Getting rid of pests like roaches, rats, and ants takes some effort. But when you have little kids at home, it's an even more involved endeavor. You have to figure out how to get rid of the pests without putting your kids at any risk. You certainly don't want your toddler to touch some rat poison, and you don't want a preschooler coming across an ant bait. Luckily, you can balance pest control with child safety. Here are some tips for anyone who has small kids and requires pest control services.

The sooner you act, the better.

You might be tempted to put off pest control in hopes that the pests will go away if you just clean up, or if you give them time to move on. But when you have little ones at home, it really is best to take action as soon as you see pests. The earlier you address the pest problem, the fewer baits and insecticides your pest control company will need to use. Plus, pests themselves can pose risks to kids. Rats, for instance, spread respiratory infections that kids can catch. The sooner you get rid of the pests, the safer your home will be for everyone.

Opt for baits over sprays, when possible.

If you have bugs, such as cockroaches or ants, your pest control company may ask you whether you'd prefer to treat the problem with baits or with sprays. When you have little kids, baits are generally the preferred method. The baits are solid and can be hidden in areas your kids won't reach, such as the backs of cupboards or on top of your kitchen backsplash. The pests will eat the bait and carry it back to the nest to share with other pests, who will also die. There is less chance of your little one coming into direct contact with bait than with an insecticide spray that's applied to a baseboard or floor.

Focus on prevention.

After the pest control company comes to put out the baits, take some time to focus on pest prevention. Install a dehumidifier to dry out your space. Vacuum up crumbs from the carpet, and get into the habit of washing dishes nightly. None of these measures are dangerous for your kids, and they'll help ensure the pests do not come back once your pest control company has eradicated them.

When you have small kids, it is essential to take their needs into account when controlling pests.