DIY: Take pest control and prevention into your own hands

Insect problems are more than just irritating - they can potentially pose serious risks

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Warm weather welcomes more than just outdoor barbeques, summer vacation and vegetable gardens - it brings back the pests that like to annoy us. Insect problems are more than just irritating - they can potentially pose serious risks. If you’re struggling to solve a pest problem in or around your home, and don’t want to pay for someone to solve it for you, there are DIY solutions that are effective and affordable.

"While not all insects are harmful, some, such as ticks, mosquitoes and fleas, can carry life-threatening diseases," says Larry Coltharp, director of insect control research and development with Black Flag, a leader in pest control solutions. "Some insects prefer building dangerous nests outside your home, while others find little voids to creep inside and then lay eggs in hidden areas around your house. This is when it can become a serious health threat to small children and pets, and becomes necessary to treat your house to remove these risks from your environment."

diy pest controlA new product from Black Flag, Extreme Home Insect Control, is ideal for DIYers looking to solve or prevent bug problems on their own, especially in today's tough economy. The Pump 'n Spray unit, available at Lowe's for around $16, offers an average savings of $100 versus calling a professional exterminator. It's simple to use and proven effective in killing 47 types of insects, both inside and outside of the home.

The new system creates a long-lasting perimeter of defense against bugs, notably up to nine months against German cockroaches. The 1.33-gallon Pump 'n Spray container requires just 12 to 15 pumps to produce up to 10 minutes of continuous spraying. Children, pets and adults can enter treated areas once the spray has fully dried.

For maximum protection against pests, Coltharp recommends applying the spray around the perimeter of your home, indoors and out. Prevention is the best solution - so spray all possible points of entry for insects, including doors, cracks, crevices and exterior windows. Don't forget to cover areas like the attic and garage.

Simple DIY tips for pest prevention

Here are some tips from Black Flag on how to deter a few common pests around your home:

Ants. Ants enter homes seeking food, moisture and shelter from extreme outdoor weather. To prevent ants from entering indoors, seal window frames and keep kitchen and food storage areas clean. Make sure sugar and honey items are stored in sealed containers. Remove garbage daily and inspect indoor potted plants, as they could be indoor nesting sites.

Spiders. Spiders can be found under furniture, inside boxes, closets, shoes and other secluded places. To reduce infestation, seal under outside doorways, clean the basement and closets and eliminate clutter to reduce habitats.

Roaches. Cockroaches hide in warm places where food and water is available. Keep kitchens and bathrooms sanitized and eliminate all food sources. Keep food sealed in containers, repair water leaks, use steel wool to close openings around pipes that penetrate walls, seal under outside doorways and around window frames. Use waterproof silicone caulking to seal cracks and crevices.

Yellow jackets. Most species of yellow jackets are attracted to meat products, as well as garbage cans and dumpsters. They are also attracted to fruit and soft drinks. Keep garbage cans sealed and remove food sources to reduce yellow jackets from over-populating. They often build nests in the ground, rodent holes, tree stumps and wall voids of buildings.

Mosquitoes. To prevent mosquitoes from entering the home, keep doors and windows closed and make sure window screens are in good condition. Outdoors, eliminate standing water which mosquitoes need to reproduce, such as in flower pots, old tires, ornamental ponds, children’s wading pools, buckets, pails and low areas in the lawn and garden. Mosquitoes are most active early morning and late evening.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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Keywords: pests, insects, home insect control, DIY pest control

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