They’re called pests for a reason. As a homeowner, you need to know how to beat these pesky pests. Check out our ultimate list of pest control tips.
Did you know that the pest control industry generated over 8 Billion dollars in revenue in 2016?
That’s a ton of termite infestations.
But pest control is about more than keeping your foundation intact. Pests can come in all different shapes and sizes.
Some of the most common household pests are mice, ants, mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. None of which are very much fun once they’ve taken up residence in your home.
The great news is that there are plenty of ways to keep pests at bay. In this article, we’ll give you our ultimate list of pest control tips.
1. Patch up the holes.
Rodents don’t have shoulders that work the same way ours do. Theirs are much slimmer. So if a mouse can fit its head through a hole, it can get its whole body through.
If you’ve ever seen how small a mouse is, you know that’s not a very big hole. And you only need two mice to make it through to create an infestation.
That’s why you’ve got to patch all the holes. Not only can they fit through tiny holes, but they can also create holes.
Rodents have super tough front teeth called incisors. They gnaw through almost anything to clear a path inside.
If you live in an area where you have cold winters or near a field and woods, you’re likely to experience an infestation. Mice find ways into your home to beat the cold or find some food.
Not only do you have to patch holes now, but you’ve got to be diligent about finding them in the future. Plus, mice aren’t the only pests that slip through tiny holes.
Do a thorough inspection of your foundation and basement. Fill in cracks and cover up holes with wire mesh.
2. Put your food away.
Food is one of the top reasons pests make their way into your home. That’s why putting your food away will solve lots of your pest problems.
Stock up on sealed, plastic containers to hold your food. If it’s open, it should be in a container.
This is particularly true of cereals and other types of boxed food. Cardboard boxes are super easy for pests to get into.
Also, pick everything up off the floor. If you keep bulk food on the floor of your pantry, pick it up and put it somewhere else. Take the easy buffet away from the pests.
3. Keep your home clean.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s true. If you keep your home clean, pests have fewer places to hide.
Clean out storage rooms and garages. Keeping an organized garage takes away the little nooks and crannies where pests hide. Plus, it opens up the area so you can see holes to patch.
Take out garbage immediately. And keep your garbage dumpsters at least 10 meters away from your home if you can.
Wipe down countertops in your kitchen with disinfectant. This keeps little bits of food from hiding in cracks.
This applies to the bathroom too. Although there isn’t food in the bathroom, it’s a damp place that can harbor mold. Disinfect on a regular basis.
Wash sheets and blankets weekly. Use a fabric disinfectant spray on your mattresses. Bed bugs like dirty beds.
4. Keep your yard and pets clean.
Pests enjoy an overgrown garden. If you’ve got a garden, keep up with weeding. Not only does this keep pests from hiding there, but if you’re there every day, they won’t hang around.
Prune anything that’s overgrown. Tall grass is a no-no because mice love to live in tall grass. Cut down dead trees and remove stumps.
Keep your outdoor furniture clean. Mice and bugs hide inside of metal poles and hollowed out wood.
Consider a firewood rack. If you’ve got a pile of firewood sitting in your yard, you’re tempting bugs and mice to take up residence. But if you lift it off the ground, they are less likely to find it.
Pets carry a ton of bugs in with them. Bathe your pets often. Use flea collars and flea and tick repellant drops.
5. Watch your windows and screens.
Make sure to seal your windows. Again, any holes or gaps in your windows can let pests through. Plus, it will help keep your energy bills down.
If you keep your windows open, always have a sturdy screen in place to keep bugs and mice out.
This applies to screen doors too. All your swinging doors should have screen doors to the outside. The screen should be free from rips and tears.
Pay particular attention to sliding patio doors. Make sure to lock them when not in use. This prevents someone from leaving them open by accident.
6. Follow the water.
Pests, especially mosquitos, gravitate toward areas with water. This is most true in areas where natural water sources are scarce.
If you have any standing water around your property, drain it and clean the area up. If you can’t remove the water, keep the area around the water clean by cutting tall grass and cleaning out overgrowth.
Gutters for your home are a good investment. When you don’t have gutters in place, water flows off the roof and settles right next to your home foundation.
Add a flow pipe to carry the water away from your home. You want as little water near your foundation as possible.
Inside your home, keep moisture at bay by using a dehumidifier in your basement. This keeps mold from growing which also keeps bugs away.
7. Grow pest-repelling plants around the perimeter of your home.
Many of us have plants growing around the perimeter of our homes. You can grow plants that are beautiful and keep bugs away from your home.
Lavender plants like hot and dry areas. They smell delicious and are a known mosquito deterrent. Sprinkle lavender plants throughout your yard and in areas where mosquitos breed.
Petunias repel aphids and beetles. Plus, they look pretty and thrive in full sun. You can get petunias at your local garden store in a variety of colors to blend in with your home design.
Herbs are great for keeping insects away. Rosemary, basil, and mint are a few, but lots of herbs fall into this category. Plus, you can use them to cook healthy meals!
Create several herb pots that you can keep around your home. Put them near doors to keep insects from hanging out there and following you into your home.
Check with your local nursery for more ideas on what plants work well for repelling pests.
8. Try some natural remedies.
You should always try some natural options before you turn to at-home pesticides. There are a ton of methods out there on the internet for how to pest-proof your home naturally.
Natural pest repellants include cucumber peels, garlic, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon.
Garlic works well in the kitchen. You can crush it up and mix it with water to make a garlic spray. Then spray that around your kitchen to stop ants and other kitchen bugs.
Baking soda is great for keeping pests out of gardens and plant boxes. Sprinkle it around or mix it with some water. One tablespoon of baking soda to a half gallon of water makes a great spray that you can spritz on your plants.
Instead of using mothballs, try cloves to deter winged insects. They smell better than mothballs and are just as effective.
Vinegar also works well as an insecticide. Mix it with water and spray around your home and on plants.
For mice, use glue traps or mousetraps to catch them. Or a live mouse trap so that you can release them later. These are better options than using pesticides if you can avoid it.
9. If the natural stuff doesn’t work, use pesticides with caution.
Here’s the thing about pesticides: they are chemicals. And anytime you bring chemicals into your home or yard; you must use caution.
Especially if you have pets or kids running around. If you decide to go with a pesticide, you can contact your local coop or ag station to find out what works best.
You want low-risk chemicals. And you shouldn’t use foggers. Leave those to the pros.
Read your instructions carefully and follow them to the letter. Always keep kids and pets away from the areas you treat with a pesticide.
10. And if the pests still come, call for help.
If the problem is not going away despite your best efforts, it’s time to bring in the big guns. Hire a professional.
Professional pest control services know what they’re doing. They know how to apply the chemicals carefully. And they have special equipment to keep the pesticides where they should be.
Check out Reynolds Pest Management for more information on how a professional can help your pest situation.
Evict Unwanted Guests with Our Pest Control Tips
Whether in the country or the city, in the north or the south. You’re bound to run into the pest problem at some point or another. Our pest control tips can help you out.
With a thorough property inspection a few times per year, you can stay on top of the pest problem. Try some natural pest repellants and keep your property clean.
The pests won’t think twice about passing your house over for the next house.
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