The 7 Most Common Home Pest Control Mistakes
Once you spot a pest problem in your home, it’s hard to get the image of those bugs and rodents out of your head. A home pest invitation can drive anyone crazy. To reduce the likelihood of a pest problem in your home, avoid these common pest control mistakes so you can rest easier, knowing your home is clear of pests.
1. Not Determining the Cause of the Pests
When you see a few spiders in your basement, you just want to get rid of them as quickly as possible. So, you spray an entire can of pesticide until you’re sure the spiders are no longer breathing, then run upstairs and huddle in the fetal position for a few hours. Even though it’s not your proudest moment, the problem is handled…right?
Probably not. You really need to find the source of those nasty spiders (and any other pests). Where are they coming from, and how are they getting into your home? Seal any gaps around your windows, doors, seams and foundation. Then, set out a trap specifically for the pest you’re trying to eliminate.
2. Not Identifying the Correct Pests
A bug is a bug is a bug, right? And any old trap will do when you want to catch a pest, right? Wrong. You need to correctly identify the nasty little pest you’re dealing with so you can purchase the right trap. If you can stomach it, get close enough to take a picture and then compare it to a Google search. If you’re still struggling, ask a reputable pest control company to help.
3. Spraying Ants and Calling It Good
There’s nothing worse than finding a trail of ants in your pantry. How many of them are there, and where are they coming from? You grab the spray and blast those critters, then sweep up their carcasses after the spray has dried.
Unfortunately, you may have just made the problem worse. Foraging ants represent only a small part of the colony, which means there are plenty more where they came from. New ants will be back in a matter of days. Use indoor baiting techniques instead, and the ants will bring the product back to the nest — which will eliminate the entire colony.
4. Keeping a Messy Home
Pests really love cluttered spaces. They also live for crumbs on your floors and counters. Keep a tidy kitchen, with crumbs swiftly swept away each day, trash removed and dishes done. Dust and vacuum regularly, and keep clutter to a minimum.
5. Baiting for Pests Incorrectly
There are two factors you need to consider when baiting for insects and rodents: location and time.
Don’t put your trap in a place where you wouldn’t expect to see the pest you’re attempting to catch. The middle of the room typically isn’t where you’ll find rodents. Instead, put the traps in the pests’ regular traveling paths — along the walls, behind the refrigerator, in dark corners, etc. If you find mouse droppings somewhere, that’s an excellent place for your trap.
Also, keep the trap out for a few weeks after you think you’ve caught all insects and/or rodents. You may catch all the adults in a few days, but their young could be lingering nearby, waiting to grow up and have more babies to infest your home.
6. Not Treating Your Pet
Don’t leave your pet defenseless against fleas, ticks and other parasites. This leaves your home susceptible to pests, and, more importantly, your pet could suffer from health problems.
7. Waiting It Out
Thinking the pests will just move along when the weather turns cool is only allowing your pest problem to multiply to intolerable levels. Treat your home at the first sign of pest infestation, and if you cannot handle the problem on your own, seek out the help of a good local pest control service.
Pest Control Best Practices
Now that you know what not to do, we figured we’d better let you know what you should do. Here are our suggestions.
Keep Food and Garbage Tightly Sealed
Most pests are looking for a few basic things: a warm place to nest and some food. So, it’s essential to keep your food tightly sealed in glass or plastic containers. You’ll also want to tightly cover garbage cans containing food scraps and take the trash out often to prevent curious bugs from coming close.
Use Pesticides Wisely
If you use pesticides, follow these important safety tips from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
- Read the directions thoroughly, and only use pesticides as directed.
- Keep children and pets away from the area where you’ve used pesticides.
- Only apply pesticides to targeted areas, not entire rooms.
- Only use pesticides that have been approved for use inside the home.
- Choose ready-to-use pesticides when possible.
- Contact your county extension office if you have questions or want recommendations for low-risk pesticides.
Rather than use pesticides yourself, you may want to delegate pesticide use to an experienced pest control company using products that are in accordance with EPA guidelines.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Pests are sneaky little things, often finding their way into your home via tiny gaps or cracks. Check for gaps in your foundation and weatherstripping, as well as in spots where pipes and electrical lines enter your home. You’ll want to seal these off to prevent critters like mice, ants and spiders from squeezing through.
To seal these holes and gaps, you can fill them with steel wool and keep the wool in place with caulk. For larger holes, lath screens, lath metal, hardware cloth, metal sheeting or cement will work. If gaps in your foundation are proving to be the culprit, flashing could do the trick.
Door and window screens are welcome during the spring and summer when you want a nice breeze to flow through your home. However, if you’re dealing with a pest problem, make sure to check your screens. Even tiny holes are big enough for bugs to crawl through.
Work With a Pest Control Company
While you may be able to get rid of that one lone cockroach you see in your bathroom, what about the others that are likely creeping about?
You may not be able to handle a pest control issue yourself, which is where professional services come in. A reliable pest control company delivers effective pest prevention services. They have the experience and the know-how to determine the real root of your pest problem and deal with it quickly and thoroughly.
Avoid These Home Pest Control Mistakes…Contact Barefoot Mosquito & Pest Control
Trust Barefoot Mosquito & Pest Control to get your home back to being bug-free. Our effective pest prevention uses a more natural approach while reducing pesticide exposure, and our team is licensed and trained to eradicate common — and uncommon — household pests.
Dealing with pests in the Austin, Houston or San Antonio areas? Contact Barefoot Mosquito & Pest Control for a free quote today!
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