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DIY: Pest Control Guide
If you’re the kind of person who prefers doing things yourself, you might want to tackle DIY pest control. Many different types of pests willingly access our home and call it their own. These pests can range from harmless but annoying mice to painfully dangerous red ants.
While your first thought may be to set some traps or start spraying every nook and cranny with insect killer, you want to think twice about your strategy. Not every pest is a DIY pest control job. Sometimes you may need to call in the professionals.
In this article, we’re supplying you with all the DIY pest control tips you need to tackle even the most challenging pests.
How to DIY Pest Control: To Kill or Not To Kill
The first thing you’ll have to do when you acknowledge you have a pest problem is identifying what it is. Each pest has unique access points, habits, and intentions. Not every pest should be exterminated or removed in the same manner.
There are some situations where you absolutely should not kill the pest. We’ll address every type of insect, rodent, and bug that might have accessed your home and claimed it free of charge.
Have you recently noticed ants crawling among your counters and around the corners of the room? If so, you might have an ant problem. These pests are usually harmless, but people see them as something you would only find in a “dirty” home. For that reason, most homeowners want to get rid of them as fast as possible.
Luckily, ants are a DIY pest control job, and you should have no problem removing them on your home. You might even have some useful household ingredients that repel ants. Essential oils, garlic, cinnamon, and baby powder are all known to repel ants.
If you’d rather settle for something else, you could choose a spray ant repellent. The most important thing to remember with spraying for ants is the location. You don’t want to run through your house, spraying everything because these chemicals are harmful to pets and young ones if they come in contact with it.
Ants love straight lines, and they usually walk single-file along these lines. Look towards the rooms that you find ants in most frequently.
Start by spraying along the perimeter of the room, at the base of cabinets, and along with refrigerators and stoves. While you’re spraying, make sure you’re looking for access points that may allow ants to get in. Stand guard and pay attention to how the ants operate and where they go.
Once you’ve sprayed inside you should go outside and check the perimeter of the house. Make sure you remove any brush piles and trim trees and bushes that touch against your home. These are easy access points for ants to find their way into the house.
If you decide to use ant bait instead, you should follow much of the same procedure. If you can’t locate any ants, but you know you have them, place the bait along straight lines and the perimeter of the problem room. Ants are also attracted to water and moisture so underneath your kitchen sink is prime real estate for placing bait.
How to Prevent Ants?
You want to start by following routine hygiene and cleanliness procedures in the home. This process is complicated with children because they drop food pieces in hard to reach places. Try to pull out your refrigerator and stove to clean underneath regularly.
Trim all trees and bushes that touch against the house. If you have piles of leaves or stacks of wood leaning on the house, you also want to remove them or move them to a location further away from the home.
The presence of cockroaches in the home is a nerve-wracking experience for everyone involved. These pests are unsanitary and tricky to eradicate. The best DIY pest control tip for cockroaches is to identify them first. You want to know what kind of cockroaches you have to determine whether or not you can get rid of them yourself.
To figure out their type, you want to look at how big they are. Small cockroaches are no longer than one inch in length. You can exterminate these yourself using baits and chemicals.
If they are longer than one inch, you may want to hire a professional to assist you with the job.
Smaller roaches are called German cockroaches, and they have a light brown color. You’ll commonly find these roaches in areas of moisture and food. They prefer to live in dark places, and that is why you often find them in restaurant drains. Much of the time, you’ll discover a cockroach for the first time if you walk into the kitchen at night and turn on the light. They will quickly scurry away to their hiding place.
German roaches live indoors, and they find their way in by latching onto something like a purse, bag, or luggage. They can live their entire lives indoors while they move from location to location.
The main issue with cockroaches is the diseases they carry. They have a ton of bacteria that they transmit through food. They also kick up feces and saliva into the air that can cause asthma and allergies.
At the first sign of cockroaches, you want to do everything in your power to get rid of them.
Once you’ve identified the roach problem, it’s time to eliminate them. You can choose to use either a roach bait or growth regulator. You stand the best chance against roaches by placing the bait near wet or moist areas in your home. Underneath the sink and behind your refrigerator are great locations.
If you’re having a hard time identifying your roach problem, you could set sticky traps to try and see if your roach problem is a DIY pest control job or a professional one.
How to Prevent Cockroaches?
Keeping cockroaches out starts with proper cleanliness in the home. It’s difficult to understand how even small messes can trigger roaches, but problem areas are what attracts them most. Regularly clean under the refrigerator and stove because these areas attract a lot of food droppings. Try to prevent any dripping or standing water inside your home as well.
Getting rid of one or two mice is not difficult but getting them all out of your home is a different story. This pest control DIY job is best in the hands of professionals, but you can minimize the annoyance caused by mice with a few steps.
First, you want to figure out their entry points. Find out how the mice are getting into your home and secure those areas. Mice are capable of squeezing through even the smallest access points, so you don’t want to count anything out. If you can slide a pencil through the opening, it’s large enough for a mouse to fit.
Take a walk around your home and make a note of any foundational cracks. Pay attention to pipes or vents that are low to the ground as well. When sealing up these areas, you want to use steel wool or caulking because mice will chew through plastic or rubber sealant.
Once you’ve secured the area, you can start looking into mouse traps. Standard snap traps work well for small populations, but you will never know how large the infestation is. You may only see one or two mice at a time, but there are many more lurking in the shadows.
We recommend trying out a variety of different traps to see what works the best.
If you find that certain bags of food in your house have holes chewed in them, this might be a good bait to attract these pests. Chocolate, peanut butter, and dried fruit work well.
Finally, once you decide on a trap and bait, you need to pick the best locations. Place them along walls because mice will run directly onto the trap without triggering it too early. Any sign of droppings typically means you’ve found a travel path that the mice are taking. If a certain location is unsuccessful, it could mean you’re using the wrong type of bait.
Mouse Bait Stations
These packages usually contain pellets that will poison the mice when they eat them. These were much more popular 20+ years ago, but nowadays we recommend leaving these to the professionals. If children or pets get into the bait station, it could lead to a serious problem.
How to Prevent Mice?
People think that cleanliness is a part of keeping mice away, but that is not entirely true. Even the cleanest home can still have mice. There are two primary reasons why mice enter a home. The first is for food, and the second is curiosity. The best way to keep mice out is to secure all access points and regularly check for cracks in the foundation, driveway, and sidewalks.
The thought of having bed bugs can send shivers down your spine. These insects leave irritating bites, and controlling them is no small task. We recommend having a professional tackle this job. Typing DIY pest control near me into Google can yield a variety of results for pest control companies in your local area.
While we should let the pros handle it, there are some home remedies you can try. Washing your bedding at a high temperature is the most effective way to eliminate bed bugs. The heat will kill the pests, but it’s not a perfect solution.
Another great method for killing bed bugs is cold temperature. Placing your furnishings in the freezer or outside during the winter will kill a majority of bed bugs but not all of them.
How to Prevent Bed Bugs?
The only tried and true way of keeping bed bugs out is through problem sanitation of sheets and furnishings. Many people always associate bed bugs with beds, but you can get them on couches and chairs as well. Make sure you regularly wash your bedspread and pillows.
DIY Pest Control: FAQ’s
If you’re still struggling to control the pests in your home, here are some last-minute tips to help your efforts.
Q: What is the best DIY pest control spray for your home?
A: The best pest control spray will depend on the type of pest you’re trying to remove. Generally, strong scents and flavors result in the best chance of removal. Things like tea tree oil, garlic, peppermint, and eucalyptus work well for driving away mild pests like ants. For more challenging bests you’ll want to purchase a repellent spray or use bait.
Q: What is the best longest lasting home DIY pest control for perimeter outside?
A: The best perimeter control for the exterior of your home is to secure all entry points. You want to close up all cracks and holes to prevent any access. It also helps to trim trees and bushes to prevent anything from touching the side of your house.
Q: How to read pest control spray bottles?
A: It’s important to properly read pest control bottles to ensure you keep everyone safe. If the bottle says “caution,” it means that it is toxic when consumed or inhaled. These may also irritate the skin and eyes.
“Warning” means its moderately toxic and may cause a more severe reaction. When the bottle reads “Danger,” it means that it is poisonous and fatal if consumed.
Q: How do household pests get into my home?
A: There are many ways that pest can access a home, but it occurs most frequently because of various access points on the exterior of the house. When you pair that with poor cleanliness indoors you have a recipe for disaster.
Be sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into before taking on a DIY pest control project. In many cases, it might be cheaper to do it yourself, but it could be much safer and quicker to hire a professional.
Either way, good luck and be careful!