We’ve all been there. Pests invade and we’ll do just about anything to get rid of them. DIY pest control may seem like the easier, cheaper option, but it is often ineffective and can be harmful. Whether you’re using the latest green pest control solutions, something from your local store, or maybe even gotten your hands on a restricted-use pesticide, take a look at the drawbacks of DIY pest control.
Over the Counter Pesticides
When attempting DIY pest control, you will most likely find yourself at a local big-box retailer, where there is a large variety of fogs, sprays, and powders that promise to eliminate pests once and for all. When you are in the market for an over the counter pesticide, make sure you take the following into consideration:
- Read labels – look up anything and everything you can about the product you are choosing. Take pets, children, and the level of infestation you have into consideration. Most over the counter pesticides are not mixed or labeled to handle large infestations.
- Fogging – fogging doesn’t work for pest infestations. The chemicals present in foggers require contact with the pest in order to kill, and fogging cannot penetrate cracks, crevices, and reach completely around and under furniture, as a spray applied by a professional would.
- Marketing gimmicks – Don’t fall for marketing tricks. Flashy labels and big promises are indicative of a pesticide that won’t do the trick. You might get some relief from your infestation, but you will see your pests return again and again.
Restricted-use pesticides are chemicals that only licensed pest control professionals can purchase. Individuals often get their hands on restricted-use pesticides either from someone they know or online. When attempting DIY pest control, using restricted-use pesticides can be lethal. The application method and chemistry involved in the use of restricted-use pesticides is very precise. Any misstep or improper use can be deadly.
Education can save a life when it comes to poisonous chemicals, so read labels and be on the lookout when you DIY pest control for signal words on labels. The words “caution”, “danger” and “warning” are indicative that the chemical you are using is a restricted-use pesticide and must be purchased and applied by a licensed professional.
Green Pest Control
We all want to be as chemical-free as possible, but even DIY pest control methods that don’t contain poisons can still be harmful, and when not used properly, will be ineffective in treating the infestation.
Diatomaceous earth is a very commonly used substance for ridding homes of bed bugs. It is comprised of crushed sea coral. It works by breaking the waxy coating down on insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dry out and die. When breathed in by humans and pets, this popular DIY pest control method is also harmful to the lungs. The crushed coral shreds our lung tissue just like the bugs’ exoskeletons.
Green residual and non-residual methods are chemical-free, but just like fogging, these methods require contact to kill and require proper application to work. These methods are not recommended for infestations. It will be impossible to keep pests at bay.
As with anything, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To avoid the pitfalls of DIY pest control, take a look at a few tips that are completely safe and will help keep you pest free:
- A great preventative for bed bugs is to install bed bug proof covers (encasements) on your mattresses and purchase a few Volcanoes or Blackouts to place around each bed. While these things won’t prevent you from getting bed bugs, it’s a great, safe way to catch anything early – before it becomes a large problem. Early detection is key and saves money.
- To keep roaches at bay, keep food spills cleaned up, take the trash out regularly and always inspect anything you purchase second hand before bringing it into your home. Most pests are travelers, and you are the vehicle that they use to hitch a ride inside your home.
- Spiders will usually only become a problem if there is a food source present. To evict eight-legged roommates, make sure you don’t have any other pest problems and move things around in your home frequently. Spiders, especially orb weavers such as black widows, don’t like to be disturbed. If you move your garage and shed contents around, they’ll be less likely to stick around to wait for their next meal.
As always, if you have any questions, please email us or give us a call. Whether you have questions about pests or are contemplating DIY pest control, we are always happy to help!