When to Call The Professionals
As a homeowner, you know there are some home projects you can take on yourself (painting the guest room) and some that are better left to the professionals (installing electrical wiring in the basement). The same logic goes for pest control. In some cases, do-it-yourself measures are fine but in others, it is best to call in a pest professional to ensure the job is done correctly and safely. So how do you know which pest scenarios are DIY-approved and which are pro-worthy?
In most cases, the answer depends on the several factors, including the type of pest, its threats to your family’s health, the potential for property damage and the size of the infestation. For example, one lone yellow jacket that found its way into your home is no cause for alarm. But a nest of yellow jackets near your front porch? Time to call in the pros.
Bed bugs are certainly not a pest that should be handled on your own. For one, they are notoriously elusive, often hiding out in hard to detect places like behind electrical switches and under wallpaper. A trained pest professional will know where bed bugs are likely to hide in your home and can develop a treatment plan to target the pests while ensuring the safety of your family and pets.
To effectively treat a bed bug infestation all stages of the bed bug life cycle must be treated, including bed bug eggs, nymphs (babies) and adult bed bugs. Unfortunately, DIY pest control methods are often ineffective against bed bug nymphs and eggs. Attempts to control a bed bug infestation on your own may only exacerbate the problem and give the infestation time to grow. And bed bugs reproduce quickly – one female bed bug can lay one to five eggs in a day and more than 500 in their lifetime, meaning that a small infestation can quickly grow out of control.
In addition, homeowners that attempt to control a bed bug infestation on their own often spend more money in the long run on failed treatments. Some residents with bed bug infestations unnecessarily throw out furniture, clothing and other personal property in an attempt to control an infestation. In extreme cases, homeowners have seriously damaged their homes or sickened their families by misusing pest control products.
Recurring or Heavy Infestations
No matter the type of pest, if you have an infestation that keeps coming back no matter what you try, it’s time to contract a professional. Reoccurring pest infestations are a sign that your home is just too enticing for pests. Perhaps a small access point (such as a tear in a window screen or a crack in the foundation) is providing easy access indoors for ants. Or perhaps a drip under the bathroom sink is creating the perfect conditions for cockroaches. Whatever it is, a trained pest professional will inspect your home, determine the infestation and help you resolve it once and for all.
DIY methods are also no match for heavy pest infestations. Because many pests pose serious health and property threats, a sizable pest infestation should be left up to the professionals to handle, before it can grow any larger.
Stinging & Venomous Insects
Infestations of any type of stinging insect – such as scorpions, wasps, yellow jackets or fire ants – should always be left up to the professionals. Stinging insects pose serious health risks. In fact, they send half a million people to the emergency room every year. A single colony of stinging insects can contain anywhere from a few hundred to 80,000 members, which can attack if their nest is threatened. Those with allergies to insect stings are especially at risk, but if a large nest of stinging insects attacks, it can be life threatening to anyone.
Bark scorpions, which are commonly found throughout Arizona homes and properties, are the most venomous scorpions in North America. Scorpion removal should be handled by a trained professional to avoid stings, while further infestations can be prevented with a scorpion home seal & ongoing treatments.
Dangers & Problems with DIY Pest Control
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to pest control is when do-it-yourself solutions go awry. Oftentimes, the very pest they are trying to eliminate or prevent is actually drawn indoors through the use of misused baits, traps, and pesticides.
When dealing with pesticides, baits, and traps, it is extremely important to be trained and comfortable in the use of chemicals and to understand what the repercussions could be for you, your family, and your home.
When it comes to pest control, expertise is important – not just because it’s the fastest way to eliminate pests, but because it’s critical to controlling pests safely. Too often, we uncover botched DIY pest control attempts that ultimately result in a call for professional help. While that’s concerning from a pest control perspective, and can cost homeowners more money in the long run, it is even more upsetting when the methods attempted put homeowners at risk for harm.
Other instances of misdirected DIY are less dire…for example, using traps to kill ants but never identifying their source. In most cases, this means that ants will return. Knowledge is the most powerful form of pest control, so before covering your home in traps, consider turning to a professional who is certified to keep family members and pets safe.
Work with a Pest Control Specialist
As a homeowner, there are a lot of DIY steps you can take to help prevent pests from finding their way into your home, but even these are most effective when completed in partnership with a pest professional. And, if you suspect you have an infestation, your first step should always be to call Bug Guardian. We will be able to properly identify your pest problem and recommend an appropriate course of treatment.