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DIY or Professional Exterminator?

By Chris Williams on December 16, 2014.

man geared up for home pest controlCockroaches, termites, ants, fleas, mice; you don’t want them in your home. They’re destructive. They’re disgusting. They endanger the health of your family. If the pests you find in your home are more than just accidental visitors, it’s time to get rid of your unwanted guests! But how?

You may feel comfortable controlling pests yourself. Many “do-it-yourselfers” successfully control pests in their homes. Advice on controlling pests is available from reputable Internet sources, your County Extension Service, and from local hardware stores, garden centers, or pest control retail stores. Be aware though, that there are certain pests, such as bed bugs and termites, that are extremely difficult to control successfully on your own.

If you decide to do it yourself, please don’t misuse pesticides. You endanger the health of your family and pets if you ignore label directions, use too high a dose, or store or dispose of the pesticide carelessly.

Many people prefer the assurance of hiring a professional, one who has worked and trained to become an expert. Pest control companies have the equipment and skills to rid your home of unwanted pests. Wherever you live, pest control service is available from well-trained, insured, licensed, and knowledgeable pest control professionals.

Finding the Right Exterminator

Choose your pest control professional just as carefully as you would choose an electrician or insurance agent. Ask your neighbors and check for online reviews. Good companies have satisfied customers.

Choose an established company that is a member of a state or local pest control association, or the National Pest Management Association. Choose only licensed and insured companies. Don’t be afraid to ask for evidence of state licensing and certification (see Questions to Ask Your Pest Control Company). If you are unsure about a company, check with the local Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, or Consumer Affairs Office.

For more, see How to Choose a Pest Control Company.

Beware of Internet Myths and Pest Control Scams

Everyone would like a magic wand to eliminate pests quickly, cheaply, cleanly. Home-grown pest control remedies abound and are easily found on the Internet. Be skeptical of nonprofessional DIY advice such as feeding Juicy Fruit gum to moles to “gum-up” their insides, or feeding insects dry yeast and water so they explode. There are also plenty of pest control products and devices sold to consumers that simply don’t work. For example, there is no scientific evidence that pest repellers or pest control systems that use ultrasonics or electromagnetic waves to kill or repel pests in your home actually work.

There are also a number of illegal pest control chemicals being sold online and in neighborhood ethnic markets. These products have not been registered or tested by the U.S. government, are not properly labeled, and may have negative health effects when used. Protect your family’s health; don’t use “black market” pesticides.

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