When you have a pest problem, it seems easy enough to rush off to the store and purchase whichever product names your particular pest on the label. You have an ant problem in your kitchen, so you purchase “ant spray”. Or you have a cockroach issue in the laundry room, so you look for something with the word “roach” on it.

That seems rational enough, but here’s the problem with that approach….

When you’re dealing with a “social” insect, you want to look for a non-repellent. A non-repellent won’t kill on contact, and doesn’t simply address the insects that you can see. In fact, they take a few days to “work”. These products are ideal for pests that live in colonies, such as…

  • ants
  • fleas
  • cockroaches
  • termites

These products don’t seem to take effect on the insect right away, so why would you use it?

Keep in mind that these insects live in colonies. That’s why we call them “social”. And the ones you can see scurrying about your kitchen or laundry room are only a fraction of the number existing in or near your home. If you use products that kill on contact, you’ll only kill the ones you can see. More and more and more pests will continue to invade your home, because their colony is somewhere inside the walls or underground outside your house. And those guys are alive and well.

For social insects, you want a product that doesn’t kill on contact, but contains a poison that is carried back to the nest where it is shared with the entire colony.

Repellents, on the other hand, can work on insects such as spiders. These guys don’t live in a colony; they’re solitary and can be killed on contact. You should still take measures to ensure that your basement or utility room does not provide the ideal environment for these pests, or else more will move in… But that’s a subject for another blog.