Do you spray for bugs INSIDE the house?

It has FINALLY turned a little bit cold here and the scorpions have all decided it’s time to take refuge in my house for the “winter.”

I haven’t had any type of pest control service since we moved here because we really have very few bugs. There are no fleas!! (My dog loves it.) And no mosquitoes. (So dry and so hot.) But we do have scorpions and they are scary.

After the recent cold front, Michael was stung by a scorpion on his foot as he bathed Lilina. And then while recovering on the couch, he killed another one that had snuck in.

(I know you’re wondering: It hurt him like CRAZY. He said it felt like someone was hitting his foot with a hammer over and over again. He was up all night in pain.)

So I called my neighbor-recommended pest control man. He came the next day and felt like we needed to spray some inside as well as outside. I was not happy about this. (But I don’t want scorpions!) I refused to let him spray upstairs at all. I don’t want them sleeping in chemicals and kept him mostly on hard surface floors. I don’t want chemical on carpet or fabric.

So what do you guys do with your bug spray? Do you spray inside or just use an outside barrier? Do you spray in bedrooms? What’s your theory on it?

51 comments Add your comment

Jessica

November 15th, 2012
12:51 am

I have the same dilemma. I don’t want bugs in my house because they can bite/sting or spread germs, but I don’t want to expose my children and pets to dangerous chemicals.
I keep my house very clean, but the creepy-crawlies still find their way inside sometimes. I have tried a few home remedies to get rid of bugs, but sometimes those ideas don’t work and I have to use insecticide. If anyone has a non-toxic (or at least less toxic) suggestion that actually works, I would love to know what it is!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

November 15th, 2012
1:07 am

Good question Jessica – i should have asked that at the end of the blog. Hopefully folks will have ideas. I did ask my pediatrician today if she sprayed inside for the scorpions and she said yes but not in the bedroom so that actually made me feel a little bit better.

Fred ™

November 15th, 2012
1:15 am

Fred ™

November 15th, 2012
1:15 am

My last comment disappeared lol

Fred ™

November 15th, 2012
1:20 am

Let me try again…….

I have wondered about the same thing but…….. how many stories have you read of folks being harmed by spraying inside? I mean they’ve only been doing it for the last 100 years or so.

Does anyone have any info? I’m just too lazy to google.

On another note: Theresa:

Why do you allow “Katherine the Great” to abuse motherjanegoose like he/she does? Why must I put up with abuse from Phil From Athens? It’s one thing to disagree, it’s another thing to be abuse and either cyber stalk a poster like Katherine does to MJG or attempt to cyber bully like phil did to me the last thread.

Please police your blog.

motherjanegoose

November 15th, 2012
7:10 am

Yes, we do spray inside. Every six months. I have also been stung by a scorpion, years ago. I was at the kitchen sink and the scorpion was curled up under the baseboard and came out to “zap” me…ouch!

Fred…we will hopefully see what she says.

MomsRule

November 15th, 2012
7:20 am

We spray inside and out. Unless your kids are licking the carpet at the baseboards or the window sills, is it really an issue? I don’t even smell an odor after the house is treated.

Jeff

November 15th, 2012
7:59 am

I’m with fred. How many people have gotten sick over bugs in the house vs how many have gotten sick from the spray that kills the bugs in the house?

I’ll take the spray.

Remember people, our generation used to put crap in our mouth all the time when we played outside as kids. Remember the hose we used to drink water from in the summer? All the crap that was in that, and yet we survived. Stop acting like your kid is an antique family heirloom worthy of smithsonian protection.

gritsiam

November 15th, 2012
8:01 am

the chemicals used now are no longer as bad for people as they used to be. what a person can buy at the store is sometimes more powerful that what the pest control companies are using. Most pest control is done outside the home and only inside if there is a major problem. if you have normal pest control (usually quarterly and outside the home) then you should have very little issues inside. Big thing to do is get rid of all cardboard, you would be shocked at what is in the boxes you bring home. Keep all pet food in air tight containers, the bags they come in attract bugs as well.

Mayhem

November 15th, 2012
8:02 am

We do our own pest control. Ortho Home Defense – $14.00 at Walmart.

I spray the outside perimeter, I spray the inside, just the basement and garage. I also spray around the deck too, and spray the bathroom windows….I don’t normally spray the bedrooms, except maybe once or twice.

Mother of 2

November 15th, 2012
8:29 am

Try spraying 1cup of vinegar, 1 cup of pepper, and 1 teaspoon of oil and liquid soap around the outside foundation and windows. It won’t hurt you or your pets and should keep bugs outside. Good luck!

Phil from Athens

November 15th, 2012
8:29 am

“I refused to let him spray upstairs at all. I don’t want them sleeping in chemicals and kept him mostly on hard surface floors. I don’t want chemical on carpet or fabric.”

Then be prepared to get stung because that’s what’s going to happen if you let your paranoia about bug spray hamper you. There is no evidence that pest control spray has harmed anyone in houses.

Good luck.

Ed Advocate

November 15th, 2012
8:33 am

I have our pest control co spray inside unless I’m pregnant or a new baby has recently arriveother which case our guy will just spray outside. Like many of our neighbors in the older homes near ours, we sometimes have rat problems in our detached garage. When exploring pest control options to combat the rats, it became very clear that if we poisoned our rats (which apparently run outside and die when poisoned–or decay in your house–yuck!) it could affect larger animals in the food chain like our dog & cat, or the hawks & owls which frequent the green space behind our house.

So, while I frequently utilize the “nuclear” option of pest control by spraying inside, I use more green methods because of unintended consequences when combating rodents.

Phil from Athens

November 15th, 2012
8:33 am

Found this on a website.

http://www.epestsupply.com/scorpions.php

How To Get Kill & Get Rid Of Scorpions

It can be difficult and time consuming to control scorpions in and around a home, but it can be done. The first thing that should be done is thoroughly cleaning of the inside of the house. Carefully pick up all laundry and debris cluttering the floors. Clean the bathroom and kitchen cabinets out, as well as, the closets and other rarely used spaces. It’s wise to treat these areas while the are empty with insecticidal dusts such as Drione Dust or sprays such as Demon WP.

So what do scorpions eat? They eat insects, so keep the house insect free with indoor pesticides and with glue traps such as the ePest IPM Pro Bug Traps and Monitors. Glue traps are great at capturing insects and also beneficial. While they won’t kill scorpions, they will catch them. Scorpions feed on small spiders and soft bodied insects. They will eat other species of scorpions and even small individuals of their own species. They have poor eyesight, so do not stalk or chase prey, but lie in waiting to grab it with their pincers. Small insects are eaten immediately, but larger prey are stung and eaten after they cease to struggle.

To successfully control indoor scorpions, it’s essential to manage the scorpions outside the home. Sealing off all of the outdoor cracks on the home with caulk or another sealant is very important. Also, reducing the number of outdoor hiding places for scorpions is important. Remove debris such as loose rocks, wood, trash and other unnecessary things from the backyard and around the home. It’s also beneficial to keep the grass mowed short and all shrubbery nicely pruned.

Outdoor areas can then be treated with a residual insecticide of Demon WP, Demand or Talstar. Indoor areas such as crevices in woodwork, closets, around plumbing, doorways or windows, and other areas where scorpions might hide should also be carefully treated with a similar spray or dust. Non-residual or contact applications of CB 80 can be useful when rapid control is needed indoors.

Mayhem

November 15th, 2012
8:39 am

I also have three cats, which are very good at killing bugs, especially those nasty Palmetto Bugs….UGH…I hate those things!!!! I can’t even stand to pick them up with a Kleenex after they are dead…..

CC

November 15th, 2012
8:44 am

Your carpet alone is releasing chemical vapors everyday….Use the bug spray. We need to quit obcessing over the small stuff. Just keep the kids away from lead paint chips.

We have lived in our house...

November 15th, 2012
8:51 am

…for 18 years and have had the “bug man” spray inside and outside every three months, like clockwork. The kids were 6 & 9 when we moved here and are now 27 and 24, and neither has had problems, nor have any of our 6 dogs or 6 cats (all over time) been bothered (the current dogs and cats are 11, 10, 10, and 6) and we have had have them since they were puppies & kittens).

The old paranoia strikes again, this time out west…

Kate

November 15th, 2012
8:57 am

There are scorpions in Georgia too. Control of entry to the house is key. You may not see obvious holes, but if you’ve got scorpions, those big outdoor roaches, etc….they’re finding a way in through cracks somewhere. Doors, windows, water pipes, baseboards. Sealing and caulking solves most of the problem with zero risk. Outside perimeter treatment, with your own spray or a pest control company, takes care of the rest of the problem really well. Don’t let your pest control company try to convince you otherwise. They’re selling their services.

I never spray inside the home. If you do a little research (not weird internet scare sites, just actual clinical studies or even the EPA), you’ll find pesticides, even at levels used in a residence, are pretty darned dangerous. They are neurotoxins. Long term exposure can cause a number of health problems. Unlike other risks in life, it’s an easy thing to avoid, so why go there?

BTW, to those worried about “germs” spread by bugs…goodness, we’ve all got more germs than an occasional bug. Unless you have an infestation of epic proportions, you’re not going to be harmed by any bug germs. Once again, don’t fall victim to pest control marketing tactics.

JOD

November 15th, 2012
8:59 am

I’ve been thinking about adding NorPest Green (the ‘green’ option from our termite company), but am not sure I want to do that now. We have 2 dogs and I find that most bugs in our house come in with them, which no amount of spraying will control. Our biggest issue is house centipedes, which are disgusting. I’ll take spiders outside, but those things have to die.

Ironically the other night, I was walking from our bathroom to the bedroom in the dark and stepped over something in the middle of the floor. It wasn’t there a moment before, so I flipped on the light to see what it was, and it was a scorpion. Yikes – good thing I see really well in the dark! Agree they are not welcome in the house, but I felt bad killing it, so I threw it into the woods.

Other interesting critters in our house – black widow in the basement and tiny baby snake curled up under Hubs’ shoe. Ah, nature!

Voice of Reason

November 15th, 2012
9:00 am

Perhaps you just need to better seal the cracks and crevices on the outside of your home to prevent them from getting in.

JOD

November 15th, 2012
9:05 am

@Mother of Two – Do you use a particular kind of oil? I might try that since I have been converted to the miracles of vinegar for cleaning. Next summer I’m planning to try a ‘recipe’ on Pinterest for weed control with vinegar.

Me

November 15th, 2012
9:05 am

We have only had one episode with a few ants and we were able to trace those back to our neighbor’s house – they were traveling along the fence to reach our house. Corrected that issue by caulking the area where they were entering the basement and then, yes, sprayed the interior with whatever “ant spray” we purchased. I have never once worried or otherwise had concern over the “chemicals” being inside the house. We aren’t spraying it on food services, in the cabinets, on the dishes, etc. so haven’t cared and still don’t. I just don’t understand the mentality of those who spend so much time worrying and being paranoid over damn near everything.

Trizzle

November 15th, 2012
9:07 am

The pest control company that I utilize uses what they call “green spray”. IT’s pet and child friendly. They mostly spray outside on a normal basis, but if I see an increase on the inside, I will request it. I’ve had no problems, there is no chemical smell, and my pets are fine as well. I don’t have children, but if it doesn’t effect me in any way, then it shouldn’t effect the kids.

Susan

November 15th, 2012
9:41 am

Yes I spray inside of my house. I make sure that my pets are not around when I do so. I also make sure they stay away from the spray until after it dries up.

non committal mind reader

November 15th, 2012
10:14 am

Scorpions feed on small spiders and soft bodied insects.

While this may be true, the spiders in MY house trap and eat the scorpions. We have a few scorpions in our house. They like to hang out underneath “clutter”, as the article said. We get so few of them that I hate to spray the whole house for a very occasional scorpion (about one per year).

CJ

November 15th, 2012
10:14 am

I work for a pest control company. I always remind customers that the percentage of chemical used (as directed by the label) is designed to kill tiny insects. There is not enough active ingredient to cause harm to humans. You are more harmed by sitting in traffic, inhaling exhaust, than you are from pest control. Also, a “green” product only means it is a plant derivative. It does not mean it is safer than non-green chemical. It would amaze you the harmful stuff that comes out of a chrysanthemum! If you have your home treated inside then just keep people & pets away until it dries. They should only be doing a crack/ crevice treatment anyway. If you have to have a fan spray treatment, such as for fleas, then they should properly direct you on re-entry. Usually 2 hours. Today’s chemicals are so much safer than than the chemicals of yesterday. I would much rather have pest control than pests!

itpdude

November 15th, 2012
10:17 am

I bomb the house once a year. It’s a process. We corral the cat in the bedroom (towels at bottom of door) and bomb the rest of the house, let it settle, then open up the windows to air out.

We do it every spring.

gail

November 15th, 2012
10:26 am

I have always sprayed inside……myself…..for years…..

JR

November 15th, 2012
10:41 am

Boric Acid works as a good insecticide, and is very safe (unless you eat it). It’s the main ingredient in eye washes, to give you an idea of how safe it is for humans. You can get it in powder form and just sprinkle it about.

Phil from Athens

November 15th, 2012
10:48 am

CJ

Hope your employer doesn’t see that you blog on Bookman, Kyle and every other blog on the AJC 24/7.

jmb

November 15th, 2012
10:52 am

Living on the lake you can see every species of insect there is! We primarily spray with the Ortho Mayhem metioned. We spray all the window and door frames and make a parameter around the house with it. We do this at least every 3-4 months. Approx. once a year I spray the entire house by going around all the baseboards and closets. I’ll spray the downstairs first and then the upstairs just before we plan on leaving for a couple hours and when we get home, there’s no odors at all from the sprays. We don’t have a square inch of carpet in our entire house so that’s not and issue but should I have carpet, I would still spray around the baseboards and the windows of the room with the carpet. We also have an exterminator come once a year and spray around the outside of the house just before flea season. I have to add also that I work in the environmental field. The toxins in sprays are no more harmful than the air that you’re breathing or the water you’re drinking. Everything is catagorized in ppb (parts per billion) as to what is acceptable and you would be shocked at the levels that are deemed safe in your drinking water. Another good thing is the old fashioned Borax. You can squirt it into small crevices and cracks and it will take care of any insect that tracks through it.

FCM

November 15th, 2012
11:14 am

Professionals outside, the home solution (like Mayhem)inside as needed.

@ Jessica depends on the crawly…we gets LOTS of Daddy Longlegs in the home office and playroom (coverted basement). So we do not spray there but just kill on sight. Ants in the kitchen come in by the sink. I put the self contained Terro out for them…it brings every ant for miles the first day then they are all gone for months.

We did find a different creepy crawly near the dog food bowl. I moved it away from the back door and it seems to have helped…I think they smelled the food in his bowl and just came in. The remaining food I keep sealed in a container. I had not thought of the dog food as an attractor before.

Jeff

November 15th, 2012
11:15 am

CJ, thanks for the input and help in debunking another helicopter/enviro myth.

who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men

November 15th, 2012
12:07 pm

I keep reading how studies show that stress and needless worry take years off peoples lives. There should be a study on what is more detrimental to a long life….worrying needlessly about the little things that have no scientific basis and/or you can’t control like if spraying indoors going to kill me, and should I adopt a kid in Haiti after the earthquake (albeit, no one worries about them anymore because they’re out of sight and mind), or the actual spraying itself.

Ricardo Cabeza

November 15th, 2012
12:22 pm

Termidor is available from any DIY pest control store. It is rather expensive (about $85/qt.) but considering the application rate of 0.6 oz. per gallon it goes a long way. Apply quarterly OUTSIDE to defend against almost every sort of creepy-crawly. If something does get in, it was probably on you, your pet, or in your grocery sacks.

Kat

November 15th, 2012
12:32 pm

I know that some people have all the time in the world to wonder about such trivial matters, but something like this should really be taken up with a pest-control company rather than sending a question like this out to the masses who have uninformed and loud opinions. Having said that, if you have no other pest problems (no need for pest control, no mosquitoes, etc.), then you can count your blessings.

DB

November 15th, 2012
12:48 pm

Spray! The kids aren’t going to be licking it off the baseboards, for heaven’s sake. If you are really concerned, then schedule the exterminator for the morning, while the kids are at school. That way, it has all day to dry. It’s the pesticide solvent that you smell, not the insecticide itself. Once it’s dry, there should be no problems at all. Scorpions — GROSS!!!! HATE those things.

Scorpion hater

November 15th, 2012
2:01 pm

When i first moved into our newly built home, we constantly found scorpions. I had the inside sprayed once to take care of the ones alreay in the house. Since then I have used a product I buy online called cyber CP and apply it only to the exterior. I find many dead scorpions on the outside but none on the inside…just how I like it!

Scorpion hater

November 15th, 2012
2:03 pm

Correction the product is cyber WP

Mayhem

November 15th, 2012
2:15 pm

@Kat – It’ may be trival to YOU, but sometimes we need suggestions, and some like to hear what others have to contibute to a certain topic. That’s why Theresa puts these kinds of topics up on the blog.

BTW – we are NOT uninformed and loud. Some are convinced their ways are better than everyone elses. But it’s nice to hear what others suggest.

My suggestion is if you don’t have anything to contribute to the topic, then don’t post. But don’t talk down to the writer or the commentors.

Mother of 2

November 15th, 2012
3:20 pm

@JOD, try lavender or cedar oil. I also use straight vinegar on outdoor weeds with great results – just be careful to spray only the weeds because it’ll kill good plants as well.

K's Mom

November 15th, 2012
5:46 pm

I am likely going to get beaten up for this, but here goes. My dad has been in the ag chemical business for 41 years. I grew up in a house with farm grade pesticides in the basement which he used to spray our home both inside and out. None of us died, has cancer and my brother and were neither one born with 2 heads. They were locked up (much like people do with guns) and the fear of god was put into us about touching them. My dad sprayed twice a year, while we were out and we of course did not lick the baseboards…but I just howl laughing at people being uptight out pesticides when a scorpian bite or the diseases that some bugs carry are far worse unless you sit down and drink the chemicals. I refuse to buy organic produce and think paying twice as much for it is crazy….but that is just me.

Kat

November 15th, 2012
6:31 pm

@Mayhem: With a screen name like yours, what should I expect from you?

Asking people what is safe and not safe on an anonymous blog (where TWG is concerned about her kids’ safety) is not the best thing to do. Breastfeeding in public – fine. Telling your kids about horror movies – fine. Will I poison my kids if I do xyz – not fine.

Talking down? If that’s what you think, you are dumber than a box of rocks. I would not put wheels in motion on any plan unless I had an expert tell me the truth, which by their very nature, blogs are not. Since TWG is a very concerned parent, that’s the best course of action.

Let me know if you need me to use smaller words, Mayhem.

Georgia

November 15th, 2012
6:33 pm

I have good news and bad news. Bad: The FDA revealed that produce pesticides can neither be washed off or boiled away. They are now systemic. The good news is that Black Flag has five new flavors.

Observer

November 15th, 2012
8:33 pm

Have a professional exterminator spray inside/outside every 2 months for the past 15 plus years. We are all alive and well and so are our pets. The only time I see a bug inside is the day after spraying. One or 2 may have crawled out from wherever they were hiding and are dead.

My need/desire for a professional exterminator came one day, actually Christmas Day, about 16 years ago. Woke up to find armies of ants, crawling through cookware, glassware, dishes, all my cabinets, dishwasher and covering my countertops. Had to cancel Christmas dinner for almost 20 family members. Never again. My exterminator along w/my cats have this in check.

Chad Freeman

November 15th, 2012
9:39 pm

The exterior perimeter bug spray is really the way to go. Insecticides are effective at repelling bugs that harbor outside your house. Be sure to caulk all holes and cracks around windows and exterior pipes. For more information on how to spray for bugs like a pro visit spraybugs.weebly.com

Ann

November 16th, 2012
2:54 am

It is helpful to weigh the pros and cons when making these choices. These products have an MSDS Sheet (Materials Safety Data) where you can see any hazardous ingredients listed and the health risks and ratings. They are usually available on the web or you can request it from a manufacturer. They are usually about 2 pages and are written in a manner that is easy to understand.

I do find it interesting how many comments there are saying that “we didn’t get sick” or “we are fine” after years of using these products. You may be fine now, but over half of you will get cancer in the future. There is evidence, from multiple studies, of pesticide connections with some cancers, alzheimer’s, parkinson’s and other diseases. Chemicals and pesticides are one of the top areas being studied by many cancer researchers.

Theresa, some people make it sound like you are being foolish or a worrier by even asking this question and hesitating. If it wasn’t for people who raise these types of questions, we would still be using DDT and Thalidomide, both of which were thought to be safe for many, many years. And, we know the story there. With DDT, there were even commercials that showed kids running and playing behind the spray.

Kat

November 16th, 2012
9:30 am

Remember the boy who “cried wolf?” Cry for no reason too many times, and you get what you get.

Anton Chigurh

November 16th, 2012
9:34 am

If that’s where they are, then, yeah. So?

Ann

November 16th, 2012
5:58 pm

Pesticides placed around the perimeter can wind up in the ground water runoff and well water. And, the overuse of chemicals for lawn care is taking a toll as well. Most folks no longer want to eat the fish from lakes and rivers nearby, as they did a few decades back. Some people who think it’s “no big deal”, at the same time, are using filtered water in their home.