Most homes will have their fair share of unwanted critters. Not only can pests leave behind toxic messes and contribute to allergies, they can potentially damage the structure of your home. Some pest control problems should be handled by a professional but other issues can be a do-it-yourself project.
Where are they coming from?
Each season comes with it’s own smaller-than-life household inhabitants, and they usually come in groups. The sightings of such bugs like ants, spiders, termites and roaches usually mean that there is outside access to the inside of your territory. This can be hard to find, but often off-the-shelf pesticides can do the job if you spray in the right places. Preventing pests from coming in, and paying attention to seasonal problems, is often the first step in preventing a major pest issue.
DIY pest control
You can use over-the-counter pesticides to kill pests as well as prevent them from entering the home. Most manufacturers recommend spraying obvious openings around doors and windows, as well as particular rooms like garages, basements and attics. Be sure to get other less-visible points of entry like where the pipes enter the home such as under the sink. This can prevent infestations from happening in the first place. Be sure you are aware of the health risks to you family and pets with the chemicals you’re using, follow directions and take all the necessary safety precautions.
Take some simple preventative measures:
- Pests are usually looking for food. Keeping your kitchen and eating areas clean gives pests one less reason to raid your home.
- Store all trash in bins with a lid and remove trash on a regular basis
- Ensure that your screened doors and windows are in good repair
- Keep branches and foliage trimmed and away from the house. Very often pests enter the home through plants, trees and shrubs.
- Repair siding, exterior trim and decks at the first sign of deterioration
- Regular cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming and dusting doesn’t necessarily detract pests from coming into your home, however it does train your eye to look for potential problems in the dark corners of your house.
When to call a professional
When the problem is too overwhelming for self-treatment, or when the risk of infestation could cause serious damage to your home, it is likely time to hire a professional. Many pest control contractors use high-tech equipment and chemicals that are safe for children and pets, and will leave your house pest free for the long-term.
The benefits of hiring a pro are the guarantee of all equipment and services, and peace of mind knowing they are trained to handle a variety of situations. Pest control professionals are intimately familiar with the various species of pests, their life cycles, and living habits. As a bonus, they also offer free estimates, putting their trained eyes on the dark corners of your home to see where exactly the pests living.
Some pests, like carpenter ants, termites, or rats, can do serious structural damage to your home. This kind of extermination is best left to professionals. An exterminator may recommend that a contractor come in to do repairs or make changes to the structure of your home. Before doing anything that expensive, be sure to get a second opinion.
Wildlife can be damaging to the outside of a house, especially lawns and gardens. Plus with the diseases they potentially carry, it is best to leave the removal of larger pests to the professionals.
Every county has an animal shelter or wild animal control. These organizations are usually open all hours of the day and on weekends. Their duties are geared towards the removal of larger wild animals from a home and returning them to the environment they are meant to be in. A professional has the skills and training to assess the health of the animal and will know the best place for the animal to be moved to, such as a wildlife rescue organization or no-kill shelter.