Spiders, roaches, ants – these are just a few of the reasons why you likely schedule regular pest control appointments at your home. But what about that time between appointments, when the pests begin trying to move back into your territory?
This can be a trying time for any homeowner, but you do have options. The following tips can help you keep the pests away until you are scheduled for another professional treatment.
Tip #1: Seal Up Your Home
A major way to minimize pest issues is to make it difficult for them to get inside of your home. This means sealing up any location that provides an easy entrance. The following are a few common trouble spots that you can fix on your own:
- Patch up any holes in your window screens, or replace with new screens. Also, check the screen frames to make sure they fit within the window snugly with no gaps.
- Walk the exterior of your home and check for any holes in your siding or foundation. Small cracks, gaps around exterior vents, or holes where cables used to enter the wall can all provide entrance points. Fill these in with expanding foam insulation or a bit of caulk.
- Check around your doors and windows for any gaps. You can often fix these by replacing the weather stripping around the door or window.
Tip #2: Pest-Proof Your Pantry
Once you have eliminated the easy entrance points, it’s time to take away the food sources. The biggest culprits will naturally be in the kitchen.
Begin by placing pantry items into sealed plastic or glass containers. At the very least, make sure items are in tightly closed zip-top bags. The less food odors and readily accessible food items, the fewer the pests.
Next, always wipe down kitchen counters and sweep the floor after preparing a meal, or at least at the end of the day. If you compost, take it out daily or place it in a sealed container. Same for any food waste that you throw in the garbage – don’t leave it in the kitchen.
Finally, make sure there are no attractive food sources in other parts of the home. This may mean feeding pets at a specific time instead of leaving food bowls out overnight. Or, you may need to vacuum the living room daily if you have children that snack while watching television.
Tip #3: Guard Your Exterior Perimeter
One of the major lines of defense laid down by pest control technicians is a perimeter spray around the exterior of your home, according to Accuracy Plus Termite and Pest Control. It is also one of the first to weaken, since rain, snow, and lawn irrigation all work to compromise the effectiveness of the spray. You can lend it a hand by performing perimeter checks like the following:
- Make sure there are no leaves, dead branches, or other piles of debris laying against the house. These can harbor insects that may eventually make their way indoors.
- Switch to gravel mulch in the garden beds that border your home. Wood mulch, especially close to your home’s foundation, is more likely to harbor pests like ants or even termites. If you must use wood, pull it back a few inches so it doesn’t rest right against your foundation.
- Keep your gutters cleaned out. Leaf and tree debris in the gutters can hide insects, which then make their way into your home via roof vents or attic vents.
- Trim back your shrubs and bushes so they aren’t right against your home. Ideally there should be a few inches between the shrubbery and the foundation and walls. Not only does this cut down on pests, it also is healthier for the plants since they will receive better air circulation.
It doesn’t take much time or effort to keep the pests out when you are performing these tasks in conjunction with regular pest control treatments. Just make sure you stay on top of them so the pests don’t find a way back into your home.