Fortunately, pests aren’t hard to prevent. You just need to be proactive and take a few preventative measures to nip the problem in the bud. In this mini-guide, we’ll give you some useful, practical suggestions on keeping pests away from your home this summer.
5 Ways to Pest-Proof Your Home
1. Eliminate breeding grounds
Start by preventing your home from turning into an oasis for pests. If you can deny them food, water, and shelter, they’ll be unable to ever gain a foothold there. This is arguably the most effective way to prevent pest infestations. Here’s how you can ensure there aren’t any pest-friendly zones in and around your home:
- Remove stagnant water: Pests like mosquitoes love stagnant water – they breed there. Your primary job is to make sure no puddles form in or around your property. Remove, seal off, or regularly cycle all places where still water can form. Some examples include plant boxes, buckets, birdbaths, children’s toys, bins, cans, and gutters, and downspouts
- Fix up the damage: Gaps, cracks, and holes are a favorite resting spot for pests like termites and cockroaches. Any sheltered location that admits some light and air is a potential problem zone. Some areas to watch out for include your roof, air vents, window frames, cabinets, garage, garbage cans, and plumbing. Repair and seal-off quickly.
- Trim and maintain: Pests like crickets will often nest in trees and shrubs around your home. They especially love tall, dark, unkempt landscaping. The soil in plant beds, mulch, and thick decorative stones are all potential problem zones. Make sure you trim and maintain often, and generally minimize the clutter in your yard or garage.
2. Barricade the entryways
If they can’t get in, they can’t be a problem. An effective way to prevent pests in summer is to seal off all the entrances to your home – as much as is practicable. You won’t, of course, be able to seal off your yard or garden, but you should be able to ensure that pests can’t get in indoors.
- Keep doors and windows shut when you’re not using them.
- Install fly screens on windows that allow air in but keep insects out.
- Seal off baseboards and window frames.
- Block off gaps under house doors with sweeps.
- Close off garage doors with seals.
- Cover up your air vents with fine mesh.
Pests are drawn to food. It’s why you find so many pests in pantries and kitchens. They love to feast on foodstuffs high in sugars and protein like eggs, cereals, meats, oils, and honey. Some insects will also dine on plants and shrubbery. A rare few also feast on human waste, pet waste, and even other pests. If you can deny them sustenance, you’ll be able to keep them away. Cleaning is your best friend in this case.
- Don’t leave food lying around, uneaten. Clean up and throw away leftovers.
- Make sure your bin indoors is cleaned often, preferably with detergent, and closes snugly.
- Vacuum and wipe clean kitchen counters and appliance surfaces. Crumbs and stains will draw pests.
- Sweep dirty, damp, and mud-riddled areas, and air out when possible.
- Pet food is always a trouble spot because it’s left out in the open. Store it in an airtight container and clear leftovers.
- Litter trays should be emptied frequently.
- Pick up dog waste daily and dispose of it in a sealed container until trash pick up day.
4. Use insect repellants
Insect repellants can keep away “biting” insects like mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. It’s a good idea to always keep some on hand, especially if you’re planning to spend some time out on the patio or host a backyard barbecue. Insect repellants won’t kill off pests, but they will camouflage you and prevent pests from finding you. They are best used when you’re spending time outside and during certain “peak activity” times like dusk hours.
- Use EPA-certified insect repellant only with a popular base like DEET or Picaridin.
- If you prefer something natural, use plants, herbs, or candles with citronella oil, mint, and rosemary.
5. Inspect often
Pest control is not a priority for most homeowners. It’s understandable. Everyone leads busy lives these days and there never seems to be enough time to get everything done. However, if you do put pest control on the back burner, you could end up with a major headache down the road. Pests are easy to get rid of initially but not so much later on. By inspecting problem areas around your home frequently – say twice a month – you should be able to identify problems as they arise and take quick preventative action. You don’t even have to think of it as pest control. Just clean, repair, and maintain your home and yard. It’s enough 9 times out of 10.
Call in the Professionals
Don’t hesitate to seek professional help when you don’t have time to personally ward off pests or the problem is getting out of hand. You can schedule pest control checks and preventative measures from the Affordable Pest Control team – one-time, monthly, or bi-monthly, whatever works best for your unique situation. We can inspect your premises in your stead and take action quickly. We’ll make sure your home remains pest-free this summer, and we won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Our experienced team has a trained eye and we use only the best, most effective treatments.