The average American spends approximately 90% of their time indoors. This is a concern because pests, such as rats and roaches, are drawn to homes with an inviting climate.
Note that pests are looking for food, warmth, water, and shelter when they invade your home. When you pest-proof your home, you have more peace of mind and maintain a cleaner, safer environment. How do you keep pests away and make your home safer?
Keep Your Home Dry
If you want to avoid pesky pests in your home and expensive water damage repairs, take a good look around for any potential sources of leaks.
While old homes may be more prone to this, extreme temperature differences in a newer home and low-quality installations can cause water pipe damage.
Water can leak through holes on the roof, creating perfect breeding spots for mold, spores, and mildew. If the house has mold, learn how to safely and effectively remove it using the Ultimate Guide to Removing Mold and Mildew. After that, solve the cause, permanently getting rid of mold.
Don’t forget to check the sealant around drains, beneath showers, and next to tubs. If you find a problem, take steps to address the issue. Mosquitos love moist environments; make sure your home is dry and pest-free. Even when you don’t have standing water, bugs will still be attracted to damp surfaces.
Keep the House Clean
If you keep your house clean and clutter-free, pests will not want to stay because they have fewer food sources and hiding places. Use a vacuum cleaner and dustpan or broom to pick up whatever food crumbs are on the floor and countertops, including any that might have fallen under appliances like the stove.
Wipe down surfaces such as tables with an all-purpose cleaning product and clean the tops of food cabinets and the fridge.
Take out garbage regularly. Pests are more likely to stay if they smell food inside your trashcan. Keep trash cans and bins tightly sealed away from your house. Also, clean the kitchen, tightly seal food containers, and keep them away after use. Always clean the kitchen and dining area before bedtime. Most pests invade your home at night, searching for food leftovers.
Keep the Yard Clean
Pests thrive in a dirty environment. Make sure to regularly pick up trash and other debris outside your home to prevent pest infestations. Tall grasses and shrubs are excellent pests’ breeding grounds. If you have an outdoor pet, clean up after them regularly.
Don’t have plants next to your house or store items, including firewood too close to the house’s walls. Also, seal off your property if larger pests are a nuisance in your area and keep the site around the trash bins clean.
Identify the Common Pest Problems in Your Area and Act Accordingly
Most common pest problems include roaches, spiders, mice, mosquitoes, and rats. If you’ve just moved into an area, ask neighbors about common pest problems they face, then pest-proof your home accordingly. For mice and rat problems, have traps such as snap traps.
For cockroach infestations, buy boric acid or a pesticide spray. If you see ants on your property, apply insecticide around the infested area. Don’t place an ant trap inside your home.
Don’t Transport Pests to Your Home
It’s easy to transfer bed bugs, mites, and roaches from hotel rooms or other residences to your home. After a vacation, thoroughly clean all the items you traveled with separately before taking them inside your house. Be aware of your environment every time you travel and inspect hotel rooms for bed bugs before lying down.
Seal all Entry Ways
Use caulking or weather-stripping to seal off gaps around doors, windows, and access points. Seal off all holes in your exterior walls, as they can provide a passage for pests, including spaces made by pipes or wires that enter into the wall cavity.
Keep garage, and outside doors shut at all times and put screens on windows to keep pests from flying or climbing into the house.
Use mulch or gravel around trees to prevent rodents from taking up residence around them, spreading pest problems throughout your home. Also, make sure to keep trees trimmed so that they’re at least three feet away from your house.
When bugs are a constant nuisance, place screens or netting on top of fountains, ponds, and other water sources. Remember to check and seal spaces on the roof and get rid of piles of leaves, brush, or other vegetation.
It also helps to have a pest control expert periodically inspect the house and fumigate when necessary. Always use human, pets, and environmentally friendly pest control methods and follow the local council’s guidelines.