Pest proofing your home is one of the best ways, outside of professional pest control services, to prevent future insect infestations and everything associated with getting rid of them. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways of controlling pests that you can implement in your home that are certain to greatly reduce your chances of ever entertaining a swarm of annoying guests. Here’s a quick look at what you need to know.
Clean up the clutter and debris inside and outside your home
It’s a simple fact. Pests are attracted to messes, especially piles of garbage that provide the perfect dark, hiding spot. This is why it is so important to start your pest proofing efforts by clearing away any mounds of old clothes, newspapers, magazines, boxes, etc. At the same time, take a few minutes every day to tidy everything up, particularly in the kitchen. Wipe down the counters with vinegar to eliminate odors, thoroughly clean up any spills, sweep, wash or put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, put all food away in tightly sealed containers, and take out the trash. Be sure to get rid of any fruit before it spoils.
Also take the time to clear your yard of any decaying leaves and piles of grass clippings where pests are likely to congregate while making their way indoors. Don’t forget about any standing water, which is highly attractive to mosquitoes who will try to find their way indoors. Finally, be sure that your garbage cans and compost heaps are securely covered and kept a good distance away from your house.
Seal up any points of entry
This is going to require a little work, but it’s well worth the effort. (As an added bonus, it’ll keep warm air from escaping in the winter.) Start by picking up a tube of silicone caulk at your local hardware store. Then, head home and look along the baseboards, door and window frames, any place where cable wires or pipes enter and exit your home, and the seal around your dryer vent. Any time you find a hole, regardless of how tiny it is, use the caulk to seal it up. If you find a larger hole, you may want to cover it with steel wool or wire mesh before applying the caulk.
Don’t forget to use the caulk to fix any leaking tubs, sinks, and faucets that can serve as both an entryway and a source of the water they need to survive. This is also a good time to repair any torn weather stripping on your doors and windows, as well as replace any missing window screens.
Add a door sweep
Available at any hardware store, a door sweep eliminates the gap between your door’s bottom and the ground. Make sure to apply one at any door that leads outside to ensure pests stay out.
Give your pet his or her own dining spot
Ants, in particular, are attracted to bits of cat and dog food that he or she may knock out of their bowl when eating. It’s a good idea to put their bowl on a rubber mat you can easily wipe off, as well as sweep the area when your pet is done.
Encourage birds to visit your home
Birds love to eat insects, which is why you may want to add a few bird feeders around the yard. This will attract them over, where they can also partake in any insects that would otherwise find their way into your home.