Which Pests are DIY and Which Pests are not DIY?

In this article, we aim to give you the answers as to whether you should try DIY pest control or whether you should be using professional pest control to eliminate pests properly, like insects, and rodents.

We will give advice on the most effective treatments to save you time and money.

We will let you know which infestations put your health at risk, and need to be dealt with more urgently than others.

Let’s get started

DIY pests

  • Minor mosquito infestations                                                     
  • Minor mice infestations
  • Cockroaches
  • Ants
  • Fleas
  • Head lice

Pests that are not DIY and need professional pest control

  • Large mice and rat infestations
  • Large mosquito infestations
  • Bed bugs
  • Termites
  • Large flea infestations
  • Squirrels

Rat and mice professional pest control

The solutions for a large mouse and a rat pest problem is not DIY. You will need to search for the services of a professional company that can offer rodent control treatments.

They have various methods they can use and will come and lay traps, poisons, or baits to deal with the infestation, and as part of the service, they will return to remove dead rodents.

This will save time, and the quicker the rodents get dealt with the better it is for your health. Mice and rats can carry 35 different diseases.

A rodent is capable of destroying items in your household. They chew their way through a lot of things, which another reason to get the infestation dealt with quickly.

Termites

Termites bore into wood, destroying your home. They need to receive a professional pest control treatment to get rid of them. The homeowners’ property has a cover put over it like a huge tent, and a fumigant gas is used to treat the termites.

The fumigant will kill termites already there, but it will not prevent the pests from returning. You may have to treat the home again further down the line.

The fumigant kills the termites in the wood. The problem with this type of pesticide is that it is toxic. You are not allowed into the household until the professionals from the company allow it, which means you and your family and pets having to find somewhere else to stay for around 3 days.

Pets and even fish must be removed from the household for safety reasons during this type of pest control.

The homeowner will also have to store food in specialized bags or remove it from the house to avoid contact with the pesticides.

Bed bugs

The bed bug is very hard to get rid of, and though there are many methods of pest control for them, DIY may only make the problem worse, and even professionals struggle to get rid of a bed bug infestation.

A pest control professional will use various methods to get rid of these pests. Give them a call and ask about the services they provide.

Heat treatment is a common method to kill the bugs. The entire house is heated to a temperature of over 48 C, which the bed bugs cannot survive.

Mattresses can be encased to prevent the bed bugs from getting onto the mattress.

The most common chemicals used to get rid of a bed bug infestation is Pyrethrins, which is a botanical insecticide.

Mosquitoes

This insect can be very irritating, leaving you with nasty bites that itch like you wouldn’t believe, and they are able to spread disease.

A professional will get rid of these pests using sprays and fogs which are made up of pyrethrum and pyrethroids, which together are toxic pesticides to mosquitoes. It will also repel other mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are active around dawn and dusk. They are looking for a meal of blood. To avoid coming into contact with them during these times, in particular, wear clothes covering the body and use a repellant spray containing DEET.

Fleas

There are over 2,000 species of fleas in the world, and it only takes one of these pests in your home to start an infestation.

So what are the solutions to eliminate these pests?

If you have a large infestation of fleas, you should call on the services of a pest control expert.

You will be asked to take your family and pets out of the home for a few hours. Pest control will treat the home with a pesticide treatment, which will kill the fleas.

You may find after a week or so that you spot more fleas. Don’t worry, as the fleas will come into contact with the pesticide and die.

A growth regulator is then used after the pesticide, which will stop the larvae from developing and stops the life cycle.

You should vacuum regularly after the pesticide has been used to pick up any fleas.

Squirrels

Squirrels are a common problem in warm cosy lofts, particularly in London. They are a rodent and classed as vermin. London has a lot of parks with trees attracting squirrels.

It is definitely a job for a professional pest control expert. These pests can damage pipes and cause electrical damage.

Squirrels are caught using a live trap, a spring trap, or poison. A spring trap must be an approved one. With a live trap, you should know it is against the law to release a squirrel back into the wild once it has been caught.

The poison Warfarin is also used, but only by a professional, and only allowed to be used indoors.

Wasps

Do not try to remove a wasp nest yourself, it is very dangerous. You need a professional pest control expert. Wasps will repeatedly sting and release a hormone called pheromones which let other wasps know there is danger!

A professional will have the correct insecticides that the public cannot buy in the shops, and the knowledge to deal with these vicious pests. They will also have clothing that will protect them from stings.

The insecticide is placed near the opening of the nest, which will kill the wasps.

DIY pest control

Ants

One of the most common pests you will find is ants. You can attempt killing these pests yourself, and this is definitely  DIY pest control. 

So long as the pests have not been allowed to grow too big in numbers in the first place, they can be treated with a spray, or a product called Fipronil. This is taken back to the ants’ nest and the chemical gets spread around the colony, killing the ants. 

Another product, called Advance 375A, reduces the number of worker ants and slows down, and then stops egg production. Always keep away from children and pets and read the instructions for use carefully.

A bait gel can also be used, placing it near cracks and entry points of the house, it works in the same way as the other products. The chemical is taken back to the nest, killing the ants.

When you are using gels and baits, we advise you not to use a repellent spray as well, because they work against each other.

After treatment, take a look around the house and check what could be attracting the infestation into your house. Could it be food left out? Ask members of your family not to leave discarded food lying around.

Minor mice pest control

The best method to get rid of mice without causing long term suffering is snap traps. They can be baited with food, and we found peanut butter a favourite food of mice. Other baits can be tried, like hazelnut spread or marshmallows.

Place the snap traps along the edge of walls, which is where rodents like to run. It is a quick and safe DIY rodent control treatment that does not cost a lot of money. The traps cost around £14.00 for six and can be reused if necessary.

Try to locate points of entry for mice, and seal them up or block them with wire wool. This may help in stopping a new problem from occurring.

Minor Mosquito pest problem

Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water. Take a look around your garden and check for water. It needs to be removed, as this is where they breed. Check gutters are not blocked, empty birdbaths, and fill in puddles. Swimming pools attract mosquitoes, so have them enclosed in a mesh.

Once those solutions are put in place, now you can deter them by placing products like citronella around the garden.

You could also buy a repellent containing DEET, which will repel mosquitoes when sprayed onto your body.

Think about putting up mosquito nets at your windows and doors, and try to keep doors and windows closed as much as you can.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are dirty insects that scuttle all over the place. They also spread disease!

Cockroaches will go and hide in the cracks of walls or under cupboards and remain active if you start spraying. When it wears off they just come back again. So you think you got rid of them, oh no it was a trick!

Give your house a good clean and remove any clutter and rubbish from your house for your DIY pest control to stand a chance of working.

The next job is to put out some DIY treatments. Cockroach bait gel is probably the best in our opinion. Why? Because it works. They will die off over a fairly short space of time.

Fleas

Fleas helped spread the bubonic plague, and can carry other diseases!

DIY pest control of fleas is ok to try so long as you act fast, as these types of pests breed quickly.

Homeowners should first vacuum the entire house to remove dead fleas and eggs. It is worth getting a steam cleaner to use on carpets and flooring. Wash all of the bedding, including pet bedding.

To treat the pests and kill them, buy a flea spray or flea bomb, and follow manufacturers instructions carefully.

To prevent the pests from returning, use a regular flea treatment on your pets, and block up any gaps or holes to prevent wild animals from getting into your home.

Flies and fruit flies

A fly spray containing pesticides can be sprayed and will kill some of the flies, but some will just fly away and return.

A good DIY method to free your home of these pests is sticky flypaper, the flies are attracted to it and find themselves stuck to it and eventually die. Hang the paper near entrances and where the flies hang out most.

You can also buy window traps. They are just stuck on the window glass and work in the same way as sticky flypaper. Change them regularly, as it does not look very pretty with dead flies on it.

If you have a problem with fruit flies, a completely cost-free way of dealing with them is to cover a bowl of rotting fruit that is the bait with cling film and pierce some holes in it. The fruit fly can get in but will find it very difficult to get out again.

Head lice

Head lice can be treated with DIY pest control. These pests are irritating but with careful treatment, you should be able to remove them for good.

You can buy a shampoo treatment over the counter, and use it by following the instructions carefully. Change your clothes and wash all the bedding and towels.

The process will probably need to be repeated. Check your head for dead and dying lice.

Regularly check the head for any pests that may have returned. Warn other people about the head lice to reduce reinfection.

And finally,

We hope you have found our advice and tips in this article helpful. If you have any questions about DIY pest control or non-DIY pest control please do not hesitate to drop us an email.

We do our best to answer as quickly as possible.

Good luck.

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each pest control method, product and process. 

Read more here.

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