No matter where you live, every homeowner knows that at some point in time, you will probably have to deal with pests. Pests could be insects or animals, and the strategy used to address a pest issue will of course depend on the bugs or animals involved.
To get an idea of how common pests in the home are, here is a 2021 statistic from the United States Census Bureau: “Data show that about 14 million of the approximately 124 million occupied housing units in the United States reported seeing roaches in their homes during the last 12 months. Also, nearly 14.8 million reported seeing rodents (mice or rats).”
But don’t worry! Though pests are in some ways inevitable, there are several things you can do to keep your home as pest-free as possible so that you can spend your time as a mother and homemaker more meaningfully. To help you get started, we’ve outlined 6 tips for pest prevention below.
- Seal Windows, Doors, and Gaps
Having an entirely “sealed” home is obviously impossible– people come and go, doors open, pets bring things in from the outside, and on nice days, you will probably want to open a window or two. However, taking the time to seal unnecessary gaps throughout your home will go a long way in keeping indoor pests to a minimum. After all, pests, no matter how small, do require a point of entry.
Some areas to focus on are the areas surrounding doors and windows, as well as the space where the wall meets the floor, and even the floor itself. Oftentimes, homes will change shape ever so slightly as they age, and as the foundation shifts beneath them due to natural processes. This can lead to cracks in walls and floors and around windows and doors that in turn provide insects and even small animals with easy access to the inside of your home. Of course, how you should seal these gaps will depend on where they are, but the first step will always be identifying problem areas. Try to get in the habit of inspecting the interior and exterior of your home for gaps at least once a year.
- Minimize Indoor Plants
Insects in particular are attracted to plants because they are good places to lay eggs, so it’s a good idea to keep indoor plants to a minimum. However, if you really can’t bear to part with your thriving pothos, there are other things you can do to keep bugs away from your plants and out of your home. For example, some homemade sprays are safe and non-toxic for plants and animals but are excellent for keeping bugs off of plants. It’s also a good idea to keep your soil as dry as possible (without harming the plant, of course) because bugs are especially drawn to moist environments.
- Keep a Clean Home
This may seem obvious, but it is still worth covering. At the most basic level, clean environments are less likely to attract the attention of pests. Why? Well, if you think about it, pests like insects and animals enter a home primarily for one reason: they are looking for food. If your kitchen counters and floors are constantly covered in crumbs from last night’s meal, you will surely attract the unwanted attention of pests! The following two tips will expand upon this idea.
- Hiring Routine Professional Pest Control
Even though there are things you can do yourself to keep pests to a minimum, sometimes they are simply unavoidable. Certain regions and climates are especially prone to pests, and even the cleanest and most vigilant homemakers can’t always keep them away. This is why it is never a bad idea to consider hiring a pest-control company like the bugman based in Riverside, CA who can help either through removal and extermination or through regular preventative processes like perimeter spraying, sealing, and trap laying. And most importantly, if your home gets any sort of infestations, such as cockroaches, termites, or bed bugs, you truly have no choice but to use a professional. According to Michigan Michigan bed bug specialists MBBS, 50% of their calls are from individuals that tried initially to treat an infestation on their own, only to prolong the bites and trauma unnecessarily before they hired a pro.
- Take the Trash Out Often
Think about how much food material you dump into your kitchen garbage on a daily basis. And, if you have a large trash can, think about how much time it can sometimes take for it to fill up. If food is sitting (and rotting) in your trashcan for even a day, it can start to attract bugs and animals with a smell that may not yet be detectable by humans. This is why it’s very important that you take your trash out as often as possible.
Maybe consider a small trash can that will fill up quicker, that way food isn’t sitting in the bin for days on end. Fruits, vegetables, meats, and other whole foods are especially attractive to pests, so for these ingredients, if possible, consider disposing of them separately and removing them from the home even sooner. You can even compost them for your yard (if they are organic, of course).
Lastly, any foods (especially produce and animal products) that seem to be going bad, or starting to go bad, should be removed from areas like the refrigerator or pantry as soon as possible, and any dirty dishes with food materials should be cleaned sooner rather than later.
- Keep Food in Sealed Containers
Of course, food is attractive to pests no matter where it is in the home, and regardless of whether it has been used already, so proper food storage– not just food disposal– is also very important to keep a home as pest-free as possible. Food should therefore be kept in sealed containers both in the refrigerator and in the pantry at all times.