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DIY Pest Control?
Old 03-17-2020, 11:20 AM   #1
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DIY Pest Control?

Where we live now, pest control seems to be a must, so I hired a local company last summer ($79x6 per year). How effective they are we can't know - only way to know would be go without? We do have some bugs, but would it be worse without pest control?

I'm attempting all lawn care (mowing, fertilization, etc.) and after watching the pest control guys, I wonder if I should take that on myself too? They mostly just spray around the foundation, some at the eaves and they share exactly what chemicals they're spraying with each bimonthly application (so I know).

I DO understand I need to wear quality PPE when handling and spraying, but do any of you DIY pest control a warm (bug friendlier) climate region?
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:38 AM   #2
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I live in the Chattanooga area and treat the perimeter around the house with granules from Lowes twice a year. I'll see the occasional spider or small bug once in awhile. I wear a dust mask, gloves and long pants when I put the granules down. Total cost of DIY is less than $200 a year. Most pest control companies around here want to get you into a contract, spray every quarter inside and out and charge you accordingly. I never spray or treat anything inside the house with toxic chemicals.
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Old 03-17-2020, 11:49 AM   #3
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Iíve been doing my own for the 4.5 years weíve been in Florida. I use Spectracide spray around the outside perimeter of the house, inside walls of the garage, and the outside of doors and windows. This has worked well and we have no incentive to pay to have this done. The only precaution I take is not to spray when itís windy. I spray 3 to 4 times a year. I feel that the concrete block/stucco construction of the homes here provide a much better barrier than our previous home in Georgia with wood stud walls and brick veneer.
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:36 PM   #4
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How about for squirrels, if i didn't live in a Town home Community, POOOOOWWWW!
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Old 03-17-2020, 12:54 PM   #5
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Pest control is a matter of time, motion, and knowledge of the pest behavior. The chemical products, which are highly regulated, are secondary to the solution. Learning the behavior is the key to accurate application of the pesticide.

The pests that are annually most bothersome are cockroaches, ants, termites and rodents. What the exterminator brings with him/her is the knowledge of the pest. This is fairly easy to learn online. For example, German roaches like foraging at night. If you see them during the day, you know the nest is crowded and your infestation is high. Mice are curious while rats are shy. Mice will try new food (poison) quickly. Rats will pass it by for a little while before trying it. And since rats like walking with part of their body against a wall, placement of the trap/poison on the wall is helpful. Can you learn this like many DIY people do for all sorts of things, absolutely. It does not take much study and it is all available on line. The worse case is you did not apply the poison in the right place the first time. Many PCOs, also miss the right approach the first time since assessing the problem area is not always obvious.

My only hesitation would be termite control. Perhaps it is worth hiring a service to protect your house Having said that, on-line info is available.

Hope this helps and if you have specific questions, I would be happy to try to answer them.
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Old 03-17-2020, 01:49 PM   #6
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A MAC .22 air rifle (Benjamin Maximus With Mac1 Tune) is a pretty good woodchuck gun. The 'chuck that formerly lived in our back yard is no longer dining at DW's salad bar aka garden. DW is happy.
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Old 03-17-2020, 02:48 PM   #7
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The professionals use pesticides that homeowners cannot purchase. You can still do your own but you might have to do it more often. Maybe monthly.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:05 PM   #8
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I leave that to the professionals. I've worked with the same company for over 25 years now. They never come into my house, but I'm in a northern climate. I feel they know better what they're doing and then I don't need to handle the chemicals. Also, if I did have a problem, I haven't, it would be their problem. Bottom line is that it's just not one of the jobs I want to take on.

I do my own yard care, but I do farm out the weed and feed. I priced out the chemicals and I'm only paying a small amount to have them applied. Plus, I do think they have better equipment and chemicals, though that could certainly be an illusion. I do know Scott's would cost me about $350 per year and the lawn guy charges about $400. I live on an acre and I'd need equipment and the amount of fertilizer is not insignificant in terms of hauling it home and spreading it. So there's that.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:01 PM   #9
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Here you go:

https://www.domyown.com/

Nice people. Knowledgeable. They will talk through your pest issues to figure out what you need. Provided phone consulting and a solution in 2010 when we were being driven crazy by the stink bugs. We use them it to this day as there is still a stink bug season. Only hundreds or thousands now instead of millions of them.
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Old 03-17-2020, 04:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Blueskies123 View Post
The professionals use pesticides that homeowners cannot purchase. You can still do your own but you might have to do it more often. Maybe monthly.
I have a close friend that owns a pest control company in the Atlanta suburbs. When I had a termite infestation, he refused to take my $1500. He taught me how to treat my own house and a gallon of termicide was just $125 (at the time) He referred me to a retail store in Stone Mountain that operates as BUGSPRAY.COM online--largest termicide dealer in the country.

You can buy better and stronger pesticides from BUGSPRAY than most pest control companies use. Our daughter was an accountant for Terminex in their home office, and they're an insurance company first and a bug killing company second. They don't allow their people to use the best pesticides, either.

BugSpray.com has tutorials on getting rid of over 150 different bugs and critters. They also sell traps and all the chemicals and hardware. And the information in their websites is 100% truthful.

We were battling tiny roaches in my kitchen, and nothing would get rid of them. BugSpray sold me a little kit. Two tiny dollups of one chemical on each side of the refrigerator and dishwasher and there were wriggling bugs all over my kitchen. We never saw another roach again.
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Old 03-17-2020, 05:01 PM   #11
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I do my own yard care, but I do farm out the weed and feed. I priced out the chemicals and I'm only paying a small amount to have them applied. Plus, I do think they have better equipment and chemicals, though that could certainly be an illusion. I do know Scott's would cost me about $350 per year and the lawn guy charges about $400. I live on an acre and I'd need equipment and the amount of fertilizer is not insignificant in terms of hauling it home and spreading it. So there's that.
If I lived on an acre, I wouldn’t DIY either.

And while I do indeed pay as much for fertilizer, weed/insect control as I’d pay for TruGreen or an equivalent to do my lawn for me, I get much better and much safer products than they use. Their “better chemicals” are much harsher and totally generic. But included in my cost are some organic products, soil amendments, etc. - they don’t really offer. They put the same broad brush chemicals on everyone’s lawn regardless of grass type and condition, on a schedule that doesn’t include the best times to apply (rain, soil temps, etc.). I’m not saving anything, but I get a healthier better looking lawn with deep roots (less water) and nutrient rich soil with much safer products than TruGreen could give us.
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Old 03-18-2020, 12:31 PM   #12
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We go through the big jug of Ortho indoor spray every year. We see the occasional pest anyway which reminds us to spray again. We only intermittently entertain a gecko, so I figure we must be doing something right. YMMV
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DIY Pest Control?
Old 03-18-2020, 02:38 PM   #13
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DIY Pest Control?

We get green anoles around here, which I mistakenly thought were geckos (or is it GEICOs?). They donít bother me at all, rather I think theyíre pretty cute.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina_anole
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Old 03-18-2020, 03:37 PM   #14
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Never ever pay for professional (sic) pest control. Those folks don't know as much as they claim to know.

Nowadays, indoor pest control is trivial and safe. Roach bait (roach sex hormones) are fantastic attractants. If you have roaches indoors, then your hidden bait traps are out of date and need to be replenished. For silverfish putting diatomaceous earth in cracks and crevices will eventually do the trick. Boric acid powder will work eventually, too.

Use liquid Terro for ants that are indoors.

A problem with indoor pest control is that folks want to see corpses everywhere when they wake up in the morning. If you can get over that desire, then indoor pest control should cost you about $20 per year.

Outdoors, live and let live unless you have sod webworms or something that eats the roots of your grass. Even fire ants are trivial to kill off with something like Amdro if you follow the directions. If you must kill everything including fireflies, then use Triazicide. It pretty much kills all spiders and insects. In particular though, things like Amdro will not work as well if they were purchased last year.

Note that chemical pesticides degrade with heat and exposure to sunlight, so don't buy in bulk. Instead only buy what you will use within a month and re-buy in the future.

Everything I mentioned can be purchased cheaply at HomeDepot, Lowes, Tractor Supply, Walmart, etc.
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Old 03-18-2020, 05:34 PM   #15
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^^^ Does that depend on where you live, north v south? We didn’t have insect issues when we lived near Chicago, but there are a lot more bugs down south and they don’t die off in winter here. DW wasn’t amused last summer/fall...
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:15 AM   #16
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^^^ Does that depend on where you live, north v south? We didn’t have insect issues when we lived near Chicago, but there are a lot more bugs down south and they don’t die off in winter here. DW wasn’t amused last summer/fall...
No, I don't think it depends on where one lives*. DIY pest control is pretty much the same everywhere. I live in southeast Texas, so I don't think any place else has more insect issues than we have.

*With the caveat that perhaps some states don't allow certain insecticides / pesticides to be used.
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:20 AM   #17
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The professionals use pesticides that homeowners cannot purchase. You can still do your own but you might have to do it more often. Maybe monthly.
I disagree with this. The pros might use brands that homeowners cannot purchase, but the actual chemicals are the same. For instance, maybe a pro can buy a 10% solution of X that they are supposed to dilute to 0.5%, but a homeowner cannot. However, a homeowner can buy the 0.5% solution directly.

Or maybe a pro can buy something that is very very similar and no more effective than what a homeowner can buy at Home Deport.
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:41 AM   #18
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I used to use Ortho twice a year.
We have used a company for the last few years. I called them when I could not get an indoor ant problem solved after using everything I read about and tried.
They are eco friendly and safe for kids and pets. They come every 4 months, check what bugs we have been seeing and deal with it, in and out. And I can call anytime if I start to see something, no charge. First trip out, they treated under the house, in the attic, inside the house and the yard.
We have not needed them to treat inside for about a year.
Kind of spendy to me, but worth it. I hate to see bugs in the house!
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:05 PM   #19
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Never ever pay for professional (sic) pest control. Those folks don't know as much as they claim to know.

Nowadays, indoor pest control is trivial and safe. Roach bait (roach sex hormones) are fantastic attractants. If you have roaches indoors, then your hidden bait traps are out of date and need to be replenished. For silverfish putting diatomaceous earth in cracks and crevices will eventually do the trick. Boric acid powder will work eventually, too.

Use liquid Terro for ants that are indoors.

A problem with indoor pest control is that folks want to see corpses everywhere when they wake up in the morning. If you can get over that desire, then indoor pest control should cost you about $20 per year.

Outdoors, live and let live unless you have sod webworms or something that eats the roots of your grass. Even fire ants are trivial to kill off with something like Amdro if you follow the directions. If you must kill everything including fireflies, then use Triazicide. It pretty much kills all spiders and insects. In particular though, things like Amdro will not work as well if they were purchased last year.

Note that chemical pesticides degrade with heat and exposure to sunlight, so don't buy in bulk. Instead only buy what you will use within a month and re-buy in the future.

Everything I mentioned can be purchased cheaply at HomeDepot, Lowes, Tractor Supply, Walmart, etc.
This is directionally right. Your first step however is to build them out and not use pesticides. More difficult down south where the crawling insect pressure is much higher.

The type of pesticide is important for some insects but most pesticides will kill all insects. But, recognize, flying insect killing products are not made to last long so do not confuse them with crawling insect killers. As LOL points out, there are baits created for specific insects which is important since they may have attractants and specific food preferences. I agree with LOL that they do not work quickly. But they work better since the insect will find it vs hoping the insect will walk over a poison. Having said that, placement of the bait is important so the pest can find it. And, it takes more time to see results but the results in the long term, if the bait is properly placed, will be better and you will not have chemical all over your house.

Outdoor perimeter pest control should first be build out. Often this is hard to do and spray might be necessary. Your goal should be to eliminate the poison which is observation, time and motion. It can be done but you need to decide how much time you want to spend. Chemical applications are fast and easy and typically do a good enough job.

As for north and south, there is a big difference. Homeowners in the north typically do not have a roach problem unless they live in a multi-family dwelling. In the south roaches are everywhere and even the cleanest houses can end up with an infestation. Perhaps a pregnant roach is hiding in a grocery sack. There is also the American Roach that finds its way into homes from the outdoors. (big red ones). But it is the German roach that is harder to kill and is the one most people identify as their problem.
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