A pest infestation can make your life a living hell. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent and treat these pesky invaders without resorting to toxic chemicals.
Good housekeeping helps prevent pests from entering your home. Keep garbage cans emptied regularly, wipe counters with white vinegar and store food in airtight containers. Also, cockroaches are drawn to damp places, so fix any leaky sinks and faucets.
Keep Your Home Clean
There’s no secret that keeping your home clean is a great way to keep pests away. Cleaning dishes regularly, washing soiled laundry, wiping down surfaces are all important to maintaining a bug-free environment. However, even the most dedicated cleaners can overlook some areas of their homes that are major attractants for unwanted guests.
Overripe fruit and vegetables are a big draw for flies, ants, rodents and cockroaches. Be sure to store all produce in tightly sealed containers, and throw out rotting food regularly. Also, stacks of newspapers and magazines or trash can lids left open are perfect hiding places for cockroaches to hang out.
Pet food is another huge attractant for flies, ants, beetles and moths. Be sure to only put out fresh food and water for pets at specific times of the day, and clean their food and water bowls on a regular basis. Also, be sure to fix any leaky pipes as soon as you notice them.
Seal Up Any Cracks
Even the smallest cracks and crevices can allow stink bugs, ants, houseflies, and other pests to enter your home. Make sure to routinely examine the exterior of your house and seal any openings you find. This includes looking at windows, door frames, and the foundation. You should also inspect around air conditioning vents and chimneys to ensure there are no gaps where pests can get in.
Inside the home, be sure to keep your kitchen cabinets and drawers clean. Overripe fruits and veggies attract flies, while piles of garbage can invite rodents and cockroaches to come in for a snack. Regularly sweeping your kitchen floors and wiping down cabinet surfaces with a disinfectant cleaner can help keep pests away. In addition, cleaning up garbage regularly and making sure your trash can is sealed is essential.
Eliminate Sources of Water
Home invading pests are not only looking for food – they also look for water. In order to keep them away, ensure there is no standing water near your house. This includes ensuring the lids of trash bins and chutes are closed properly, drains are sealed, and that there are no leaky pipes or faucets in your house.
Water bugs are a different species of cockroach than American or Oriental cockroaches, and they prefer to hang around garbage, sewer scum, and drains. They can cause a number of health problems and are best avoided with preventive measures.
Eliminate the source of water by ensuring puddles outdoors are not left to collect, rubbish bins are kept closed and not overflowing, and pet bowls are empty at night. In the garden, keep piles of wood and mulch away from your house, and tuck any unused pots or baskets into a shed or garage. Make sure your air conditioning is working well and run a dehumidifier in damp areas like the basement.
Use Natural Repellants
While there is no such thing as a completely pest-free house, taking steps to prevent bugs is a good idea. Keep the trash taken out regularly, dishes washed immediately and countertops and floors clean to eliminate food sources. This will also help you spot any tiny cracks where pests could sneak in.
If you notice a problem with ants, cockroaches, spiders, drain flies, fruit flies or gnats, try using natural repellants. Clove oil can be sprayed around the house to repel cockroaches, while the artificial sweetener erythritol can be used to trap and kill fruit flies.
You can also plant plants with bug-repelling properties, such as citronella lemongrass, cedar and mint. Trimming shrubs and trees, and keeping them as far away from your home as possible will also remove “bridges” that pests can use to get to your house. Avoid using mulch in garden beds close to your house, as this can provide ideal shelter for pests.