Humans aren’t the only creatures that become more active with warm weather, and during the spring, all sorts of pests start to emerge and invade homes. Over the course of winter, bugs and rodents may have been breeding behind your walls or in your attic, and even if your home is pest free, your neighbors could be harboring unwanted critters.
Regardless of how pests are getting into your home, the fact of the matter is that they can be disgusting and uninvited visitors. Moreover, they may carry disease or cause damage by chewing through wires or your home’s foundation. Here are a few tips for homeowners looking to avoid pests this spring.
1. Spring cleaning
Addressing messes around the home is something many folks do during the spring anyway, and Orkin stated that vacuuming and removing dust are important for getting rid of pests. Creatures like cockroaches or other insects can feed on almost anything, including dirt particles.
2. Remove clutter
Spring cleaning can also be effective, because removing the clutter around your home or yard can make it more difficult for pests to hide and easier for you to recognize a potential infestation. In the yard, a pile of sticks makes a great home for anything from fleas to mice, and indoors, a messy attic or basement provides cover for even more animals.
3. Try preventative chemicals
Jay Everitt of Rottler Pest Solutions told KPLR 11 St. Louis found that one of the first steps in eradicating a pest outbreak is to head to the hardware store and select a chemical deterrent.
“Head to the hardware store and select a chemical deterrent.”
There are all sorts of products available that may be specific to a certain type of pest or may just be irritating or deadly to all insects. There may also be products for keeping certain animals away from your garden or out of your yard overall. Whether you are looking to prevent a pest outbreak or you are looking for ways to combat an existing one, there are a number of different options.
These chemical solutions are often price-effective, meaning you don’t have to break the bank when it comes to getting rid of ants or stink bugs. Likewise, they come with important and helpful safety labels and directions so that any risks associated with the use of chemicals is minimal.
4. Opt for natural alternatives
Earth Easy found that there are many ways to get rid of pests in your home without choosing chemical products, and many homeowners prefer a natural approach. Ants, mosquitoes, flies and other bugs each have unique sensitivities to items like cayenne pepper or lemon juice. Depending on the type of infestation you’re dealing with, a quick Google search should yield surprising but effective natural remedies.
For example, once you have found where ants are most likely coming into your kitchen or living room from, items like mint tea, garlic or cinnamon may be effective deterrents. As for eliminating these bugs, just a spray bottle of soapy water or a standard window cleaner should do the trick.
5. Investigate the yard
Some animals may not be living and breeding in your home, but have instead set up shop in your backyard. Standing water or a dead tree stump may provide a home for all sorts of creatures. Spend some time to carefully check out areas of your yard that may be sustaining unwanted bugs or rodents.
6. Stay on top of spills
The Natural Resource Defense Council stated that dealing with spills right when they happen is important for keeping bugs or mice away. For anyone with kids, this can be especially important, because they may not use soap and water to wipe up a dropped soda or clean up crumbs when having a snack. Make sure your children understand what the consequences of being messy are.
7. Minimize attractants
Aside from crumbs and spills, staying responsible and proactive with household messes is critical for making your home a less alluring place for pests. The NRDC suggested never leaving dirty dishes in the sink as well as taking out the garbage whenever it is full. Either of these things can attract flies and other bugs. When it comes to storing food, make sure lids and boxes are sealed tight, and be careful when keeping ripe fruit out of the fridge.
8. Call in a professional
It may be possible to take down a few flies or some ants, but certain pests may demand a true exterminator. Mice and mammals can carry fleas that harbor nasty diseases, and their droppings can also make humans sick.
Termites and some other bugs can be extremely difficult to fully eliminate, while the damage they can potentially cause to your home is severe. If your home may have a termite problem, bringing in a professional as soon as possible is crucial.