Homes are susceptible to a variety of unwanted pest infestations. Common types of household pests include rodents, ants, cockroaches, and spiders, although there are many others. Everything from flies and silverfish to termites and earwigs can make life miserable. Some household pests can even affect our health and the well-being of pets. Mice and rats can cause serious health risks as can mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Finding the best pest control products is a priority when you notice the first signs of infestation.
There are many preventative measures that people can take to minimize their chances of having to deal with pests. However, even taking these precautions doesn’t guarantee you won’t face an invasion. If you have a pest problem, you need to identify the culprit and launch the appropriate counterattack. It’s a lot like adapting your poker strategy against different opponents. You should also know when to fold ‘em and reach out to a professional.
If you see a mouse in your house or even signs of a mouse, it’s probably not alone. These shifty varmints breed quickly, so you need to get on top of the situation promptly. The most common and effective tools for getting rid of mice are traps and bait stations. Which is best? Well, that depends on you. Some people have a strong sense of compassion and don’t want the rodents to suffer. Others really don’t care.
For those who prefer to inflict the quickest and least painful death, mechanical mouse traps are very effective and humane. Just know they can also pose a potential danger to small children and pets. Glue boards also work well, although death is far from instant. With bait stations, the mice usually eat the bait and return to their lairs where they eventually succumb to the poison. You should seek out the corpse before it gets funky.
Cockroaches are notoriously durable. One of the best ways of preventing them from making your house their home is by eliminating every source of attraction. This means keeping your home spotless. Especially the kitchen and other areas where people and pets consume food. Don’t panic if you see one scurrying across the floor. Instead, start by giving your house a thorough and detailed cleaning including appliances, cupboards, and those dark and damp nooks and crannies. You must also eliminate any access points, potential hiding places, and water sources such as leaks and even the drip tray under your fridge.
It’s then time to go on the offensive and there are a few ways you can go about this. There is an abundance of chemicals such as sprays that usually take care of the problem. Similarly, you can distribute drops of roach gel in affected areas. Most gels stay active for about a week. There are several effective baits and traps. Do-it-yourselfers can even make their own bait with a few simple household items such as boric acid. Products like Roach Motel attract the bacteria-laden roaches to an inescapable sticky lair. Each method has its pros and cons. It’s up to you which approach suits you best.
Even though most spiders are harmless, they have a knack for striking fear in people. Like any other household pest, spiders need a point of entry. Prevention starts with patching and filling cracks around the house, making sure screens are intact, and covering vents and chimneys with screen mesh. Be sure to vacuum up any spider webs you come across. Many experts also recommend minimizing outdoor lighting and removing vegetation such as plants and shrubs that are beside your house. Lighting and vegetation don’t directly attract spiders but they attract smaller insects that spiders feed on.
A lot of people swear by horse chestnuts, peppermint oil, diatomaceous earth, and vinegar as ways of repelling spiders. They are certainly safer alternatives to harmful chemicals. So are spider traps. Place the traps in dark, quiet places around the house such as in closets, cupboards, and under raised furniture. If you like the convenience and ease of sprays, there are some very good ones that are safe and they work on a multitude of insects and other house pests too.
On its own, an ant, or even several ants won’t cause much trouble. However, a few ants usually means there is a large colony nearby. This could be a problem, especially if they are carpenter or fire ants. If those few ants find a food source, there is a good chance many more ants will soon follow. Don’t want ants in your house? Don’t give them anything to come for. Keep all food sealed, block access points, eliminate water sources, and maintain a regular cleaning schedule.
When you discover an ant outbreak in your house, try to follow the trail and see if you can find the nest. If you’re successful, seal the point of entry. There are a number of sprays and foggers that are both quick and effective for killing entire colonies. However, more people are shying away from this approach because there are safer and less harmful alternatives. Ant baits are one such alternative. Ant baits target the entire colony, including queens. Worker ants take the bait and bring it back to the colony where the poison spreads. You can purchase ant baits at retail outlets or make your own.
When it comes to household pests, your best offense is a good defense. Blocking access to your house’s interior, eliminating food and water sources, and good housekeeping practices are your best bets. If you have to engage in battle with unwanted pests, be sure to understand the pros and cons of each method and always follow the instructions. Don’t hesitate to bring in a professional if the problem gets out of control.