When renting an apartment it is recommended to do pest control when the apartment is vacated and empty of furniture. I usually do not recommend performing pest control in a house or apartment where there are no pests, i.e. preventive pest control, this is because the duration of the warranty period for most common household pests is three months (ants, pantry moth, clothes moth, German cockroach, fleas. Therefore, economically and environmentally there is no real reason to perform pest control when there are no pests around, and you may be lucky and get through the summer without having to call the exterminator and waste money and use unnecessary pesticides.
The only case in which I do recommend performing pest control even if there are no pests is before moving in to empty apartment or house. This is for two reasons:
In an empty house / apartment I can spray in places where I cannot spray when the property has people and furniture in it. Places such as the kitchen cabinets, which are full of food and dishes, when there is a heavy credenza in the living room, or the rooms are furnished with beds and dressers, etc.
Because you do not know if there pests in the house / apartment and if so, what kind of pests, so people choose to have inclusive pest control done. Such type of pest control usually covers ants and cockroaches (American cockroach = large roaches), and in some cases silverfish. The price may be a little high, but this is because the exterminator must provide warranty on pest control against additional pests, thus increasing the chance he will need to return to the apartment at a later time.
So you decided to have pest control done. How do you proceed?
Choosing an exterminator: You should call several exterminators and inquire about their rates; whether they are licensed; what warranty they provide; what pesticides are used; safety instructions, etc.
Tips: Do not choose the exterminator with the lowest rates, the longest warrant, the shortest duration being out of the house / apartment. This is simply because an exterminator is not a magician. If they all give a 3-months warranty on ant extermination, an exterminator who gives a 1-year warranty is hiding something (whether it is that he is not intending to meet the warranty time given, he uses prohibited pesticides, he charges for repeat visits, etc.)
If the average price of several exterminators is 200 NIS, an exterminator who gives a quote of 150 NIS cannot really do a good job, using the proper pesticides and profit (unless he works off the books).
Duration of time out of the house / apartment after pest control is done. With the exception of using gel pesticide or traps, there is no pesticide that allows staying in the house / apartment while it is being performed. Times can vary depending on the type of pesticide used, but the minimum time is at least half an hour and definitely not before the pesticide dries. Personally, I would never give my clients such timeframes.
Timeframes I recommend to my clients are:
Two hours for healthy adults
Six hours for small children, pregnant women, people with asthma and other sensitivities
Twelve hours for pets (dogs, cats)
Now you know what to do when you decide to have pest control done before moving into an empty house or apartment.
Elad Uri, Agronomist and Certified Exterminator
Exterminator License Num. 1803
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