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How to Get Rid of Pests
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|As the seasons change throughout the year, your home has the possibility of becoming the location for a rotating cast of pest characters.
However, with a little due diligence and some work on your part, getting rid of pests that take up residence in your house can be removed.
Mice and rats
Mice and rats are perhaps the messiest rodents, burrowing through your walls and leaving droppings everywhere, but there a multitude of ways to remove the pestiest of pests.
- Block any holes hiding around your home
- Glue, rat poison and snapping tracks are effective when placed near rodent holes, but are one of the more violent solutions
- Adopt a cat from a shelter (not only are you bringing a mobile rodent-catcher into your house, but you're also giving the cat a place to live)
- Experiment with natural solutions like peppermint oil
- Try a humane trap which will allow you to catch the rodent and set it free without any death on your hands
Avoid using rat poison or snapping and glue traps if you have pets
in your home. The last thing you want is your furry friend getting injured in your quest to rid your home of pests.
Ants are equally annoying pests who - like rodents - travel with many friends. This makes them easier to kill.
- Place ants traps in heavy ant areas (for a more natural solution, sprinkle boric acid around pools of maple syrup to create your own traps)
- Clean ant locations with soapy water to destroy the chemical trail they leave for others to find
- Try ant deterring smells such as vinegar, peppermint, cinnamon, black or cayenne pepper, whole cloves, and bay leaves
- Poison them naturally with corn meal, uncooked cream of wheat and coffee grounds
TIP: If the ants have wings, these are carpenter ants and could be extremely destructive to your home as they enjoy eating wood. If you have an infestation of carpenter ants, call a professional exterminator to deal with them.
Bugs who carry diseases, like cockroaches, need to be dealt with swiftly. You can also prevent infestations if you keep your home neat and clean.
Our apologies to Gregor Samsa, but to deal with cockroaches:
- Buy cockroach-specific traps
- Purchase poison cockroach bait from a local store
- Make your own cockroach bait with one part boric acid, one part white flour and one part granulated sugar (one part boric acid, two parts flour and one part cocoa is also recommended)
- Kill individual roaches with a spray bottle full of soapy water
- Try insecticide or pesticide if you do not have children or pets
The latest infestation to gain media attention has been the pest known as the bed bug. They are extremely hard to kill, force you to throw out mattresses, and move from house to house on linens, pillows and clothing.
To get rid of bed bugs, we recommend calling in a specialist to locate any and all hiding spots around your home.
Bed bugs have a tendency to lie dormant when their food source has been removed, and this makes it easy to assume that the problem has been solved when in fact, it has not.
Not only are silverfish some of the uglier creepy crawlers of the bunch, but they also reproduce quickly and their nests are hard to find in your home as they tend to stick to dark, damp areas.
To rid your residence of silverfish, reduce the humidity in your home with a de-humidifier and spray the cracks and crevices (especially around baseboards) with the proper silverfish insecticide.
Groundhogs and gophers
Sure groundhogs and gophers look cute (and feature in some Bill Murray movies) but they are very destructive to gardens. Not only do they burrow under them, but they will often nibble on your vegetables.
- Pour sudsy/cloudy ammonia down into the holes they emerge from to drive them out
- Purchase a humane trap from your local hardware store and bait it with fruits and veggies
- Flood their tunnel with a hose, smoke or gas to hopefully force them out
For hornets, wasps and yellow jackets who pose a threat to children and those who are allergic, call a pest control specialist to take care of the problem. The last thing you want is a swarm coming after you for trying to destroy their nest.
Rather than dealing with a pest problem after it has arisen, there are a number of simple ways to prevent pest issues before they even start.
Try a combination of these suggestions (or hire an exterminator if the problem gets out of hand) and you should be able to return your home to a pest free one and keep it that way for seasons to come.
- Keep the floors and surfaces of your home free of food which will attract all manner of beasts
- Make sure all food is securely sealed and that sweet items such as fruit and candy are put away
- Take out the trash on a regular basis to further dissuade pest problems
- Wash dishes in the sink to eliminate pest temptations
- Do a routine check of your home to seal up cracks, holes and other areas
- Put heavy duty screens in all your windows
- Use de-humidifiers and fix leaks in high moisture areas