Do you even need a professional Pest Control Company?

Some pest problems can simply be tolerated or ignored. This will depend on your personal level of tolerance. Some people can accept a few ants or spiders in their homes, others cannot.

Most household pests are classified as nuisance pests; they do nothing except bother you (ants, earwigs, boxelder bugs) The fact that they bother you is reason enough to want to get rid of them. Others are classified as economic pests. They can cost you money by their damage or doctors bills (termites, carpet beetles, bees and wasps.)

Some pest problems can be self-treated with good results, especially nuisance pests. If the self-treatment doesnít work to your satisfaction, you can always call a professional exterminator. Economic pests generally should be treated by a professional exterminator. See the links to common pests for suggestions.

Some pests, such as sowbugs, pillbugs and millipedes simply cannot be treated chemically. There is no way to prevent them. Although the problem is usually of short duration, you will have no choice but to put up with them.

Some pest problems, such as lice, are classified as medical problems, and cannot be treated by professional exterminators. Contact a physician for such problems.


Contracts or jobs?

The kind of pest that you have can determine if you need a contract or a job. Most residential pest problems can be treated on a job basis, that is, just one treatment. Spiders, mice, wasps, beetles and some other pests can usually be controlled this way, although you may need a job every year or so. Ants, on the other hand, can only be eliminated with regular serviceÖa contract.  Another reason that a contract may be beneficial is if you are calling for several jobs a year (earwigs in the summer, yellow jackets in the fall and mice in the winter.)

Other reasons people ask for a contract are: peace of mind (we donít have any problems and we want to keep it that way,) preventative (we live in a wooded area and we donít want to wait until we get a problem,) or habit (we move a lot, and every time we move into a new house we always hire a pest control company.)

Type of contract.

Residential contracts are most often sold as either monthly or quarterly.

Semi-annual or tri-annual contracts are also available.


Pesticides used in homes are biodegradable, usually lasting only 3 months.

If a pest control company treats your house on a monthly basis, and treats the same areas of the house each time, they are putting a layer of active chemical over an existing layer of active chemical. This does not make the pesticide stronger, faster or more effective. It only wastes time, money and chemicals.

Sometimes, a pest control company treating on a monthly schedule will treat a different part of the house on each treatment. Perhaps the kitchen and bathrooms one month, the basement and garage the next month and the outside on the next treatment. Thus, it takes three months to treat most of the house, and some areas never get treated at all.

The problem here comes down to economics. A monthly treatment (usually about 10 minutes each,) costs about 1/3 of a quarterly treatment (for example, $50.00 a month vs.. $150.00 per quarter.) A pest control serviceman has to produce a certain amount of money per day for his company ($500.00, for example.) Therefore, the monthly serviceman has to treat 10 houses per day, while a quarterly serviceman has to treat 4. That equates to less time per house, especially when you have to factor in travel time between stops.

I can not find even one good reason for a home to be treated on a monthly schedule.


A quarterly service schedule decreases the number of appointments per year from 12 to 4, a convenience to the customer. It also matches the break-down time of the pesticide. It allows plenty of time for the serviceman to completely treat the house (usually 2nd floor, 1st floor, basement, garage and the outside.) The thoroughness of this treatment gives superior results. AND, companies that treat quarterly usually provide free call-back service between quarters!

OK, youíre way ahead of me. Barrington Exterminating Company treats homes on a quarterly schedule.

Choosing a pest control company.

One great way to choose a pest control company is to get a referral from a friend or family member who is satisfied with their pest control company.

Another is to call several companies and compare what they have to say. Information contained on this web site will help you evaluate their programs. The yellow pages in the phone book (under "Pest Control,") is a good place to start. Sometimes just reading the ads themselves will give you an idea of which ones you want to call. Things that you can find out from the ads include: if itís a national, regional or local company; a family business; how long they have been in business; any affiliation with national or state pest control associations, chambers of commerce; or areas of specialty (termite specialists, residential specialists, bee and wasp experts.)