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10 Pest Control Myths & Legends – Fact or Fiction?

As a leading pest control business in South Australia, and having worked with the residents and businesses of the state for over 60 years, we’ve come across out fair share of myths and legends. Not only does it keep us on our toes, but also, sometimes, provides us a cheerful giggle in the office from time to time. In this post we’re going to break down 10 pest control myths 1 by 1. These myths we first posted in an article first posted at https://www.avonpestcontrol.ca/10-pest-control-myths/

Before we get into the top 10, one of the craziest stories we’ve heard, is that the 1990 horror movie, Arachnophobia, was based on a true story. We can’t be sure one way or the other, but if is true, it’s by far the best pest control story of all time.

Was Arachnophobia Based On A True Story?

Top 10 Pest Control Myths

Source (https://www.avonpestcontrol.ca)

1.) “Out of sight, out of mind.” or “If you don’t see pests – you don’t have a pest problem.”

Umm. This is wishful thinking, or living in denial. Actually, the pests that are hard to see or spot tend to be the toughest to eliminate.

This myth is absolutely “BUSTED”. This is obvious, but sometimes when it’s out of site, it’s out of mind, and for any home or business owner, this can be devastating. We’ve been to so many jobs where from the outside the building or dwelling looks pristine, only to find destruction between the walls that if left untouched, would be devastating for the structure.

2) “Cockroaches and bedbugs only live in dirty homes”.

Well, although these insects may prefer dirty and unsanitary places, they can thrive in clean places just as much if they have access to food, and sometimes moisture (including blood).  Even hotels have to keep them under control.

This is certainly true, however what many homeowners forget is that generally, especially in Australia, many homes are built on native or what was previously farmland, with large gardens, and backyards. Cockroaches will have access to food and water, particularly under the home which is normally out of site out of mind, and can harbour just the right environment for cockroaches to thrive. Garden sheds and carports are also a great environment for cockroaches to run riot.

3) “Cats are the best pest control for rodents.”

This is only true if you don’t feed your cat very much, but most cats are fed enough to curb those hunting genes. Well-fed cats tend to just play around with the mice if they catch them at all.

While we agree with the above comments, we always find that if there are cats around, inevitably there will be less rodents. In Australia though, there is a large problem with feral cats, even extending well into the suburbs of major cities, affecting native wildlife. So it’s a tradeoff with controlling the feral cat population, and letting the domestic species do it’s job without hurting the wildlife.

4) “Cheese is effective bait for mice and rats.”

Sure, but their preference is more for sugary foods such as peanut butter, cold cereal, or cookies.

If you grew up with cartoons and fairy tales it’s embedded in your mind that mice love cheese. This is true, but they love anything they can ingest. Foods or scraps like sugars and fats are a favorite, such as fruit, biscuits, meat scraps and so on.

5) “Ultrasonic repellants are safe and effective.”

No, the only thing that they are effective at is making money for the retailer.

We don’t necessarily agree that these devices are completely ineffective. There has been a lot of research in the last few years to improve the effectiveness of ultrasonic pest control devices. But, it certainly depends on the type of pest, so we can say 100% say they do or don’t work. The following video give a good insight into this question.

6) “Apply bug spray when the sun goes down.”

When you’re up and about, so are they.

We are not sure where this myth came from, but the above is true. If they are up and active, they can be dealt with at any time.

7) “Mice and rats are filthy.”

Actually, rodents keep themselves amazingly clean, although they can carry a variety of illnesses for humans.

Rodents are animals and their cleanliness generally depends on the environment they live in. They are generally very clean animals, and as started above, can carry a variety of diseases. If the environment is filthy, chances are so are the rodents.

8) “Clean homes do not have pests.”

Bed bugs, cockroaches, ants, and rats can survive in spotlessly clean homes, just as long as they have any kind of food source.

It’s certainly true that clean homes will have less pests, but as suggested above, most home in Australia have some form of garden or backyard, providing ample food sources for a variety of pests. Having a cleaner home on the inside will certainly reduces the tendency for rodents to frequent.

9) “Chestnuts keep the spiders away.”

Scientists have confirmed that this is only true at the castle where Cinderalla lives.

We haven’t really heard this myth in Australia, probably due to the lack of chesnuts available. We’ll go with the Cinderalla analogy though!

10) “Retail stores have everything you need to get rid of my pests.

Retail stores can be a good start, but in many cases these retail remedies complicate and can increase the problem. Our governments limit the strength, quantity and variety of chemicals available to retailers.

With the growth of the major hardware giant such as Bunnings in Australia, certainly the availability of affordable products has increased. While these product may certainly do the job, there is much more to sustainably removing pests in the long run. We always suggest you talk to an expert pest controller if you are having problems keeping your home or business over the long term.

The above myths are a global perspective. Certainly in Australia we have a wide variety of different pests to deal with, but the premise is essentially the same.

What Twitter Says

We are not the only ones who hear these myths everyday. Below are a collection of current tweets that other pest control companies have tweeted on their take on myth and legend!