Picture this: Summer is coming. The sun is shining, and the flowers are growing… and so is your pest problem. If you live in a place where temperatures rise in the summer months, you might have even noticed increased creepy-crawly activity already.
But no need to bug out — with a little help from the experts, you can get your pest problem under control in time to enjoy sunshine season. For a few pro tips on how to control unwanted guests in and around your home, we tapped Ian Williams, BCE, CWCP, PCQI, technical services manager at Orkin®, a leader in pest management for more than 120 years.
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As an Orkin Pro, Williams is laying out the most common mistakes he sees people make when it comes to at-home infestations — plus the solutions that'll help you manage them the right way. The bottom line? "A lot of problems can be prevented with education and simple changes in behavior," he says. So jot these blunders down and get ready to enjoy the sunshine season, totally pest-free.
1. Ignoring your pest problem
Williams' first word of advice? If you spot a pest in or around your home, don't ignore it. Generally, infestations don't go away without treatment — in fact, they usually get worse when left unattended, and that's especially true in the spring and summer.
It's not all grim, though: There are simple ways you can prepare your space for pests before a problem arises. Williams recommends consistently maintaining any landscaping you might have, securing your garbage in lidded bins inside and outside your home, and keeping up with basic home-maintenance projects like painting and caulking to ensure pests don't have easy access indoors.
"It's always easier, and cheaper in the long run, to fix a problem before it is a problem," Williams says. So don't turn your cheek when you spot an unwanted guest — schedule an inspection with a member of Orkin's experienced team, who will take an integrated approach to pest control that's educational, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly.
2. Treating your pest problem with the latest trend
It's tempting to immediately turn to Google for answers to all your pest-management questions, but be wary of what you read, Williams says. Trying to treat a pest issue with the latest online trend is a mistake he sees people make all too often.
According to Williams, "there is a lot of misinformation and 'snake oil' products out there that may help but can sometimes hurt a pest problem and make it more difficult to manage down the line." Instead, stick to tried-and-true solutions from trusted experts like Orkin.
As a pest-management pioneer for more than a century, "[Orkin] provides a detailed inspection of the home and a step-by-step plan of attack to rid your home of pests," Williams says. And with customized management plans, you can address your specific priorities in a way that will get to the bottom of your problem now and get proactive about preventing future pest problems.
3. Overapplying traditional pesticides
Alongside the method of pest management you choose (reminder: don't opt for the latest fad), the amount of pesticides you apply is key. Williams cautions against overuse — and that's especially important in warmer months when pest prevalence is higher.
"Pesticides carry labels that detail how, where, and how often each product can be applied," he says. "Some products can be dangerous to humans and pets if overapplied or misapplied, and others will actually counteract other products and ultimately not control the pest."
Leaning on the experts is the simplest way to avoid this mistake, Williams says. And when you make an appointment with a trained Orkin professional, you can put any fears of improper treatment to rest. "We know and appreciate how stressful and scary dealing with a pest issue can be, and we are here to help you and your family enjoy your home again." So schedule an inspection and say hello to a pest-free summer.