How to Keep Your Home Pest Free

How to Keep Pests from Invading Your Home and Spoiling Your Fun

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Written by Alice Robertson

All homeowners face some sort of pest at some point, and whether they creep, crawl or fly, it often seems they show up at the worst possible times.  From holiday gatherings to open house events, it’s almost as if they have a sense of humor. However, it’s no prank when nuisances like ants, mice, or cockroaches spoil your event, so here’s how to keep those pesky critters from showing up when you least expect it.  

Treats and temptations abound

Without realizing it, you might be leaving tempting treats around that draw pests into your home.  Dirty dishes, crumbs and spills can be magnets for many pests.  Even foodstuffs in your pantry, such as cereal and flour, can attract bugs if improperly stored, as can bowls on your countertops displaying nuts, candy, or fruit.  Scrub your countertops frequently, store food properly, and keep the vacuum handy for spilled drops and bits.  

While it’s easy to say you should stay abreast of cleaning, the truth is that many people are maxed out these days between a career, children and other obligations.  If housekeeping is getting away from you, one way to manage the situation is to hire help. Having a professional tackle the cleaning routine can mean easing your burden and quashing unwanted critters’ temptations. Just keep in mind that hiring a cleaning service in Charlotte isn’t cheap; you can expect to spend between $117 and $210 per visit. 

Trash, clutter, and pests, oh my!

Garbage is offensive to the human nose, but to many pests, it can be a main attraction.  It’s important to remove trash from your home regularly, especially if you have food waste.  Rinse used food containers before you dispose of them, always dispose of food trash in the same receptacle, and empty it frequently.  It’s also important to ensure you’re using appropriate trash containers outdoors, stowing bagged trash inside, and using secure lids. If your garbage bin needs to be more secure, a bungee cord or strap can often do the trick.  

Inside your home, clutter can be another source of interest for pests. notes many unwanted insects, such as silverfish, cockroaches, book lice and termites, are attracted to paper products in particular.  Thankfully, these days, you can practically go paperless.  Consider parting ways with junk mail subscriptions, start paying your bills via the web, and request electronic statements from your financial institutions.  You can digitize important documents, and scan favorite keepsakes and photos, safely stashing them in the cloud so you can access them at will rather than letting them yellow, curl and become fodder for creepy crawlies.  

Going with the flow

You might be surprised to learn still air and standing water both draw pests.  You can improve the air movement in your home by simply flipping a switch and running your ceiling fans.  HGTV points out ceiling fans (available for under $50) can also boost energy efficiency by as much as 10 percent in winter and a whopping 40 percent in summer.  To improve energy efficiency and air flow all the more, consider running your furnace fan continually.  

Standing water can be a bit more challenging to manage.  Start with inside your home, since some insects like drains that are clogged.  Give the traps a good cleaning, and if they tend to be routinely problematic, such as drains which are subject to soaps, hair and food, ensure you check them regularly.  Outside your home, empty anything which holds water, such as buckets and flower pots, and turn them so they won’t catch rain. Also clean your gutters regularly, and if you have places in your landscaping which get soggy, take steps to improve drainage.  

When unwanted guests arrive in the form of rodents, insects or other creatures, it’s a quick way to spoil a party.  Take steps to change your habits and household so you aren’t inviting pests. Rather than being subject to unpleasant surprises, you’ll be able to enjoy future events in peace.  


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