Unwanted pests such as insects and rodents pose significant challenges no matter where. Pests, such as cockroaches and rats, can spread diseases through bites or transmit germs in their body fluids.
They can also damage your home. Termites gnaw on wooden structures such as beams and posts. Rodents, on the other hand, take materials from your home to build nests for their young. Just having these pests in your home creates an uncomfortable and unwelcome experience.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do to control pests in your home. In this article, learn about five effective control techniques you can do yourself to keep your home pest-free.
Seal Potential Entry Points
A pest infestation can start with just a single pest invading your home. Once pests find their way inside, they can quickly multiply and cause damage to your interiors. Therefore, one of the most effective ways to keep your home pest-free is to ensure that they do not get inside your home in the first place.
Block all potential entry points that pests can use. Start by performing regular inspections of your property, both inside and outside. Pay attention to holes and cracks big enough for pests to pass through.
These entry points may include gaps around windows and doors, cracks in walls and floorings, and holes in piping and plumbing. Remember to inspect thoroughly so you don’t miss hard-to-reach places.
After identifying the problem areas, seal them using the appropriate material. For example, you can install weatherstripping for gaps around windows and doors.
Although the most common use of weatherstripping is to block wind and rain from entering your home, as the name suggests, it can also prevent pests from entering through gaps. Opt for caulk or sealant for holes and cracks in stationary objects, such as walls and floorings.
Clean and Organize Your Home Regularly
A simple technique to control pests without spending a lot of money is to clean and organize storage areas in your home. Doing so accomplishes two main things: it eliminates the pests’ food sources and prevents them from building their nests.
Pests such as ants, cockroaches, and rodents get attracted by the smell of food, which can happen if you spill crumbs or keep food containers open. To prevent this, deep-clean your home regularly.
If you spill food by accident, make sure to sweep or vacuum it immediately. Maintain good storage practices, such as storing ingredients in tightly sealed containers and keeping perishable food in the refrigerator within two hours after cooking.
Another reason why pests enter homes is to build nests. Ants and termites prefer to live in dark and damp areas, such as rotting wood interiors. Rats and mice, on the other hand, build their nests in dark and enclosed spaces.
Cleaning and organizing allow you to remove any potential hiding spots. Additionally, having a clean and organized room will enable you to quickly identify traces of a pest infestation, such as animal droppings or packaging damage.
Manage and Throw Out the Trash Properly
Pests consume not only food that humans deem edible but also those that people usually consider wasted or spoiled. Decomposing food and waste emit strong odors that entice pests even at a distance, so leaving them out in the open will inevitably attract them into your home.
Thus, proper trash management and disposal go a long way in controlling household pests. Here are some tips you can practice:
- Avoid leaving out garbage bags since bigger animals such as raccoons and dogs can tear them apart and leave their contents strewn over the ground.
- Use covered trash cans to prevent animals from accessing the trash inside. Choose trash cans made with sturdy materials, such as stainless steel, to ensure that pests won’t be able to chew their way in.
- Practice reducing, reusing, and recycling to avoid accumulating waste in your home.
Sanitize Your Surfaces
Similar to organizing, sanitizing surfaces keeps pests away by making the environment inconducive to survival. If you prefer to create your disinfectant solution, below are some ingredients to whip up a homemade sanitizer:
Alcohol with a 70% or higher concentration effectively kills disease-causing bacteria. It can also kill fleas and ticks, but be careful in its application since it can be toxic to pets.
Vinegar possesses disinfectant properties and is best mixed with alcohol.
Antibacterial essential oils effectively target bacteria and viruses. Some variants, such as tea tree and eucalyptus, can repel pests with their smell.
If you have a steam cleaner, steam clean your carpets, upholstery, and bed sheets to remove fleas and bed bugs.
Don’t Forget Your Backyard
Aside from your interiors, your backyard can get infested with pests too. The most common backyard pests include aphids, ants, slugs, and mosquitoes, and you can keep them under control with the following tips.
One way to keep these pests at bay is to cultivate a healthy garden. Mix compost with plant soil to add nutrients and natural compounds that deter pests. Before planting, cover the ground with plastic or cardboard to build up heat, which will kill pests and their eggs.
Keep your plants healthy by ensuring they receive a sufficient amount of sunlight and water and by removing damaged plant parts regularly.
Another technique is to choose plant and seed variants that resist pests. For example, the natural smell of lavender and peppermint plants overwhelms the sense of smell of mice. You can also use citronella and lemongrass to keep mosquitoes away.
Additionally, you can control backyard pests by removing potential shelter or food sources. Typical hiding spots for pests include overgrown shrubbery, fallen leaves, and wood piles, so sweep your backyard and trim hedges regularly.
Moreover, mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. Watch out for water not draining after rain or watering the plants.
Repairing cracks and holes and maintaining cleanliness inside and outside your home are just some ways to control pests. If an extreme pest infestation is already underway, enlist the help of a professional pest control service to get it under control.
Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus once said that prevention is always better than cure. By proactively following these techniques, you can keep pests at bay and maintain a clean and healthy household for you and your family.