Pests are unsightly and pose a health hazard. Before pests show up in your home, take these simple pest prevention steps to keep them away!
In certain parts of the country, household pests pose more of a problem during the winter. Pests that normally thrive outside in warm weather, look for cozy homes where they can avoid chilly winter temperatures.
If you live in an area where you enjoy warm temperatures year-round, you may also notice uninvited house guests all year long. These guests aren’t like people who drop by without an invitation. You probably don’t mind setting an extra plate or two for dinner.
We’re talking about bugs and rodents who love camping out both outside and inside your home.
If you feel a little on edge when thinking about what might lurk around your home, here are 9 pest prevention tips you can use so that household pests will leave you alone.
Pests Hate Clean Kitchens
While no one wants insects crawling around any room in the house, the kitchen is one room where they can pose health hazards.
Certain household pests, like flies, cockroaches, and mice carry diseases. You don’t want them near your food, dishes, or cooking and eating utensils.
Most pests won’t hang around a clean kitchen. There’s nothing for them to munch on! Discourage these unwanted visitors in your kitchen by cleaning up after every meal.
Brush away crumbs and other food debris. Sweep the entire floor after meals, especially under the table and near food prep areas.
Avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink. If you don’t have time to handwash or get them in the dishwasher, at least rinse off any leftover food particles.
Finally, store leftovers in airtight containers. Ants and other insects love leftovers! Don’t give them any incentives.
Eliminate the Woodpile
If you have a fire pit or fireplace be careful where you store firewood. Insects, especially termites love woodpiles. Store firewood away from your home.
If you have wood scraps from a home improvement project, don’t leave them piled up outside. You’ll attract both insects and small animals.
Speaking of wood, inspect your trees for overhanging branches. If you can’t trim them yourself, call a tree service and have them cut back limbs that animals can use as a bridge to your roof.
Squirrels and raccoon prevention will keep these critters out of your attic and other areas of your home.
Contain Household Garbage
Avoid leaving kitchen and bathroom garbage inside your home. Make a point of emptying trash regularly and move it to your outside garbage containers.
Keep a tight lid on your trash containers, both inside and outside. Sealed trash cans discourage flies and other pests. If possible, store garbage cans away from your house.
If you practice composting, don’t store your compost bin near your home. Also, think about using a closed-top bin. This is one more way you can keep bugs and critters from making themselves at home.
Inspect for Pest Pathways
Before chilly weather arrives, check your home for areas where rodents can get inside.
Inspect your foundation for cracks. Even the tiniest cracks act as an entryway for bugs. Mice can fit through small cracks too!
Check your roof for missing shingles or holes. Squirrels and raccoons know a good thing when they find it and a hole in the roof offers access to a warm place where they can build a nest and raise a family.
If you seal up holes and caulk cracks, you’ll enjoy two things. First, you won’t host rodents. Second, you’ll improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Check Groceries for Stowaways
Pest prevention starts at the grocery store. If possible, inspect dried food packages before you buy them. Look for signs of beetles, moths, and other pantry pests.
You may not see the bugs but you can still examine these products for signs of infestation.
Pantry pests infest dried goods like flour, cereal, and other grains. They also like products containing chocolate, dried fruits, or nuts.
Avoid buying dried goods with visible holes in the box or bag. Once you get your dried goods home, consider transferring them from boxes to airtight covered containers.
Keep Your Home Dry
Any area of your home where you have standing water makes an attractive home for a wide range of household pests.
Inspect your plumbing and repair any leaking pipes. Also, look for leaky faucets and appliances.
Basements are prime real estate for centipedes, ants, beetles, silverfish, earwigs, cockroaches, and more. While house centipedes may be helpful, most bugs should not be allowed to bunk in your basement. Moisture in a basement is like putting out a welcome mat for these bugs.
If you have a problem with humidity in your basement, set up fans. Also, consider investing in a dehumidifier.
Water also seeps through basement walls. Use a caulking gun and seal cracks and fill in holes. This means fewer places where bugs and other pests can sneak in.
Enjoy the Aroma of Citronella
Mosquitoes are bad enough outside but when they come indoors, they’ll pester you relentlessly.
One pest prevention method for mosquitoes is citronella. Citronella is a naturally occurring oil. It can help repel mosquitoes.
If you’re only planning on staying outdoors for a short time, consider placing citronella candles in the area. They only work for about 2 hours, so if you need longer protection you may need a pest control spray or a bug zapper.
Be aware that citronella candles are for outdoor use only!
Avoid Wood Mulch
Wood mulch is a popular and attractive landscaping tool. It’s also a favorite hangout for centipedes, spiders, millipedes, and sowbugs, to name a few.
If you’re not interested in creating a home for these bugs, use gravel or rock for landscaping.
Pay close attention to flower beds near your foundation. Bugs who live in wood mulch can easily migrate inside your home through cracks in the foundation.
Explore Professional Pest Prevention
One of the best ways you can prevent pests in your home is by hiring a professional. Professionals first inspect your home, both inside and outdoors. They can see potential problems you may miss and help you come up with a pest prevention plan.
If you enjoy sleeping in peace at night, professional pest prevention can help. No more nights imagining what might be crawling around your home.
Want More Articles Like This?
Hopefully, we’ve helped you figure out a pest prevention plan for your home. Keeping things clean and getting rid of wood and other things pests find attractive is a good starting point.
If you’re diligent, you won’t end up being a safe haven for unwanted house guests like insects and rodents. If you enjoyed reading this post, check out our archives, where you’ll find articles on home and health!