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I am thinking about ditching my pest guy and going straight DIY.

Raid has released a new product called Raid Max Bug Barrier.

Lowe's also carries a number of DIY insect treatments. I figure the initial startup cost is high but long term is cheaper.

Has anyone else embarked on this before and what were the results? Suggestions?

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8 Answers 8

up vote 7 down vote accepted

We've had crickets getting into our basement, I believe through a gap somewhere in the basement egress window edges. Those windows have timber-lined window wells, and they like to sneak around between the timbers. I just threw down a bunch of Ortho Home Defense MAX all around the house last night, paying special attention in the window wells, and it was like a war zone down there this morning...dead and dying crickets abound.

If I remember, I'll come back in a few days with a report on the population trend inside the house.

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I used the same stuff, and it's awesome. I sprayed it along my interior garage walls, since a few dozen June bugs get in every time we open the garage door at night. Less than 5 minutes and they're all dead. The guy at Home Depot told me it was one of the safer bug killers to use as well. –  Doresoom Aug 5 '10 at 20:09
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I will note, however, that you shouldn't be down in a window well while spraying this stuff in said location, as there is a little vapor generated by the nozzle that tends to hang around the enclosed space. /twitch –  stack Aug 5 '10 at 20:12
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Ha, the perfect question for me, since I work for a DIY pest control supplier. And I'm not just biased either, I really do my own pest control.

For the general treatments around your home, DIY is especially the way to go. Seriously, you can either pay a company to spray once for about $75, or buy a bottle of Talstar for less than that and that one bottle will last you TWO YEARS! It's the exact same stuff exterminators use.

For other treatments like a bed bug treatment, or a termite treatment, I would still recommend trying it yourself. A termite treatment, for example, is not rocket science. It is a lot of work, but anyone can do it. Hiring a company to do it would cost between $1,000 - $1,500, and most of what you would be paying for is the labor (to dig the trenches and drill the holes in the concrete). See this article on my site: http://www.domyownpestcontrol.com/how-to-perform-termite-treatment-a-87.html.

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I have been using Demon-WP for outside and inside spraying along with MaxForce granules for my ant problem. It has been working pretty good. I have maybe spent $30-40 for entire year treatment. I used to pay $45 every other month. I have saved $230 for the entire year as long as I don't need anymore treatment chemicals. –  staticx Mar 13 '13 at 20:26
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Vinegar and cinnamon have worked wonders for ant prevention. Not cinnamon sugar, just plain cinnamon - they hate it.

Put cinnamon wherever they are entering your house, it will stop them from returning after a day or so.

Vinegar if you want to spray the ants themselves to make them leave and disrupt their path.

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+1 for cinnamon. When the ants get out of hand I hit up a dollar store and line my kitchen with it. Ants will cross it if they have to, but they'll go out of their way to avoid it. One note: Once cinnamon gets wet, it's worthless. –  Steve Jackson Oct 17 '11 at 12:31
    
If you buy cinnamon sticks and break them up with a hammer, they are not worthless. I spray them with water and vinegar and it spreads the cinnamon dust a bit better. –  user2676 Oct 17 '11 at 15:18
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DIY pest control is definitely the way to go. It's amazing how much you can save when you do it yourself, especially with pest control. There are a few good sites that sell the professional grade pest control products. One of these sites is Do My Own Pest Control.

I would check some of these places out. The other good thing about this method of pest control is that there is plenty of help out there (on the internet) to help you do things right and in a safe way. You do have to be cautious when using the professional grade stuff yourself, but it's very do-able.

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Boric Acid Insecticidal Dust is great for getting rid of roaches. Just put it behind your stove, refrigerator, and dish washer and wherever else they may crawl and it will take care of them.

Also I spray around the foundation of my entire house with an all purpose outdoor insect spray each spring when the weather starts to warm up. That usually takes care of the ants for the remainder of the spring, summer, and fall.

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I spray Ortho Home Defense Max once a month around the perimeter of my house. It works great and lasts a long time.

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My first question is "What kind of bugs?"

We have never had a pest control person at our house, and we deal with beetles, ants, wasps (evil, evil wasps), flies, spiders, etc. and we've never had a problem with them in the house.

I try to avoid chemicals when I can, but I've had good luck with different "natural" treatments.

Outside, we have both fly and wasp traps. We use RESCUE! Disposable traps1. Currently, we have one out back that has about 2 inches of flies in it, and according to the website, it can hold up to 20,000 flies (which is really gross). I've seen a few yellowjacket wasps in there as well. Nice thing about these traps is that when they're full, you just close it up and toss the whole thing away, no mess. You can pick these traps up at Lowe's.

Of course, we have your typical bug zapper outside that we move around the house, which works quite well at night.

We also have an "Insector Bug Collector Light", which apparently was sold by Sharper Image - I can't find any current sellers of it online. It's like an indoor bug zapper (same UV light) but they're blown by a fan into the netted area at the bottom, where they slowly starve to death. The bottom pops off so you can clean it.

bug collecter

As far as ants go, we've had good luck with your standard outdoor poison traps and spraying their hills with chemicals. My wife sprays a clear "insect barrier" chemical from Lowe's around our front door area (I can't be around, it makes me sneeze when it's being sprayed). I also posted an answer about getting rid of ants in an environmentally-friendly way on another question here.

For everything else, we use the good, old-fashioned "whack'em with a shoe" method of insect control.

1 My wife pointed out "Ugh, it smells like rotting meat", to which I replied "Good, that means it's working!" But really, they do stink, so we keep ours away from house as much as possible.

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I used to have carpenter ants coming in. I sprayed with a product called "Sevin". Just mixed it up and sprayed around the house and it did the trick. I've only seen a few ants this season.

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