It is highly unlikely that you have lived a home for years at a stretch without having encountered pests of some kind. The inevitability of pests not just renders you helpless but can also be an embarrassing situation especially if you’re having people over. Even more so is the aspect of hygiene. However much you try, it is hard to control the standards of cleanliness when there are pests in nooks and corners. From the seemingly most inconspicuous mildew and mold kind to the larger and more frightening pests like rodents, pests can get the better of a person’s nerves and patience. Often it is just as much of a task to find the right pest management company to tackle the situation, not to mention hiring professional help can be expensive and a lengthy process.
Pests can be inherent in a house that you’ve just bought or as in most cases appear over a period of time. It is also a possibility that they have been brought in from outside or from a neighbor. In fact, very often a badly done pest control job at a neighbor’s house can cause an influx of pests in yours – especially if the pest control only manages to secure the compound and not actually exterminate the problem. In all of these cases, getting rid of the pests can be quite challenging, but there is an easier alternative – prevention. Keeping an eye out for pests and being fully aware of the factors and conditions under which pests thrive is a good place to start your pest management plan at home.
Here are 9 simple and inexpensive tips for you to take care of your home in a pest-free manner, without having to seek help from a pest management company:
1. Keep it Clean
Pests thrive in filth and unhygienic environments. Filth does not necessarily have to mean absolute toxic conditions. Corners that aren’t dusted for too long, for instance, are comfortable nesting spots for spiders. Regular cleaning not only leaves you with a hygienic living space but also reduces the chances of a pest infestation. Dusty surfaces often provide ideal breeding grounds for mites; a situation which can be avoided by something as easy and simple as regular dusting.
2. Exposed Carpeted Surfaces and Rugs
Fuzzy rugs, woolen textiles, and heavy drapery are common and convenient places for ticks and lice to settle and propagate. If you have unused drapery or rugs, it is always a good idea to dust them, dry them in the sun, pat clean them and store them in airtight bags or boxes. This prevents smaller insects from settling in them and also retains their longevity.
Not only that, a simple stashing away of heavy drapery during summer months can guard against dust allergies and asthma.
3. Screen the Doors and Windows
Investing in mesh screens for your doors and windows would be a good way to keep pests like mosquitoes, moths, locusts, and beetles at bay. This is a good thing to do especially if you prefer keeping your windows and doors ajar for ventilation during the day. A one-time investment in screens does go a long way in saving pest control costs in the future.
Double layered doors and windows can also keep out rodents, especially if your home has a yard or garden adjacent. A home with nature at close proximity can attract a large variety of bugs from the outside.
4. Fill in the Gaps and Crevices
Roaches and rodents enter houses through cracks or holes in the walls. Take a good look around your house inspecting all the walls for cracks and crevices that could allow pests easy entry into your home. Fill up these crevices as soon as you notice them – you may choose to fill gaps in the walls with plaster or cheaper yet, with insulation or carpentry foam. Pay close attention to walls in your kitchen and bathrooms, especially under sinks and wash areas. Crevices that are also fueled with seeping water or moisture can act as breeding grounds.
5. Pests love Pets
If you’ve pets at home that go outdoors, it is best to keep them well groomed and clean. Dogs, cats and other furry animals must have their coats brushed clean and powdered to prevent fleas and lice. Fleas not only are harmful to your pets but will also be transferred onto your rugs and linen and any furniture that your animal comes in contact with, and before you know it, they may begin to breed. It is a little-known fact that tick bites can be harmful to humans as well, depending on the species.
6. Over the counter chemicals
Chemicals like boric acid powder are easily available at your local chemist. Dust cracks in walls and areas near drains with boric acid powder which keeps away ants and roaches. Though not particularly harmful as far as pesticides go, it is a good idea to keep it off surfaces where children or pets may access.
7. The Outdoors
If you’re planning on planting trees in your yard, make sure you do so away from underground sewage and water pipelines. Roots of trees run deep and run towards the water, and sewage pipes are often damaged by strong roots. Damaged or broken drainage pipelines are an excellent entry point for rats and mice into your home.
8. Still Water in Vases and Vessels
Mosquitos breed in dark and damp areas, and stagnant water is an inviting spot for them to lay eggs. Ensure that you do not have water puddling up or staying stagnant in places for too long. Cleaning out birdfeeders and vases can drastically reduce the chances of mosquitos breeding in your backyard. Through screens and nets can keep out mosquitoes, it is important that you make sure you aren’t encouraging their breeding in any way.
9. Keep it Simple
Sometimes the easiest methods are those that were practiced in olden times. Fly swatters, baits, sticky traps can prove to be very effective in trapping pests. Most hardware stores stocks mouse and raccoon traps and these pretty much just need to be placed with a bait. The best part being that even the bait can be inexpensive; kitchen waste and leftover food work as excellent bait for rodents.