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You Can Control Many Indoor Pests Without an Exterminator

By Jim Johnson
Soils and Crops Consultant

Posted Nov. 1, 2018

While there are times and places when a professional exterminator is needed, you can control many common indoor pests by yourself with some prevention, treatment and monitoring.

Common pests that may be encountered in rural homes include insects like crickets, ants and beetles and other arthropods, such as spiders and scorpions. Rodents and snakes can also be problematic.

Local farm stores as well as big-box stores sell many products for lawn pest control. Directions for each pesticide are included on the label, so be sure to read and follow them carefully.

Lawnmower with leaves and firewood showing three steps to prevent pests from getting into your house.

Three Steps to Prevent Pests in Your Home

You can take many actions to prevent pests from coming inside or at least reduce their population before they start coming in. Take these three steps to make it harder for pests to hide and multiply:

  1. Prevent leaves and other debris from piling up around the house.
  2. Keep the yard around the house.
  3. Store firewood well away from the house.

To further protect your home from pests

  • Keep trees and bushes trimmed so they are not touching the exterior of the house.
  • Seal up any cracks and crevices around doors, windows and utilities, including plumbing and wiring.
  • Apply an insecticide barrier treatment around the perimeter of the house each spring and fall.

Local farm stores as well as big-box stores sell many products for lawn pest control that can also be used as perimeter treatments. Directions for each pesticide are included on the label, so be sure to read and follow them carefully.

Multicolored Asian Lady beetles

Post-Invasion Tips

Once pests get in the house, pesticide options become more limited. One nonchemical method that works for many pests is sticky traps. These come in various shapes, sizes and configurations. They catch bugs as well as reptiles and rodents. Carefully consider where to place them so you, your family and your pets don’t accidentally step on them.

Most chemical products work better on some pests than others. It is rare that any one pesticide will control all pests you may encounter. However, one group of pesticides, known as synthetic pyrethroids, are fairly broad-spectrum and tend to do a good job on many bugs.

Most chemical products work better on some pests than others. It is rare that any one pesticide will control all pests you may encounter.

Be sure that whatever pesticide you choose is labeled to control your target pest. Again, specific instructions will be found on the label, so be sure to read and follow all directions.

After you have treated and gained control, continue to monitor for new invaders. Sticky traps are useful for this purpose as well. They catch many pests before you have a chance to see them. They may also indicate where populations are greatest, which can help you target future treatment.

By implementing some basic prevention, treatment and monitoring, you can successfully do much of your own indoor pest control.

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