Using your own methods of controlling pests in your home may be more risky than you think. Of course, a random fly swatter or ant trap probably isn’t going to create a long term problem for anyone. But anything more severe such as an ant infestation or rodent problem likely warrants the consultation of a Houston pest control professional and exterminator.

Performing your own pest control can come with risks. Four major concerns and risks for DIY pest control include:

1. Health and Safety Concerns

Chemical pest control, when used inappropriately, can be very harmful to humans. This is especially true if you have family members who have breathing problems such as asthma, or those who struggle with chemical sensitivity issues. Children and pets are particularly susceptible to harm related to chemical danger related to pest control, particularly if the chemicals are not stored safely and appropriately.

Headaches and breathing problems are some of the less harmful side effects of chemical exposure. Other more dangerous diseases that can be caused from chemical exposure include nervous system malfunction, reproductive problems, and even cancer.

Other safety concerns can include that of agitated pests when you mid-handle DIY pest control. For instance, wasps or other stinging insects might swarm the wrong direction, causing harm to pets and people. In addition, the cloud of chemicals could head in the wrong direction and create problems for your neighbors. For optimal safety, contact a professional pest control expert.

Read More: Five Reasons Professional Pest Prevention is Critical for Your Home

2. Environmental Risks

Without realizing it, you may be inadvertently causing damage to the earth when you exercise DIY pest control practices. Unless you are a professional, you may mix or blend chemical products in a way that could cause harm to your local environment. The health of your soil, micro-ecosystems that exist on your property, runoff into sewage systems, and seepage down to the water table underground may all be at risk when you practice DIY pest control.

Many pest control companies offer options that integrate less harmful tactics throughout their prevention and maintenance plans, resorting to chemical interaction only when all other options have been exhausted. A relationship with a company that performs preventive pest control will help you ensure that your need to rid your property of pests does not harm the natural environment.

3. Effectiveness

The ability to properly identify the insects, bugs or other pests that have invaded your home or property is critical for being able to get rid of them. Although many pests look the same to the untrained eye, pest control professionals are able to quickly identify which type of pest is causing problems and employ the most effective means to control them.

Read More: What You Should Know About a Professional Termite Inspection

Some types of pests require a treatment plan involving two or three phases, which a professional pest control company can schedule appropriately so that the pests as well as their eggs and larvae are all exterminated. From an effectiveness standpoint, many pest control companies stand behind their services and offer a guarantee for their work, taking expert care of your property until the problem is solved.

4. Financial Risks

Is DIY pest control actually cheaper? In many cases, it may not be. This is especially true if you mis-identify the type of pests you are dealing with and your first treatment doesn’t work. Mixing DIY treatments in the wrong way, or applying them improperly can be like pouring money into a pit—but the pests are still there!

While the initial investment may seem more expensive when hiring a professional, ultimately adding one product to another can pile up in DIY store receipts. A professional exterminator will be able to give you a quote for how much the service is expected to cost and how many treatments are necessary, depending on his professional expertise and inspection.

Hiring a professional pest exterminator means that most of the risk is assumed by the pest control company. Professionals have knowledge about chemicals that may be harmful to people, pets, or plants in a way that the instructions on the back of a DIY bottle cannot offer.

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