Pests can come from anywhere and at any time. It’s important to keep that in mind this summer. There are a few things that homeowners tend to forget about pests in their home. These misconceptions can lead to an unexpected infestation in your home. Here are some more of the biggest ones.
5. Pests aren’t loners
As much as you want to believe that the huge waterbug you just squashed (in alarmingly close proximity to your blender full of kale smoothie) was just a solo infiltrator, we’re here to break the bad news: It’s probably not the case.
“As a general rule of thumb, where there is one cockroach, there are likely many others,” Magyar says. “Roaches are aggressive breeders, so it doesn’t take long for a small problem to grow to a major infestation. If you wait to call in a professional until you’ve spotted a few of these pests, you may have a much larger problem on your hands.”
6. Poison isn’t foolproof
Matteo Grader, pest control specialist at Panther Pest Control, describes the scene of a homeowner who thought he’d gotten rid of his mice infestation himself. He thought wrong.
“He bought some cheap mice poison from the store and placed it in every corner of his house. The mice had eaten from the poison, but unfortunately they were able to find a narrow place to hide in before they died (which is typical for mice),” Grader recalls. “So the customer thought he got rid of the problem, until one day there was a disgusting smell in his home.
“During the inspection we found that there were more than 10 dead mice trapped inside the walls between the living room and the kitchen,” he adds.
If you insist on using poison, be prepared to call in a pro to remove the remains from your walls or pipes. Blecch!
7. Humane options exist
If the idea of a snap trap makes you feel queasy, or you’re concerned about your pets being underfoot, there are other options (ones that won’t send pests crawling into your walls). For example, PETA offers instructions on how to make humane rat traps. Other experts recommend peppermint oil to deter rodents. There are even humane options for cockroach control, such as putting stoppers in all drains and sealing up spaces between floorboards, under counters, and around sinks. You can also try placing dried bay leaves in your drawers and cabinets to repel them.
8. Don’t wait too long to call in the pros
We applaud you for having the courage to DIY your pest situation. Really, we do. But even the bravest homeowners need to ask for help every now and then. And when it comes to pest control, you should make that call sooner rather than later, says Brian Kelly of Twin Forks Pest Control, in Southampton, NY.
“As an exterminator for the past 20 years, I have seen lots of interesting things people do to try to eliminate pest problems on their own—from a homemade bedbug trap using a mannequin and duct tape to homemade ant traps using the secret ingredient of soy sauce and duck sauce mixed together,” Kelly says. “While these DIY methods might help a bit, it is best to call a professional to get the job done right.”