Despite their size, pests can cause big damage to a home if the owners aren't careful. Their teeth, breeding habits, and waste can quickly tarnish the home's integrity and even stability. But more than structural damage, pests can bring disease and illness to residents if they're not careful. Rats can carry anything from rat-bite fever to plague to certain forms of meningitis. And if you are thinking of selling your home, getting rid of pests before selling is very important. Pest remediation starts with understanding how to prevent, identify, and attack an infestation as soon as it occurs. Here are five tips for getting it done as efficiently as possible.
Tour the Home
It doesn't take very much space for an ant to make its way from outside to inside, but there are ways to check for and seal off barriers into the home. Screens can be replaced, holes can be patched, and windows can be recalibrated to close all the way. Many homeowners will skip these steps due to their cost, but the reality is a pest infestation will ultimately be more expensive than purchasing some drywall. Homeowners can install a threshold if there's a gap between the bottom of the door and the frame, caulk the windows, and even seal off any outdoor cables that run from the outside in.
Clean It Up
Bugs have developed a powerful sense of smell to find even the smallest morsels of food. Here are a few tips to keeping the home as clean as possible:
- Cancel the clutter: Clutter may seem harmless to homeowners, until they consider just how easy it is for bugs to hide and spawn in it. The less clutter in the home, the more likely it is for residents to spot a pest problem as early as possible.
- Get food off the floor: This tips refer to not only the crumbs in the kitchen but also packages in the pantries. The lower it is to the ground, the easier it for pests to get to it. Take the trash out early and often, and ensure the area around the dumpster is clean.
- Move the trash: Trash cans with food waste should be stored under a sink or protected by a plastic cover. Also, take food trash (especially meat) out as close to trash day as possible. This isn't a fail-safe when it comes to pest prevention, but it is one more barrier for a pest to tackle before making it to the promised meal.
Check the Yard
From big piles of leaves to standing water in the yard, the great outdoors is a good place for pests to build up their numbers before marching or flying toward the interior of the home. Mosquitos can breed practically anywhere, so homeowners should check everything from tires to appliance units for pooling. Homeowners may want to start mowing their lawn more regularly and raking up leaves and grass clippings as often as possible. Finally, homeowners should change the water in their fountains or birdbaths to rid the water of any latent eggs that might soon hatch and take over the yard.
Know the Signs
Pests will make themselves known even if homeowners can't see them. Look for teeth marks on plants, droppings in the corner, and nesting evidence in the basement or attic. The sooner these signs are spotted, the more likely it is you'll be able to handle the infestations without a professional's help. If there are unexplained grease stains on the walls or floors or the wood is starting to look discolored or damaged, then the home may be infested with rats or termites. Keep firewood away from the house to prevent termites from getting too comfortable near the perimeter of the home.
Once a pest infestation has been identified, homeowners need to take swift action. In addition to traditional traps, homeowners can purchase ultrasonic pest repellents that can annoy pests enough to leave the area. There are also live traps available, but homeowners may need to drive the rats quite far outside their neighborhood to prevent the odds of their return. For insects, use traps that poison the colony rather than trying to take care of each individual insect. Ants, roaches, and termites have plenty of hiding places, and the worker insects will never leave the queen exposed to direct harm. They need to carry the poisoned food back to effectively rid the home of the infestation.
The best way to remediate a pest infestation in a Cochrane home is to either prevent it entirely or catch it as early as possible. Homeowners who keep a careful eye on their food, yard, and home will have a better chance to warding off a harmful pest infestation.