Even more worrisome, many household pests can contaminate food, spread disease, and cause other health issues such as worsening asthma. So what can you do to keep household bugs from making a home in your home?
These seven steps will help you keep your living space free of pests and their troublesome effects.
1. Seal up your home.
Pests have to get in somehow, so the obvious first step is to close up all entry points. Making sure that the seals around doors and windows are effective is a good place to start. Obviously, you’ll want to repair any holes in screens. But there are many more entry points into your home than you might think. Inspect the entire exterior for even the tiniest of openings and seal them up. Don’t forget to pay attention to the basement, attic, and roof.
2. Remove any standing water in your yard .
Many household bugs breed in standing water, so inspect your yard for any area where water frequently gathers. This might be a natural area, such as a ditch, or it might be something you’ve put there, such as an old kiddie pool or an old tire. It also might be your gutters, so make sure they stay cleared.
3. Use store-bought pesticides on the exterior of your home.
You’ll need to be extremely cautious, following all instructions to the T. You’ll also need to be careful as you select the pesticides to use. Do your research—some aren’t as effective as they claim to be. If you’re at all uncomfortable with this step, call a professional exterminator instead.
4. Keep your home clean, particularly with regards to food.
Pests can infest even the cleanest of homes, but there’s no question that leaving out food can attract household bugs. Drinks that are spilled and not cleaned up can do the trick as well—under the refrigerator, for example. And clutter can give household bugs places to hide.
5. Be cautious about bringing household bugs into your home on you.
Bed bugs, in particular, like to hitchhike on people to find a suitable home, so you should always take the recommended prevention steps when traveling (e.g., inspecting hotel rooms, washing clothes in hot water immediately when coming home).
6. Immediately kill any pests you see.
This won’t do much good if you’re already infested, but if the bugs you see are “early invaders,” you might stop their spread.
7. Have an exterminator regularly treat your home to make it uninhabitable for pests.
This is the surest step you can take.
Photo Credit: 7 Keys