Pest Control – How to Control Pests in Your Home

The threat of pests is always present. Chances are, if it squeaks, buzzes, or has more legs than you do, you don’t want it creeping in your home. Eliminating unwanted pests with a potent poison is a temporary solution to your pest problem, but the same stuff that’s toxic to pests is often toxic to people, too — especially kids. Because most pesticides treat symptoms of infestation, and not underlying causes they often don’t work as well as prevention-based alternatives.
Here are some general tips for putting a lid on pests:
Step 1: Make Sure Your Home Is Clean and Dry
Many insects and rodents are attracted to warmth, darkness, spoiling food and standing water, so start off by making your home less hospitable to pests.
Empty your garbage can daily ensuring the lid fits securely. Clean up behind the bin as Types Of Organic Pesticides bits of food on the floor in dark corners are an attractive meal for rodents and pests.
Make sure all food and beverage containers outside the fridge Types Of Pest or freezer are tightly sealed in glass or plastic containers.
Sweep and vacuum regularly (including mattresses).
Eliminate all sources of moisture. Fix leaky faucets and don’t leave dirty, wet pots in the sink. If leaving dishes over the day, rinse dishes with soapy water before placing them into the dishwasher.
If you have a pet, comb it regularly with a flea comb and wash its bedding frequently. Be sure to vacuum floors, rugs and upholstery your pet comes in contact with regularly.
Keep unused areas tidy, avoid a build up of debris, paper and laundry etc.
STEP 2: Seal Entryways
Pests enter homes through cracks, crevices and inconspicuous holes. Believe it or not, a mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime! Block entry points to new invaders by making sure they are sealed.
Use silicone caulk to seal any cracks and crevices in baseboards, moldings, cupboards, pipes, ducts, sinks, toilets and electrical outlets.
Place screens in front of vents, and replace any damaged screens.
Use a quick setting concrete to seal entry holes in basements.
Keep vegetation, stacked firewood and other debris away from the exterior of your house. These may alleviate access points or nesting locations for lurking pests.
STEP 3: Try Chemical-Free Strategies
Now that you’re denying pests food, shelter and access, it’s time to put the squeeze on any lingering intruders. To solve your pest problems without using chemical pesticides, you can:
Vacuum for individual bugs or nests (bugs will usually suffocate in the bag).
Lay physical traps (fly traps, jar traps, pheromone traps, light traps, etc.).
STEP 4: Choose Lower-Risk Pesticides for Routine Maintenance.
If problems persist, try low-toxicity products, which will minimize the health risks to members of your household.
Sprinkle powdered boric acid on cracks and crevices, which slowly poisons crawling insects like ants, cockroaches and silverfish, but is far less toxic to humans and other mammals. Still, you should avoid dusting in areas that might result in human exposure)
To control insects and rodents, try tamper-resistant bait boxes — an effective and safer choice than sprays, powders or pellets, which all spread pesticide residues. Look for one that uses a nonvolatile chemical, like boric acid, and make sure to keep bait stations out of the reach of children.
Try insecticidal or fatty-acid soaps, which kill soft-bodied insects like caterpillars, fleas and mites on contact, and are virtually harmless to humans and mammals unless they’re ingested.
STEP 5: Safety
Effective pest control requires some knowledge about the pest and its habits. In many cases, it may be necessary to hire a professional exterminator. The good thing is many exterminators now offer affordable, low toxicity options suited to your family, pet and children’s lifestyles. Whether a professional exterminator or the do-it-yourself individual, it is important to ensure the safety of everyone in your household.
When using any pesticide limit the exposure of everyone in your household.
Avoid frequent, preventative applications and never exceed the application rate indicated in the instructions.
Follow all precautions listed on the label, such as wearing gloves, masks or goggles.
Make sure any baits, traps or pesticide residues are kept out of reach of children and pets.
Above all, be vigilant. Remember, not all about pests is bad. Surprisingly pests are part of nature’s clean-up crew. They scavenge for decaying or organic material and help recycle it back into the earth. Like us, pests need food, warmth and somewhere safe to live. Simply by changing some of our regular habits, we can keep pests out of our homes and in nature where they belong.