DIY Pest Control: Dangers and Downsides

Man in hardware store looking at pesticides

At first glance, it may seem like DIY pest control is an easy way to save money, time, and unnecessary hassle: Why bother contacting and waiting around for a professional exterminator when you can simply purchase some pesticide products at your local hardware store? It’s good in theory – perhaps too good to be true. If you’re considering this approach, you need to make sure you understand the downsides involved so you can take measures to minimize the risk to yourself, your family, and your home. 

What Are the Risks of DIY Pest Control?

Do-it-yourself pest control isn’t as easy as applying some chemical solution and suddenly being free of pests. There are many risks that come with it, such as overusing pesticides, killing beneficial insects, or just wasting money on useless products. And there’s a significant chance of illness or injury – both from misuse of chemicals and bites and stings from aggravated insects. Even something like a bug zapper, a seemingly user-friendly pest control medium, can pack a painful electric shock if improperly installed. Pesticides are not meant to be handled lightly. If you do want to try a hands-on approach before calling a professional, it’s vital you follow the guidelines on the label and read the instructions to minimize risks.


Few people consider the legal ramifications of DIY pest control when they’re faced with an insect or rodent infestation. Nevertheless, it’s important to know that there are situations where you can be held negligent or liable for your pest control practices. What does that mean? It differs on the circumstances. It could be that you sprayed pesticides in an unventilated space, resulting in illness and respiratory irritation to others in the building. Awareness is important when it comes to pest control, especially if you’re working with a product that requires occupants to leave the space and stay away for a period of time. It could also be that the species of pest you’re trying to get rid of is actually protected by the law. Garrie Pest Control knows the insects that are rare and near extinct, and without that insight and experience you may wind up with a criminal charge on your hands.

Pesticide Exposure

You likely already know by now that pesticides can hurt you if applied improperly. What you may not know is that a mishandled chemical can affect your environment on a far larger scale. DIY pest control tactics can potentially result in chemicals contaminating the ground and air around your home. They can leak toxic chemicals into the water supply of not just your household, but potentially your entire neighborhood. And though your do-it-yourself pest control attempt may succeed in getting rid of your infestation, it may also severely affect the balance of your local ecosystem. If the chemicals get into the water, any frogs, fish or birds that come into contact with it will face potentially fatal results. The same applies when you use an exterior pesticide treatment without checking for open windows and other entry points, both of which can cause exposure to toxic materials for anyone inside. The same applies to pesticides sprayed indoors without ventilation, or even just the chemicals themselves being stored within the reach of animals or small children,

Health and Safety Issues

When it comes to do-it-yourself pest control, there really is no such thing as being too prepared. Protective clothing is a must – that means gloves, as well as equipment like a mask or eye goggles. And once you’ve cleared out the infestation it’s important to thoroughly sanitize the area to avoid attracting another wave of pests. Of course, this should only be done after sufficient research, as certain pest droppings can contain bacterial or roundworms that could make you deeply ill. That’s one more reason to keep pregnant women and young children from entering the area where pesticides have been used. It’s a much bigger undertaking than most may expect, so it’s completely understandable if you’d rather skip the trouble and leave your pest infection to the professionals.


While DIY pest control could save you money and time, it also comes with considerable risk. Both the chemicals themselves – as well as the pests they’re meant to combat – have the potential to harm you, your loved ones, and even your property as a whole. A professional pest technician knows what needs to be done and how to do it. They can trace an insect or rodent infestation to a single source, giving you the insight you need to stop making your home so welcoming to pests. This professional exterminator can also gauge your landscaping and let you know any possible changes you can make to limit activity by bugs and larger animals. That’s a lot of use you can get from one technician, and if you’re in the Putnam, Westchester or Rockland counties we can provide service that’s infinitely more convenient than a DIY approach, 

Professional Pest Control

Since 1972, Garrie Pest Control has been providing effective and affordable professional pest control services in Peekskill, New York, and surrounding areas. That’s over fifty years of clearing homes and businesses of pests as big as a bird or as tiny as a termite. We have the technical expertise to get the job done safely and thoroughly. So instead of rolling up your sleeves,  let us handle your pest control needs so you can go back to living your life. Contact us today for a free quote