DIY Pest Control: 3 Major Risks

DIY pest control - an insecticide fogger spraying in a room

DIY pest control may seem like a good way to save money, time, and unnecessary hassle: You don’t have to choose, pay or wait around for a professional exterminator. You can simply purchase some pesticide products at your local hardware store and you’re ready to go. However, DIY pest control carries significant downsides. If you’re considering this approach, you need to make sure you understand the downsides so you can take steps to mitigate the risks.

What Are the Risks of DIY Pest Control?

Do-it-yourself pest control carries several different risks, including the effects of overusing pesticides, killing beneficial insects, and wasting money on ineffective pest control products. Misuse of pesticides is the most common cause of illness and injury from pest control but you could also be injured by pests themselves, like getting bitten or stung while applying pesticide.

Here are the three categories of major DIY pest control risks: 

Pesticide Exposure

Exposure to pesticides can cause adverse health effects, even when used correctly. Improper use of pesticides may lead to chemicals leaking into water supplies, the soil, and possibly the air inside your home. Many DIY pest control chemicals have the potential to contaminate the ground around your home if not used properly. It’s important to read instructions carefully and use the right amount for the right job. 

For example, pesticides should be kept away from food and water supplies to avoid contaminating or poisoning people. When applying exterior treatments, oftentimes people forget that fish, frogs, and other animals may be living in or around their backyard ponds. If the product is applied too closely to that water source, it can be harmful to all species that are using it. 

Another common example of misapplication in DIY pest control is that homeowners forget to look for open windows while applying products on the exterior of the home, sometimes exposing those inside without realizing it. Pesticides should also be stored out of the reach of children and pets so they don’t come into contact with them. If you’re spraying pesticides inside a home, it’s crucial to ensure there’s adequate ventilation to allow the chemicals to dissipate. 

Health and Safety Issues

There are several potential health and safety issues to be aware of when undertaking do-it-yourself pest control. For example, you should always wear protective clothing and gloves when handling pesticides and other chemicals. Pregnant women and young children should avoid entering areas where pesticides have been used. You should also wear protective equipment like a mask and eye goggles when you are working in areas where there might be pests or rodents. This will reduce the risk of getting bitten, stung or sick. You should also clean up any mess that pests leave behind so they don’t attract more pests. Some pest droppings can contain harmful bacteria or roundworms that can cause serious illness. Proper sanitation of areas should be done carefully and after sufficient research, if you aren’t aware of the possible risks involved. 

Negligence

There are situations where you can be held negligent or liable for your pest control practices. If you spray pesticide in a stuffy room or trap pests in a building without proper safety precautions, you could cause significant harm to other people creating civil and possibly even criminal liability. This is doubly true if you’re trying to eradicate a species of pest that’s protected by law.

Some products require you to vacate the area after application and you need to ensure that no one would come in contact with that product for the proper amount of time. 

Conclusion

While DIY pest control could save you money and time, it also comes with considerable risk. If you’re not careful, you could make things worse by harming yourself or other people with pesticides or getting bitten or stung by the pests you’re trying to eliminate. Professional pest control specialists know how to find the pests on your property, where they are coming from, how they got in, and how to stop them. Plus, they are trained to find the reasons why the pests are there and offer methods of preventing further infestations. 

With the integrated pest management approach, your professional pest technician will also be looking for ways to improve your landscaping and other habitats around the home. This will help lead to less pest activity over time. When factoring all of this in, hiring a professional exterminator is more effective and more efficient than a DIY approach.

Professional Pest Control in the Memphis Metro Area

Inman-Murphy, Inc. has been providing affordable effective pest control services in the Mid-South metro area since 1999. Before you do it yourself, contact us for a free quote!

Common Late Summer Pests

A mosquito

You might think that the late summer means the end of the pest problems you’ve been facing since early spring, but some pests are made for these conditions. With the right amount of warmth and plenty of people participating in outdoor activities, many kinds of insects and animals can find a meal or a suitable place to stay. If you want to make sure that pests don’t take over the last month of your summer, you have to be consciously preventative in your routines. Read on to learn about pests to avoid in Mid-South TN‘s late summers with Inman-Murphy, Inc.!

Common Late Summer Pests in Mid-South TN

There really is no season in which you can avoid pest problems outright. The late summer is a deceptively pest-ridden season because we often think of late spring and early summer as being the most problematic. However, these pests stick around to capitalize on the lingering warmth:

  • Bees and wasps: Bees, wasps, and many other kinds of stinging insects take advantage of heightened outdoor human activity during the late summer. They will not hesitate to stop by your cookout for a free meal or build a hive in your yard for a consistent and close by food source.
  • Ticks: These parasitic pests thrive in the warmth and growth that sticks around into August and September. Walking through tall grass or dense vegetation could put you in tick trouble.
  • Wildlife: Wild animals, especially those that hibernate during the winter, are out and about all summer looking for food and safe places to stay. Raccoons, possums, and squirrels are common offenders in the late summers here in Mid-South TN.
  • Mosquitoes: If mosquitoes are able to develop a consistent breeding population around your property, they can remain a serious nuisance all the way until temperatures drop below 50°F.

Preventing Pests in the Late Summer

While it should be stressed that severe pest infestations should always be taken care of by an expert, there are a few pertinent strategies you can try on your own to keep pest presence on your property at a minimum. Try the following:

  1. Keep a tidy yard: Trimming your trees and shrubs, quickly disposing of grass clippings and piles of vegetation, and decluttering in general will all discourage pests from looking for shelter in your yard.
  2. Look for cracks: Check around the outside of your home and structures on your property regularly for openings in roofing, siding, foundation, or around windows.
  3. Guard your trash: taking out your garbage regularly and using sealable lids on your outdoor trash bins can prevent many kinds of pests — most notably, wildlife.
  4. Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so covering up or pouring out any that you find around your yard can cause mosquitoes to look elsewhere to breed and feed.

Expert Help with Summer Pests

If you think you’ve done everything you can to prevent pests without success, it’s time to reach out to your local exterminators. We are proud to employ only licensed, certified, and highly trained technicians here at Inman-Murphy, Inc.. Our pest experts have seen every kind of problem that develops in our area, so we can efficiently and effectively put together a plan to eliminate pest presence and keep your property pest-free for good. Contact us today for a free quote!

Keeping Bees and Wasps Away Naturally

A bee hovers in front of a puple bellflower

If you’re spending time outside in the summer, you probably aren’t alone: wasps and bees are active in the summer in the Memphis Metro. A run-in with wasps or bees can be annoying, painful or even cause a serious allergic reaction. But how can you keep wasps and bees away without loading up on bug spray? Read on to learn how to naturally repel bees and wasps while you’re outdoors this summer!

Which Plants Attract Bees and Wasps? 

Since bees and wasps are pollinators, it’s no surprise they’re attracted to flowering plants. Here are some species of plants that bees and/or wasps are particularly fond of: 

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Honeysuckle
  • Lantana
  • Lilacs
  • Perennial Yarrow
  • Poppies
  • Pale Purple Coneflower
  • Sweet Fennel
  • Wisteria
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Sedum
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunflowers

If any of these plants are growing near your home, consider relocating them further away on your property. Especially if they’re close to an outdoor space that you use often. 

Which Plants Repel Bees and Wasps?

Just because they’re pollinators doesn’t mean bees and wasps like all flowering plants. The scent of the following plants repel bees and wasps:

  • Basil
  • Citronella
  • Geraniums
  • Marigolds
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Thyme
  • Wormwood

Just as moving plants that attract stinging insects helps keep them away from your home, so does adding plants that repel them. Particularly, if they’re near outdoor spaces like patios. 

Stinging Insects and Food

Whether it’s barbecues, picnics or s’mores, eating outside is a quintessential part of summer. This can be an issue because stinging insects are attracted to food. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the chance that an uninvited guest with a stinger will ruin your outdoor eating experience:

  • Pack up and throw away food and trash as soon as possible after finishing. 
  • When you put food or food-soiled trash in a trash can, close the lid securely.
  • Wasps love sugary drinks. Close or cover your beverage to keep them out.

Bees and wasps are attracted to many types of foods and ingredients. However, like with plants, there are some food items that repel stinging insects, including: 

  • Bay Leaves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Garlic
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Vinegar

Since these can be found in most grocery stores and are inexpensive (often less expensive than a store-bought insect spray), they make a practical all-natural pest repellent. Just pour, slice or sprinkle them into a container that you keep near you or your outdoor space.

How to Keep Bees & Wasps Away with Essential Oils

A more portable and less passive way to keep stinging insects away naturally is to make a pest repellent spray using essential oils. Bees and wasps dislike the smell of these essential oils:

  • Citronella oil
  • Clove oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Geranium oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Rosemary oil

Simply combine essential oil and water at a ratio of two drops of essential oil per ounce of water to make a natural insect repellent. Pour the mixture it in a spray bottle and you’re all set. 

Best Bee and Wasp Exterminators in the Memphis Metro

Natural pest repellents can help keep wasps or bees away from your home. However, they won’t be enough to deal with a serious infestation. In that case, you may need to hire a local exterminator to get rid of the bees or wasps on your property. Inman-Murphy has been providing exterminator services in the Memphis Metro since 1999. If you’re looking for safe, effective bee, wasp and hornet removal, call us today for a free quote!

Best Ways to Avoid a Wasp Sting

Wasps building their nest

Wasps have developed a bad reputation around Mid-South TN. Although some people think of wasps as bees’ unproductive and temperamental cousins, these insects are actually very important pollinators and even better at controlling populations of agricultural pests. They’ve earned the right to get a bit defensive if you mess with their nests! The more unfortunate of us know what it’s like to be stung by wasps repeatedly, even when you’ve done nothing intentional to disrupt their business. If you’re wondering what you can do to prevent wasp stings, read on for advice from the expert wasp control technicians at Inman-Murphy, Inc.

Avoiding Wasp Stings

The most effective way to avoid wasp stings is to keep wasps from building nests in your yard in the first place. Here are a few ways you can do this on your own without any pest control products or experience:

  • Be careful with your food. Don’t leave out sweet or protein-rich foods and drinks for too long.
  • Toss your food, containers, and drinks in sealable bins
  • Maintain your yard to keep overgrown grass, plants, and trees from providing prime nesting sites.

If wasps have already started building nests in your yard, you have to be careful not to make yourself a target for stings. Here are some ways we recommend you protect yourself from them: 

  • Be cautious around their nests. Moving slowly and carefully will lessen your chances of stings
  • Stay still if a wasp flies up to you to check you out
  • Don’t swat at wasps. They will quickly become angered and signal to their friends for help
  • If running away is your last resort, do so in a straight line without waving your arms.

How to Deal with a Wasp Sting

It can be easier than we would like to accidentally anger a wasp. Sometimes, they’ll sneak up on you and sting you without any prior warning. Here’s how you can ease your symptoms if you’ve been stung:

  1. Make a cold compress using an ice pack or a rag soaked in cold water
  2. Take ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever
  3. Use an antihistamine to help with swelling around the site of the sting

If you or someone else starts to experience faintness, difficulty breathing, nausea, or swelling of the face and mouth after a sting, call an ambulance right away. These are common symptoms of anaphylaxis, a serious form of allergic reaction. 

Removing Wasp Nests in Mid-South TN

It might be tempting, but you should never try to remove a wasp nest on your own. Wasp nests often host more individuals than you would imagine, so disturbing their nest can lead to a barrage of stings. Instead, reach out to your local wasp nest removal experts. Our technicians at Inman-Murphy, Inc. are trained in multiple methods of effective, harmless wasp removal. We can assess your situation to find the reasons that wasps are nesting and help you prevent further construction in the future. For a free quote, contact us today!

Rain in April Attracts Pests

A tick found in Millington TN - Inman-Murphy, Inc.

It can seem impossible to keep pests out of your yard (and even your home) when spring comes around. Do you know why that is? There are many factors that play into spring being the season that all kinds of pests thrive, but rainfall is one of the most important contributors. Every year, the rainfall brings about conditions for a few particular pests to exploit, and we are the ones that have to take precautionary measures against them. If you’re looking for DIY spring pest control advice for rain bugs, read on to learn from our expert exterminators at Inman-Murphy, Inc!

What Pests Does a Rainy Spring Bring?

A rainy spring leads to many benefits that pests around the Memphis Metro area use to their advantage. There are a few kinds of pests in particular that thrive after a rainy spring:

  1. Mosquitoes: The more rainfall in spring, the more mosquitoes will be bothering you during the summer. This is because mosquitoes breed in standing water, no matter the size of the source, so an abundance of rainwater pools will allow them to proliferate in peace and grow their numbers quickly.
  2. Fleas and ticks: Fleas and ticks get by by hiding in foliage, waiting until an animal that they can feed on walks by. These parasitic pests take advantage of ample plant growth after rainy springs to find perfect hiding places, which might be in your yard.
  3. Beetles: While a rainy spring makes our gardens flourish, it also gives all kinds of beetles opportunities for easy sustenance supplies.
  4. Fire ants: Fire ants and many other kinds of ants burrow in soil to grow their colonies, so a rainy spring will provide them with optimal soil texture for expansion.
  5. Termites: Sometimes called rain flies, termite swarmers come out during rainy springs to take advantage of water-damaged wood.

What Can I Do Post-Rainfall to Prevent Pests?

A rainy spring can lead to pest problems both indoors and outdoors. Here are some measures that you must take to ensure your property is protected from spring pests:

  • Seal cracks and gaps: Gaps around your doors and windows can be closed off with screens and weather stripping, and cracks in your walls or foundation can be sealed with a silicone-based caulk.
  • Clean your gutters: Leaves and other natural debris can build up in your gutters, leading to overflows that cause moisture problems or pools of standing water that attract mosquitoes to breed.
  • Prevent pooling water: Whether inside in your kitchen and bathroom or outside around your garden and patio, pooling water will always bring out thirsty bugs, so keep an eye out!

Help With Spring Pest Control

If your yard is riddled with pests every spring, it’s time to reach out to your local pest control company. The exterminators at Inman-Murphy, Inc. are well-versed in springtime pest problems around Millington TN. We train our team to conduct property-wide inspections, determining the reasons for your infestation, applying pertinent pest control products safely and efficiently, and teaching you how to avoid pests on your own going forward. Reach out today for a free estimate!

How to Prevent Winter Flies

Fruit fly in Millington TN home - Inman-Murphy, Inc.

Most people associate flies with the heat of the summer, especially here in Tennessee. Having flies infest your home is never fun, and they can confuse many homeowners when they are indoors during the middle of the winter. Believe it or not, flies are a common winter pest—and they’re seeking shelter inside your home for a reason.

From fruit flies to cluster flies, it’s important to learn what might be attracting these winter pests to your home in order to prevent them. Read more to learn everything you need to know about getting rid of winter flies in your property once and for all!

Common Winter Flies In Your Home

There are two flies that are typical culprits in your home during the winter: cluster flies and fruit flies. Here’s what you should know about these nuisance pests:

  1. Cluster flies
    • Big, dark gray flies with yellow hairs on their thorax and overlapping wings
    • Commonly found around windows, basements, or attics
    • Group together in dark, secluded areas to go into diapause or hibernation
    • Begin to re-emerge in the spring or on warmer days to regain heat and energy
  2. Fruit flies
    • Tiny flies that are light in color with big red eyes
    • Commonly found in kitchens or warm, moist areas like your trash or drains
    • Lay eggs in rotting fruit, food, or plant material
    • Often get indoors by hiding inside grocery bags

How to Prevent Flies This Winter

Fruit and cluster flies are common winter pests because like most pests, they cannot survive the cold temperatures outside. While cluster flies won’t reproduce in your property, fruit fly infestations can rapidly grow in size and become a real nuisance. The key to avoiding dealing with these pests is to prevent them in the first place. Here’s how to get rid of common winter fly problems:

  1. To get rid of cluster flies, it’s important to seal off your home in the fall months. This means sealing off cracks and crevices around the property. It’s especially important to seal up windows and doors, as these flies tend to access homes under baseboards and window frames.
  2. To get rid of fruit flies, it’s best to wipe out potential food and shelter sources. Always promptly throw away rotting food from your pantry or fridge. Take your garbage outside regularly and use tight-fitting lids on your cans. Lastly, focus on sealing cracks and crevices around windows and doors near your kitchen.

Need Help Getting Rid of Flies in Your Memphis Area Home?

If you have a fly infestation in your property this winter, it’s best to contact your local fly control experts for advice. At Inman-Murphy, Inc., we work hard to reduce the conditions in your home that could contribute to a fly infestation in the first place. Contact us today to learn more!