Pest Control Gimmicks

Posted by Mark A. Puglisi, ACE on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 @ 10:16 AM

Ultrasound, Owls and Apples are just three of these "gimmicks"

Ultrasound pest repeller






As a professional exterminator and Entomologist for 32 years I see lots of pest control gimmicks out there that people try before contacting a professional.  Some of these methods have cost clients their health and in a few cases their lives. Sure pesticides are available from your local pharmacy, grocery store, and yes, the Internet, but home use pesticides are scary for most without proper training. Many on the Internet are no longer legal to use, yet they continue to sell them.  Remember the Chinese Chalk?  This stuff is extremely toxic and a huge health concern, but still a bargain at $1.

There are lots of alternative items to choose from like some slick, late night infomercial offering some “plug and Play” ultra sound device that guarantees that you will never see another bug or critter again, or maybe a 3 pack of those cute little

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  plastic owls

that will surly scare the bravest of all pigeons. So you rush to the phone or Internet and order the latest and greatest bug remedy and run out to the mailbox when it arrives.

Snake oil salesmen have been around forever, promising a safer solution to all your pest issues.  Well I am here to tell you… Save your money!!  The only thing that will be gone is your hard earned money.   Yes, I am going to say it, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  There are many reasons why these items don’t work as promised. If you moved next to a train station after living in the country and found that that train wakes you up every night for a week, then what happens?  You can’t sleep without the noise. Insects and nuisance animals adjust just as we do to our environment. Take this picture of the owl that was purchased to scare away birds.  I have many pictures of this same scenario.  Birds don’t scare from landing next to a rock that doesn’t do anything but sit there. Ultra sound devices have been sold by the millions because it sounds (no pun intended) like a good idea at the time, and who could ignore all those testimonials.  However, there is a lack of scientific proof that these devices have any valid evidence to confirm the claims of effectiveness.  Hedge apples fans claim that these fruits will scare away spiders and other pests, yet there again is an absence of scientific research and therefore no valid evidence to confirm these claims. It is true that many fruits and plants, even other insects have compounds that repel pests, but there is nothing magical about hedge apples to recommend the use for pest control.

Pest control gimmicks

You won’t become a master mechanic because you bought a 562 piece Craftsman set of tools. You have to know what to do with them. Insect biology is your key to controlling pests, pesticides if required is just one tool to help you.   

Even if you can get your hands on professional products, they don't come with the most important item...Knowledge of use. You have to know what your doing based on the mode of action, biology, and the pest habits. I have seen some of the best home products get a nose turned up when I ask "how did that work for you?"  I could see their choice of placement was incorrect or the amount of the product was not properly applied, the results are typically poor at best. 

As an industry we are required (in California) to meet continuing education requirements every 3 years in order to keep out licenses active.  The home pest control market is dwindling because many home use products are improperly used.   We are here to help you with your pest challenges. Don't risk your families safety to save a buck, it just isn't worth it.


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Tags: Pest control gimmicks, ultrasound devices