During the winter months, it’s common for you to open your doors to friends and family.
But as the temperature drops, your home may become a destination for insects and rodents fleeing colder weather and looking for food. That makes your home an attractive option.
Learn how to clear your home of bugs and rodents.
What are the signs of an infestation?
If insects or rodents have set up camp in your home, there will be signs. Dead insect bodies found in the home are a good indicator of an infestation, especially if you’re finding them in great numbers. Lots of spider webs are as well.
Rodents, meanwhile, will leave droppings behind wherever they go. You may also find bags of food torn open or signs of teeth marks around the house.
What’s the draw?
Some homes are more attractive to pests and rodents than others. Wood foundations are attractive to termites, while easy access to sugar is attractive to ants and wasps. Rodents, meanwhile, are interested in nearly any food that’s close to the ground and easily accessible. Removing these temptations each season is a good idea.
Where did they come from in the first place?
Eliminating pests from your home has little benefit if you don’t reduce their ability to come back. Inspect your home and see if you can determine where they gained access. Is there a hole in the foundation? A broken window or an area around an exterior pipe that needs to be caulked? Solving this problem will make it more difficult for pests to gain access to your home next year. It could also save you money on your heating bills.
What did I do wrong?
Once you’ve determined that you have an infestation, it’s time to cut the clutter. A cluttered home gives insects and rodents plenty of places to nest or hide. It can also give them easy access to the things that drew them to your house in the first place. Cleaning your home provides less incentive for pests to linger or to come in the first place.
How to get rid of the pests themselves
If your problem still persists after you’ve cut the clutter and put food in safe storage, you may need to take more aggressive action. Hiring a licensed exterminator can eliminate your pest problem. If you’re looking for a more natural way to eliminate unwanted visitors, here are some ideas:
- Ants: Spices such as chili powder, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, dried peppermint or tartar have all been proven to repel ants when placed near their entrance holes. Coffee grounds and lemon juice can also do the trick.
- Wasps: Nonessential oil sprays can dissuade wasps from setting up shop. It’s also imperative that you identify and destroy the nest or fill it with dirt before it gets too big.
- Mice or rats: Mouse traps and catch-and-release traps can mitigate your existing problem. Sealing the holes and storing food in sealed locations can prevent new mice from entering.
- Cockroaches: One of the world’s heartiest pests actually hates bay leaves. Placing them in areas where roaches are drawn to (typically areas with food or standing water) will dissuade them from coming back. Borax has also proven to be effective.
- Termites: Keeping wooden structures and wood piles away from your home reduces your risk of infestation. Borax, neem tree oil and orange oil have are also effective repellants for termites.
In the final post, learn how to prevent frozen water pipes in your home.