Controlling common household pests is an important aspect of home ownership. Discovering unwelcome pests in your home can be frustrating. There is nothing worse than turning on the kitchen light and seeing insects scurry across the floor. Don’t even get me started on the moment you see a mouse dash under a piece of furniture. EEK! Ridding your home of these kinds of pest problems can be difficult. Locating the source of the problem (where those suckers are hiding) is just one aspect of the process of eradicating it.

Did you know that you may need different types of treatments depending on the pest? There’s really not a one-size fits all solution. Some pest control treatments can be done by the homeowner, but others will need the help of a professional pest control company like Pest Authority Pest Control.  

Below is a list of some of the most common household pests and some steps you can take to clear them out of your home.

Termites

Termites cost homeowners throughout the country more than $5 billion in damage each year.  There are many signs of infestation that termites leave behind. Dry wood termites burrow deep inside wooden structures while subterranean termites are found underground and create mud tubes to bridge the gab between their colony and the wood they eat. Signs like wood that sounds hollow when tapped, crumbling damaged wood, pinpoint holes in drywall, and droppings that mound and look like salt or pepper let you know you could have termites.

To prevent termites you should avoid wood around your house that is in direct contact with the ground. Be careful to keep moisture away from your foundation. Don’t store firewood or other wood scraps or piles against the foundation. You can also try a non-toxic solution to keep termites at bay.

Flies

Flies are perhaps the most annoying of all house pests. The are relentless as they love to buzz around your head and all over you food or drinks. It seems like they swoop into the house anytime there is an open door or window. To prevent flies from getting a stronghold, you need to be sure your seals around you windows and doors are solid. Keeping your indoor trash cans empty as soon as bags are full will eliminate the biggest target for flies. They love the organic material that fills our kitchen trash. When you remove the trash from your house to your outdoor bins, be sure to shut the lid tightly to discourage flies from trying to get to the source. If there is no obvious source of attraction for flies, there are several ways to prevent them from congregating. Some strong-smelling plants are known to repel these annoying pests, including basil, lavender, and bay leaves. Put some of these plants near your windows or in the most affected areas to ward them off. Traps are another effective way of removing flies and can be made easily using household items such as sugar or fruit.

Ants

Ants can often times be found all over your house. Kitchens are a source of abundant food and water- the very things that ants need for survival. They can also be found inside walls, electronics, bedrooms, in other words; everywhere. To minimize infestations, use the same practices you use to avoid flies. Be sure your kitchens are clean and sanitized. Store you food pantry items in sealed containers. Two highly effective home remedies to prevent ants are peppermint and lavender. Ants hate these smells, so by spraying infusions of these plants around vulnerable areas should help keep infestations to a minimum. If you notice an ant colony outside your home, pouring boiling water over the mound. Outdoor powder insecticide sprinkled over the mounds effectively eliminate the ants in short order. 

Wasps

If you have a wasps nest in your home or garden, you need to be extremely careful. Be sure you use an insecticide specifically designed to kill wasps. These sprays generally shoot out a stream that is several feet long. This helps keep you a good distance away from the next while spraying. Remember, when a  wasp nest is disturbed, they may swarm and attack anything that is posing a threat. Wasp stings are extremely painful and potentially harmful to your health. You can prevent them from entering your living area by sealing any cracks and holes in the walls and windows and clearing up any food immediately after consumption. Many people try to remove wasps nests themselves with remedies such as fire, hot water, or pounding them with a baseball bat, but at best, these solutions are ineffective, and at worst, they put your home and life at risk. A professional wasp removal company will be able to rid your home of the infestation efficiently and safely.

Spiders

Even though most spiders in the United States are harmless to humans, seeing them scuttling about the house can be an unpleasant and frightening sight. If you have noticed a prevalence of spiders, they are likely attracted by the presence of smaller insects they find hiding throughout your house. Clearing out clutter and keeping a clean and tidy home will deter small insects so the eight-legged creatures are less likely to stay. Remove the food source and the spiders will look elsewhere for their next meals. Vacuum nay cobwebs you see and catch and transport any wandering spiders outside, as far from your home as possible. Home remedies proven to repel arachnids include horse chestnuts and peppermint oil. 

 

Mosquitoes

One of the worst things about the summer months is the rise in mosquitoes. They can make your life a misery by biting and leaving unpleasant itchy bumps on your skin. Scratching these mosquito bites can cause them to become infected if your not careful. Eliminating the chances of being bitten are imperative. To keep down the mosquito population around your house the most important thing to do is to eliminate any standing water. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water so check around your house for any containers that may have collected water from rain or watering the lawn. Empty them all.

When you are outside, protect yourself from being mosquito bait any way you can. Common mosquito repellents such as DEET are effective but can be harmful in large quantities. It’s a great idea to look for a less harsh mosquito spray. There are plenty of natural mosquito-repellent products on the market to try. Be sure to read the labels. If you have a severe mosquito problem you should call in a professional to help.

Cockroaches

Cockroaches are one of the most common household pests, and they are natural survivors. They have been around for thousands of years and can adapt to any situation. If you have a cockroach problem, you know it. They leave droppings that look a little like coffee grounds and tend to be seen in the kitchen or bathroom most often. As soon as you notice you have a roach problem, you should seal or caulk any entry points immediately. Laying glue strips or gel bait as traps can catch them, but is a bit of a messy solution. Again, a pest control professional is the best way to rid your home of the disgusting little pests.

Mice

A mouse may look like a sweet, innocent creature, but it can do a lot of damage to your home as well as carry diseases and contaminate food. As soon as you notice mice in your home, you should seal any entry points right away and throw out any old paper and cardboard that they might use to build their nests. Mousetraps are the most effective way to catch mice. Load them up with bait such as cheese or peanut butter and place them in areas you know mice like to inhabit. There are also mouse baits that when eaten, poison the mice and their bodies dry up without leaving the awful dead animal odor.

Raccoons 

One of the larger household pests, raccoons can completely lay waste to your home and garden. They will eat food and plants, tear up your walls and floors, and leave their droppings and rubbish all over the place. They are easy to spot, as you will soon notice the destruction and hear them clattering about at night. To stop raccoons from invading your yard and home, you should remove any potential food sources. This means securing trash cans, bringing in pet food at night, and clearing fallen fruit and nuts from trees. Fencing off your property will help prevent them from entering. Raccoons like to inhabit areas such as overgrown shrubbery and woodpiles so clean these areas of your yard and they will find another place to build nests.

Bats

Bats love old houses with lots of dark spaces in which to hide. If you have a colony of bats hiding out in your attic, you will probably hear them flying around at night and spot their guano smearing the floors. The first step to removing bats is to seal any entry points they may be using. Drive them away from the space by creating a disturbance such as leaving lights on in the attic or creating noise from a radio or white noise machine. If there are several bats in the area, you may benefit from installing a bat box in your garden, which provides them with a hospitable environment and will prevent them from returning to your home.

With all pests, the best course of action is to seal any entry points and be sure you home is clean and free of trash. Food left out and unsecured trash cans are the number one offender for bringing unwanted creatures into the home. Remember to call in a professional for infestations you can’t clear yourself.

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