Pests have been plaguing mankind since before written history. And DIY pest control methods have existed for roughly the same period. People have been trying to deal with pests long before there was someone else to do it for them.
Nowadays, it’s far easier to just call a pest control company and get things done seamlessly. But for unknown reasons, some people still prefer to try tackle the problem themselves before coming to the inevitable realization that pest control, like many other things, isn’t as easy as it looks.
There are five most common reasons why your DIY pest control efforts are just not working. Those have to do with safety, lack of expertise, and putting your home in flatout danger.
Improper Use of Pesticides
Have you ever wondered why they place The Jolly Roger (skull and crossbones) sign on pesticide cans? It’s not to signify this is the pirates’ choice of pest control product. Truth is, over-the-counter pesticides can be dangerous and cause a significant health hazard. Even though they don’t have the strength of the industrial-grade products professionals use, they can be easily mishandled. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can cause harm to yourself or your family. There is a reason pest control courses last for that long.
The risks extend to your pets, too. They may very well ingest a dose of yummy pesticide. If the proper dosage is used, then everything should be fine… However, if you haven’t used the proper dosage, thinking that more poison will solve the problem faster, then you may risk the life of your pet in the process.
All of this is without even mentioning potential allergic or chemical reactions. People have nearly killed themselves mixing cleaning products that shouldn’t be mingled. Imagine what happens when you combine substances that are supposed to kill things.
If you end up trying to go after those rats or roaches on your own, please, at least make sure you read the label (yes, the entire thing). And follow the instructions!
Skipping the Pest Inspection
You saw a mouse somewhere in the kitchen and now you’re ready to rain down upon it with furious vengeance and glorious anger. Great! You go to the store and purchase some pretty slick rodenticides from the pest control aisle. Awesome job! You deploy them and wait. Fantastic! The next day you even see the bait is gone. “You’re done for,” you tell yourself, basking in the moment of your undeniable victory. Sun Tzu, himself, would be proud. Oh, but what’s that? The mouse comes out of hiding and, as if to mock you, snatches a fallen peanut before disappearing into the shadowy hole it came from. But how? It should be dead! Did the guy at the store lie to you?
He very well could have. Or you could’ve purchased an agent that’s not strong enough to deal the finishing blow. Or you’ve missed the cockroach infestation under the kitchen sink. They were the ones who ate the rodenticide, but surprise, surprise – it doesn’t work on roaches. There’s always an explanation as to why your endeavour fails. You just have to look around and find it.
Of course, it would be far more efficient to perform a complete check before you start. If you know how to perform a pest inspection, that is.
Lack of Expertise
Sometimes DIY pest control doesn’t work simply due to lack of expertise. Sure, you may have noticed you have a rodent problem and even checked for other pests and made sure you only have one infestation to deal with. But is it a mouse or a rat? The two have very different behaviour in some instances. While mice are relatively curious about new things, rats absolutely avoid them. They are what is referred to as “neophobic” – they fear new things. What this means is if you place traps, it would take a while for a rat to come near it, let alone get caught in it.
There are many other things you should be aware of, as well. Rats have an impressively complex social structure. This means alphas and betas won’t eat before they’re sure a piece of food is safe. If you’re using a fast-acting rodenticide, all you’re doing is killing one or two gamas. Their loss will probably be mourned by the others, but it will hardly solve your infestation problems. That’s why we often use slow-acting agents. This way, all the rats get a bite thinking it’s safe and get kiss their lives goodbye.
There are many specifics you need to be aware of in order to deal with a pest infestation.
Treating the Symptoms
Getting a spray and drowning all those ants with deadly mist seems like the most sensible thing to do. After all, that’s how you deal with them, right? You kill them and then their bodies will serve as a warning for the others. Oh, if only it were that simple.
If you want to deal with an insect infestation, nay – any infestation, you need to hit it at the roots. This means either finding the nest and placing pesticides there or allowing the little buggers to do it for you. However, if you don’t know that, you might simply be treating the symptoms.
Knowing pest behaviour serves a great purpose here. For example, we know that roaches are cannibalistic (as if they weren’t disgusting enough, already). So, using slowly acting insecticides makes perfect sense. They get to their nest and die. When their friends decide to have a snack, they die, too. And because others can’t suppress their glutinous nature, they will also dig in. Just like that, from one dead roach, you get dozens. Having several bring the Trojan horse to their nest would work best. This is how you hit the infestation.
However, this is still not enough. You need to find out why there was an infestation in the first place. Solving that problem would remove the root and you will avoid this issue in the future. Do you leave lots of food lying around? Do you regularly forget to throw out the rubbish? Whatever it is, pests find your home hospitable for some reason. Find out why and fix it.
Underestimating the Infestation
Just because you see one cockroach doesn’t mean there’s only one or even a few. In fact, if you’re seeing a cockroach (especially during the day), this is a sign you’re in serious trouble. Same goes for mice and rats. It’s not the ones you see you should worry about. It’s the ones you don’t see!
Underestimating the severity of the situation is one of the most common reasons DIY pest control fails. If you’re going to attempt home pest control on your own, do proper research before that. You will stand a better chance at getting it done right. And if it fails, you know you can always count on us.