Your home is supposed to be your haven. It’s your safe place away from the world where you can sit down and relax, regardless of the length of your to-do list and the stressors of the outside world. If you have a pest problem, however, you’re probably not going to be enjoying that downtime quite so much.
Luckily, there are a lot of things that you can do to help remove pests and prevent them from coming back. The following will explore a few things you can do to deal with pests in your home; special attention will be paid to methods of pest control that don’t fill your home with toxic chemicals that harm you, your family, and your pets.
Seal Things Off
First and foremost, if there are pests, partially, this is because they are able to get into your home. Take the time to do a full examination of your house and see where there are cracks, gaps, and holes. Pay special attention to corners, beneath counters, and the edges of windows and doors. Deal with any sealing problems you have before tackling other steps. If you simply get rid of the pests but leave your home open for them to enter, you might find yourself in the same position next year. Don’t forget to examine your garage, basement, and attic either—sometimes critters enter the home from the rooms you use the least.
Clean Things Up
Similar to the above point, you want to avoid making it easy for pests to make your home their home. One of the most enticing things to pests is food. Crumbs or packages that are easy to get into (think cracker boxes in the cupboard) need to be tidied up and resealed. You might want to resort to glass containers with sealed lids for pantry items that have been opened. You might also want to keep items in the fridge that aren’t typically kept there; chocolate bars, cookies, muffins, and bread can all be kept in the fridge if you’re worried about pests getting into them. Be sure to throw out any packages of food that pests have already gotten into; critters can carry germs and diseases.
Make vacuuming and cleaning any areas where you eat or prepare food a regular priority; this isn’t to say that you’re messy or at fault in any way; pests are tiny and vigilant, and they’ll find things that even the keenest human eye would miss like grains of sugar or flakes of croissant. The less there is for pests to feed off of, the less alluring your home is going to be. If you have smaller children, you might want to search unusual places for crumbs and leftover foods, like beneath the couch and behind the television.
Identify The Type Of Pest You Have
The first two steps apply to all forms of pests, but after the above stages are completed, you’re going to want to study the pests in your home. Signs of mice, for instance, are going to be very different than signs of termites. Some pests are easier to identify because you occasionally catch a glimpse of them. Others are tiny and tend to only come out when the coast is clear. You can also look for websites that contain pest libraries. Pest management professionals at www.greenpestmgmt.com provide a collection of photographs and details that can help you figure out what you’re dealing with. Each entry also contains a breakdown of what attracts a particular pest, what dangers they pose, and what courses of action are ideal if you find them in your home.
Depending on the type of pest you have, you may be able to find traps that are safe to use in your home. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and if you have pets or young children, take appropriate steps to ensure that there’s no risk of people or animals you want to keep safe and healthy touching or eating traps. If you are uncomfortable using traps, you can, of course, skip this step and reach out to a professional.
Seek Professional Help
Sometimes a few traps aren’t enough to handle a pest problem. There are species that multiply fast and require an expert’s skill to eradicate. Be sure to ask about chemicals used, as even with proper ventilation, you will be breathing in air that’s contaminated with any sprayed products for quite some time. Research possible side effects of these chemicals and appropriate cleaning steps to take once they’ve taken their course.
The above tips should help you deal with any pests you have and prevent them from returning in the future. Any aspect of the process that doesn’t feel safe or you don’t have confidence in your ability to complete should be left to the professionals.