A roach just ran across the living room floor and now your spouse won’t get down from the stool. So you hurry to your local hardware store and make a beeline for the home pest control section in the garden center. There you find roughly 5,000 different types of bug sprays, rodent baits, mouse and insect traps and such. Problem solved! Well, almost solved… You see the problem right? The magic doesn’t lie within the tools themselves but in the one wielding them. You can come home with all sorts of sprays and contraptions, but there is so much more to home pest control than simply finding a can that has a picture of the bug you saw in your house. So in this article, we are going to take a look at the work that goes into making your home less attractive to pests.
Food, Water, and Harborage. This has to be one of the most important things to know when it comes to taking care of your home pest control needs. The majority of pests need all three of these to survive. If you can completely eliminate or replace just one of those, then the pest will be forced to leave or die. Let’s look at Silverfish for an example. They like damp dark places, feed on sugars and starches, and are typically found coming from the bathroom or attic.
Why are they in the bathroom or attic?
Harborage – it’s dark and typically quiet
Water – water pipes sweat or leak and a/c units have drip pans
Food – old boxes, book bindings, and glue on the insulation are tasty sources of starch.
Imagine they have invaded your home. So let’s problem solve.
Harborage – Not much you can do here without running up the electric bill by keeping lights on 24/7. However, that still wouldn’t be very effective unless you ran Christmas lights in all of your boxes and under your sinks. Now that this is getting simply ridiculous and you’re not Clark Griswold, let’s move on to some more realistic home pest control options.…
Water – You can fix any water leaks that are making things humid. Other than that, the only solution is to shut the water off to the house and live without A/C; aannnndddd that’s not happening.
Food – You can store your old Christmas decorations and bathroom toiletries in plastic tubs and discard all those boxes that are falling apart. Then, for the ones that are feeding on insulation glue behind the walls or books stored in the attic, you can place a bait that is more attractive for the colony to feast on (this is extremely effective).
Problem solved! After about 2 weeks, the Silverfish will be under control. For Silverfish, grabbing a can of bug spray would not have been very helpful because they are living in your boxes and under the sinks. So, we investigated the specific pest we were having an issue with and addressed the actual problem and didn’t just use a band-aid solution. You can do this with any pest but it takes research, time, and follow through.
Think about all the times you have seen a Black Widow. It had been in a relatively dark, undisturbed, secluded space has it not? Local pest control services get calls all the time about pests like these. Having a good home pest control provider is important, but if the yard is not kept up, then the service will be much less effective than it could be. Here is a list of some of the most common conducive conditions we have found on customers’ properties.
High Mulch – weep holes, although necessary for the bricks to breathe, provide easy entry into your home for a plethora of pests like termites, roaches, ants, spiders, and earwigs to name just a few. When you are doing your landscaping, make sure the mulch does not cover the weep holes. The general rule of thumb is to keep all soil and mulch at least 2” – 3” below the top of your foundation.
Drainage Issues – oversaturated soil is a huge attractant to many pests including termites and mosquitoes. If the ground is soggy, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Not only will it help with your home pest control efforts, it will probably help with your water bill when that leak gets fixed.
Firewood – a woodpile is good to have on hand for emergencies like roasting marshmallows and smoking a brisket. Keep in mind that it also provides a damp dark place for pests to hide and when it’s stacked up against the house, pest have easy access right into your home. It’s best to keep wood piles to a designated area off the ground and away from the house.
High Grass – what do fleas, gnats, spiders, and snakes have in common? They all love overgrown yards! As grass grows so does the pest population. Keeping your lawn mowed is an easy fix and Mr. Johnson next door will be very grateful!
This list could be endless but hopefully, you get the idea. If you need more help, there are plenty of local pest control services that have experts that can help you identify problematic areas.
Have you ever placed a soda on the desk and then 10 minutes later there are a gazillion ants all up in your space? Now imagine the pests that come out at night and feast on the dishes in the sink, snack on the candy bar under your kids’ bed, and hide behind the boxes stacked in the corner that you still need to unpack. You can do everything right on the outside of your home and even have one of the local pest control services taking care of your home but if you are not keeping the inside in order, pests will still thrive. Why is that? Remember when we talked about the basics of home pest control – food, water, and harborage? Well, when a house is unkempt, when a pest makes it in, it can breed and thrive because it has all that it needs to survive. One of the many reasons a tidy home is important is because, in just 18 months, german cockroaches can go from one singular fertilized female that snuck into your kitchen to a population of over 2 million! Yeah… Six Zeros… With a 2 in front of it… That’s a lot of roaches that could be avoided by keeping up with the dishes.
Even when the yard and your home are both up-kept, pests can still find their way into your home. A lot of times it’s because there is a repair that needs to be made. A good home pest control effort includes some handy work. American Cockroaches are good at squeezing in through a door with poor weatherstripping. Spiders are notorious for coming in through the gaps at the bottom of the garage door. Also, mice can squeeze in through a hole as small the size of a dime (If I’m not mistaken, the pipes and wiring coming out of the side of your house for the A/C unit has a gap this big, right? You might want to get that fixed pronto!). Just like the sections above, the list could be endless. Refer to my first point, “Understand The Pests In Your Home”, and this will help you as you look for things that need fixing on your home pest control journey.
There is a lot that goes into controlling the pests around your home. Providing a pest free environment for your family takes intentionality, know how, follow through, and time. It is possible to DIY your home pest control but it is not a simple thing. As we have discovered, a simple can of bug spray will usually not do the trick, and certainly won’t help the problem for long. Luckily for you, there are many local pest control services out there with the experts and experience needed to protect your home. You can check out the solutions that we offer, and if you are not in our service area, you are welcome to contact us and we would be glad to help you find someone who is. Lastly, here are 5 things you’ll want to keep in mind when looking for a pest control expert.
You follow those steps and I promise that you will have a hideous home!
(Well yes, of course, I’m only referring to how a pest views you’re home.)
(No, I, I do believe you, you’rehouse is the most beautiful house I know of!)