Before you read the title of this post and get discouraged because you have (almost) zero DIY skills remember this; you are receiving this money saving tip from a guy who has
(almost) zero DIY skills himself. However, I insist on doing the few house related DIY things that I can do myself, (mowing the lawn, painting, and insulation – dang that’s a short list) and now I can add one more thing to that list – do it yourself pest control.
Doing difficult things helps to build a can-do spirit that is essential for any money-saving individual. There are often many things that we don’t even consider doing ourselves because of the perceived difficulty of that task. I’ve found, however, that the confidence you gain from venturing into a difficult venture or two is invaluable – and actually lends to taking on more hard tasks. Try something new. Try something you perceive to be difficult. And see how it goes! A great place to start is by doing your own pest control.
DIY pest control IS possible – and not really all that difficult!
Bug extermination is something that, if you are anything like me, you are spending upwards of $300 a year on. Well, you don’t have to. After a bit of research, I found out that I can buy the same spray (safe for children and pets) that the pros use and do my own bug zapping. And in my case, I’m pretty sure that I am now using better stuff than my former pest control company.
Ok, so here is how you get the do it yourself pest control ball rolling!
Don’t go to one of the big home improvement retailers.
They only sell the low-class stuff. You want the pro level elixir because it lasts longer and is 10 times more effective (scientific study not included). You really won’t be happy with the results if you stick to what those big box stores have to offer. It’s cheap and ineffective.
Amazon.com actually sells some of the professional pest control products.
Let’s be honest, they sell everything. But I actually ended up turning to this site (current coupon code offer of $5 off $50 with “givemea5“). There are several sites like it but I really appreciated the customer service and prices here. They spent 20 minutes on the phone with me calming all my DIY fears. Thanks to the internet, purchasing the stuff that you really need to do it yourself is really easy.
Buy this specific bug killer.
It’s the best Do it yourself pest control solution out there.
It is a well-rounded pesticide that handles a variety of bugs with effectiveness. With that and a sub $15 sprayer, I was good to go. And with that much solution, I can demolish pests for years to come. Seriously, it will make 96 gallons of pesticide. If you aren’t sure about the application process there is a great video on their website that gets you up to speed in no time.
Some of the application basics that you need to know are that you should spray around doors and windows and the exterior base of your entire home. This effectively creates a barrier that bugs can’t safely navigate. You’ll quickly find dead roaches and aunts around the perimeter after you spray. Pay special attention indoors to baseboards, corners, storage areas, window and door frames, behind and under appliances, cabinets, sinks and anywhere else you might be noticing pest activity.
Don’t forget to do the free things that keep bugs away as well like trimming bushes and trees back from off the house and cleaning up any standing water. Not leaving food out for extended periods of time helps keep the bugs at bay too.
I was spending $70 every quarter for my super small house to get sprayed for bugs. I spent less than that on everything I needed to outfit myself for Bugmageddon (that is when the bugs decide to revolt. I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it). My poor math skills lead me to believe that I’ll now be spending roughly $10 a year on bug remediation through the beauty of doing my own pest control. Now that I own four homes, one primary and three rentals, it is even more crucial for me to find outside of the box ways like this to save money. Taking this one simple step out of the hands of a company and into my own is going to save me just over $1,000 a year. And that’s nothing to sneeze at!
To sum it up: Talstar One really is a fantastic product that controls more than a hundred different types of pests around your home. And spraying your home quarterly for pests is easier than you think. It takes me roughly 20 minutes to mix the solution and spray around the entirety of the outside of my 2,000 square foot home as well as hitting some of the important interior locations. That’s really not that much of my time considering the savings I’ve accrued!
Are you sure I don’t need a professional?
There are certainly some circumstances where a professional is warranted. For instance, if you have an intrusion of rats in your basement or squirrels in your attic, it is likely worth it for you to have a professional come to your home to trap or remove those animals if you don’t feel comfortable doing that sort of pest control by yourself. If you notice fresh termite damage you’ll want to contact a pest control company that knows how to remediate termites. However, for the average homeowner, the combination of Talstar One and a cheap sprayer will keep bugs at bay and money in your wallet.
*Safety tip: Make sure to wear gloves when mixing the solution and spraying. Also, be sure to wait until the product is dry before allowing pets and children into areas that you have treated.
Interested in my thoughts after a year of doing my own pest control? I’ve found some other really helpful uses to help save even more money.
Also, check out my new blog (and podcast) over at How To Money. Here’s a great update post: Should you do your own pest control?
35 Comment responses
Excellent information, I have been paying $81.XX w/ tax every other month for the past 1/2 year for pest control, and don’t think it’s worth that much. Can’t wait to save some money and see even less bugs, thank you.
I’m glad it was useful to you. You will save even more than I am saving. And I promise you, it is really easy. Enjoy having that extra money back in your pocket.
Great post Joel. You’re absolutely right – domyownpestcontrol.com is a fantastic website with great customer service and great prices. I have used them for years and have always been happy with them.
Another great website that also sells pest control products at rock bottom prices is doityourselfpestcontrol.com. Those two websites are the two cheapest places I’ve found to get pest control products from. I’ll price whatever I’m looking for at both of them to see which one comes out cheaper – sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s the other.
And a word treating those tiny black ants that many of us in the south get in the summertime (or really any ants), a bait is the best thing to use to get rid of them permanently. I’ve have GREAT success using the gel baits. Ants are looking for one of two things: sugar or protein. You just have to figure out which one they’re after. You can do this by placing a small square of aluminum foil down right by where their path is and putting a dab of peanut butter and a dab of honey on the foil. Within a few minutes they will have lined up around one or the other. This will tell you which type of bait you need: peanut butter = protein bait, honey = sugar bait. Then, simply get the ant gel bait that’s made for the particular ants you have observed, use as directed, and within one or two days that colony will be dead and gone.
The reason why baits are better than sprays for ants is because, yes, a spray will kill ants on contact, but it doesn’t address the queen, who needs to be killed in order to kill the entire colony. In the end, there could end up being even more ants than before. This is because when ants are sprayed and killed, it stresses the colony and can cause it to split. This will leave the homeowner with two ant colonies rather than just one. Multiply this by the number of original colonies and then that by the number of times all these colonies have been sprayed through the weeks and the homeowner can end up with a much bigger problem in the end from having used a spray to try to rid themselves of ants.
Instead, simply use a bait (I like gel baits the best) and the ants will bring this bait back to the queen and her and the rest of the entire colony WILL die.
Thanks Brian. That is some great info. And yeah, I checked out that other site as well. They had some great offerings too. It is another great site to check out before you make your purchase. Another pest that is easier to take on than the pest control companies want you to believe is termites. They charge BIG money for termite bait systems that you and I could self install in just a couple of hours without a whole lot of know how. DIY pest control is something I wish I would have figured out years ago.
Hmmm, you know, you just might have convinced me to give that a shot. I’m in the market for a termite service and the upfront cost to get started is $600 and up. You have motivated me to give those two websites a call and see just how doable and effective it is to do it myself. Thanks for that.
Give it a shot. Why not? I watched the video on their website and it really didn’t look that hard. Again, coming from a DIY novice too.
I used doityourselfpestcontrol.com to buy the stuff to do my own 8 year termite bond treatment. I used Dominion 2L and just dug the 6″ trench around my house and put in the water/termiticide mix. The website and the bottle had instructions on how to do the whole thing with a 5 gal bucket and a shovel (I had both). This saved me $800 over having a termite bond done by a pro and it took about 2 days of digging and pouring. That was a good payback in my book.
Domyownpestcontrol.com has this really good article and graphic that clearly shows how to do a termite treatment yourself – http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/how-to-perform-termite-treatment-a-87.html It’s plain to see that a termite treatment is not rocket science, but is a lot of work. Still, the savings are so huge when you do it yoursf that it’s well worth a the work. Most of the $1,500 plus you would pay a company to do a termite treatment is for the manual labor to dig the trenches and drill the holes…
Jason and Sam,
Some manual labor and a little bit of research saved you guys some huge money. When I need to do a termite treatment at my home I am definitely going the DIY route. Thanks for the tips.
Just fixed a water leak in the shower that has been loooooong overdue. Just before I fixed it today, I measured just how much water I was wasting. It was just a trickle so it couldn’t have been that much, right? I’m ashamed to say that I was wasting right at 100 gallons a day. Yep. A day.
So, $1.98 (for a pack of washers) and 12 minutes later the leak was fixed and about $30 a month is back in my pocket. Actually, more because it was the hot water so the water heater was working much more than it needed to as well. So, there’s the added savings on the gas bill too.
I’m still kicking myself for not fixing this sooner.
Nicely done Brian. I do the same thing. I put something off because it seems harder than it actually is. I rewired a lamp last week. I had put it off for months because I had never done it before. When I finally put my mind to it I was done in under 15 minutes (thanks to the help of a step by step youtube video). So I’m with you – here’s to fixing things sooner in the future.
links to outside page and the product are broken
Just thought I’ve give an update on doing my own termite protection that I talked about considering a couple of months ago.
I did do my own termite control about a week ago. My total cost was about $160. That included the cost of the large bottle of termite chemical (Taurus SC) and the concrete drill bit necessary for drilling through the slab. I borrowed my neighbor’s hammer drill to save me from having to rent one from Home Depot for $59 per day.
My total time in the project was about 10 – 11 hours.
So, $160 and 11 hours of my time saved me anywhere from $1500 to $2000. And, I won’t have to retreat for another 10 years.
Thanks for the idea to check out doing my own termite control Joel.
I am so impressed man! What a good feeling it is to put in a hard day’s work and save that much money. Congratulations and I’ll let you know when I get around to doing some termite work at my house.
Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3
completely different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a
lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?
Cheers, I appreciate it!
Thanks for stopping by. I actually use a smaller company called Simple Source Solutions for my web hosting. They have been excellent, and as you can see, often have a superior product. They offer competitive pricing too. Here’s their URL. http://www.getsimple.net/
I hope they can help you.
I have always used hostgator for my hosting. Never heard of this Simple Source Solution though. But new companies always provides something more than older companies.
BTW, enjoyed reading those tips of DIY pest controlling tips for saving some money. A company will always charge a lot becuase of their expenses. But we can do it ourselves, it will cut down the cost to at least 50%.
Great Information! Just like you I don’t have any DIY skills with regard to pest control so I hired pest control professionals and I think the money that I am paying to them is all worth it since they have a great services. Especially the reason why I don’t try the DIYs because it’s too dangerous.
I am cancelling my service tomorrow. …tired of $45 a month for him walking around my house for 15 min with a sprayer. ….thanks for this info!
Before, I hired professionals bacause I don’t know how to make DIYs, but after that I did it myself. I learned from pros.. Now I can save money by making DIY pest control
Amazon really does have everything don’t they. My condo has a bug problem that the manager of the complex never told me about. I’m thinking of trying this out myself to see what happens. It’s a lot better than paying up to $300 to fix. Thanks Joel.
I love that idea! And yes, it isn’t possible in suburban or urban areas. I hope the other tips work well for you instead!