You know you have to share this planet, but sometimes it’s nice to have a space of your own. Even the smallest of housemates can be a nuisance, and insects have a way of getting into your home whether you want them to or not. Harsh repellants and pesticides can damage your air quality and can lead to respiratory irritants. Fortunately there are some common sense preventative measures you can use to reduce your risk of an infestation.
Vermin are attracted to sources of easy food. When you leave crumbs and spills out in the open for too long, you are inviting unwanted guests over for a feast. In addition to cleaning up messes in the kitchen, you should also avoid leaving open trash containers sitting for too long.
Vacuum regularly to clear up dust and contaminants. Clean up your furniture by lifting the cushions and removing debris and dust that has fallen in the cracks. Also try to keep food in areas that are specifically designated for eating. Restricting eating habits reduces your exposure to vermin throughout the rest of your home. Also, check your food cupboards regularly and discard any open containers that have sat for too long.
Home Maintenance and Repairs
You need to seal off all points of entry. Insects are small enough to wiggle their way through the tiniest of cracks, so it is important to restrict their access as much as possible. An annual exterior inspection of your foundation can help to identify areas where termites, cockroaches, and ants may invade from. Torn screens and improperly sealed window panes are points of entry for mosquitoes and flies.
Some insects are confused by sources of light. As nocturnal creatures, their survival depends on their ability to remain hidden in the shadows. Certain varieties will respond to light by avoiding the area. If you have found a point of entry into your home that you have not successfully sealed up, try installing a small, low-voltage light near the area. Some aluminum foil also helps to reflect light and causes confusion.
Control Temperature and Moisture
Humid and warm environments help termites, roaches, bedbugs, and other parasites to do more than just remain active. They breed and multiply rapidly. It is essential that you keep your home as dry and cool as possible to discourage their activities.
Fix leaking water pipes that run under your house. Water damage is a serious enough cause for concern, but extra moisture is inviting to pests. As insects absorb the moisture through their bodies, they are able to travel farther and cause more trouble.
Wipe up spills as soon as they occur. Open your windows and doors regularly to allow trapped humidity to escape. You should also launder wet towels and avoid leaving laundry to sit for too long. In some dry climates, humidifiers may improve your personal comfort, but avoid using these devices for prolonged periods. Get in the habit of turning the thermostat down when you are away from home. Not only does this help you to save on your power bill, the varying temperatures discourage insects from coming indoors.
Always Check for Hitchhikers
Bedbugs, fleas, and other parasites often catch a free ride into your home. Pets may bring these vermin indoors where they can attack the rest of the family. Routinely bathe your pets with a shampoo that is specially formulated to remove insects. If you have stayed overnight at a hotel, you are at a higher risk for bedbugs. Make sure you check your suitcase and personal belongings for any signs of infestation before you get home and unpack.
You may not be able to eliminate every insect from your home, but you can reduce the risk of becoming the target of an infestation. If you have already adjusted your habits and are still struggling to control an outbreak, contact a professional exterminator for help.