If an exterminator is scheduled to visit your home, are there things that you can do in order to help?

Yes, you can make the work of most exterminators easier and more efficient by taking a few preparatory steps. This includes:

  • Moving furniture out of the way
  • Noting where the infestations are concentrated
  • Vacuuming and cleaning
  • Getting your loved ones and pets away from the home
  • Wrapping and covering your valuables, and
  • Informing your neighbors of the intended pest control measures

Steps to prepare for an exterminator

Here are the steps that you should take in order to properly prepare for a pest specialist visit.

Step 1: Observing

One of the most helpful things you can do is to observe and note the location of the undesirable pests, their behavior, and any steps you might have taken to control them. This is because, based on your observations, the exterminators will be able to formulate a working pest control strategy.

They will know where to focus. And also how widely they will have to direct their pest control efforts.

Proper observation and noting skills will also help them to save time, especially when they are at the inspection stage of the process.

Step 2: Unplugging

To avoid accidents, and to make it easier for the exterminators to work and move around, you will need to unplug your electronic devices and other small appliances around your home. This includes unplugging your fridge, microwave, computer, and any other appliances that you may have around the home.

Step 3: Relocating

To save time, you should make sure that the pest control professionals can move around your home with ease. You should also take measures to protect your loved ones, and pets, from the harmful effects of the pest treatment that will be applied.


You should move furniture away from the wall.

It is an easy way of increasing the freedom of movement of the exterminators. Therefore, before the pest control technician comes, move your furniture away from the walls and to the center of the room.

Another advantage of moving furniture away from the walls is that it exposes hard-to-reach areas. It essentially eliminates a significant portion of common pest hiding spaces. And it thus makes it easier to trace and kill unwanted organisms.


Most pest treatments are harmful to pets. To guarantee the wellbeing of your pets, it is always advisable to get them out of your home before the exterminators arrive.

Therefore, if you have family or friends nearby, you should consider dropping them off at their place. And if the undesirable pests that you are planning to get rid of are bed bugs, ticks, or fleas, then you should consider taking the pets to the vet.

Loved ones

You should also arrange for your loved ones to be away when the exterminator visits.

If your family is around when the extermination process is underway, they will risk inhaling toxic fumes. A family member can also have an allergic reaction. They may end up with rashes, watery eyes, swelling, or even headaches.

Therefore, making sure that they are away from the home will go a long way toward minimizing the negative effects that the process may have on your loved ones. This is so especially when they belong to a vulnerable class – like pregnant women.

Step 4: Decluttering

If your home is cluttered, a pest control company will find it challenging to move around. A cluttered space will also offer more hiding space for pests. And this can reduce the overall effectiveness of pest control treatments.

Therefore, for effective treatment, you should make sure that you declutter your home before the professionals arrive.

This means getting rid of clothes, children’s toys, rags, and furniture that you no longer need. You can donate them. You can dispose of some of them. And you may even burn others.

Step 5: Repairing

You should also make a few repairs before they arrive.

Cracks, loose joints, holes, and open seams

Cracks, holes, loose joints, and open seams serve as the perfect hiding spots for bugs and other pests. They also allow these unwanted organisms to easily spread and escape.

  • By creating hiding spots, they help to shield pests from some treatments. This is likely to reduce the effectiveness of the administered pest control treatment.
  • And by acting as a pathway to escape and spread, holes, cracks, and loose joints make the job of the pest control specialist a little bit more challenging than it should be.

Water leaks

Moisture reduces the effectiveness of some treatments by diluting them. Therefore, if you have leaking faucets, pipes, or roofs, you need to fix them before the exterminator arrives. Doing so will help to preserve the integrity of whichever chemicals they may be using. And, this will in turn increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

Therefore, you should always make repairs to your home, and fixtures, right before a pest control expert visits. Doing so will increase the chances of ending up with a pest-free home.

Step 6: Wrapping

If you are dealing with small and persistent pests like bed bugs, you need to make sure that you avoid re-infestation. You also have to protect uninfected or treated items.

Wrapping small items like toys, makeup kits and jewelry in plastic bags will keep pests off treated items. It will also shield these items from getting exposed to toxic chemicals.

It will reduce the odds of allergic reactions in loved ones. It will also eliminate the chances of accidental poisoning.

Step 7: Covering

Items that are too big to wrap, you should cover with plastic sheeting. This means covering your floors, tables, chairs, sofas, cabinets, and other fixtures with clothes and plastic sheeting.

You should also cover any open food containers in your home. If they have lids, close them. And if they don’t, you can wrap them up.

When you do this, you will be protecting the food from contamination. You will also be keeping them safe from pests, like cockroaches and insects, that may be looking to feed.

Step 8: Vacuuming and cleaning

A vacuum cleaner will suck food particles and compounds that pests might use as food. And cleaning your home will help to get rid of stains, dirt, and debris.

Increase in ingested treatment effectiveness

This typically helps to improve the effectiveness of pest control treatment solutions that have to be ingested in order to be effective.

With vacuuming and cleaning, you will be denying the pests their food source. This is huge, especially when dealing with pests like cockroaches. Why? Because for pests like roaches, when you take away their food sources, they will consume the chemicals used for pest control– which then kills them.

Increase in direct-contact treatment effectiveness

Another advantage of vacuuming is that it removes dirt and debris that might come between the pesticide and the pest.

As a result, it increases the odds of direct pesticide application, something that usually goes a long way in increasing successful removal rates.

Step 10: Giving a heads-up

If your neighbors may be affected by the pest control measures that the pest control services provider is going to take, then you should give them a heads up.

This is good neighborly etiquette. It will also go a long way toward helping you to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.