If you have a small pest problem, like a mouse or two in the winter or the occasional spider in the summertime, you may be able to deal with it on your own. Simple solutions like keeping a couple of mouse traps on hand, or even getting a cat, can be very effective against common household pests.

There are times, however, when it is best to let a professional tackle your pest problems. The problem is that it can sometimes be difficult to tell when you have crossed the line between a problem you can tackle on your own and one that requires professional advice and guidance. If any of the following apply to your situation, it is probably best to pick up the phone or log on to the Internet and find a qualified pest control professional.

When the problem keeps coming back – it is normal for mice to enter your home when the weather turns chilly, and if the traps you set yield only one or two of the rodents, chances are you can handle the problem on your own. But if you find a dead mouse in your trap every morning, you probably have a more serious infestation – one that requires the expertise of a professional exterminator.

When the structural integrity of your home is at stake – you should consult with an exterminator if you even suspect a termite problem. Left unchecked, termites can literally eat you out of house and home. The money you spend on a professional exterminator is pocket change compared to the damage even a small termite colony can do.

When you see a species you cannot identify – most household pests are merely annoying, but some can be downright deadly. If you see an insect or spider you cannot identify, it is best to call in the experts. This is especially important with spiders, since many common species can deliver quite a dangerous bite. An exterminator will be able to identify the species quickly and either set your mind at ease or deal with the danger.

If a member of your family is particularly sensitive to pests – if a member of your family suffers from asthma or another respiratory disorder, simple things like mouse droppings can be enough to trigger an attack. Keeping your home pest free is vital in this situation, and it is best to call in a professional to make sure those rodents and creepy crawlies cannot find a way into your home.

If any of these things apply to you, it is best to protect your home and your family by calling in a pest control professional. These professionals have the training, the experience and the expertise necessary to deal with all kinds of pests and help you protect your home and your family.