How Much Does Pest Control Cost? – Forbes Home

Most of the time, you can handle a minor pest issue on your own. Many pests that enter homes are simply seasonal invaders looking for a warm place to bed down. Many homes see a seasonal rotation of ants in the spring and spiders when the weather begins to cool down.

For these types of pest control problems, sticky traps, bait or even sprays can work effectively. Always use caution around kids and pets when using these types of products, and be sure to follow directions carefully. But in some cases, a pest control problem can get out of hand, and pests can begin to threaten your home’s condition.

In these cases, professional service is definitely called for. Below are some signs you may have a pest control problem that’s gotten out of control.

How to Spot a Carpenter Ant Infestation

Carpenter ants shouldn’t be considered benign invaders like regular ants are. These larger ants can quickly multiply and cause extensive damage to the inside of your home’s walls. Here are some signs to look for if you’re wondering whether to contact a professional to handle carpenter ants in your home:

  • You’ve spotted an increasing number of large, black ants in your home. Though they may be few, these ants can signal a much larger problem. They act as “scouts” for food sources, then alert the rest of the colony once they’ve had success.
  • Presence of frass, which looks like sawdust, in door jams, under baseboards, in basement areas or crawl spaces. Termites eat wood, but pests like carpenter ants and bees push it out of the holes they’ve bored in your walls. You’ll see sawdust-like evidence to indicate that you may have ants taking up residence where you can’t see them.
  • If you ever notice winged ants on the outside of your window panes, you should know that this is an indication of a pervasive carpenter ant infestation. It’s time to call a professional immediately.

How to Spot a Termite Invasion

Termites are one of the most common pests in households, and they can be extremely difficult to eradicate. If the problem is extensive enough, you may even need to have your home tented and fumigated in order to get rid of termites. Here are some signs that you have a severe termite issue:

  • Appearance of water damage to wood flooring. As termites destroy the subflooring, your wood floors can take on the appearance of having blistering or water damage.
  • Damaged wood in your home. Whether it’s a window frame, a bedroom door or a baseboard, any type of otherwise unexplained wood damage in your home could be a sign of termites.
  • Termite parts. Seeing lots of small, white wings? This is evidence of a termite swarm, so it may be time to have a professional investigate the source.
  • Evidence of “mud tubes.” A small, brown vertical line at the base of your home’s exterior may not seem like a big deal, but this is a classic sign of a termite infestation.

How to Spot a Bed Bug Infestation

Despite only making the news in hospitals and nursing homes, bed bugs are surprisingly common, even in a residential setting. According to, nearly 97% of pest control professionals had dealt with bedbugs in the year the latest data was available. Here’s how to know if you’re dealing with a bedbug invasion.

  • Bite marks on your skin. If you’re noticing itchy bites that are otherwise unexplained, you may have bed bugs.
  • Reddish stains on your sheets. Disgusting as it is, this is an indication of bed bug excrement, which means they’ve taken up residence in your linens.
  • Brown or yellow flecks on your sheets. Similarly disgusting, these are bedbug eggs. One way to tell? They won’t go away when you shake the sheets vigorously.

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