How Often Should Pest Control Be Done?

The busy season for pest control in the Walla Walla valley is in full swing now, with just about every variety of pest that Z Pest Control remedies making themselves known in our homes and yards.

The markedly increased activity that comes around at this time of the year has been putting me into touch with lots of new customers almost daily. A question that comes up frequently when I meet a client for the first time is:

 "When should this treatment be done again?" 

I decided to write a little about that topic since I've never covered it on my site before.

The short answer: pest control treatments should be repeated as often as necessary to reduce pests to the level you're comfortable with.

That's how I do it: you tell me when you're feeling good about the number of pests that are around (if any), and then the service(s) can be stopped if you want. I don't do contracts, so you're never on the hook for services you may not need any longer once your pests are gone.

There is a minimum amount of time that I must wait before some treatments can be repeated, which is basically once per month. Some of my clients, the ones who feel the most uncomfortable when insects and spiders are around, generally select this frequency. Several of those clients purchase monthly service only during the months of April through October. Others are fine with quarterly visits, and a handful of clients I only see once per year. All others I help out if and when a pest problem arises, and that's all. Everyone's situation is different, so I accommodate that as best I can.

The type of pest being treated also determines how often treatments need to be done for the best results, and when. Some examples:

wasps, bees, hornets, yellowjackets, pest control, exterminator, walla walla, milton freewater, dayton, 99362
European paper wasps on a Z Pest client's mail box.
I bet the mail carrier prefers mean dogs to this!
European Paper Wasps: treatments during early to late spring, typically at least two spaced one month apart, do a lot to suppress paper wasp numbers for the rest of the season. This is because at the start of their nesting cycle, the only wasps out and about are queens. If they die, an entire nest will never exist. A maintenance application a few months later in the summer can help to keep them away, and a final fall application can potentially kill off newly hatched queens that come around your house looking for places to hibernate.

boxelder bugs, pest control, exterminator, 99362, walla walla, milton freewater, dayton
A cluster of boxelder bugs. A small cluster...
Boxelder bugs: keep hitting them until they're gone, starting around April and continuing through October. The earlier they are treated, the better, but it's never too late in the season to begin attacking them. Boxelder bugs are simply everywhere around here, so more will arrive in the treatment area all the time. Removing things like leaf litter, bark, gravel, etc. can reduce their harborage and thereby their numbers locally, but generally it takes a couple of insecticide applications spaced roughly one month apart to really knock them down.

ants, sugar ants, carpenter ants, pest control, exterminator, 99362, walla walla, milton freewater, dayton
Odorous House ants feeding on something sweet.
Ants: it depends on the type of ant, how long the infestation has been present, and what kinds of remedies someone may have tried in the past to deal with them. Generally, control of ants can be brought about in a month or two, as long as any conditions that might be favoring the ants are corrected (things like plants touching the outside of your house, exposed food inside, etc.). Ants can be active all year long, depending on where their nests are located, meaning that addressing them is in part a matter of adjusting treatment sites seasonally.

spiders, brown recluse, hobo spider, jumping spider, pest control, exterminator, 99362, walla walla, milton freewater, dayton
Don't worry, we don't have these around
the Walla Walla valley. :)
Spiders: monthly treatments go a long way toward keeping spiders down, with exterior applications providing the most benefit from April through October, and interior treatments being typically all that's necessary from November through March. Crawl spaces can also be "dusted" with dry formulation insecticides to kill spiders and keep them out, a treatment that's typically effective for six to eight months. If nothing else, have the outside of your home treated in the fall, which will kill off many spiders attempting to come inside to snuggle with you during the winter.

mouse, mice, rodents, pest control, exterminator, 99362, walla walla, milton freewater, dayton
A mouse that ate its last meal
 in the Z Pest office.
Mice: rodents are a year-round pest, potentially becoming somewhat more bothersome in and around structures during the winter months. Treating them is a matter of placing baits and traps and keeping them up for as long as mice continue to get caught and nibble the baits. Sometimes a mouse issue will end quickly (such as the handful of times I've trapped a single male mouse for a client, which ended all of their problems), and other times the presence of rodents is an on-going issue, necessitating a regular monthly service. If their activity begins to slow down, but not quite stop, visits can be spaced out to every-other month, quarterly, etc., which reduces your cost for the service.

weeds, lawn weeds, dandelions, driveway, gravel, sterlization, weed control, 99362, walla walla, milton freewater, dayton
Buckhorn plantain in the Dixie, Washington cemetery
before I began volunteering to treat the weeds there.
Weeds: there are two weed cycles that are important to address early on to keep a given area relatively weed-free all year long: the spring annual and perennial weed cycles, and the fall annual weed cycle. The first type begin growing in the spring and complete their life cycle before fall. The latter type begin growing in the fall, sit dormant for the winter, and then complete their life cycle in the spring. Any kind of weed is best treated when it first begins to grow, meaning that the most effective weed control is achieved with a properly-timed spring application, and then another application in the fall. This is true of selective weed control in lawns, or total weed control in places like driveways, gravel parking lots, etc. Along with your weed control, I can do some fertilizing if you would like, too.

These are just a few examples of the pest services that I offer. If you need help with something, give me a call and ask about it. There's a pretty good chance that what is bothering you is something that I do work on.

So then, to sum up:

Pest Control Frequency: When you're ready for it.
Time of the Year: Depends on the pest.
Termination of Services: When you want to.
Contract Commitments: NONE.

Sound good? Give me a call!


1 comment:

Unknown said...

That's great for that one client that only had one male mouse. Most people can only wish for that kind of luck. Mice just gross me out.

Anita Mas |