To DIY or not to DIY

mouse trap, rat trap, bait, pesticide

DIY pest control products are easy to use and install. But, are they safe and effective?

As a not-too-avid do-it-yourself’er, I have always tried to rise to a challenge. Be it painting the outside walls of my home, to installing light fixtures (well – done begrudgingly) and fixing the cupboards (okay, well perhaps this is a tad far-fetched. I placed the cupboard door upright so it looked half decent. Nuts and bolts aren’t really my thing…).

All right, I must admit, I have got some big ideas, but not any real handy-man skills to execute them all. But, when it comes to products, I am always up for a something that promises to simplify my life, especially if it promises to get rid of the pests that invade my home.

So, I’ve done some research on DIY pest control gadgets in the search to get rid of flying and crawling insects. As the first summer rain has fallen in Gauteng, pests are going to start breeding in humid areas, as well as in dark nooks and crannies. I’ve already seen some flies buzzing around my home, and I’m worried that they might grow in numbers and then I might face an even bigger problem…

There is definitely no lack of pest control products on the market and one can easily buy these from the local supermarket. Obtainable products include insecticide, bait, traps, insect repellents and fogging devices. These products are easy to install, and one can place them anywhere inside or outside the home. Sounds relatively effective right? Some DIY pesticides and pest control products have proven successful in removing the pest problems around the home. But, here is where the catch comes in; and there are a few, unfortunately for those DIY pest control fans.

As pest baits are toxic, there is always the danger of children or pets playing with and ingesting them, so be sure to exercise extreme caution when placing these pesticides around your home. What has also become apparent is that pests evolve and adjust easily to bait, up to the point where the bait is no longer effective. Research contacted by the North Carolina State University shows that the presence of delicious baits has led to cockroaches to evolve to avoid baits containing sugar.

Be careful where you place your rodent traps and make sure they are placed in areas where they can’t hurt anyone. Furthermore, if you are opting to use foggers, it is important to note that these can be extremely poisonous. There is a chance of inhaling chemicals that can cause serious harm. Foggers are also not always successful as the insecticide only kills those pests which are exposed and which are directly hit with insecticidal particles. These particles are not distributed into protected areas such as under furniture, inside wall spaces and beneath insulation in the attic.

Besides for DIY pest control products, one can also exercise good housekeeping practices to get rid of pests that invade the home:

  • Pests need food and water to survive, so be sure to remove any food or water sources that can attract pests, and ensure that food is stored away in sealed containers. Rubbish should be stored away from the entrances of homes, in bins with tightly fitted lids. Make sure to fix any leaking pipes or taps as pests are also attracted to accumulated water.
  • Close off entryways where pests can enter the home and hide. One can do this by sealing cracks and crevices around windowsills, doors or cupboards.
  • Clutter provide an ideal hiding place, so be sure to get rid of items like stacked newspapers or magazines.
  • Be sure to remove stagnant water as this is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and trim grass and weeds regularly (this is where they lay low during the day time).
  • Clean up after your pets, as maggots breed in faeces and can develop into full adult flies in only 10 days in ideal weather conditions. Install fly strips across doorways.

By exercising preventative measures and good housekeeping, as well as employing do-it-yourself pest control products, one can sidestep most fly, rodent, ant or cockroach problems.

For more serious infestations, the above methods may not suffice. However, I know I can always count on the Rentokil pest control experts to put a tried and tested – as well as a safe and professional – pest control solution in place to get rid of an insect invasion. In this case, it would be better to contact them to tend to my pest problem before the situation gets out of hand, instead of having to spend valuable time and money to get rid of the pests myself. I guess I will just limit myself to scrapbooking and focusing on my herb garden and leave it to the experts to get rid of these pestering pests before they decide to take over my home.


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  1. Thabang
    • Nicole

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