Ask most people for their opinion on cockroaches and you’ll get one word: gross. The six-legged creatures are creepy at best. They can live for weeks with their heads cut off and a month without food.
What some people don’t know is that cockroaches also present a health hazard. They cause allergies and asthma, particularly in children. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Science, 20 percent of children have severe sensitivities to cockroach allergens. Cockroaches also carry more than 30 types of bacteria, including illness-causing E. coli and salmonella.
For every cockroach you see, there very well may be hundreds or thousands hiding where you can’t see them. To keep the problem at bay, and to keep treatment costs down, call an exterminator the first time you see a cockroach.
A professional inspection is the first step in eliminating cockroaches. An exterminator will asses the extent of the problem, offer a comprehensive plan for extermination and provide a written quote.
Exterminators use a variety of methods to get rid of cockroaches, including pesticide foggers, gel baits and traps. The most effective method is usually a combination of two or three. You can help by keeping your home as clean and sanitary as possible. Cockroaches won’t be attracted to your home if you remove sources of food and water. Proper sanitation also cuts down on the amount of pesticide required.
Even with professional extermination and proper sanitation, don’t expect the cockroaches to disappear overnight. The amount of time it takes to get rid of them depends on the type of cockroach, the severity of the infestation and the control methods used, but the process often spans several months, with follow-up inspections required for a couple years.
The cost of cockroach extermination depends of the type of cockroach, the severity of the problem and your location. The best way to get an accurate idea of pricing is to seek quotes from several exterminators in your area. Generally, however:
- Budget about $150-$300 for a one-time visit. This service should come with a guarantee of at least 30 days. However, don’t expect a single visit to eliminate the problem.
- Many companies will require you to sign an annual contract, which usually costs anywhere from $300 to $600 per year. For that price, you’ll get an initial inspection and treatment, then quarterly follow-up treatments.
- For severe infestations, monthly visits may be required. Budget about $30-$40 per month, plus the initial service fee of $150-$300.
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