edubya

POLL: How often should pest control be done?

Emily H
4 years ago


Ants control service · More Info

I have a friend who is so afraid of mice that she has pest control come out and check and treat for them just in case. (She's never had mice.) I have a company come out a few times a year for ants that would otherwise make themselves comfortable in all areas of my house. How about you?

VOTE and tell us about it in the comments!

Once a month
Every three months
Every six months
Once a year
Only when I spot something
Never
Other - tell us below!

Comments (74)

  • fringedweller
    4 years ago

    We do it on our own, ant traps, spray for wasps, and my husband does the mouse traps, in which we use rind of Brie for bait. In the country, it takes continued vigilance.

    I heard a story about a vegan lady who wouldn't trap her mice, and after several years, her house was "destroyed," or so the story goes - literally condemned. I've always wondered if this was true. What do you guys think?

    I had a neighbour who couldn't stand spiders or dead birds. I absolutely lose it over mice. My neighbour and I had a deal that when one of us screamed our fool head off, the other would run over with a roll of towels to take care of it. It was a source of much mockery in the 'hood.


  • scorp1117
    4 years ago
    Liese Sadler that's a very interesting comment about a child being diagnosed with leukemia and you alluding to the cause being from the yard being sprayed. I'm a pediatrician of 40 years. I have NEVER known that to be a cause. Did you consult Google and then decide to write the post?
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  • Ann
    4 years ago

    I've never had pest control in Colorado. We have a lot of spiders near the house, but nothing inside.

  • Jm Fdez
    4 years ago
    It depends the type of pest you may have
  • User
    4 years ago

    Does anyone have any advice on flea control? I have three indoor cats who get monthly topical drops Advantage II and I vacuum several times a week. Suddenly we have a lot of fleas. Two carpeted bedrooms. The rest of the house porcelain tiles. Help! Bought foggers for the bedrooms. Please cross fingers. Thanks.

  • PRO
    Prescott Window and Door
    4 years ago

    We stopped feeding suet for birds close to the house, since the crumbs enticed mice. We also placed a bar of Irish Spring deodorant soap by the patio door, inside the grille, and in the garage. A cheap and effective mice deterrent!

  • Linnea Levine
    4 years ago
    We get mice carpenter, bees and ants occasionally. Pest control is called as soon as we see evidence. Living on three acres in the country with forest on two sides of our property makes pest control necessary every once in a while. Our biggest concern in Connecticut is deer borne ticks and Lyme disease.
  • rower27
    4 years ago

    I gave a friend whose home was overwhelmed by mice due to a new construction nearby. She used humane traps that were ineffective and soon the population exploded. It was the stuff of nightmares!

  • Candice
    4 years ago

    Mindcavier. Use food grade only Diatomaceous Earth. Sprinkle and rub into fur. Sprinkle on carpets, leave overnight, vaccum. Sprinkle outside. It is totally natural and extremely effective. 19 rescue cats. Never had a flea in 20 years.

  • TLC Dream
    4 years ago
    so much advice, no links... please, help. mosquitoes and we NEED deterrent naturally.
  • blkctj
    4 years ago

    Thank you to 'capeanner' for the carpenter bee trap information. I had
    no idea they made traps for them. I have been using a butterfly net to
    catch them... nasty sting one time from the nasty female bee. I just
    ordered two traps: one for the house and one for the pool house.

  • LeslieS
    4 years ago

    Livng in south Texas, "pest control" takes on a meaning of its own. We are chemical free, so no spraying. Cats pretty much take care of rodent issues, keeping a clean (food residue free) kitchen is important, tight lids on pantry storage maks a huge difference, as does dealing with invasions right away. Wiping down surfaces with a vinegar water removes the attraction for most unwanted guests. Diatomaceous earth at entry points.

    In the garden, we handpick the bad guys, or go out with soapy water in a bowl and knock them off into it. We welcome good bugs that eat bad ones, and all pollinators. Free range chickens work all day!

    And if something really offensive or potentially dangerous makes it way inside, we step on it!

  • lindanr
    4 years ago

    After an onslaught of German roaches and the loss of multiple electric appliances and surge protectors, etc. - and the inability to control the hoard that descended upon my house, I went to the pros. Thankfully the company I chose has an option made with organic herbs and oils that went far beyond my approach. They are reasonably priced with service every three months, plus no issues for me (major allergies and reactions to chemicals) or my Boston Terrier. And, thankfully they will be here in the next week - with the rain we've had in Central Texas, mosquitoes and fire ants are doing their damnedest to take over the yard. I also use vinegar to clean with, as well as implementing essential oils in cleaning and maintaining a clean home.

  • blkctj
    4 years ago

    Wow. I guess I have nothing to complain about. I just discovered I 'had' a mouse in my house. It's gone now (cat is happy), but I cannot imagine being bombarded with roaches of any kind or fire ants. Winters up here control the bugs populations but it also brings the mice inside for warmth. I love my cat.

  • laquatta
    4 years ago

    For mice use peppermint oil or I crushed up peppermint Altoids mints and sprinkled in the garage. Haven't had a mouse in over a year.

  • ninapi
    4 years ago
    Scorpions!! I have lived in the desert for 27 years and did not have any until we moved to our new house last year. We have a pest control company that comes out every month but we still have the occasional intruder. They creep me out!
  • silviajl
    4 years ago

    We bought a house that had a major pest problem (rodents) that was taken care of prior to being put on the market (at an $11K expense to the seller!). We have pest control come out quarterly to make sure that we don't have future issues. Our property is fairly wooded so lots of critters running around. We also have a lot of wasps in our area, so they take care of those as well.

  • Jane Bailey
    4 years ago

    I live in an apartment style - now condo - bldg, Exterminated once/mo. However,my problem is centipedes. Fortunately, they scat away, but if one got on me I would have a massive coronary I am terrified of bugs...but how does one get rid of arthopods?

  • urban_woodswalker
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    If there were Cockroaches yes--Monthly when I lived in a urban apartment building. But anything outside of that no! Our cat and jack Russell are natural deterrents to rodents. I refuse to spray for wasps and bees...they are important to the environment and don't bother us even with wasp nest a few feet off our balcony. Any other insect is carefully deposited outside...or if an indoor spider...left on a houseplant. Mosquitos are an annoyance....but we would never spray...they provide food for so many creatures in nature. It's only females who bite. Ants....I don't leave any foods out. Wipe their paths away....and I sometimes give them their own sugary food dish so they leave us alone.

    Better to work WITH nature rather than fight it.

  • urban_woodswalker
    4 years ago

    Kristine....as for your invasion of Euro lady beetles (Or any insect) you can humanely toss them into a jar of rubbing alcohol for a quick and smell free death. No need to "squash" them. Vacuum or scoop up with thin (cheap) small paper plates and funnel them into the jar.

  • Rhodalynn
    4 years ago

    I put baby powder on the inside of my windowsill in the kitchen and the ants stay away. As for mice, which we used to get in our unfinished basement- I put ammonia in a spray bottle and a few times a week I spray the floor. No more mice. I also spray it around my garbage cans in the garage. No more mice or ants.


  • fringedweller
    4 years ago

    @rhodalynn - I love both of those tips. Thanks - I hope they work for me, too!

  • sxb2053
    4 years ago

    We have had carpenter ants in the past, also mice trying to nest in my husbands shop. Then two summers ago we had something scratching behind the wall over our bed! We live on 7 acres in the woods of the PNW, so we have a contracted service come every other month to reset bait stations and the like. Just a fact of country living.

  • urban_woodswalker
    4 years ago

    Sxb2053.... If you are using poison for rodents....you will be poisoning the woodland creatures who then eat them! Creatures such as owls, hawks, fox, coyotes, etc all depend on rodents for food. Why do people live near nature and then take drastic measures to change it to suit human desires at the risk of nature's other inhabitants? Would be better to use humane live traps and release the critters a mile from your home.

  • abaloneeyes
    4 years ago

    Once a month in Houston, Texas to keep the Tetradactyl size flying roaches out of the house, plus a myriad of other bugs. And for the field mice, snakes and occasional rat-a cat.

  • heather gladue
    4 years ago

    I live in Canada and we have never had to hire anyone. We did have a problem with ants but a mixture of borax and icing sugar got rid of them! We do have a dog and 4 cats who all chase and eat birds and squirrels so they probably find mice as well!!

  • Action Ecology
    4 years ago

    "Pest control" should only really be considered for very extreme cases IMO. If you have an abundance of one species to the point that you consider it a 'pest', then you need to step back and ask yourself what is out of balance here that one species has gotten such an advantage over it's natural control (predator).

    As the famous Bill Mollison quote goes: "you don't have a slug problem, you have a duck deficiency".

    More often than not, the simpler, healthier and more practical long term solution is to encourage biodiversity outside so that nature keeps itself in check - as that is what it's trying to do all the time anyway, just let it - get out of the way - and save yourself some work.

  • PRO
    Ange Signature Homes
    4 years ago

    scorp1117 - So what was the cause of leukemia in children? You found the cause each time?


  • PRO
    LeafFilter North, Inc.
    4 years ago

    There are some plants that can help you repel pets. Plants that serve as natural pest repellents HERE.

  • Darrel Rose
    4 years ago

    Only when pest start to bother you, other wise you are creating environmental damage plus ruining your health if you do it more than you should, I only treat when needed and then again I use natural methods to get rid of pest, and I am not bothered by pest so much ; go figure too I live in a desert you would think that I would be bothered by pest more often

  • TLC Dream
    4 years ago
    Ange Signature Homes... you missed the point I'm afraid. moving on. I do realize the response wasn't the nicest, but moving on.
  • Sheila Rumsey
    4 years ago
    Y'all save some time and money. Both in Nebraska and in Texas, I have always used Ortho Home Defense once a year. You can buy it just about anywhere, including Walmart, lowes, Home Depot, and other similar stores. I put everyone out of the house and spray baseboards, as well as around doors and windows. I generally only find dead bugs in the house, including cockroaches, ants, centipedes, and scorpions. It doesn't seem to work on brown recluse spiders, though. Not sure why that is. To keep wasps from under the eaves, we stuffed plastic grocery bags into brown paper lunch sacks and tied them shut. We put them up under the eaves in several places and on the back porch. We have had very few wasps around the house since. Apparently, they think the bags are hornet bests and stay away.
  • java747
    4 years ago

    my daughter had noisy walls, with poop running down them outside. had to call the pest control who covered the entire house with a net.....she had hundreds of bats living in her walls. the colony had to find a new place to live, but they were not killed. they still come out in the evening to eat all the mosquitoes in the early evening. we don't know where they nest now. this was in washington.by the coast.

  • alleykat6093
    4 years ago
    According to the American cancer society chemicals can cause leukemia in children. The information is on their website. When I was a teenager a friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia. Luckily she survived treatment. The chemical that her parents used for pest control around their house was banned around the time of her diagnosis. Be careful with pest control. Id rather see Agee spiders than develop cancer.
  • alleykat6093
    4 years ago
    *A few spiders.
  • WandaWorks
    4 years ago

    Peppermint oil is a natural deterrent to pests. I purchased the dollar store small, square containers with lids and placed a cotton ball with peppermint oil inside. I put 3 holes in the lid and placed them around my house. I have been pest free since then.

  • PRO
    Ange Signature Homes
    4 years ago

    I like natural methods whenever possible. Peppermint oil and cloves are two that can be effective. They need to be replenished more frequently than the commercial preparations. Avoid using moth balls, especially in the house or where kids can find them. They are more toxic than people may realize.

  • Russ Barnes
    4 years ago

    In middle Tennessee we have a lot of spiders and in the fall the Asian ladybugs that pest control doesn't seem to stop. Because we have three dogs and one cat inside we don't want chemical sprays in the house. We use a pest control service for exterior termites, mice and ants which does great. So in the fall season lady bugs go in the vacuum cleaner and the spiders get caught on the sticky pads I place around the house. One busy spider hangout is on the floor, under the back of our five toilets where I think the cold porcelain gets damp, they come to drink and get glued down. The scary place is near our headboard where several spiders also end up, some brown recluse too.

  • Lisa McCleese
    4 years ago
    I moved to coastal Mississippi from Ohio a few years ago. Never had to worry about pest control in the north except for an occasional hornet's nest that needed to be dealt with. My second night in MS, a palmetto bug ran across the floor. I called an exterminator the next day. Lots of folks here don't bother, but my guy is here quarterly and I often have to call in between for extra service for ants. One good rain and the ant hills pop up overnight.
  • Miranda Thompson
    4 years ago
    I agree that it depends on where one lives. we bought our ranch about two years ago and before that it was vacant for nearly 8 years. needless to say the house and property were inhabited by many critters. As much as I dislike poisoning, it was initially necessary for termites, gophers, and the rats in the garage. We have indoor/outdoor cats and so the mice population has vacated the house and greatly diminished outside. Rabbits and ground squirrels are an ongoing battle.
  • urban_woodswalker
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Why are rabbits and ground squirrels "a problem"- they are indigenous to your region Miranda? Your outdoor cats and a small terrier like jack Russels would keep them naturally away.


  • mahead321
    4 years ago

    Here on the Gulf Coast... Quarterly!

  • hwswthr
    4 years ago

    We arent as plagued by pests as in the south but we have our fair share here in Missouri. I had a big mice problem when I first moved in. They were nesting in the attic so the poison bait was put in attic in Nov. Then we had signs of active carpenter ants and older signs of termites. I now have bi-monthly treatments for mice, termites, carpenter ants.

    I have alot of garden plants and with that come tons of voles, snakes, chipmunks, etc. I like the snakes but I think neighbors are killing them so the vole population has exploded.

  • Mary Dillon
    4 years ago

    In Virginia mountains, most of these pests no big deal, although thanks to everyone who contributed ideas for natural control -- I made a few notes! My biggest problem is mosquitoes -- husband and tenant seem to be mosquito magnets and complain vociferously. I have used various kinds of stuff you hook up to your hose to spray the yard, but I really don't like doing it because I'm not sure what other insects are harmed, and I like the bumblebees and lightning bugs. Have scouted for mosquito sources, and actually done some relandscaping to eliminate extra ground covers, which I understand are breeding ground. A friend recently gave me recipe for more natural mosquito deterrent, which is said to not kill other insects:

    Mix in garden sprayer: big bottle blue mouthwash (cheap), 3 C Epsom salts, 3 stale beers (8-oz). Mix until salts blend, spray around outdoor seating areas, reputed to last @ 80 days. Haven't tried this yet but others on FB who have say it's quite effective.


  • Melissa Gayhart
    4 years ago
    For fleas... diatomaceous earth is helpful. I also use borax on the rugs and mattresses, regularly vacuum, and reapply. It did wonders!!! You just have to be careful about animals walking on it. I applied and left on for a few hours when animals were in other rooms and then vacuumed.
  • urban_woodswalker
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Mary Dillon,

    I found fantastic info here: http://www.mosquitoreviews.com/blood-type.html.

    Mosquitos are actually attracted to beer and sweat. Also having an O blood type makes them more prone to bite a person.

    mosquitos need sources of water to lay eggs in. Do you have pool, pond, river, or even flower pots where water collects? They do not breed in "ground cover." I doubt that your recipe will work...as mosquitos need standing water to lay and hatch their eggs in. Female mosquitos are also the only ones that bite...they need a blood source for proteins when producing eggs.

    Mosquitos are attracted to carbon dioxide...which is the great we all exhale. Some people get much more bitten up...perhaps it's due to an individual's diet..or blood chemistry. I know when I abstained from all foods that have sugar in them, the bites when dramatically down.

    The best way to get rid of mosquitos in the long haul....build bat houses to encourage a wonderful source of mosquito eaters; and bird houses too. Many swifts and swallows feed on hundreds of millions of mosquitos at dusk. Bats of course feed on them in the night.

    Also, you can find mosquito larva deterrents at most pool stores nowadays. You drop them in pools of water and the mosquito larvae are killed.

    Hope these ideas help.

  • Jason Killgo
    4 years ago
    Check out http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/. They have everything you need to control bugs and kits for specific problems.

    I use bifen inside and around my house once every three months and never have any living bugs. Just find dead ones from time to time.

    Outside I never have any flying bugs either. Use the items in their mosquito kit and spray it into my bushes and up into my trees. Use the granular stuff in my ponds, bird feeders to stop mosquitos but not harm my fish or birds.
  • annetha
    4 years ago

    Our lakeshore house is treated professionally a couple times a year for spiders (permethrin, I think?). The co. recommends three times a year. I held out for years but once they spiders began colonizing indoors as well as outdoor surfaces, I caved!

    Otherwise, we do it ourselves...

    Dog is treated with topical Frontline to keep ticks and fleas under control.

    Spring invasions of ants mean placing bottle caps of borax mixed with jelly under stove (where dog can't get to it).

    Dog DID get into some mouse poison inexplicably in a snowbank last season, so we are looking to end use of THAT. She was very lucky in that we got most away from her and got her to vet quickly--we discovered that new formulations (Tomcat's at least) are nerve poisons, not blood thinners, so all vet could do was force vomiting, give her activated charcoal, etc.

    So-o, for mice we are headed back to traps. Sorry to say that we have also had to control a huge population of chipmunks, which were beginning to get into walls. A bucket half-filled with water, the surface covered with styrofoam peanuts and a floating dish of sunflower seeds, plus a plank from step to lip of bucket. Chipmunks can't resist. I don't like to think about it...

    Husband live traps skunks, woodchucks, etc. that burrow under garden shed, releasing or disposing of them depending on species.

    Downy Woodpeckers... I enjoyed watching them on suet on deck in winter, but inadvertently led them to consider our redwood siding as good nesting/shelter, actually getting into a small attic! We thought for a while there that we would have to replace the siding. I stopped feeding near the house, which we festooned with shiny disks and streamers. (I think woodpeckers are spooked by fast-moving light reflections--like shadow of a hawk?) The onslaught slowed, then stopped. Husband patched the siding with hope it will not be necessary to replace boards and sections.

    In late summer, we trap yellow jacket wasps with apple juice baited traps we fashion from plastic water and pop bottles. (Google for instructions.) Our efforts seem to reduce the numbers after our food and drinks on the deck.









  • urban_woodswalker
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    Jason Killgo , by killing off all bugs in your trees, and yard...you ARE harming the birds and fish. Both feed on insects and their larva. Insects also pollinate plants...so you are harming the environment ...and your surrounding neighbors environment also. You of course are free to do what you want....but using pesticides strong enough to kill off every insect on trees, shrubs, and yard are definately invariably harming everything else also. Do not fool yourself. Bifen also is neurotoxic; remains in soil for up to 8 months; and is a carcinogenic. As a cancer survivor, I would hate to live near you, and would never let my kids play at your house.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bifenthrin 

    By the way, interesting last name...what with all the killing going on in your yard.

  • Josh Thompson
    4 days ago

    Just read recently, "General pest control treatment—for spiders, moths, roaches, silverfish, pill bugs (roly-polies), etc.—lasts a few months and needs to be done quarterly.

    A serious infestation of ants requires monthly visits are necessary for three to six months depending on the scope of the treatment.

    Bed bugs require a specialized type of treatment. Bed bug treatment should last indefinitely, but that depends on if the source is properly found.

    Overall, the frequency of your pest control treatment for your home or business depends on your location, your home or business size, the weather (such as rain), and the type of pest (as not all insects need the same treatment)."


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