Any evidence of a pest infestation is a bad omen for homeowners. The last thing you want on your mind is the thought that critters could be crawling through your home, wreaking havoc as they go. Being proactive about home pest control can help you prevent an infiltration, and knowing what to do at the first signs of pest activity will help you limit the damage they cause.
Tips for Home Pest Control
Being a homeowner comes with the responsibility of protecting your property. Whether it’s a home security system to deter home burglaries, regularly cleaning to prevent mold growth, or testing for asbestos, you’ve got a lot on your plate. But these aren’t just nagging to-do-list items, they are important proactive steps that will help you avoid costly repairs. Preventing pests is no different; even the smallest bugs can do big damage. So, how do you stop them?
The best defense is a good offense, and keeping pests from getting inside will help reduce the damage they can cause. Though you may not be able to shut out every single bug, you can make it difficult for them. Cover holes with durable materials like steel wool and copper mesh to keep them out. Check all the seals and weatherstripping around your doors, windows, and on your roof, re-caulking as necessary to make them airtight, and patch up sections of torn window screens with new screen material. The gardener in you may enjoy the flourishing look of your plants, trees, and shrubs fully grown out, but if they’re touching your home’s siding or roof, it’s basically a highway express lane for pests headed indoors. Trim all landscaping away from your home to limit pest traffic and reduce your chances of them causing damage to your home.
DIY Pest Control
Extra garbage, leftover food, and plumbing leaks will attract pests. Regularly take out your trash and dispose of compostable food scraps to keep the bugs at bay. If a leak springs, it’s like a magnet for certain pests looking to capitalize on the damage. This emphasizes the importance of taking steps to prevent water damage in your home and quickly repairing leaks when they happen.
- If you plan to use pesticides in your home to deter ants, bugs, and other pests, do so safely. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) online for tips on how to correctly use pesticides in your home.
You can also use common pantry items to deter pests. A mixture of water and an essential oil like peppermint, lemon grass, or cedarwood sprayed along windows and doorways is a natural way to repel bugs. A little apple cider vinegar with dish soap in a small cup will help you attract and catch fruit flies, whipping up a quick white vinegar-and-water mixture will quickly clean up messes pests leave behind, and the strong smell of coffee grounds is powerful enough to stop them in their tracks. Learn more about how these food products can help you get your home sparkling clean:
If pests have gotten in your home and started causing damage, it very well may be too late for DIY preventative measures like these. In these situations, it’s best to contact a local licensed professional to exterminate as needed. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may be temporarily displaced from your home. Be sure to plan ahead if that’s the case.