I’m constantly amazed by the amount of pesticides I find in peoples homes and I don’t mean what’s still in the bottle. Most insecticides aren’t suppose to be seen after they are applied so for someone to see what you’ve done means the chances are you used to much. The other problem I find is the over lapping of these products. I often see roach bait stations with dried insecticide on them, sitting in a pile of insecticidal dust or some other goo that’s obviously meant for a bugs demise. Moth balls and Raid are often used together while a gallon jug of Rid a Bug sits in the corner still dripping from its latest use. While on the surface one would think that using all these chemicals together is a good thing providing a barrier that no bug will survive. It usually comes with bitter disappointment however when after all this a roach goes scurrying across the counter top seemingly no worse for the wear.
For the most part there is nothing wrong with any of these chemicals and they will do what they are suppose to do, kill bugs. Using them excessively however literally renders them all ineffective as sprays will cancel out the bait it contacts and thick dusts are avoided and on and on. Most professionals use more than one product when they treat and get great results so what’s the difference?
It really comes down to a good working knowledge of the pest in question and then decisions can be made on what chemicals to use. A trail of ants is very tempting to hose down with Raid or sprays and foggers seem to be the logical answer for fleas and roaches. The pro knows however that treating in this manner might give you a temporary fix but in the end be of no good or even worse double the problem. Insects have been around far longer than man and while they didn’t always have insecticides to deal with, they still know how to adapt and even change behaviors if need be for their survival. I’m sure most people have heard the saying, “for every roach you see-there are 100 you don’t.” Assuming that’s true then why would you set off roach bombs, leave for hours while insecticide is floating onto every surface and then come back to a big ol mess? Sure you’ve killed what you’ve seen but how about those 100 you didn’t?
Layers and multiple product choices are a good thing when used correctly. They give you several different modes of action on an insect and if one doesn’t quite do the trick, perhaps another placement will. They just don’t work in a conglomerated mess or hap hazzardly put down. Even you steer clear of these areas not wanting to touch for fear of getting sick so what do you think a bug will do based on the fact he wants to stay alive?
I often field questions in my Ask The Bug Doctor section and advise the use of more than one product for the pests in question so I’m not saying use just one item alone. I do say however that you should always use caution when treating zones with multiple chemicals keeping safety and effectiveness in mind so that you don’t end up with an expensive and useless treatment.