Mosquitoes crashing your barbecue. Ants marching through your kitchen. Roaches quickly scurrying out of sight when you turn on your bathroom lights. There’s really no argument. Pests in your home are disgusting, dangerous, and frightening.
As soon as you see any sort of pest, it’s natural to want to do whatever it takes to get rid of them, and fast. But hold on, before you get too hasty, there are 7 common pest control mistakes that won’t help your end goal. If you want to rid your home completely of pests, you’ll want to learn some effective pest control solutions to implement instead of just grabbing the nearest can of bug spray and going to town.
Common Pest Control Mistake #1
Unsafe Handling Of Pest Control Products
You can go into any grocery store, department store, hardware store, and even your local drug store and find some bug spray on the shelf to help you control the bugs that have found a way into your home. Since these products have become “commonplace” and are so easy to obtain, it’s easy to neglect to take proper safety procedures when applying these products around your home. Let’s use an example. Your kids played outside in their socks and stained them for the hundredth time and now you are responsible for getting the stains out. So you grab the bleach and add a little bit the wash. Viola! It’s like it never happened! However, you would never just pour it directly onto the laundry. Doing so may knock out the stain but it will destroy the clothes because that is not how it is designed to be used. Just like bleach, pesticides can be a powerful tool, but only when they are used correctly. So the next time you see a bug, read the Label first!
Common Pest Control Mistake #2
Neglecting The Root Cause Of The Pest Problem
We get it. As soon as you see a roach in the kitchen marching off with the crumbs from that morning’s coffee cake, you want that little bugger gone. So, you grab your bottle of bug spray and it. Seems like an easy pest control solution, right?
The only problem is they’ll likely be back. Well, not the dead one of course! But his friends are already on their way up your countertop, salivating over the delicious foods they’re about to find.
You can’t just spray or kill only the visible pests like roaches, spiders, and ants and consider your work done. You need to get to the root of the problem and implement an effective pest control solution. All bugs need three things to survive; F.W.H.: food, water, and harborage (a place to live). If you want to know why these pests are invading your home, then you need to figure out out this pest’s specific F.W.H. needs. Are you inviting them in with unsealed gaps in your windows, around your foundation, or around your doors? Are you leaving food around for days on end? Do you have standing water that attracts mosquitoes? If you can eliminate just one of the F.W.H. needs, the pests will die or be forced to vacate the premises leaving you with a peaceful home!
You see, killing the pests you see is only one part of the solution. You also have to prevent any of their friends from joining the party. Getting to the root of your pest problem is an absolute must for long term control!
Common Pest Control Mistake #3
What does housekeeping have to do with pests? A lot. Remember the Harborage point from above? This is one of the easiest things to eliminate and often solves the problem. Spiders love to live in corners and boxes that are rarely touched. Mice make nests out of shredded paper, cardboard, and rags. Other pests love to live in untouched woodpiles. If the environment is conducive, and left untouched, it is an ideal place for pests to hide and thrive.
Make sure you keep your home tidy, put food away, move wood piles away from your home, regularly vacuum your carpet, shampoo the carpet once a year, sweep and mop your floors, and dust the surfaces of your home. Keep your bushes and trees trimmed and remove food that spills onto the lawn during picnics and barbecues. Those are just a few ideas but I’m sure you can think of several hundred other things! So in-short, if it’s dirty, make it UN-dirty!
Common Pest Control Mistake #4
Spraying Ants With Generic Pesticides
Grabbing the nearest can of insect spray and dousing a line of ants with it is usually not an effective pest control solution. In fact, this will often only make your ant problem worse. Ants have very keen senses and can detect the majority of aerosol sprays you find at the store. While the ants that get caught in the spray will die, all of the ants that are not directly contacted will return home and find a new route to the food. In some cases, when you spray an ant trial this causes a thing called “budding”, which means the remaining ants start a second colony and begin to thrive. Now you’re dealing with twice the problem!
Usually the best way to treat for ants inside your home it a good ‘ol-fashioned bait. Baits work so well because they are typically a sweet syrup mixed with a product which the ants find IRRESISTABLE. The scouts find the bait then take it to the nest. The ants share the bait and they all die, including the queen, thus eliminating the problem completely! So the next time you see a trail of ants, put the spray down and serve them “Dessert” ?
Common Pest Control Mistake #5
Neglecting To Treat Your Pet
Not only can your pet bring pests into your home such as a fleas and ticks, but your dog or cat can also suffer from parasitic infections if left untreated. It’s always a good idea to stay up to date on vaccinations, grooming, and medications that help keep fleas and ticks away and/or kill the ones that do try to feed off your beloved pets. Pests in the yard that are attacking your pets can often be controlled with a treatment that will kill the adult pest population and stop the young from being able to reproduce.
Common Pest Control Mistake #6
Treating Your Pet With Pesticides
This one is going to be short and sweet! Do not spray your dog with pesticide to get the fleas off of them. This is a bad idea and can cause serious harm to Fido. Make sure you’re treating your pet with the correct pest control treatment. Also, human pest repellents often times contain ingredients that can be harmful for your pet, so always make sure to read the product label before using any type pest control product.
Common Pest Control Mistake #7
Placing The Mouse Trap In The Wrong Place
You carefully set the mouse trap in the middle of your kitchen floor, then scurry off to bed. You’re sure your mouse problem will be taken care of by morning. But when you wander into the kitchen for breakfast the next day, the trap is untouched. Why?
Mice are very particular. When they travel, their whiskers help them navigate so the often scurry along walls and tight spaces and avoid open areas when possible. They also prefer to take their usual path even if there is a shorter route to their destination. So, where you place the mousetrap matters. Place it perpendicular to the wall, with the bait side facing the wall rather putting it out in the open. You will also want to look for any mouse droppings or signs of mouse trails. Once you find that, you’ll have a great place to set your mouse traps.
We hope that you found this information helpful! Know that we are always here to help. If you’re having a hard time controlling the pests in your home or you simply want to hire a professional so you can enjoy your weekends, then check out what we have to offer. You can get information about our pest control services and even sign up for service right from our website. If you need help but you’re not in our service area, that’s alright, we can help! Just give us a call or shoot us an email and we will help you solve the problem or help find a professional pest control company in your area. We also have a great article on “HOW TO CHOOSE A PEST CONTROL COMPANY” that you might find helpful as well!
I hope that this information has been helpful. Keep an eye out for those 7 things and your spouse will be much happier!