Ask around for advice on help to deal with pests that are plaguing you and your home and you’ll get a variety of answers. How do you know which ones are worth your time and which ones will leave you frustrated? Here are some commonly held beliefs that won’t get you anywhere closer to ridding your space of the creatures that have moved in on your turf.

1. Boiling water will kill ants.
You can probably substitute other insects as well; I’ve heard this one as the answer for dealing with ground wasps as well, and I can tell you from experience that it’s not worth the energy it took to boil the kettle. The boiling water will certainly kill the insects that it comes into contact with, but the water will cool down before it reaches the inner sanctuary of the queen and larvae, meaning a new generation will quickly replace any that you’ve managed to eliminate.

2. You can bait mice with cheese.
It seems mice will eat anything, judging by the look of chewed cereal boxes in your cupboard, and we’ve all seen that mice traps do their job just fine, but there are far better baits than cheese for the task. I’ve actually had traps sit empty with their tempting bits of cheddar for days on end, and as soon as the cheese was swapped with peanut butter or fruit – success! Mice are actually more attracted to food with a higher sugar content than cheese will offer.

3. Keeping linens clean will stave off bedbugs
Bedbugs will actually live wherever they are offered a food source (namely, blood) and they’ve aren’t very particular about the accommodations. Although washing your bedding will take care of some of the bugs if you’re infested, bed bugs are incredibly adept at hiding out in any crack or crevice they can find.

4. Bug spray is only useful early morning and again at dusk
Not true! While it is true that only female mosquitoes bite (they require blood to lay their eggs), they will attack at any time of the day, so keep your repellent handy. Citronella candles are also a great way to deter these insects from preventing your enjoyment of the great outdoors.

5. Ultrasonic repellents can rid your home of spiders
If you’re creeped out by spiders then the idea of keeping them at bay with an easy household tool you just plug into the wall can seem like a dream come true. Unfortunately, there is absolutely zero scientific research to back this up, so keep your money in the bank.

6. Choosing a concrete slab or bricks will eliminate a termite infestation
Although some of your home may be built with products other than wood, most homes are built with a wood frame, and termites aren’t fooled by a concrete foundation. If there’s wood, they’ll find it.

There are, of course, a variety of ways that actually will work to rid your environment of pests. Do some research, and in the event of a large infestation, calling a professional is always best.