Pests come into homes searching for food and shelter, or surroundings with the right humidity or temperature. When your house provides any or a combination of these, there is a potential for household pests to become a problem. The key to successful control is to do away with one or more of these factors.
There are several preventative measures that can be taken to keep them at bay--or at least away from your living space. For specific household pests there are both particular and general tips to keep them from making homes where they aren't invited.
The following are prevention tips for common household pests.
Ants: Clean up both beverage and food spills, particularly those with a good deal of sugar. Along with keeping food sources out of reach, trim trees away from the house and discard bulk mulch to discourage carpenter ants from finding refuge on your property.
Fleas: For the most part, fleas are difficult to prevent in homes where normally outside pets also come inside. Be sure that your pets are frequently checked and treated for fleas, and be sure that crawl spaces are screened so that wild animals that may transmit fleas don't use them.
House Flies: The main tip for avoiding a fly infestations is to eliminate places where they might breed. Don't keep uncovered trash cans under the sink and rinse food containers before you throw them away. It's also important to scoop up and dispose of pet waste.
Pantry Pests: Try not to buy more than your family can and will use in between two and four months. In the event your food storage is a more extensive amount of time, make sure that the containers and storage boxes are sealed well. Don't make it a habit to purchase damaged packages. When storing food that is no longer factory sealed, pack it it containers that have tightly fitted lids. Check stored food on a frequent basis for pest infestation, and discard anything harboring them quickly. Vacuum cabinets to remove dust and dirt rather than using water.
Spiders: Use your vacuum to get rid of webs and eggs, and make sure window and door screens are void of holes and are properly installed. Caulk all cracks to control both spiders and the insects on which they feed.
Fabric Pests: Before storing clothing for a long period of time, wash or dry clean them, particularly woolens. Maintain cleanliness in closets and drawers. Vacuum under and behind furniture so that lint and hair don't have the chance to build up.
More general household pest control tips include:
- Clean out areas that make good homes for pests. Clean areas that collect grease, food scraps or spilling's that can provide a food source to many household pests.
- Trim and clear out excessive foliage from around the outside of the foundations of the home. High grass and unkempt bushes and trees provide excellent hiding places for insects.
- Remove unnecessary storage boxes from the attic or the basement. Again, areas like these have the potential for great hiding places/
- In the event flour and grain pests are your particular problem, make sure that your first locate where they are coming from and remove the infested material. Go through cereal boxes, spices, flour, beans and dry pet food to check for infestations.
- Store dried foods in tightly sealed containers made of glass or plastic and avoid sacks, baggies and cardboard boxes.
Cleanliness can't ensure that a home with remain pest free, but good housekeeping does go a long way in prevention of the problems.
Latest industry estimates place the annual cost of damage and treatment of termites at $5 billion worldwide.