For many years, I paid an exterminator $75 a quarter to come to my house and spray outside it — and inside the garage — to prevent unwanted bugs, especially cockroaches (an ick factor when living in the South). I could barely afford it, but after I saw a cockroach (did you know some of them fly?) in the air near my young son’s bed one night many years ago, I decided it was a health and safety concern and I had to bite the bullet and do it.
Multiply $300 a year by 20 years, and that’s $6,000 spent for pest control. A healthy chunk of change.
Several years ago, a friend who owns rental property told me she does her own extermination and explained how. It was a true lightbulb moment!
Simply go to a store like Lowe’s and buy a concentrated home insect control product, which costs about $10.
Put on rubber gloves and a pair of plastic goggles.
Mix the product with water as directed to make the amount needed inside a handheld pressurized spray pump (which costs about $30).
Prime the pump and spray the concrete foundation all around your house, where insects enter.
Also spray around kitchen windows and patio doors. Spray the inside perimeter of your garage, too, at the intersection of the floors and walls.
You may also want to spray non-carpeted interior rooms, like the kitchen and bathrooms. (Consider household pets and young children before you do this — and be sure the insecticide doesn’t drip on any carpeting.)
When finished, throw the clothes you were wearing in the washing machine in a separate load to remove insecticide. (My theory is you can’t be too careful when dealing with heavy-duty chemicals — hence the goggles, gloves and separate laundering!)
I don’t recommend spraying along the walls of carpeted rooms because there’s really no need to if you covered the exterior foundation of those rooms.
Also, when I bought my house — which was two years old at the time — the carpet throughout was bleached-looking and had lost all color along the edges of every single room — which I’ve always thought was probably from poorly-applied pest control products sprayed along the baseboards. I’m sure chemicals have improved since then, but once you’ve seen something like that, you never want it to happen again — especially if you invested in new carpeting in the meantime!
I exterminate the house every two months (to be on the safe side — although you could go longer), and it takes about half an hour each time and costs about $20 a year for insecticide.
The only bugs I ever see in the house are dead ones, and this practice has resulted in a hefty savings of about $280 a year!
Try it and see how it works for you.
Other money-saving blog posts:
I Adore the Dollar Store