Have pests been taking over your home every summer? For many of us, summer – the peak season for pest activity – comes with a lot of headache and stress as an army of ants, roaches, rats, mice, and other pests invade our homes. It’s time to take back control. In this article, we’ll explain how you can wage war on your home’s pests and make your home an undesirable place for them to be.
Cut off the buffet line
It may not seem this way to you, several feet above the ground, but the floors of your home could be a bottomless buffet for any number of pests. Every crumb that falls on the floor, every granule of sugar that falls between the countertop and the stove, represents a potential food source for roaches, rodents, and ants.
Keep a clean kitchen and regularly “deep clean” behind your stove and refrigerator. In your pantry, put all of your food into sealed containers: if something you’ve purchased doesn’t come in a sealed container, consider moving it into a tupperware or plastic bag. Wash your floors every now and then to remove any sticky residue from dropped jam or sauce.
Besides vigorously cleaning your home, there are several other things you can do to eliminate the food supply of common pests. If you feed your pets on the ground -especially outside -pick up their food and water bowls after they’re done. If your backyard has fruit or citrus trees, pick up fallen fruit frequently. Roof rats, in particular, love to gouge themselves on fallen fruit before returning to their nest.
For two pests, cutting off the food supply will be more difficult. Termites don’t need you to provide them with food: your home is already there and ready for them. Similarly, for bed bugs, you are the food. The best way to prevent these pests is by not allowing them into your home in the first place. With bed bugs, this means being vigilant about washing clothes and luggage after a trip and checking for an infestation before sitting or laying down on a hotel bed.
Remove their shelter
If they’re not looking for food, pests are probably in your home because it’s serving as a shelter for them. It’s climate-controlled, free of any predators, and easy to access for now. You need to remove this access to your home and eliminate any other shelter points around your property. Let’s get started.
First, it’s important to realize that pests have many common points of entry. Rats and mice can squeeze into incredibly tight spaces. Roaches can basically fit anywhere as thick as a credit card. This gives them options. You need to go around your home and close them off. Using caulking, weatherstripping, wire netting, or other DIY-friendly tools, seal off any cracks in your foundation, gaps around your doors and window frames, or access points to your attic.
Once you’ve cut off their access to the house, it’s time to go after their places of shelter in your yard. Rats and mice love to make their nests in abandoned vehicles, little-used storage sheds, underneath piles of firewood, or in burrows beneath overgrown bushes or shrubs. If you really want to take the war to them, you need to clean up your yard. If you’re dealing with rodents, don’t forget to also inspect the attic and basement.
Work with a local pest professional
If you want to win the war against your home’s pests, you need a multipronged strategy. Cutting off their food and shelter won’t be enough on their own. You’ll also want to talk to an experienced pest professional to get their opinion on what kind of treatments might be effective at eliminating the current infestation. After all, as we’ve discussed, DIY pest solutions will only take you so far when you’re dealing with termites and bed bugs. You need an expert in your corner.
Whether you need pest control in Phoenix because you’re dealing with bark scorpions or your home in Virginia has a rodent infestation, this strategy can help deter future pest infestations. If you want to start making your home less friendly to pests, check out this infographic from KY-KO Pest Prevention – a pest control specialist.
The following infographic explains it more.