The subject of pest control is filled with myths. Any Google search for pest control fixes will be populated with statements like, “Only dirty houses get pests” and “Cats will solve all your pest problems.” (Neither sentence is true.)
That’s why it’s important to get your information from a trusted source, like your local pest control professional or an educational website (like the OSU Department of Entomology)—not a random blog. This way, you’ll be getting information that is true and extermination advice that works.
Today, we’re talking about the five pest control myths we’d like to exterminate. Keep reading to find out if you’ve heard (or even believed!) any of these myths.
Myth #1: If you don’t see any pests, your home doesn’t have any.
Oh, boy. If there’s one myth that we’d like to get rid of forever, it would be this one.
Most pests (with the exception of large rats) are very small, and they are also adept at hiding. Many of them (like cockroaches and bed bugs) are nocturnal. If you wait until you see the pest itself before taking action, you might have a big infestation on your hands.
To keep your home pest-free, we recommend looking out for a variety of signs you have pests. These range from pest droppings, to unexplained bites, to sounds of scratching, and more. (It will depend on the pest.) If you even suspect that you might have pests, call a pest control professional to take a look at your home. With help from a professional, you’ll learn exactly what pest you have, how big the infestation is, and what you can do about it. (Not to mention the peace of mind you’ll get.)
Myth #2: Only dirty houses get pests.
Let’s set the record straight: cluttered, messy, dirty homes can make a pest problem worse—by providing places for pests to hide and (in some cases) giving them a food source. That’s why we encourage homeowners to clean up and declutter in order to fight an infestation and make their homes less hospitable to pests.
However! Dirty homes do not cause pest problems. You can get bed bugs, termites, mice, rats, cockroaches, stink bugs, spiders, wasps, ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, and more whether your home is immaculate or a complete mess. It’s a good idea to clean your house—we’re not saying you shouldn’t! Just know that you might get some pests anyway: a clean home is not a guarantee.
Myth #3: You can clean your house to get rid of pests.
This myth goes along with the previous one. Homeowners who think that only dirty houses get pests often also believe that cleaning the house will get rid of them. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
There are several problems with this myth.
First, it’s just impossible to clean your way out of a pest issue. Pests are small and require the tiniest amounts of food to survive. They can feed off of the crumbs on the floor that your broom missed or the water droplets that drip from your faucet. And if there’s nothing that day, they don’t worry: many pests can go days or weeks without food. (Roaches, for example, can live a week without water and even longer without food.)
Second, even if you cleaned up every tiny crumb in your entire house in order to starve them, you might still have pests. That’s because the pests might set up camp in your house and get their food outside in your garbage cans. Or, if you live in an apartment building, they might get their food from your neighbors.
Finally, some pests simply don’t care how clean your house is. Bed bugs, for example, feed on humans, so it doesn’t hurt them at all if your sink is free of dirty dishes. Termites, too, feed on wood, so you can’t clean them away.
In short, you’ll need to do more than clean to solve a pest problem.
Myth #4: Getting a cat will solve your mouse problem.
Cats can be great mousers—but they can’t solve a mouse or rat infestation.
Why? There are a few reasons: cats have to be able to reach the pest to get it. If there are a few rooms where you don’t want your cat to go—like your bedroom or the attic—pests will flee there, where your cat can’t reach them. Also, rodents have the advantage on your cat through sheer numbers. If you have a large infestation (and not just one or two mice), your cat might not be able to keep up!
Myth #5: The natural or DIY route is just as effective pest control.
There are a lot of articles online that claim to have “the” solution to pest control. The solutions range from ultrasonic waves, to putting Borax on the floor, to spraying essential oils on the surfaces in your home. The problem, as we’ve said in previous blog posts, is that none of these fixes really work. Also, some of them are dangerous! (You can read our posts about DIY pest control for bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, and termites.)
Some of these solutions don’t work at all (like ultrasonic frequency machines and cedar oil). Others might work to kill the odd pest here or there. But none of these natural or DIY approaches to pest control work to eliminate an entire infestation.
Instead, we recommend working with a pest control expert. A professional can help you find out how big the problem is and what should be done to fix it.
Pest Problem? Call Us!
Contact Scherzinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.