When to call an exterminator for cockroaches? (Detailed Guide)


When you see one, you already know that there's plenty more hiding away under your fridge or beneath your counters!

Apart from being one of the most common household pests, a cockroach is a notorious for spreading nasty bacteria.

when exterminator for cockroaches

The mere sight of roaches crawling across your kitchen floor and on your walls is simply unnerving.

As much as you want to get rid of them, the idea of crushing one is downright gross and disgusting.

But don't worry. Cockroach exterminators are just a phone call away to give you that expert assistance you need to get rid of such stubborn pests. To know more about calling for professional cockroach control, read on.


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Should You Call for a Cockroach Exterminator?

Of course, you are more than capable of killing a cockroach or two. Moreover, there's a couple of DIY solutions that you can try to help you get rid of such burdens at home.

But the question is—can you really get rid of cockroaches inside your house for good? Or is it better to leave the problem to expert hands and call for a cockroach exterminator?

Why Make the Call?

Apart from being a nuisance to your day-to-day life, cockroaches are known carriers of some of the deadliest diseases. The health and well-being of your family is too important to be left to chance.

And this, in a nutshell, is simply the reason why you should call for a certified exterminator to deal with the cockroach infestation in your house.

Like mice, cockroaches are nocturnal pests and they try their best to hide from us in plain sight. If you think seeing a single cockroach crawling underneath your sink isn't that big of a deal, think again. In fact, this one of the very first signs of a full-scale infestation. 

When to Call an Exterminator?

Cockroaches are stealthy yet troublesome pests and simple problems can easily get out of hand in a matter of days.

As a responsible homeowner, it's critical to know the right time to call a professional exterminator—before the situation gets even worse.

How bad does it have to get?

Cockroaches live in the dark, and they prefer to exist within the walls and underneath the crawlspaces of your home unnoticed.

So if you see one crawling out of your cupboard or flying across your kitchen, it's a telltale sign that cockroach infestation has already reached to a point where some are forced out of their hiding spots.

Your comfortable living space can easily turn into a very unpleasant shelter for you and your family at the presence of a cockroach infestation.

Other signs of such problems include droppings scattered behind your refrigerator and stove, as well as a strong and musty odor throughout your home (or at least in some areas of your house).

Can I Do It Myself?

Of course, it's very easy to buy a bug killer from your local grocery store and spray some in known infested corners of your home.

Cockroaches, however, don't go down that easily.

Besides, you're only exposing yourself and your family to the chemicals that come along with these popular insecticides. 

A single cockroach can produce about 300 to 400 offspring throughout its lifetime. This means that it only takes one surviving cockroach for the infestation to recur in the future.

So before you decide on going "Rambo" to these unwanted guests, it is best to consider calling a reliable cockroach exterminator, as these professionals are much better acquainted with the enemy than you are. Exterminators employ the latest infestation tracking techniques as well as state of the art approaches to end an infestation for good.

How much does a cockroach exterminator cost?

One of the main reasons why some homeowners prefer to gamble and deal with the infestation themselves is to save on the cost of hiring a professional exterminator. Therefore, it's safe to say that the cost of acquiring professional help is one of every homeowner's major concerns. 

The typical range of hiring a cockroach exterminator is somewhere between $110 and $270. High end services however, can reach to as much as $500.

One-Time Treatment

The one-time treatment is the most common approach acquired by homeowners. The package is comprised of the inspection and treatment phases, all initiated in the same day. More often than not, this type of service comes with a month-long guarantee.

One-Time Contract is applicable for mild- to medium-level infestation and comes at a price of somewhere around $150 to $550, depending on the size of the property and the severity of the problem.


For medium to large properties, cockroach exterminators will most likely recommend an annual contract which will run from $600 to $1,200 a year.

This type of contract typically comes with two stages rather than one—the inspection and periodic visits.


The inspection phase of the contract is the initial visit from the exterminator on the concerned property.

Check out the video below for a quick sample of an inspection from a professional pest control specialist. 

In this visit, the exterminator will track down the nesting grounds as well as possible entry points of cockroaches. The inspection phase usually costs less than $200.

Periodic Treatment

Depending on the contract, periodic treatment can be initiated monthly, every two months, or quarterly.

In this phase, the cost decreases as the frequency of visits increases. Each visit will cost around $40-$50 for monthly, $50-$60 for semi-monthly, and $100-$300 for quarterly.

How to Talk with Your Exterminator

It seems pretty easy to talk to an exterminator over the phone. But did you know that the overall success of the treatment can also be directly affected by the details that you provide?


The fact that you've come to the point of calling a cockroach exterminator means that you have already observed significant signs of the infestation inside your house. It is critical to take note of the specific areas or corners of your house where you have witnessed cockroach activity and tell the same details to the exterminator. 

Cockroaches like warm and humid environments. They're usually seen along networks of pipes inside your home, underneath your furniture, inside your walls, stacks of cardboard or paper, inside closets and cabinets, and inside your shoe rack.


Cockroaches are too light for them to make noise as they scurry away at the mere sight of another human. They do, however, make a hissing noise. Fortunately for homeowners, cockroaches that usually infest homes such as the American and German types don't hiss unlike the Madagascar hissing cockroach.

Unpleasant smell

Do you know what cockroach odor smells like?

Roaches give off a nasty, oily, and musty scent. This odor gets even stronger the longer the infestation is left unattended. Not that such unpleasant smell lingering throughout your house is already bad enough, the pungent odor of cockroaches can also have a direct effect on the taste of your food.

Damaged clothes

Cockroaches are natural scavengers and more. They have a huge appetite for almost anything that come across their paths. They become attracted to the inviting scent of food stains and drink spills that get stuck in clothes. This in turn makes the cockroach to cut through the fibers of the clothes as they try to feast on such stains.

How to Choose an Exterminator

Finding a way to end a cockroach infestation is one problem. Looking for an experienced pest control specialist who is best equipped to get the job done is another. 

Being able to select the best cockroach control company will give you the top value for your money. Bear in mind that competency of your chosen exterminator is also as important as the costs that you will have to bear for the entire treatment process.


All cockroach control companies out there will claim that they're the best in the business or that at least they are capable of making your home 100% cockroach free.

But the question is...can they truly deliver?

One way to be sure that you're talking to the right persons is by looking at their credentials. A reliable cockroach control company must be duly registered and manned with licensed and certified technicians/employees. The company must at least be willing to show their credentials to you upon request.


Ask the company if they are willing to provide you with a list of their previous clients.

You can use these customers as references and ask them if they are satisfied with the results of the services provided by the concerned cockroach control company. If the job was performed with professionalism and care, then this company should be kept on your radar.

Conversely, if the job was underperformed or if the previous clients weren't satisfied, well...there's your answer.

Professional Experience

Another significant way of gauging the competency of a cockroach exterminator is by taking a good look at the company's work track. Consider the exterminator's length of existence in the industry, as well as the number of successfully serviced clients.

Another advantageous approach would be to check on the company's BBB (Better Business Bureau) rating to see if there are any complaints filed by its previous clients.

Pesticides Used

Cockroach exterminators use different types of pesticides for eradicating infestation. These types of insecticdes include baits (in the form of granules, liquid, gel), aerosol sprays, and foggers contain chemicals that pose a threat to the environment and to human health. 

A trustworthy exterminator should be able to provide you with a copy of labels of the pesticides they are using and discuss with you the rate of application.


A service guarantee helps put a client's mind at ease. A reliable cockroach exterminator should be able to confidently guarantee the effectiveness of their services on offer.

A service guarantee, at its core, is best matched with a warranty wherein the company is willing to provide a repeat of the service or treatment provided if in case the client is not satisfied with the previous appointment.

Number of Treatments

The treatment program is designed on the severity of the cockroach infestation and its surrounding circumstances. The actual number of treatments needed to reverse an infestation directly depends on the severity of the problem. 

This also affects the total cost of the service. After inspection, never hesitate to ask the exterminator about such details as well as the needed precautionary measures.

What About Pets?

Any loving pet owner knows that furry friends come first.

As much as you want to focus on the cockroach infestation, you should also know how to take good care of your pets throughout the duration of the entire treatment process.

Keep in mind that your main goal is to poison the pests and not your dog, cat, bird, lizard, or other pet.

Talk to the Exterminator

Apart from telling the exterminator important details of your infestation problem, you should never forget to tell them that you have an animal or two at home. Some cockroach control companies are capable of utilizing pet-friendly techniques in case of such scenarios.  

Four-legged Pets

If you happen to have cats and/or dogs at home, it's best to secure them with a pet carrier or keep them in a separate room that is not scheduled for treatment.

Avoid letting your pets to roam freely throughout your house during treatment. 

Birds and Fish

As much as possible, transfer your fish tank or bird cage to a safe area.

If this isn't an option, you can try covering your pets' cages with a damp towel to avoid exposing your pets to the pesticidal chemicals.

After Treatment: The Next Steps

Here's the next big question on everyone's minds: what's on the agenda after a space is treated for a cockroach infestation?

First of all, it's recommended to stay away from the treated areas of your house for at least one full hour after the exterminator leaves. If you see a couple of surviving roaches roaming around, don't panic. Pesticides applied by your exterminator will still continue to work for about one to two weeks after treatment.

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If you keep on seeing more roaches after two weeks, it is best to call your exterminator for a follow-up treatment.

As a homeowner, the first thing that would come to your mind is cleaning. But before anything else, it is best to make yourself fully aware of the type of treatment applied on your infestation problem. This way, you'll be able to know when, where, and how you'll be able to do some cleaning around your around your property.

What to Tell Your Neighbors

Having cockroach infestation in your home is not really something to be ashamed about. In fact, cockroaches are among the most common household pests. It's best if you tell your neighbors in advance prior to getting a treatment for the infestation as courtesy. 

Because of the treatment, some cockroaches might escape from your home and seek refuge to your neighbors' homes. Telling your neighbors your planned treatment will give them a heads-up and work on sealing up possible entry points.

The Bottom Line

Cockroach infestations, as annoying as they are, are just another part of being a property owner. 

When you know the proper protocol for handling them in an efficient manner, you can eradicate these creepy critters with ease and professionalism. Take the time to read up on what you should know before, during, and after a professional comes to treat you home, so that your treatment will go as smoothly as possible.

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