Pests are a serious hassle that is best avoided. They’re dirty and stressful, and some carry dangerous diseases. Rodents may also cause serious damage to the home, chewing on electrical wires and risking a fire. If you can put in the time to avoid an infestation, you should.
Here’s how you can keep pests out of the home. If you’re currently dealing with a pest problem, reach out to a licensed Exterminator near you.
Block entry points
Perhaps the most straightforward way you can avoid pests is to remove their entry points. Homes have several typical openings that let in pests. Give yourself a few hours to find them and block them out.
First, you should secure your windows and doors. Ensure that your window screens are intact and seal cracks in your window frames with caulking. Then, put door sweeps on the bottoms of your doors to the outside. You should also put weatherstripping on the bottom of the garage door. Pests often come into the garage before making their way into the house.
Next, take a look at your foundation and the walls on the outside of your home. Fill in and block out every crack you find. You can use caulking to seal the gaps you find between your siding and epoxy to fix the foundation. Be sure to check underneath your deck, too. For added coverage against rodents, grab a thick steel mesh from the hardware store and screw it over your wall vents.
Make food inaccessible
Pests are more likely to invade the home when there is food available. Deep clean the kitchen and anywhere else you store food, then get in the habit of keeping the home clean. Vacuum every week and put food away before the end of the day. Don’t leave anything out overnight, like dirty dishes or pet food. Organize the pantry and store food in sealed containers. Get a lidded garbage can, and don’t let it overflow.
Outside, if you have fruit trees, pick up their fruit as soon as they fall to the ground. Harvest your produce on time and don’t let anything rot on the ground. You might also want to invest in row covers to keep pests out. Switch to a squirrel-proof bird feeder that you can hang far away from home and secure your garbage cans. Tie them down with bungee cords so that wildlife cannot get inside.
Reduce humidity and fix leaks
Centipedes, silverfish, earwigs, and cockroaches love humidity. Mice are also drawn to humid homes because they indicate that there is water nearby. Get a dehumidifier or air exchanger if your home is humid. Use your bathroom fans when taking a shower or after a bath. You can also use the exhaust fan in your kitchen when boiling water to reduce the humidity it produces. Don’t leave wet and dirty dishes in the sink overnight. The ideal humidity level in the home is 30-40% in the winter and 50-60% in the summer.
Clean up the house
Keeping the house clean will eliminate food particles that attract pests and get rid of the hiding spots they could use. Go through your closets and get rid of the things you don’t need. Move things off the floor and get organized. Empty cardboard boxes and piles of paper should be recycled. The more you can declutter, the better. Mice and many other pests like dirty, cluttered homes where they can hide.
Maintain the yard
The same cleaning logic applies to the yard. Move things like firewood and patio furniture away from the home’s walls. Clean out the space underneath your deck and seal it shut to keep pests out. Trim your shrubs, clean out your gutters, and rake the leaves. Window wells should be kept clean so that you don’t attract insects. Insects on the home perimeter may crawl indoors when the temperature either gets too hot or too cold.
Hire a pest control company for help
Did you know that pest control companies offer exclusion services? This means that a technician can come to inspect your property for vulnerabilities and fix them for you. They can find every potential entry point and seal it off to prevent an infestation. Many companies offer warranties with this service, so a technician will come back and solve the problem for free if pests enter the home.