Homeowners generally pay $200 or more to establish new service with a pest control company – and then commit to recurring monthly or quarterly visits that cost another $30-$50+ for each visit. In all but the most unusual cases, any homeowner can fire thier exterminator and save several hundred dollars per year with a little research and a minimal amount of time.
All the chemicals used by pest control companies are available to the general public. The only reason that a license is required to do pest control is because it’s being done on someone elses property. No license is required to purchase and apply these same chemicals on your own property.
Don’t run to your local big box store and fill your cart with the pesticides they sell though. They are not the same chemicals used by the best commercial exterminators and will not get the job done.
Most pest control companies – including Orkin and Terminix – use Talstar for general pest control. Talstar is a broad spectrum pesiticide and will take care of most home invaders, as the label claims: Over 75 insects: Stink Bugs, Bed Bugs, Scorpions, Spiders, Mosquitoes, Cockroaches, Ticks, Fleas, Pillbugs, Chinch Bugs, Earwigs, Millipedes, Dichondra Flea Beetles, Spittlebugs and others.
Talstar is available on Amazon if you’re not able to find it locally. You won’t find it in any of the big home improvement stores.
A big jug of Talstar currently runs around $35. This is a concentrate so you’ll need to mix with water and use a separate sprayer. The directions on the label are easy to follow, but make sure you follow carefully. A single jug of Talstar will last more homeowners a year or longer.
Warning: Before you begin your pest control project, realize the products used are highly dangerous, cancerous, and can have other impacts (pets and children). You must use common sense and caution. Read the chemical labels and follow it down to the letter. If it tells you to wear certain protective gear, then wear it. It will also tell you how to apply it, how to mix it, and what it should never be used around. READ THE LABEL!! The label is literally “the law” as written by the Department of Agriculture.
A few tips we learned along the way…
Cockroaches: It’s best to use baits and gels for roaches rather than sprays. The most common baits recommended by the pros are Advion, followed closely by Vendetta Plus and Alpine.
Mosquitoes: Most importantly, remove any standing water if possible. Bird baths, buckets, tires, etc. Standing water is where they can lay their eggs and develop into mosquitoes. If you are going to treat the shrubbery around your house then you would need a special machine (essentially a blower that pumps out a mist). Removing stagnant water is the best course of action.
Bed Bugs: For bed bugs, a product called Steri-fab is recommended. Spray your mattress, couch, love seat, etc., including the underside. Also spray the bed frame, especially at the joints where the frame meets the headboard and footboard. Make sure you use a respirator. This stuff is extremely potent alcohol. Think of rubbing alcohol, but 99% pure. Additionally, use a product called “Delta Dust” on the inside of all wall outlets and switches. The baseboards will also need a good spray. After all of that is done, put some bed bug covers on every mattress.
Termites: We do not recommend that you attempt termite control on your own. Termite control is more complex than for other insects and the financial repercussions from a failed attempt could easily dwarf any savings from doing it yourself. Hire a reputable professional to prevent or treat termite infestations.