“Generic Pest Control Trailer” by insightpest is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
Most people are scared of bugs, and no one wants to even see them. Definitely not in their homes. While virtually no one has ever experienced an infestation of mutant creepy crawlies, insect infestations in varying degrees can happen in your home, often going undetected for months or even years until the problem becomes severe.
In rare cases, you may even be reminded of the show “Billy the Exterminator” (streaming on DIRECTV STREAM).
Nevertheless, with a bit of attention to detail and periodic inspections, you can keep your home free from bugs and the damage they cause.
Most of these tips are easy tasks you can accomplish on your own, while others may need the help of a professional. Taking the time to perform them can save you thousands in bug extermination costs.
Many bugs are so small that you hardly notice them, while others can squeeze themselves through tiny spaces and make themselves permanent visitors. Inspect your doors, looking for gaps where bugs can enter. Install weather stripping or a sturdy threshold. Combine with a door sweep to provide the best protection.
Also, inspect windows for cracks or gaps and apply caulk or weatherstripping where needed. As your home ages, cracks often develop. Seal everything you find as all kinds of pests can enter, ranging from tiny bugs to termites, mice, or rats.
If unsure whether your building has cracks providing entry for bugs, have an exterminating company inspect and seal it.
“Bug Spray” by mrsdkrebs is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Place screens on all windows and door openings, having a size of 20 mesh or finer. Regularly maintain and replace the screens. Install wire mesh screens over vents in the attic, roof, chimney, and crawl space to prevent pests from accessing your home through these holes.
Seal all pipe penetrations and utility openings, including cable, internet, and phone wiring. Make sure all openings have sufficient sealant or caulk. Common utility openings include those for water, gas, electrical, or HVAC piping.
Remember to check outdoor faucets. If openings are large, use polyurethane foam to seal them. At the same time, look for leaky water pipes and repair them if necessary, as this step will reduce water availability to pests.
Foundations are the closest part of your house to the ground, and even though you may seal everything in sight, some bugs will still find their way in. Discourage them by keeping foundations clear of foliage where they can hide and thrive before attempting to find their way into your home.
Termites, fleas, ants, and spiders are particularly adept at breeding and love home foundations. Keep piles of wood, leaves, grass, or mulch away from foundations to discourage bugs.
“Checking under the kitchen sink for ants, slugs, and mice, Ed Mills, Pest Control, Commercial Technician, Sayfrog.com, Broadview, Seattle, Washington, USA” by Wonderlane is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Insects always look for a food source, so naturally, they flock to your kitchen. No matter how many barriers you put up, some will still find a way in. Don’t invite these unwanted guests to sit at your counter or kitchen table by thoroughly cleaning all spilled messes as they need a food source to survive.
Keep all dry food in airtight containers and store unsealed food in the refrigerator whenever possible. Wipe up crumbs or spills quickly and wash dishes immediately after eating or place them in the dishwasher.
Clean other areas of your house regularly to discourage pests. Vacuum and dust to get rid of dust and dirt, and eliminate clutter as excessive junk can provide homes, and even food, for some insects.
Similar to a car, exercising preventive maintenance on your home when it comes to bugs will result in peace of mind as well as cost savings. The result when you do this maintenance will result in a clean and bug-free home.
Frank Moraes is Content Editor at HotDog.com. He specializes in technology, business, and film/television. You can see his writing on low-budget and weird films at Psychotronic Review — and many other places.