Dealing with outside invaders inside your home can become a tedious and expensive process when mice get into the ductwork or termites take over the attic. The best prevention is consistent cleaning, removal of debris, and keeping your home free of moisture. However, when these tactics don’t seem to work there are some inexpensive and easy prevention strategies that will outsmart the predators attempting to make your home their own.
1. Draw the Critters Elsewhere
It seems obvious to keep residual food crumbs and bits cleaned up to avoid attracting pests, but another line of thinking is to use food as bait to engage the little buggers elsewhere. Make sure the compost pile is away from the home. Also, strategically place a food source and perhaps even a shelter at the outer edges of your property. It may seem counterintuitive to feed the little monsters, but a happy mouse down the hill equals a happy house with a mouse-free kitchen.
Similarly, place some bat houses around the property to give bats a cozy space that doesn’t result in a diving flight through your house at all hours of the night.
2. Put a Hunter on Duty
Cats make great pets, but they are also efficient pest control. From moths to flies to rodents, cats are natural predators. Consider adding a furry friend or two and anticipate a drop in your pest population.
3. Move your Wood Pile
Your kids might think you’re enforcing random chores making them move the wood pile from against the house to another area, but the fact is that rodents and bugs love to live in wood so having a pile next to your home is an invitation into the warmer climates inside your house.
4. Get a Carnivorous Plant
Yes, they are real and yes, they really eat bugs. Plus, they are interesting plants that inspire conversation. Examples include the commonly known Venus Flytrap, Cape Sundew, Spoonleaf Sundew, Butterwort, and Tropical Pitcher Plants. Find a sunny windowsill to place your plants, get some popcorn, and enjoy the insect-eating show.
5. Serve Your Guests DE
Any discussion on the topic of pest control should include diatomaceous earth (DE). It’s a long name for a substance that is non-toxic so it is safe to use around children and pets. Plus, it’s inexpensive, easy to find, easy to use, and hated by many of the creepy crawlers in your house. Fleas, cockroaches, dust mites, ants, bed bugs, earwigs, stink bugs, spiders, and more can be eliminated with the use of DE.
It works by dehydrating bugs so expose them by leaving trails of DE in pest highways throughout your home. You want them to stomp through the DE. Once exposed, they will go back to where they came from, dehydrate, and die within 24 hours to five days. You can apply DE in your crawlspace, on carpets, around the outside border of the house, on mattresses and furniture, in the back of cupboards, in window sills, and along baseboards. Focus on areas that you’ve seen pest activity and those spaces infrequently visited by the vacuum. When applying DE, create thick lines in focused areas rather than lightly spreading it across areas.
6. Steel Wool
Plug any open spaces, holes in cupboards, or entrance points around your furnace with steel wool. It is about the only thing that mice won’t chew through.
7. Marigolds vs. Bunnies
If the cute little rabbits are the pests in question, give them some colorful and fragrant marigolds as a gift and they’ll move on to someone else’s garden.
8. Add a Dehumidifier
Spiders, silverfish, rodents, and lots of other bump in the night hunters love the basement, underside of the house, dark corners in the garage, and your pantry. Create a less-inviting atmosphere by keeping humidity low with the use of a dehumidifier or moisture absorbing product such as Dri-Z-Air.
9. Serve a Beer
Slugs are an unwelcome guest to the garden party, happily chewing through all forms of plants. But get your guest a beer, served in a cut off plastic Solo cut or beer can. Slugs and snails will eagerly crawl into the pool of beer, but enjoy the lager so much they are unable to get back out.