I've had a pest control service spraying my house for the past few years and I no longer wish to have them work for me any longer. I want to know how often I should spray if I do the work myself. I have been having them come once a quarter but it seems like I've needed them more frequently during the summer. Do I have to wait to spray or can I spray when I want? What's the recommended frequency or schedule when it comes to a regular pest control maintenance program?
Insects and animals mostly live outside our homes. When we allow them to move adjacent to or onto our homes, we are essentially allowing them free access inside our living spaces. Failure to control them "outside" will lead to infestations inside.
Most people choose to wait till they have them "inside" before they start a regular insect control or pest control maintenance program. Even then we find very few people are willing to do what is necessary to keep these unwanted pests from returning year after year. That being said, there are some of us who are willing to go outside and do a little work in the yard to keep such invasions minimized. Personally I never have to treat inside because I keep the outside treated by spraying 3-5 times a year. I don't follow a schedule as much as I watch what's happening in my yard. In fact, I probably let it go too long every spring but that's because I like to film insects in action for our business. By letting them come around each spring I get to capture on video some excellent footage we can usually use on our web sites. In fact, I recently captured Carpenter Bees chewing through a fence railing on my house which you can view here:
I don't think my Wife was nearly as ecstatic as I was when we both were viewing this clip but I was able to resolve the matter quickly with an outside application of the products we have listed in our Carpenter Bee Control article. The point I'm trying to make is that even the most "pest proof" house is vulnerable once the chemicals applied around it have broken down and dissipated. Most everything we sell these days has a short life span lasting 2 weeks to 2 months. In some areas treatments might last longer because they are protected but out in the open where they are subject to direct sunlight and rain, most applications will only last a week or so. For this reason you must watch to make sure nothing it "moving" in and when you note any insect activity, either deal with it individually or treat the entire yard using a "shotgun" approach.
Currently I've noted ants around my yard in several areas. Spiders are active under my soffits, carpenter bees under my deck and around my front porch, wasps are building nests in 2-3 locations and there are boxelder bugs foraging in several pine straw filled islands. All these areas need to be treated now and I'll do a combination of both lawn granules and outside residual on the house and expect to stop all this unwanted behavior immediately. The treatments will probably last for 1-2 months at which point I'll treat again unless I note something active earlier.
Something similar will probably happen at your house if you were to let it go a whole winter without treating like I did but fortunately, I have access to a lot of chemical and I know how to use it! For most homeowners, it would be best if they treated on a schedule and kept an open eye to their home and property so they will be able to treat anything unusual or unexpected that might appear in between scheduled treatments.
You can find a large in depth article explaining all the reasons why you should treat outside the home on a regular basis in our on line article entitled simply Insect Control. Get one of the actives listed in the article and apply it around the home throughout the year and chances are you won't get any type of serious pest problem forever.