The Dangers of DIY Pest Control and Why You Should Hire a Professional

October 10, 2023
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Struggling with insect infestations is a common issue in the United States, with about 14 million occupied housing units reporting such problems. With the allure of simple “do it yourself” solutions, many are tempted by DIY pest control methods. These DIY solutions might seem straightforward and are widely accessible in our media-driven age.

However, while DIY techniques might work for minor issues, they aren’t practical for persistent pests like termites, bed bugs, and ants. Addressing these infestations requires a deeper understanding and consistent extermination efforts. Only experts can get to the root of such pest problems and provide a lasting solution. Before trying DIY pest control solutions, you must recognize the risks and understand why professional assistance is more reliable.

DIY Pest Control, What’s the Harm?

DIY pest control is often marketed as safe, easy, and harmless. These DIY methods can include natural repellents, such as plants and herbs, and over-the-counter products. While some of these ingredients can minimize pest infestations and help prevent them, they often come with risks that are only sometimes apparent and not always talked about. It is essential to know the dangers of these DIY methods to ensure your safety and the safety of your family and home. Below are some of the most common DIY methods and potential health risks from using these “healthy” alternatives. 

Common DIY Pest Control Methods (And Why They’re Problematic!)

Many plants and herbs are natural and soothing to the human body; some are known to be excellent insect repellents. Seeing as they are often marketed as a simple DIY solution, you might be thinking, how can they be harmful if they’re found all around us? While it is true that some plants and herbs have proven to be successful at deterring pest infestations at home and are generally considered “safer” alternatives, they are not entirely without risks. Below are some of the most commonly recommended ingredients for DIY pest control and their possible risks:

  • Chrysanthemum (For fleas, bed bugs, ants, ticks, and roaches): This plant is of the daisy family, brightly colored and ornamental. But do not be fooled by their beauty! Chrysanthemums contain pyrethrum, a natural insecticide. This is harmful to not only pests but to curious children and pets as well. Keep those kitties away!
  • Tansy (For mosquitoes and flies): Tansy is well known for its insect-repelling properties, but if planted in large quantities around the home, it can be toxic if accidentally consumed.
  • Vinegar and Bleach (For ants, spiders, and mosquitoes):Despite their potential health risks, ants, spiders, and mosquitoes often recommend vinegar and bleach as DIY pest control methods. While vinegar and bleach can effectively combat pesky bed bugs and other nuisances, you should never mix them. Combining vinegar and bleach produces a hazardous chlorine gas that can irritate or even burn your lungs. 

Natural pest repellents can potentially harm human health significantly if misused or used excessively. When protecting the health of you and your family (including the fur babies), it’s always better to be safe than sorry! Some of the potential risks that come with DIY pest control methods include, but are not limited to:

  • Allergic reactions: Upon use in the home, some folks may learn that they are allergic to many common natural ingredients used in DIY methods. These ingredients can include essential oils, eucalyptus, lemon, and other common herbs. Although often treatable, itchy allergic reactions can sometimes develop into severe rashes.
  • Skin and Eye Irritation: Natural bug repellents can cause contact dermatitis in some individuals, particularly in high amounts. If these repellents, such as essential oils, come in contact with the eyes, they can cause significant discomfort and irritation.
  • Inhalation Risks: Inhaling the fumes of natural bug repellents, especially if sprayed in small and enclosed spaces, can be toxic and lead to respiratory irritation.
  • Ingestion Risks: Many of these natural repellents can be toxic if ingested. This is especially important to know if children or pets are in your home.

Like natural plants and herbs, pest control products you buy over the counter are also marketed to consumers as easy, yielding fast results. However, they can be confusing and overwhelming and, more often than not, do more damage than good.

Professional pest control is much safer than DIY ingredients such as herbs, plants, vinegar, bleach, and OTC products. Even though DIY pest control methods are described as being less aggressive and, in turn, “safer,” they are often less effective and likely to introduce unnecessary irritants into your home. Reputable professionals know what and which amounts of chemicals to use to target pests safely.

Prevent Long Term Damage by Hiring The Best Pest Control Service:

Researching the ingredients found in DIY pest control methods can enlighten you about the dangers and disadvantages of DIY pest control vs. professional services. Gaining insights into these ingredients is crucial before introducing them to your household. In addition to this research, remember to consider the following steps.

  • Conduct Regular Inspections: Most pest control specialists recommend home inspections to detect insect infestations before they get out of hand. Looking for and knowing the signs of an upcoming insect infestation isn’t always easy, but professionals can always help.
  • Seek Professional Help: Professionals can uncover hidden infestations and potential vulnerabilities you may have yet to notice.

The safest and most effective pest control for anyone suffering from insect infestations is in-depth inspections and ongoing preventative pest control with a licensed pest control professional. When pest issues persist, call GPC!