Home Maintenance and Security

How to Protect a Home from Pests

Bugs, cockroaches, rats, centipedes, termites and ants and other insects are unwanted visitors in your house that keep making themselves welcome. They live in the corners and crevices in your house, and poses danger to your hygiene, health, furniture and even to the structure of your home. Keep them away by following these helpful tips:

1. Seal any entrance point that connects your home to the outdoors

All insects and pests were once living in the outside world. Your job is to keep them there. Anything that connects your hose to the outdoors can be a trouble spot, such as windows, doors, vents, pipes, roof shingles, chimneys, and holes caused by poorly attached sidings. Here are some things you can do about these:

  • Look for loose openings and seal in your windows.
  • If you’ve got some loose wires in your screens, push it back in place with pliers. If your screen is torn, try applying clear nail polish.
  • Replace rotted and damaged trims, as well as damp wood.
  • Add a door sweep to cover the gap between the threshold and the bottom of the door.
  • Use a door seal or weather stripping to seal around the frame of your doors.
  • Use caulk to fill in small cracks near your pipes or vents. For larger gaps, use steel wool.
  • A lot of animals can fit in your chimney, so if you have one, you should get a properly fitted chimney cap.
  • Seal gable vents in your roof to prevent bats and birds from entering.

2. Keep your house clean

Keep your house clean

Bugs and other house pets are attracted to messes. Keeping your house clean is one of the best ways to keep them away, especially in the kitchen where crumbs and other foods can be found lying around. After dining, put away snacks and other leftovers as soon as possible. Wipe your table right away to remove food particles. Store in your food in sealed containers or inside the refrigerator.

Be mindful of other items that draw pests to your home, such as paper clutter, garbage bins without lids, pet food bowls, bird feeders with spilled seed and woodpiles stacked near your house. Avoid clutter and make sure your trash bins are always covered.

Vacuum your house regularly, ideally once a week. Cleanse your surfaces with soapy water to prevent intruders. Get your stuff organized and don’t just leave paper everywhere. Try to avoid clutter where bugs can congregate, such as stacks of cardboard boxes, magazines, and bags.

3. Scope out the outside

Check the outside of your house and know where the bugs hang out. Firewood can be a home to termites and ants, so make sure you store wood at least 20 feet from your house. A standing water source like bird baths, catch basins and fire pits must be emptied and checked regularly since this can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If it’s not raining, keep your catch basins covered. Keep branches and shrubs away from your walls, so bugs that may live with the plants don’t transition to your home.

Trees with branches touching your home can be problematic, that’s why it’s not advisable to build a home in close proximity to a tree. Trees are home to different kinds of insects and animals, and this can be a pathway for them to travel directly to your house (not to mention their wall-damaging roots). If your home is placed near a tree, sorry to say, but you must cut it off to prevent pests and damages in the future.

4. Get ants out naturally

Get ants out naturally

Grabbing a can of Raid to kill ants is fine, but it can leave toxic chemical residues in your home that can be harmful to your health. It’s best to repel these pests using natural means, and good thing you have plenty of options. One is to clean your cupboards with vinegar – it’s a natural disinfectant and ants can’t stand it.

For spots frequented by ants, put a light dusting of your spice of choice (black pepper, mint, turmeric, cinnamon, red chili powder) as they will shy away from these. You can also leave fresh cucumber peels or small cucumber slices on the likely entry point of ants, as well as high ant-traffic areas (This works for repelling roaches as well). These insects have a natural instinct to avoid the smell of cucumber.

5. Keep your home dry

Wet and moist areas serve as a breeding ground of pests, so make sure you keep your home as dry as possible. Standing water and dirty dishes on the sink can cause pest problems, so it’s best to cleanse and wash your dishes as soon as possible. Fix leaky pipes beneath the sink or the bathroom right away. Places at your home that is prone to moisture, such as basements and attics, can be cockroaches’ favorite spot, so consider using a dehumidifier in those areas. If you have wood, make sure it’s finished and keep it away from damp areas because these damp wood attracts termites.

6. Use home remedies to repel insects and pests

Use home remedies to repel insects and pests

There are a lot of easy ways to keep pests and insects away. One way is to prepare a soapy water spray and using them directly to insects to kill them while keeping your home clean. You can use it, especially for ants and cockroaches. Here are other ways to repel insects:

  • Place boric powder over kitchen cabinets and between spaces ceilings and cabinets to kill cockroaches. You can attract roaches with it by mixing the boric powder with something they would love (like cocoa powder or sugar). This is poisonous for them, and when they go back to their nests, all the other roaches that come in contact with the infected one will also be dead.
  • Repel flies with eucalyptus oil. Pour some drops of eucalyptus oil in a cotton cloth and place it in your dining table or in other areas where flies are a problem.
  • Crushed mint leaves or mint tea bags can keep ants and flies away, and can also keep your home smelling fresh.
  • Apply neem oil on your exposed skin to prevent mosquitoes from biting.
  • Mix one part garlic juice and five parts water and spray it over your body to repel mosquitoes.

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