DIY Pest Control: Where Do You Go Wrong?

Reader Contribution by Christine Rudolph
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Let’s admit it: We’ve all tried taking problems like a heavy pest infestation into our own hands at some point, and have failed miserably. That being said, it is very important to understand that not every pest problem can be dealt with without the help of an expert. However, there is nothing wrong with taking matters into your own hands when you have a sound plan and knowledge of what you’re doing.

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There are probably many DIY methods that are more effective and less-toxic when compared to ones which encourage the use of toxic pesticides. It’s totally understandable that the first sight of a creepy-crawly gives you a disgusted feeling and you want to diminish their presence from your property as soon as possible.  There are a few mistakes people often make when they go about treating a pest problem, themselves. If it’s just the pests you want to kill without causing any other problems, then avoid the three most common and easily avoidable mistakes to ensure that things actually go according to plan.

1. SPRAYING EVERYTHING: The first thing that comes to our mind whenever we see a four legged creature crawling around our home is…spray it to death. This isn’t always the smartest thing to do, especially when you have kids and pets.  Many over-the-counter insect sprays might instantly kill bugs, but they also leave some extremely toxic chemicals behind. These chemicals are not very safe to be around and can also make the problem worse.

For example, the ants you’ve just killed welcome hunting ants from every nook and cranny. You can’t identify where an ant colony is, therefore the ants you kill might only be a small proportion of a massive population living in your home. If you really are going to exterminate ants on your own then the best way to do so is using baits. The poisoned baits can easily be transported from one ant to the entire population, killing the whole colony.

2. BURNING INFESTED MATERIALS: Bedbugs may seem tiny and harmless, but when it comes to debugging your home the problem is not so simple. We’ve all probably stories of people burning their homes or precious belongings while trying to kill the bugs through heat. There’s a lot at stake when it comes to such treatments. The best way to getting rid of bed bugs is to handle the problem when their numbers are fewer and can actually be exterminated. Once you discover a potential bed bug infestation, you should consult a pest control professional immediately. Simply put, you cannot count on DIY techniques when it comes to bed bugs.

3. TRAPPING RODENTS: A commonly used method by many homeowners to catch mice and other rodents is traps and baits, however most place them at all the wrong points. Some people leave their mouse traps out in the open and are disappointed to find the bait and trap untouched. Most rodents move along the edges of walls and will often travel by the same route. The best placement points for traps are along the side of walls with the bait clearly visible in order for the mouse to see what the trap has to offer. Another good rule of thumb to ensure a catch is to place the trap where you see their droppings. Placing your trap or bait in open sight can be dangerous if you have children and pets at home.

There are many ways to control and eliminate common household pests, but it’s very important for you to play safe. If you think the problem is too big for you to handle, let a pest control professional with the proper knowledge help you.