5 Reasons Why DIY Pest Control Doesn’t Work
By: Rita Stadler
Why pay an exterminator hundreds of dollars if you could spend a couple bucks at the hardware store and solve pest problems yourself?
Do it yourself pest control seems like an easy answer — when you have a mouse in the house, or ants in your kitchen, all you have to do is set out some bait, sprinkle some bug killer, or spray a cloud of toxic fumes to make all your problems disappear, right? If getting rid of household pests was so simple, there wouldn’t be an entire aisle dedicated to DIY pest control products in almost every store!
Check out the most common reasons why DIY doesn’t work, and what you need to do differently.
- Underestimating the scope of the problem. When you see one mouse, you can be sure there are more lurking where you can’t find them. The same is true for moths, ants, spiders, and other pests. Aside from being a bigger problem than it appears to be, the pests infesting your home are often smarter than you may think.
- Underestimating the pest. Lacking opposable thumbs, written language, and verbal skills, rodents and insects have developed a keen sense of smell which they use to navigate, organize, and communicate. Traps and bait stations often fail because pests can smell something fishy a mile away.
- Human error. People don’t always take the time to read instructions. Outsmarting a little creature whose survival depends on dodging danger can be challenging, especially if you have trouble following directions.
- Treating symptoms, not problems. Even if you manage to get rid of spiders that you can see, or any other pests, they will probably come back. To prevent future infestations, you need to figure out where they came from and what they came for — blocking entry points and removing attractants is always the first step to preventing future pest problems.
- Fluke. Sometimes nature throws you a curve ball, like when dogs and cats play hide and seek! The bait that always catches rats in a restaurant’s alley may not work in your home due to localized taste preferences rats develop. However, using an integrated pest management approach, with the help of a pest control expert, will give you multiple lines of defense against infestations.
How to make DIY pest control work for you
Many pest problems can be solved without calling an exterminator, as long as you’re willing to put in a little extra effort.
- Spend some time learning about the rodent or insect you are dealing with — our Pest Library help. When you know what type of environment pests prefer, and what they are attracted to, you’ll be able to make sure they don’t try to make your home their own.
- Observe the pest in action — finding where they are coming from and where they are going will help you remove whatever is attracting them, and block their way into your home.
- Prevent pests without using rat traps, insect killer sprays, and toxic baits — by using natural deterrents (like the scent of balsam fir to repel mice) which create an invisible barrier that bugs and rodents would rather avoid.
It is possible to solve your own pest problems without spending lots of money, and without bringing dangerous chemicals or traps into your home if you take a proactive approach.