There Is a Difference

I found this blog post by Cooper Pest in New Jersey. I feel that it explains the difference between an Exterminator and a Pest Control person. Kudos to the writer.


Pest Control vs. Exterminators … What’s the difference?

Posted by: Cooper Pest

What exactly is an exterminator and how does it differ from a pest management professional? Years ago your parents may have been quick to pick up the phone and say “I need these ants exterminated now!” The response was a very chemically invasive treatment that required them to be out of the house for hours, which during that time chemicals were pumped into the walls and the home was “bombed.” In the end, sometimes the treatments worked, but often they didn’t. Even when it worked, the ants often returned because the chemical treatment was just a Band-Aid and not a real solution.

For the longest time, and even still today, the thrill of the kill is what some people want to see when it comes to dealing with unwanted pests. They want to walk into a room that was treated aggressively with chemicals and see a massacre of dead cockroaches belly-up all over the floor. Homeowners may envision a terminator with a backpack filled with chemicals using the spray hose to spray chemicals throughout a home and then watch the bugs falling from the ceiling. That scene is what homeowners envisioned when dealing with various pests in their home.

The definition of exterminate is to “destroy completely,” also associated with the words “kill,” “put to death,” “erase from existence,” etc., hence why the imaginary scene of exterminators seems so profound with homeowners. While the word may suggest eradication of a pest population, rarely does this occur, which is fortunate for all of us because even pests play an important role in the environment and our planet’s ecology. Still we don’t want to see unwanted bugs and critters in our homes either because they have the ability to bite or sting us, can cause disease, damage our homes or belongings, or simply just be upsetting to see. This is where professional pest management comes into play. Pest problems must be managed in a way that keeps them out of our homes while protecting the environment, both inside our homes and in nature.

Exterminators and pest management professionals have several differences, although their goal of eliminating the pests may be similar. Exterminators rely on pesticides to eliminate the unwanted pests, using chemicals that could be more toxic than necessary whereas a pest control professional will focus on why the pests are present and look to alter the conditions that attracted them in the first place. If chemicals become necessary, the pest management professional will use more environmentally friendly products to get rid of the pests. Pest control companies tend to use products that are just as effective on the bugs but have little odor, are much less toxic to humans and pets and are applied in a very targeted fashion. Some treatments even completely eliminate the use of pesticides.  The biggest difference is that pest management professionals look for long-term solutions, rather than simply spraying chemicals to kill the pests you see.

In addition to using less chemicals, pest management companies tend to be more educated in the effective ways to eliminate each specific pest. For instance, at Cooper Pest Solutions, our technicians know precise ways to eliminate unwanted pests, like bed bugs and that treatment protocol isn’t the same as when dealing with another pest such as carpet beetles. Each and every pest has a specific reason for being present and requires a different approach to eliminate it from your home. It’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment procedure. Most pest professionals also receive intensive training to become a technician and obtain additional training throughout their career. As research and technology progress, technicians acquire further training to stay up-to-date on pest management practices with specific pests.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states including a DOT CDL/HazMat. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

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