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Pest Control Equipment: A Complete List for DIY Pest Control

Discover the professional-grade equipment you need to DIY pest control.

Zach hand-picks and recommends every product we feature. When you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

pest control equipment

If you want to do your own pest control, you need the right tools for the job. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank by investing in specialized equipment.

In fact, you can apply pesticides safely, easily, and effectively with just a few simple tools.

In this blog, we’ll share the top pest control equipment every homeowner should own, and recommendations on which products to buy.

Essential Pest Control Equipment

Here’s what you need to do your own pest control safely and efficiently:

1. Bait Applicators

Chemical baits are some of the most popular pest control products for insects like cockroaches, termites, and ants.

Most modern baits are formulated as powders, granules, gels, or solid composites. They come in ready-to-use formulations (usually squeezed into syringes), pressurized gel formulations in cans, pre-packaged bait tubes, or tamper-resistant bait containers.

Despite the efficacy of baits, some formulations can be difficult to apply safely unless you have the proper equipment.

That’s where bait applicators come in.

Bait applicators, also called bait “guns,” allow you to apply gel bait formulations safely and precisely – without worrying about leaking, spills, or wasting bait.

While some people prefer to use the ready-to-use syringes gel baits come pre-packaged in, many professional teams prefer to purchase bait guns instead since they allow for precise baiting doses and prevent under- or over-baiting.

Today’s bait applicators come in various sizes and shapes, but most resemble medicine injectors used in the healthcare industry.

These bait guns feature a variety of available dispensing tips that allow you to administer baits into cracks, gaps, and crevices of all sizes and target even the tiniest pests, like ants and termites.

Other bait guns offer accessories, such as extension tips and flashlight attachments.

Best For: Precisely applying gel insecticide baits to small, out-of-the-way areas like gaps, cracks, and crevices.

Recommended Products:

2. Exterior Insect Bait Stations

If you’re going to start a baiting program, you need an exterior bait station to secure your chemical baits and monitor pest activity.

Today’s exterior bait stations are highly versatile. They can be filled with gel, liquid, or granular baits, all of which offer excellent control for insect pests like cockroaches, ants, termites, crickets, and more.

Other bait stations available on the market are designed to facilitate safe, secure baiting and pest monitoring.

These stations can house baits or contain sticky glue boards, which trap insects so you can gauge insect activity levels.

Best For: Keeping chemical insect baits dry and safe from kids, pets, and non-target species outdoors and monitoring insect activity levels.

Recommended Products:

3. Sprayers

sprayer

Sprayers are an essential piece of pest control equipment, and there are hundreds of them on the market.

Modern sprayers vary from small, hand-pumped guns to massive hydraulic machines with liquid volume capacities of several hundred gallons. Fortunately, you’ll never need a sprayer that large for DIY pest control.

Instead, we recommend investing in a handheld compressed air sprayer, which is a foundational piece of everyday pest management equipment.

Most handheld compressed air sprayers have a tank capacity of one gallon. If you need a larger tank capacity, consider investing in a backpack sprayer instead.

Handheld compressed air sprayers include three components: the tank, pump, and the applicator wand and hose.

The tank serves as the reservoir for the spray mixture and serves to pressurize it so it can be sprayed efficiently.

The pump unit contains a hand-operated plunger rod to create pressure within the tank, and the applicator wand and hose allow you to deliver the pressurized spray to your treatment area.

To make your sprayer more functional, you can purchase different nozzles that vary from targeted pin-stream spray patterns to fan spray patterns, which cover a broader treatment area.

Best For: Applying pesticides or other liquid formulations in residential settings.

Recommended Products:

4. Aerosol & Fogging Equipment

fogger

Aerosol generators are machines that convert liquid formulas into aerosols. Sometimes, these machines are also called “foggers.”

When you purchase pre-packaged pest control over the counter, some formulas come in a pressurized aerosol container (PAC).

These insecticides usually come in cans and contain a liquid formulation mixed with a non-toxic gas that works as a propellant and forces the mixture through the applicator nozzle when the valve is opened.

These canned insecticides are popular because they are simple to use, don’t require any mixing, effectively deliver insecticides into even tiny cracks and crevices, and present less environmental contamination risk than liquid formulations that must be pre-mixed before application.

We recommend using a cold fogger to apply liquid insecticides that aren’t pre-packaged in a PAC.

Sometimes called cold aerosol generators, cold foggers break liquid pesticides into tiny particles and allow you to apply pesticides in enclosed spaces.

Today, the ultra-low-dosage (ULD) version is the most popular cold fogger.

ULD foggers use a tiny amount of liquid formula to treat large areas. These foggers are ideal for targeting flying insects like gnats, mosquitoes, and flies and crawling pests like cockroaches and spiders.

They’re also uniquely suited to applying pyrethrins and pyrethroid pesticides.

That said, foggers present an inhalation risk, and using them safely is essential. You should always wear an appropriate respirator and follow other basic safety guidelines when using fogging equipment.

Best For: Applying pyrethrin and pyrethroid pesticides to control flying and crawling insects in residential settings.

Recommended Equipment:

5. Dusters and Granular Applicators

bellow hand duster

Some pesticides and insecticides come in granular or dust formulations.

In residential indoor settings, these formulations are effective for use on various pests, including cockroaches, ants, silverfish, and other tiny pests that like to hide in cracks and crevices.

Outdoors, insecticidal dusts are effective barrier treatment methods that prevent beetles, ants, crickets, and other pests from coming indoors.

To apply these insecticides effectively, you’ll need a piece of equipment called a duster. Today, dusters come in two primary varieties: hand-held and powered dusters.

If you’re applying granular bait formulations, meanwhile, you’ll need something called a granular applicator.

Here’s a quick breakdown of each:

Dusters

Hand dusters dispense tiny quantities of dust formulations into thin layers designed to coat cracks, crevices, and voids.

Today’s hand dusters can hold between 4-64 ounces of insecticide dust. Common models include bulb and bellows dusters, which have a volume capacity of 4-8 ounces.

These dusters are simple: they eject dust when you squeeze the bellow or bulb, while a small applicator nozzle allows you to direct the dust into wall voids and hard-to-reach areas.

If you need a larger volume capacity, you can also invest in a plunger duster, which can hold about 14-64 ounces of dust pesticide and is ideal for use on large jobs.

For whole-home applications, we recommend battery-powered dusters, which allow you to apply dust continuously without refilling or recharging the applicator.

These dusters also come with extendable hoses, which make them ideal for treating wasp nests and other elevated target areas.

Granular applicators

To apply granular formulations, most people modify bulb dusters.

These applicators can be made into granular applicators by removing the screen, removing or shortening the nozzle tip, and installing a filler funnel, which prevents spilling and waste of granular baits.

That said, most granular products come pre-packaged in shakers, eliminating the need to purchase additional application equipment.

Best For: Applying dust and granular insecticide formulations into hard-to-reach areas like cracks, crevices, and wall voids.

Product Recommendations:

Specialized Equipment

6. Vacuums

Applying pesticides isn’t usually enough to eliminate the creepy crawlies that are bothering you.

In most cases, you also need to remove the pests from their harborage areas or kill them within their harborage areas with the help of heat or steam.

That’s where pest elimination and cleaning equipment come in.

Fortunately, these items aren’t as niche as you might imagine: most pest management professionals use ordinary cleaning equipment, like vacuums and portable steamers, to eliminate pests.

A good vacuum is essential to any pest management program.

To get rid of pests, though, a vacuum must have a HEPA filter capable of eliminating tiny arthropods and insects like dust mites.

To extend the reach of your vacuum into cracks and crevices, you can also invest in a microtip that allows you to get all those hard-to-reach areas.

Best For: Removing pests from hard-to-reach harborage areas.

Recommended Products:

7. Steam Machines

We recommend using steam or vapor machines to eliminate pests within harborage areas. These machines heat water vapor to temperatures of about 220 degrees Fahrenheit – hot enough to kill tiny arthropods like mites and bed bugs.

Best For: Killing arthropods and other small insects, like grain moths or beetles, in their harborage areas.

Recommended Products:

8. Spider Brushes

One essential piece of specialized equipment is a spider brush.

Spider brushes are cleaning brushes that you can install on a telescoping pole to remove spiders and spiderwebs in hard-to-reach areas.

Just be sure to clean the brush and pole in hot, soapy water after each use to kill all spiders captured.

Best For: Removing spiders and spiderwebs on eaves, rooflines, or ceilings.

Recommended Products:

Inspection Equipment

Every good pest control program begins with a comprehensive inspection. Here’s what you’ll need to inspect for and identify pests in and around your home:

  • A flashlight. Flashlights allow you to see into dark or hidden areas where pests like to hide. For best results, find a flashlight that’s both durable and bright. We recommend purchasing a flashlight made of heavy plastic, metal, or rubber with a long handle and a shatter-proof plastic lens, which won’t break if you drop it. The bulb should be bright and concentrated – we recommend purchasing halogen bulbs – like the one in this flashlight – whenever possible.
  • Flushing agents. Flushing agents containing pyrethrins (like this product) force cockroaches, ants, bed bugs, and silverfish out of their hiding places and into plain view.
  • A good ladder. You’ll need a stable, telescoping ladder to inspect for pests inside suspended ceilings and in overhead areas. A product like this one offers a 300-lb weight rating and the ability to telescope between 13-26 feet.
  • Hand mirrors. A small, metal hand mirror with an extendable handle is an excellent tool to see under furniture, behind objects, and into hidden corners. We recommend looking for a metal inspection mirror with a telescoping handle, like this one.
  • Tool kit. Last but not least, you’ll want a small tool kit (like this one) that contains screwdrivers and ratchets, which will allow you to disassemble access panels, grills, and other areas to be inspected. Alternatively, you can purchase a multi-tool, like this one, which contains a knife blade, screwdriver, and other tools you’ll need for inspection.

How to Store Your Equipment

fly exterminator
Once you’ve collected your pest control equipment, you’ll need to store and maintain it properly.

Properly caring for your equipment helps it last longer and allows you to stay safe during future pest control.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Keep all equipment clean and in good repair.
  • Handheld pumps should be cleaned thoroughly before storage.
  • Dusters should be emptied and cleaned before storage – be sure that you remove all caked-on dust with a stiff wire brush.
  • Pesticide formulations should be removed from foggers before storage, and the fogger should be cleaned according to label directions.
  • When you purchase a new item, keep hard copies of all warning labels and instruction manuals – organize these documents in a binder to make them easy to find.
  • Store all pesticides and insecticides according to label directions.
  • Keep all pesticide application equipment in a cool, dry place that is out of reach of kids and pets.
  • In areas that experience freezing temperatures, sprayers should be thoroughly cleaned and emptied of all remaining water or stored in warm areas to prevent freezing.

How to Maintain Your Equipment

Make your equipment last as long as possible with these tips:

  • Use the right equipment for the right job. For example, don’t overwork small sprayers or foggers for large jobs.
  • Be mindful of pressure in spray systems – keep the pressure consistent and avoid increasing the pressure to spray greater distances or to finish the job faster.
  • When spraying large areas, use high-volume nozzles to cover more space without overworking the sprayer.
  • Repair or replace broken pieces to keep equipment in good working order at all times.
  • Evaluate all equipment before beginning pest control to ensure proper function.

Conclusion

To DIY pest control effectively, you need the right tools for the job.

The pesticide application tools, accessories, and specialty equipment listed in this blog are an excellent place for the average homeowner to start.

Contact a professional pest management company if you need more assistance or your DIY control efforts have failed.

Call us at (844) 532-0076 and we’ll connect you with a local professional in your area.

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Author Bio: Zachary Smith

Zachary Smith is the founder of PestDude.com. Zachary is a licensed pest control professional with 20+ years of hands on experience eradicating pests from homes and businesses. Zachary earned his Bachelor of Science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002. He specializes in rodent and insect infestation management of structures and landscapes. His passion is to share his extensive knowledge with the world.

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