Top 7 Pest Control Tips to Keep Insects, Raccoons, and Rodents Away From Your Home
Here are our top 7 pest control tips to minimize and control these pesky little creatures!
Pests are a problem every home-dweller faces. They’re not only a nuisance, but they can also cause damage to our personal belongings and pose a health risk to everyone around them.
There are several ways to eliminate pests both inside and outside your home. These solutions will come handy when spring and summer comes, so you can act fast before a problem arises.
7 Pest Control Tips and Tricks to Keep Pests Away
Deter and eradicate pests with these time-proven tips from both homeowners and professionals.
1. Check for Cracks and Gaps
Given the microscopic size of many pests, it’s not hard to believe that they can through the cracks and gaps found on our walls, furniture, electric wiring, and even missing roof shingles.
So the first step in pest prevention is to eliminate all entry points to keep them out of your home.
Start by closely examining the exterior of your home. Search for:
- Damaged or missing sections of siding
- Cracks in foundations
- Rotting wood
- Loose or crumbling bricks
- Gaps around utility lines (including pipes, electric, and cable wiring)
Once you’ve identified where the crack is, you can use mortar or cement to seal and match the foundation. Copper mesh, coarse steel wool, or sheet metal is ideal as well.
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If you have a lot of damaged sections of bricks, siding and/or cladding, it’s best to clear it away and add new ones.
Some suggest using caulk. However, many pests can easily chew through it, so it’s not always ideal.
2. Seal Your Doors and Windows – Pest Control Tips
This pest control tip is very easy to accomplish for most. The purpose of a locked door and window is to keep unwanted intruders out. Pests can be classified as such, so you’ll want to seal the doors and windows of your home properly.
If you carefully examine your entryway, you’ll come to find that several unsealed gaps make for a pest’s easy entrance.
To seal your door, consider the following:
- Consider installing a steel or aluminum threshold under the door.
- A door sweep prevents insects from crawling underneath your door.
- Add a weatherstrip or door seal-kit to the perimeter of your door’s frame.
- Replace doors that don’t fit well.
Follow these steps when sealing your windows:
- Regularly inspect and repair the cracked or damaged windows.
- Install a screen mesh if you haven’t already to enjoy fresh air without the annoyance of flying pests.
- If you already have a screen mesh installed, check for rips or tears and carefully push the broken wires back into place.
- If the damage is too severe, replace it with a screen mesh that has at least 200 holes per square inch.
- Replace any worn-away weatherstripping, so there are no gaps.
3. Properly Dispose and Store Trash – Pest Control Tips
Garbage attracts a lot of pests and rodents as they consider it to be a nest or food source. Trash cans are like a gourmet pest buffet, which makes it a hotspot for critters and the like.
To prevent pests from making your trash containers their home, you’ll need to make sure you dispose of your trash properly.
- Making sure to have tight-fitting lids is equally crucial so pests can’t crawl inside the bin.
- Regularly clean and remove debris and spills around your bin so pests can’t feed on it.
- Keep all garbage in bags.
- Get an interior and exterior can that has a self-closing lid.
- Repair holes or replace your trash can if it’s ridden with cracks and holes.
- Place trash cans far away from home.
- Keep your yard, patio, garage and decks free of leaf litter, grass clippings, stagnant water.
Among these tips, consider investing in ammonia. Ammonia is hard to beat when it comes to pest control, and it effectively wards off raccoons and many pests with its smell.
- Multipurpose cleaner for laundry and general household chores like cleaning kitchens, sinks, garbage disposals and trash cans
- Use full strength, wait a few minute and rinse with clear water
- Can be used on cement floors
However, we do recommend you to use ammonia for your outdoor bins, as the chemical has a pungent smell.
4. Keep Your Firewood Away from Your House
Just like trash cans, some pests are easily attracted to firewood. This includes different species of beetles, ants, termites, and wood mites. Most of these pests use firewood to lay their eggs, where larvae develop and grow into full-fledged adults.
To prevent this, make sure never to stack firewood indoors and keep them away from trees. When brought indoors, burn them immediately.
5. Remove Other Sources of Food
Store food in sealed plastic or glass containers. Pests have an excellent sense of smell, so they’ll immediately seek for exposed food to feast on it.
As much as possible, don’t keep food exposed on your kitchen counter, especially food or bread.
Always store pantry foods in reusable containers or sealable bags, especially if the original packaging of the food product can’t be fully sealed. This includes chips, pasta, cereal, and other storable foods.
In the same light, store pet foods in a lidded can so mice and other rodents can’t get close to it.
And, equally important, always clean up after meals and regularly clean your pantry to get rid of spoiled food or other items you don’t plan to use or eat.
6. Regularly Clean Your Home
A messy home not only attracts pests and rodents, but it also causes stress and a ton of health issues.
The best way to prevent pests is to have a well-organized home and a strong treatment plan. Your house doesn’t particularly need to be “spotless”, but it should be clean enough that it’ll prevent pests from entering your home.
Prevention is better than cure, after all, so it’s best to end infestation even before it begins. Here are some cleaning tips to following to keep your home pest-free:
Keep Clutter to a Minimum
Hidden piles of books, newspapers, and clothes are a convenient breeding ground for pests. It’s dark, undisturbed, and warm, so insects and the like can reproduce in huge numbers even before they’re discovered.
Make sure to throw away items you don’t need instead of storing them. Keep everything easily accessible and get rid of clutter.
Take the Time to Deep Clean Your Home
Regularly sweep and vacuum your home. Wipe off the countertops to get rid of any crumbs or spillage. Dust the corners of your rooms, including windows, tabletops, and undersides of furniture.
Also don’t forget to keep your microwaves, ovens, and stovetops devoid of any crumbs or food residue.
Reduce Sources of Moisture
Insects and other small pests, just like any other living organism in this world, require water to live. As such, pests tend to avoid dry areas and are more attracted to moist environments.
Make sure to check and fix leaking pipes under your kitchen or bathroom sinks to prevent pests from taking residence in our home. Even a slow leak can lead to big problems, so it’s best to tackle them early on.
The same goes for the drainage system in your home. Cover your drains with drain stoppers, coves, or drain screens. You can also occasionally clean your drains by pouring half a cup of baking soda down the pipe, followed by half a cup of distilled vinegar.
Furthermore, if you keep house plants, always make sure not to overwater them.
Maintain Your Garden
Cleaning outside your home is equally important as cleaning inside to prevent pests.
Maintaining your garden will reduce any potential pest sanctuaries from forming. This includes:
- Removing any wood and debris piles away from your home as this is where bugs often hide.
- Mowing and raking your lawn regularly, and make sure to available making piles of lawn clippings.
- Trimming or removing shrubs and weeds found around your house
- Clearing away overgrown vegetation as it can harbor rats and other pests
Eliminate Areas of Stagnant Water
If you have a garden, avoid overwatering your plants. Empty water from old flower pots, trashcans, wheelbarrows, etc., and make sure your sewer system is working properly to prevent sewage waste from pooling or overflowing.
Remove Dead or Infested Leaves
This only applies when you have a garden. If you see signs of rot or diseased leaves, it’s best to pinch them off to avoid contaminating the whole plant, which in turn makes it a tasty feast for pests.
7. Utilize Natural Pest Repellents
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There are many natural pest control methods to eliminate and prevent pests, including using them against themselves. Here are a few effective natural pest repellents found in every home:
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- Coffee grounds
- Bay leaves
- 0.25-ounces of Happy Belly Whole Bay leaves
- The aromatic leaf from the bay laurel tree
- Whole leaves
- Essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, and Tea Tree
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For most of these deterrents, such as cayenne, cinnamon, coffee grounds, and cornmeal, you’ll just simply need to sprinkle the ground along where pests enter the house.
For others, you’ll just need to place them on the counter or pantry, like the garlic and cucumber.
Pests and rodents are a hazard. They can damage crops and food supplies, destroy homes and buildings, and potentially harm human health.
Luckily, it isn’t so challenging to eliminate and control pests from taking residence in our homes. With the above pest control tips, you can rest easy knowing you live in a pest and rodent-free home.