C.S. asks from Aberdeen, MD on November 16, 2009
K.T. answers from Washington DC on November 20, 2009
A few of my friends swear by the new plug ins that keep away mice and insects. I havent tried them myself yet but from my understanding they work wonders!!! They are available in Home Depot for like 20 bucks for two and they dont have to be replaced once you use them. This may be a safer option to having children who crawl around and may touch the sprays and boric acid around the house (although boric acid would be my next suggestion). Also chalk is an inexpensive solution for roaches because something in the chalk causes a reaction in their nervous system and paralyzes them. Best of luck to you!!!
L.J. answers from Richmond on November 17, 2009
If you have ants, Ant Terro work wonders. you only needs a small amount. it will draw the ants to it to begin with (I think it has a sweet smell that attracts them), but they take it back to nest and it kills the colony. Their website www.terro.com can help you find it. The website looks like they may also make products for other insects too. Good Luck!
K.L. answers from Washington DC on November 17, 2009
Don't feel bad C.! I swear my house is built on an ant farm, and last year my kids got lice. It happens to the best of us :) We use Orkin for the ant problem and it works great. But, it is definitely not cheap. My father-in-law swears by this stuff you can buy at Walmart called "Home Defense". He sprays it around the exterior of the house. Good luck!
E.D. answers from Richmond on November 17, 2009
Bonnie's right. Depending on the type of bugs you have will depend on what you should use. For ants, spiders, and small insects I use the Ortho Home Defense spray. If smells like flowers to me and should not harm the kids or pets. The nice smell I guess detours them because they have no reason to investigate it. Also, I know this may sound like a lot of work, but see if you can pull the appliances out and clean under them or behind them. Sometimes stuff gets dropped back there and who knows what you'll find. For fleas and stuff, take the family (take the pets if you have them) and fumigate the house. Be sure to cover EVERYTHING because it is very dangerous stuff. I would not recommend this method if you have kids. No worries, Nobody should judge you for trying to keep your house clean or taking care of you family. That's what a mom is supposed to do. :) God Bless.
W.S. answers from Norfolk on November 17, 2009
Oh honey, don't you worry about being judged. If you had any idea how many homes get bugs, the restaurants and grocery stores that just keep bugs at bay, or have been infested at one time or another, you'd be shocked! I'm going to assume that you are speaking about roaches because they have the most negative associations. It is harder to get rid of them if you live in an apartment. At best you can keep them out of your unit by hiring a reputable firm to come in and treat your space where they are mostly seen, kitchen and bathroom, because they love moisture as much as food. If you are in a single family home, you can get rid of them. Most folks bring them into the home in bags from the grocery store. I know that sounds gross, but they like to hide in boxes, and they will eat glue. The best control method for houses with children is not spray, but a gel type bait that is squeezed along crevices, under top cabinets, etc. Reputable pest control companies (I prefer local companies rather than Orkin or other big names-they tend to be more reliable) can apply the gel type bait. It takes a few months of repeated applications but you can completely get rid of them this way, I know, I did. Boric acid is a home use method that is very effective because it dries them out, but it is very messy if used as a powder, so only use it in places that won't get wet, or touched by pets or children such as a garage, etc. Good luck!!
D.M. answers from Norfolk on November 17, 2009
You can put down Boric Acid. You can buy it at the hardware store. It's pretty cheap, and supposedly it's very effective. I've heard that's what the exterminators use. Also, your exterminator should guarantee his work for 1-3 months, so check your receipt. You might be able to get him to come back out for free. PS. We use ALKOA Exterminating. They are great.
C.O. answers from Washington DC on November 17, 2009
Please!! When we lived in Hawaii we had cockroaches and my mother kept a CLEAN house!!
I keep a clean house - my floors are mopped or vacuumed every day because I have two VERY ACTIVE boys. I still get ants.
Now, I would call the company that came out and DEMAND your money back. Speak to a manager, write what you want to say down so you don't miss out. Explain that you paid money to have them come out and exterminate and now the problem is worse. If he gives you flack, tell him you will contact the better business bureau and report the company.
You didn't say what kind of bugs you have. Non-flying bugs - like ants and cockroaches - follow the path or as we say "their Conga Line". Buy traps or baits - for the ants we have had success with Grants Kills Ants. I also use Clorox Kitchen Clean up to wipe my counters down each and every day. Yes, we still get ants but we only get "scouts" versus the conga line because there's nothing for them to get.
We haven't had cockroaches here - so I would spray Raid in every corner, cabinet, etc.
Also go to Angieslist.com and see what they recommend - in way of companies and things you, yourself can do.
I hope this helps!!
N.W. answers from Washington DC on November 22, 2009
I wouldn't dare judge. I've always felt those exterminators brought more bugs with them, so they could keep coming, and getting your money. Fortunately I knew a bug guy from a hotel I used to work at and I paid him to come to my home and put down the "real stuff", in less than 2 hours, not one bug in site.
M.H. answers from Norfolk on November 17, 2009
I totally understand how you feel. I had a problem every fall at my last house. I contracted Orkin for a year at the cost of over $500 and then a local company. Neither completely solved my problem. I have a baby who is now 2 but at the time was crawling so I couldn't put poison down. Everyone told me "oh.. those are just water bugs." I'd say "you mean water roaches. If it walks like a roach and looks like a roach...."
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERY HOLE COVERED. Where every pipe or wire comes through the wall, tape it off or pack with steel wool. They can crawl through a hole as small as 1/4" so I've been told.
We sold the house where I had problems last spring and when they did the home inspection we found out we had a leak under the house in the drain pipe for our kitchen sink where the garbage disposal was. A rat had knawned a hole bigger than a golf ball in the PVC pipe! They came in through my kitchen sink! Yuck! So I also recommend stopping all your drains before you go to bed at night.
K.H. answers from Washington DC on November 17, 2009
I use ant and roach traps and replace them when I see a bug again after a bug free time. I also use vinegar to get rid of ants. Buy the big jug of generic or store brand vinegar. Ants hate it. I pour it along the edges of the floor or windows - whereever I've seen them. We get hundreds of ants at a time here, whenever it has been wet for a while.
I do try to clean the kitchen carefully, including the sink. Under the sink where we keep the trash was gross and kind of rotting so we cleaned it out, pulled up the rotted cabinet floor and just sprayed kilz on the floor. It is better than doing nothing and we can't afford new cabinets.
The kids attracted bugs to their rooms with food and dishes which they weren't supposed to have anyhow. I had them (they are all school-aged) clean under everything, empty all drawers, and wipe everything down with vinegar mixed with water. And we put down ant and roach traps. That worked although they still cheat on the food in room rule which I cannot believe because it was a lot of work to clean up their messes. So I have them do it all over again whenever I find food or dishes.
And grossest of all, they put dirty dishes under the sofa. Why is beyond me. It is so rude and the sink is about 20 feet away at most. They are not happy about moving everything and cleaning under it but it's their own doing.
I have tried to caulk where I see holes but the vinegar and traps have been the best solution.