How to prevent pests from making your house their home
Your house is supposed to be a safe haven from the outside world – not an event venue for bug parties. But if you don’t get serious about protecting your house from insects, pests may move in and refuse to leave.
4 Ways to Keep Bugs Out
We all like to think we take care of our homes. We lock our doors at night, run the dishwasher a few times per week, and even scrub the shower on occasion. However, bugs are still a reality.
“No matter how well kept your home is, no residence is immune to pest invasions,” one blogger writes. “But you can be prepared, arming yourself with information on what to look for, and how to protect your home, your family, and even your pets.”
While it depends on the type of climate you live in, common household pests include ants, bees, hornets, wasps, beetles, bed bugs, cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, flies, spiders, millipedes, termites, mites, and even mice and other rodents.
Not crazy about sharing your living quarters with these little guys? Here’s how you keep them at bay:
1. Keep Surfaces Clean
Pests and insects are nasty. They’re also attracted to nastiness. If you want to keep bugs away, start by eliminating and preventing messes. This means:
• Not letting dirty dishes sit in the sink for extended periods of time.
• Cleaning up spilled food immediately.
• Regularly cleaning out your pantry and refrigerator.
The cleaner your house is, the less hospitable it is to bugs – and that’s a good thing!
2. Seal Gaps and Cracks
Food and messes aren’t the only things that attract cockroaches and other critters. Bugs prefer the easiest route into your home. This is usually some sort of gap, crack, or hole.
“Another way that cockroaches can enter your home is through cracks in your walls, so make sure to fill these cracks with caulk, and inspect your walls regularly,” Tri-S Pest Control Service explains in this post. “If you have to fill a crack in your wall with caulk, it is easy to cover up the repair with paint once it has completely dried.”
It’s a good idea to conduct an annual inspection of your property. Simply walk around the outside and look for visible signs of gaps and cracks. You can also check from the inside. (Winter is the best time of year to do this. You can simply run your hand along the edges of windows and doors to feel for cold air.)
3. Eliminate Excessive Moisture
Insects need water to thrive. While they get some water in the food they eat, they typically have to supplement by seeking out environments with high moisture content.
If you have leaky faucets, pooling drains, or other standing water in your home, it needs to be eliminated as soon as possible. Letting it stick around is like putting up a flashing neon sign for bugs to congregate.
4. Keep Landscaping Kempt
When you walk outside, you go from your world to a bug’s world. And even though you can’t completely remove bugs from your yard (and you wouldn’t want to), you can take steps to ensure they don’t overrun your property and eventually take over your house.
One way to do this is by keeping shrubs, trees, and plants away from your property. You should have a minimum of 18 to 36 inches of clearance around your entire house.
When it comes to mosquitoes and other bugs that like moisture, you should make it a point to eliminate pooling in your hard.
“It’s also important to maintain regular drainage channels, such as gutters and drains,” landscaping expert Bambi Turner writes. “Keep them free from leaves, grass clippings and debris so they’re able to operate effectively. If you have a pool, keep it chlorinated and filtered, even when not in use. Change the water in your fountains or birdbaths twice a week to keep mosquito eggs from hatching in them.”
Putting it All Together
No matter how hard you try, there’s always a chance that pests will take up residence in your home. If they do, it’s imperative that you respond quickly and efficiently. The sooner you evict them, the less likely it is that they’ll spread or return. Be proactive!