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I bet I can guess what really bugs you about seasons changing! While we never invite them into our home, little critters seem to find their way in, even if you keep a clean home. From a trail of ants to a scampering mouse, it’s time to show them the way out. It all starts with preventative measures to ensure your home stays bug-free.
If you have small children, pets or like to keep harmful chemicals out of the house, using a commercial product to eradicate your uninvited guests might be out of the question. The good news is that many natural pest control solutions exist, starting with prevention. Here are a few DIY ways you can keep unwelcomed guests out of your home.
While you might be able to take care of a few bugs here and there, a large infestation will require the help of a pro. Contact a pro today for up to four quotes from contractors in your area for free.
1. Know When To Call A Pro
While there are many tricks and tips you can use to prevent and eliminate some infestations, it’s not always a guarantee it will work. For insects like bed bugs, which can rapidly multiply and be difficult to get rid of, it’s best to contact a pest control pro as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the problem will worsen and become more expensive to take care of. They are trained and can safely remove the critter that’s bothering you. The average cost to hire an insect control service is $212, with most homeowners spending between $135 and $199.
2. Clean The Area
If you notice a trail of ants, fruit flies or other bugs congregating in the same area, it’s time for a deep clean. Cut them off at the source and examine the space to see if there has been any food spills that would lure them in. Sugary spills such as juice or wine can be the culprit. If you have pets, dry dog and cat food may also be what’s drawing them in. Eliminate this from the area and clean with soapy water to ensure the contaminants removal.
3. Herbs & Oils
Did you know that herbs and essential oils can help prevent unwelcomed guests before they start? Cinnamon deters ants. Simply lay it down near entryways to keep them away. Dried mint leaves can be kept in cabinets to keep your dried food safe. Essential oils, such as peppermint and eucalyptus keep fruit flies, ants and spiders away. Mix 10 to 15 drops of either essential oil in a spray bottle with one cup of alcohol. Spray as a preventative measure in entryways or, to deter an infestation you’ve found.
4. Mattress Covers
If you’re like me, just thinking about bed bugs gives you chills. That’s why it’s important to do all you can to prevent these creatures from entering your home. Zippered mattress covers can prevent bed bugs from making your bed their home. You’ll also need a protective box spring cover, as often bed bugs can hide in between the cracks of the wood. These cost between $80 and $120 depending on the size of your bed.
5. Screen Your Windows
Feeling the outside breeze throughout your home is wonderful. However, an unscreened window is an easy entryway for bugs like flies, mosquitoes and ants. The average cost to screen a window with a single screen and frame is between $13 and $200. If you have screens already and are finding rips and tears in them, it’s an easy fix without the need for an entire replacement. Many local hardware stores sell screen repair patches and kits you can use to make this fix yourself.
6. Use A Dehumidifier
Many pests are drawn to moist places. If you have a basement, this will be one of the first places you should check if you suspect an infestation. Damp basements supply the perfect conditions for insects to thrive. One way to prevent them from surviving in the basement is with a dehumidifier to help keep the air in your basement dry. For smaller basements, a space dehumidifier will do, but you may need to invest in a few units for other areas of the home.
7. Seal Off Cracks
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To eliminate pets from your home, you must ensure they have no easy way to enter. So often, cracks in the foundation, brickwork or gaps in entryways leave ample room for little critters to welcome themselves inside. Thoroughly inspect your home and identify any areas where bugs may be entering. If you find enough cracks in your foundation, you may want to contact a pro who can help. The average cost to repair foundation is $3,657, with most homeowners spending between $2,265 and $4,205.
8. Eliminate Hiding Places
To fight pests inside, start with looking outside. You may be providing them with hiding places close to your home, allowing them easier access inside when a door or window is open. Eliminate piles of leaves or standing water near entryways. Bees and wasps can make their new home in your gutter, so keep them clean and be sure to check your gutters regularly during warmer months.
The best way to eliminate pests is to attack them before they start. Use a few of these tips above to help protect your home from unwelcomed visitors!