There are so many household pests to consider, from mice to termites or earwigs. Sometimes, it might seem like you’re fighting a losing battle. You take steps to eradicate one type of pest, but then another one appears.
While each pest may be attracted to slightly different conditions, that does not necessarily mean you have to employ separate preventative measures for each pest. Often, it’s easier to focus on pest prevention as a whole.
In that spirit, here are seven home care and lifestyle habits that you can employ to deter a wide array of pests.
1. Run a Dehumidifier
Humid conditions make your home more appealing to a wide range of pests including house centipedes, silverfish, and earwigs. Even cockroaches need moisture to thrive and are more likely to invade a humid home than a dry one.
If you have a dehumidifier, make sure you run it whenever your relative humidity climbs higher than 50%. If you do not have a dehumidifier, purchase a portable one at your local home improvement store, and set it up in the basement where moisture is most often an issue. If you can keep the basement air dry, you won’t have nearly as many problems with pests.
2. Run the Bathroom Fan
Even if your basement is dry and your home’s relative humidity is low, moisture in the bathroom may be enough to attract pests like house centipedes, drain flies, and water bugs. Running your bathroom exhaust fan after every shower will go a long way towards keeping your bathroom dry and these pests at bay.
The exhaust fan removes moisture from the air, which allows water around drains and in the bottoms of showers to evaporate faster—before bugs discover it. If your bathroom exhaust fan does not seem to dry the air out within a few minutes, consider having your HVAC contractor install a more powerful one.
3. Keep the Landscaping Around Your Home Tidy
Are there bushes, shrubs, and flowers surrounding your home? Make sure you keep these neatly trimmed so they are not brushing up against your home’s foundation. Termites, cockroaches, and even mice may seek shelter in the brush and then find their way into your basement through small cracks in the foundation. Keep the plants trimmed and the foundation base exposed, and they won’t be as attracted to the area.
4. Seal Your Windows and Doors
Gaps between the glass and sashes on your windows and doors are some of the most popular places for pests to sneak in. Get into the habit of checking your windows and doors for gaps and loose glass on a monthly basis. If you notice any cracks or gaps, either seal them with caulk or have the window replaced. As an easy temporary fix, you can press rope caulk, such as Mortite, into the crease between the glass and the sash.
5. Store Food in Plastic or Glass Containers
Pasta, rice, crackers, and other food items that typically come in boxes are a key attractant for pests, like mice, cockroaches, and ants. Invest in a few plastic or glass storage containers, and get into the habit of emptying all of your pantry items into these containers as soon as you get them home from the store. A cardboard box won’t deter a hungry mouse, but a well-sealed plastic canister will.
6. Sweep and Vacuum Your Floors
Even if you think of yourself as a clean eater or cook, you probably drop some crumbs or tiny food particles on the floor without realizing it. Even a few small crumbs can attract ants or roaches. So, get into the habit of sweeping or vacuuming your kitchen floor every night. Also, vacuum your carpeted floors at least once or twice a week.
If you eat over a carpeted floor, vacuum it promptly afterward. This is especially important if you have kids, as they don’t tend to be the neatest eaters. Try to restrict them to eating in the kitchen or another room with a non-carpeted floor so you can easily see and clean up anything they spill before it becomes a meal for pests.
7. Take Out the Trash
Don’t let your kitchen trash sit inside for days on end. Even if the can is pretty well sealed, the odor may attract mice, ants, and other pests. Rather than waiting for a large trash can to fill up, consider switching to a smaller trash can and taking its contents outside every evening. A few other trash guidelines to follow for pest prevention include:
- Store your outdoor trash bin a few feet from your home so any pests it attracts aren’t tempted to enter your home.
- Make sure your indoor and outdoor trash cans both have tightly sealing lids.
- Clean your trash cans with bleach and water every couple of weeks to remove any residues that may attract pests.
If you follow the seven guidelines above, you should have a lot fewer problems with pests of all types. If you do notice any signs of pests, contact a pest control company like Chem-Wise sooner rather than later. It’s always easier to treat an infestation when you catch it early on.