How to Keep Your House Pest-Free While Everyone is Home
If you’re like most families these days, your home has become a school, a workplace and a weekend getaway -- all in one. With everyone spending almost all their time at home, residential houses have become a literal breeding ground for pests. You see, the world of pests follows one cardinal rule above all: Where there’s food, they will follow.
Staying Socially Distant from Pests
While your family social distances day in and day out, suddenly every meal is being eaten at home. That means more groceries stored in the pantry, more cooking in the kitchen and more messes made in the dining room. Not to mention, more food waste overall, both packages and organic waste, cycling through your home.
Changes in human behavior often result in different sorts of pest problems. In New Orleans, for example, the closure of the famous French Quarter has resulted in hordes of rats swarming the empty streets. No, they aren’t having their own little Mardi Gras -- they’re searching for food now that the throngs of tourists (and their discarded leftovers) are all gone.
Thankfully, the novel coronavirus is not spread by vector pests, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still a health hazard. The good news is there’s plenty you can do to help make your home less appealing to pests. The key is to not give them a reason to come inside in the first place.
Make Prevention a Priority
Most pests, from rodents like rats and mice to insects like cockroaches and fruit flies, are looking for three main resources: Food, water and shelter. Cut them off from those necessities and they’ll go looking for them elsewhere.
First, make sure your home offers a solid defense against outside pests trying to gain entry. Seal up any cracks or holes in your home’s exterior, and trim nearby trees and bushes back away from the house. Store garbage in lidded receptacles away from the house and keep firewood far away as well. Check roof shingles and weather stripping around doors and windows to make sure everything is sealed up, too.
Make sure your food is stored in pest-proof, airtight containers, especially if you have large quantities of bulk items on hand, like pasta, rice, flour or sugar. Wash your dishes immediately after your done eating, so food scraps don’t stick around in the sink or dishwasher to attract pests.
Clean up all food and drink messes as soon as they’re made, as well as any food prep areas after every meal. It’s a good idea as well to restrict meals to an area that is easy to clean, like a dining room with hardwood floors or breakfast nook in the kitchen, rather than a carpeted living room or den where food particles have more places to hide, like in the couch cushions or under the coffee table.
Push Prevention Even Further
If you really want to go the extra mile, you can deep clean your cabinets, spice rack and refrigerator by pulling everything out, wiping down all the shelves and only putting back items that you’ve checked to make sure are still good to eat.
Give your home a regular thorough vacuuming, too, including in and around any sofas, armchairs and under everyone’s beds. Sweep and clean out behind and beneath large appliances, like the fridge, washing machine and dryer, as well as any heating components like radiators and ductwork.
In the battle to stay safe and healthy while everyone is home, it’s more important now than ever to be on guard against any uninvited guests entering our homes... including pests. Getting some professional eyes and equipment on-site to help keep them out for good is always a good idea for anyone serious about protecting their home and family.
Need some help enforcing social distancing protocols to the pests in your home? We’ve got you covered.