Just like you, pests like a nice home. It can provide them with food, water, and, of course, a cozy place to stay. While it’s virtually impossible to live in a completely pest-free environment, there are some easy ways to help these pesky intruders feel less welcome.
We get it, life is busy, sometimes dishes get left in the sink, and wiping up crumbs isn’t your #1 priority. While it may be easier to let things sit out, it’s imperative to rinse off dishes, clean the kitchen table, and discard extra crumbs because pests love leftovers. Tip: Once you open food (think cereal boxes, rice, and even dog food) store it in sealed containers. Food attracts a variety of pests, but those most common include ants, cockroaches, flies, and rodents.
Dry Up Damp Spaces
Whether it’s pool season or not, pests love water – it’s one of the three things they need to survive along with food and shelter. To help keep them at bay, check regularly for leaky faucets, drains, and pipes. Don’t forget that air conditioners and washing machines can get leaky at times, too. Damp areas typically attract silverfish, spiders, cockroaches, and rodents. If you’re worried about particularly damp areas in your home, run a dehumidifier to ensure dryness.
Sink, shower, and toilet drains that aren’t used for extended periods of time can also attract pests. All drains have u-shaped portions of pipe designed to always hold a bit of water. If a drain remains unused for extended periods of time, that water can evaporate and potentially allow flies to enter your home.
Make the Outside Off Limits
If your home has an outside space where you enjoy hanging out, pests most likely enjoy spending time there as well. A stack of firewood can become the perfect home to ants and termites, so it’s necessary to store wood at least 20 feet from your house. Yards and outdoor areas typically attract ants, mosquitoes, ticks, and termites. For example, a birdbath is lovely to look at, but it’s also the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. It’s best to empty all standing water around your home to help keep mosquito populations low. If you really want that birdbath, get one with a water feature that keeps the water from becoming still and stagnant.
Shut the Front Door (Literally)
Leaving your doors open, having drafty windows, an open chimney, or loose roof shingles is pretty much like rolling out a welcome mat for pests. It’s imperative to check around your home and block points of entry. This may include repairing holes in screens to block smaller entry points for ants, spiders, and beetles. Rats only need a hole the size of a quarter and mice one the size of a dime to wriggle their way inside, so make sure all holes and cracks are properly sealed so pests have no way in.
Say Bye-Bye to Bed Bugs
Contrary to popular belief, bed bugs don’t live exclusively in beds. They actually thrive in all fabrics, like your upholstered couch, the clothes in your dresser drawers, and hanging curtains. If you suspect you have them, be sure to call your pest management professional, and then wash all of your clothes, towels, sheets, and drapes in hot water as soon as a problem is determined. And whenever you travel, you’ll want to spray both the inside and outside of your suitcase with rubbing alcohol to kill bed bugs and their eggs.
Need extra help taking care of pests? The Western Home Protection Plan offers a comprehensive plan tailored to your home’s needs, both inside and out. In addition to peace of mind, homeowners receive:
- Three scheduled, seasonal visits
- Interior and exterior inspections
- Evaluation and treatment of pest infestations
- Unlimited emergency visits at no extra charge
- Free yearly termite inspections
- Free insulation energy audit