Even the cleanest home can have issues with common household bugs. They tend to find ways to enter your home, then they quickly set up a nest.
The five most common household pests include ants, fleas, mice, flies and termites. These common household bugs and pests usually enter homes because they want warmth, water and food. Sometimes, odors from other creatures can entice different species to enter. They might also be attracted by the protection provided by the home, especially if it has dark places to hide.
Once you recognize the pests around your home, the next step is to figure out how to get rid of these pests and keep them from returning. You could hire a pest management company, but that can be costly. Instead, there are steps you can take to remove them safely.
Get Rid of Many Bugs With a Vacuum
If you want to avoid using pesticides to kill fleas and other house insects, you spray a soapy water solution on your floors and vacuum everything up with a wet-dry shop vac or another wet-friendly vacuum. Vacuuming can remove eggs, larva, droppings and more. Install a HEPA filter on your vacuum to remove allergens. Empty the vacuum outside and clean the canister. If you used pesticides, you would still need to vacuum, but using a soapy water solution works just as well for killing certain pests and is a safer alternative to pesticides, especially if you have small children or pets in your home.
Place Traps for Rodents and Insects
If you have mice or other rodents, you can use traps to catch and remove them. Mice use walls as their guides, so place traps near walls. Glue traps or glue boards attract most rodents. You can get rid of flies with sticky fly tape. If you have ants, you can use ant bait traps that lure insects in and cause them to bring back toxic bait to their colony. If you do catch something in a trap, dispose of it immediately outside so you do not attract more pests.
Use Pesticides as a Last Resort
Pesticides should be the last resort, especially if you have pets or small children in your home. Before using any pesticides, read the instructions and follow them exactly. Wear protective goggles, gloves and clothing so you do not accidentally expose yourself to the toxins in the products.
Hire Professionals To Remove Termites
If you have termites, your best choice is to have a company that specializes in removing them take care of your problem. Termites are difficult to remove and can do significant damage to your home, so professionals are the best choice to take care of them safely.
How To Prevent Pests From Returning
To prevent pests from re-entering your home, you can make changes to the environment. Again, pests enter homes because they have warmth, food and water, so it's important to minimize these enticements.
Removing Food and Water Sources
The first thing to do is take away any obvious sources of food and water. Clean your home, removing or covering any open food. If you have a pet, never leave a bowl full of food out all day. Vacuum the corners of your basement, put your trash in covered bins outside, and look for leaks in your interior pipes.
To prevent common household bugs from moving in, you can also make some changes to the area around your home. Put your garbage can as far away from your home as possible. If you have an attached garage, do not put your garbage can inside of your garage as it offers easy access to the rest of your home.
Inspect Your Foundation and Landscaping
After you've moved your garbage cans, take a walk around your foundation. Look for holes in your foundation, as well as landscaping that touches your home. To keep common house bugs out, none of your landscaping bark, rocks or plants should touch your home. You can prevent bugs from entering your home by having a one to two-foot space between your landscaping and your home's foundation.
Look for Weatherstripping and Caulking Problems
If you have bricks on your home's exterior, look for issues with the mortar. Also, look at your doors and windows to see if the weatherstripping has any openings. Replace any missing or rotted weatherstripping. The pipes and wires that go into your home should also be sealed with caulking to prevent pests from entering. If you find any problems, fill the holes with steel wool and expandable foam.
Install a Notion Starter Kit
You can also install a Notion Starter Kit with sensors and other accessories that alert you when doors and windows are left open. Pests need access to your home, and open windows and doors give them plenty of space to move in.
Notion Sensors can also tell you when you have water leaks, so you can fix the problems before household pests find access to water. These smart self-monitoring systems give you peace of mind to avoid damage from unwanted pests and other problems.