Many people, including me, like to give do-it-yourself projects a try. Some of us may enjoy a new challenge and the satisfaction that comes from nailing it, while others of us may be looking to save money by tackling it ourselves. I don’t mind taking on a few simple tasks such as paint touch-ups or fixing a loose towel bar around my home, but there are other things I’m not willing to tackle. I draw the line at plumbing, electrical lines, and anything that requires me to climb a ladder.

Most people would agree that you don’t always need to call an exterminator. GASP. Yes, I really just said that. Honestly, we all know that most homeowners can take care of a single ant, bee, or ladybug they find in their home occasionally. However, if the problem becomes persistent and prolonged, most DIY methods of treatment can actually either make the problem worse or create brand new problems. Let’s look at a few examples we’ve encountered pretty recently at a few homes in Charlotte.

Rodent Control Gone Wrong

One homeowner in Charlotte chose to control rodents in his home by going the DIY route. In short, continuous rodent baiting inside the home actually led to much larger problems. Rodent baiting should always be considered a temporary or short-term fix, rather than the whole solution. The homeowner never actually excluded (or sealed up) openings to keep mice from entering the home, and the continuous baiting became a bandage for a much larger problem. Rodent exclusion requires a trained eye and a skilled hand, which is a professional pest control service our staff Wildlife Agent will gladly assess with you.

The rodents entering the home were now feasting on and stockpiling dog food in various places throughout the home including storage cases in closets and underneath built-in cabinets. Despite common DIY myths about rodent bait, the bait does not actually dehydrate them and makes the mice leave to seek water elsewhere. Rodents now began to die in various places throughout the home. You can read more about rodent control myths here.

The hidden dog food and decaying rodents now set the stage to create the perfect combination for secondary pests. Enter stage right: Carpet Beetles. Carpet Beetle larvae now had plenty to feed on: The hidden dog food and decaying rodent hair in wall voids. Maybe this should come with a “Do not read while eating lunch” warning at the top. Visuals aside, the carpet beetle larvae then developed a more mature palate. A taste that required the finer things in life: see expensive wool sweaters.

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