We receive dozens of calls every week from home and business owners who have attempted over-the-counter or homemade remedies for eradicating pests. It can be a frustrating process of trial-and-error, especially in Nevada where the bugs are desert-tough. So while the home or business owner may have made a real attempt at eradicating whatever pest has been bugging them, it simply hasn’t work and they concede defeat – and call in the pros.

This article looks at over-the-counter solutions to common pest problems as well as debunking some of the common Internet-fueled homemade remedies for pests that, more often than not, simply don’t work.


Over the Counter Pest Control – What You Need to Know

If you’re running to Home Depot or Lowes for chemicals to rid yourself of pests, we have compiled some important rules to always follow. Here’s our best advice on over the counter pest control products:

  • First, never forget that the chemical sprays you’re using are highly toxic. Wear a mask or other protective gear, and if spraying outside, please gauge which way the wind is blowing before spraying. You do not want to wind up with a face full of chemicals!
  • Second, please read and carefully follow the label. Don’t assume that doubling the dose will work twice as fast or double the effectiveness.
  • We always recommend the ready-made products first. Mixing toxic chemicals is something that is better left to professionals.
  • Make sure you never use outdoor chemicals inside the home and always keep poison baits away from children and pets.

When used properly, on a small intermittent pest problem, some of the over the counter remedies can work. But some people prefer a do-it-yourself method that is “less toxic” than store-bought chemicals. Do these methods really work?

Homemade Pest Control – What Doesn’t Work

There are all kinds of fake news stories on the Internet. Some of them have to do with all-natural pest control. We’ve pulled some of our favorites to validate whether this approach actually works:

  • Peppermint oil does not get rid of spiders. If you spray peppermint oil on a spider web, the spider may not like it, but this won’t deter them from heading to another corner of your home to make a new web.
  • Bay leaves actually work to keep pests out of flour and rice or other dry goods. You can tape the bay leaves on the outside of the canisters, put them inside the container, or lay them on the pantry shelf.
  • If you’re putting out mouse traps, skip the cheese; mice think peanut butter is delicious. Just be ready to deal with the aftermath.
  • Have you heard the one about sprinkling grits on the counter to eliminate ants?  It’s a tale commonly told in the south, but the truth is that the ants love carrying the grits back to the nest for lunch.
  • Diatomaceous Earth does work! If you haven’t heard about this natural substance, and you’re into organics, click here to read more about the substance that helps kill soft-bodied insects. The bad news is that DE is messy and certainly won’t work on a lot of the hard-bodied insects that live in the desert – like scorpions.

If you’re a do-it-yourself pest eradicator and are struggling to keep things under control, contact Preventive Pest for a more consistent pest eradication program designed by professionals to last long-term.