For most people, pest infestations are at the top of the list of problems they never want to deal with in their homes. Unfortunately, bugs and critters are especially adept at sneaking through walls, windows, attics and any other barriers that separate the wild outdoors from your cozy home space. The good news is that you don’t always have to be afraid of unwanted visitors or keep the local pest management company on speed dial. Whether you live in a temperate climate or in the tropics, following the eight do-it-yourself tips below can help you keep pests away all year long without calling in pricey professional help.
1. Clean Up Food
While pests come in all shapes and sizes, most of them have one thing in common. They love easily accessible food and will actively try to invade homes that might have it. Roaches, ants and flies are especially fond of people’s trash and leftovers. To avoid unintentionally inviting them into your kitchen, try not to leave any food out. Clean up crumbs when you’re done eating or cooking. If you don’t already have one, invest in a quality trash can with a tightly sealed lid. Take your garbage out as soon as it gets full or when it contains a lot of food waste.
2. Secure Entry Points
Most small pests get in through cracks in your doors, walls, windows and floors. Because bugs can squeeze through the tiniest of openings, it helps to seal your doors and windows as if you’re insulating them to cover cracks that might not be visible to the naked eye. You can also put low-risk pesticides in trouble spots or alongside the foundation of your house, but be sure to research side effects before using any chemicals. Since most cracks can be sealed off well with silicone caulk, potentially toxic pesticides should only be used as a last resort.
3. Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite
Big-city residents tend to live in fear of bedbugs. If you’re one of them, be proactive about prevention. Bedbugs are usually picked up while traveling, so remember to inspect your hotel room before bringing in any luggage. Dark brown spots on bedding or mattress, tiny discarded eggs and shells, live bugs and small red stains are all warning signs that bedbugs might be present. If you suspect that the blood-sucking creatures are already getting comfortable in your own bed, call an exterminator immediately to contain the infestation before it gets worse. Bedbugs are notoriously tough to find and kill, so a bedbug colony is one of the few pest problems that absolutely need to be addressed by an experienced pest control professional.
4. Evict Rodents
If insects aren’t as much of a threat where you live as rodents, the first thing you need to do is inspect your house for holes and vents that can serve as entryways. To secure them, use steel wool for holes and wire mesh for vents. Rodents can easily bite through weaker material. If some have already settled in your house, you need to determine the size of the infestation before deciding if you can treat it with over-the-counter traps and poisons. The easiest way to figure out how many rodents are camping out in your home is to look at the density of the droppings they leave behind. Since mice and rats can carry diseases, large infestations should be handled by pest professionals.
Author Bio: Derek is blogging for Fox Pest Control, a termite and pest control service located in Virginia. He enjoys blogging about pest control, home improvement, and DIY home projects.