Affordable Do-It-Yourself Pest Control

by Andrea Norris-McKnight

Affordable Do It Yourself Pest Control photo

Avoid a costly exterminator bill by battling bugs yourself. These inexpensive DIY pest control tips can help you safely keep your home pest-free.

Dealing with an invasion of insects is truly an unpleasant household chore. But even more unpleasant can be paying huge exterminator bills to battle your bug problem.

According to, you will likely spend between $100 and $600 to hire an exterminator for a one-time visit. Fortunately, there are many DIY options available to make most pest control problems both manageable and affordable.

Certainly, there are some pest problems, such as an extreme infestation of termites damaging your home, that should be handled by a professional, but many typical home pest control problems can easily be taken care of by the average person.

Here are a few tips for getting the best results from affordable do-it-yourself pest control.

Don’t Spend More on Name-Brand Products

The pricey, popular name-brand pest control products do not necessarily work better than generic or store-brand products. Just as with many household items and food products, there are many generic, cheaper versions of pest control products that are equivalent to the more expensive name brands.

Read product labels or product descriptions if buying online. If you’re still in doubt about a generic product, read product reviews as well to determine if the product might be a waste of your money and likely a poor solution to your pest problem. But you’ll often find it doesn’t make sense to pay extra for the popular commercial brands.

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Buy All-Purpose Products

If several different types of pests have invaded your space, you may be tempted to buy a different product for each type of bug. This might not be necessary.

Many all-purpose pest control products are effective against a wide range of pests, especially for insects that are in the same general category.  For instance, if you have both ants and spiders, one product designed to combat crawling pests should take care of both problems.

Read and Follow Directions Carefully

Whether using a natural pest control solution or a chemical product, always read the entire label carefully, including the safety information. Pay close attention to information about any risks to people or pets. Make sure you read any cautionary information about the product’s use around food preparation areas.

Determine how much product you need to treat your home properly. Don’t try to save a few more pennies by stretching the product over a larger area than it’s intended to treat. Remember that you’re likely already saving money by not hiring an exterminator. By not using the product as instructed, you could render it ineffective and end up spending even more to get enough product to do the job right.

Consider Natural Remedies for Mild Infestations

It is possible you don’t need to spend any money to rid your home of pests. You might already have a solution in your pantry or laundry room. Some people swear by ground cinnamon or baking soda to get rid of ants. Or a mixture of borax and syrup. Even sprinkling dry instant grits or cornmeal that ants consume then die.

A quick internet search for natural solutions to your pest problem will provide you with a wide variety of inexpensive recipes to try. Or you can give these recipes a try:

Natural Ant Repellant Spray

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup white vinegar
2 to 3 tsp. dish soap

Mix in a spray bottle and use as needed.

Natural Ant Repellant Paste

1 part active dry yeast
1 part of molasses or honey
a little water to thin

Mix ingredients to form a like paste. Spread onto little two-inch square pieces of cardboard and place them anywhere you see ants. Replace as needed. It can take up to two weeks to eliminate all the ants.

DIY Roach Bait

Equal parts boric acid and flour
powdered sugar
paper muffin cups

Combine the boric acid and flour and then just enough powdered sugar to attract the roaches. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Roll dough out into several small balls and place balls into individual muffin cups. Place “bait” in the corners of cabinets or behind furniture out of reach of children and pets. Roaches eat the bait and dry out. It can take a few weeks to get rid of all roaches. Replace bait once a month.

A Natural Roach Remedy

Mix equal parts sugar and baking soda. One cup of the mixture is enough to treat most homes. The sugar attracts the roaches and the baking soda kills them. Sprinkle in strategic places around your home or place on small plates in cabinets and under furniture.

All-Purpose Pest Control

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your home. It kills most types of bugs, including roaches, ants, and fleas. Once a bug eats diatomaceous earth, it dehydrates and dies.

Good Luck With Your Next Bug Battle

By investing a little time and effort to launch your fight against pests, you may find that you can avoid the costs of an extermination service. Just be sure to do your homework to ensure you’re using products safely and effectively when performing affordable do-it-yourself pest control.

Reviewed January 2024

About the Author

Andrea Norris-McKnight took over as the editor of The Dollar Stretcher and After 50 Finances after working under the site founder and previous editor for almost 15 years. She has also written for,, and The Sacramento Bee.

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