Pests will nearly always find some way of getting into the home: it’s a nasty little gift they have! However, it’s important for any homeowner to do what they can to keep the little critters out of their house. These tips should help:
Always seal and repair openings
Sealing up gaps is an essential part of pest control. Parts of the home that are susceptible to holes include the weather stripping on doors and windows, exterior outlets, laundry vents and areas surrounding utility meters. It’s also worth checking that there aren’t any shoots coming through into the conservatory floor from plants in the garden (Wisteria can be particularly troublesome). Finally, always keep the door shut if the garage is attached to the house: practically every garage has pests in it.
Don’t leave pet-food lying around
Anyone with a pet will know what happens if you leave an uneaten bowl of pet food around: it’s like cat-nip for creepy crawlies, especially ants. It’s important to make sure that as soon as the family’s four-legged friend has finished eating, their bowl is scooped up and cleaned ahead of their next meal. If the bowl gets overturned (as will occasionally happen if the cat or dog is a bit over-enthusiastic) then the spill should be mopped up immediately and the area treated with some form of cleaning fluid to ensure no remnants remain. If any ants to return to the scene, it’s time to break out the pest control products!
Clean the kitchen
Perhaps no other room in the house offers so much attraction to pests as the kitchen. That’s why it’s important to keep those meal preparation areas sparkling clean. If there are any leftover bits of food, then they should be stored in lidded containers: leaving them open is practically an invitation for everything from silverfish to earwigs. It’s also worth looking around for other animal attractors such as sugar spills near the coffee maker or residue being formed on containers of sugary items like jam or peanut butter. Fruit should typically be kept out of direct sunlight and the fruit bowl itself should be checked regularly to ensure that none of it has started to spoil.
Keep a dry house
Moisture within a home is another major attractor to pests, so it’s important to ensure that major areas of damp are dealt with. A good way to detect them is to check for stains on the ground near any piping, as this usually means there is a crack or hole present. It’s worth noting, of course, that as well as being a cause of excess water, these holes also offer a convenient walkway for bugs, especially if they lead out to the garden or the roof. Therefore, it always pays to have a few pest control products dotted around the house.
Keep a clean yard
Whilst this isn’t an issue with the house as such, keeping a tidy garden will do the world of good for anyone looking to minimise how many bugs have access to their home. Insects are always likely to gather in any place where grass clippings, compost heaps and decaying leaves are allowed to build up, so these should all be swept up with the exception of the compost heap, which should be covered. It’s also worth cutting back any branches that reach up to the house, as these can form a rather convenient bridge.
Invite the birds around
Birds eat insects. As a result, having robins, starlings and other winged animals around the garden is rarely a bad idea! Put up a bird feeder and keep it topped up during the winter months. This will nearly always attract a variety of winged visitors to the garden, who will set about restricting the insect population in the most natural way possible.