There’s no getting past it; pests are a problem any time of the year, which is why it is necessary to have a home pest defense system in place. By staying one step ahead, you’ll reduce the chances of an invasion and pests setting up house in your home. In this article you will learn the various pest control tips to keeping the pests out of your home and yard.
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Home Defense System
Homeowners are faced with a variety of pests regardless of the region where you live. What all homeowners in the U.S. have in common is dealing with general household pests such as termites, stinging insects, mice, rats, cockroaches, ticks, and ants.
Image via Flickr by Kiran Foster
Tips for Keeping Pests Away
Knowing effective pest control tips is the first step in securing your home from pests. How to keep pests away is a matter of doing initial inspecting of all areas of your property, making notes where problems exist, purchasing supplies for repairs or preventive measures, then making the necessary updates.
Use the pest control tips to visually check your home for potential problems before they occur to stay ahead of the possibility of an infestation.
Outside Pest Control Tips
For some outside pest control tips, there are several areas to check for entry/exit points. These include:
- Cracks and crevices around windows, doors, and pipes are prime targets for pests. Caulk and seal any areas where holes are present. For larger areas where caulk isn’t possible, fill the gaping hole or crevice with steel wool.
- Termites are a problem for all homeowners. Look for signs that termites have infiltrated the home by searching for softwood, walls with bubbling paint, and mud tubes.
- Landscape adds beauty to the home, but when it’s too close to the house, it provides pests easy access to outside walls, windows, and the roof. Overgrown yards are ideal places for pests to build their nests. To prevent this, keep shrubbery and tree limbs trimmed so they aren’t touching the house.
- Raking the leaves in the yard and weeding out flowerbeds can be essential to preventing pests.
- Keep the foundation around the home clear of mulch by at least 15 feet.
- Check the direction that water flows from gutters and downspouts and adjust to prevent water from pooling around the home, providing a breeding ground and a source of water.
- If your home has fascia or shingles that are damaged, causing rot or deterioration, have the affected area(s) repaired to prevent pests from being drawn to moisture and rotting materials.
- Once garbage bags in outside containers have been disposed of, secure them with lids to avoid offering food-seeking pests a tasty meal.
- Eliminate standing water in containers, planters, toys, etc. that may be a repository for rainwater. Gutters are another area where water can accumulate, creating an environment that is a prime location for breeding mosquitoes. Clean the gutters removing leaves and debris. Also, check that outdoor faucets are not leaking, creating standing water.
Inside Pest Control Tips
The inside pest control tips covers a lot of territories that can be problematic and lead to pest infestations.
- Weather-stripping around doors and windows is a barrier to prevent moisture as well as outside pests from entering the home. Replace old weather-stripping around these areas to prevent pest intrusion.
- Make sure the attic is dry, and there is adequate ventilation. Some pests like to use attics as a nesting place to raise their young; therefore, sealed off any entry points.
- Screens are prone to rips and tears, which create entry points for pests. Check the windows, security doors, attic vents, and the opening to the chimney and secure or replace damaged screens.
- Kitchen trash cans are a buffet for hungry pests. Keep garbage in well-sealed containers and frequently empty into outside garbage cans.
- Check the pipes under the kitchen sink, bathroom vanity, and in the laundry room around the piping. Look for signs of leakage and eliminated source of moisture.
- Use a dehumidifier in areas prone to moisture and dampness, such as crawl spaces, attics, and basements.
- Keep the kitchen clean by wiping down counters to remove crumbs that are an excellent food resource for pests on the prowl. Sweep floors to eliminate any food tidbits and don’t leave food sitting out; put it away immediately.
- Run the vacuum cleaner at least once a week.
- Overripe fruit left on the kitchen counter is like waving a flag that says “free food” for fruit flies.
- Wipeout and wash pet food bowls as any food left sitting inside will attract pests, such as ants.
- Store dry pet food in a secure plastic tub or container versus their original paper material as some pests can eat through the bag.
- Keep your indoor and outdoor pets free of fleas and ticks with a quality pest preventative recommended by your pet’s veterinarian. Both these pests will invade the home and multiply, creating an unhealthy environment.
- If your home has an attached garage or a storage shed, check the interior and exterior of these areas as well for signs of leaking or unsecured doors and windows where pests can invade.
Yard Pest Control Tips
Discouraging pests in the yard helps lessen the potential for full-blown infestations.
- If your home has a fireplace and you regularly store wood outside for its use, it’s essential to keep the pile of wood away from exterior walls, at least 20 feet away. The wood should also be stored and elevated, not sitting directly on the ground.
- If you feed pets outdoors, remove food bowls daily after they have finished eating.
- Remove any fallen limbs from the yard. As limbs deteriorate, they become a nesting place for outdoor pests, especially those drawn to wood material.
Following these tips before an infestation occurs can prevent a pest infestation that can lead to property damage, both inside and outside, as well as health threats, as many pests carry disease/bacteria.
Whether you’ve found an infestation or you’re concerned about a potential infestation, contact a local pest management company that is licensed and insured who will find the source, eliminate the problem, and provide advice to keep your home pest-free.