An Ounce of Pest Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure (Guest Blog)
Transform Your Home into a Pest-Resistant Fortress
by Maya Rodgers
Whether your home is brand new, older, or older but brand new to you, it’s likely that you’re invested in it. Whether it’s time you’ve invested, money, or just a lot of love, it’s important to keep your home beautiful and strong, so that it remains a place you can proudly call home.
(radiant new kitchen via wwarby)
Part of keeping your home fresh is minimizing the impact of pests. If you think you might have a pest problem, or are worried about a potential pest issue, it’s best to take control now, rather than waiting until it becomes a problem you have to deal with.
There are many different methods of pest control, ranging from chemical or physical to organic or artificial. Not all methods have the same level of effectiveness or produce the same result. You should select your pest control methods based on your family’s needs, your home, and exactly what pest problem you may have. No matter what pest control methods you take, the goal is to keep pests in the environment where they belong (i.e. NOT your home), ensuring both their well-being and your own.
Prevent Pest Problems Before They Start
When controlling pests around the home, it is best to use preventative measures that will stop an infestation before it occurs. The first step is to keep your home clean. Vacuum regularly, reduce clutter (especially in areas of your home that aren’t regularly frequented, like a basement, attic, or even that hard-to-reach kitchen cabinet), and make sure food items aren’t left out where pests have easy access. Also, make sure pipes and faucets aren’t dripping, as pests love free water.
Another tactic is to repair small holes and gaps that are located along the outside perimeter of your home. Keep in mind that these holes and gaps often accompany larger, intentional holes in your home. Check for gaps around external doorframes, around and in your window screens, and even around utility openings where wires enter your home. If you find any gaps, caulk is a good DIY sealant, or you can hire someone more experienced. Sealing all gaps can ensure that unwanted visitors won’t move in with you. Remember, holes that seem tiny to us are HUGE for pests.
An integral aspect of building a pest-resistant fortress is to remain watchful, especially for pests that can sneak in unnoticed. Many generations of pests can live inside the walls of the home without ever alerting the home owner. These pests, most notably termites, can create huge problems, as they can be unnoticed until a home’s structure is jeopardized. The costs of fixing widespread termite damage can be very high, and it is far better to catch termites before they cause such damage.
Termites may be small, and they often do remain undetected, but they sometimes leave behind telltale signs of their presence. For example, mud tubes are a trademark of termites: termites create these tubes as transportation between favorite spots. Hollow-sounding wood is another sign that termites might be eating your home. Tap on wooden supports and even walls in your home to listen for a hollow sound.
Nature vs. Nature
Nature has powerful methods that can work very well to keep her pests away from your home. For example, common household ingredients such as bay leaves can help to keep pests off your shelves and out of your food. Putting some bay leaves in your cabinets or around your kitchen should help reduce pests including roaches and flies. Another roach treatment is to put coffee grounds in a jar with water. When you place this jar against a wall (or put masking tape on the outside, so roaches can crawl in), roaches will be attracted to the aromatic coffee grounds, climb into the jar, and drown.
Pests can be tough to deal with, especially when they get into your home. Hopefully your prevention techniques will be enough to keep pests out. If they aren’t, stay alert to potential infestations and know what to do if unwelcome critters come into your home. By preventing, observing, and taking proactive steps, your home should remain a haven for you after a long day at work, along with being the perfect place to get a restful night’s sleep, and the best place to host this summer’s BBQ.
Maya Rodgers spends her days keeping pests away from people’s homes, and is especially passionate about regular termite inspection, as she has seen it save quite a few homes. She loves writing about bugs, pets, and many other crazy aspects of life, and can be found at www.petsandpests.com.