have extensive infestations that require extra visits and more than average treatments to get under control. For these outliers, the total annual cost is close to $3000.
The Problem with One-Time Treatments
Hypothetically, let’s say that you currently have no problems with pests in your home or yard. The cost of quarterly pest control seems a bit unnecessary for you since quarterly visits do not appear to be warranted. So, you hire a pest control expert to visit and treat your property in the early spring. It’s possible to find a pest control expert who will do a one-time treatment for $30 as a promotion, which may seem tempting. If the pest control expert fails to find any evidence of insect infestations and everything seems to be okay, you may decide to wait before you schedule any subsequent appointments.
Perhaps you allow a year to go by. You may have a major infestation on your hands without even realizing it. Insects can invade your home, nest, and multiply without even being noticed. Some pests stay hidden from sight, by nesting in basements, garages, woodpiles, and other dark areas, and are only active at night. By the time you start noticing the pests, the infestation may be out of control and serious structural damage may have been done to your property.
Indeed, if you allow enough time to go by, you are almost guaranteed to have a problem on your hands. Why? Because, the majority of pest control treatments, chemical or otherwise, are only effective for a few months. If you wait too long between treatments, your property becomes completely unprotected and vulnerable to pests, almost guaranteeing that you will soon have an infestation on your hands (if you don’t already).
This may mean calling a pest control expert for emergency service, as well as the added costs of having to mitigate whatever damage has been done to your property by the infestation. Termites and carpenter ants can cause especially expensive damage. Subsequent visits from the exterminator will be necessary in order to get the situation under control and prevent future infestations. This will far exceed the cost of quarterly pest control.
Quarterly pest control cost is simply something that you need to factor into your budget as a necessity, not an option. Therefore, if you are asking if quarterly pest control is necessary, the answer is a resounding yes. Otherwise, you will wind up paying for emergency treatments and property repairs; expenses that dwarf the cost of quarterly pest control.
Is Quarterly Pest Control Necessary?
Certainly, there may be circumstances under which quarterly pest control may not seem like a necessity.
Such circumstances include:
- If you live in an apartment. If you live in an apartment, review the terms of your lease thoroughly. Your landlord may or may not be responsible for pest control. If your landlord is responsible for pest control, inquire as to how often treatments are done. Report any pest-related problems you may have to your landlord immediately. It is important to note that in multi-unit apartment buildings, bedbug infestations are a common problem, as they can spread from unit to unit.
- If your house is brand new. Despite the fact that you may live in a newly built, pristine house, there may be tiny cracks in the walls, ceilings, doors and windows that develop as the house settles. Cracks provide the perfect entry points for insects to begin an infestation. Additionally, when a new house is being constructed, there are often large sections of the house that remain open to the elements. Doors and windows are opened during painting, and while walls are erected, there may not be much more than a tarp protecting the exposed areas of the house. Also, certain building materials and paints can actually attract insects. Finally, it is possible that wood was used to construct your house that contained termites.
Therefore, no home is immune to pest infestations. As such, it is important to take a progressive approach to pest control to keep infestations under control.
Further, if you are still unsure about whether the cost of quarterly pest control is worth it, consider this. A visit from a pest control expert is less expensive than the fees charged to exterminate pests. What’s the difference? Exterminators use chemical pesticides to kill the invading pests that have infiltrated a home.
Pest control experts focus more on how the pests got into the house, and what can be done to prevent future infestations by making changes within the house. Generally speaking, a visit from an exterminator costs more than a visit from a pest control expert. If you have to call an exterminator, you have an infestation on your hands.
In fact, exterminators will often have to make subsequent visits to apply additional chemicals to ensure the infestation has been eradicated. Visits from an exterminator can quickly become very costly.
Typically, a series of visits from an exterminator will quickly far exceed the cost of quarterly pest control. This, of course, does not include the additional cost of having to repair or replace any damage done to your home by the infestation itself. It may be necessary to hire a contractor to do extensive repairs. Termites, for example, can wreak havoc on floors, ceilings, support beams, furniture and more. Adding up the potential cost of hiring a contractor on top of an exterminator, and the cost of quarterly pest control seems more than reasonable.
Conclusion: A Smart Investment
In the end, the vast majority of homeowners in the United States do their best to keep their homes and lawns in great shape. Indeed, our home is our pride and joy. However, most homeowners have to stick to a strict budget and are not interested in any frivolous or unnecessary expenses. This begs the question - is quarterly pest control worth it, or is it acceptable to schedule less frequent visits?
Ultimately, quarterly pest control is not only necessary but also budget-friendly. Many pest control experts offer deals on annual contracts for quarterly service, as opposed to paying for each individual treatment. Package deals and promotions are a good way to save money on a service that you need. Pest control treatments typically last for a few months at a time and wear off after a few months. Once the treatment is no longer effective, an infestation can begin.
Some infestations can grow without any obvious signs to the homeowner. In fact, by the time a homeowner notices the telltale signs that pests have infiltrated the property, real damage may have already been done. Quarterly visits from a qualified pest control expert will help to keep your home safe from pests at a fair price, giving you peace of mind and staying within your budget.