10 Must-Read Reasons To Avoid Do It Yourself Pest Control

Even for the most dextrous and handiest of souls among us, do it-yourself (DIY) anything always translates to: do at your own risk. Horrors abound about mistakes in this vein, including one that occurred some years back that appeared in a Maryland newspaper.

A woman was trying to wall paper her living room in order to save some money. Although no-one can say exactly how it happened, somehow the poor woman became glued to almost everything in the room, including herself. Authorities were baffled about how she managed to call for help, as even her poor fingers were glued together.

Don’t let this happen to you! If your home has invaders of the unpleasant kind; namely, insects and rodents, call Pestco and save time, effort, money, energy and last but not least, face.

It should be noted that in some very specific circumstances, do-it yourself pest control is appropriate. Setting ant or mouse traps very far away from children or pets can catch stray critters that may wander into a home. Bug bombs are very popular DIY pest solutions, but they are not that effective when it comes to killing bugs at their source.

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In fact, their use is more likely to spread bugs around a home rather than kill them. Sprays temporarily repel pests and often push them deeper into the walls, cracks, crevices and other rooms, where they regroup, repopulate and return in even fuller force. The homeowner’s nervous response to spray some more continues this useless cycle and offers no resolution.

The problem at the very least, is a matter of degree. If a residence has a viable infestation, only expert help from experienced pest technicians can properly assess the situation, develop a treatment plan (which might include steps a home-owner can take), and follow through to make sure the pests don’t return.

Why Isn’t DIY Pest Control Always Effective?

While there are many practical preventive strategies that can be employed to prevent insect and rodent ingress to a home and a plethora of DIY pest control products available via online outlets, even home owners with the best of intentions can end up escalating rather than controlling a pest invasion.

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Sellers of over the counter pesticides promise perfect results, which they never deliver because their chemical compounds are limited by law in what they can do. These products applied by the layman can not be compared to the trained and licensed professional pesticide applicators.

10 Reasons To Avoid DIY Pest Control 

The following represent the most common pitfalls associated with DIY pest control.

1. DIY Pest Control Is A Short-Term Solution

Do-it-yourself pest control methods only permit the treatment of those pests that are visible to the naked eye. While a typical DIY pest-control product will kill insects on contact, over time it is likely the invaders will reappear because true eradication is dependent on finding and eliminating the source (colony or nest).

The handful killed by a spray is meaningless against an ocean of invaders that require EPA-approved, professional pesticides, developed specifically for successful pest elimination.

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2. Human Error Comes In Several Manifestations

Outsmarting marauding pests at their own game is a task best left to those with technical knowledge and expertise.

Very often, harried homeowners, in an attempt to “get things over with,” will skim through label details and instructions, often spray either too much or too little and treat the wrong areas of the home. Failing to follow instructions on a pesticide label is ultimately like an old Italian idiom that translates into “making a hole in water.”

Avoiding DIY Pest Control Efforts

Such actions render a treatment worthless, and is akin to laying out a welcome mat that both invites new marauders and cements the presence of those already living comfortably there, allowing them to reproduce and wreak more havoc inside a home.

Human error on the part of non-professionals comes in several manifestations. One is the tendency to spray more than is necessary on every visible surface rather than the amount delineated on a label. These chemicals can be dangerous to the health of both humans and pets if applied incorrectly.

In addition, these chemical compounds are capable of contaminating a home owner’s water supply, plants and even the ambient air in and surrounding a home. It is prudent to leave some things such as wiring a home, putting up a roof, plugging up heavy leaks and effective pest-control and pest-management to professionals.

Explore our guide on how to choose the right pest control company.

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3. Do It Yourself Pesticides Often Miss The Mark

Our highly trained technicians know there should never be any deviation from label-stated requirements for use. This ensures that the right pesticide is always applied for each specific pest and that the correct amount is used properly. 

Online do-it-yourself-pesticides promise the moon and fall to deliver almost every time. Dust is one of the most problematic examples of over-the-counter pesticides. Most dust products, such as Borax (which is a soap, by the way) work by the insect walking in it, getting it on their feet and then ingesting it when they clean themselves. 

Almost always, a non-professional person will use too much of a dust product, which causes two problems; one, bugs avoid dust mounds, and two, if applied incorrectly, dust kicks up in the air and the homeowner and family are breathing in its toxic fumes. Even “safer” dust, such as diatomaceous earth, was not designed for people or animals to inhale.

4. Failure To Properly Identify Insect Infestation

Eliminating infestations for good cannot be done without the exact identification of the marauding pest. While most insect behavior revolves around avoiding danger, each type of bug follows its own unique pattern of habits and behavior that are specifically suited to keep them alive.

Knowledge of the pest in question in terms of how they will react to a treatment and how to follow up on any additional problems is vital to a successful outcome. Our technicians are highly trained in this area, and they attend workshops on a regular basis to keep them always one step ahead of pest invaders.

5. Failure To Target The Proper Source

Spot treating is big problem with DIY pest control. Without treatment of the original source, pests will continue to invade a home. To prevent entry, home owners must locate the place where they are coming from and block all points of ingress. 

Pest control and pest-management technicians carefully study this and other details so that they can create the perfect pesticides and treatment solutions that target a specific pest at the appropriate stage of development.

6. Over-The-Counter Pest Control Products Are Not Customized 

There is always the assumption when dealing with over-the-counter pest-control and pest-management products that one size fits-all, and this could not be further from the truth. Treatments must be customized in order to be effective because no one pest-infestation is ever the same. 

While the average home owner may think that all roaches or ants will react the same way to baits or home remedies, each species has its own eating, breeding and living preferences, Pest-control and pest-management strategies must be tailored specifically to the individual pests and species. 

The most effective pest control and pest-management solutions require repeated treatments, detailed methods of application and instructions that must be followed to the letter in order to ensure the desired results.

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7. DIY Pest Control Is Ultimately More Expensive

In the aftermath of a failed do-it-yourself pest control treatment, professionals will need to be called to the scene to eradicate the infestation. By this time, whatever the situation was at the onset, things are bound to be worse, which means incurred costs will be much higher than they would have been had this option been used in the first place. It might help to consider pest-control and pest-management as an investment in maintaining a home.

8. Bugs are Becoming More Resistant To Over-The-Counter Pesticides

Over time, bugs and other pests have become more resistant to over-the-counter treatments. Homeowners who rely on these products too much or use them incorrectly have inadvertently created a super bug. Resistance develops when a pesticide is first used. 

Genetics often allows for a small number of the pest population to survive exposure and they pass along the genes for resistance to the next generation. 

Using the same insecticide over and over increases the number of resistant pests within the population, and ultimately, the pesticide fails. Worldwide, more than 500 species of insects, mites, and spiders have developed some level of pesticide resistance.

Pittsburgh Spider Control For Infestations

9. Over-The-Counter Pesticides Do Not Produce Residual Effects

Pesticides are known to to degrade from the moment they are applied, and many OTC pest-control products boast residuals lasting for 6 to 9 months and even a year in some instances. 

This is as blatant a lie as any ever told. Professional residual products, which work better because they provide a higher dose and longer exposure, can provide residual effects for up to there months maximum, and they require specific licensing and certifications in order to both purchase and apply. 

Also, many OTC pesticides are oily and leave a stain that lasts for a while but doesn’t kill anything. OTC wasp spray, for example, is extremely oily, not for the purpose of killing the wasps, but rather to coat their wings so that they cannot fly away. 

Say No To DIY Pest Control

However, they still can sting for a while before the pesticide kicks in. Home owners should stick with professional products and expert technicians for best results. 

10. DIY Treatments Delay Professional Help

Using over the counter pesticides and treatments can only postpone the inevitable need to call in pest-control and pest-management experts to treat an infestation. These products are designed to kill pests on contact, but they are one-trick ponies, so to speak, and that is all they can do. 

Spending time and money on these methods just aggravates the issue by allowing an infestation to spread further and become more difficult and expensive to contain. Contacting professionals will save time, money and sanity.

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We are a five-star, family-owned and operated company have been an integral part of the pest-control and pest-management landscape since the days following World War II. We are Google Guaranteed, Quality Pro and Sentricon Certified, and proud members of the National Pest Management Society. Even more, 2 of the 7 Ace-certified technicians throughout all of Western PA are a part of our family!


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For the most part, until recently our products and services were directed to industrial and commercial enterprises. Our new home service division, with Bob Wiemer at the helm, has become very successful, providing homeowners with superior professional advice and strategies about combatting pest infestations. 

Our pro-active pest exclusion services are focused on the selection of appropriate products, which will vary in how well they can withstand specific pest invaders, and only Pestco provides a truly holistic approach to pest-control.

If you live in the Pittsburgh area and environs, call our teams today, and let us help you with our tried and true, state-of-the-art pest-control and pest-management solutions!

Photo Credits: Pixabay

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