Pest problem? PEMCO experts talk about hiring a pest control company

The cooler Pacific Northwest is better off when it comes to pest problems compared to places like Florida and Texas, but this region is far from pest-free.

The experts at PEMCO Insurance said 1 in 5 suburban homes have rodents and people don't even know it.

"A lot of times they have no clue until a cable installer or a plumber comes out to the home to do work," said Erin Gross, a Territory Manager for PEMCO Community Agents. "They go under the home, discover the issue and have to share the bad news. At that point, it's often too late. They may have significant damage and that is not covered by homeowners insurance."

PEMCO said if you have a pest problem, you should find a good pest control company to take care of the issue instead of doing it yourself.

The professionals are able to figure out how serious the problem is and find the best and safest treatment. For example, it's hard for a homeowner to know the species and life cycle stages of some insects.

An expert can also help you make safer choices if you have allergies, asthma or sensitive pets like birds that could be harmed by certain sprays.

"Ask for referrals from friends and family," said Gross. Check them out on Angie's list and Better Business Bureau and ask them about their training and they're licensing. Not every company is going to be created equally, they might have a different method or different perspective on how they want to treat that problem."

There are a few things you can do to help minimize the pest problem.

For example, if there are rats in and around your house:

    PEMCO said for some pest problems, all you need is one treatment. There is no reason to get talked into more.

    PEMCO also said hiring a pest control company can be worth it especially if you want to get rid of a pest problem quickly and you think it could come back.