You have two main pest control options: DIY or professional. While DIY methods can be effective for prevention and smaller, less urgent pest problems, larger infestations may require the help of a professional pest control service.
To help you decide which approach is right for you, we’ve listed the pros and cons of each approach, as well as which pest control methods are best for DIY versus professional use.
Hiring a professional pest control company offers several advantages. Experienced exterminators have the training to identify the type of pest problem, locate the source of the infestation, and determine the most effective treatment method. They also have access to powerful, professional-grade products unavailable to the average homeowner.
Most professional pest control companies use an integrated pest management approach that combines multiple methods to address the root cause of the pest problem and prevent future infestations. They may also guarantee their work, providing peace of mind.
However, there are some potential downsides to using professional services, including the cost and potential chemical exposure. Professional pest control costs significantly more than DIY methods, particularly if your situation requires ongoing treatment. Additionally, some pest control companies use products that may pose risks to human health, pets, or the environment if not used properly.
Chemical treatments, including fumigation, should only be used by trained professionals. Heat treatments are also best left to the professionals.
DIY pest control methods can be effective for smaller pest problems and are generally more affordable than professional services. DIY approaches allow you to take action on your own schedule without having to wait for an appointment. Because DIY pest control solutions are meant to be used by regular homeowners—many of whom have pets and children—they tend to be safer and simpler than professional methods.
However, DIY pest control is not without its drawbacks. DIY methods may not be effective for large or persistent problems, and they may only provide temporary relief. Some DIY pest control methods may risk human health or the environment if used improperly.
Traps, physical barriers, and good hygiene are the best options for DIYers. Nontoxic repellents and diatomaceous earth can also work well.