Do it yourself pest control seems like a daunting or at the very least an unpleasant, task. But with the right methods and knowledge, taking care of a pest problem on your own will save you time and money.
Banish Pests from Your Home
No matter what type of pest invader you have in your home, you can banish them on your own without the help of an exterminator. From insects to mice, do it yourself pest control is a good option as long as you’re prepared and committed to solving the problem. Additionally, you’ll want to prevent them from coming back. Improvements has some tips on banishing pests from your home for good.
How to Get Rid of Ants
To get rid of ants, you must dethrone the queen! Because the queen never leaves the nest, she can continue to reproduce even if you spray and kill every ant you see. Instead of following your natural instinct and killing the worker ants, you need to pay attention to where they come from and where they go after finding food. Watch and learn their routine to tackle your ant problem at its core – the nest and, thus, the queen.
Once you know the worker ant routes, set out ant bait. Powder laundry detergent or coffee grounds work well or you can make a homemade ant bait (see infographic). Worker ants pick up the soap particles, coffee granules or bait and take it back to the nest where all ants, including the queen, eat it and eventually die. Ant bait can also be bought at your local hardware, big box or some convenience stores. Be patient. This process can take days to weeks depending on the size of the colony.
If you follow your worker ants to an outdoor nest, then you can spray indoors to get rid of the worker ants. Pour a powerful insecticide outside on the nest as well. This will kill off your ant colony.
When you’re sure your colony is defunct, you need to keep the ants from coming back inside. Seal all doors, windows, and cracks. Ants are tiny and can easily find ways into your home so you must be diligent in sealing all crevices. Black pepper, cloves, and cinnamon deter ants so sprinkle these around the outside of your home to keep them from coming back.
Another great way to prevent ants is to keep your home clean and free of food and crumbs. If you have a serious ant problem, do not keep any food out on counters, or at the very least, food needs to be kept properly sealed. Wipe down counters and sweep floors daily. Also, be very diligent about taking out the garbage. Do it yourself pest control often starts with sanitation, and getting rid of ants is no different.
Get Rid of Cockroaches with the Right DIY Pest Control
Cockroaches strike fear and disgust in many people. One reason is that they can be extremely hard to get rid of once you have them in your home. Preventing a cockroach infestation is the best method of do-it-yourself pest control when it comes to these bugs. Deter them from entering your home by thoroughly cleaning, keeping everything clean, vacuuming regularly and putting your trash in a receptacle with a tight-fitting lid. Roaches like dark, warm and moist areas so don’t give them what they want.
If you already have roaches, a surefire do-it-yourself pest control method is to use a paste made of boric acid. Mix 3 teaspoons of boric acid with 3 teaspoons of sugar and 3 teaspoons of water until a paste forms. Apply it to where roaches have been spotted. They eat it and carry it back to the nest where the young also eat it and die. This paste is toxic to humans and pets. To make a more friendly paste, replace the boric acid with baking soda. You will likely need to reapply this paste over the course of a few weeks to fully kill off the cockroaches.
Because they can survive off of almost anything, cockroaches have been around for millions of years. But you can get rid of them and keep them out. Seal all entryways, set up traps and use natural insect repellents, such as catnip, cypress mulch or dry plaster of Paris, outside by the entryways as an extra precaution. Stay vigilant and proactive in your fight against cockroaches for the best results.
How to Remove Mice From Your Home and Keep Them Out
Mice are cute, fuzzy little animals but they can wreak havoc in your home. You can get them to move out without needing a professional.
Signs of a mice infestation will be droppings in cabinets, drawers, and along baseboards or little chew marks on items. If you suspect you have mice, look for their nest. A nest is often found in warm spots, like in the back of the refrigerator, behind a stove, or in kitchen cabinets. Nests are made of fibrous materials that mice form into a ball and live inside of it. You can place poison or bait in or around the nest to eliminate the mice. Before removing the nest, monitor it for activity so you will know when your rodent problem is solved.
Mouse traps are effective against mice. You can use traditional snap traps, glue traps or electronic traps.
If you wish to handle your mouse problem more humanely, live traps are a great option. Just be sure to release the mice several miles away to keep them from reentering. If you don’t want to purchase a live trap, you can make one fairly easily. Take a large bucket with slick walls and put your mouse bait inside. Then build a little ramp so the mouse can get in the bucket. It will jump in but not be able to get out. An old fishbowl or aquarium works great too! Just make sure it is deep enough that the mouse is unable to jump out.
Humanely prevent mice from reentering your home by sealing all entryways. Then deter them with unpleasant-to-them smells. Mice hate the smell of peppermint so you can crush up some breath mints and sprinkle the powder around common entrances or drizzle a bit of peppermint oil around your home’s perimeter. Cayenne pepper or hot sauce works too. Another method to keep them out is electronic mice repellents. They’re averse to high-pitched ultrasonic waves.
Do It Yourself Pest Control to Evict Spiders from Your Home
Spiders generally prefer living outdoors, but when the temperature drops or they need a new food source, spiders can invade your home. And the creep factor is really high with these uninvited guests.
First things first, when you notice spiders, vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Every rug, every piece of furniture and all of your window treatments need to be vacuumed or cleaned. This is where egg sacs hide. Eliminate any and all spider webs as you go along. Dispose of your vacuum bag outside immediately.
Set spider traps to get rid of some spiders and to vet how big of a problem you may have. Spider traps are generally glue-based but they do not contain any insecticide. Once you set the traps, use pesticides to eradicate spiders. Nontoxic options are available if you have pets in the home. You can make your own spider spray with equal parts water and vinegar or peppermint oil and water. The sprays work as an insecticide and a bug repellent.
Once you get rid of spiders, keep them out by sealing any cracks or openings. Use cedar mulch in the flower beds nearest your home. Spiders do not like the smell of cedar and will not make a home in it. They also dislike the smell of peppermint, onions, eucalyptus, cinnamon, turmeric, and vinegar. Sprinkle or spray any of these home remedies along the perimeter of the outside of your home. Spiders will not breach the line of defense.
Do It Yourself Pest Control: Are You Ready to Get Started?
While we discussed certain types of pests above, the main thing we learned is to seal all cracks, crevices, and openings. So get out that caulk gun and sealant and get to work! It’s always easier to prevent an infestation than to get rid of one. However, it can be done and can be done with do-it-yourself pest control methods. No matter what pest you need to eradicate, it’s important to research your chosen method of bug repellent, pesticide or natural remedies. Choose the best for your home, especially if you have pets or little children as most poisons and insect repellents can also be toxic to dogs, cats, and humans.