Simple Ways to Protect Your House from Pests

Pests are a year-round annoyance, often leaving you frustrated and uncomfortable in your own home. Insects cover the entire world and potentially represent over 90 percent of all living creatures on Earth. They can be found in just about any environment and are highly adaptable, which means wherever you go, you’ll probably find a pest or two. Here are a few simple tips to protect your home from pests.

  • Stop unintentionally making your home such an attractive space for pests. Pests are often only looking for an appealing place to set up camp. Most tend to love damp areas that feature a nearby source of water. Fix any leaky pipes in the bathroom, basement, and kitchen.
  • Pests are also on the prowl for a good, ready-made meal. Spills and dropped food make for easy pickings for pests. Even tiny crumbs and drops of bacon grease are appealing feasts for pests. Clean up any dropped food items as soon as possible. Even a day is enough to attract insects and furry intruders.
  • Garbage emits a pungent aroma that makes the average person tear up or gag, but to pests, the smell of garbage is as enticing as a fresh batch of cookies. Avoid keeping garbage inside your home, or empty out your trash bins as soon as possible. Make sure the trash is stored securely outside under a heavy lid.
  • Don’t place scraps of meat, fish, or cheese in your compost.
  • Food scraps definitely attract pests, but other inedible messes are just as attractive. Large messes, piles of clothes, and excess clutter just give pests places to hide.
  • Make sure you clean in all the small cracks and oft-ignored parts of your kitchen. This includes the sides of kitchen cupboards, behind the fridge, and the sides of the oven. You might not notice those lost bits of food, but those pests certainly will.
  • Make sure all your food items are properly and safely stored. Make sure lids are tight. Wipe the outsides of jars that feel sticky. Clean your cupboards regularly to prevent any small spills from remaining for too long. Store your cereal in lidded plastic containers. Mice, rats, and other rodents can easily chew through cereal boxes, while smaller insects can crawl into them without much problem.
  • If you have pets, try to clear away their food dishes immediately after they’ve eaten. Animal dishes should be cleaned regularly. You may consider elevating their food bowls a few inches off the floor, but you should avoid leaving them out on display overnight. If your pet is a messy eater, make sure you pick up any food that might have been dropped mid-meal.
  • Seal up entry points throughout the home. This includes gaps around window frames, holes in the roof, and tiny cracks in your home’s foundation. As small as those cracks might be to you, they’re huge doorways to a colony of ants.
  • Plumbers tend to make holes too big for pipes. Mice enter through these holes quite easily. These plumbing holes can be found in airing cupboards, water storage areas, and bathrooms. Try to block the holes using caulk or bits of rolled up aluminum foil.
  • Dust crevices in your home using boric acid, which acts as a stomach poison for several common pests and is abrasive to insect exoskeletons. If you have pets, you may swap out the boric acid for baking soda for similar but safer results.
  • If fruit flies are a problem, consider purchasing Venus flytraps from your local home garden center. These are an effective, eco-friendly solution to capturing flies and other insects before they can breed and create a larger population. They can be difficult to grow though, so patience is important.
  • Consider planting mint near doors. The smell of mint disrupts the smelling capabilities of ants and other insects, preventing them from entering your home. You can also place mint leaves in and around windows, shelves, and cupboards. Just make sure to replace the mint frequently.
  • Mosquitoes, midges, and other flying insects hate the smell of Citronella oil, a concentrated oil that is commonly used in soap, candles, and incense.

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