How to Prevent Pests in Your Home

Keep Pests Out of Your House

Dealing with pests in your home can be annoying at best and a health hazard at worst.

According to Asthma Australia, 70% of Australian households deal with some type of pest problem in the last 12 months.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to deter and prevent pest infestations from occurring.

In this article, we’ll cover 11 tips to make your home less inviting for unwanted critters.

1. Keep Your Home Clean

One of the best things you can do is eliminate food sources. Take time to thoroughly clean all areas of your home on a regular basis. Pay special attention to the kitchen and places where crumbs and spills collect. Wipe down countertops, sweep and mop floors, clean out the inside of cabinets, and immediately tackle any messes. Store food in airtight containers, wipe up spills right away, and keep your garbage cans clean and lids tightly shut. A clean home without access to food and water sources is far less enticing to unwanted pests.

2. Properly Dispose of Garbage

Make sure to take out the rubbish frequently, especially food waste which can rot quickly in warm weather. Fruit flies can detect rotting fruit and veggies from an astonishing 3 kilometres away! Use bin liners and keep lids tightly closed so smells don’t escape. Consider getting an outdoor bin or one with a latching lid to eliminate accessibility. Collecting rubbish helps limit food supply and breeding grounds for pests.

3. Seal Possible Entry Points

Inspect both the inside and outside of your home for gaps and cracks. Pay particular attention around doors, windows, pipes, vents etc. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal up holes to deter entry from insects and rodents. Things like self-closing sweeps, fly screens on windows and sealing gaps under entrance help fortify your home’s defences. The fewer access points into your entire house, the better!

4. Keep Everything Dry

Moisture and standing water attract pests who use it for breeding. Fix any leaky pipes or faucets. Make sure air conditioning units dry properly and yards or gutters don’t collect rainwater. Empty and store any containers that can hold liquid when not in use so mosquitoes don’t move in. Dehumidifiers can also help regulate moisture, especially in basements. Eliminating water access discourages pest activity.

Keep Everything Dry

5. Unclog Drains

Clogged drains with built up grease, soap scum, hair and food leftovers smell bad AND attract pests like cockroaches seeking drinks and sources of food. Prevent problems by using catchers and avoidance of pouring fats or harsh chemicals down pipes. For existing issues, try plunging first or use an enzyme drain cleaner monthly to break down gunk and keep things flowing freely.

6. Trim Landscaping

Keep trees, shrubs, and branches cut back so they don’t touch the exterior walls. Overhanging tree branches allow pests to access roofs and upper-story windows. Long grasses and dense landscaping also offer shelter and seclusion. Ensure proper drainage around the foundation so stagnant water doesn’t pool. Wood piles, stacks of debris and other clutter are inviting hiding spots too. Maintaining your exterior discourages invasion.

7. Repair Structural Damage

Inspect loose siding, screens, exterior doors, roof tiles and the foundation for any cracks or openings. Use appropriate sealants to close gaps and replace any damaged screens. If ignored, openings allow easy entrance for bugs to sneak in and nest undiscovered. Pay special attention around utility line access points. Taking care of repairs reduces potential ingress routes.

8. Store Food Properly

Keep human and pet foods in sealed containers to reduce odours that attract pests. Shelving products instead of setting directly on counters or floors decreases ants spotting spillage underneath. Refrigerate produce, nuts and baking ingredients pronto since they love snacking on these items in your pantry. Take out trash and compost regularly too. Appropriate food storage limits pest detection.

9. Modify Lighting

Swap outdoor lighting to sodium vapour or yellow “bug bulbs” which are less attractive to insects versus standard bright or fluorescent lighting. Indoors, place sticky traps near (but not directly on) light fixtures to catch any pests already inside. Managing lighting deters future swarms of unwanted flying or crawling bugs.

10. Check Swings, Furniture and Play Equipment

Frequently examine both indoor and outdoor furnishings for signs of damage or nesting. Storage items like swings should be sealed in plastic containers when not in use. Firewood should be kept elevated and covered. Watch for mud tunnels forming in soil around posts or legs. Being observant allows early intervention against established pest colonies in your fixtures.

11. Call the Professionals When Needed

While diligence in following these prevention tips will help keep most common pests at bay, sometimes an infestation still occurs. When attempting DIY removal methods without success, the situation calls for professional services. Inspection, targeted treatments and continued monitoring ensure elimination of current and future problems.

Call the Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety considerations should be kept in mind when doing your own pest control?

Use personal protective equipment like gloves and masks when applying any pesticides, even natural ones like diatomaceous earth. Only use products labelled specifically for your type of pest and follow all usage directions carefully. Be sure to keep children and pets away from chemicals until dried. When uncertain, call professionals avoid any health hazards from improper applications.

How do I know it’s time to hire a professional pest control company versus trying to tackle issues myself?

You’ve attempted over-the-counter sprays, traps or other remedies with no success eliminating your pest problem. Issues persist or seem to return worse than before. Signs of major infestations exist like dozens of insects spotted, odd odours or significant visible damage. Nest removal requires climbing heights safely unreachable with household ladders. Certified specialists have industrial-grade solutions and equipment inaccessible for residential DIY methods.

How often should bedsheets and blankets be washed to help deter bed bugs?

To both kill and deter bed bugs, wash and dry bed linens on the highest heat settings items can tolerate weekly, if an infestation is present. Drying at high temperatures kills all stages of bed bugs. For prevention, wash sheets every 2 weeks and blankets every month. Pillows should be washed every 4-6 months or sealed in bags then heated to kill potential lurking bed bugs. Mattress covers further isolate sleeping areas to keep them safe.

The Bottom Line

The key to preventing most common household pests is maintaining cleanliness and closing possible entryways.

But when significant issues arise, don’t hesitate to call in professional pest control services to rectify stubborn infestations and keep them at bay in the future.

With some diligence on your part alongside expert treatments when warranted, your home can stay pest-free for good!

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