Bugs are an unfortunate fact of life for any homeowner. Once they show up, they can be difficult to drive away. This isn’t to say there aren’t pest-killing solutions out there like a high-quality ant killer or ways to say goodbye to roaches for good, but when it comes down to it, the best way to keep your home pest-free is prevention.
Today, we’re going to give you everything you need to fortify your home against vermin of the six- and eight-legged variety. Prepare yourself!
Seal Up Your Doors
It’s really almost unbelievable how little space bugs need to move into your home uninvited, but the good news is if you know where to look on your doors, you can seal off these holes before they become a problem.
The bottom of the door is an obvious entrance for bugs, but it’s also an easy fix. Consider using a metal threshold under the door to seal up any gaps. You may also consider installing a threshold sweep for extra protection; brushes work nicely to sweep any unwanted visitors back to the great outdoors.
The Role of Rock
Mulch, shrubbery and other plants are obviously attractive and there’s something to be said for the value of curb appeal. The real trick is, though, that provides the bugs with shelter and possibly food. And if they’re moving in to the shrubs right by your house, it’s only a matter of time before they make their move toward your humble abode.
Keeping plants and mulch away from the house would be best if possible. Consider replacing the house-adjacent garden with stone or brick is the better move when it comes to keeping pests away.
Take Out the Trash
It’s no secret that trash attracts flies and all sorts of other annoying vermin. If you live in a situation that requires you to keep trash cans near your home, be sure the lids stay on tight. This keeps the pests out of the trash itself and makes the actual inside of the house a less attractive prospect for food and shelter.
If you have any debris on your porch or any outdoor sitting area, be sure to keep it as clean as possible. While this can be a hassle, especially after a storm or when the leaves start falling, the effort is worth it. Even a little bit of clutter can serve as shelter for pests and the less you keep there, the farther you keep sources of shelter away from your shelter, again, the less attractive your house will seem to pests.
Check for Cracks
Pipe installation, foundation cracks, utility lines and other common household quirks can be an entryway for pests. Depending on where the gap is, you could seal it off in a number of ways.
If there’s a crack in the foundation, some carefully applied mortar could be very useful. If there’s a gap in cabinetry or drywall where a pipe needs to come through, expanding foam can work like a charm. It should be noted that expanding caulk may not be the best choice as certain pests could chew through and make the potential seal completely useless.
The spring and summer (even parts of the fall) are great times to keep the windows open and let in fresh air. It’s common sense to install screens on windows and doors to seal the way shut for pests while letting the fresh air flow.
However, there may be entrances you’re neglecting, particularly your vents. Screens in front of vents can prevent pest entry, and they’re sometimes overlooked.
Be sure the screens over your vents and other entrances are properly maintained. It’s easy for something as fragile as a screen to rip, and the faster you can replace or repair them, the better off you’ll be when it comes to preventing pests.
If you have a chimney on your place, make sure you have some sort of screen in place there, too. In addition to bugs, you could potentially let bigger vermin into your space, including but not limited to bats and squirrels.
Keep it Clean
This is another common sense point, but it’s still worth mentioning all the same. Though it’s difficult to squeeze a full house cleaning in to a busy schedule, clean a little bit at a time and as you go throughout the day. The less clutter you have around the house, the more exposed potential pests can be.
Remember, they need a place to hide within your home in order to thrive. If you find your rooms are getting a bit too crowded with the stuff we all accumulate, consider cleaning out what you don’t need. Besides, a more open space makes for a less stressful space, and couldn’t we all use a little more de-stressing?
Check the Drain
When was the last time you looked down the drain? When you lost something down it? When it was clogged?
Be sure to give your drains a look now and then and keep them as clutter free as possible. The moist, potentially dirty and somewhat hidden environment of a drain creates a potential breeding ground for small flies in particular. Keep an eye on them and keep them as clean as you can.
Seeing the Lights
Moths are attracted to lights, but so are other pests. However, it seems they’re only attracted to certain kinds of light. Halogen lights provide what we need to see around the house and our yard without attracting as many bugs as their incandescent counterparts.
If you can find lights that have subtle warmer colors like orange or yellow, they can help keep the bugs away. Try to keep exterior lights away from entrances, windows and vents if possible.
These solutions for pest prevention all take effort and they seem like chores, but the time is well-invested if you can keep unwanted animals out of your house.
Keep your home clean, keep your home decluttered and keep watch for holes and you’re well on your way to a pest-free place of your own.