How to Deal with Various Pests in and Around Your Home

We’re past Memorial Day, which many people consider to be summer’s unofficial start. That means laying back and watching some baseball on TV, firing up the BBQ, inviting the neighbors over, and perhaps having a cold beer or two.

Many people also feel like this is the time of year to beautify their home’s exterior. You might spend some time gardening, planting, mowing the lawn, cleaning the leaves out of the gutters, and so forth.

You want to impress your buddies and family when they come by, and with many Americans fully vaccinated now, you can probably have that gathering you’ve wanted for so many months.

However, this is also a season when many pests are active. Let’s talk about some of them, and we’ll also cover ways that you can deter them from bothering you.

Squirrels

The approaching summer might seem like the time when your primary concern should be what flowers to plant or the best time to water your lawn. If you have plenty of trees on your property, though, you may have to worry about a rodent invasion as well. Squirrels might seem harmless at first, but they can do a great deal of damage if you let them.

For instance, squirrels can dig up your flowers. If you have a birdfeeder, they can steal all the birdseed before the birds ever get to it. They can eat all your vegetables if you are growing any. They particularly like tomatoes.

Short of getting a BB gun and trying to snipe at the squirrels from out the window, there are several options if you want to dissuade them from these sorts of disruptive activities.

You can keep your plants in chicken wire enclosures. That can convince the squirrels to keep their little paws off of them.

You can also put some flaming squirrel repellant on the birdseed. The repellant will burn the squirrels’ paws, and that will teach them not to touch it. It does nothing to birds, though, and they enjoy the taste. Don’t worry about harming the squirrels: the fiery sensation will go away after a little while.

Ants

You might encounter anthills on your property, or you may find that ants are living under the flagstones or the sidewalk in front of your house. These underground colonies can spring up overnight and spread like wildfire.

You can get an insecticide and spray it on the anthill, or you can spray it in the sidewalk cracks through which the ants are going in and out. If they are very close to your property, you probably want to stop them before any of them decide to venture inside.

Mice

If you see mice outside, that’s probably not an issue. If they’re in your house, you may want to take steps to get rid of them.

You can always use the old-fashioned snapper-style traps. Mice are often not particularly intelligent, so they will often fall for a snapper trap you bait with either cheese or peanut butter.

If you don’t wish to kill the mice, you can also purchase humane traps. These can lure the mice in, and they can’t get out again. You can then relocate them to a nearby park or somewhere else a good distance from your property.

Bees

Bees can be a problem, particularly if you find them in your home. You might have bee venom allergies, or one of your other family members might have them.

You can kill the bees by taking a spray bottle and combining water and vinegar in it. You can spray the mixture on the hive, if there is one, or you can spray it on individual bees you find.

Of course, you can also call in a beekeeper or a licensed exterminator if you feel like the problem is too large for you to handle on your own. If the bees are swarming in your attic or some other hard-to-reach location, that’s probably time to call in the pros.

Rats

If you’ve seen rats in your home, you can set out some of the larger snapper-style traps. You might want to be humane with mice, but rats are considerably smarter and more dangerous, so you should approach the situation more aggressively. You don’t want rats roaming around your home at night, especially if you have babies or young children.

Once you have these pest situations under control, you should enjoy the summer months a lot more.

Erin Emanuel