Customer FAQs

Q: What can I expect on my first visit?

Answer : You should receive a reminder email of your appointment one day before the scheduled treatment. Our technician will arrive at your door around the chosen time. We ask you to allow us a one hour arrival window due the unpredictable traffic conditions our tech may encounter trying to get to your home. If we are running more than 20 minutes late, we will call by phone to give you a heads-up.

Your service tech will inform you of the details of his planned service and ask if you have any special requests or questions about the treatment. He will proceed to treat along the baseboards, ceiling corners and behind furniture – anywhere bugs may hide. Every room and closet will be treated. Inside the garage, he will treat around the perimeters of all stored containers and objects and will treat around the windows and garage doors very thoroughly. Our chemical products are chosen very carefully to be safe around children and pets, and they have a very low odor trace. He may place sticky monitor/ traps strategically by any gaps by the doors. Certain pests, such as cockroaches and ants, may require your tech to place bait products near the area of their movement to assure that chemical is provided to the nesting young hiding between the walls or in appliances.

If you have an attic, the technician will treat the surfaces with insecticide dust using an electric dust blower that will distribute the dust throughout the attic space. This treatment is ideal for controlling, scorpions, spiders, silverfish and other pests from establishing themselves where they are not welcome.

An outside barrier will then be applied around your home’s perimeter, treating under bushes and nearby trees, around all window and door entrances, hitting the gutters and eaves for wasps, spiders, etc. This chemical “barrier-of-defense” will protect your home from crawling insects coming from the yard to find shelter on and inside your home.

Finally, your service tech will inform you of any important issues he found while performing the treatment. He will collect payment for the service (if not already taken care of with the office) and a receipt will be electronically delivered to you. Your Pest Cleanout Service comes with a 30 day warranty, so if any pest problems persist within that warranty period, FAMILY will come out to re-service at no additional cost to you.

Q: How long does a typical visit to spray take?

Answer : The initial Pest Cleanout Service of your home will take between 35 to 55 minutes. If unforeseen problems arise, the technician may stay longer, or he may have to schedule another time of the week to complete the service. We do need access to both the inside and outside of your home.

Q: Are your pest control treatments safe for my kids and pets?

Answer : They certainly are! Family Pest Control has never had any instances of our treatments causing any harm during our 37 years of serving San Antonio residences. The products we use are EPA registered and tested to be used in the home. The products we use are generally more expensive than the average chemical used by many other pest control companies, and that is because they are specially formulated (micro-encapsulated) to be nearly odorless and to be effective at killing bugs using smaller amounts of the chemical than usual. We also place as much of the product as possible behind furniture and into cracks and crevices where bugs assemble but not where your kids or pets can get to easily.

Q: After you spray will I need to leave the house?

Answer : You normally do not need to leave the house during or after we treat your home. However, special circumstances may suggest that you leave, such as if you are pregnant, allergic to chemicals, are currently on chemical therapy, or if you just don’t feel comfortable being around insecticides.There are some pest treatments where we do insist that you not be in the home while the treatment is being performed and for several hours after we leave the premises. These are Bed Bug, Flea and Tick, Carpet Beetle and severe German Cockroach treatments.

Q: Does your company use organic, natural chemicals?

Answer : We can treat your home using natural or botanic pesticides only. Since most “organic” chemicals are not as effective or as long-lasting as most synthetic pesticides, we may have to increase the frequency of treatment services or shorten our warranty period if the pest problems persist.

Q: I hear noises in my attic. How can I tell if I have rats, mice, squirrels, etc.?

Answer : The best way to tell what critter is in an attic is for an experienced person to physically inspect the attic in the cool of the morning, looking for animal skat (droppings, poop). Rats will leave depressed trails in your insulation where they construct “highways” throughout the attic, and large grain-sized black droppings will be deposited every 12″ or so. Rats can usually be heard scurrying around throughout the night, while squirrels will be heard in the early evening and morning hours. Louder, slower footsteps and occasional heavy thumps may indicate the presence of o’possums or raccoons. Look outside of your home’s structure to see if there are any holes or damaged vents. Rats leave a grey “rub mark” where their oily fur discolors the wood, brick or stone around the entrance hole. Squirrels often chew the wood edges of eaves near where they made a hole – usually where roof angles join together.

Q: How can I know if I have Fire Ants on my property?

Answer : Fire Ants are the only species of ant in Texas that will climb up a stick used to poke or disturb a nest or marching trail, trying to get to your hand. Other signs typical of fire ants are large ant hills showing up in the yard – especially after a warm rain. In summer drought conditions, the ant nests are moved further underground, so mounds are not present, even though the fire ants are still active. They are a small to medium size and are reddish in color. There are several species of fire ants in Texas, so size is not always an identifying factor. Fire Ants stings always results in the formation of a pustule (blister) and the sting pattern is usually in a line, rather then randomly scattered.

Q: How can I prevent ants in my kitchen?

Answer : If ants want to get into your kitchen – they will. They are so small and persistent that they probably will find a small opening somewhere to get in, and if not, they can chew an opening through just about any type of material used to build your home. In the summer they are looking for water – in the winter they are looking for food. You can try to seal any cracks found in your foundation or brickwork. You can seal openings around all pipes and wires that penetrate through the siding from the outside, and seal around doors and windows. These efforts are useful for excluding many of the larger insects trying to enter your home, but don’t be surprised if you still get ants into the kitchen at some point in time. The wise placement of ant bait products near where ants are trailing can eventually kill off the ant nests. Also, the use of special non-repellent chemical sprays around your home’s perimeter and into the weep-holes found around brick homes can be very effective in preventing infestations.

Q: Are chemicals really necessary to keep bugs from entering homes in San Antonio?

Answer : Many homes are constructed tighter than others and some neighborhoods have lower insect populations than others. However, no home will forever be free of the occasional ant, roach, wasp, silverfish, etc. Once these insects find a hiding place inside, it may not be long before their numbers explode. At that point, insecticides are usually the most expedient and cost-effective way to remedy the problem.

Q: I’ve had regular pest control visits before, but bugs kept coming back. How can you help?

Answer : There can be many reasons why your previous pest control provider was not successful at eliminating the pests. The most effective chemicals available to pest control companies are also the most expensive, so your previous company may have been tempted to “cheap it out”. Also, a well-trained technician knows where and how to best place the products to achieve the best results. The technician also needs to be given enough time by his supervisors to do his job properly. Family Pest Control has found that outside perimeter treatments are the best defense against re-occurring pest penetrations into a home.

Q: How can I tell if I have termites?

Answer : Termite workers cannot live while exposed to the outside air, they can only live by enclosing themselves inside constructed mud shelter tubes. These tubes sometimes can be seen rising from the ground next to a home and going into a weep-hole or crack in the foundation base. However, most of the time the termites are entering the home through an unseen plumbing penetration or a small seam between separate concrete pours of room additions. So, don’t expect to see the actual termite workers outside anywhere in your home. If you are having a room remodeled, then you may come across the termites, or termite damage, in the stud work in between the walls. The difference between wood rot damage and termite damage is that termites will always leave behind dried mud throughout the damaged area. Tiny holes may show up in the upper walls of rooms (especially bathrooms), and these holes will be covered with a small amount of crusty dirt – felt by rubbing your fingers across the area. Termites send out winged male/female “swarmers” in the Spring time of year. Sometimes they are mistaken for flying ants or other winged insects. If you find many winged insects alive or dead in your house, there may be a nest of Termites nearby. Have it checked out by a professional. Call a termite expert if you suspect the presence of termites and request a free inspection. The chances that your un-trained eyes will spot the beginnings of termite damage are very small indeed.