Pest control is something we must all deal with to some extent or another, but doing so doesn’t always have to involve paying high-dollar and calling out pest control services. There are lots of ways you yourself can mitigate pest issues, and every one of them is either performed or recommended by the pros. So, in that spirit of DIY, money-saving power, here are seven tips to help get you started.
Unfortunately, your home’s vents and attached duct systems can become veritable secret highways for all sorts of pests to move through seamlessly. Duct cleaning is one, great option that can help to make indoor air quality better as well, but for pest control, we’re talking vent screens. By installing fine screens on all of the home’s vents, this secret pest highway is shut down for good.
Inspect Entire Home
Before getting too far ahead of ourselves, it’s very important to do a full inspection of the home. Many household pests simply find their way in from the outside through gaps, cracks, and other areas in need of repair attention. How does the siding look? Are the soffits, roof, and chimney all sealed and in good, structural order? Be sure to check all around the home’s foundation as well for possible entry points.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
As touched on above, the sealing up of gaps and cracks is a big part of the easy side of pest control work. Caulk and insulation are some of the key tools here. Backer rod, a tubular insulating foam, is also a helpful tool in filling larger gaps without going through excessive amounts of caulk.
So, where exactly should one look for gaps and cracks? Assuming we’ve fixed all outside issues addressed in the point above, internally, we can look in several, key areas. Check around doors and windows, inside cabinets, where the walls and floors meet, and around all tile and brick work present in the home. Hard-to-see cracks can also be found, in many cases, by simply holding a light piece of tissue paper in the suspected area in order to watch for any slight movement triggered by air passing through any small cracks nearby.
Enlist Natural Plant Power
There is a surprisingly large variety plants out there that does very well at deterring and, in some cases, even killing numerous kinds of pests. Inside and outside, homeowners can use numerous, natural plant extracts to treat and scent against intruders. Additionally, some homeowners really enjoy growing some of these pest-smacking plants, right on site, and letting them do their thing naturally. Petunias, basil, marigolds, lavender, and rosemary are just a few, great examples of popular pest control plants right now.
Perimeter treatment can be as helpful as just about any item of action on this list. By treating the home’s internal and external perimeter, pests must be crazy enough to cross a lethal line in order to dare enter your home, and most will definitely not. There are numerous, manufactured products out there that do the trick very well, while those preferring more natural remedies can find alternate options here as well. Treatments for perimeters typically come in powder or liquid application form.
Mitigate any Moisture Problems
Many don’t necessarily correlate moisture to pests, but there is a very real connection between the two. Many pests, particularly insects, require moisture in order to live and incubate their eggs and young effectively. So, if you have a slow pipe leak under the cabinet you’ve been meaning to take care of but haven’t, you need to get right on it. Plumbing, HVAC, and roofing issues are the most common culprits for allowing moisture in.
Finally, if cleanliness is godliness, as they say, then that is certainly true when it comes to pests. Pests generally do not like cleanliness. Instead, they thrive on the cover and dinginess of clutter, dirt, debris, and even moisture. These elements being the clear enemy, it’s also clear then that a thorough home-clean is always a significant step toward a pest-free home. Be sure to clean all areas of the home, resolve all unnecessary clutter, and even take heed of carpets that have not been cleaned recently. Carpet cleaning and pest control of many insect types go hand-in-hand.
Effective pest control doesn’t always require lots of money or visits from the pros. You can have a huge hand in how pests are able to enter or stay in your home. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to assuring that pest-free home you deserve.