If you have ever left food out overnight, you probably noticed unwanted pests in the morning. Also, having bugs inside your home is more common during the colder winter months. Here are some things you can do to prevent pests from entering your household.
- 1 1. Remove Food From Your Kitchen
- 2 2. Get Rid of Any Clutter
- 3 3. Fix Leaky Plumbing
- 4 4. Seal Off Openings
- 5 5. Minimize Plants in Your Yard
- 6 6. Try Pesticides
- 7 7. Change Your Light Bulbs
- 8 8. Clean Your Drains
- 9 9. Clean Your Recyclables
- 10 10. Scatter Coffee Grounds
- 11 How to Control Pests in Your Home
1. Remove Food From Your Kitchen
If you notice pests inside your house, you want to take preventive measures. One of the first places to bug-proof is your kitchen. Remove any food from the floor or open surfaces. Make sure you’re storing your food properly. Use sealed plastic bags or glass jars for leftover items. Be sure to read expiration dates since rotten food can attract pests.
When shopping, keep in mind you only want to buy what you need. This can reduce the risk of food just sitting in the pantry for an extended period. Also, make sure your garbage can is completely covered and take out the trash regularly. The fuller your trash, the easier it is for bugs to make a home inside.
2. Get Rid of Any Clutter
Clutter can provide an excellent hiding spot for bugs, so try to keep your home nice and tidy. This can be a challenge with kids, so consider adding cleaning your room to their chore list. Also, using storage bins can be a great way to organize items and reduce clutter. When cleaning spaces, divide things into categories, such as “put away” or “recycle.”
3. Fix Leaky Plumbing
Fixing leaks can ensure water doesn’t build up inside your home. Besides causing water damage, moisture can help pests thrive. Some insects, such as termites, are even drawn to moisture.
If you notice mud tubes or piles of sawdust, these are signs of a termite infestation. Mud tubes are brown-colored tunnels found on your home’s foundation or exterior concrete walls. When you notice either of these issues, call a professional exterminator.
After the treatment, continue to take preventive measures to keep your home safe. For example, don’t let water gather under your refrigerator or house plants. Also, if you have pets, try to keep their water bowls hidden overnight.
4. Seal Off Openings
Pests can enter your home from gaps in your windows and doors. To keep bugs out, add weather stripping or caulk around the bases and sides. Also, cover up any holes with wire mesh. If you notice any tears in your window screens, repair these as well.
Besides your windows and doors, check other areas around your home. Gaps in your pipes and electrical lines can allow pests to enter. Consider using steel wool to close up these spaces.
5. Minimize Plants in Your Yard
Besides just interior prevention, you also want to examine your backyard. Consider trimming trees and bushes that run along the side of your home. These can create a bridge for ants to walk across and come inside. Also, pay attention to your garden. Consider minimizing the amount of mulch you use. The soil can be a breeding ground for pests.
6. Try Pesticides
You can use pesticides to remove bugs inside your home. Remember to keep small children away from the area you apply it. You can use pest control baits or traps to capture insects or rodents. If you use spray pesticides, be sure to apply them to a specific area and not a whole room.
When buying products, be sure to read the label and follow all directions carefully. Also, double-check they’re approved for home use. If you’re unsure, consult with a professional to keep your family safe. You might even want to look for supplies that target a specific pest.
7. Change Your Light Bulbs
Many bugs will gather around your doors and windows where the light source is. Consider replacing your bulbs with high-pressure sodium vapor or halogen lights. The color of your light can even play a role. Using pink, yellow, or orange tints will attract insects the least. For your outdoor lights, consider placing them farther away from your house on poles.
8. Clean Your Drains
Your sink and floor drains can accumulate tons of debris. If not properly cleaned, your sink drain can contain a buildup of food residue that might bring pests to investigate. So, pour hot water down your sink at least once a week. You can also try pouring a cup of vinegar and letting it sit for 30 minutes. After, rinse with boiling water.
Besides your sink drain, the ones on your floor can collect debris tracked inside the house. So, be sure to clean these as well. Try using hydrogen peroxide for your bathroom faucets. Also, remove any hair from shower drains to reduce hiding spots for insects.
9. Clean Your Recyclables
When you store your recycled items, they are usually placed in an open-top container. Consider covering your bin up to prevent pests from entering. Also, rinse your items before placing them inside the crate. Another tip is to keep the container outside, so you can’t track bugs inside.
10. Scatter Coffee Grounds
Since you probably already have some around, coffee grounds can be used to reduce pests. Consider sprinkling some around your house wherever bugs typically enter. The critters don’t like the smell and will steer clear of your home.
How to Control Pests in Your Home
Having bugs inside the house can be a pain. They can be an inconvenience and even damage your home’s structure. So, when in doubt, follow these tips to keep your home pest-free.