Pests are not only a big nuisance; they can spread life-threatening diseases as well. According to a recent study, rodents contaminate or consume 20% of the world’s food supply. Termites cause over $30 billion in property damage every year. Pests spread communicable diseases like Malaria, Plague, Leptospirosis, Mountain Spotted Fever, Murine Typhus, and more. Cockroaches alone spread 33 kinds of bacteria including Salmonella Typhi. And E. coli, 7 kinds of human pathogens, and 6 kinds of parasitic worms (Source: National Pest Management Association).
These are just some of the reasons most homeowners take preventative measures, use natural home remedies and hire professional pest control services. Below we’ve outlined 10 of the most common and effective DIY tips to help you keep your home, pets, and family safe and pest free.
- Do Seasonal Checks
Pests and rodents seek shelter during chilly winter months. So, it is important to check for any areas around your home where they may be able to enter. Even the smallest cracks in the foundation or holes on the roof can give mice, squirrels, and bugs a way into your home. Make sure to seal these cracks and holes properly and completely in order to keep these unwanted visitors out.
- Clear the Clutter
Pests love clutter. Cardboard boxes, newspapers, wood piles, plastic bags and other debris provide pests with perfect places to hide. If you can, remove the clutter completely. If it’s necessary to store it, store it away from the house. Also, keep plants and bushes in your garden neatly trimmed so pests cannot use them to gain access to your home.
- Install Screens over Chimney Vents and Openings
Install special screens or vents over openings and vents to ensure that pests can’t use these to enter your home. Make sure these screens are fitted properly and repair or replace them regularly.
- Keep your House Clean and Dry
Pests are attracted to places that are dirty, damp and wet. Even places that look clean to the naked eye might not be clean enough. Clean your floors, counters and other surfaces regularly and keep these areas as dry as possible to avoid attracting critters.
- Keep your Kitchen Clean
Kitchens are one of the most vulnerable rooms in your home, especially to roaches. Wipe surfaces thoroughly to remove any food residue. Wash dirty dishes promptly so they don’t pile up in the sink and attract unwanted dinner guests. Also, sweep and mop the kitchen floor regularly to remove any fallen crumbs or spills.
- Use Garlic to Repel Mosquitoes
China was the first country to start using garlic as ma mosquito repellent. It turns out that the pungent and strong odour of this kitchen ingredient is a great, natural way to repel mosquitoes. It is even safe enough to spray on yourself, if you can stand the smell. To take advantage of this herb, simply:
- Crush a few cloves of garlic
- Boil them in water
- Spray the solution throughout your house
- Use White Vinegar for Ants
A great natural way to take care of ants is to use white vinegar. When scout ants leave the nest to find food, they leave behind a chemical trail other ants can follow. The vinegar smell masks the chemical so the ants aren’t able to follow it to food.
To use this cost-effective treatment, simply spray it wherever you spot ants inside your home. However, we recommend testing the solution first on a small, hidden area first to ensure it doesn’t discolour or stain carpets or fabrics.
- Use Boric Acid Powder for Cockroaches
Boric acid is a weak acid crystalline compound derived from borax which can also be used as an antiseptic or in the manufacturing of heat-resistant enamels and glasses. It originated from dried, salt lake beds found in deserts or arid areas and is a compound you can find in most stores.
Boric acid is a great, natural way to rid of cockroaches. When roaches crawl over treated surfaces, tiny particles of powder adhere to their body. Roaches naturally have slick, greasy exteriors that absorb substances so it soaks in the powder and in essence poisons itself. Cockroaches also ingest the poison when they preen their legs and antennae.
These boric-acid balls are simple and easy to make.
- Mix a teaspoon of wheat flour and boric acid powder
- Add a little water
- Make tiny balls from the dough
Place these balls in rooms, corners, cracks and crevices that are prone to cockroaches.
- Use Citrus Peels for Spiders
Most homeowners get the occasional spider in their home, especially when it rains. To keep them away, rub citrus peels on the areas where you often find spiders, such as window sills, bookshelves, near baseboards and in corners. They hate the citrus smell and will avoid areas where the smell is present.
- Use Camphor for Flies
Camphor is a dry, white, waxy substance from the wood of camphor trees that naturally and effectively gets rid of flies. It also contains powerful antibacterial and antiviral compounds, an added benefit. You can buy it almost anywhere in a small tablet form to place around your home as needed. Camphor works best when heated, so we recommend putting them in a wax/potpourri warmer, or hang them in small mesh bags where they can warm in the sun.
Still, Need a Home Pest Control Service?
If these DIY tips aren’t sufficient, then we recommend hiring a licensed pest inspector and pest control services in your area. Professional pest inspectors will identify entry points and pest infestations, conduct proper treatments and monitor your progress to ensure pests don’t return.