DIY Pest Control – Which insecticide should you choose?

What type of insecticide should you use?

If you’ve done your own pest spray at home before you’ve probably got your sprayer sitting in the garage.  Insects are back, and it’s time to re-spray the home… but what insecticide should you use to get results “Just like the Professionals”?

(Incidentally if you don’t have your own sprayer, the PestXpert Pro-Spray Outdoor Perimeter is a great starter kit!).

Spraying house

Professional Pest Managers have access to a wide range of insecticides. However, the range of insecticides that are available to the DIY enthusiast from hardware stores is somewhat limited. That said, pyrethroid insecticides, which are commonly used by pest professionals when carrying out their general pest control treatment are available in your local Bunnings.

Pyrethoids are ideal for general pest control treatments, as they are:

  • Fast acting
  • Work very well on all insects and spiders
  • Have a good safety profile on mammals (humans, dogs & cats)
  • Relatively cheap

Things to be aware of with pyrethroid insecticides:

  • Although they have a generally good safety profile, they can cause temporary irritation if spilled on the skin or breathed in, so it’s important to wear the correct safety equipment
  • The duration of protection is not the same for all products – it depends on the pyrethroid used and the quality of the formulation

Bifenthrin and esfenvalerate (the professional pyrethroid used in PestXpert) are the two most common pyrethroids used in hardware products to give long lasting control.

What formulation type should you use?

For the DIY enthusiast, it’s understandable to gravitate towards the insecticide concentrates, as these are what the professionals use and being a concentrate, they represent apparent value for money – “lots of treatments in a bottle”.

But is an insecticide concentrate the smart choice?

Benefits of using a concentrate

  • Apparent value for money
  • Flexibility in mixing various concentrations for different uses (if the label allows)

Potential issues for homeowners in using a concentrate

  • Product wastage
  • Having to measure the correct dilution
  • Safety issues

What are the product wastage issues in using an insecticide concentrate?

Most DIYers and gardeners have at least one concentrate sitting in their garage of garden shed that is probably 2 years old and perhaps A LOT older!

The reality is that insecticides only have a shelf-life of two years, so the performance of any product older than 2 years cannot be guaranteed. Maybe the insecticide will last longer than 2 years, but that depends on the storage conditions… and as we know garages and garden sheds can get very hot which accelerates the degradation of the insecticide. The result … an insecticide sitting in the garage, not quite as concentrated or effective as you may think and indeed probably should be disposed of.

The other key wastage is that although DIYers may think the concentrate offers value for money (in allowing for multiple treatments), the reality is that most DIYers will only treat their home once a year. With the amount of concentrate required to treat an average home around 25-50 ml, it means that even a small 1L concentrate gives enough insecticide to treat the average home between 20-40 times! A bit of overkill for the average DIYer. The results? The insecticide will degrade long before you get to use all the product.

If you only get a couple of treatments out of your concentrate before “it goes off”, it also means the cost per treatment is a lot higher that you thought when you bought it.

What are the mixing issues when using an insecticide concentrate?

For insecticide concentrates to be effective they must be diluted to the correct level.  If the concentrate is diluted too much it will be far less effective in eliminating spiders and insects.  If it is diluted too little, then there could be safety issues when used in a sprayer.

The label on a pest control product constitutes a legal document, so not mixing to the correct concentration is actually illegal. This becomes a particular problem if an issue occurs after application.

And apart from the potential effectiveness and safety issues there is also the mess and inconvenience of having to dilute the concentrate.

What are the safety issues in using an insecticide concentrate?

Being a lot more concentrated than a ready-to use formulation, there are significantly more issues in storing and handling an insecticide concentrate.

Often with a higher poisons rating than ready-to-use products, there are increased risks in handling the concentrate during the mixing process and the risks associated with any potential spill are more severe.

Refilling sprayer image

The smart alternative for DIYers – A ready to use professional formulation

The PestXpert Pro-Spray Refill is a professional formulation but is pre-diluted, giving DIYers the convenience of a ready-to-use formulation combined with professional level performance.

Suitable for use inside and outside your home, it’s the only product you need to carry out your annual “pest spray” and keep your home pest free.

PestXpert Pro-Spray Refill uses the pyrethroid esfenvalerate, which has been used by pest professionals for years. Its long-lasting formulation will provide up to 3 months in areas exposed to sun and rain and a lot longer in protected areas such as around doors, windows, vents and eaves – just the places pests like to hide. Like the professionals, homeowners will only need to spray their home once a year (or perhaps twice in high pest pressure areas).

It’s simply a lot easier and quicker to use than mixing a concentrate. Simply shake the refill and pour into your sprayer (it doesn’t have to be a PestXpert sprayer). There’s no need to work out dilution rates and you avoid the messy measuring and mixing of the concentrate.

The PestXpert Pro-Spray formulation stays in suspension, which means you get a nice even application of insecticide as you spray your home.  There is no need to keep shaking your sprayer.

And of course, there’s no wastage… you simply buy the refills you require, spray your home and rinse your sprayer. There’s no product sitting in your garage going to waste.

PestXpert Pro-Spray Refills come in 2 litre pack size. A single 2 litre pack is enough for home units and small houses, but most DIYers with average sized homes would need 2 x 2L refills. At a total price of $45.90 (for 2 refills), it’s a lot cheaper than booking a pest professional and cheaper than buyer a concentrate, most of which goes to waste.

Of course, a DIY pest control treatment is also a lot more convenient that booking and waiting for a pest technician. Time to dust off that sprayer in the garage and pop down to Bunnings and get your PestXpert Pro-Spray Refill…

PestXpert – DIY Pest Control Just Like the Professionals – You have Control!

PestXpert Pro-Spray Refill image
PestXpert Pro-Spray Refill

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