DIY Organic Pest Control Treatments
Where some go down the track of organic environmentally friendly pest treatment, they usually try to give it a go themselves; the reason for this is because these types of organic pest control products are available for the general public to buy without the need of a pest control license.
So Do They Work?
This is the million dollar questions isn’t it, do the environmentally friendly products actually work, In theory, yes they do work, but at what expense, and I’m not talking about a dollar value here more time management point of view.
If you wish to try and get rid of pests around the home using organic products then you will have to resign yourself to the fact that they just won’t provide the same sort of protection as conventional products will.
I had a customer call me and ask about my pest treatment, so what it was we did for the money and the type of products that we would use, she also explained to me that the last time she had had her house treated was about 6 months ago, and it was treated with an organic product.
I didn’t go too much into detail about the product that was used or if she had hired the services of a professional Brisbane pest control company to do the job, all I know is that she wasn’t happy with the results from the treatment.
Now without knowing all the facts about the job and how much was mixed and to what areas it was applied etc., it’s very hard to have an opinion on this and unfortunately when I arrived to do the job, which was only down the road from me in the suburb of Belmont, the customer couldn’t remember the product that was used as her husband normally sorts out all the pest control issues.
But I do know that she didn’t want me to use any organic pest control products, which I did give the option of.
What Treatment Do We Do?
The treatment we ended up doing is a general internal and external pest control, this is a four-step process, we start off by doing the inside and out spraying using an approved insecticide, after this is done we then blow a dust into the roof void to help prevent all manner of pests from cockroaches, silverfish, lice, mites, spiders.
After the roof dusting we then apply some of the same product used in the roof to the underneath of appliances such as fridge, microwave, oven, dishwasher and also into any cracks and crevices around the home, then we apply some cockroach gels or baits into the wet areas like the kitchen and bathrooms, the gels are very good as they have a very long lifespan, and will easily last 12 months, so enough time to get you around to your next pest control treatment.
What Are The Products?
Let’s start with the organic products and remember you can buy these from a supplier which I will give the deals of at the end of this blog, and attempt to do the treatments yourself at a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional pest control company.
Organic Pest Control Products
So one such product that can be used is Diatomaceous Earth or DE as it’s known, this is a natural soft rock that’s ground down to varying grades, there are two kinds of this product and it’s important you choose the correct one for the safety of your family.
The two different types are freshwater DE and saltwater DE, the one to avoid is the saltwater one as this holds large amounts of crystalline silica, which can cause lung problems, so it’s best to stay away from this.
The one you need is the food grade DE this is suitable for human consumption, although some people do eat this stuff; personally, I wouldn’t recommend it as you just never know.
The other organic pest control products many people have used to try and eliminate pests is Boric Acid. Now some say this is not harmful to humans, but others say it is, as far as I’m concerned any product that will kill another living thing, whether it is human or not. I would be using protective gear as it’s just not worth the risk, especially if you’re spraying this product around a lot.
For those that want to spray organic pest control products, it’s going to have to be done a lot more than using a commercial product. That’s just one of the trade-offs with going down the environmental path towards pest control. At the end of the day, it would be good if they were as good as the commercial products but they just aren’t.
Now that’s not saying I don’t like them or would not use them, if a customer wants me to use environmentally friendly insecticides then I’m more than happy to, but they need to understand that there are limitations with them, and this is something that I explain to my customers so that they can make an informed decision.
Commercial Products For Pest Control
So now we come to the commercial products that most professional pest companies use in their businesses, I’ll only explain about the ones that I personally use here at sunnystate.
The three I have been using for some time now is Biflex Aqua and Termidor, these are the two liquid insecticides and are also used for controlling subterranean termites, the third is Permethrin dust and the active ingredients and labels for all are as follows:
- Biflex Aqua Max – (Active is Bifenthrin) (pyrethroid insecticide) (The Label)
- Termidor – (Active is Fipronil) (The Label)
- Permethrin Dust (Active Permethrin) (The Label)
You can click the links above to go to a page that will give full information on each of these products, happy reading.
So Are They Safe
Are they a carcinogen this is what everyone wants to know and the answer is yes, but let’s put that into perspective, Bifenthrin is a pyrethroid insecticide which is an organic compound it’s classed as a category C (possible human carcinogen) and let’s not forget these products are designed to kill and help control tiny insects at low mix rates, not the body mass of a person, but having said that they still need to be treated with care, and when applying bifenthrin all protective gear should be used, for more information click on the links above.
Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide this product is used mainly for controlling subterranean termites but is also used for the control of ants around the home by most pest control technicians.
Fipronil has a much better residual effect once dry compared to bifenthrin which can break down relatively quickly especially when exposed to sunlight or inclement weather conditions, but bifenthrin has an excellent fast knockdown, it will kill or at least start to kill insects on contact, whereas fipronil is designed to take a bit longer, the reason for this is to try and gain colony control, especially in the case of termites, it gives the host enough time to get back to the nest without the host knowing it has the chemical on them, in turn passing the product throughout the entire colony and wiping them out.
Both products are a water-based solution and work very well when soaked into the ground as in the case of a termite soil barrier treatment. The mix rates for general pest control treatments for everyday household pests are very low.
For instance Biflex Aqua we would mix 50mls of the concentrate into 10 litres of water and for Termidor we would mix 60mls into 10 litres of water, so as you can see the amount of actual active chemical is very low, and with both products once they are dry they would cause no harm to your family or pets.
Both Termidor and Biflex aqua are odourless, so in most instances, the customer doesn’t even know we have sprayed, unless they have been at the property at the time of the treatment and watched it being done.
So as far as the question goes are they safe, for me yes provided they are used by a competent person in the pest control industry.
Other Products We Use
The other products we use are permethrin and then some different ant and cockroach gels or baits, the gels and baits are of no real concern as they are placed into areas where you wouldn’t even see them unless we were to show you, and they are applied using a very small syringe, each location would only have a piece the size of a match head.
Permethrin comes in the form of a dust for pest controllers and is applied using an electric blower for roof voids and a small puffer for under appliances, it is also a medication used to treat scabies, it can be applied as a lotion to the skin, so this product is classed as very safe to use around the home, but again as explained earlier protective clothing should always be used, especially when dealing with it a lot.
The main thing to remember for those that want to use organic pest control products is that they won’t stand up to the elements as well as commercial products will. This means more treatments will have to be done during the year to keep pests at bay. Another important point for the DIYer is, just because they are organic pest control products it doesn’t mean you don’t need protective clothing while spraying. Whenever spraying for pests or even weeds around a house always wear protective clothing.
I do hope this has helped you make the decision about the type of pest treatment you would prefer for your home, and don’t forget you can click on the links above to read up more about these products.
Updated 13/01/2019 By Jason Neale