Every homeowner hates to discover a pest inside the home. Whether it’s an insect, spider, or a mouse, the presence of a pest makes you feel like you’re not keeping the home clean and in good condition. On top of that, they are just plain creepy to see.
Once you see a pest, you know to take action. However, the most effective thing is to do what you can to prevent an infestation to begin with. Whichever situation you are in, there are some things that will combat pest problems and keep your home pleasant and comfortable. These five suggestions are a good start.
Most pests find their way in by simply exploring for openings in your house, but the obvious ones aren’t their only choice. Of course you should always keep doors and windows closed as much of the time as you can, but there are many other gaps and openings where pests can find their way in.
Dig a little deeper, because the pests certainly will. Consider any functional opening in your home that may have expanded with time. These can include exterior electrical outlets, access points for utilities, dryer vents, and even exterior lights. Anywhere that shows a little bit of space should be adjusted or sealed.
And don’t forget to make sure doors are closing tightly with properly-positioned sweeps at the bottom. The tiniest spaces are big enough for insects to enter, and you’d be surprised just how small a hole is enough for a mouse. Check door thresholds, automatic closers, and other entry components to make sure everything is properly set to close quickly, tightly, and completely.
Perform Targeted Cleanup
Everybody thinks their house is too clean to have pests. We sweep, we mop, we clean food preparation areas, and we never leave food in the trash for very long. That’s why it’s so surprising, troubling, and even embarrassing when they show up. Their presence feels like a reflection on our housekeeping effort, and we can’t figure out why we have a problem when we clean so attentively.
The problem isn’t the effort in cleaning, it’s the direction of those efforts. Routine vacuuming is not enough to capture many of the eggs and pests that infest a home. Occasional Carpet Cleaning Carpestology will go deeper into the pile and backing to remove pests that you didn’t even know were there, allowing your routine cleaning to fill in the gaps.
As much as we love our pets, they can be a problematic source of pests. That is especially true if they spend time both indoors and outdoors. The process is simple; they go outside, pests (like fleas and ticks) climb aboard, they come back in, the pests jump off. Just that fast, you have fleas and ticks in the house, and the process is so subtle that you have no idea that it’s going on.
The ideal strategy is to keep your pets on one side of the door or other at all times. That movement is the fundamental issue. Of course, it’s often impossible to do that. Indoor pets need exercise each day, and outdoor pets deserve an occasional break from the weather.
When you can’t keep pets either outside or inside all the time, you should at least do what you can to limit how many passengers they are transporting. Be sure to use a flea and tick treatment to repel them from your pets, and explore options for killing the pests in the yard as well.
Watch What You Bring In
Your pet isn’t the only culpable one in the house when it comes to transporting pests. In certain situations, you can be just as guilty. The most obvious example is bedbugs. Their spread throughout the world is evidence that traveling humans are a big reason for traveling bugs.
Bedbugs live in mattresses and sheets, feeding on sleeping humans during the night. They infest clothing and luggage, using them to ride to the traveler’s next destination. When you check in at a hotel, examine the bedding first. If you see signs of bedbugs, request a different room–or just find another hotel.
Often store-bought goods are infested as well. Wicker, cardboard, or wooden items can harbor a variety of beetles and moths that will show up in the house after sailing in from their native homes thousands of miles away.
Eliminate Food Sources
This is a particular area of cleaning that needs special attention. We think that by closing bags and boxes of stored food, we’re doing all we need to do in order to prevent pest problems. The problem is that pests are much more persistent and resourceful than we think.
Most foods need to be in airtight plastic or metal containers to fully exclude pests. Some things can even be kept in the freezer to cut down on problems. Remember that many types of beetles as well as cockroaches and mice can chew through cardboard and plastic bags.
Also, bear in mind that even small spills of food can interest pests. Crumbs in drawers or dipped fruit juice along a backsplash can support more pests than you might realize. Be sure your kitchen cleaning covers areas that might not be obvious. Remember that no pest will stay in a place where it can’t obtain food, so the more of your food that you keep out of their reach, the better the chance that they go elsewhere.
We all hate to find pests inside our homes. When one shows up, we often react with chemicals or other extreme measures. Those are sometimes necessary, but it can often be much better to make changes in the way we do things so that pests don’t get the opportunity to come inside.
Careful management of pets, common sense when traveling, proper storage of food, and good cleanup are important techniques for getting front of pests and warding them off instead of waiting until they show up and trying to fight them off.