If you’re noticing an abundance of any type of pest—whether it’s ants, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, spiders, or other creepy crawlies—then you’re probably looking for a solution to deal with them.
A quick Google search of “how to get rid of pests,” reveals a tremendous number of DIY pest control solutions, but you want to be sure you’re doing something that works. A lot of the DIY approaches also seem dangerous and even if a friend has suggested an idea, you might be questioning whether it’s really safe.
At Oasis, we have pretty much heard it all when talking to homeowners in Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, and Northern Kentucky.
We know how frustrating pests can be and how desperate some homeowners are to get rid of them. However, some approaches to dealing with a pest problem are not only ineffective, they are downright dangerous. We’ve rounded up 11 of the ineffective, dangerous—and sometimes even crazy—ideas that we’ve heard for pest control and why they should be avoided.
1. DIY Pest Control
Tackling DIY pest control with store-bought products is rarely very effective. Whereas a professional is trained in product handling and application, the average homeowner has no such training or background on using chemicals.
Sometimes, the products bought in the store (such as Raid) can even have a higher toxicity rating than the chemicals a professional might use. People often don’t realize just how risky it can be. With no real knowledge of pests and what areas of your home or your property to treat, your attempts may be completely unsuccessful.
2. Repellent Plants
Plants such as lavender, lemongrass, and catnip are said to repel pesky bugs such as mosquitoes since they don’t like the smell. While these plants may deter a few pests here and there, the truth is, a mosquito’s life mission of obtaining blood is strong enough that it will ignore the odor coming from your plants if it detects the smell of a nearby meal. In fact, most of these plants need to be ground-up for their repellent properties to have any effect.
You can file this one under pest control that doesn’t work. It’s just not going to be effective enough to see any real difference.
3. Only Treating Your Pets for Fleas and Ticks
There’s no question that treating your pets with veterinarian-recommended products to avoid fleas and ticks is important. However, that’s only one step in keeping your family (your four-legged members, that is) safe.
It will do nothing to keep fleas and ticks out of your yard. It will just keep them off of your pets. You must still plan to treat your yard with flea and tick control.
4. Only Trimming Your Trees and Shrubs so They Don’t Touch the House
There’s no question that trees and shrubs which touch your house are one way for pests to move from the outdoors to the indoors. It is also true that overgrown plants will naturally contain more pests than well-trimmed ones.
However, trimming your trees and bushes is just one step to help keep pests out of your home. It’s something that you should do, but it should be just one part of a multi-faceted approach to pest control.
Plus, what’s to stop pests from crawling up the side of your home?
5. Using Organic Products
While people love the idea of using something organic, because they associate it with being safer, the truth is, organic pest control products just really aren’t that effective.
One product that we’ve seen some interest in is crushed seashells in the form of a powder that is meant to cut-up the exoskeletons of the pests walking around your home. Besides the fact that you probably don’t want to spread white powder around your home, we’ve heard these products are minimally effective.
You may kill a few pests that venture out and cross through the sharp powder, but you’re not addressing the nest or source of the infestation.
Outdoors, there are various organic products that you can buy to repel mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, but the success also appears to be limited.
6. Using Gasoline or Flamethrowers for Bees & Wasps
You may laugh, but we’ve heard this a lot. Pouring gasoline or any other chemical into a hive or at the site of an infestation of bees is incredibly dangerous. Not only will you contaminate groundwater and potentially kill plants, but you’ll also create a flammable fire hazard on your property.
Even worse, we have heard stories of igniting the gasoline or even using flamethrowers to address hives in trees. The number of stories of people who have been hurt or caused damage attempting to kill bees this way is astounding considering this DIY pest control approach is dangerous—and crazy too. The proper way to address a bee infestation or hive is to call a pest control professional or a beekeeper (if honey bees).
7. Setting Off Bug Bombs
First and foremost, do you really want to set off a fog of chemicals in your home and have them end up on non-target items? These materials can have a very high toxicity rating—sometimes even higher than what a professional exterminator might be using, not to mention the fact that a professional is licensed and trained to apply product the proper way.
Beyond the dangerous chemical factor of this DIY pest control approach, it also isn’t very effective. When the fog of a bug bomb is released, the pests sense it and tend to move deeper into the wall or crevice where they’ve been hiding out—and where the chemical will not reach. For this reason, sometimes a bug bomb can make an infestation even more difficult to control.
8. Various Forms of Ant Traps (and Others)
Traps may seem like they’re doing a good job of capturing ants since you’ll find them in there—but how many are you really finding? The truth is, ant traps do nothing to impact the nest. You’ve maybe captured 12 ants out of the 10,000 in the soil or mulch around your home.
In general, traps (for any type of pests) are not effective in reducing the population of an infestation. Think of traps more as a tool to identify what type of pest you’re dealing with.
9. Electric Bug Swatters
This is another method of pest control that doesn’t work—at least enough to make any significant impact. Sure, you can kill a couple mosquitoes that come at you, but just imagine how many thousand are still out there.
Plus, do you really want to sit around and have to swat at bugs constantly—especially with something that is electrified and potentially dangerous? It’s probably not how you envisioned your evenings outside.
10. Salt Guns
If you haven’t heard of salt guns for bugs, they’re exactly what they sound like. They are guns that shoot particles of salt to kill bugs. The idea might sound amusing—almost like a gag gift that you might buy—but they’re not going to have any major impact on your pest population.
These bug guns could also be potentially dangerous. In fact, the companies that make these products have lots of warnings about not pointing them at someone’s face—particularly their eyes—as there are potential risks.
11. Pros that Overdo It
All of these ineffective and dangerous DIY pest control tactics probably have you looking for a pro. However, not every professional pest control service is necessarily the best option. Just like any other service business, you want to make sure that you’re choosing a company with the experience and the skill to get the job done right.
A lot of lawn care companies also offer pest control services and this can be a great fit for your needs. However, if their technicians are not properly and thoroughly trained, they might not be doing an effective job.
Some companies are so desperate to hire cheap labor that they’ll take on anyone who is willing to do the work. These types of technicians are going to go out and spray anything and everything without a whole lot of regard. What you really need is a company that takes a customized and targeted approach to your specific property’s needs.
Choosing Safe Pest Control that Really Works
Inside or out of your home, we understand that you want to keep the pests at bay. That’s why you need to find a pest control solution that will work for you.
When it comes to pest control, there are multiple options. If you have an existing infestation of pests inside of your home such as cockroaches or carpenter ants, then you’ll need to hire an exterminator. However, if you’ve only seen pests inside of your home on occasion or are determined to prevent a future problem, then perimeter pest control from a company with well-trained technicians is the best solution for you. Perimeter pest control will tackle ants, centipedes, spiders, and more by setting up a “shield” that surrounds your home and keeps pests from getting through.
If it’s pests within your lawn that you’re most concerned with, then ant, flea, & tick control is the solution you need. This service will allow you to enjoy your lawn without worrying about an infestation of ants, fleas, and ticks. Of course, if it’s mosquitoes that has you concerned, then you’ll want to opt for mosquito control. Or, like a lot of homeowners, perhaps you want to add all three services.
By working with Oasis Turf & Tree for pest control, these services can be added on to your already routine lawn or tree care program, with bundled discounts, in order to give you a tremendous amount of value for your investment.
If you’re tired of dealing with pests on or around your property and you’re looking for a safe and effective way to deal with them, then choosing to work with Oasis can help you gain some peace of mind. Don’t put yourself and your family at risk with ineffective or dangerous pest control tactics any longer. Let the pros get to work doing what they do best.
If you’d like to learn more about outdoor pest control for your Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or Northern Kentucky home, call us at 513-697-9090 or get your quote online and help us find the program that is best for you, then sit back and relax.