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Recently people have been asking: Why are pest management professionals so distinct from exterminators? In times past, when people needed to get ants out of their homes, they would immediately call for help in exterminating them. The solution would usually be a chemical based pesticide that would see people have to leave their homes for a long time, and during their absence chemicals were deep sprayed round the property.

After a fumigation owners would return in the hope of not having to see any more ants or pests in their homes. However, most times, the fumigation didn’t work, as it doesn’t last long. Most times a fumigation is just a form of first aid rather than treatment. 
From time begun people have desired to see their homes free of ants. The aim and desire of everyone who calls on an exterminator is to be able to enter a room that was fumigated and see a long line of pests killed on the floor. 

People whose homes have been invaded by pests engage the services of exterminators who carry a backpack full of chemicals, spraying chemicals in the nooks and crannies of the house, with the spray hose and watching the pests come down from the top of the house.  This scenario is what people with pest-filled houses have at the back of their mind when trying to make their homes pest free..  
People find it easy to call on the people who are best at killing pests: exterminators and — as the word sounds — they are sent to ‘eliminate or to put to death’ your home invaders.  

No matter their use, or the positive impact they have on the natural environment, we still detest pests in our homes, mainly due to the harmful effects they have, such as biting, stinging, giving us diseases, damaging our homes or belongings, or just simply being irritating. It is at this point that pest management professionals enter into the fray of the discussion.  Pest infestation issues must be handled in a manner that chases pests out of our homes while also safeguarding them. 

Though they may they seem to have similar functions, exterminators and pest management professionals possess distinct differences. Using pesticides to kill pests that are detrimental to our environment and using harmful chemicals is the required work of exterminators. 

Pest control professionals; however, are tasked with finding out the root causes of any pests in the environment and then offer solutions to prevent them from coming back. 
Also, if, at the end of the day, it requires the use of chemicals to eliminate pests, the pest management professionals are well known for using environmentally friendly chemicals to kill them. 

Most times pest control companies make use of chemical products that possess little odor, are less harmful to humans and animals, are effective in killing pests and are applied in a targeted fashion. Some companies simply do not use pesticides when eliminating bugs. So, from the above, we can determine that it is the examination of the root cause of pest infestation in an environment by pest management professionals — providing long term solutions — that is the most distinguishable quality between them and exterminators, who are only concerned with spraying chemicals to kill the pests in the environment.

Besides making use of few chemicals, pest management companies seem to be more knowledgeable about how to effectively kill each specific pest.  For example, in some companies technical officers have a vast knowledge on how to kill unwanted bugs, and they will also inform homeowners which protocols for treatment have to be used and which should not when combating a particular pest. In other words, every pest has a specific role which it serves in the environment, and there exist unique methods to remove it from homes.

​Same goal, a different method

​Indeed it is probably correct to say that the first word that comes to mind when faced with pest infestation is, ‘exterminator.’ People often get exterminators and pest control professionals mixed up. However, as pointed out above, they do have differences.  The main objective, which is the elimination of pests in your home is the same, but how they go about achieving this goal is quite different. In the modern era, pest control companies make use of a group of pest control professionals. Within this group you can find cssociate certified entomologists on the staff, as well as highly-trained and licensed general managers, service managers, and service professionals. 


​An exterminator aims to eliminate the immediate pests in the environment. The root cause for the pests being in that environment — your home — is not something they pay attention to, so the effects can often be disappointing as the the solution provided by exterminators is very often only temporary.  

Pest Control Professionals

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is one of the systems being used by Pest Control Professionals (PCPs) which emphasizes the fact that prevention and management remain the most critical factors in long-term prevention of pests. 
IPM implemented by PCPs will seek to understand and establish how the issue began in the first place. They also give advice on how to prevent pests from entering the home. 

The materials used by PCPs in their  combat against pests are effective and less toxic to humans and animals. PCPs engage in a thorough investigation in order to understand why you have a pest problem in your house and how it can be prevented from happening again, as opposed to just using chemicals to eradicate the seen pests in your property. 

Most professionals are now very well versed in what they have to do and are licensed in the safest and most functional ways to get rid of pests. This level of expertise is now likened to a profession, somewhat different from the past.

Rat Catchers

Looking back in history people who killed rodents were commonly referred to as “rat catchers.”  Times have changed, now you can see a pest control operator online who drives up in a clean truck, back then, times gone, the old rat catchers walked into town with dead rats hanging from poles to show their prowess.  Dogs were one of the animals used to catch rodents and  were referred to as “ratters.”  Even today, notably in parts of Asia, dogs are still used to hunt for rats.


Over time the act of pest control turned into “extermination” with the use of some rather nasty toxins — most notably arsenic and lead compounds, as well as strychnine. All-Out war was declared on the rodent and bedbug. The wish of the people to completely eradicate rats, for example, was at its peak, and they stopped at nothing to kill all in their way. 

Up until the 1970s of the 20th Century, anyone person or any company engaged in the control of pests was known as an exterminator. At that time ads in newspapers and telephone directories showed an illustration of pests being hammered or having bombs dropped on them.

​It was the emergence of DDT that led to the spread of the notion that pests should be eradicated completely,  but we have failed to recognize the cogent point, which is that the prevention of pests is much more important than the eradication of pests. 

Early extermination — during this period the sole aim was to kill pests, without any consideration of the impact the use of such chemicals would have on human health and the environment. 

So a major difference between the two is that, while extermination deals with immediate eradication of pest infestation, pest control looks into eradicating pests and also preventing future outbreaks. The need for pest control and eradication has led to the development of an Integrated Pest Management system which looks into the overall control of pest through various means.

Safe Pest Control

Recently many traditional ways of pest control have vanished, replaced by modern techniques, and although some long established companies hold onto the word  “exterminators” the methods of controlling pests has witnessed significant and revolutionary changes. 

It is perhaps worth noting that despite the revolutionary changes, little is known about the history of pest control by the public. Nowadays people — everywhere and anywhere — surf the internet looking for exterminators to help them get rid of their pest problems. 

Do it Yourself Pest Control VS. Professional Pest Control

If you want to control pests yourself, you can, with many people now actively taking part in their own home’s pest extermination methods.

The practice of eliminating pests in our homes is increasingly becoming popular due to various reasons, one of them being people’s economic situation.  At this junction, it is worthy to note that getting rid of pests yourself is only applicable in certain scenarios such as seeing bugs like a flies, or ants.

​In this situation you won’t need the services of a professional pest control company to pay a visit to your home.  However, if you spot even one bed bug — or any other pest that can prove harmful — you need to call on the services of the exterminators. 

Below is a list of things that should be taken into consideration when you want to decide whether or not to do it yourself or — hire a professional:


  • ​DIY – Buying the chemicals needed for extermination yourself is cheaper when compared to employing the services of a pest control professional.  
  • Professional – On a first look at it employing the services of professionals may seem expensive , but in the end, it is probably the cheapest approach because the pesticides bought from stores may not be as effective as claimed, resulting in a continuous need to purchase chemicals. Doing this regularly incurs extra costs that you didn’t budget for. 


  • DIY – one of the primary reason why people tend to go the DIY route is to ensure convenience. You can run to a store anytime and purchase a pesticide and use when you want.
  • Professional – Arranging a particular time to carry out the fumigation may prove difficult for the exterminator and homeowner. 


  • DIY – more often than not the “ how” of how to go about exterminating any pests will always be well explained on the label. If you are finding it difficult to follow the instructions you can make use of the internet as a source for information on the particular product. To achieve success in doing it yourself you need to follow the instructions on the label exactly.
  • Professional – An essential feature of an pest controller is the ability to seek out the root cause of any pest infestation in your home. They also tend to provide solutions on how to prevent pest infestations. They can save you the stress of going to the store regularly by combatting and eliminating pests; a much more effective approach than doing it yourself.  


  • DIY – Using chemicals is naturally risky. Especially if you have little understanding of how they can harm you, others and the environment.  
  • Professionals – When you employ the services of a professional company to get rid of bugs, you eliminate this risk. Ensure you understand what is written in the contract or agreement and also ask around for reviews from people who have used the services of the company.  


  • DIY – When you are tackling small infestation, purchasing chemical from a local store seems the most appropriate thing to do. However, in the case of a large outbreak, it might prove challenging to combat the problem with products purchased at the store. Adaptability is a primary feature of pests and before long they may well be immune and/or resistant to the chemicals you are using. 
  • Professionals – Pest control companies are always armed with a lot of information on the best products to use in combating pests in your homes.  


  • DIY – you should also consider the policies of the products being purchased. However, this is dependent on the store’s policy; it is always important to check any individual store return policies. 
  • Professionals – When you want to hire a professional company, read up on their policies before employing them. Is there a refund policy if your pest issue remains unresolved? Is there a timeline warranty for the work carried out?  A good exterminating company will have all of these bases covered.
​When you are in the process of determining how to take on your pest control problems, considering the points of the above list will help. Small infestations may well be within your abilities to take them on and get the out and away permanently. On the other hand, when you feel like you are fighting  a plague, it’s probably best to call in the professionals. It will undoubtedly save you time, money and stress!