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5 Tips to Maintain a Pest-Free Home

Mikkie Mills Dec 10, 2019
Pests are annoying when they invade your home. Some pests want to share your food and abode while others want to prey on you. Regardless of their intentions, they are a challenge to every homeowner and occupant. Here are five tips on maintaining a pest-free home.

Storage

Common household pests attracted to your food are ants, bees and mice. Ants are particularly drawn to sweet foods. Thief Ants, however, are drawn to high-protein and greasy foods. Regular ants would feed on your food and/or bring them back to their colony.
Thief ants got their name by stealing from other ants. You could easily spot a trail of ants coming after your food that is left out on the counter or dropped on the floor. The best way to combat this is to be vigilant in keeping your counters, chairs and floors crumb-free.
Store your food in tightly-sealed containers. Mice are known to chew through hard plastic or rubber, hence this may not be a deterrent for mice. Use metal or glass containers that are food-safe.
Almost ripe sweet-smelling fruits such as apples and peaches can be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat them. Bananas and melons attract fruit flies and should be eaten as soon as they are ripe.

Garbage

Outdoor pests including stray cats, dogs, and raccoons will forage for leftover food in your unsealed garbage cans. Do not overload your trash cans such that you can't seal them with their fitted lids. Recyclable containers that are not properly cleaned may attract pests and therefore the recycling dumpster should be properly sealed as well.
To keep scent away from critters, consider double-bagging garbage. Spray Windex on outer bags as strong ammonia scent is a deterrent. Drop mothballs in your garbage to keep raccoons away. Secure your trash can lid with a bungee cord. Install motion-sensor lights at the location of your garbage cans to frighten the nocturnal visitors.

Cracks and Openings

Mice enter the home from cracks and openings on the walls, pipes, doors, windows, ventilation, and any other opening. Parts of the house that are not properly walled such as unfinished basements are potential hiding places for mice, rats, and snakes.
Be sure to lay mice traps in these areas to confirm. Openings can be sealed with steel mesh and caulked with an appropriate sealant that blocks airflow.
Squirrels, birds, bats, and raccoons are sometimes trapped in roof vents and chimney openings. To prevent this, install a roof vent guard and chimney caps.
If you lack a chimney cap, be vigilant in shutting the flue when chimney is not in use and install a door on the front of the fireplace as a last resort. If a pest gets stuck in the middle of chimney, it would be challenging and costly to remove it.
If you have a garage, not shutting it properly leaving a gap at the bottom will invite rodents and other unwanted pests. If you own outdoor sheds and want your interior valuables to be preserved, make sure the shed door shuts properly and that the shed construction is solid.

Gutters

Roof gutters often trap leaves, twigs, and pine cones which causes decomposition and mold over time. The gutters get clogged and any water deposit creates a pool for mosquito larvae to breed. Regularly clean the gutter to avoid this.

Drains

Drains and pipes are a source for drain flies that feed on sewage. Also known as sewer flies, moth flies, and filter flies, these flies are a nuisance if they breed excessively.
To combat this problem, clean the drain by pouring warm water into it, loosen the grime with a flexible brush, pour a commercial drain cleaner into it. Let the drain rest for several hours before pouring down cold water. Repeat the process for several days.
Having a home comes with the maintenance chores. Keeping pests away is one of them. With practice, comes experience and the chore will no longer be abhorrent and will soon become your second nature.