PUBLISHED ON December 12th, 2011
Home organizing often scores high on homeowners’ lists of popular New Year’s resolutions. As your local pest control company can tell you, poor organization can also lead to pest infestations. Without an organizational system, it’s easy to let things pile up around your home. Cleaning becomes difficult as the piles grow, and unclean environments attract pests.
The following resolutions will help you enjoy a pest-free start to the New Year:
Many a home pest inspection has turned up a kitchen pest infestation. Kitchens naturally draw pests because they hold our food scraps. From a pest’s point of view, the human kitchen provides a continuous source of food in the form of crumbs, sugary drips, savory globs and all manner of edible detritus. Of course, pests are much less likely to invade a clean kitchen. For this reason, your local pest control company would recommend putting away leftovers and wiping up food scraps as soon as possible.
If you’re like most homeowners, the visible areas of your kitchen are fairly clean, but the pantry is a veritable cornucopia of crumbs. Because they’re dark, generally undisturbed and full of the starchy foods pests love, pantries can easily become an insect or rodent breeding ground. Resolve to clean out your pantry at least once this year.
No one can be perfectly clean all the time. There will be nights when you’ll want to leave those dishes for the morning. If your home is well sealed, pests are less likely to enter in the first place – so you won’t have to battle ants or cockroaches just because you wanted a night off. One takeaway message from nearly every home pest inspection ever conducted is this: It helps to winterize your home by sealing its exterior.
Pests such as ants, spiders, beetles, cockroaches and rodents invade homes through cracks and crannies in the exterior. These openings would not be large enough for the average person to notice. Ant tunnels are miniscule; even a larger pest like a rat requires only a quarter-sized hole to gain entry. Home improvement stores offer any number of products that can be used to seal up homes. Many of them are spray foams that will expand to tightly seal up any space. If you just don’t have the time to winterize, your local pest control company can usually seal up your home for you.
Not all pests enter homes directly; some hitch a ride. Firewood is a favorite vehicle for pests such as termites and carpenter ants. These and other wood-gnawing pests are happy to eat through your home’s main beams, so keep them out by practicing good woodpile pest prevention. Keep firewood outdoors, at least twenty feet away from any inhabited building. Be sure to burn the oldest logs first, to prevent pest populations from gaining a hold. If you do find a pest infestation, do not spray your woodpile with a pesticide, as many pesticides are toxic when burned. Instead, call your local pest control company for a home pest inspection.
It’s disgusting, but many pests enter kitchens via packages of food. Pioneers had to be wary of cigarette beetles in their flour supplies; today, we must still keep a vigilant lookout for pest invaders in prepackaged food. Indian meal moths, for example, love to enter homes in this way.
To avoid bringing food pests into your home, you should carefully inspect any packaged or bulk food before placing it in your grocery cart. Look for gnawed plastic, tiny eggs and webbing, especially in the corners of plastic packaging. If a home pest inspection turns up infested packages, you should throw them away in outdoor trashcans. Next, thoroughly clean out your food storage area, throwing away any other infested food stores you find.
Around the world, more and more consumers are choosing organic produce. A similar revolution is sweeping the pest control world. Many homeowners are choosing to contract with a local pest control company that uses comprehensive environmentally sensitive pest control methods. Yesterday’s pest fighters relied upon pesticides to battle infestations. While these sprays were certainly effective at killing insect populations, they could also be toxic to other nearby life forms, such as family members and pets. Indeed, several studies have linked pesticide sprays to learning disabilities such as ADHD.
To eradicate pests while guarding the earth and your family members, it’s best to partner with a local pest control company that uses Integrated Pest Management. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a green approach to pest control that involves understanding each pest species in order to prevent breeding and remove individual pests, and using this information in conjunction with the available pest control methods to manage pests with the least possible hazard to people and the environment. You can think of it as working with nature, rather than against it.