Keeping your home pest-free doesn’t have to be a constant battle. The key to successful pest control is through prevention. You can limit the pests in your house by taking proactive measures and making small changes that will have a lasting effect. Setting up preventive measures, such as keeping food in sealed containers and storage spaces clean, are the best ways to keep pests out of your house in the first place. It might take some time to see results, but these tips will help keep bugs out of your home and reduce their numbers over time.
Once you know what sort of pests are living in your home and where they like to lurk, you can get strategic about how to address them. Here are our top pest control tips for keeping those pesky critters from making themselves at home in your house:
Change up your cleaning routine
Pests are attracted to areas in your home where they smell food, waste, and dead rodents. They can live in your attic, crawlspace, or basement, and come into your living areas through small holes and cracks in the wall or foundation. Keeping your house clean can help prevent pests from taking up residence and make it easier to spot signs of their presence if they do get inside. Put all crumbs and spills in the trash. Be careful not to leave pet food out, and pick it up immediately if it falls to the ground. Keep your kitchen and other food areas clean, and use a disinfectant regularly to kill and discourage pests. Wash all dishes and cups immediately after they’re used, and keep your counters wiped down. Get your hands dirty less often, and do your grooming away from areas where food is prepared, stored, and eaten. Cleaning and keeping food areas clean will also cut down on the smell of your house, which can help keep bugs away.
Seal up your home’s entry points
Pests can enter your home through windows, doors, gaps in the foundation, and other openings. Take a critical look at the exterior of your house and the surrounding area, and pay special attention to areas where pests might get inside. Pests like to burrow in the ground, so check for holes or gaps in the grass around your home, and seal them up with dirt or small stones. Check your windows and doors for cracks or holes that might be letting pests in and repair them as needed. Pay attention to the roof around your home’s eaves, as pests can get between the roof and the wall, and find ways into your house from the attic or crawlspace. Repair any holes you find, and caulk around windows and doors to block off other potential entry points.
Don’t leave food out
Keeping food sealed up in containers, or off of counters entirely, will help keep pests out of your house. Pests are attracted to food and can find ways to get into it, even if it’s in sealed containers. Make it a habit to never leave food out where pests can get to it, and clean up after every meal. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, and be sure to store food properly in the pantry or other areas where it’s not on display. Pests can also be drawn to food that’s been left out but not eaten. Coffee grounds, rotting fruit, and other scraps that are common in kitchens can be a signal to pests that they can find food in that area. Pick up after every meal, even if you’re not cooking for yourself every day. This can help reduce the amount of food pests can find in your home, and make it easier to notice if there’s a problem.
Use natural deterrents
Spraying pesticides is not the only way to keep pests from bothering you. In fact, the use of chemicals may encourage pests to stay around because it provides a reliable source of food. Instead, try to use more natural methods to discourage pests from visiting you or your plants. The use of natural insect repellents can help repel pests from your home with plants that have a strong scent that pests don’t like. Some plants that can be used for pest control include cinnamon, garlic, lemongrass, mint, rosemary, and citronella. Be careful to not place these plants near edible plants, or place them in pots so they can be easily moved away from the house if necessary. Sprays made from these plants can be used on doors and windowsills, and they’re best when used in conjunction with other methods of pest control.
Get a pro to help with more serious problems
Keeping your home free of pests is an ongoing process, but it’s one that can be greatly reduced with a few simple changes. Keeping your home clean and sealed up will discourage pests from setting up shop in the first place and make it easier to spot and address any issues. Pesticides are not without their risks, so make sure to use them sparingly and only when necessary.