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5 Common DIY Pest Control Mistakes Homeowners Make

 In Pest Control

There is a variety of DIY treatments homeowners can perform to prevent pests this winter. Whether your home is infested with rats, ants, bed bugs, or bees, simple prevention and treatment options are available that homeowners can do on their own.


However, the average homeowner is not an expert on pest control and often makes simple errors that render their DIY treatments useless. If you notice invasive pests entering your home this winter and want to try to treat them on your own, be sure to avoid these five common DIY mistakes.



Bed Bugs


Few other invasive pests are as nightmare-inducing to homeowners as bed bugs. The idea that these pests are sleeping in your bed and feeding on you at night is enough to give even the bravest of souls the chills. Due to this extreme aversion to bed bugs, many home owners, take drastic and irrational measures to treat them on their own, often involving throwing away any piece of furniture that might be infected. Not only is this treatment method incredibly costly to the homeowner, it can actually encourage the bed bugs to spread throughout your home. Bed bugs may not be the most mobile of creatures, but they are experts at hitching rides to new locations. While you are moving your bed or couch outside through your home, the bed bugs will detach themselves and infest new areas of your home. Instead, leave large items where they are and use alternative treatment options to kill the pests.


Rats and Mice


When you think of treating a rat or mouse problem in your home, your first thought is probably using traps. Although traps can be highly effective, they also have their downsides. First, rats and mice are hosts to a variety of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. When the rodent is killed in the trap, their insides are often exposed to the air, making the diseases easier to spread to humans. Second, most homeowners set traps in open spaces thinking it will give them the highest rate of success. However, rats and mice have very poor vision and will likely not see traps unless they are placed near areas they frequent. Instead, homeowners should focus on eliminating the entry points these rodents use to get in the home and use live traps that don’t cause unnecessary exposure to the diseased rodents.


Bees and Wasps


Although they often contain harmful chemicals, many homeowners use sprays alone to treat a bee or wasp problem. The problem is that these insects are colony insects and killing a few lingering bees or wasps flying in your home will only serve as a temporary solution. Instead, homeowners should focus on eliminating the items in their home that are drawing these stinging insects inside in the first place. This includes sealing and storing all food, not in use, emptying the trash on a regular basis, and eliminating sweet smelling items from your home.





It is becoming general knowledge that ants leave a trail for their colony to follow to a food source. With this information, many homeowners use pesticides to wipe down areas of the home where ants have traveled in an attempt to fool them. However, the scent these pesticides leave actually persuades ants to take a different path to a food source rather than look for an entirely new source altogether. Instead, homeowners should focus on eliminating entry points to their home and remove items that are drawing them inside. You should also try and locate the ants’ nest and remove these pests from the source for a better chance of preventing them.




The most humane way to remove wildlife from your property is through live trapping; however, this technique can be very difficult to perform on your own. Life traps are not able to distinguish between raccoons and household pets, so many homeowners tend to catch their own animals more than the invasive pests. Other errors homeowners make while trying to live trap raccoons include placing the traps in ineffective locations, attracting the animals with the wrong bait, and using traps that crafty raccoons can easily break out of when captured. Understanding the natural habits and living conditions of a raccoon can be very difficult, and trying to live trap these pests on your own usually ends in failure.


If you find yourself making these DIY pest control errors, or that pests just don’t seem to leave your house, you may consider contacting Greenleaf Pest Control for some additional help. Through our residential pest control services, we can help remove pests without introducing harmful chemicals into your home, all while providing you the knowledge to prevent future infestations from occurring.


About the Author:

Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert well-known as an industry go-to guy, an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions, and is a regular guest on HGTV. Mackie, along with business partner Sandy Costa, were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.

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