With bed bugs, you probably understand why it makes sense to call in the professionals and not trust your own abilities to eradicate the infestation. With insects and rodents, however, it may look more enticing to avoid the exterminator's fees and treat it yourself. After all, insects and mice are small-so what does it take to get rid of the infestation anyway?

Turns out, a lot. It makes much more sense to pay for an exterminator for these infestations-although it may seem so easy to treat it yourself. Why?

For one, realize that what you get in the stores is not as powerful as the chemicals an exterminator will use. There are several pesticides that are not available for consumers to buy. These pesticides are powerful and are potentially harmful to humans. Thus, they are only available to licensed exterminators, who will use them to treat your infestation. The stuff in the stores may advertise to be 100% effective and guaranteed to kill all the bugs in the world. Reality is, however, that these products won't, as they have weaker active ingredients than the restricted pesticides that are only available to technicians.

Also, even if the do-it-yourself products do work, you may not know how to use them effectively. For example, did you know that treating for an ant infestation (outside) won't work when it's raining? If you didn't know this (as most people wouldn't), you may spend good money on do-it-yourself products, and end up wasting it because you put it out at a time when it won't be effective. Licensed technicians know behind-the-scenes information that the average consumer doesn't, and they will use that knowledge to treat your infestation quickly and efficiently. Treating infestations is a comprehensive process and does not only include putting down the bait or pesticide and leaving. The average consumer does not understand the entire process, while exterminators will. You can treat a fly infestation with do-it-yourself products-but do you know how to prevent them from coming back? Exterminators know all of this information, and will use it to make sure the pests are gone, never to return. Do-it-yourself products, however, act more as a band-aid than a treatment.

There's also the safety issue. Are you or anyone living with you asthmatic? Do you have pets? Allergies? Are there children or elderly people living with you? Exterminators know the health risks of all the products they use very well, and will warn you of any possible health hazards. Do-it-yourself products, on the other hand, tend to write the health warnings in small print on the bottom of the packages somewhere. It's not worth it to risk making a loved one or a pet sick because you didn't pay attention to the health warnings on a product-or if the warning wasn't listed at all. An exterminator is well-versed in possible safety hazards of the products they use, and will let you know about them before using them. This just may save you from a trip to the emergency room, or worse.

Finally, there's the fact that exterminators bring knowledge and experience to the job that a do-it-yourself product on the shelf will not . No pest-control job is identical to another. Each particular case has its own circumstances, which directly affects the treatment process. For example, if you live in New York City, water bugs are currently a widespread problem, and exterminators are aware of this-and will alter their treatments accordingly. Pest control experts do treatments every day, and know the issues of their locales. This allows them to tailor their service to each customer, which again, makes it much more likely to eradicate the pest the first time around.

So although it may seem expensive and unnecessary at first, exterminators turn out to be the best option-in price, peace of mind, and safety.