6 Easy Tips for a Pest-Free Home
Pest control is a tricky but necessary part of homeownership. Rodents and insects carry disease, while larger animals will cause hundreds of dollars in damages to the home. If you want to keep pests out, the key is to block entry points while maintaining a clean and dry home.
- Seal gaps and crevices with caulking
One of the most effective things you can do to keep pests out is to seal entry points. Using a silicone caulking, seal out any cracks you find in your window frames and door frames. Then, take a look at your soffits. Seal any openings you find between the soffits and the walls of the home. Bats, mice, and squirrels can squeeze through these gaps to get into the attic. If you suspect that bats are living in the attic already, call a bat removal company for an inspection and humane removal plan.
Cracks in the foundation can be sealed with mortar or an epoxy sealer. If you notice that a crack is getting larger, or it is horizontal or bulging out from the wall, call a specialist for help. Stuff other holes in the walls, such as the spaces surrounding the utility lines, with steel wool.
- Replace broken window screens
Flies, crawling insects, and mice gather in window wells and slither into the basement through the holes in the window screens. Make sure that every window screen in the house is well fitted and that they do not have any holes in them. Patch any holes you find or replace the screens entirely. You can fix small tears with patches available at the hardware store.
- Install floor sweeps and weather-stripping
Believe it or not, many pests get inside by crawling under the front door. Block out this point of entry with a floor sweep. Make sure that it touches the ground. Then, check the weather stripping on the garage door and replace it if is worn. Mice will often invade the garage first, then make their way into the house from there. If there are any signs of pests, such as roaches, you can stop them in their tracks by using natural pest control for roaches which comes in the form of an environmentally friendly spray.
- Clean the kitchen every day
This one may seem obvious, but the kitchen is a magnet for ants, mice, and other pests. It’s where the food is! You can’t get rid of your food, but you can keep the kitchen clean, reducing odors and the amount of food available to pests.
Store pantry food such as beans, rice, flour, lentils, and pasta in tightly sealed, plastic containers and glass jars. Plastic bags can be chewed through. Clean out the pantry and fridge every few months to get rid of crumbs and grease. Pull out your appliances as well and clean the surfaces beneath them.
Wash the dishes every day and take the garbage out before nightfall. Disinfect the garbage can every month or so to remove odours. Be sure to clean the sink and the countertops whenever you wash the dishes and mop the floor once a week.
- Dehumidify the basement
Insect especially like humid environments, like basements and bathrooms. If your home is a little too humid, increase air circulation with fans and windows. Clean or replace your HVAC filters and make sure that your air ducts are not obstructed. Open the windows now and then to let in some air. Use your bathroom fans whenever you take a bath or shower to let out the humidity.
If you are unsure of the humidity in your home, try getting a hygrometer from the hardware store. Optimal humidity ranges between 30 and 40% in the winter and 40-50% in the summer. Check every room in the house. If the humidity in your home is very high, consider getting a dehumidifier.
- Maintain the roof and cover vents
If you can, check out the edges of your roof for openings or signs of damage. Gently lift the shingles up from the edges of the roof and look for gaps. Squirrels often chew their way through these openings to reach the attic and bats can crawl through them. Close these off by screwing in a metal mesh. Clean out the gutters while you are up there.
Next, take a look at your shingles. If they are significantly worn out, it may be time to hire a roofer for repairs. If you can safely access the top of your roof, cover your roof vents with a thick metal mesh. This will keep squirrels and raccoons from getting through your vents and nesting in the attic. If you do not have the materials, or if it is not safe for you to get on the roof, hire a pest removal company. A professional can pest-proof the roof for you.
Read more: 10 Therapeutic Yoga Poses