This week, I’ll go over the three most common mistakes homeowners make when doing their own pest control. You smart readers may wonder where I learned about this subject. The answer is that do-it-yourself folks call me when they don’t get the job done, so I’m just as much an expert on incorrect pest management as I am at correct pest management.
Mistake #1: They’re blinded by the inside. Since homeowners experience pests inside their homes, they tend to focus their remedies inside the home. As a professional, the first thing I do after identifying a pest problem is walk the entire exterior perimeter, looking for the source of the infestation. All pest problems—with some exceptions, like termite-infested firewood brought from down the hill—come from our forest. And all pest solutions begin outside the home.
Mistake #2: They cut the pest slack. Man, if you go to war with a pest, you better go the whole nine yards. When you find a trail of ants coming from a tree onto your home, spray that trail all the way back to the tree, spray up the tree as far as you can, then spray the entire circumference of the trunk. Don’t give them an inch, or they’ll invade a mile.
Mistake #3: They underestimate the skill of pests. Over the years, I’ve heard hundreds of people say, “But a bat can’t get in that small of an opening.” My answer: “Oh, yes they can!” When sealing bats and rodents out of a home, if you can pluck a hair from your head and push it into an opening, then the opening is too big. No exceptions.
And lastly, most homeowners underestimate just how hard it is to rid a home of pests, and furthermore, they fail to appreciate just how good we professionals are at tooting our own horn.