How to Get Ready for the Exterminator

Karin Barga

Unfortunately, neatness alone does not pest-proof a home or make it immune to infestations. Regular scheduled visits from the exterminator should be part of your home maintenance routine.

Bring in the exterminator, but prepare for him first.

Reputable extermination companies make every effort to eliminate undesirable pests, and they request certain tasks of homeowners before the first inspection and between scheduled appointments to maximize their effectiveness.

Ongoing Maintenance

Clean the home and uphold its cleanliness for the best possible long-term results. Repair any water leaks as soon as they are detected. This includes wiping down the baseboards, scrubbing hard-surface floors and woodwork with detergent, and thoroughly vacuuming. Check dry foods, such as cereals, for larvae. If any are found, discard the products immediately and make note to report to the exterminator. Discard all excess paper products and unused piles of refuse.

In Case of Infestation

Remove any live insects, insect dirt or insect eggs, then clean and disinfect the vacuum cleaner. Wash all bedding, including pet bedding, and shake out pillows and cushions on beds and couches. Pick up loose articles of clothing, toys, magazines, books or any other items that are on the floor or other surface and put them away.

Kitchen Preparation

Remove food from all cabinets to a table away from potential treatment sites. Cover and store any open food. If possible, relocate pantry food from cabinets to a table away from potential treatment areas. Remove small appliances from countertops and clean off stove and top of refrigerator to reduce hiding spaces.

Outdoor Preparation

Mow the lawn at least one day prior the scheduled appointment. If the lawn is regularly watered, water one to two days before the scheduled appointment but not on the same day. Sweep sidewalks but do not hose them down. Open the garage door so the garage is accessible. Keep garbage in a closed receptacle and remove it from the home nightly.

Family Preparation

Make arrangements for children, pets, live house plants and anyone who is pregnant or has allergies or respiratory problems to be away from the home for an extended period of time during and following extermination treatment. Cover fish aquariums and unplug filters.

Additional Preparation

Take note of any locations on the property where pests, or evidence or pests, have been seen prior to the scheduled appointment. Ask the extermination company for additional instructions. Depending on the specific pests that you're addressing, specific unique precautions may be required. Compose a list of any questions or concerns you would like to address with the extermination company during the appointment.

Before the Bug Man Arrives

Pull furniture away from walls 12 inches. Store or cover children’s toys, hygienic items, clothing and mattresses. A bedbug exterminator may require you to leave mattresses and infested materials uncovered, and my require other efforts on your part.