All Creatures Great and Small

Household Pest Control

Recently there was an article in a NM paper about how a pest control company injects pesticides into the walls of homes to control all the pests that hide in the walls. Someone asked me if this was something they should consider.  The answer is NO.

First, there are very few pests that nest in our walls.  Some ants will come in from the outside and if they find ample food and water in the home, they may nest in a wall. This would include odorous house ants (Tapinoma sessile), little black ants (Monomorium minimum) and one or two other species.  All you have to do is get the ants properly identified and then put out a bait they like.  They will take it back into the wall and kill the queen and colony.  Pesticides aren’t necessary.  Who else nests in walls?  German roaches in urban/ghetto areas may nest in walls, but the American and Oriental roaches we have here in NM prefer areas with access to water.  A wall would be too dry for them to nest. Centipedes, scorpions, spiders and other pests may get into a wall, but they won’t stay there very long.  The only real pest that you will find in walls are subterranean termites, and the treatment method they use won’t affect them.  It may be possible to get a wasp nest in a wall, and if that is the case, this method may help. However it wouldn’t be necessary to treat all the walls in the house.

Why else is this a bad idea?  If there were bugs in the walls they could get into your house.  If the bugs could get into your house, so will the pesticides.  Do you really want someone pumping pesticides in your walls that will come into your home and threaten the health of your family and pets?  Nobody may get sick right away, but the pesticides can build up in your body or your children’s bodies and comprise your health.

So why would anyone want to pump pesticides into your walls if there aren’t any pests there? The answer is the same as why did we spray baseboards in homes for many years.  It is perceived value.  The industry sprayed baseboards to supposedly kill all the bugs that ran along the baseboard.  Of course very few bugs actually ran along the baseboard.  The real reason that baseboards were sprayed was to kill time in the customer’s home to make it look like they were getting their money’s worth.  Most companies don’t spray baseboards anymore, although a few still do. Power spraying the perimeter of a house was also widely used, but now is frowned upon as it has no real value and they tend to kill more beneficial insects than pests.   It is particularly silly when the pest company sprays around your home in the middle of winter.

If baseboard spraying, power spraying and pumping pesticides into walls isn’t effective pest control, then what is?  In reality, pesticides should never be used in a home unless you have an infestation of a pest.  In many cases, pesticides aren’t necessary then.  If someone wants to spray your baseboards or pump pesticides into your walls, ask them to sign a paper stating that they will accept financial responsibility if anyone in your family or your pets get sick from the pesticides.  If they agree to that (and they won’t), then you can consider it.

The best thing you can do to control pests is to pest-proof your home.  You can do this yourself with my book, Pests (or Guests), which is available free on this website. Some companies will help you do this.  I will send you a free copy of my latest book “How to Pick a Safe & Effective Pest Control  Company”  Email me at and I will send it to you in PDF format.




About askthebugman

I have been in the pest management industry for over 40 years. In that time I have used almost every pesticide available to control so-called “pests”. With this experience, I have learned over the years that the pesticides we use are far more dangerous than the pests we are trying to control. As a result, it has become a passion for me to improve the quality of life for humans and the planet, by assisting people to not only become more educated and aware of their environment – but also by learning to manage their home and business with a sustainable and healthier approach to tending to unwanted infestations of bugs. Please enjoy my blog posts, check out my publications, utilize my services, or simply stay in touch if you have a bug question…


10 thoughts on “Household Pest Control

  1. I totally agree – very smart.
    I was wondering if you have any special techniques for farmer ants. I have been fighting with them for 2.5 years now. They nest in my roof where I can’t get to them. They eat my hibiscus buds, and live and farm on the huge tree that stands by our house ( I will not cut that down).
    I have used traps with jam and boric acid, which they love, and neem oil on the buds, and GE, but they will just move to another place, or hide for a while and then I will discover where they’ve moved to after a month or two. I hate to think what they have done to the roof/crawl-space (no access). Help! Any ideas?

    Posted by Mercy | July 9, 2013, 5:49 am
  2. Hello,   I would love to get the “How to Pick a Safe & Effective Pest Control  Company” pdf. Great post ,and great site. Thanks for all you do, Kami


    Posted by Kami Hubbard | July 9, 2013, 5:54 am
  3. Dear Sir:

    Please send me your new book titled How to Pick a Safe & Effective Pest Control Company. Thank you very much. B. Harris

    Posted by Barbara Harris | July 12, 2013, 4:07 pm
  4. I need help please!! We bought a beautiful home a year ago and we first noticed a few dead bugs in the basement. Then we realized they were water bugs. We have tried everything trying to get rid of them. Now I am looking for professional help. I read horrible reviews about orkin. I am currently pregnant and don’t want our home filled with pesticides but I don’t know how to get rid of these horrible things. Please help!

    Posted by heather | April 20, 2015, 7:35 pm
  5. There is a cricket between my shower wall and the outside wall of my house. How can I kill it?

    Posted by Anita | July 29, 2016, 3:44 pm
  6. My dog a rat terrier jumps in every ditch sewer every nasty place he could find I would bath him every day because he slept with me and went with me every where I go I was cleaning back behind seats in truck open cubby hole door where Jack is down in crevice of door I saw a substance like hair from dog I ran my finger to scrap it out it stung me like electric shock until this day the mite or whatever it is resides in my skin I’ve tried everything possible to rid it but 4 yrs now I’m still afflicted by it live in calluses on feet under nail like a fungus but I’ve seen black speck biting my legs if I disrupt them if left alone they just feed on me and destroy skin in places they reside I can’t get any help except psychiatric help I’m not crazy and I’m real intelligent especially when it comes to psychological disorders or order ha ha I could have graduated if not latched for a downfdownfall I had using drugs in my youth I don’t use any more and try to take care of what. Jesus loaned me THANKS the paratrooper

    Posted by Robert | July 22, 2017, 8:29 pm
    • Just listing what we did for a skin parasite:
      Use Dawn dish detergent (concentrated, not brand that is aleady watered down) & mix with a very, very minute amount of Benzyl Benzoate (can burn you if not extremely diluted). You can buy Benzyl Benzoate on the web. Repeat this for about five days, using a good washcloth that will at least somewhat exfoliate. Lather it up vigorously. Use about once a week afterward. Then, after symptoms are gone, use once a month.
      WARNING: Benzyl Benzoate will HARM your skin if not diluted. Only about THREE drops are needed to a large bottle of Dawn detergent. More than that could burn you. If you over use, apply a lot liquid Arm & Hammer baking soda to neutralize.
      Repeat baking soda until burning feeling subsides. Then, your bug troubles are gone.

      Posted by dannofiveo | October 31, 2019, 10:28 am

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