Keeping your home well-maintained takes a lot of effort and smart work. As a homeowner, you are responsible for keeping your home safe, and the systems within it functional. One of the worst things you may face as a homeowner is uncontrollable pest infestation.
While contacting an expert for pest control is a smart choice, you can also take some measures to control the situation by yourself and prevent the chances of pest infestation in the first place. Here are a few simple tips regarding how you can keep pest out of your house for good.
Avoid Piling Wood in Your Yard
Working in the yard could generate a lot of limbs and other debris. Making the mistake of leaving large piles of wood in your yard can cost you dearly in the long run. Insects and small animals will use these piles of wood to set up shop around your home. Instead of leaving your residence at risk of an infestation, you need to remove these piles of wood quickly.
Even if you are storing firewood in your yard, it could attract small animals, who would not hesitate to enter your house at the first chance they get. Therefore, always store firewood neatly piled in a separate shed or outhouse, and store it in racks above the ground.
Seal All Window and Door Openings
Do you have large holes around the doorways and windows in your home? If you do have such openings around your house, sealing them up immediately with a high-quality caulk is wise. As pests can fit through smallest of cracks and gaps, you must regularly inspect and repair any warped or broken door and windows.
Any rips and tears in screens can also provide a gateway for pests to enter your abode. You can use screen mesh sizes with at least 200 holes per square inch, this will allow you to keep pests out. Be sure to consult with construction professionals to find out about the best type of caulk to use for this project.
Secure All Your Trash Cans
Most people know that household garbage works as a magnet for pests such as ants, roaches, and rodents that think of it as a nest or a food source. Properly sealing the garbage bins both inside and outside of your home can help you keep pests at bay. Leaving these bins open will attract large pests like raccoons and possums.
It is important to keep trash cans sealed with tight-fitting lids. Using a tie-strap to secure the lids on outdoor trash cans is the ideal solution. These straps are both durable and easy to find at your local hardware store. Cleaning the cans and the surrounding area can remove the debris and spills on which pests can feed.
Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Cooking a meal for your family is probably something you do multiple times a week. Once you are done making and eating this meal, you need to focus on cleaning up. Leaving food on the counters will usually attract mice and roaches. Even the tiniest amount of crumbs can seem like a buffet for a mouse, which is why you need to work hard to keep this part of your home spotless.
Whether you have hosted a party or prepared an elaborate dinner, you need to put the leftovers away regardless of how tired you are, so it wouldn’t attract pests. Additionally, do not forget to wipe clean your counters regularly. Even when they look clean, kitchen counters can accumulate tinniest of food particles, which is frankly unhygienic.
Avoid DIY Pest Control Treatments
There are a lot of things you can do to try and prevent pests around your house, but when you do start to notice there are pests in your home, the last thing you need to do is run down to your local hardware store to buy over the counter pest control treatments. Not only are these treatments largely ineffective, they can be dangerous if not used in the proper manner.
Once you have discovered the pest infestation, you need to call in for some professional help. A professional pest controller can provide more protection than you can on your own. Hire a local pest control service to come to your house and regularly spray for bugs and rodents that are bothering you.
Avoid Clutter in Garages and Attics
Garages and attics are a great storage space, but they can also serve as a hideout for the pests in your house. The old bins and boxes stored in these spaces tend to remain undisturbed for long periods of time, and can be damp and humid, especially the cardboard boxes.
By regularly cleaning these areas, you can prevent pest infestation. Switching any cardboard storage to more versatile and durable storage, like plastic bins, can also help in avoiding infestation.
Minimize Plants and Mulch
If the surroundings of your house are neat and clean, it could minimize the threat of pest infestation, significantly. Any dead leaves or mulch cluttered around your house could attract pests and increase the chances of an infestation.
To avoid such a situation, trim back any tree branches or shrubbery touching your house. This could eradicate the “bridges” that pests can use to easily infiltrate your house. Similarly, the mulch in garden beds can provide a hiding space for pests. Therefore, using less pest-attractive ground cover, such as rocks, in areas that touch your foundation can be effective.
Check for Cracks and Gaps
Doors and windows are not the only places that can have tiny wear and tear. You must keep an eye for small, unsealed gaps around electrical lines and pipes entering the house, as well. Bugs, mice and other small pests can use such cavities to infiltrate your house.
Inspect your house for foundation cracks, loose siding, missing roof shingles and gaps around utility lines. You can cover such openings with copper mesh, coarse steel wool, sheet metal, or mortar. Use of caulk is unadvisable as many pests can chew through it.
Store Food in Sealed Containers
Most animals have an exceptional sense of smell, and if you have an open food container lying around your house, they can easily find it. To avoid such an incident, you must always store pantry foods, such as cereal and crackers, in reusable containers and sealed bags.
Moreover, clean out the pantry regularly to get rid of damaged food or other items you do not plan to consume. The more food you keep lying around, the more pests it attracts. If you minimize the amount of food in your pantry, there are less chances of pests bugging you.
Prevent Standing Water
Standing water always attracts pests, no matter where it is. If you have any stagnant water source near your home, it is wise to keep them clean. Moreover, assessing and attending to any leaks around the house can also help you reducing the chances of pest infestation.
Leaks can lead to abundance of moisture, providing ants, termites and even rodents a soft target to infiltrate your house. Therefore, it is crucial to clean the gutters regularly and tending to any roof leaks as well. Clean out any standing water in the yard and in plant containers, which can prevent mosquitoes and harmful microorganisms from reproducing.
Pick up or cover uneaten pet food or store until the next meal time
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that pests do like treats. If you have any uneaten pet food placed in an open space, odds are pests are going to find it. You must put away or cover your pet’s uneaten food, so it wouldn’t attract pests near your house.
Inspect Swings and Outdoor Furniture
Swings and other outdoor furniture can house spider webs and egg sacks if not taken care of properly. To minimize such occurrences, you must regularly check the chains and corners of swing sets and outdoor furniture and remove when you see these little bugs sheltered there.
Check and Clean Gutters/Drains
Sinks and floor drains can gather around filth and debris over the time, which can attract pests and provide a perfect breeding place, especially for small flies. So make sure to check and clean all the drains in your home on a regular basis, including those in the laundry room and basement. Vinegar and baking soda are an outstanding homemade drain cleaner, which provide foams to flush out clogs.
Seasonal Checks are Essential
Some homeowners think handling their own pest control is a good idea. In most cases, homeowners quickly realize they are in way over their head and call pest control services to help them with the task. But before calling in for professional help, try to quantify the intensity of the problem. If you think the damage is too big to be handled by yourself, seek professional help.
Allow a pest control company to perform seasonal checks so that they can inspect and identify if any problem exists. They will assess the severity of the situation and let you know if a simple clean-up job can fix the situation or chemical treatment is needed to rid your home of pests.
Whether you are dealing with termites or roaches, getting these critters out of your home should be your primary goal. Doing some research online and referring to reviews for the pest control companies near you may allow you to figure out which one is the right fit for you.