Your home is your castle, and maintaining it is essential. Part of keeping your home in good condition involves preventing the arrival of unwanted guests — mainly, the multi-legged and/or flying kind.
Of course, spraying pesticides is one way to repel bugs; but it may not work on other animals. That’s why you should take additional measures to keep all types of pests from taking up residence in your home. Here are 10 ways to accomplish that:
- Remove standing water. Even small puddles can be a life-sustaining oasis for mosquitoes and other insects. Plus, water on a wooden surface can cause decay, which produces food for bugs. So wipe, vacuum, or clean up all standing water sources.
- Prune trees. Long branches and limbs can act as a superhighway for crawling bugs, as well as furry critters. Keep all branches trimmed back a few feet from your roofline, and also prune shrubs and bushes that are near windows and exterior doors.
- Seal openings and crevasses. Even small gaps in doors, windows, fascia boards, exterior walls, appliance vents, utility lines, and your foundation are large enough to allow bugs and insects to invade your home. Take a tube of caulk and seal up all of these unwanted openings.
- Check your deck. Unfortunately, a deck (especially one with dry rot) can serve as a home and/or food source for all kinds of pests. On wooden decks, carpenter ants and termites can infiltrate the boards and start eating away at them. So treat and replace any damaged wood and address other areas that are in need of repair.
- Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters can be havens for a host of insects, worms, birds, and rodents. Get up on a ladder and scrape out the leaves, pine needles, and other debris that can accumulate in your gutters over time.
- Repair leaks. Once again, moisture provides nourishment for bugs of all types. Make it a point to fix plumbing leaks, wrap pipes which may be producing condensation, and figure out how water is getting into your basement after a storm.
- Repair or install screens on doors and windows. Fine mesh screens can repel the majority of insects. Put them up over any windows or doors that are naked, and fix the screens that have holes or tears in them.
- Clean out trash cans. Sure, it’s a dirty job, but that filth is exactly what attracts those unwanted pests. Grab your hose and a sprayer attachment (and maybe some soapy water and a sponge) and clean all outdoor trash bins and indoor trash cans which house food waste.
- Clean up after your pets. Some bugs and critters like to eat animal dung, so it’s important to keep your yard scat-free. Also, make sure all pet dishes are cleaned periodically, pet food containers are sealed tightly, and pet beds or blankets are washed regularly.
- Screen off your attic. There could be a menagerie of creatures inside your attic and you may not even know it. To prevent this, install mesh screens over openings to attics and crawl spaces to keep “nature” out of your home.