Debunking Viral Pest Control Trends and Discovering Real Solutions

October 3, 2023

Social media and Pest Control Information Sharing

Unpacking Viral Pest Control Hacks


    Social Media and Pest Control Information Sharing


    Social media platforms have become a breeding ground for sharing innovative ideas, and this extends to the realm of pest control. Users on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram share their experiences and discoveries, which can lead to viral trends and hacks that catch the attention of millions. These trends often promise easy and budget-friendly solutions to common pest problems, making them appealing to a wide audience seeking quick fixes for their issues.

    And of course, this does come with benefits, but it also comes with disadvantages that can sometimes be dangerous.


    The Benefits of Social Media Hacks

    The viral nature of social media trends can sometimes lead to the discovery of genuinely effective pest control methods. For instance, ideas like using natural solutions to repel bugs may offer homeowners practical and eco-friendly alternatives to chemical pest control. The accessibility and simplicity of these natural pest-repellent hacks can empower individuals to reduce the possibility of pest infestations, potentially saving time and money on future problems.


    The Disadvantages of Social Media Hacks

    While social media hacks may seem promising, there are significant drawbacks to consider. One of the most pressing concerns is the spread of misinformation. Viral trends can quickly gain momentum without undergoing rigorous scientific validation, leading to unverified and potentially unsafe pest control methods. Embracing unproven hacks without expert guidance can exacerbate pest problems or even harm the environment.


    In the realm of pest control, it is crucial to strike a balance between the benefits and disadvantages of social media trends. While some hacks may offer innovative and effective solutions, it is essential to approach them with caution, verify their safety and efficacy, and consult with pest control experts to ensure that our pursuit of easy solutions does not inadvertently lead to more significant pest-related challenges. 


    An informed and responsible approach to pest control, guided by scientific evidence, remains the most reliable way to address pest infestations while minimizing risks to our health and the environment.


    With insight from professional pest control company, Excel Pest Services, we delve into some of the most prominent viral pest control trends circulating on social media, separating fact from fiction and highlighting the importance of informed decisions when it comes to managing pests.


    Infographic on where pest control is googled the most.

    Unpacking Viral Pest Control Hacks


    Irish Spring Soap for Bug Repellant: Fact or Fiction?

    In late April 2023, TikTok user @lawilliams50 claimed that applying Irish Spring soap to door jambs could keep bugs at bay. The video has amassed over 218,000 likes, 9,051 shares, 700 comments and an astounding 5.2 million views. The success of the video gained even further traction when @jordan_the_stallion8, a self-proclaimed pest control technician, endorsed it. According to @jordan_the_stallion8, the soap compromises insects’ exoskeletons, causing them to dry out.


    But is this based in scientific fact? The effectiveness of using Irish Spring soap as a pest repellent remains unproven, despite the claims made by creators on TikTok. While some natural pest-repellent scents such as thyme, lavender’s linalool, and eucalyptus are known to deter pests, Irish Spring’s ingredients don’t align with these oils. 


    While the idea of using soap as a pest control method may seem harmless, it’s crucial to remember that not all bugs are deterred by this approach. The effectiveness of this method remains unverified by scientific research. Before you choose to adopt any hack, it’s important to consult with a professional Pest Control Company. 


    Coffee Grounds as Mosquito Repellent: Aromatic Defense?


    In July 2023, a viral trend suggested burning coffee grounds to repel mosquitoes and wasps. The concept behind this hack is intriguing, as coffee grounds are known for their potent aroma. Mosquitoes are highly sensitive to smell, making them a prime target for aromatic deterrents. 

    Mosquitoes have a heightened sensitivity to smell, which they rely on for finding areas to breed and their source of food, humans. Coffee grounds, known for their concentrated and potent aroma, can disrupt mosquitoes’ sensory receptors, overwhelming their ability to locate humans by smell. While limited scientific evidence supports this claim, the practical effectiveness of coffee grounds in repelling mosquitoes should be acknowledged. 


    Trap Companion Planting with Huckleberries: A Gardener’s Ally?


    TikTok user Rob Drucker (@unhandyhandyman) shared this gardening trend in July 2023 involving huckleberries as trap companion plants, and the video quickly gained traction, amassing 52k views, 6,305 likes, 159 comments and 2,251 saves. This concept suggests that huckleberries can attract and distract bugs, ultimately protecting other garden plants from infestation. Drucker had learned this trend from another video on the same social app, and this is how information spreads – but is this hack helpful, or is it a different kind of hack? 


    While trap companion planting has a basis in agricultural science, its effectiveness may vary depending on the type of pests and plants in your garden. Understanding the specific needs of your garden and consulting with experienced gardeners or agricultural experts can help determine whether this hack is a viable option for pest control.

    Instant Wasp Elimination: TikTok Buzz or Ecosystem Hazard?


    On June 26, 2023, Kylie Gonzalez (@kyliejordan998) shared a TikTok video where she and her husband demonstrated their method for swiftly eliminating a wasp’s nest, a video that reached 20 million views and 2.2 million likes. In this viral video, Kylie’s husband can be seen holding a transparent plastic cup containing approximately a quarter of clear liquid. Kylie’s husband then discloses that the liquid inside the cup is gasoline. With careful precision, he approaches a wasp nest hanging beneath the eaves of the house. The nest is populated by numerous wasps, with larvae nestled within its pockets. He then positions the cup adjacent to the soffit, covering the nest entirely to prevent any wasps from escaping and to seal off any airflow. In a matter of moments, the wasps begin to drop individually into the gasoline within the cup. Kylie’s husband then guides the nest with the cup’s edge until it also descends into the liquid. As the nest submerges in the gasoline, the larvae inside the nest’s pockets disengage and fall out. Essentially, the wasps succumb to the fumes, and plummet into the gasoline, resulting in instant demise.


    This trend prompted curiosity, and some users experimented with it. However, this method has sparked outrage from environmentalists who emphasize the importance of preserving insect ecosystems. While it’s tempting to try out instant solutions for pest problems, it’s crucial to exercise caution and ethics. 


    Sink Plugging for Cockroach Prevention. Good Idea or Gross Idea?


    In July 2023, a New York City tenant, @hellloo111, shared her experience of plugging up sink drains to prevent cockroaches during a weekend away in a vital TikTok video. The rationale behind this approach is that cockroaches thrive in moist environments.


    But is this based in fact? In truth, the connection between cockroaches and sink drains is quite significant. Cockroaches have a remarkable ability to survive with minimal food but require moisture to thrive. Sink drains become attractive habitats for them, especially when faucets leak, increasing moisture levels. Sinks also have a tendency to collect food scraps in kitchens and organic materials in bathroom drains, offering a readily available food source for these pests. With this in mind, cockroaches frequently establish their presence in sink overflow cavities connected to the drain, granting them easy access to food and water without the risk of flooding.


    So, when residents depart for the weekend, reduced water usage and less food going down the drains may prompt cockroaches to venture out of their drain dwellings and search for sustenance within the apartments. Some TikTok commenters appreciated the advice, while others found the topic unsettling. But is this good advice or simply unsettling behavior? 


    Excel Pest Services have a complete guide to cockroaches, with useful information on cockroach identification, infestations and prevention measures. 


    Infographic. Our experts ratings on viral pest control hacks.


    Bed Bug Prevention for Travelers: Helpful or Harmful?  

    In February 2023, @Alykima posted a TikTok video that has garnered over 2 million views. The creator recounts how bed bugs turned her travels and her post-travel relaxation into a nightmare. In the video Kima shares three valuable tips to help travelers prevent these unwanted visitors from hitching a ride back in their suitcases.


    These tips include avoiding placing suitcases on soft surfaces, separating fresh and worn clothes, and washing everything upon returning home. The comment section is full of commenters who share their nightmare experiences with bed bugs, and other comments simply thank the creator for sharing such helpful tips. Excel Pest Services have written a complete guide to hotel pests, detailing everything you need to know as a frequent traveler or a hotel manager.    


    Fruit Fly Elimination: A Sweet Solution or Sour Result?


    In July 2023, popular life hack TikToker @andrelifehack, from Saint Petersburg, Russia, posted a viral hack involving a glass and a piece of fruit. In the video, the TikToker claimed that this would trap and eliminate fruit flies effectively. 


    In the video, Andrei arranges diced fruit within a glass and crafts a paper funnel to position on top. This homemade fly trap appears effective, as the next clip reveals several trapped fruit flies within the glass. 


    The video garnered an impressive 7.8 million views and sparked conversation about long-term pest control solutions versus temporary relief. You see, while this method may provide some relief from fruit flies, it may not be a long-term solution. 


    Cayenne Pepper to Repel Spiders: A Spicy Solution or Short-Term Hack?


    In October 2023, a budget-friendly TikTok hack involving cayenne red pepper and water was touted as a non-toxic method for repelling spiders. TikTok user Ceith Griffith, boasting 1.4 million followers, posted a straightforward solution to deter spiders from entering your home. Ceith’s method comes across as uncomplicated but also safe and non-toxic, requiring just two readily available items: 10 ounces of water and cayenne red pepper, a spice found in most supermarkets.


    In the video, Griffith claims that cayenne red pepper, typically found in your kitchen cupboard, has proven to be an effective irritant to spiders. This is because the pepper may impact a spider’s sense of smell and vision. Spiders rely on their legs for scent perception, so encountering an area treated with cayenne pepper can disorient their senses, prompting them to flee. 


    To create a spider-repelling mixture, Ceith recommends a simple concoction of cayenne pepper and water. His instructions are straightforward: mix two tablespoons of cayenne pepper with water in a bottle, shake it well, and transfer the mixture into a spray bottle. Thoroughly apply this mixture around your window sills, ensuring every window on the outside of your house is covered. By doing so, you create a barrier that deters and prevents spiders from entering your home.


    But what do the experts say?



    The rise of viral pest control trends on social media highlights the need for a cautious and informed approach. While some hacks may offer temporary relief, they may not provide lasting solutions or could pose risks. 

    It’s essential to consult with pest control experts like Excel Pest Control, who can provide evidence-based guidance tailored to your specific pest problem. Ultimately, a holistic and scientific approach to pest control is the most effective way to ensure a pest-free environment while safeguarding your health and the environment.


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