8 Tips for Keeping Pests Out of Your Home

There are of course many, many different kinds of pests out there that want to get into your house. Depending on what part of the country you live in, its climate, and your own propensity for taking out the trash, you may end up dealing with a relatively benign infestation of easily squish-able ants or the repeated clawing of a possum looking to bust through the floor of your raised home for reasons only a possum knows. Whether you live on the East Coast in states like New York or Massachusetts or you live across the country in states such as Oregon, Washington, or California, critters and rodents can become a problem quickly. Below are eight things you can do to keep a broad range of unwanted critters outside of your home where they belong.

  1. Seal your home:

    Mice, rats, and cockroaches are just a few of the lovely visitors who can find their way into your home through the tiniest of cracks, including cracks in your foundation and between your walls and floors. Caulking, a foam sealant, or steel wool are all materials you can use to effectively seal up those cracks. As an added bonus, by sealing up your home you save energy, which in turn saves you money on the cost of heating or air conditioning your home.

  2. Keep food in canisters:

    Pests can get into food even when it’s shelved in cupboards that close and contained in its cardboard or plastic packaging. Hard canisters, either metal or plastic, are a great alternative for storing and keeping food fresh and deterring mice or cockroaches. As an added preventive measure, you should regularly wipe down any area where food is shelved and stored in your home.

  3. Rake soil and mulch away from house:

    To keep pests like termites and other insects out of your home, keep soil and mulch raked away from the structure of your house. Experts suggest you keep firewood at least 20 feet away from your home and five inches off the ground in order to deter termites. You should also keep your gutters cleaned out, your bushes trimmed back, and your lawn regularly mowed.

  4. Clean under kitchen sink:

    The space beneath your kitchen sink can be both moist and cluttered, which is a combination pests love. Take a half hour to remove all the stuff from beneath your sink and clean the area thoroughly. Check for leaks and be sure to seal up any cracks where a pest might enter.

  5. De-clutter:

    Pests love to hang out in piles of stuff, including newspapers, cardboard, and dirty clothes. Make it a project each season to do a serious cleaning of your home, throwing out or better yet recycling stuff that has piled up over the months. If you discover droppings as a result of your cleaning, you’ve got pests and may need to call an exterminator.

  6. Vacuum:

    Vacuuming regularly ultimately won’t get rid of an infestation of fleas or bedbugs, but as a preventive measure, it’s extremely effective and only costs whatever you end up paying for the electricity you use. To make sure any pests you sucked up don’t return to your environment, after each vacuum, be sure the empty the vacuum bag outside.

  7. Clean and plug drains:

    When water subsides in the sewers, cockroaches, sometimes euphemistically referred to as “water bugs,” can find their way into your home by climbing up out of your drain. Keeping your drains clean is a smart thing to do regardless, and doing so will also help deter these unwanted visitors. Try using a combination of baking soda and vinegar to clear and clean your drains, and use a chemical product like Drano just once a month. When not in use, keep those drains plugged!

  8. Call an exterminator:

    Keep in mind that some pests are just impossible to eradicate without professional help. If you own a home, consulting with and hiring an exterminator is a good investment, especially in areas of the country where termites are prevalent. A good exterminator will closely inspect your home for pests and treat it accordingly, depending on what evidence he or she finds of an infestation.

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