Seal Off Holes: This sounds basic, but it can be easy to forget how long it’s been since you’ve checked your property for spots that could serve as entry points for pests. Be sure to check for even seemingly small cracks and holes around points where pipes and wires enter your home. These openings can grow larger over time. Winter is a great time to make this inspection, before your shrubs and plants are back in bloom.
Keep It Clean: Store garbage in tight, sealed containers. This not only keeps animals from knowing they can consider your home a food source, but also helps mask the smell that attracts them in the first place. Reducing clutter also makes it tougher for insects to thrive, so get rid of any accumulations of piles of bottles and newspapers.
Prune Those Hedges: Trim shrubs and trees around your home so rodents don’t nest too closeby. Shrubs also make it harder for you to spot holes and cracks that need to be resealed, so be careful of them.
Dry Out Mosquitos: Mosquitos can carry deadly diseases like West Nile Virus and breed in water, so check your property for overlooked areas of stagnant water. Check around for puddles that can form on top of garbage cans, in gutters, and on lawn equipment. Change the water in birdbaths every three days to keep them from turning into breeding grounds for less welcome winged creatures. Have a pond? Adding a fountain can help aerate the water and make it harder for mosquitos to stick around.
Repair Leaks: A lot of pests thrive in moist environments, so they could be a sign that you’ve got a leak somewhere in your home. Carpenter ants, for example, love damp wood, so you’ll want to check your windowsill, pipes, and roof for leaks. Deteriorating wood attracts insects.
Chemical Solutions: Borax powder is effective at getting rid of insects like ants and roaches. Create a sweet solution by mixing one part sugar with one part borax and sprinkle it where you’ve seen ants. Likewise, you can sprinkle borax on its own where you’ve seen roaches roaming.
Catch ‘Em: If you’re using traditional mouse traps, opt for something a bit more tempting than cheese. Mice love peanut butter and raw bacon (understandably!) so those are great choices if you’re trying to lure out furry critters. Be sure the bait is snug in the trap so the mouse has to tug at it to set off the device.
Remember, the best way to control pests is to prevent them! By remaining vigilant and proactive, you’ll be able to avoid costly damage and massive headaches.