29 May 2018

Pests in Your Home: More Than Just a Nuisance

Pests are almost unavoidable, populating every part of the globe. The problem is that for every specimen you see there are many more that you don't. Once they enter your domain, they tend to reproduce and invite others and before you know it you have a pest infestation. Not only are they a bother, but they can get into and contaminate your food supply, bite, cause allergies and disease and damage the structure of your home. The good news is that you have the ability to reduce the risks of pests entering your home through common sense measures and professional services.

When to Use Pest Control

A fly here and there or a stray ant making its way to your sink may not warrant the need for professional help. However, if you live in a bug-friendly region like Northern Virginia and turn on the lights to find many bugs scurrying to seek cover, calling the pros is certainly something to consider. Luckily there are many companies that specialize in pest control in the Northern VA area and other places where a variety of bugs pose a threat to homeowners. They can do a thorough search of your home, including the outside perimeter to see if you have an undetected infestation. Then they will then provide a monthly treatment designed to address your particular needs based on their findings.

Disrupting Your Life

Pests are more than just a nuisance. They come into your home seeking shelter and food. The problem is that if you don't properly seal dry goods or prolong your cleanups they will take root. Things like replacing the paper flour and sugar bags with plastic resealable containers are a step in the right direction. Wiping down counters and appliances, vacuuming and cleaning floors often also helps. If you have children make sure to limit their snacks to certain areas so as not to spread the insects to other areas of your home. Leaky pipes that produce moisture can also cause insects to stay around. Bugs like the cockroach hang out near moisture-prone areas. By eliminating access to water you can help to rid your home of these critters.

Hazardous to You and Your Family

During the spring and fall months, many people open their windows and doors as a way of bringing in the fresh air. Unfortunately, if your screens are not sealed properly or have holes in them, that's not all that will enter. Insects such as flies, mosquitoes, and bees will also find their way inside. Flies regurgitate every time they land on you, your furniture, countertops, or your food. Since they collect food from dirty sources like trash cans, they can spread diseases like typhoid causing family members to become sick. Many mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus which is especially dangerous to seniors and young children and bees that have a hive near your home can become territorial and protective making them aggressive and willing to sting. Before opening your windows make sure that the screens fit tightly and that there are no visible holes.

Compromising Your Home's Structure

If you live near a construction site or an abandoned home, you may end up with insects like the carpenter ant or termites. Since they work their way from the inside out, early detection is critical to preserving your home's foundation and structure. Once you see one it's almost always too late. If you reside near suspect areas or if you think you may have a problem, have a professional take a look to confirm or allow you to breathe a sigh of relief.

Preventative Measures

Regardless of the climate, you live in, pests will find a way indoors. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce the possibility of them entering. Trim hedges, cut back tree limbs and remove weeds from around the perimeter of your home. Make sure your outdoor spigot is completely off and dispose of any stale source of water accumulated from recent rains. If you have a wood pile near your home, move it back at least 5 to 10 feet from your foundation.

Humans and pests coexist, so there is never a way to completely eliminate them from your home. However, there are many ways to prevent an infestation and keep them under control.

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