Home Methods for Dealing With Unwanted Bugs and Rodents
Managing pests yourself is feasible for many types of infestation as long as you are alert, act decisively and stay on top of things. If the problem gets worse, or if you have issues with one of the nastier pest species such as carpenter ants or termites, contact a professional as soon as possible.
Protect your property by spraying an insect exterminator chemical on all borders of the outside, including window seals, door frames and other ventilation points. Products such as Annihilator Insecticide Premise Spray and Spectracide Bug Stop last for at least 30 days and kill insects immediately on contact. These are not good for garden use, as they also kill bees, but they are ideal for protecting your house from invasion.
Fly and mosquito sprays can be set to dispense in measured doses by a range of metered sprayers, allowing regular clearing of bugs in the warmest months when infestations tend to be at their worst and windows are open. For your pets, ask your vet about oral flea killers that enter the animal's bloodstream and cause infertility in the insects that feed off it; these kill entire bug populations easily without risk to your animal.
Ants and similar insects that leave trails to find food at a later date can be killed and cleaned up by spraying a soapy solution over any colony lines. Using hot soapy water or water with soap and orange oil on colonies also destroys the nest. Adding ammonia adds an extra layer of protection. Strongly scented essential oils also help to break ant trails to prevent further infestations.
In terms of other small pests such as fleas and bedbugs, few of these bugs survive thorough hot washes and vacuuming. However, they leave eggs behind, which then hatch and begin the cycle again, so regular thorough cleaning is essential.
Live traps are available for various sizes of rodents, which allow you to catch and release them. Bait these with chocolate, nuts or peanuts; place them in the area where you think the rodent is living and monitor them carefully. If you have rats or squirrels, be very careful when handling a release; these animals and their parasites can be dangerous. To discourage future infestations of rodents or cockroaches, ensure all food spills are scrupulously cleaned up immediately; where there is nothing to eat, they cannot live.
Even if you do not want to put chemicals around the openings and edges of your house, find out where the openings are and seal them wherever possible to prevent entry. Gaps in mortar or door seals are common, but these give unwanted pests easy access to your property. Remember, if creatures cannot get in, they cannot cause problems.
Keep your grounds tidy, and make sure there are no places where mice or rats can nest or find food easily. Clean up any windfalls or food debris to discourage opportunistic feeders. Trim back trees and bushes to prevent animals and insects using them as ladders to enter open windows or other entry points.
When unwanted critters or bugs invade your property, you want to get rid of them as soon as possible. While major infestations of pests are likely to require professional help, catching a problem early and dealing with it while it is a minor issue can save you a lot of money. There are lots of do-it-yourself options for pest prevention and even a few tricks to help you nip potential infestations in the bud.