Discovering you have a pest infestation is never something you can truly be prepared for as a Maryland homeowner.

Whether you’re dealing with a few rogue spiders in the basement or a cockroach infestation, discovering creepy crawlers in your home can be an unsettling experience for many people.

While the temptation to deal with pests on your own may appeal to your budget, DIY pest control has many caveats.

This guide will discuss the differences between DIY and professional pest control and demonstrate situations where either approach is advisable.

DIY vs. Professional Pest Control

When choosing whether to take matters into your own hands, consider these factors.


You can trust that a professional exterminator will almost always deliver the results you desire, depending on the pro. However, DIY pest control can be just as effective, but it depends on a few factors:

  • Your knowledge level
  • The level of pest infestation
  • What types of treatments are used
  • How these treatments are used

While some minor pests, such as fruit flies or ladybugs, can be handled individually, larger infestations, such as cockroaches, typically require professional intervention.


Cost is another factor to consider when choosing DIY or professional pest control.

Making your insecticide at home or purchasing store-bought baits and traps could cost you less than $50, while professional services will typically run you over a hundred dollars, depending on the severity of the infestation.

Remember that pests, such as termites and carpenter ants, that damage your home will cost you more in repairs than they will in treatment.

Furthermore, we often see cases where homeowners fail to treat a problem independently and call us afterward, essentially paying for the price of both DIY and professional services.


The argument of what is more convenient–DIY or professional pest control–isn’t a straightforward answer.

DIY pest control may be more convenient from a cost perspective, but you must also factor in your physical and mental health.

Professional pest control saves you the trouble of confronting gross insects alone. You’ll also have greater peace of mind knowing that an infestation is dealt with properly without any unknowns hanging over your head.


While most store-bought solutions are safe on their own, they require specific applications. Furthermore, not properly dealing with an infestation increases your risk of an adverse health event if pests continue to linger around your house.

Luckily, most pest control companies have invested in organic insecticides in recent years and employ a safer approach to pest control known as integrated pest management (IPM).

For this reason, the chemicals your exterminator will apply are totally safe and will be applied strategically to ensure the best results.

When Is DIY Pest Control Advisable?

Another major factor to consider when choosing between DIY and professional pest control is the type of pest you are dealing with.

Minor Ant Infestations

Minor ant infestations are normal during the summer months and can be dealt with using baits and preventative pest control. There are many different ant baits and traps available for purchase in stores, and these solutions are generally safe and effective as long as you carefully follow the directions on the package.

Garden Critters

Garden pests like aphids, spiders, caterpillars, and beetle larvae can be treated with organic products, such as diatomaceous earth and neem oil. Growing certain plants, such as lavender, or placing specific plants next to others will help naturally repel pests from your vegetables.

Beetles and Pincher Bugs

DIY pest control can also effectively deal with beetles and pincher bugs, as these pests don’t typically enter homes as often as other types of pests. Earwigs, for example, can be killed using a mixture of olive oil and soy sauce, and beetles can be exterminated using water and dish soap.

When Should You Call an Exterminator?

Wood Damaging Insects

Termites and carpenter ants can significantly destroy the structural integrity of a house in just a couple of years, so it is imperative that you contact an exterminator immediately if you suspect a termite presence in your home. Worst of all, these bugs can live in your home undetected, so performing an annual inspection is always recommended.

Insects that Carry Diseases

Disease-carrying insects can make you and your loved ones sick; they can even latch onto your pets if they come into contact with them, so be sure to seek the help of a pest control professional if you have noticed any disease-carrying insects around your property.

Insects that Spread Quickly

  • Bed Bugs
  • Cockroaches
  • Ants

Getting rid of cockroaches and bed bugs is incredibly difficult as these pests are known for spreading quickly, which is why these insects are best handled by a pest control professional. Once these pests make their way into your home, they tend to spread, hide, and reproduce rapidly, so enlisting the help of a pest control professional is always advisable if you suspect an infestation.

Choosing between DIY and professional pest control comes down to several factors, including your budget and the type of pest you’re dealing with. DIY prevention tips can help eliminate the need for this decision, though if you want total peace of mind that your home is pest-free, it’s always best to hire a professional exterminator.


How much do exterminators cost, on average?

Because each infestation is unique in its own way, there is no exact amount of money you can expect to pay an exterminator. However, exterminator services can range from $200-$300 on the low end to $800 and up for more complex or ongoing infestations. Be sure to shop around for price quotes from different exterminators to ensure you are making an informed decision. For more information, read: How Much Is Pest Control?

Does vinegar keep bugs away?

Vinegar can repel fruit flies, ants, mosquitoes, and other pests, and most people already have this ingredient in their pantry, making vinegar a convenient and effective solution.

What natural solutions work best on bugs?

Several all-natural solutions have proven to be effective in getting rid of certain bugs, such as neem oil and diatomaceous earth. However, it is never guaranteed that these solutions will work when dealing with an infestation, so be sure to contact a pest control professional if the infestation does not improve after trying a DIY method.