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The thought of creepy crawlies like spiders, millipedes, and centipedes (“thousand leggers”) lurking around your home might put you on edge. The last thing that you want is for these bugs to make their way inside your home—aka, your sanctuary.

Unfortunately, without an action plan to keep pests out, that’s exactly what they’re going to do. Bugs are constantly in search of a cozy place to live and your home might seem very inviting.

For that reason, you might be thinking about pest control for your yard. The hope is to deal with pests before they have a chance to make their way inside and that’s exactly what yard pest control can do.

Of course, before you make those decisions, you might have some questions such as, How does perimeter pest control work? Or, what exactly is it anyway?

We’re here to answer those and more in our guide on perimeter pest control in Northern Virginia.

Table of Contents

What Is Perimeter Pest Control?
How Does Perimeter Pest Control Work?
What Pests Does It Control?
Is Perimeter Pest Control Safe?
How Much Does Professional Perimeter Pest Control Cost?
Can You Do it Yourself?
What You Can Do For The Best Pest Control Success
How to Choose Perimeter Pest Control Services in Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA

What is Perimeter Pest Control?

We often use the analogy of a “shield” to define perimeter pest control. With the application of a high-quality pest control product around your property, the idea is to keep pests away.

pest control expert spraying near garage

This is different from an extermination service, which addresses pests that have already infested your home. Since pests can breed and then multiply swiftly, the thought behind perimeter pest control services is that you address them before they get inside. Product is applied outside of the home.

This is where the shield analogy really makes sense. It’s more of a proactive, defensive measure so that we can address pests before they become a problem.

How Does Perimeter Pest Control Work?

Good perimeter pest control should begin with a thorough assessment of your property so that problems and potential entry points for pests can be identified. Then, a custom plan should be created. This will include the professional application of pest control products that are designed to keep pests out by forming a barrier. This is what you might think of as the “shield” protecting your home.

Perimeter pest control technicians should also perform exterior web wiping to eliminate existing cobwebs and exterior dusting applications to treat cracks, crevices, and gaps where pests might be hiding or ready to enter.

One of the common perimeter pest control myths that we hear is that no bugs in sight must mean no problem. But pests are excellent hiders around your property and even inside of your home (once they find their way in). So not seeing bugs does not mean they aren’t there.

pest control expert spraying on porch

While we don’t want to freak you out, bugs are everywhere! And they far outnumber us humans.

Although you might not mind bugs outside, away from your home, you just don’t want them lurking around areas where you hang out. And you especially don’t want them coming inside.

This is what perimeter pest control services are all about.

What Pests Does It Control?

Perimeter pest control works on some of the most common pests that are known to be lurking around (and inside) Northern Virginia homes.

These include:

  • Ants
  • Cockroaches
  • Centipedes
  • Millipedes
  • Spiders
  • Pillbugs
  • Stink Bugs
  • Silverfish

Let’s look at each of these pests and what you should know about them.


There are said to be more than 12,000 species of ants around the world. There are 700 species in the United States, alone. While ants don’t bother people outside much, once they come inside, they can be a major nuisance.

ants eating cupcake

Their ability to multiply quickly can be a big problem. Odorous House Ants, for instance, are known to have colonies with up to 100,000 ants or more. If they come inside, that can be a big issue.


Like other pests, cockroaches come into a home in search of three main things: food, shelter, and water. They are known to squeeze through the tiniest of cracks. It’s really important to keep roaches out because they are prolific breeders.

In a short amount of time they can lay eggs and expand their colonies until you have a full-blown infestation. Once this happens, you will need an exterminator. But ideally, with perimeter pest control services you can keep them out of your home.


These slender pests appear to have hundreds of long, thin, legs bursting from all around their bodies. For this reason, they have been given the exaggerated nickname “thousand leggers.” Centipedes, which in reality only have 15 legs, can show up in various spots around the house but prefer damp, cool areas and are therefore common in mulch beds.


Like Centipedes, millipedes pose no real threat to humans. They do not bite, sting, or cause any sort of damage to your home. However, homeowners find them unsettling based on looks alone.

We get it! They aren’t the most pleasant creature to find lurking around your home. Millipedes are characterized by having two pairs of jointed legs on most body segments.

Keep in mind that millipedes tend to show up in damp spots around the house, such as in the basement.


If you’re like a lot of people, you probably don’t like spiders. Fear of spiders (arachnophobia) is said to be one of the most common human fears.


While spiders might give you a creepy crawly feeling, for the most part, they are harmless. The majority of house spiders that you’ll find lurking around pose no major threat. But there are a handful of poisonous species and spiders can also multiply over time. A common house spider can deposit as many as 250 eggs in a sac. So, we certainly understand why you’d prefer to keep them out!


Pill bugs have the unusual ability to form their bodies into a ball shape, in a process known as conglobation. Pill bugs are often confused with “pill millipedes,” which also have this ability. Not a bold pest, pill bugs wait until the cover of night to crawl out of their natural habitats. They have been known to invade crawl spaces, damp basements, and first floors of houses.

Stink Bugs

The name of this pest comes from the odor they give off when they are either threatened or crushed. These unpleasant creatures are mostly just an annoyance (not a threat), but we certainly understand why you don’t want them in your home.

stink bug

While stink bugs are mostly interested in feeding on outdoor plants, they do sometimes come inside in search of shelter (particularly as the weather gets colder). But treating the exterior of your home with perimeter pest control services can keep them out.


Silverfish are thought to be one of the oldest insects in the world. They are believed to pre-date the dinosaurs. Silverfish prefer warm and moist spaces, like basements and crawl spaces.


They are particularly like paper and damp clothing and are often found in stored boxes in garages and sheds.These pests can also enter homes through foundation cracks, torn screens, or gaps around doors. These pests do have destructive feeding habits oftentimes ruining papers, clothing and wallpaper.

Is Perimeter Pest Control Safe?

When considering perimeter pest control services in Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA, people often ask: Is perimeter pest control safe?

As far as the safety of perimeter pest control, the two big factors are what products are used and how they are applied. Let’s look at each of those considerations.

Safety of the Products

While there is going to be some variation from company to company in terms of what’s utilized, the truth is that pest control is a heavily regulated and very safe industry.

The products used by most companies are quite safe.

In fact, the products that you can purchase in the store (yourself) could actually be more harmful or potentially dangerous. The reason is that store-bought products are typically designed to be able to kill a wide variety of pests. Just take a look at the label. It could list as many as a dozen pests that it can kill.

pest control technician sprays for pests

While we can’t speak to what other perimeter pest control services in Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA are using, at Kingstowne our products are designed to target specific insects (most often two or three different types in one product…not a dozen!).

Another big difference from a products standpoint is that we often use larvicide in low doses that is specifically targeted to address larvae. The idea with larvicides is to kill insects before they even have the chance to grow into adults (and start to pose a risk).

Safety of the Application Methods

The other big factor to consider when evaluating the safety of perimeter pest control services is how products are being applied.

That also includes the training and experience of the technicians doing the work.

It’s really important to recognize that at Kingstowne Pest Defense we are utilizing highly trained professional pest control technicians who know exactly how to apply the products they’re using. That, in and of itself, makes it safer.

Highly trained technicians will also know where on the property to apply product for the best results. They are specifically targeting areas where pests hang out, not just blanketing the whole property. That’s simply not necessary. Instead, the focus should be on targeted areas where pests are trying to make their way inside.

pest control expert and homeowner inspect property

The fact that we don’t have to go into our customers’ homes is something that also gives them comfort. We think the best defense against pests is keeping them out of peoples’ homes in the first place!

That’s also why we ask homeowners to stay inside (and to keep pets and kids inside) during an application.

Your safety is obviously important to us. But once the product is dry, it’s safe. And honestly, most of the time it’s almost dry before we even leave the property.

Request a Pest Defense Quote

How Much Does Professional Perimeter Pest Control Cost?

We understand that you want to be a wise consumer and understand what you can expect to spend.

At Kingstowne, our perimeter pest control treatments start at around $49 per treatment for a small property, such as a townhome. We perform five treatments to ensure that you are fully covered.


We also offer Mosquito, Flea and Tick Control, which if you were to sign up for both, there are savings.

As you evaluate any perimeter pest control services in Arlington, Springfield, and Alexandria, VA we caution against shopping on price alone. It’s important to ensure that you are choosing a company that will be effective in terms of your needs (and also provide excellent customer service).

We’ll cover more detail on what to look for in perimeter pest control services in an upcoming section below.

Can You Do it Yourself?

It’s not uncommon for people to consider DIY perimeter pest control. After all, they do sell perimeter pest control products that homeowners can apply themselves.

There are also plenty of DIY hacks and homemade concoctions out there that might seem worth trying.

The trouble is, many of these products simply don’t work that well. Particularly, homemade solutions made up of dish soap or vinegar (common ingredients we often see in DIY pest solutions) just aren’t potent enough.

And store-bought products can also be questionable.homeowner sprays solution on bed edges

They might be subpar to what a pro is using. But sometimes they can also be dangerous. As we mentioned, sometimes handling pest control products can pose a risk.

Plus, you’ll also have to spend your weekends dealing with pests rather than enjoying time with friends or family.

While you could certainly try DIY perimeter pest control, it might not be the most effective or most enjoyable solution. It’s something that is certainly easier left to the pros.

What You Can Do For The Best Pest Control Success

While we don't think DIY perimeter pest control is wise, there are some steps you can take on your own that will boost the success of pest control for your yard.

Here are a few to consider.

Keep Your Landscape Neat and Tidy

Keeping your property neat and trim can also be beneficial in terms of keeping pests away. Overgrown shrubs, tree limbs touching the home, or even tall grass that is overdue to be mowed all end up becoming places where pests hang out. And the more pests you have hanging around your home, the more likely the chance they’ll find their way inside.

landscape maintenance team mows lawn

Keep Debris Out of Your Yard and Food Stored

This point also has to do with discouraging pests from coming into your yard and making a home. Any trash or debris around the yard can become a hiding spot. Plus, food that is left out from parties or picnics absolutely becomes a pest attractor.

Even just pet food that you keep in your garage should be stored in a tightly sealed container. And be aware of any spills or food that winds up on the floor.

Also keep the lids on your trash cans tightly closed.

Patch Windows, Seal Cracks, Etc.

Your pest control technician can also help you identify entry points like cracks or openings that need to be patched-up or sealed. Even a garage door that isn’t properly touching the ground can become an entrypoint for pests.

Fix what you can to reduce your risk of unwanted bugs coming in.

Clean Your Gutters

landscape professional cleans gutters

We always recommend keeping gutters clean since these areas can often become a breeding ground for pests. If you don’t want to do this service yourself (it can be cumbersome and dangerous), we do offer professional gutter cleaning.

How to Choose Perimeter Pest Control Services in Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA

When it comes to getting the results and the service that you desire, you want to choose wisely amongst perimeter pest control services. Like comparing any other service, you’ll find that no two companies are exactly alike and there are certain aspects that can make a company superior.

We advise looking for a company that can offer you the following.

  • A No-Nonsense Approach: We know that there are plenty of service companies that like to play games. They sell you the most basic package they offer knowing that you’re not going to be covered. Then they spend a lot of time upselling you. Find a company that will give you the full story from the start.

  • Excellent Communication: You want a pest control company that will communicate what you need to know—but not one that you need to micromanage. For the most part, you probably want your pest control company to be “out of sight, out of mind.” You want to be able to trust that they’ll get the work done the way it needs to be. But if you reach out—they’re there.

  • Environmental Responsibility: The approach that a pest control company takes in terms of their application method is also important. A lot of companies spray anything and everything with no real regard to how much product they’re putting down. But a responsible company will be cautious not to over apply and to take a customized/targeted approach.

  • Power in Being Proactive: Finally, it will help to find a company that is doing what it takes to be proactive and prevent pests in the first place. This includes offering you tips and making suggestions in regard to other things you can do.

While there are a lot of companies that offer pest control services, we think you’ll find that there are very few that are truly honest, responsible, and comprehensively proactive. A lot of companies are determined to sell you on the least number of visits just to get your business. They don’t really care about solving your pest problem. They just care about their bottom line.

At Kingstowne, we’re different. Our perimeter pest control services grew organically from Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape as the result of a demand from our customers for pest control solutions that were safer but still effective. We are here because we truly care about helping.

Whether you’ve already noticed pests or you’re just being proactive about preventing them, we know you want to feel confident that you’re getting the most value for your investment. We believe you should be able to enjoy your yard without having to worry about unwanted visits from annoying and even dangerous pests.

Learn more about hiring a pest control company for your home in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA. Get started today and request a free Pest Defense quote and let us give you the royal treatment!

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Krisjan Berzins - Owner, CEO

Since 1997, Krisjan has led the Kingstowne team with one simple philosophy, treat every customer like the “only” customer. His passionate pursuit of impeccable customer service has resulted in 24 successful years and a thriving company with over 85 employees, helping thousands of homeowners in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA area get what they want -- a worry-free property they can be proud of.