How To Do Pest Control Yourself


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Many homeowners find themselves in a situation where they have pests of some sort - whether it's rats, mice, squirrel, or some other type of rodent, it's a stressful situation that calls for immediate action. Here are some do-it-yourself tips on ... but keep in mind that if your infestation is severe, it may be best to call in a professional pest control service with the experience and know-how to tackle the problem quickly.

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Like many people, you may wish to use humane pest control methods. Do an inspection of your home and premises first so that you have a better idea of what you're dealing with. Here are a few ideas on how to do pest control in a non-toxic, non-chemical way.

Live Traps

Live traps are humane if used properly and checked frequently. Rodents have high metabolisms and can easily die from thirst, hunger, or even from stress. Have a plan: how often will you check the traps (once every hour or two is ideal), and where will you release the rat or mouse or other rodent? Where will you release them if it's winter and cold outside? Cold weather, illness, injury, and stress can all weaken a rodent to the point where it has to really struggle to survive. Releasing a rodent back into the wild isn't always the kind or humane thing to do if it's just going to slowly die from lack of strength, food, water, or adequate nesting areas.

Live traps can be purchased. Be sure you buy one that's the correct size for the rodent you're trying to catch. You can also make an easy DIY trap with a tall sturdy or metal garbage can (one tall enough that the rodent cannot jump out), a piece of wood, and some bait: move the garbage can to where you know the rodents are hanging out. Place something yummy at the bottom of the garbage can (here are a few examples of mouse trap bait or effective rat baits). Use the piece of wood to make a "ramp" to the top of the can. Once the rat or mouse falls inside, they cannot climb back out.

Instead of using the wood, you can also place the garbage can, for example, at the edge of a table or other surface. Then the rodent spots the morsel in the can, they over-reach, fall in, and can't get out again.

Rodent Zappers

If live traps are not an option, or they're not producing results, a rodent zapper is something to consider. Although lethal, if used properly a rodent zapper can be considered humane because the rodent is killed quickly without pain or panic.

Snap Traps

A basic snap trap is also considered humane if used properly. Snap traps are readily available, cheap, and effective. Many homeowners who have tried various pest control options say that these simple traps are the ones that work best! Make sure you get the correct size of trap. Mouse snap traps are smaller than those meant for rats.

Do not use sticky glue mouse traps - they are viciously cruel and ineffective, too.

Natural Pest Control

Get rid of mice naturally (and other rodents too) by using an owl. Yes, really! Barn owls are natural born rodent hunters and consume a huge number of rodents. The key is to attract a barn owl to your property.

Drive Them Away With Sound

If you know the entry / exit points where rodents are gaining access to your home, you can try using an ultrasonic pest control device. These devices emit sound waves or vibrations that are unpleasant to rodents, theoretically causing them to leave the area (some people report great results, others, not so much).

However, rodents can quickly become used to them and return - so if the rodents do leave, be prepared to act fast and seal off all entry points. Be sure that the rodents really are gone... if they become trapped inside and die, you'll be dealing with rodent odor problems instead.

Prevention Is Key

Take preventive pest control measures. There are many things homeowners can do both in the house and in their gardens to exclude pests from their homes and yards. Regular maintenance will help to keep rodents out. Preventing a rodent problem is far easier, far less stressful, far less time-consuming, and far less expensive than dealing with an infestation!

While homeowners can learn how to do pest control themselves, at least to some degree, it's just as important to know when to call for help. If you aren't seeing results or the problem continues to worsen, get help from the professionals right away. Professionals can deal with every aspect of a pest problem, including inspection, removal, clean-up, sometimes repairs, and prevention. The key is to halt the problem in its tracks to protect both your home and your health.