Do you feel uncomfortable in your own home? Do pests bother you, taking advantage of your food, drains, clothes – even your bed? We can tell you that you’re not alone! A lot of unwanted residents could live under our roofs, but with a few fundamental changes to your household, you can easily prevent severe damage.
The first thing you need to know is that insects and rodents have three basic needs: food, water and shelter. Are you providing them with any of those right now?
Pest prevention tips for your home
Cockroaches and ants have got to be the most annoying intruders. They’re everywhere, and they steal every piece of food you forget to put away! Storing your food in plastic containers is the most efficient way to hide its scent from insects and rodents. Empty your bins daily and don’t leave them open.
The less you let them have, the more they’re going to starve. Try not to walk around the house while eating. We recommend that you wash the dishes right away if you want to relax after dinner. It only takes two minutes to clean up clean your home. If you have a pet, you should take care of its food just like you do with yours, since insects aren’t picky about what they eat.
Peppermint can be an amazing natural pest repellent. It’s easy to grow, and its aroma can cover food odours, too. You just have to water it twice a day. In case you’re not the gardener type, you can always buy peppermint oil – mix it with some water, add a few drops of dish detergent and you get a lovely cleaner spray to cover all the endangered areas of your home. Peppermint can help your bedroom, too. Put a small vase near your bed or sprinkle it with a bit of “magic” solution – bed bugs hate the smell.
The next basic need on our list is water. Pests love it, so don’t let them have any. A cockroach can live without food for over a month, but take the water away, and it’ll be dead in a couple of days. Always drain your sink after using it. Fix any leakage from your refrigerator, washing machine, plumbing or any other place in your home. Even the tiniest water drip can be enough for a small colony of insects.
Another thing water is responsible for is moisture. Vapour condenses over cold surfaces leading to mould – most commonly in your attic or basement, but it can appear anywhere. Once you have a moist structure at home, termites will be relentless. Every damp wooden item becomes a meal for them, and they can quickly ruin most of your furniture or even the base of your house.
Last but not least, take a look at potential shelters. Remember those cardboard boxes in the attic? Believe it or not, they’re an excellent breeding ground for cockroaches. Circle your home a few times and look for cracks in its defence. Prevention is the most natural pest control method.
The basic rule is: if your vacuum can’t reach a certain area, there is a big chance you’ll find a few little friends chilling there undisturbed. It could be anything from tight gaps between walls or windows to cracks in furniture. Hard-to-reach areas like pipes, vents, or the tight space behind a multiple unit wardrobe are heaven to small creatures who like the dark.
Make sure your home is well-ventilated. Check your rooms and closets for cluttered possessions. Those things attract insects and rodents and provide them with a comfy, warm and dark environment to sleep and reproduce. When pests breed, they leave their odours around for future generations to find so get rid of anything that might be covered by them.
For your pipes and gutters, we recommend a solution of baking soda and vinegar. You can also use it to unclog drains or clean baseboards, cupboards etc. On top of that, it’s harmless to humans and their pets!
How to take care of different pests
Okay, if you made it this far, then you deserve a bonus – one specific trick to counter different pests. A more personal approach will help you protect your home.
How to prevent ants
Problem: Ants mostly follow their noses not just to find nourishment, but to see each other. Everywhere they go, they leave a scent trail so they can find their way back to the food source.
Solution: The peppermint oil or baking soda+vinegar solutions would work best against resident odours.
How to prevent cockroaches
Problem: They’re everywhere, and they feed on everything.
Solution: Treat them some boric acid for lunch. When mixed with sugar and flour, boric acid turns into a nice lethal snack for them.
How to prevent rats
Problem: They’re chewing on my house’s electrical system.
Solution: Traps and baits are the usual go-to. If you feel it’s not enough, you can use the boric acid mix from the cockroach pro tip. Add some peanut butter to it or make a solution with chicken broth. Peanut butter and chicken broth are both attractive to rats and will have them munch poisonous dinner in no time.
How to prevent bed bugs
Problem: They’re invading your bedroom.
Solution: Rubbing alcohol. It’s toxic to bed bugs so simply spraying all infested areas is enough to kill them. It’s potent, and it evaporates quickly.
How to prevent termites
Problem: They’re ruining my chairs/couch/baseboard.
Solution: Your best bet against termites is moisture control. You want to keep the humidity in your home at reasonable levels to prevent any termite infestations adequately.
How to prevent flying insects
Problem: They’re annoying and hard to drive away.
Solution: Flyscreens, on all the entry points of your house, or at least the ones that stay open the most. This one budget upgrade is by far the best single thing you can do to prevent flying intruders from entering your home.
General hygiene can go a long way in preventing invasions. Defending your home against pests can be a tricky task, but with a little bit of effort, you can protect yourself and your family. If at any point you feel you’re losing control of the situation, it’s perfectly fine to let a professional take over.
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