5 Tips to Save on Pest Control

Photo (cc) by Dawn Endico

They’re called pests for a reason: Termites cause an estimated $5 billion in property damage every year, while roaches, mosquitoes, and other creepy-crawlies spread bacteria and disease.

Pest Enemy No. 1? Ants, according to the National Pest Management Association. Over half of homeowners hate them more than any other insect, according to a survey published last month.

NPMA also — unsurprisingly, as a pest control trade group — pointed out that 60 percent of homeowners use professional preventative and extermination services. The cost? $35-70 a month. Termite treatments can cost thousands. But there are lots of things you can do to save on pest expenses – some just by maintaining and cleaning your home.

Try thinking of your home as a giant castle under siege. Don’t dig a moat, but:

  1. Keep tree branches and shrubs trimmed away from the roof and windows. These are natural bridges and ladders into your home for all sorts of bugs.
  2. Seal up cracks and holes, inside and out. Those are tunnels.
  3. Replace rotting wood, a likely place for insects to break through. Many are drawn to both the wood itself and moisture.
  4. Cut off their water supply. Insects like mosquitoes and flies are drawn to stagnant (still) water. Outdoors: regularly empty bird fountains, buckets, and anything that catches rain. Indoors: change pets’ water bowls several times a week if not daily.
  5. Protect food. Don’t leave food out in the open, even crumbs — they’ll find it. Be sure to regularly empty the garbage and keep containers covered. Make sure spices, sugars, and other counter-top items are in lidded jars or otherwise sealed containers.

If you want a pro to handle pests, shop around. NPMA can help you find a qualified exterminator in your zip code. They also have tips on how to identify trustworthy companies if you’re trying the phone book or some other search method. The eco-friendly directory GreenPeople also has a sorted-by-state list of exterminators that use natural or organic products instead of toxic ones.

And if you’re taking a do-it-yourself approach to save even more money, you don’t need to buy expensive sprays and traps. Sustainability business EarthEasy has a long list of insect-specific natural repellents that will help you be green and save green. Environmental nonprofit Beyond Pesticides also has a list, plus a ton of tips. You might also check out the popular, if slightly dated book Natural Pest Control: Alternatives to Chemicals for the Home and Garden.

Now that we’ve got homeowners saving on pest control, how about lawn care? Check out our story 11 Tips for a Less Expensive Lawn.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
This Is the Best Online Savings Account for 2021
This Is the Best Online Savings Account for 2021

The rate of return is just one of several reasons this account stands out.

Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer
Marooned at Home? Earn Some Cash Playing on Your Computer

Earn cash by reading emails, taking surveys, playing games, shopping and signing up for offers through this website.

15 of the Most Outrageously Overpriced Products
15 of the Most Outrageously Overpriced Products

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

12 Tech Gadgets That Make Daily Life Easier
12 Tech Gadgets That Make Daily Life Easier

These products on Amazon will ease worries and simplify your routine.

60% of People With This Disease Don’t Know They Have It
60% of People With This Disease Don’t Know They Have It

Millions of people overlook this potentially potent condition that tends to strike women and older adults.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.