There are a lot of bug and rodent treatments available at your hardware store that leave a lot of room for misapplication,” says Shay Jones Runion, vice president of professional development at Arrow Exterminators in Atlanta, Georgia. “In many cases people will use too much product or pick up the wrong treatment for their problem.” She warns that certain treatments can make the problem even worse; for example, over applying product can contaminate baits that exterminators lay down for treatment, which makes their services less effective. And bug bombs that people often mistakenly buy to treat bedbugs will just end up scattering the pests around your home.
5We can’t help you with your head lice.
While most exterminators will tell you that the best part of their job is getting to solve your problems, some issues are beyond their area of expertise. “Head and body lice are a medical issue and there’s no reason for a pest management company to treat for them,” says Willingham, who reports that Western gets calls about the bugs a few times a month. And according to Dr. Harrison, some exterminators only concentrate on certain species. “Have that dialogue with the person you’re hiring,” he suggests. “Some pests—like ones that live in grass—are covered by different licenses.” To learn more, read “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Head Lice.”