by Eric Gibson
Unwelcome house guests are the worst. They eat your food, crash overnight, and they don’t even pitch in for rent. They’ve made a mess of your home and you’re ready for their departure. So you feed them one last time and kindly show them the door. Sayonara! But they refuse to leave. You consider other not-so-kindly methods. Baiting? Trapping? Poison? But killing is not an option because you find it inhumane and cruel (I am referring to unwelcome creatures, of course; specifically those of the rodent/roach/bug nature). So how do you keep these pesky critters out of your home? Here are six practices you can implement for an all-natural, non-chemical approach to pest control.
The number one solution to your pest infestation is to prevent any more pests from entering your home. In the Pest Control business, we refer to the sealing of all household cracks and holes from pests as Exclusion. Rodent exclusion is usually done on the roof as Roof Rats are arboreal and enter your home from the roof. Mice can fit through an opening about the size of a dime, and insects can get through an even smaller opening, so keep that in mind when you’re sealing off your home from pests.
2) Keep the Kitchen Closed After Hours
If the unwanted guests are sticking around, it’s for a reason. You may be feeding them. Spot clean your kitchen. Get rid of all the crumbs, dirty dishes, and properly seal your garbage and grains. Removing a pest’s food from the equation will get you one step closer to solving your pest problem.
3) Shut Down the Watering Hole
You’ve successfully eliminated the pest’s food. Now tackle its water source. Fix the dripping faucets, mop up any puddles, and frequently change the water in your pet’s water bowl. Roaches and ants will no longer have a water source inside of your home. In addition to eliminating water sources on the inside of your home, it is also important to eliminate standing water on the outside of your home. Stagnant water outside is breeding ground for bugs and mosquitoes.
4) No More Hiding Spots
So now you have a clean home, but is it tidy? Are you the type to leave clothes on the bedroom floor? Tidy up the place and clear any clutter inside and outside (including wood piles) to keep insects from seeking shelter in your home.
So far you have prevented future pests from entering your home, and you’ve made your home completely unsuitable for current pest residents by eliminating their food, water, and shelter. So what do you do with the stragglers? Take a vacuum to the place! Use that sucker on the floors and furniture to eliminate fleas, bed bugs, and remaining eggs and larvae.
6) Chase ‘Em Down!
If all else fails, do it like a good ‘ol boy and chase or scare away any large critters (raccoons, squirrels) that come near your home. Yell, bang pots and pans, throw stuff…you get the idea. But hopefully the other steps will work like a charm and it won’t have to come to that.
Nowadays, most pest control companies follow an Integrated Pest Management approach to eliminating pests from homes. This means that before any bait or chemical is used to treat the pest, pest control technicians will undergo a complete inspection of your home and yard. Only after that inspection, where the pest has been properly identified, will the technician determine the safest and most effective plan of action to eliminate that pest from your home. The pest control companies that follow an I.P.M. approach will explore the idea of doing an exclusion before using any other methods. Having a pest professional inspect your home is important as they can spot those areas that are favorable to a pest’s living conditions. Call your friendly pest control company today for a free inspection!
Nozzle Nolen is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). For more information about Nozzle Nolen and its Certified Green Solutions Program, visit www.nozzlenolen.com or call (800) 22-NOLEN.