Chances and risks always vary, depending primarily on the type of pest, level of infestation, the layout of the property, the treatment methods available, the process itself as well as all preparation and post-treatment procedures. A lot of factors could influence the outcome of a treatment, whether you treat the infestation with DIY products or hire a professional service.
The commercial or DIY active ingredients in the UK and other countries with more advanced pest control legislation are available to the general public, but there are professional-use-only insecticides, which cannot be purchased without holding a professional qualification issued by the British Pest Control Association (BPCA) in the UK.
Do-it-yourself pest control products
With bed bugs in the majority of cases the commercial bed bug sprays and smoke bombs result in spreading this evolved insect throughout the property. Do-it-yourself methods and products encourage bed bugs to hide deeply in difficult to reach places, where there is not enough residue to completely poison them. Generally speaking, even the most efficient active ingredients applied through residual spray work slowly over time. In bed bug cases, the waiting period in-between professional treatments is usually 2-3 weeks, while the insects are getting slowly poisoned through their nervous system, after getting in contact with the residue. There are products that may work instantly when you spray directly on some pest insects, but others like bed bugs have evolved mechanisms to persist active ingredients or evade the treatment, hidden deeply in a crack or crevice.
Do-it-yourself methods can be harmful to humans if not handled professionally due to not wearing the correct PPE, exposing you through inhalation, skin contact or via ingestion.
Professional-use-only pest control products
The professional pesticides in general are more toxic to the pests, compared to the toxicity of commercial products. Their efficiency is greater due to the level of toxicity but also the active ingredients are different. They are 130x more effective with the same active ingredient (Cypermethrin).
Professional-use-only actives achieve a quicker knockdown effect, while preventing reproduction, eggs hatching and moulting with insect growth regulators (IGRs). The professional equipment in combination with those advanced insecticides in the hands of an experienced and thorough technician is by far more superior in comparison to the DIY methods. The application process is much more thorough, the residual effect and the longevity of the professional activities are greater.
Author: Bed Bug Hunters & Prime Pest Control team