10 Common Ways Folks Attract Pests Into Their Homes
1. Cracks, Crevices, and Gaps
Your home is safe and secure. You have a good roof over your head, and your family is protected from storms, cold, and heat. But look a little closer. There are likely very small cracks, crevices, and gaps that appear insignificant. These, however, allow pests from rats and mice to termites and stingers to come into your home.
Do a top-to-bottom check of your home, starting with the foundation. Seal up any gaps, and pay particular attention to window seals, doorways, screens, and vents.
Many of us enjoy our winged visitors; they add color and life to our yards. But by feeding the birds, you are also feeding bugs. Indian Meal Moths, for example, love birdseed, and the variety you buy at the store may already be infested. Check any seed for larvae and adult moths.
Birdseed can also attract bigger potential pests, including squirrels, chipmunks, and even bears. Put up feeders that deter everything but birds and be sure to seal up any seed tightly.
One man’s trash is another pest’s treasure. The “aroma,” if you will, attracts flies, rodents, racoons, and other unwanted visitors. Once they’ve marked you as a five-star restaurant, they’ll keep coming back, creating messes, and possibly spreading bacteria and disease.
Keep a lid on it: make sure your outdoor trash is bagged and secured in a can/bin with a tight-fitting, pest-resistant top.
This goes for the trash inside your home as well. Make sure you have a can with a lid and that you do not leave food scraps and the like out on your counters.
4. Stagnant Water
Any water that does not move - your birdbath, a kids’ wading pool, a small pond, puddles from recent rains, etc. - attracts mosquitoes. These are not only an uncomfortably, itchy, problem, these winged pests can also carry diseases like West Nile Virus.
To combat mosquitos, remove standing water or replace it frequently. If your yard has dips and uneven spots that allow water to pool, consider leveling it or grading your yard to help it penetrate the soil more efficiently.
5. Dirty Dishes
We know… at the end of a long day, you barely feel like making supper, much less cleaning up all the dishes afterwards. But if you want to be proactive about pest control, wash up! Leftover food attracts flies, ants, cockroaches, and other hungry intruders. Don’t let dishes sit until morning.
6. Spilled Food and Beverages
A little spilled juice here, a dropped chip there… it happens.. This is what pests are counting on! Crumbs and spilled liquids (particularly if they are sugary) are incredibly attractive to cockroaches, ants, and other pests. Make sure to clean up any food and drink spills immediately. It is also helpful to take your cleaning routine up a notch by vacuuming under and behind the stove and refrigerator.
Unfortunately, many pests have quite a sweet tooth. Overripe fruit, for example, is a magnet for fruit flies. These tiny insects swarm around your produce even if it is just a bit overripe. Some fruits are fine in the refrigerator; for others, like bananas, seal them in a container.
We mentioned spills above: sweet substances are highly desirable to pests. Insects, including flies, ants, beetles, and wasps, are drawn to sugar, honey, and even wine and beer. Clean up any spills immediately, do not leave food on the countertops, and seal up any sweets that cannot go into the refrigerator.
If you were looking for another reason to clear the chaos in your home, here it is: it can reduce your pest populations. Clutter makes for a great home for all sorts of insects and rodents. They can hide out while staying warm and dry.
Go room by room and organize your belongings. If you don’t need an object or love it, consider trashing it, recycling it, donating it, or selling it. Evict those pests!
9. Stagnant Air
We know that stagnant water attracts pests - particularly flies. Turns out that still air does as well. Turn on ceiling fans in the summer; this disturbs the air enough so that flies don’t want to hang around. It’ll also help you cut down on your air conditioning bill.
10. Excessive Moisture
Many pests prefer a damp environment. Even a trickle of water that drips from your AC unit can attract insects like wasps. Termites, too, love damp wood, and mosquitos live and breed in moist areas, such as gutters. Larger pests like mice or rats can also be attracted by a dripping faucet if they do not have another water source safely nearby. Be sure to remove standing water, as advised above, and to repair any leaking pipes, faucets, and fixtures.
Sick of sharing your home and yard with pests? Contact Rid-a-Bug; our experienced technicians will quickly and accurately diagnose the problem and deliver an effective, and safe, solution.