Dealing with pests in and out of your home is not only frustrating, but it can also be costly, especially when it comes to contacting a professional. Luckily, there are plenty of do it yourself pest control methods you can use to try and remedy the problem first, and many are quite effective.
Are you wondering how to manage a pest problem yourself? Then you’ve come to the right place. Today, we are going to go over some of the best methods you can use for pest control at home and discuss how to successfully keep pests from returning in the future.
What Is Do It Yourself Pest Control?
You can take pest control into your own hands using plenty of different methods.
Before you decide to take on your own pest control at home, you should first understand what it may entail. Do it yourself pest control can save you money, but it can also take time. And, no matter what kind of pest you’re dealing with, doing your own pest control may also take a certain amount of commitment and repetition on your part.
That said, when implemented correctly, using your own pest control methods can not only be effective, but also long-lasting.
But what exactly is do it yourself pest control? Well, it basically means you take matters into your own hands to keep your home free and clear of pests without the use of professional help.
There are pros and cons to attempting your own pest control at home, and while it is possible to handle pests on your own, keep in mind that sometimes very serious infestations will still require the assistance of a professional.
Also keep in mind that certain pests in general are difficult to get rid of, even with professional help. Bed bugs, for example, are stubborn pests that can survive for extended periods of time without a blood meal, hiding away in dark spaces and often fooling their victims into thinking they’ve gone away.
So, while do it yourself pest control can be effective and totally worthwhile, it’s important to do your research, understand your pest problem, and devise a plan for pest removal before getting started.
First Steps In Do It Yourself Pest Control – Identify The Problem
Know the kind of pest you are dealing with in order to find the best form of pest control for you.
Before you decide that do it yourself pest control is right for you, most experts advise that you take some time to research your adversary. What kind of pest are you dealing with and what are the best methods you can use to get rid of them?
There are literally thousands of pests that wreak havoc on homes and gardens year around in the United States, but broken up into groups, there are some basic pests most of us in the US will come into contact with at some point.
Most Common Pest Control Issues In The United States are the result of:
Insects are a common pest in the United States and plague both our homes and our gardens. Common insects that may require do it yourself pest control in the US include bed bugs, spider infestations, ants, flies, mosquitoes, and roaches.
Mammals like rodents, bats, raccoons, possums, bats, squirrels and even stray cats can cause problems in and around your home. Luckily, there are plenty of do it yourself pest control methods you can use to control mammal problems around your property.
Birds are a common pest problem in the United States, with the most common pest birds including pigeons, sparrows, starlings, gulls, and some woodpeckers. Birds can cause serious structural damage and even carry diseases, making it important to implement pest control to help keep them in check.
The most common pest reptiles include snakes and lizards. If you do have an abundance of snakes and lizards on your property, however, it is likely a sign of an insect infestation, as many reptiles feed on insects. That said, using your own forms of pest control to keep insects and reptiles away is highly effective.
While all pests can be tough to get rid of, there are a few pests most experts agree cause the largest issues in the US.
Below are the top five most common pests in the United States, according To experts:
- Bed Bugs
The above pests are not only the most common household and garden pests in America, but they can also be some of the most difficult to get rid of. Bed bugs, as we mentioned above, are especially tough to eradicate from homes because they multiply so quickly and are able to live for such long periods of time without a blood meal.
Ants leave behind scent trails that attract other ants and live in large colonies that must be completely destroyed in order to quell the problem. Mosquitoes, as most of us know, are common outdoor pests that can carry serious diseases like West Nile Virus, and roaches and rodents often invade our homes looking for shelter and an easy meal.
But what else attracts pests to our homes and, most importantly, how can you use do it yourself pest control to get rid of them? Keep reading to find out.
What Attracts Pests To Our Homes?
Most pests, including rodents, are attracted to food and shelter.
Now that we know what the most common types of home and garden pests are in the United States, let’s take a look at why these pests choose our homes and gardens to invade in the first place.
Yes, pests are annoying and sometimes dangerous, but while looking for effective pest control remedies, try and keep in mind that pests are just trying to survive. Like many creatures, pests are in search of shelter, food, and safety. That said, the warmth of our homes, the food we eat, and even our very bodies can all be very attractive to pests.
Of course, there are ways you can make your home (and yourself) less attractive to pests, and this is where do it yourself pest control comes in. Let’s take a look at some of the best pest control methods you can use to control and manage a pest problem in and around your home.
Best Treatment Methods For Do It Yourself Pest Control
There are different methods you can use to control pests in and around your home.
When it comes to pest control, there are a few different methods you can use to control pests at home. That said, the method that will work best for you will depend on the type of pest you are dealing with. This is where your own research will come in handy.
Some of the best treatment methods for do it yourself pest control include:
- Natural Repellents
Natural repellents are excellent for those of you with children or pets in the home or for those dealing with pests in the garden. We like natural repellents because they use safe, natural ingredients that are safe to use around people, pets, and the environment. Natural repellents are also often safe to use on edible garden plants like vegetables and fruits.
Traps are typically used by those of you dealing with large infestations in the home, although some people use traps for outside as well, especially when dealing with yard pests like moles, rodents, and snakes.
There are different traps you can use to manage your pest problem, including live traps, glue traps, and lethal traps. Depending on the particular pest you are dealing with, your location, and the severity of infestation you have, traps may need to be used alongside other types of pest control methods in order to be entirely effective.
We should also note that in some regions it is illegal to use traps on certain pests. Roosting brown bats, for example, are protected in certain states. Under this special circumstance, you may need to forgo do it yourself pest control methods and contact professionals for assistance.
- Home remedies
Home remedies are an excellent tool you can use for do it yourself pest control because they usually require the use of ingredients you already have in your kitchen or pantry. There are plenty of household ingredients that repel pests like mothballs, dryer sheets, vinegar, certain spices, and even essential oils.
That said, depending on your pest problem, home remedies may need to be used alongside other do it yourself pest control methods in order to work effecitvley.
- Insecticides, Rodenticides, and Poisons
Last on our list of do it yourself pest control remedies is the use of insecticides, Rodenticides, and poisons. These types of pest control options work by using toxic chemicals that are often lethal in order to manage a pest problem.
Insecticides, rodenticides and other poisons are effective, but they can also be dangerous for people, pets, and the environment. Still, depending on your pest issue, these remedies may be necessary.
Now, let’s take a look at some of our favorite methods you can use for do it yourself pest control for the different the types of pests you may be dealing with.
Do It Yourself Pest Control For Insects
Insecticides work to repel insects but may be toxic for people and pets.
Depending on your insect problem, you can use insecticides, traps, natural repellents, and even home remedies.
Insecticides use common ingredients like pyrethrins, permethrin, malathion, and chlorpyrifos to kill and control pests both inside and outside your home. While these ingredients are effective and do work, they can also be dangerous to use around children and pets.
Bifen IT Insecticide
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Bifen IT is one of the most popular insecticides used for do it yourself pest control when it comes to removing insects. You can use this product both indoors and outdoors to control and get rid of a number of insect pests like ants, termites, crickets, ticks, beetles, carpenter ants, fleas, and more.
This is a pyrethroid insecticide used by both professionals and amateurs to control insects. That said, this is a toxic insecticide that can be harmful to people and pets and should be used carefully and only as directed.
Tempo Dust Insecticide
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Tempo dust is another common dust insecticide used to get rid of difficult insect pests like bed bugs. This dust is best used when dry and uses cyfluthrin to control and kill certain crawling pests and even stinging insects. You can use it in the home but it can cause irritation to humans and pets so it should be used with caution.
Traps For Insects
Traps like glue traps work well for those dealing with spiders, ants, crickets, and roaches inside the home. That said, they do not take care of the insect problem at the source, so they should be used alongside other pest control remedies like insecticides or natural repellents.
Harris Glue Traps
Glue traps like the one listed above are common insect traps that are most often used inside the home. The trap listed above is specifically designed for crickets and spiders, but it can work to help trap roaches, ants, and most any crawling insect. Glue traps are effective for insect control but will not help eradicate infestations and should be used alongside other do it yourself pest control methods.
Natural repellents For Insects
Natural repellents are typically commercial repellents you can purchase that use natural ingredients like essential oils or ultrasonic sounds to deter pests. While natural repellents are often safe to use both inside and out and are generally safe for people, pets and the environment, some can still cause irritation to people and pets and should be used as directed.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
One of the most popular natural insect repellents used by those looking for do it yourself pest control is Diatomaceous Earth. This is a dust insecticide that is completely natural and is made of fossilized algae. It works by penetrating the exoskeleton of insects, which dehydrates and kills them.
Because it is all natural, Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use inside and outside and is safe for people, pets, and the environment.
Wondercide Yard and Garden
Although this product states it is for fleas and ticks, it also repels and kills other insects like ants, mosquitoes, crickets, chinch bugs, gnats, chiggers, roaches, flies, and spiders. It is perfectly safe to use in gardens and around the yard and is safe for people, pets, and the environment.
If you need a natural product for inside your home as well, you can also find Wondercide products specifically for indoor use. Wondercide uses natural ingredients like cedar oil to kill and repel insects and is completely biodegradable.
Home Remedies For Insects
Home remedies are an excellent tool you can use for do it yourself pest control. When it comes to getting rid of insects, we recommend using essential oils like peppermint oil, citrus oil, mothballs, dryer sheets, white vinegar, and even instant potatoes. Peppermint oil or citrus oil mixed with water in a spray bottle works well to deter insects from destroying your garden. Best of all, this solution will not harm your garden plants.
Vinegar and water also work to deter insects, however vinegar can be hard on some plants so we recommend using this as an indoor solution. Furthermore, mothballs and dryer sheets are an excellent tool you can use to help get rid of stubborn pests like bed bugs and roaches.
Do It Yourself Pest Control For Animal Pests
Traps are a common form of pest control for rodents like rats and mice.
Animals like raccoons, bats, mice, rats, possums, squirrels, and even snakes and lizards can be a real problem both inside and outside of your home. Some of the best remedies for do it yourself pest control when dealing with animals include traps, natural repellents, poisons and home remedies.
That said, remember that in some regions it can be illegal to use traps or poisons on certain species of animals, so make sure you do your research before moving forward.
Traps For Animal Pests
Traps for animal pests often include live traps, bait traps, or lethal traps. Most people find that live traps work well for smaller problems like squirrels or even raccoons, who can then be relocated at least three to five miles away from your home so they can’t find their way back.
Lethal traps may need to be used when dealing with animals like moles or voles, who can completely destroy lawns, gardens, and even trees.
Tomcat Mole Trap
The trap above is a lethal trap that works on moles specifically. It works by killing the animals as they run beneath it. Since moles are generally solitary animals that live alone, using a trap is often a useful and effective method in eradicating them from your lawn.
Havahart Live Animal Trap
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While kill traps are effective, you also have the option of using live traps to capture and relocate animals. We like that live traps are a safe, humane, and effective form of pest control you can use when dealing with animal pest problems like racoons, chipmunks, and squirrels.
The Havarart trap above is specifically designed to help trap smaller animals like chipmunks and weasels and uses a spring loaded door to reduce escapes.
Natural Repellents For Animal Pests
Natural repellents can work well for all kinds of different pests from rodents to reptiles. Ultrasonic repellents in particular are some of our favorite repellents because they work on such a wide range of pests, including snakes, lizards, bats, rodents, and even insects.
Neatmaster Ultrasonic Repellent
One ultrasonic pest repeller we like for different kinds of animal pests is the ultrasonic repeller above. This is for indoor use and helps control rodents like mice and rats. That said, it can also repel spiders, roaches, mosquitoes, and ants. It does require a power outlet in order to work and is most effective when used alongside other pest repellent products.
Home Remedies For Animal Pests
Home remedies are some of the most simple methods you can use for do it yourself pest control and often work for a number of animal pests. Some of the best home remedies that work for getting rid of animals like bats, squirrels, mice, rats, and snakes is the use of strong smelling essential oils or cleaning ingredients. Ammonia works to repel certain animals like raccoons, while mothballs and essential oils can repel bats and rodents.
Peppermint oil is one of the most popular home remedies you can use for do it yourself pest control. It is safe to use around people and pets and, best of all, it leaves behind a refreshing scent most people love but pests hate.
Along with peppermint oil for do it yourself pest control, you can also use cedar oil, citrus oil and eucalyptus oil.
Poisons For Animal Pests
Depending on the level of your infestation, especially if you are dealing with rodents like mice and rats, you may find that poisons are your only option. There are pros and cons to using poisons like rodenticides to manage pests in your home.
While poisons are effective in managing pests, they can also be dangerous to people and pets. Furthermore, if animals are living in your walls and ingest the poisons, then you could be dealing with dead animals inside your home that require professional help to remove.
Before deciding if poisons like rodenticides are right for you and your pest control problem, we suggest doing plenty of research.
Do It Yourself Pest Control Home Remedy Ingredients And Recipes
Essential oils like tea tree oil, eucalyptus, peppermint oil, and citronella oil can all repel certain pests.
Wondering about home remedies you can use for do it yourself pest control? Let’s take a look at some common household ingredients that repel pests.
Essential Oils That Repel Pests
- Peppermint oil
- Tea Tree Oil
Other Home Ingredients That Repel Pests
- Kitty Litter
- Dryer Sheets
- Dish Soap
- Cayenne Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Steel Wool (For stuffing rodent holes)
- Predator Urine (to repel racoons, possums, etc)
- Humane Hair (For moles and voles)
- Predator Decoys (Including balloons, owl decoys, etc)
- Mirrors or aluminum foil (for bats and birds)
Now let’s take a look at a few of our favorite home remedy recipes you can make at home for do it yourself pest control.
Pest Repellents Soaked Cotton Balls
- Soak several cotton balls in any essential oil of your choice
- Place soaked cotton balls around your home or outside where you notice pest activity
- Apply newly soaked cotton balls every few days
Natural Rodent Repellent Essential Oil Spray Recipe
- 2 Teaspoons of Peppermint oil
- 3 drops of dishwasher detergent
- 1 cup of water
- 1 spray bottle
Mix the solution together into a spray bottle and spray wherever you notice rodent activity both inside and out. Do not use this directly on garden plants as dishwashing soap can be harmful to certain plants.
Natural Insect Repellent Spray Home Recipe
- 15 drops Lavender Oil
- 10 Drops Eucalyptus Oil
- 10 Drops Tea Tree Oil
- 6 Drops Citrus Oil
- 2 Ounces Distilled Water
- 2 Ounces White Vinegar
- One spray bottle
Mix well into a spray bottle and shake thoroughly and spray inside your home and outside as needed. DO NOT spray this solution directly on your skin or ingest it.
Do It Yourself Pest Control – When Should You Call A Professional?
It may be illegal to remove some animal pests like bats in your region.
Sometimes, depending on the severity of your pest problem, do it yourself pest control may not work. In this case, it may be time to call a professional. In order to save yourself time and money, try and determine if you can realistically tackle your pest issue yourself before deciding to go forward with do it yourself pest control methods.
Some circumstances that may require the help of a professional control expert off the top include:
- Roosting Bats
Roosting bats may be protected in your region and you may not be able to remove them from your home once they begin nesting. If you have discovered roosting bats in your home or on your property, we recommend you do plenty of research and contact a professional before attempting to remove them yourself.
- Bed Bugs
Although bed bugs do not carry diseases and are not harmful to humans and pets, they can multiply quickly and can be especially difficult to get rid of. In especially large bed bug infestations, the use of professional pest control experts may be needed.
- Bee Removal
Bees are beneficial pollinators and can often be safely and humanely relocated. If you have a large beehive on your property and are able to do so, we recommend contacting a professional for help. You may also want to contact a professional if you have a bee allergy and are dealing with the removal of bees, wasps, or hornets.
- Poisonous Insects, Venomous Snakes, Or Aggressive Animals
If you have an infestation of poisonous insects like black widows or brown recluses, it may be wise to contact a professional to help take care of the problem as soon as possible. You may also need help if you are dealing with a large amount of venomous snakes on your property, or if you notice wild animals that are behaving aggressively or strangely.
Do It Yourself Pest Control – Tips On Preventing Pests
Cleaning and routine home maintenance is a great form of pest control.
Do it yourself pest control is not only about different methods you can use to get rid of pests, but also about the steps you can take to prevent them from causing you problems in the future.
Let’s take a look at some of the best methods you can use for do it yourself pest control prevention.
Practice Routine Home Maintenance
Do routine home checks as often as possible. Repair cracks and crevices in your foundation, fill old holes in walls, repair ripped screens, and ensure that all entry and exit points are sealed or closed properly.
Try and remember that even larger pests like rodents and bats can fit through holes as small as dimes.
Store Pantry Food In Airtight Storage Containers
Pests are often attracted to our homes for shelter and food. You can help make your home less inviting to them by storing food in air tight containers. We also suggest you refrigerate perishables and do not leave dishes in the sink overnight.
Store Pet Food And Birdseed In Airtight Containers
Along with storing your own food in airtight containers, practice the same good habits with bird seed and pet food. Not only will this help keep the food fresh, but it will keep pests from sniffing out a free meal.
Practice Good Housekeeping
Sweep and vacuum often to reduce the chances of pests congregating and multiplying in your home. Remember that some pests like ants leave behind scent trails that attract other pests. The more you clean, sweep, and vacuum, the better your chances are of having a pest-free home.
We also recommend decluttering as often as possible to reduce any spaces pests can hide. Clean out closets, basements, and attics, and clean beneath appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers.
Seal trash cans and keep trash inside garages or sheds until it is time for garbage to be picked up or removed.
Maintain Your Landscaping
Keeping your yard nice and tidy will help reduce a number of outdoor pests and is a wonderful form of do it yourself pest control. Keep your lawn cut short to reduce pests like lizards, snakes, and rodents, fill in old rodent holes in your yard, and remove weeds often.
We also recommend keeping plants and shrubs at least three feet from the perimeter of your home to reduce the chances of pests making their way from your yard into your house.
Plant Pest Repellent Plants In Your Garden
One of the best forms of do it yourself pest control in the garden is as easy as planting pest repellent plants. Some of the best pest repellent plants include catnip, basil, marigolds, lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, mint, lemon balm,chrysanthemums, garlic, petunias, sage, chives, dill, thyme, onions, borage, tansy, and onions.
However, before you plant any pest repellent plants in your yard or garden, we suggest doing plenty of research as some plants can be toxic to people and pets if ingested or handled.
Remove Debris In Your Yard and Lawn, Garden Shed and Garage
To help reduce pests in your yard and garden, we also suggest you do some yard decluttering. Trim bushes and rake dead leaves. Remove dead foliage and trees, and reduce wood piles and debris. It is also wise to declutter garden sheds and garages.
Continue Using Preventatives and Pest Control Remedies All Year Round
While certain pests do have seasons when they are most active, many pests can be problematic all year round. The best form of do it yourself pest control is routine pest management.
Some of the best products you can use year round are sound repellents like ultrasonic sound repellers, natural repellents that are safe for people, pets and the environment, and home remedies.
We hope this article has been helpful and you now have a good idea of how to implement do it yourself pest control at home.
Good luck and stay pest free!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.