Once you discover that household pests are entering and invading your home, you must know how to eliminate them. There are a lot of health risks associated with pests and insects freely roaming your home. These creatures can possible spread diseases within a matter of weeks or days. Animals such as mice and bats as well as insects like bugs, cockroaches and ants can pose a threat not just to your health but also with your personal property.
Hiring a professional pest control company or professional exterminator can do the job quickly and efficiently, but it can be costly. Also, there are situations where doing it yourself can be just as effective, at a fraction of the cost. So if money is an issue and you want to save a little more, you can just do your own pest control and bug zapping with the help of the proper tools and products.
Here are some helpful tips for DIY pest control:
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1. Always keep your house clean
Prevention is always better than cure. This is the obvious but most effective tip for keeping pests away. Dispose all your garbage properly and regularly. Make it a habit to sweep and vacuum your floors, as well as underneath the beds, couches and other furniture. Don’t let any food or container lying around. Keep your kitchen and dining area clean – if there are any spills or food droppings, wipe and cleanse them immediately. Clean every speck and crumb from your drawers, shelves, under the appliances and under the sink.
2. Store food properly
Indoor pests target food, so pay special attention to your kitchen and dining area. When storing food, use airtight containers. Pour out your dry food out of their paper or cardboard packaging to plastic or glass containers, as pests can chew cardboard easily. Do not leave food out on the counter or dining table for extended periods of time, since they appeal to all insects and roaches. Tucking paper bags under the kitchen counter can be tempting, but cockroaches may decide to live in your paper bag stash. It’s still best to keep them in an airtight container as well.
If cockroaches abide in your home, it would be handy to keep a trusty roach killer spray in your cabinet. The Ortho Home Defense MAX Insect Killer Spray is an effective roach killer if you have a large roach infestation in your home and you don’t want to spend a lot on a pest exterminator. It’s non-staining and odor free, so the area can be safe to walk on once the spray has dried. This insect killer is highly effective at killing even the most stubborn roaches, as well as other insects. If you prefer a reliable, hands-on roach killer, the Raid Ant and Roach Killer Spray is your best bet.
3. Check and inspect your home
If you’re wondering how on earth did a rat, roach or a centipede enter your home, check and inspect your home – probably there’s an open spot in your house where the pest got in. Check the attic vents, roof vents, dryer vents and exhaust fans in your home that may be open to the outdoors. Look for obvious pest evidence, such as droppings, stains and nesting rubble. Check the foundations and walls for cracks and crevices. Small insects can sneak through the tiniest cracks and gaps in your windows and doors. If you can slide a pencil in a crack, it’s already large enough for a baby mouse to squeeze through. Take your time to examine and inspect every square foot of your home (by the way, it’s best to do it in daytime) and list it.
4. Seal up any potential entry points of pests and animals
Once you’ve figured out where the cracks and crevices are, fix those gaps by sealing them up. It would be helpful to seal them up so that no pest can enter it. But before you use any product, make sure you clean the surface first so that it will adhere best.
If your doors, windows and basement sashes are the unsealed, you can use adhesive-backed weatherstripping like CloudBuyer Keeping Fun Indoor Weather Stripping and attach it to the gaps around your door and windows. Products like these are primarily designed to keep hot air in during winter, but it works very well to keep pests and small insects away from entering your home. It’s easy to install yourself, because it’s a peel-and-stick weatherstrip.
If there are gaps between your trim and siding, use acrylic latex caulk like Dap Alex Plus Acrylic Latex Caulk. This is a highly flexible and durable caulk that is mildew-resistant, paintable and can be used for both interiors and exteriors.
5. Repair and replace any damaged entry points
Repair or replace any damaged screens in your home. Screens are placed behind doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes, flies and other flying insects from entering your home. Many people are guilty for leaving them be for months or even years, but the longer you put it off, the more chance of pests getting in.
You can install door draft stopper like the Ohuhu Door Draft Stopper Guard to keep your home free of bugs and insects. These also makes your home or room waterproof and soundproof.
6. Wash and dry your linen and towels more often
When was the last time you replaced your bedsheets, blankets or towels? Preferably, do this every other week because your bed area can be a breeding ground for a whole range of pests you may not even know about like bed bugs and dust mites. These insects thrive in these soft materials and keeping them clean can reduce the chances of having them in your bedroom. Also, avoid eating on your bed to avoid ants crawling in the bed while you sleep.
7. Provide adequate ventilation especially for your basement
Eliminate spiders and other insects and pests that love damp spots by ensuring that every part of your home is dry and well-ventilated to prevent their reproduction. A lot of pests enjoys humid areas like the basement, so you can use a good dehumidifier to maintain an ideal humidity level to keep the area dry.
There are a lot of dehumidifiers in the market, but it helps if you choose a basement dehumidifier. One of the best ones in the market is the Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 70-Pint Dehumidifier. It offers above-average energy-efficiency, high moisture removal rate, and low noise levels. It removes moisture more quickly and more effectively than most models.
8. Check your drainage
Fixing a leaky faucet gives you more than a decrease in your water bill. Pests love water and moisture, and this is why you generally find them in your kitchen and bathrooms. So, repairing a leaky drainage system can prevent pests from breeding in your home. Make sure it’s free of leaks and standing water, to prevent mosquitos from breeding in.
9. Set traps
We can set up some traps around areas where rodents are present. If you’ve seen some rats, big spiders, roaches or snakes nearby, you can place sticky traps like the WAIWAI Mouse Glue Trap. You just need to open the glue trap carefully from the seal, and any insect or mouse that would crawl on it will never get away. But you must take extra precaution when you have pets or young children around as it might stick on them, too. If you want a safer trap, you can use Catchmaster Baited Rat, Mouse and Snake Glue Traps. You simply need to place them where you want a pest to be trapped, and it’s pre- baited to easily attract mice and insects. Mice have poor vision and they prefer to walk their way along walls, so it would be helpful if you place traps along walls in areas where you’ve seen them.
To trap mice and kill them, you can use Acmind Mouse Trap to use and set as a bait and once the mice eats your bait, the clamp will close on its neck. But if you want a more humane trap, you can use animal-friendly traps like the Avantina Mouse Mansion Humane Mouse Trap that allows you to catch rodents, moles and voles and them set them free in nature where they belong. If you need a larger one that can trap a bigger mice, chipmunks or rabbits, the Kensizer Small Animal Live Cage Trap is for you.
Once you’ve set up a trap, ma\e sure you check the bait often, as dead rodents or insects can also attract smaller insects that may cause secondary infestation.
10. Use a bug killer and sprayer
If you want to keep bugs and insects away, there are several insecticides and pesticides that can help you keep them off your way. These chemicals are pretty powerful killers, so it is recommended that you always use caution and protect yourself with mask and gloves when spraying it in your home.
Talstar One Insecticide is one of the most popular insecticides on the market today because it’s safe, effective, economical and can combat over 70 different kinds of pest insects. It is used for general pest control and termite treatments. Just using this one with a good sprayer like the Chapin International Garden Sprayer will help keep bugs and pests at bay. This will save you money in the long run, rather than getting your house sprayed by a professional exterminator.