Each common household pest brings its own array of challenges, from carpenter ants who may destroy your wood beams to roaches that may spread dangerous infections.
But while each pest is unique, bugs have many similarities in the things that attract them to your home and the ways they may enter. Therefore, you can use a few catch-all bug-prevention tactics to help keep everything from ants to roaches away.
Caulk Your Windows and Doors
One of the most common ways ants, roaches and other pests enter a home is through tiny crevices around the edges of your windows and doors. So, take the time to apply caulk to these seams. If the weather stripping on a door is chipped or peeling, replace it sooner rather than later. These tactics will not only keep bugs out but also increase your energy efficiency.
Seal Around Cables and Pipes Entering the Home
It's common for homeowners to ignore tiny gaps around pipes and electrical cables that enter the home, often in the attic or basement. But these gaps are more than big enough for an earwig or roach to sneak through. Either seal the openings with caulk or use a burst of spray foam insulation from a can to fill them in.
Keep Food in Sealed Containers
Those cardboard boxes your cereal and pasta come in are not as secure as you might hope. A hungry roach can chew right through cardboard. And if you open and seal the box closed using its built-in tab, an ant can easily sneak under the flap and into the box. Your kitchen won't attract nearly as many pests if you empty these food products into sealed, thick plastic containers or glass jars as soon as you get them home.
Make sure you also wipe down flour and sugar containers after you use them. It only takes a tiny bit of residue on the outside of a container to attract ants.
You may not notice tiny crumbs that get dropped onto the carpeting. Your pet may also scatter little bits of treats and food onto the carpet. The bugs, however, won't let these little treats go unenjoyed. Vacuum often to remove crumbs and other remnants that attract pests. If you can vacuum every other day, that's excellent. Twice a week is not bad either.
Close the Dishwasher
Dirty dishes will definitely attract bugs. Thankfully, if you have a dishwasher, you don't have to worry about washing each dish as soon as you're done with it. Instead, just put your dishes directly into the dishwasher and close the door completely. Dishwashers are made to be watertight when they're closed, so closing the door should keep bugs from coming in.
Take Out the Trash
To a roach or ant, nothing smells as sweet as the odor of kitchen trash. Try downgrading to a smaller kitchen trash can so it fills up more quickly, and then take the trash outside daily. Store your outdoor trash can at least a few feet from your home so it does not attract pests to the space near your entryway.
Dry Out Your Basement
Many an infestation begins in a damp basement. All sorts of pests, from carpenter ants to earwigs, need moisture to thrive. If you dry your basement out, your chances of an infestation will be much lower. Here are a few steps to help dry out your basement:
• Install a portable dehumidifier.
• Keep the basement warmer in the winter to minimize condensation.
• Direct gutters away from your home so less water trickles inside.
• Have small foundation cracks repaired.
With the tips above, you should notice a lot fewer insects of all types in your home. If you do see any pests, contact Bio-Lab Pest & Termite Control as soon as possible. The sooner you start exterminating the bugs, the easier it will be to get rid of them completely.