When problem insects make themselves at home in our residences, it can be tempting to whip up a homemade trap or try to manage the problem with sprays or store-bought chemicals. Unfortunately, a well-established pest colony presents a too significant problem for an untrained homeowner to safely and effectively manage independently. More often than not, a homeowner will be addressing the smallest part of a pest problem. It is difficult to find the primary source of the infestation. This sort of battle can go on for months without any real progress, allowing health and property damage to continue. While this is less than ideal already, some insects where you will almost always need a professional. For example:

Bed Bugs

One of the most common and aggressively hard-to-kill infestations of insects, bed bugs are notoriously hardy. They can survive nearly freezing temperatures up to 122° F. Their flat bodies allow them to hide behind wallpaper and get into electrical sockets, where they can enter the void space between walls and reproduce freely and rapidly. Bed bugs not only feed on human blood, but their droppings can damage property and furniture beyond repair. Bed bugs are reputed as the single most hard-to-kill insect infestation on the planet. Even working with a professional, a well-established colony can take several treatments before the bugs are completely eradicated. As soon as you notice bed bugs, call a professional at once.

While working with a professional, you can also begin spreading diatomaceous earth around beds, wrap your mattresses in mattress covers that have secure zippers, and invest in outlet covers and start sealing cracks to ensure the bugs have a more challenging time getting to you and your family.

Termites and Wood Boring Insects

Insects that tunnel through wood can cause massive and rapid property damage. They break through support beams in your house and causing collapses that insurance doesn’t cover. Termites on their cause billions of dollars in property damage every year. More than half of homes have never been inspected for termites, and they silently attack wood without rest. Carpenter ants, carpenter bees, and powder post beetles are similarly dangerous. As soon as you notice them, call a professional to assess the damage.

Termites, carpenter ants and carpenter bees are highly organized social insects that reproduce rapidly and never stop expanding their territory. If you are in an area where termites are common, it can be worth it to have your home screened so you can begin taking precautions to protect your home against them.

Stinging Insects

Wasps, yellow jackets, and fire ants should never be handled yourself. While you could get lucky and knock down a nest without being stung more than a couple of times, it is far too risky to attempt this. Even without an allergy to insect stings, an angry colony can sting you hundreds or thousands of times before you escape. Half a million people a year are sent to the emergency room because of insect stings. Some of these unfortunate souls don’t survive. Rather than taking the risk of hoping they will go away, leave them to the professionals.

Any Repeat Infestation

Even insects that aren’t listed may require professional attention if they keep coming back no matter what you do, it’s almost a guarantee that more is going on than you’d think. It is more likely in these cases that you are fighting the same infestation repeatedly as the hidden population grows and begins expanding again. A professional can help you locate the infestation source and root it out once and for all.