Tip of the week: home remedies

Tip of the week:

Why do you believe old wives tales and home remedies? #whatbugsme

           I have had hundreds of customers tell me that they applied a natural treatment that a friend or family member told them about and they believe it works. For now let’s ignore the fact that if that were true I wouldn’t be standing in front of them to have this conversation. These home remedies are part of our collective library of what is believed to be true. Why is that?

           Science has proved over and over again that almost all home remedies do not work. My 15 years of field experience has seen zero percent of these work for the purpose of eliminating pests. With these facts in front of us, why do we still perpetuate and believe these? When you have a problem with bugs you will try everything anyone tells you that supposedly worked for them. Maybe you are short on the budget or do not want what you believe are dangerous chemicals in your home. It is grasping at straws. But why did your friend tell you it worked for them? Truth is it didn’t.
           There are several reasons why these remedies are believed to work.
#1 The user doesn’t want to admit they wasted their money on snake oil
          We do not want to admit we made bad decisions. We have a need to prove we did not get duped by false advertising.
#2 The user wants to be helpful by suggesting a cheaper or safer option to friends and family
           I get this one. Society is moving more towards buzz words and concepts like “green, natural and organic.” We are a nation scared to death of things that our parents used and did with no negative consequences. America is being conditioned to fear anything created or synthetic. The truth is that some of the natural pesticides are much more dangerous or chemically exactly the same as the synthetic versions. People are crying for natural or organic products but the concerns are worthless. These synthetic products are made from materials in our environment. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed, so how they are put together doesn’t matter if they are molecularly identical. What is the point? A product labeled natural or organic is just a means to charge more for that product. On top of that, almost all of these type of products have little to no effect on your original problem. Let’s go one step further, many of the natural products have a very strong odor and more potential for irritation and allergic qualities. These products also have horribly deficient residuals. This means they are effective for less time, causing the need to re-apply more often and exposing the environment to the potential irritants more often. No thank you. I’ll stick with what works.
#3 Using home remedies while having a professional treat the home
           This is the most irritating one on the list. Customers tell me all the time that what they did to treat the bugs is what did the trick. They ignore the fact that I have been treating the home. I guess I just don’t get the credit for it this time.
#4 “Don’t you dare tell me my mamma was wrong! She told me …..blah blah blah”
           Leave my mamma out of this! She was an amazing woman. While I will not dispute your claim of motherly sainthood, your love and admiration has clouded your judgment. Don’t forget that your mamma was human and flawed, just like the rest of us. Her mamma told her the same pack of lies she told you and her awesomeness doesn’t make her all knowing. Sorry.
#5 I can’t afford to have it done properly so I’m relying on snake oil
           This can be a sad one. I sympathize with a tight budget but sometimes sucking up the cost can save thousands later. When I go to a home to inspect and quote for pest service I often hear “when can you start, that’s less than what I was spending on the stuff that didn’t work.” If you can’t afford a service, often times it is better to clean and save your money than to spend it on wasted treatments.
#6 and finally… luck and ignorance of pest biology
           Pests come and go more than you want to know. Seriously, it would give you nightmares. Most of these you never see but when you do see the prodigal ant lost and trying to get home the response is often overkill or unnecessary. The presence of a bug does not necessarily indicate an infestation. I am told all the time that something got rid of a pest that doesn’t even remotely make sense. There was not a problem to begin with but the believer assumes the only answer is what they did. Most insects in our world never bug us at all, but they do sometimes get lost in our homes. These do not warrant any action more than sealing a hole.
           We believe the things we are told because we want to think that everyone is good. Unfortunately, often we just regurgitate things we have been told without researching or even considering how silly they are. 
Below I will list some of the dumbest remedies I have been told of.
Dryer sheets between the mattresses for bedbugs
Cinnamon, mint, and flour for ants
Penny in a bag of water for flies
glue traps for anything
Borax powder for roaches…. ITS SOAP PEOPLE! Cummon!
Vinegar for gnats & fruit flies
Rubbing alcohol for bedbugs.
           I know! I know! You are screaming at your computer screen. “That works! I did it and it worked!” If this is you, please see above and choose a number. Look deep inside, reaaaaalllly deep inside and ask yourself… what really happened.
When you come to your senses and need a professional to do it right, call Phoenix Pest Control. (865) 455-8571 aaronv@phoenixpestcontroltn.com
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