Pest infestations not only cause damage, they can also take a chunk out of a homeowner’s wallet. Here are a few ways to prevent critters from calling your house “home.”
Ants follow the trails left by scout ants. If you find a trail of ants in your kitchen, clean the area with soapy water, household cleaner or a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. To avoid an infestation:
• Keep sweets and food in tightly closed containers.
• Plant spearmint around your house.
• Place strips of cucumber, citrus peels or borax near any openings where you’ve seen ants.
The easiest way to prevent roaches is to keep your kitchen spotless—clean up crumbs, wipe down the sink and sweep the floor. But, if you’ve already seen them in your kitchen, here are other options:
• Sprinkle catnip or bay leaves in areas where roaches
lurk, such as behind the refrigerator, under the oven and under your sinks.
• If you see a roach, spray it with soapy water. The soap will slowly suffocate it.
• Set traps with baking soda and sugar. Roaches love sugar; however, the baking soda will dehydrate them.
While no home is safe from termites, it is possible to reduce the chances of an infestation.
• Termites thrive on moisture. Survey your home’s foundation, and look for water leaks.
• Schedule a pest inspection. Termites are crafty critters that only make their presence known through the damage they cause. Schedule a pest inspection every couple of years to catch an infestation early and help you avoid making costly repairs.
Rodents can wreak havoc on your home. While traps are effective once the rodents are in the home, here’s how to keep them out in the first place:
• Keep your kitchen clean. Wipe down the counters and sweep the floor before you go to bed.
• Ants aren’t the only vermin that hate mint. Mint keeps rodents at bay as well.
• Place steel wool in holes on the exterior of your home.
• Put trays of used cat litter outside near where you think they could get in. Rodents will smell the cat and scurry in the other direction.
Pets can give us a lot of things—love, attention and fleas. Although chemical pet treatments can get rid of the fleas on your pets, they often don’t get rid of them in the house. For that, try these suggestions:
• Sprinkle salt, borax or baking soda on the carpet and upholstery. Let it sit for a few hours, and vacuum afterwards.
• Get a dehumidifier. Fleas love humidity. If you keep the humidity in the room under 50%, you may be able to get rid of adults fleas and their larvae.
• Clean your bedding and your pet’s bedding regularly.
• Comb your pet’s coat with a special flea comb, and clean it in a glass of soapy water.
Remember, for large infestations, always call a professional!