There’s nothing quite as pesky as an unwanted guest in your home. Whether it is rodents, bugs, bats, or any other inhabitant of the great outdoors, pests can cause quite the damage to your home in a short amount of time. While it’s always best to call a professional exterminator, there are steps you can take for your own pest control.
1. Be informed. This is most important step of D.I.Y. pest control. Know what you’re going up against and the dangers this specific type of pest can cause to your health and your home.
2. Prevention is key. There are small steps you can take that will help prevent pests from entering your home.
a. Store food/waste in proper containers. All containers should have tight seals to prevent entry from rodents and bugs. Pet food/water shouldn’t be left out overnight. Trash should be removed regularly and all items in the recycling bin should be rinsed before throwing out.
b. Be cautious of any leaks. Insects need water to survive and water will draw them into your home. This not only includes a leaky faucet, but also trays under house plants and water under the refrigerator.
c. De-clutter. Whether it’s junk, newspapers and magazines, or other items, clutter provides the perfect nesting place for pests.
d. Repair any open areas in your home. Cracks, open vents, crevices, gaps in piping, holes, etc., are essentially open doors to pests.
e. Keep your home clean. One of the easiest ways to prevent pests from entering your home is maintaining your cleaning routine.
f. Plant insect repelling greenery outside your home. Citronella, marigolds, catnip, basil, horsemint, and rosemary are best. Some of these plants can also be stored indoors as well.
3. Be safe. Follow directions and keep children and pets away from areas that have come in contact with pesticides.
4. Try bait first before applying chemicals. Traps are often effective and are the safer option compared to pesticides. However, they too must be out of reach of children and pets.
5. Only target the area suspected. Do not cover the entire room in pesticide. Narrowing it down to one area should take care of the problem. Applying too chemicals much may put you and your family at risk.
6. If you’re looking for pest control with less harsh chemicals, there are ways to create your own.
a. All purpose spray: 2 TBSP liquid soap (preferably peppermint scented) to 1 gallon of water
b. Essential oils: These products are not only effective for health and beauty purposes, but can also act as pest repellants. Oils such as citronella, lemon eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, lemongrass, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree are all beneficial in the fight against bugs.
c. Ants: While it may sound strange, sprinkling coffee grounds around windows and doors has proven to keep ants from entering your home. Another method is mixing detergent booster with 1 cup of sugar water into a jar with holes poked into the lid. Ants will be drawn into the jar by the smell.
d. Fruit flies: Apple cider vinegar has proven to be an effective method of prevention when it comes to fruit flies. Fill a glass container with 2 inches of product and cover the top with plastic wrap. Poke holes in the top and the fruit flies will soon be drawn into the jar by the smell.
e. Spiders: Using a spray bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and water. Spray areas in your home that have cracks, crevices, and openings.
f. Roaches/”Palmetto” Bugs: Believe it or not, beer will help rid your home of these. Simply pour a container with ½ cup of beer and place near cracks, crevices and openings in your home.
g. Silverfish: Boric acid is the best tool against silverfish and other wingless insects. Sprinkle the mineral in areas where water can easily collect, such as bathrooms and kitchens.
7. If pests are continuing to linger after trying these methods, contact your local pest control business immediately, as you may have a larger than suspected problem on your hands.