Pests and property are two words that most people dread seeing in the same sentence, and yet, they’re a common phenomena in homes everywhere. Rodents, arachnids, mites and other skin-crawling critters are hard to control, but there are ways you can protect your home from further infestation. Read on for 6 tips to keep your home free from plague and pest peskiness.
Three Blind Mice
Small black droppings. Nibbled and broken food packets. When you find these telltale signs of mice, it’s easy to panic and think of ways to perform a house-wide exorcism – but it’s hard to know how to get rid of mice in your home.
A surefire way to get rid of mice in your home is to hire a professional pest controller. Professional pest controllers are able to track down entry points and advise you on ways to prevent the return of the rodents.
One of the smallest-sized home infestations, ants march in by the thousand and form lines around your food items. Ants are attracted to sugary, sweetened foods (among other things…) and if you have any of these sitting around unwrapped, don’t be surprised to find a conga line of ants wanting to give it a taste. Keep sugary treats stored in containers, or better yet, in the fridge or freezer.
Ants are also notoriously hard to keep under control, and depending on which type of ants you’re plagued by, can be prone to biting and attacking when angered. Larger ants like bullants aren’t necessarily known for entering homes frequently, but may be drawn in by the availability of food, or by inclement weather. Stick to the golden rule of keeping surfaces cleaned of food items, and give everything a wipe with eucalyptus oil.
If you’re the owner of an indoor/outdoor pet, it might surprise you to know that your pet is an eco-system for fleas, ticks and mites. These blood-sucking bugs have a dreadful reputation for a reason – ticks can cause paralysis and serious illness to your pets, and to yourself.
Make sure to check your pet regularly for parasites and apply a rigorous grooming regimen.
A good brush, comb and shampoo can go a long way towards removing harmful parasites, as well as freshening your pet and keeping your house free from any infestation.
Mind The Gap
Bugs and creepy crawlies are especially good at finding their way into your house through small cracks and gaps – you’d be surprised how small a space some of these critters can squeeze through.
A multidisciplinary approach to filling and covering gaps is best.
First, identify any areas which may be vulnerable. Common gaps include underneath doors and windows, ventilation grates, and ducting systems. Under-door gaps can be partially blocked by small strips of metal, wood or fabric. These have the added benefit of providing draught protection and climate regulation.
Clean & Mean
Cleanliness is the most effective and efficient way of ridding your home of most infestations, from mice to spiders, to more insidious lurkers like dust mites.
Keep a regularly cleaned house, not forgetting to clean the carpets, bedding, and any upholstery. Deep clean surfaces which harbour dust mites by using hot steam cleaning, and allowing these areas to dry thoroughly.
Pantry moths are another insidious and hard to get rid of pest. Once you’re aware of an infestation, make sure to get rid of all opened grain products. Clean all pantries and cupboards immediately and keep opened grains and milled flours in the fridge or freezer indefinitely.
Nature’s A Mother
Natural oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, tea-tree and lavender are all useful in the fight against pests. Mice despise peppermint, eucalyptus harms dust mites, tea-tree is an antibacterial and lavender repels moths. An added benefit of using natural oils is that they are non-toxic (unless swallowed) for humans, and they’re less likely to cause harm to pets.
Pests can be creepy, scary visitors in our homes, but they’re not impossible to be rid of.
If you’re uncomfortable or unwilling to follow some of the basic steps above, professional help and advice is always available and only a phonecall or a click away.