People tend to associate the words “pest control” exclusively with applying products to kill bugs. While this is a large part of keeping your home free of creepy-crawlies, pest control is actually so much more. In fact, anything you do to keep the bugs at bay falls under the umbrella of pest control.
And it’s a huge umbrella.
Honestly, we could go on all day about various ways to protect your home from invading critters, but today, we’ve narrowed things down to five easy household tips.
1. Inspect Incoming Items for Pest Activity
As we go about our daily scuttle, the implications of pest activity are usually far from our minds. But the truth is, whether you’re a hoarder, a minimalist, or (most likely) someone in between, we all bring stuff into our houses everyday—and, unfortunately, almost anything you bring into your home can carry pest stowaways.
In fact, bringing uninspected items into your home can have serious pest consequences… think: pantry moths, clothes moths, fleas, cockroaches, bed bugs, or other serious pest infestations.
You don’t want any of that.
Simply checking out new items like new furniture, shopping bags, boxes, and luggage before bringing them into your home can prevent big issues. Since pests can burrow inside bags and boxes, it’s a good idea to peek inside, even if you don’t see obvious outward signs of pest activity.
2. Check Your Garage for Pests
Generally, our garages don’t get the same housekeeping attention as the inside of our homes—and that’s by design. We keep dirty things out there: cars, lawnmowers, brooms, shoes—you name it. You could run yourself silly trying to keep up a sparkling clean garage.
Having said that, regularly inspecting your garage is a really important part of pest control. Garages’ exposure to the outside world offers permanent entry points through the open door, vents, cracks, holes, etc. Once insects and rodents take up residence in your garage, it’s only a matter of time before they find their way inside your home.
But don’t worry, staying vigilant and managing small pest issues as they come up keeps your garage from becoming the source of any major household pest infestations.
Also, you can make sure the garage doesn’t become a launch pad for pest problems by looking over items you bring inside after storing them in the garage. Anything from wrapping paper to storage boxes can secretly incubate pest colonies (Yikes!).
3. Seal Up Structural Cracks
Our homes often have tiny openings or cracks… minuscule enough to be off your radar, but big enough for pests to sneak through. For pests, this structural oversight serves as an open invitation into your home through pipes, sinks, baseboards, windows, or doorways that haven’t been sealed off correctly.
You might be thinking, “I know literally nothing about home repairs…” If that’s the case, don’t worry—this is a pretty easy fix.
All you have to do is pick up some silicone caulk or caulking foam from your local hardware store and follow the directions to seal up the tiny cracks in your home. Usually, this process involves cleaning the area, sealing the crack with caulk, and then cleaning the area again. Super easy.
*Bonus* Sealing cracks and holes keeps your house more energy efficient. So during those hot summer days and cold winter nights, you spend less money heating or cooling your entire home.
4. Properly Store Pet Food
Promptly cleaning up after meals is one thing, but even germaphobes with impossibly clean kitchens sometimes leave food and water out for their pets all day—not a great idea when it comes to pest control.
We can’t stress the importance of this practice enough.
When food and water are left out, it’s practically begging the insects and rodents to come eat. This buffet not only attracts nesting pests like ants and roaches, but also attract source pests like flies. Source pests are a huge pain to get rid of because their lack of on-site nest means they have to be targeted individually.
Timing your pet’s meals and storing pet food in airtight containers keeps your pet’s meals—and your home—fresh and pest-free. It’s really a win-win.
5. Consistently De-clutter
Remember all that stuff we bring into our homes daily?
Well, a good amount of it ends up as clutter (clutter = junk = bad). Things like empty boxes, paper and plastic bags, newspapers, or magazines just end up as pest bedding. Cleaning up and throwing away clutter daily prevents pests from using your trash as hiding places and strongholds.
Keep in mind that pests can burrow right through paper and cardboard. Take a good look at anything that’s been sitting out for a while to avoid an unwanted surprise.
Much like safety, pest control is everyone’s responsibility. Adding these simple tasks to your routine helps you, your neighbors, and us to keep the bugs at bay. If you have any questions about what more you can do, or if you’re facing a current infestation, feel free to get in touch with us!