Where Do Exterminators Spray?

where do exterminators spray

If you’ve ever had an issue with pests like roaches, mice, or bed bugs, you may have called an exterminator to take care of the problem. But you might be wondering – where exactly do they spray, and what products do they use? This comprehensive guide will walk you through what to expect from a professional pest control treatment.

The Extermination Process

When an exterminator comes to your home or business, there is a standard process they follow to inspect, identify, and eliminate pest problems.


The first step is a thorough inspection of the entire property inside and out. The exterminator will check all rooms, crawl spaces, attics, basements, garages, landscaping, and exterior areas. This allows them to identify:

  • What types of pests are present
  • How severe the infestation is
  • Where the pests are entering and nesting

Treatment Plan

Next, they will develop a customized treatment plan based on the inspection findings. This includes choosing the most effective pesticide sprays, traps, baits, or other solutions for your specific pest problem.

Key factors include:

  • Type of pest
  • Extent of infestation
  • Entry points and nesting areas
  • Safety precautions based on property size and location


With the treatment plan set, the exterminator will begin methodically applying products throughout the interior and exterior of the property.

Target Treatment Areas

Exterminators focus on treating key areas inside and outside the home where pests live, hide, travel, and enter the structure.

Indoor Spray Areas

  • Wall voids and cracks – Roaches, ants, silverfish, and other pests hide and travel inside hollow walls. Exterminators will spray insecticide into cracks, crevices, and drilled holes.
  • Baseboards – Baseboards offer prime harborage for roaches, ants, spiders, and carpet beetles. Spray around all baseboards.
  • Under and behind appliances & furniture – Appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers offer warmth for pests to nest. Exterminators spray behind and underneath them.
  • Attics and crawlspaces – Attics and crawlspaces are common entry points and nesting areas for squirrels, rats, mice, bats, and insulation-nesting bugs. Treatment focuses on vents, rafters, pipes, and other access points.
  • Closets, cabinets, and shelving – Bugs and rodents often infest dark, enclosed spaces with clutter like cabinets, closets, shelving, and stored boxes. All areas are inspected and sprayed.

Outdoor Treatment Areas

  • Foundation perimeter – The foundation exterior is sprayed to create a pest-repelling perimeter barrier. This stops ants, termites, centipedes, and ground-burrowing pests from entering through cracks.
  • Eaves and roof lines – Eaves and roof lines are prime entry points for ants, squirrels, and mice. Exterminators will spray insecticide and seal any holes or gaps.
  • Weeds, mulch, and debris – Dense landscaping, mulch, and debris along the foundation provide shelter and food for pests. Treatment includes clearing these areas and spraying.
  • Patios, decks, and walkways – Cracks and gaps in hardscaping provide entry for crawling insects and burrowing rodents. Exterminators will spray underneath as well.

Application Methods and Products

Professional exterminators use different application methods depending on the pest problem:

Liquid Sprays

  • For crawling insects and burrowing rodents, pressurized liquid sprays are used to treat baseboards, cracks, electrical outlets, attics, garages, entry points, and nesting areas.
  • Professionals use special powered spray tanks to reach tight areas and penetrate deep inside voids and walls.

Dusts and Powders

  • Dry dusts and powders are used in attics, crawlspaces, wall voids, insulation, and areas vulnerable to moisture damage from liquids. The fine particles kill bugs that crawl through them.
  • Dusts are especially effective for insulation-nesting pests like ants, silverfish, and cockroaches. The dust sticks to their bodies and slowly kills them.

Baits, Traps, and Bait Stations

  • For certain pests like rats, mice, cockroaches, and ants, baits and bait stations may be used. These contain poison bait that workers bring back to the nesting area, killing the colony.
  • Physical traps and glue boards may also be used to capture and kill rodents and crawling insects.

Targeted vs. Broadcast Application

  • Targeted: Small amounts applied to specific areas like wall voids, cracks, baseboards, and behind appliances.
  • Broadcast: Larger dispersal over entire attic space, crawlspace, or room for severe infestations. Provides complete coverage.

Choice of Pesticide Chemicals

Exterminators select pesticide chemicals based on:

  • Safety – Some products cannot be used in homes with children or pets.
  • Pest type – Certain solutions are more effective on different species.
  • Infestation extent – Heavy infestations may require stronger chemicals.
  • Environmental impact – Some pesticides are less toxic and shorter-lasting.
  • Regulations – Certain harsh chemicals are restricted in some areas.

Follow-Up Inspections and Treatments

For severe pest problems, multiple treatments are often needed. Exterminators will return for follow-up inspections and spot treatments every 2-3 weeks until satisfied the infestation is eliminated. This ensures eggs and newly hatched bugs are killed.

Ongoing quarterly or biannual preventative spraying may also be recommended to deter future infestations.

Signs of a Good Exterminator

Not all pest control companies are equal in knowledge and dedication. Look for these signs of a thorough, high-quality exterminator:

  • Spends time doing a thorough inspection first, inside and out
  • Takes notes and photographs areas of concern
  • Asks questions about problems and pest sightings
  • Explains their treatment plan and products being used
  • Moves furniture and appliances to spray behind them
  • Uses specialized spray wands and power dusters to reach tight spaces
  • Drills small holes to inject insecticide deep into wall voids
  • Clears debris and vegetation touching the home exterior
  • Offers to return for follow-up treatments if needed

When to Call a Professional

While some basic pests like spiders or occasional ants can be tackled with over-the-counter sprays, severe infestations of roaches, rodents, termites, and bed bugs require a professional exterminator.

Signs it’s time to call the pros include:

  • Pests continue multiplying despite your own efforts
  • You’re unsure what type of pests you’re dealing with
  • There are multiple types of pests coexisting
  • You keep spotting pests but can’t find their nesting area
  • Pests are emerging from hard-to-reach areas like walls or attics
  • There are more than you can safely tackle yourself

Severe infestations often require professional-grade chemicals, specialized equipment, and experience knowing where pests hide. Attempting advanced treatments yourself can risk spreading pests to other areas.

Professional pest control services are a worthwhile investment for severe pest problems or complex situations. Their expert treatment gets issues under control quickly and efficiently.

The Takeaway

When exterminators come to treat your home or business, they focus on methodically spraying insecticides, dusts, and baits in key pest hotspots throughout the interior and exterior. This includes wall voids, under appliances, in attics, along baseboards, and around the foundation. With the right products, application methods, and experience, professional pest control can quickly and safely eliminate difficult infestations.

Q: Where do exterminators typically spray for pest control in apartments?

A: Exterminators typically spray for pest control in apartments in areas such as cracks and crevices, along baseboards, around windows and doors, and in other areas where pests are likely to hide or enter.

Q: How do exterminators prepare an apartment for pest control treatment?

A: Exterminators may ask you to remove all food, dishes, utensils, and pet bowls from countertops and floors. They may also ask you to cover or put away any food items in the pantry or cabinets. Additionally, you may need to vacuum or sweep the floors before the treatment.

Q: Can I stay in my apartment during a pest control treatment?

A: It is generally recommended that you leave your apartment during a pest control treatment. The chemicals used during the treatment may pose health risks, especially if you have respiratory issues or allergies. It’s best to follow the instructions of the pest control technician regarding when it is safe to re-enter your apartment.

Q: How long does a pest control treatment for an apartment usually last?

A: The duration of a pest control treatment for an apartment can vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the size of the apartment. Typically, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. The pest control technician will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate based on your specific situation.

Q: How often should I have my apartment treated for pests?

A: The frequency of pest control treatments for an apartment can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of pests, the level of infestation, and the building’s surrounding environment. It is recommended to consult with a pest control expert who can assess your situation and provide a tailored treatment plan.

Q: Can I request a specific pest control company to treat my apartment?

A: In some cases, you may have the option to request a specific pest control company to treat your apartment. However, it ultimately depends on the policies and procedures set by your apartment complex or property management. It’s best to inquire with the management office regarding their preferred pest control service providers.

Q: How can I keep pests out of my apartment?

A: To keep pests out of your apartment, it is important to maintain cleanliness and eliminate any potential food sources. Regularly clean your living space, including countertops, floors, and cabinets. Seal any cracks or openings where pests can enter, and consider using pest control products, such as traps or repellents, as a preventive measure.

Q: Are pest control treatments effective in apartment buildings?

A: Yes, pest control treatments can be effective in apartment buildings. However, it is important to address not only the individual units but also common areas, such as hallways, basements, and shared laundry rooms, where pests can easily travel and infest other areas. Coordinating with the apartment management and engaging a professional pest control service can help ensure comprehensive pest management.

Q: What should I do if I suspect a pest infestation in my apartment?

A: If you suspect a pest infestation in your apartment, it is important to notify your apartment management or landlord immediately. They will be able to coordinate with a pest control expert to assess the situation and take appropriate measures to eradicate the pests. It’s important not to attempt to handle the infestation on your own, as it may require specific knowledge and professional treatment.

Q: What pests can a professional pest control technician help to eliminate in an apartment?

A: A professional pest control technician can help eliminate a wide range of pests in an apartment, including but not limited to cockroaches, ants, spiders, bed bugs, termites, fleas, and rodents. They possess the knowledge, tools, and techniques to effectively identify and treat different types of pest infestations.

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