A homeowner’s first step in pest control is always prevention. Pests find certain environments more inviting than others, and you want to ensure that your living space isn’t one of them. Though insects and rodents don’t solely target unkempt households, the more meticulous you are with maintenance indoors and around the perimeter of your home, the less you should have to worry about pest infestations causing chaos and property damage and negatively affecting your health. Eliminating appealing elements and sources needed for survival (food, water, and shelter), along with having periodic inspections from a pest control professional, will help you avoid the nuisance of uninvited critters.
It’s no secret that a bite to eat is what a majority of pests are looking for when they enter a home, so properly storing food and cleaning up any remnants of crumbs can help to send them in another direction. Wipe down kitchen counters, don’t leave dishes in the sink, clear up spills quickly and sweep and vacuum the floors regularly. Limit meals, snacks and beverages to the kitchen and dining areas to cut down on the number of places food residue can potentially be found. Keep pantry and leftover food in tightly sealed containers that aren’t vulnerable to gnawing teeth and holes that allow creepy crawlers to enter. Frequently wash out garbage bins (those that are kept inside as well as outside), make sure they are always covered with lids, rinse out all recyclables before tossing them out and take out your kitchen trash daily.
There are several different kinds of water sources around a property that will attract pests if homeowners aren’t careful. Don’t leave pet bowls out all day and night, thoroughly wring out wet mops, clear out slow or clogged drains and take extra notice of any leaky plumbing indoors. Outside, be sure to clean out all gutters and drainage pipes consistently, fill in any holes that could allow for standing water and keep an eye on decorative landscaping accessories like birdbaths and fountains that can easily become a breeding ground for pests. Humidity may also capture the attention of insects and rodents, making it important to keep your home well-ventilated and to routinely check attics, basements and crawl spaces for signs of dampness.
Sometimes vermin just need to take shelter in a cozy place, but you don’t necessarily want that to be your place. Keep your preventive pest control efforts up by blocking entry points that would give them access indoors. Secure mortar around the foundation of your home, reinforce stripping around doors and windows, install screens, caulk all holes and cracks, repair damaged roofing materials and keep vents closed off or appropriately covered. It’s also a good idea to keep all vegetation well-trimmed and away from the home and to store wood further away on the property, as these things can provide the perfect hiding spots for pests.
Practicing these methods of prevention will assist you in keeping the insects and rodents at bay. But at the first indication of a problem, it’s to your advantage to call in the help of a pest control professional before matters get any worse.
About the Author
Tiffany Olson lives in beautiful Northern California and blogs regularly on pest control and home related topics. When she is not researching or blogging you will usually find her on a weekend road trip or hanging out with good friends.