Once an infestation of bugs takes root in your home, it’s a huge hassle to get rid of them. Fleas, ants, roaches, and termites all cause havoc in your home when they’re left to multiply, and getting rid of them often involves noxious chemicals or treatments that aren’t friendly to humans and pets.
However, as long as you stay vigilant with cleaning and perform a few simple maintenance tasks, you should be able to keep bugs from invading your home.
Reducing Access Points for Pests
There are several tasks you may undertake to reduce the likelihood of a pest infestation. The most important of those tasks begins with keeping your home clean. You should engage in some simple regular maintenance of systems like the plumbing and HVAC machinery, as well as reducing the number of openings in your home through which bugs can enter.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests all homeowners engage in the following steps to reduce the likelihood of pest invasion:
- Fix leaky pipes and reduce standing water around the home such as the trays underneath potted plants.
- Don’t leave open containers of food around and make sure to clean all surfaces of food after eating or preparing meals.
- Put pet food away at night and make sure that any pesticides used don’t come into contact with the pet food when it is out.
- Seal leaks and crevices around the home that may allow bugs to enter the home such as gaps in the floorboards or misaligned windows.
Simple Tricks for Active Pest Prevention
Even if you take all the recommended steps above to make sure your home isn’t a breeding ground for pests, your home might need some additional defenses. Although you can invite a pest control service to come to your home on a periodic basis, sometimes some preventative medicine will work well enough so that you don’t need to soak your home in pesticides.
According to the DIY home improvement site Family Handyman, copper mesh helps to seal up little cracks that commonly form around the foundation:
Use copper scrubbing pads to fill gaps: Stuff in a generous amount of copper mesh with a screwdriver, leaving about half an inch of space for expanding foam sealant. Seal gaps with foam.
Family Handyman also offers a terrific suggestion for keeping spiders out of your home and basement:
Dehumidify and clean up cobwebs: You can virtually eliminate spiders in your basement by using a dehumidifier to maintain a 40 percent humidity level and vigilantly sweeping down cobwebs whenever they appear. Keep the basement window sills brushed clean too. In a matter of weeks, the spider population will die down significantly.
If You Get Bed Bugs
Bed bugs are a creepy nightmare and are little bugs that most people associate with hotel rooms, but they’re definitely an insidious pest that can invade any home. You’ll want to wash your bedding on a regular basis as part of your cleaning routine, but if you find that you’ve gotten an infestation, it’s time to wash absolutely everything you can.
You may even need to get a new mattress if yours is too old. The commercials that say you should replace your mattress after about eight years are right: an old mattress is a breeding ground for bed bugs and all sorts of other creepy crawlies like fleas and mites.
Tip 1: Don’t forget to clean the laundry basket. Bed bugs love to hide in bedding you toss in the laundry basket.
Tip 2: Always heat-dry your bedding to make sure you get rid of any bed bugs after washing things like sheets and comforters.
The EPA offers an interesting suggestion regarding drying your laundry and bedding with heat:
Regularly wash and heat-dry your bed sheets, blankets, bedspreads and any clothing that touches the floor. This reduces the number of bed bugs. Bed bugs and their eggs can hide in laundry containers/hampers Remember to clean them when you do the laundry.
Regular Cleaning Reduces the Chance of Infestation
Hiring a cleaning service helps you keep your home clean and free of insect invaders. If you’d like help and information on hiring a cleaning service, download our FREE House Cleaner Hiring Guide.