As you prepare to spend more time at home during the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, you may notice more pests than usual around your home (family members not included). Insight Pest is committed to helping you keep your home pest-free, and as a federally declared essential business, our technicians and representatives will be around to help you and your family protect your home from unwanted invaders. These household pests can carry and spread other diseases that can tax what is already a burdened health care system.
Here are 9 simple preventative steps you can take to help reduce the pests already in your home and prevent more from entering while you shelter in place:
1. Keep Food stored away and in sealed containers.
Food attracts pests. Then those pests attract hungry spiders, which will terrify and unnerve your family. To avoid an unpleasant encounter with a giant hairy spider in your kitchen, keep unused food stored away in sealed containers. Household pests are attracted to any area where they can find a food source that is easily accessible. Part of keeping your living space pest-free includes making sure dishes are washed or put in the dishwasher after use to prevent pests from coming after your leftovers. You’ll most likely score points with your fellow shelter in place companions as well.
2. Make sure door and window seals are tight and shut properly.
Pests can easily enter your home through cracks in your doors and windows. Once they’re in, it’s a lot more challenging to get them to leave. To save yourself the trouble of eliminating pests and the cost of chemicals and traps, make sure all entry points are sealed to reduce the amount of pests who can enter your home at all. As an additional benefit, making sure your door and window seals are airtight will save you money on your electric bill by keeping the cool air inside.
3. Turn off exterior lights at night.
Many flying bugs love to gather around your outdoor light bulbs, ergo they flock near your home and doors. Turn off your exterior lights at night to prevent bugs from congregating at the lightbulbs. This will reduce the amount of bugs near your home, thus reducing the amount of bugs that will enter your home. There isn’t conclusive data about why bugs like lights, and the theories differ from insect to insect, but turning off your lights at night will prevent bugs from gathering there in the first place.
4. Make sure to have light-blocking window shades or curtains to keep bugs from attracting to the light.
Just as bugs are attracted to light coming from your outdoor fixtures, bugs will gather wherever they see light. The light that escapes from your windows at night can attract bug traffic the same way that outdoor lamps do. To prevent bugs from coming near your homes (where they’re more likely to find the tiny entry points on your unsealed doors and windows), shutter your blinds and draw your curtains to prevent the light from your home from attracting outside bugs. As a bonus, shutting your window treatments at night will save you the trouble of enduring the lecture about how “this room is a fishbowl” and that “the neighbors can see everything.”
5. Keep doors closed as much as possible.
Bugs don’t like the summer sun as much as we do, but they do in fact like our air conditioning. Bugs are attracted to the cool air as it escapes your home. As a preventative measure during the warm spring and summer months, keep your doors shut and make sure any window you crack open has a screen. Let the “were you raised in a barn?” and “either stay in or go out!” scolding begin.
6. Keep trash cans clean and away from your home
Bugs and pests are attracted to your trash because it’s fragrant, and they keep coming back because the rotting food is easier to digest. It is a great place for their larvae to grow, which means exponentially more bugs. If your trash can is near your home, all the bugs attracted to your trash may also want to survey and enter your home to find more food inside. Establish a place away from your home (especially doors and windows) where you can store your trash can. The trash will attract pests because it is intrinsically smelly, but you can at least put some distance between those pests and your home.
7. Trim bushes and landscaping that is close to your home
Many pests are experts at crawling, flying, and climbing. When you have untrimmed bushes in the landscaping right by your home, pests are very capable of climbing up and over a sprayed perimeter. Spraying your perimeter is a great way to keep out pests, but it must be combined with plant maintenance to be most effective. Reduce the paths and “ladders” that pests can climb to access your home. As an added bonus, this will also help you avoid the wrath of your neighborhood HOA.
8. Avoid having standing water on the property
Summer days and nights are great for gathering outside and spending time in your yard, and mosquitoes love to join in on the fun. Mosquitoes are drawn to the and puddles of standing water on your property because that is where they lay their eggs. To prevent attracting mosquitoes and the life cycle of their progeny on your property, make sure all standing water has a place to drain. Eliminating standing water will minimize the amount of mosquitoes on your property, making summer nights outside with your family even more splendid.
9. Keep the grass on your lawn mowed short
Mowing your lawn is a great excuse to get out of your house during quarantine to stretch your legs and get your blood pumping, and it actually helps prevent pests too. Long grass retains moisture for a longer duration than short blades, thus providing a damp and warm habitat where bugs thrive. Trimming your grass regularly and to a short height will prevent bugs from living in your lawn, which will make them more likely to wander near your home and enter it. This Saturday, put on your tube socks and your green-stained mowing shoes to get rid of pests and make your yard look great. When your neighbors are on their daily walk through the neighborhood, your well-maintained yard is sure to impress.
Keeping tabs on pests and going through a quick audit of your home with these 9 tips in mind will help you keep your home safe and comfortable. As always, Insight Pest Control is here to help you and your neighbors. Please stay safe and call us if you need any help with your current pest problems.
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