Spring is an exciting time, especially when you live in a region where the winters are long and can seem to last forever. It’s a time for birth, regrowth and renewal. The sun emerges, the rain comes, and all is washed new in preparation for the warm weather ahead, and that welcomed time outdoors. Many of us are cleaning our homes, ridding of things we no longer need, and making small repairs. Along with the clearing and renewal, we also see the re-appearance of some “not so invited” things too. The spring is prime time for the re-emergence of ants and beetles, and we often times see them in our homes at this time. While professional treatments done in the fall will easily prevent us from having to deal with these issues, those of us who have forgotten are feeling the need to take action now.
So many people inquire about the best ways to rid of the spring pests that begin to plague our homes, and want to know the most effective ways of taking care of them. It’s a popular desire to want to take care of ants or beetles on your own…hoping for a simple solution to the annoying issue. The most popular questions are typically regarding what type of baits or chemicals are best to rid of these critters. The simple answer is this:
Inexpensive baits, found in the stores that are available to the public are largely ineffective, and can cause more frustration than the problem itself. Instead of helping the problem diminish, they actually exacerbate it. The chemicals are so weak that they may kill a very small portion of the population, but as ants carry the poison back to the colony, they leave behind trails, leading others to the bait, and encouraging them to set out to look for more “food”. While it’s likely that the chemicals may be enough to kill a few, there is not enough of it, and it’s not strong enough to do any real damage. When the ants that follow the trails that the others have left, are led to the bait traps, and find that there is not enough there for them, they head out to other parts of your home in search of more food to carry back to the colony. They are now in search until they find what they’re looking for, and are likely to invade your cupboards, or anywhere else they can find a food source.
The other, much more effective option that is available to the public, and can help to rid of the problem is a product called Ortho Home Defense. While Ortho uses quality chemicals, and seems to be an effective product, it also has some downfalls. Ortho suggests spraying one foot up and one foot our around the perimeter of your home (outdoors), as well as spraying the interior of your home, while the most effective use is to spray two feet up and two feet out around the outdoor perimeter of your home. The rate of effectiveness of this product isn’t in question, but the issue arises when you begin to add up the price of proper and effective coverage. At $10-$15 per gallon, by the time you spray inside and around the perimeter of your home; depending on the size of your home, this method can become very expensive, likely costing you anywhere from $150-$200 to complete the project. The price, coupled with having to personally handle the chemicals, and the labor to get the job done, ends up being an undertaking that most don’t want to dive into.
While there are ways to try to combat the issue of the common springtime pests of ants and beetles (Asian lady beetles/ladybugs) on your own, often times they are ineffective, or costly. Hiring a professional pest control service is typically the most cost effective as well as physically effective choice for pest control. While calling a professional service when the problem actually arises is going to be effective in ridding of the problem, the least stressful way of dealing with these springtime annoyances is to plan ahead, and schedule a fall treatment. A fall treatment will prevent the problem from occurring in the springtime, and allow you to enjoy all of the beauty that spring has to offer!