How to Keep Pests Out of Your House
No matter where you live, there’s a chance that you might have to deal with household pests at some point. Even if you try and keep everything clean, bugs, rodents, and other pests can still make their way into your house. Whether they’re looking for shelter, a warm place to nest, or scouting out a food source – pests can be an expensive nuisance.
There are a few main ways to keep pests out of your house:
- Understand their biology, like what they eat and what might draw them into your home
- Use traps and deterrents, such as natural deterrents like copper for snails or peppermint oil for mice and bugs
- Use preventative methods such as sealing any possible points of entry
Read on to learn more about the traps, deterrents and other methods of prevention to help keep your home critter (and squeak) free!
Understand Their Biology
It’s important to take some time to understand the critters that make their way into your home. Even if you want nothing to do with them, you should still try to learn more about them so you can know how to avoid them better in the future. For example, spring and summer are prime times for many insects attempting to enter your house looking for food and water, so it’s also a good time for cleaning and maintenance.
To figure out what type of pests you’re dealing with when you can’t see them, consider the time of year, the noises they make, their smell, and the appearance of their droppings. While many bugs and critters can be hard to spot, they’ll often leave behind evidence, so look out for trails of faeces or notable spots of damage. Consider getting a hold of a book about your local wildlife and see what’s around; you may learn something new and interesting as well!
Using Traps and Deterrents
Poison is one of the most popular ways of removing household pests, but chemicals can be harmful to pets and the environment. Furthermore, a dead animal in your house is an unfavourable situation. Using natural deterrents and nonlethal traps is a better alternative for successfully getting rid of pests or preventing them from entering in the first place.
Some natural types of pest deterrents for mice are:
- Peppermint oil
- dried snake faeces
- ultrasonic sounds
- a cat!
Some natural types of pest deterrents for bugs are:
- copper tape for snails
- most essential oils such as Peppermint, Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, and Lavender
- Natural Witch Hazel.
- Distilled or boiled Water.
- Vegetable glycerin
Some natural types of pest deterrents for bats are:
- naphthalene balls (small balls of chemical pesticide and deodorant)
- Phenol spray
- Aluminium foil
- Mylar balloons (metallic balloons) filled with helium
When it comes to setting humane traps, certain species may have different legal restrictions regarding containment, so make sure to stay up-to-date on local laws before purchasing specific types of capturing devices.
The best way to deal with pests in your house is to do everything you can to prevent them from entering in the first place. This means sealing up any possible entry holes both inside and outside your house, as well as your roof and attic. Remember that pests can squeeze through the smallest of openings. Make repairs to the outside of your house as needed, and use steel wool or caulk so nothing can chew through.
Try to ensure that any holes are properly sealed, especially after you’ve removed the pests. Note that sealing openings while the pests are still in your house can result in them getting trapped and dying before you can remove them.
Aside from blocking entryways, you should also make sure your house is consistently clean and free of pest attractants. Keep food and paper materials well-sealed and store firewood away from your house. Without food supplies or hiding spots, pests are less likely to choose your house as their new home.
When to Call in the Experts
Before calling a professional, make an assessment of all the steps you can take on your own. Are you able to thoroughly sanitise your house? Can you remove the pests manually or draw them away without the need for poison or pesticides? If you think you might have a serious infestation on your hands, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help to avoid risking the health of you and your family.