Although spring and summer bring a promise of better weather, they also come with a less savory stipulation: pests. Whether they’re in your garden or in your home, as animals wake up for the warm seasons, some also wreak havoc on your property. Let’s go over 20 of the most common DIY tips from the professional pest controllers to keep your home pest-free.
- Seal All Gaps
The easiest way for pests to wander into your home is through gaps and cracks in your foundation or walls. Whenever you see a crack or a gap begin to form, you should gather the necessary tools and close the space from both sides. For foundational cracks, use concrete or caulk.
- Keep Fresh Herbs on Hand
Rosemary and sage thrown into a backyard fire will not only make the air smell great, but it will also deter mosquitos from the area. Basil is a common tomato hornworm repellant for tomato gardeners, and lavender is a common deterrent for moths, flies, and other insects.
- Store Firewood Away From Your Home
We all know how much termites love wood. For this reason, it’s important to store firewood as far away from your home as possible. Termites have the ability to travel between 50 and 80 meters away from their home base, so you need to be sure your firewood isn’t close enough to your home that termites could migrate there.
- Repair or Install Window and Door Screens
Window and door screens are designed specifically for keeping pests out. If you notice a tear or hole in your window or door screen, you should repair it as soon as possible to prevent any critters from making it inside. Screen repair kits are available for a very affordable price at any home improvement store.
- Clean With White Vinegar
White vinegar is a universal natural cleaning agent found in a variety of products. The acidity in the vinegar helps kill germs and bacteria. In addition to that, the smell of vinegar is a common deterrent for ants and other pests. If you clean your home with a white vinegar mixture, ants and other pests will be less likely to travel into your home.
- Check Your Weather Stripping
The weather-stripping in your home refers to the bristle-like material that sits along your doors and windows. The stripping prevents rain or air from seeping into the home and aids in keeping your home insulated. If there are any holes or damage to the weather stripping, pests can easily shimmy their way into your home.
- Wire Cloches and Garden Fencing
Bugs aren’t the only pest you may have to worry about. Bunnies, squirrels, and other small mammals like to spend time in vegetable and flower gardens during the spring and summer. Cover plants with wire cloches or install garden fencing around the perimeter to prevent these animals from getting to your food or flowers.
- Copper Mesh For Exterior Holes
Holes on the exterior of your home can be plugged with copper mesh to prevent pests from getting inside. Use a screwdriver to stuff a healthy amount of copper mesh into the hole and leave half an inch of space for expanding foam sealant.
- Use Baffles Against Squirrels
Squirrel baffles are items used to deter squirrels from climbing onto your bird feeders. In most cases, squirrel baffles are either cone or dome-shaped and can be made from a variety of materials. You may also choose to situate bird feeders onto shepherd hooks, away from trees or other climbing structures.
- Keep Your Basement Dry and Free of Humidity
Spiders love basements because they tend to be dark and damp. These two conditions make an optimal space for several other pests like termites and other creepy crawlies. To control your basement’s humidity levels, utilize a dehumidifier at 40% humidity. You should also keep your basement windows brushed down to reduce the number of potential homes for a spider web.
- Coffee Grounds as Pest Control
The strong smell of coffee is a common deterrent for many pests. When you finish brewing your morning cup of coffee, spread the used coffee grounds outside around the perimeter of your home.
- Regularly Check Your Crawlspace
Your home’s crawlspace houses the foundation, but it’s also an ideal spot for bugs and small mammals to make their home. You should use a flashlight to perform regular inspections in your crawlspace to eliminate any mammal nesting areas or signs of termites and ants.
- Use Proper Storage Techniques For Food
Keeping your food securely stored will prevent bugs, mice, and other household pest infestations. Securely stored food also greatly reduces the risk of bacteria and mold growth within the home.
- Keep Your Dryer Vent Clear
Birds and chipmunks commonly choose dryer vents to make a home out of. You should perform regular checks to clean out your dryer vent and remove nests when you come across them.
- Maintain Your Landscaping
Maintain your landscaping by trimming back shrubs and trees. Keeping your landscaping clean looks nice, and it also gives pests less cover for sneaking into your home.
- Essential Oils for Various Pests
Another common natural pest deterrent comes in the form of several different essential oils. For example, you can make a natural dust mite deterrent mixture of eucalyptus oil, lavender, clove, or peppermint oil and water.
- Regularly Clean Your Clothes
Keeping your clothes clean and off the floor gives bugs and other household pests fewer places to hide. You should also be sure to thoroughly clean your clothing any time you come into contact with lice or bed bugs.
- Install a Chimney Guard
Chimney guards are also commonly called chimney caps or chimney screens. This guard is put into place to deter animals from accidentally falling into the chimney shoot. It can also be effective at preventing birds from using your chimney as nesting space.
- Provide Alternative Food Sources
You may also choose to place bird and other animal feeders at the opposite end of your property. This encourages backyard pests to seek those feeders for food or shelter rather than inside your home.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Fruit Flies
If you notice an infestation of fruit flies in your kitchen, you can create a mixture of apple cider vinegar, water, and a few drops of dish soap in a bowl or mason jar. Leave the mixture out for 24 hours and check the bottom to see how many fruit flies the jar collected overnight.