We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

When to Use Professional vs. DIY Pest Control

A pest control expert treats for bugs indoors.

Dealing with pests in your home is always an unwelcome experience. Whether it’s ants prowling your counters, mice snacking in your pantry, or mosquitoes buzzing around your backyard, finding effective pest control solutions is essential to homeowner life.

When faced with a pest infestation, you may find yourself pondering whether to take the do-it-yourself pest control route or enlist the help of professional pest control services. To help you weigh your options, LifeSavvy spoke with Orkin, an American pest control company, to find out.

Professional vs DIY Pest Control—How to Decide

Gathering of cockroaches on a cardboard box

Pest control is a gnawing issue that no homeowner wants to deal with…but it’s crucial to act fast. According to Orkin, any sign of pest activity in your home is an indicator that pest control is necessary.

But to DIY it or call in a pro? Here are some things you should consider when making your decision:

Extent of the Infestation

DIY pest control methods may be sufficient if you’re dealing with a minor issue, such as a few ants getting too close to your door or a single mouse sighting. There are numerous over-the-counter products available—such as sprays, traps, and baits—that can effectively address small-scale problems.

However, if you’re concerned you may be facing more involved pest problems or a repeating issue, you may want to consider professional assistance seriously.

According to Orkin, you should watch for signs of pest activity to know when to call in a professional.

“Shredded cardboard, paper, insulation, or rodent droppings typically signal a pest presence,” said Orkin. “Hollowed-out wood could mean termites or wood-boring beetles have moved in.”

Not only that, but small brown stains on your walls, baseboards, or floors could be signs of bedbugs.

Also, be sure to watch your backyard.

“Holes located in the ground alongside concrete slabs or the foundation could mean rats, groundhogs, or some other animal have constructed a subterranean den under the house,” said Orkin.

Any of these signs are reason enough to call in professional help.

Feeke Mouse Traps

Mouse traps are a form of DIY pest control that certainly work in your favor.

Safety Concerns

DIY pest control methods vary. They might involve the use of natural ingredients that aren’t harmful, but they often include highly toxic chemicals and pesticides that can be hazardous if handled improperly.

If you have children, pets, or individuals with respiratory issues in your household, it’s essential to prioritize their safety. Professionals are trained in the safe and responsible use of pesticides. They know how to apply them in a way that minimizes risks to humans and the environment.

Working with a professional pest control service is your safest option when dealing with toxic chemicals.

Time and Effort

DIY pest control requires time and effort on your part. It involves researching the pests so you know what to look for and how to treat them properly. It also involves dealing with nasty pests, which is gross.

While this approach can be cost-effective in certain situations, it can also be time-consuming and may not yield the desired results if not executed properly.

Professional pest control services save you both time and effort. The professionals have the knowledge and experience necessary to assess the situation, develop a tailored plan, and execute it efficiently.

FVOAI Bug Zapper Outdoor

This bug zapper uses blue-violet light to attract bugs and other pests.

Benefits of Professional Pest Control

A person is spraying for pests around bushes outdoors.

There are many benefits to trusting professionals to handle your pest issues.

“Pest control professionals can help reduce the pests that can cause diseases, minimizing the chance of a disease being contracted by you or your family,” said Orkin.

This includes anything from mosquito control to rodent trapping. Orkin also explained that even though professional pest control might sound expensive, regular professional pest control saves you money in the long run.

“The cost of one emergency pest treatment can far outweigh the price of regular pest management,” said Orkin. “This is especially true when dealing with pests that multiply quickly, like cockroaches and termites.”

Essentially, you’re better off handling problems as you go rather than waiting till it’s a big issue to act.

Additionally, trustworthy pest control companies like Orkin consider your pets and children before they treat them for pests. At Orkin, homeowners and pets are encouraged to stay inside during a pest treatment and then are free to roam once all the treated areas are dry.

When trusting professionals to tackle your pests, you can live worry-free, knowing everything is handled safely and properly.

“While some DIY pest control methods work (to an extent), professional services are much more effective in helping eliminate pests—and regular treatment will help keep them from coming back,” said Orkin.

Mighty Mint - 16oz Insect and Pest Control Peppermint Oil

If you're looking for a more natural pest-repelling spray, this peppermint oil will have those critters running.

Benefits of DIY Pest Control

While DIY pest control has its downsides, there are some situations where it can help.

If you’re on an extremely tight budget, some DIY pest control methods may be more affordable for you than hiring professionals. You can save on service fees and handle the occasional pest sighting. Keep in mind, though, that serious infestations still require professional attention.

Another benefit of DIY pest control is the flexibility. You can address the problem on your schedule and adapt the treatment methods to your specific needs…as long as you’re certain you’re tackling each pest problem correctly.

If attempting DIY pest control, it’s crucial to research and follow instructions carefully. Using incorrect products or methods can be ineffective and may even exacerbate the problem.

The decision between professional pest control and DIY methods depends on various factors. However, your best bet is to reach out for professional support because, yes, it’s worth it. Remember: the professionals have the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle the most challenging pest problems and ensure your home remains pest-free.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on one thing: making your life outside of work even better. Want to know more?