There is quite a wide variety of pests that can invade your home. If you’ve seen an ant, rodent, or any other pest there’s likely already an infestation. Depending on your landscape, geographical location, and exterior surroundings you may actually be more prone to some pests than others. Making your home less attractive to pests can go a long way in preventative pest maintenance.
Interior pest control
Encountering any type of pest indoors can be disturbing and will understandably send you into “panic mode” as you get very concerned about a potential infestation. When there are a few pests visible there are typically many more that you can’t see. Tackling the problem immediately is key. Actively preventing pests, along with using some home remedies can sometimes help minor pest problems. If you have pets, be sure to bathe and treat them with a pet shampoo to kill fleas, ticks and mites. Wash pets’ bedding often.
If you see evidence of rodents you can purchase traps to set and attempt to capture them, though once you’ve seen a couple of mice it’s very likely there are many more. Mice breed every 21-28 days so a few can become many in no time. Setting a dozen or more traps in specific problem areas can help to cut down on a rodent population that’s invaded your home. Be sure to place traps along the wall or in corners but in areas where pets and children cannot get to them.
Exterior pest control
Any pest that has invaded your home has likely come in through an exterior entry point. Therefore securing any open exterior areas is a vital prevention tip. Check all seals around doors and windows for signs of pests. Even if you don’t see any telltale signs, there still may be a problem area. Most pests won’t be visible all the time at entry points. Some are nocturnal, meaning they are more active at night, and some will even be more visible during certain weather conditions. If you see an area you suspect is accessible to pests seal the area up with caulk, or weather stripping and spray a deterrent spray around the area.
Homemade sprays to remedy pest problems
You can buy pet and kid-safe sprays for your home and yard at local home supply stores. You can also make oil mixtures that can kill and repel insects. It will take a lot of “trial and error” though as the strength of the mixture will need to be fairly strong for some more resistant insects. Remedies made with ingredients commonly found around your home can be effective yet require several treatments and persistence. They all basically involve garlic, an oil-based product such as vegetable oil and/or dish soap, and hot peppers such as cayenne. A few recipes for DIY pest control mixtures include:
- 1. Indoor oil spray insecticide: A homemade insecticide made from vegetable oil mixed with a mild dish soap can have a devastating effect on certain troublesome insects such as mites, or ants. To make a basic oil spray, mix 1 cup of vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon of soap (cover and shake thoroughly), and then when ready to apply, add 2 teaspoons of the oil spray mixed with 1 quart of water, shake thoroughly, and spray directly on insects. The oil coats the bodies of the insects, effectively suffocating them, as it blocks the pores through which they breathe.
- 2. For outdoor pest-control spray: Cook up a mixture of garlic, mint and pepper. Just take some mint leaves and garlic cloves and blend them in a food processor, then add a bit of cayenne pepper, and a drop of dishwashing liquid. Bring all ingredients to boil and let sit overnight. Strain and put into a spray bottle. This spray will be very strong smelling so be sure to keep away from pets and children.
- 3. Fruit fly trap: Fruit flies are a common nuisance. There is a basic home remedy that can be very effective for these tiny pests. Start with a glass bottle or jar. Avoid using one that’s too short or wide-mouthed so you don’t have any issues positioning the paper funnel. Roll a sheet of paper into a cone or funnel, leaving a half-inch opening at the bottom. Check to be sure the funnel fits snugly in your jar, making sure there are no gaps along the rim of the glass (you don’t want the flies escaping), leave an inch or two of space between the bottom of the funnel and the inside bottom of glass, once you’ve fitted your funnel. Remove the funnel and add a small amount of vinegar (or apple cider vinegar, or piece of fruit) into the glass. Replace the funnel and place in a window sill or countertop where it can remain undisturbed. The flies will be attracted to the contents and once they fly into the cone they’ll be trapped.
With these products, persistence is key. Reapplication after rain and thorough application is required for effectiveness. The best line of defense is to be alert to potential problems so they can be addressed before it escalates to a larger problem.
In some states, outdoor pest problems can be a year-round concern. This means year-round treatment for pest control. It can be costly and time-consuming to “do it yourself” with pest control. If it seems like you’re endlessly battling pests and need a professional to take over to conquer the problem Eagle Pest Services can schedule an inspection for all your pest needs.