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The Risks of DIY Pest Control

Updated: Apr 29

Should you do pest control yourself? You need to know the risks and potential harm you may be doing to yourself, your home, and the environment.

a butterfly on a flower

While many people try to tackle pest control for their home or yard on their own, there is more than just the cost to think about. In fact, many people who do their own pest control cause damage to themselves, their homes, their pets or families, or the environment.

Below are some of the risks to consider before you try to control pests around your home or yard without the help of a professional.

1. Property Damage

Some DIY pest control methods can cause property damage to your home or yard. Overuse of chemicals can cause damage to your plants, and may even cause damage to the soil so new plants will not be able to grow in those locations in the future. Improperly spraying chemicals around the outside of your home can cause damage to paint, siding, window sills and can leave a difficult to remove cloudy residue on windows.

2. Health Concerns

Placing insect or rodent traps in improper places can lead to exposure of children and pets, leading to illness or even death. Spraying harsh chemicals without proper training can lead to bodily damage, poisoning, or unnecessary exposure. Additionally, there are also many cases of dangerous accidents beyond just the chemical exposure. People who are treating their own yard for pests may come in contact with dangerous insects, such as poisonous spiders or stinging insects. These encounters can lead to extreme reactions, even death. Without proper training and licensure, these dangers can be a real risk for DIY pest control.

"Pesticides are designed to (in most cases) kill pests. Many pesticides can also pose risks to people." – United States Environmental Protection Agency

3. Wasted Time and Money

Many times homeowners are at a loss for which products are best for the pests they are experiencing. Even if you are able to find a product that seems correct, many of the products that are publicly available are weak and ineffective. The money that you feel like you might save by doing your own pest control is often offset by the cost of trying multiple remedies, only to find that none of them are working to your satisfaction. The time that is wasted in these efforts can be substantial.

4. Environmental Harm

There can be unintended consequences of DIY pest control, which may cause actual harm to the environment. You may find that instead of killing the intended pest, you have actually harmed helpful insects, such as butterflies, honeybees, and other pollinators. Additionally, overuse of harmful chemicals may also impact wildlife and fauna.

5. Leaving the Real Problem Untreated

When people are doing their own pest control, they usually only take care of the pest problems they can actually see. While this may feel better in the short-term, there are often lingering issues in attics, walls, or crawlspaces. These infestations become much more difficult to control over time as the populations increase. Many times, people who are trying DIY methods of pest control don't realize the full extent of the problem until it's too late.

Keep Your Family and Property Safe

The reality is that DIY pest control rarely works and can cause significant risk to the people and things you love. Virginia Pest Pro has the training, education, and licensing to make sure that you, your family and pets, and your home are safe from the risks of DIY pest control, while also keeping harmful and unwanted pests out of your home and yard.

For more information on pests in Virginia, check out our Pest Library!

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