10 Steps To Keep Your Home Pest-Free
Batten Down The Hatches.
Cracks in the exterior walls of your home are a welcome sign to insects. Get a tube of all-weather caulk and do an inspection. If light or air can get through, insects can get in. Install thresholds and door sweeps to fit tightly to the bottoms of all exterior doors. Door seals will fill the gap around the sides and top of each door, too. Insects can enter your home through any small gaps around your dryer vent, gas line, or even telephone line. Seal these areas from the inside-out using a spray foam product or caulk. You can spray any of these areas with a pesticide as an added precaution, or use peppermint essential oil for an eco-friendly deterrent.
Install Wire Mesh On Vents, In Attics, And In Crawl Spaces.
Critters like raccoons, squirrels, mice, and birds may make themselves at home in crawl spaces and attics if you don't put in barriers to keep them out. These animals can carry mites, fleas, or other pests that will then infest your home. Use wire mesh and/or steel wool to deter unwanted guests.
Eliminate Unnecessary Moisture By Fixing Leaks.
The majority of insects require some humidity to survive. Any moisture can cause problems. Even condensation on pipes can invite unwanted guests. Fix any plumbing leaks promptly; even the small ones. If your basement or crawl space takes on water during heavy rains, insects are bound to come next. Install a proper drainage system, such as a sump pump, and run dehumidifiers if needed.
Keep A Clean Home.
When bugs find somewhere warm with plenty of food and water, they tend to set up shop. This applies to the whole house, but especially the kitchen. Clean up crumbs and spills right away and sweep or vacuum the floor. Don't leave dirty dishes in the sink. Clean out the toaster and microwave regularly. Wipe your stovetop every day. Throw away any scraps and food packages.
Don't Make Your Home A Roach Motel.
Bugs love a cozy place to hide. Don’t give them anywhere to run. Recycle extra boxes and newspapers. Keep laundry in clothes hampers. Don’t leave belongings on the floor, and put things away after you use them. Keep in mind that where bugs are, spiders will follow, so a little bit of tidying at night could save you from a scary surprise when you move the pile in the morning.
Keep Food Sealed Tight.
For a pest problem in the kitchen (like fruit flies), eliminating the food source is sometimes the only way to get rid of them. Store any cereals, grains, rice, and other pantry items in air tight containers. Keep opened food containers in the refrigerator.
Clean Up After Pets.
Some like pet food, some like pet waste, and some just like your pet, but all bugs like what house pets have to offer. Clean your pet's food dishes regularly, and don't leave extra pet food out. Store dry food in air tight containers. Scoop and clean your cat's litter box daily. Wash your pet's bed or favorite blanket regularly.
Take The Garbage Out Often.
Even if you can't smell it, it may still attract bugs. Insects are much more sensitive to odors than we are. In fact, one of the best ways to keep pests out of your home is to empty your garbage often. Line your cans with plastic garbage bags, and tie them tight before you take the bags out for pick-up.
Rinse Recyclables And Clean Out Garbage Cans.
With things like soda cans, milk jugs, and pet food cans, can you blame a bug for wanting to get in your recycle bin? They will all attract insects if they aren't rinsed out thoroughly. Rinse each item before ping it in the can.
Even with your garbage in plastic bags, there's bound to be a spill or torn bag now and then. Thoroughly clean out all of your trash bins to eliminate smells and sticky substances that may attract insects. Several times each year, use a solution of bleach to clean your outdoor cans thoroughly, especially if you keep them close to your house.
Clean Up Your Yard.
Mulch, leaf litter, and garden debris can all harbor insects. Keep mulch away from your home's foundation, and clean up any accumulated organic matter. Mow your lawn regularly, and keep it short near your house. Pull annuals out at the end of the growing season, and trim back perennials as appropriate in the fall. When trees and shrubs have contact with your home, they act like bridges for insects on the move. Keep tree branches pruned so they don't rest on your roof. Prune shrubs away from windows and doors.
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