There are all sorts of creepy-crawly pests roaming around outside of your home. Unfortunately, if you wait too long before implementing basic do-it-yourself (DIY) pest control measures, a small problem can quickly multiply into serious damage to your home.
Household pest control
The trick is to prevent potential pests from invading your home. You can do this by being proactive and implementing basic DIY pest-control measures to prevent problems. For example, don't assume that the rodents (mice, rats, squirrels) you have glimpsed around your yard haven't gained access to the inside of your home. Rodents multiply quickly and seek areas that satisfy their basic needs for food, water and shelter. Inspect your home regularly for telltale signs that any unwanted pests have made your home theirs as well.
Household pest control is often necessary for the following critters and insects:
- Bedbugs. Know what these nasty nighttime vampires look like for quick identification. After traveling, don't unpack suitcases on top of your bed. Wash bedsheets often, seal mattresses in bedbug-preventive casings and keep all bedroom flooring well vacuumed. Clean deep into corners and remove any dampness from bedrooms as bedbugs prefer a dark, damp habitat.
- Termites. Pest-prevention tips for destructive termites means knowing that wood (cellulose) is their primary food source and that they must have a water source to survive. Be vigilant about repairing water leaks under sinks or in basements. Remove heavy vegetation from around the foundation of your home that keeps the soil overly moist. And store firewood away from your home. Buy treated lumber for any wooden structures around your home, remove any dead tree stumps from your yard and never use wood chips as mulch.
- Carpenter ants. Unlike termites, carpenter ants don't eat wood, but they do burrow inside of it to make nests. The same pest-prevention tips for termites apply to carpenter ants except that they are easier to detect and control. Ant trails are easy to spot, especially if you use a flashlight at night. The best way to control them is to destroy the parent nest. Use a chemical bait food designed to be carried back to the main ant colony, where it is eventually shared by all the inhabitants including the queen.
- Mice and rats. DIY pest control for mice and rats means sealing all gaps around piping and wiring leading into your home. Close any other possible entry crevices to prevent an unwanted invasion. Don't feed pets outdoors, keep garbage cans closed tightly and eliminate piles of debris such as uncontained compost piles. Pet cats can also be a valuable deterrent.
- Squirrels. These cute but pesky rodents can invade your home from above and below. If they make nests in your attic, they can chew on wood, drywall and electrical wire, and they can spread contamination in their nesting materials. Use the same inspection and repair techniques as you would for mice and rats, but go one step further.For effective DIY pest control, pay particular attention to all vents including around rooflines and gable vents and your dryer exhaust vent.Replace any old, flimsy screens, because squirrels will chew right through them.
Contact your independent agent if you have any questions regarding your Homeowners policy.