Pest Control Myths That Can Be Dangerous

The word "Myth" is written on a black chalkboard in white chalk.

These pest control myths can be dangerous to your health!

Rats and Mice

Myth: The biggest issue with rats and mice is the damage they do from chewing. Rats and mice no longer carry diseases as they did in the middle ages.

False! Rats and mice do cause significant damage to homes and buildings because of their chewing. However, it is more important to note that rats and mice carry diseases, posing a far greater risk to humans and pets. 

While modern medicine has provided a better understanding of how diseases are transmitted and given us many treatments, rats, mice, and other rodents can still make you sick. The most common diseases these rodents tend to carry are murine typhus, hantavirus, hemorrhagic fever, and yes, even the bubonic plague. Pets are at risk of distemper, brucellosis, and plague too. 

One rat or mouse means more are in the area. Do not take the sight of these rodents lightly. 


Myth: If I treat my pet with a flea preventative, I don’t have to worry about fleas.

If only it were that simple. Using a flea preventative treatment is a good start, but it does not mean that fleas no longer pose a risk to you or your pets. Fleas may die once biting your pet, but they can still pick up more once they go outside. 

Existing fleas in your home won’t disappear just because you used a flea preventative on your pet, either. There may be eggs in and around your home, and getting rid of a flea infestation will require extensive treatment. 

There’s more to fleas than just an itch, too. Fleas can also transmit typhus, plague, and bartonellosis (cat-scratch disease) through bites and feces or tapeworms if ingested.

Be sure to keep treating your pet with a flea preventative, but consider other means of prevention and get professional treatment if you’re already experiencing an infestation.

Stink Bugs

Myth: There’s no way to prevent stink bugs from invading your home, but they don’t cause any issues for humans or pets, so it’s no big deal.

You don’t have to share your living space with stink bugs! Aside from stink bugs emitting a foul odor, they can also cause allergies in humans. If you are the lucky recipient of a stink bug allergy, you may experience itchy eyes, a runny nose, or skin irritation. The more plentiful their number, the worse your reaction may be. 

If your pet eats a stink bug, they will quickly regret it. That chemical that causes such a stink may make them drool for a bit, and they could experience temporary intestinal issues. 

Stink bugs look for warmth in cooler months and will seek out your home as their temporary residence. They tend to hide inside walls, which can make treating them a challenge, but not impossible. The best offense is a good defense, and a professional can help you identify how stink bugs, and other pests, can get inside your home.

Bed Bugs

Myth: Bed bugs only live in unsanitary hotels and homes.

It doesn’t matter if you stay in a five-star hotel or live in a mansion with a full-time cleaning staff because bed bugs are equal opportunity parasites. They don’t care if you left last nights’ pizza box on the counter; they don’t eat pizza anyway. They are out for blood. Unsanitary conditions will undoubtedly attract other pests looking for a meal, so keeping a clean home is a good idea.

If you think you can let down your guard when traveling because you paid a higher price for your hotel room, you’re wrong. Bed bugs hitch a ride on suitcases, clothing, and pretty much anything else humans carry. And since people travel all over, these little bloodthirsty bugs do too. When traveling, it’s best not to unpack your belongings, and certainly don’t leave your suitcase or clothing laying around on the bed, couch, or floor. Instead, use that luggage rack, and avoid bringing home an unexpected houseguest.


Myth: Wasp nests are easy to remove as long as you do it at night.

Please do not believe this unfortunate myth. Wasps are more aggressive during the day when they search for food, but a wasp sting can happen at night too. It’s just a fact: any wasp that feels threatened is going to react. Don’t think that it’s safe to knock down their nest just because they’re sleeping.

Unlike bees, wasps are capable of stinging again and again. Chances are the nest has more than one wasp angry that its home got attacked while it was asleep, so you’ve just created a recipe for disaster. Spraying water at the nest, day or night, is also a bad idea. The water won’t kill the wasps, and even if you somehow manage not to get stung, they are likely to build another nest close by anyway. 

Just say no to DIY pest control

There are many myths and misconceptions regarding pests and DIY pest control, and we’ve yet to come across one that we’d endorse. If you have issues with these or any other pests, schedule an appointment for a free inspection with 855Bugs. We’re here to help you protect the health and safety of your family and pets.

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