Best Pest Control DIY Tips to Keep Your Home Pest Free
Pest control doesn’t always require professional help. There are plenty of situations where ‘do it yourself pest control’ is a viable option. You can certainly effectively set a mousetrap or leave out any poison to handle more minor infestations like those, and there are plenty of other sprays and preventative actions that you can take yourself to prevent or exterminate smaller infestations. It is essential to be completely aware of what kind of infestation you face and just how bad it is before deciding if you can tackle the situation on your own. Some infestations are riskier than others, and some need more immediate action. This article will help you learn how to control and prevent pest infestations in your home and when calling a professional is the best option.
Don’t Wait Until Pests Show Up!
Taking action to prevent infestations from ever starting is the easiest thing to do to protect your home from unwanted pests. The first thing to do is to make sure that your house is secured from the outside. Caulk gaps between your trim and siding, plug any holes, gaps, or cracks in the side of your home, seal gaps in doors or windows with adhesive weather-stripping, check for gaps around your dryer vent, and store pet food in a sealed container.
Managing moisture around your home is another way to control pests in and around your home. If the soil around your home is moist, or the wood in your home takes on that moisture, it can create an attractive place for insects to live. To help prevent this, you can rake moisture-wicking soil and mulch away from window frames and other wood on your house. It would be best if you also turned your mulch periodically to help keep dampness down and keep bushes trimmed back as well.
If you have a spider infestation, especially in your basement, you can virtually eliminate the problem with a humidifier. Maintaining a forty percent humidity level can clear up spiders quickly. You should also regularly clean up cobwebs as they appear, especially by doors and window sills. This is a quick and easy spider solution.
If you are worried about cockroaches, don’t leave food and water out for the cockroaches to live on (this is the case with many pests), but you really want to make sure you aren’t keeping paper bags or cardboard boxes around. Paper and cardboard make a great roach home and they will find it. Don’t let cardboard boxes pile up in the corner of your basement or garage and get rid of paper bags as soon as you get home. The less time these items spend in your house the less likely they will become a cockroach’s new home.
Spray Around Your House
One simple DIY pest control solution is an outdoor spray. There are tons of different insecticides that you can find and spray around your house or infuse in your lawn care. Taking some time to spread these solutions around your house can go a long way toward preventing infestations. Just be sure to take proper precautions when applying these chemicals. Read and follow any warning labels on the solution you chose and know how it might affect children or pets in your home.
This solution is often best effective as a preventative measure and is not the best way to get rid of an active infestation. Common insecticides found at your local big box stores aren’t quite as effective as professional products, but they can usually get the job done if you apply them thoroughly and regularly around the parameter of your home.
These are relatively easy and vital steps you can take to make your home less pest-friendly and control pests in and around your home.
Infestation Early Warning Signs
There is no way to completely prevent a pest infestation, so it is crucial to learn the initial warning signs of a pest problem. The earlier you catch the pest problem, the easier it is to handle it on your own. Once an infestation takes hold of your house, it can be hard or nearly impossible to handle on your own. Here are just a few of the warning signs to look for:
You won’t always see the pests, but you are more likely to see their droppings. Common places to find pest droppings are the attic, crawl spaces, the basement, behind your refrigerator, behind your water heater, back of cabinets, etc. If you find droppings, it is safe to assume that you probably have a pest problem. Be sure to take a closer look at the droppings you find as well. They might be able to help you tell what kind of pest you’re dealing with. Rodent droppings are conical or spindly in shape, while inspect droppings are much smaller.
Unidentified strange smells in your home are an excellent early warning sign that you might have a problem. As pests move through your home, they tend to pick up food and then drop bits as they go. You might even find moldy bits of food in places where these pests are traveling or gathering. This can lead to a rotting or stale food smell in your home. They also leave behind droppings and urine, which can leave an unpleasant smell behind. The most noticeable smell can come when a pest, especially mice, dies in your house. These bodies can be found under appliances, furniture, or in your walls.
Signs of Nesting
Unlike some pests, rodents like to take up residence in the house they have infested. They enjoy warm cozy nooks in your home like the attic, crawl spaces, areas between the walls, or underneath your flooring. Be sure to keep an eye out for nests made of anything from shredded paper and scraps of fabric to leaves and grass clippings, especially in these areas. If you find a nest, it is time to decide if you can take care of the problem or if you need to call a professional.
Holes, Gnaw, Markings and Other Damage
If you see odd damage anywhere in your home, it is time to check for pests. Damaged fabric, plants, furniture, and walls are all signs that you have a pest problem. Be on the lookout for holes, stains, or scratch marks on the furniture, in your clothes and other fabrics, or on your houseplants. If you see this, take immediate action to find out what is infesting your home so you can decide how to get rid of the pests in your house.
Also, keep an eye out for strange sounds (this is a crucial marker for mice and termites especially), built-up dirt and grime, dead bugs inside, grease marks/tracks (mice tend to travel along the same paths each day, so their tracks tend to build up), signs of termites (more on this in our termite article below).
Pest Control DIY vs. Professional
Once you identify that you have a problem, it is time to decide, “can I do pest control at home by myself.” There are plenty of situations where you can quickly and safely handle the problem yourself, but there are some things to consider before you make that call.
The Risk To You
The first thing to consider is the risk. What kind of pests are you dealing with, and how dangerous are they to you and your home? Wasps, bees, yellowjackets, and spiders can create a risk for you or your family if not dealt with professionally, especially if there is a known allergy risk. Brown Recluses almost always require professional services due to safety concerns. Don’t put your or your family’s lives and health at risk for a DIY pest control solution. If you feel it is unsafe, call a professional.
There is also a risk that comes with handling the various chemicals in many DIY pest solutions. You will want to make sure that you have a safe way of managing and disposing of these products that are safe for you and your family. Also, be sure to consider any pets you might have. Even something as simple as ant poison or a mousetrap can harm your pet if they manage to get into it. Be sure you know the risk you are taking on before handling these chemicals yourself.
The Risk to Your Home
There is also potential harm to your home. Pests tend to multiply quickly, and the larger their numbers, the more irreparable damage they can cause to your home.
Bed bugs are hard to deal with yourself and can quickly spread from room to room. This means, if not dealt with professionally, a small infestation in one room can lead to your whole house becoming infested.
Termites are another major infestation that can be hard to deal with on your own. Their colonies are often underground and massive, making them hard to eradicate from your home thoroughly. You can use DIY pest control to prevent termites from nesting under your home, but once they create a nest, it can be hard to get rid of them completely. The dangerous thing about termites is the amount of damage they can cause to your house, especially the foundation.
Letting an infestation continue to grow while finding the right DIY solution can be risky and lead to more expensive and inconvenient situations down the road. Avoid this situation and ensure their complete eradication from your home by calling a professional.
If you feel that you can safely handle the infestation, the next thing to consider is time. Is this process worth your time? Exterminator services aren’t always as expensive as you think. It might be worth getting a quote or two before deciding to go the DIY route. Exterminators often come with a guarantee that their services will eliminate the pest problem from your home in a timely manner. It might take more time for that pest problem to go away with your DIY solution.
If your attempts at eradicating an infestation from your home aren’t working, that is another sign that it is time to call in the professionals. Don’t continue to bang your head against the wall trying a million different solutions. If the first few keys don’t work, save yourself more stress and call in a professional. The problem might be bigger than you think.
Some pests are hard to completely eradicate. Cockroaches are almost impossible to get rid of yourself. If you miss even just a few cockroaches, you will be battling them again in just a few months. Cockroaches, termites, and bed bugs are the hardest pests to eliminate without a professional. It is important to know what you are taking on before you jump in the deep end.
It’s Your Call
After taking all these things into consideration, it is time to make the call. DIY solution or call an exterminator? That decision is ultimately up to you, but if you decide you need a professional or don’t want to do it yourself, Blue Beetle Pest Control is happy to help.
Now, with over 18 years of personalized service and over 60 HEROES on our team, Blue Beetle is one of Kansas City’s most trusted pest control service providers and was voted Best Pest Control in Kansas City by The Pitch three years in a row. Our commitment to getting the job done right the first time separates us from our competitors.
Blue Beetle is a company with a proud history and a promising future. We stand on a foundation of training, growth, and improvement. Each day we make significant investments in our people, management, and services to ensure your property is being treated with the best care. Our goal is to better serve our customers, team members, business partners, and community. We take pride in our culture and our dedication to keeping clients happy. Our heroes have the experience and knowledge needed to solve any pest challenges you might be dealing with. They give you all the tools and resources you need to make a sound decision for your family, lifestyle, and budget. The decision is yours.