9 Blunders That Offer An Open Invitation To Pests

Posted on: 17 February 2015

Household and garden pests are more than an inconvenience. Insects and rodents can be destructive to property and pose health risks as well. Although there are circumstances that may warrant the services of a professional pest control company, there are ways to keep these unwanted visitors at bay. The following is a list of common mistakes that may contribute to an infestation:

1. Leaving Doorways and Windows Unsealed

You might not have thought about it, but even the slightest gap in doorways and windows can provide easy access and entry to your home for small bugs. Start by installing a threshold for every entry door in your home. Next, you'll need to apply caulk to the thresholds to keep spiders, ants and other small insects from entering your home. Also, be sure the track on your sliding glass door is lined with a foam weatherstripping material, leaving no gaps.

2. Not Sealing Exterior Utility Openings

If you have cable lines or pipes and wires installed on your home's exterior siding or foundation, you need to seal it. Without doing so, insects and rodents may squeeze through the openings. To seal them properly, use cement or caulk. While you're thinking about it, check your foundation and seal all cracks with cement.

3. Using Torn Window Screens and Screen Doors

Even the smallest hole or tear in a window screen may provide an entry point for ants and tiny insects. If you notice any holes in your screens, repair or replace them as soon as possible. To repair a small tear, you can use a piece of screen mesh and upholstery or fishing thread to affix it.

4. Neglecting to Change Birdbath Water Regularly

Do you keep a birdbath in your yard or garden? If so, this may attract more than birds to your yard. Mosquitoes may be tempted to lay eggs in the birdbath water, but you can prevent them from hatching by changing the water frequently. Aim for a water change several times per week.

5. Allowing a Leaky Faucet to Drip

Not repairing a leaking faucet will provide water for thirsty pests. If you notice a leaky faucet, have it repaired before the dripping water attracts ants, spiders and other bugs. This includes bathroom and kitchen faucets, as well as leaking toilet bowls.

6. Accumulating Clutter Inside and Out

Old newspapers and cardboard boxes are a perfect breeding ground for pests in the attic, crawlspace, basement and garage. Check your yard as well. Rake up leaves and get rid of debris, as this may also provide a cozy hiding place for spiders and insects.

7. Using a Trash Receptacle Without a Lid

Trash cans containing food waste may provide a feast for unwelcome pests and critters. Never store trash in an opened container. Be sure the lid is tightly sealed so pests cannot gain access.

As an extra precaution, be sure to empty the trash cans each night. In addition, clean all trash cans regularly. Food residue or liquid on the interior or exterior may attract bugs and rodents.

8. Eating in Bed 

Follow this simple household rule: Eat only at the kitchen or dining room table. This helps prevent crumbs from falling onto floors or between crevices in the furniture. It's a good idea to keep a lightweight hand vacuum in the bedroom or living room for quick clean-ups, just in case that rule is forgotten.

9. Neglecting to Prune Shrubs and Bushes Near Your Door

If there are bushes and shrubs near your front door, keep them trimmed. Failing to prune regularly may provide a passage for insects to enter your home. Be sure to cut away any dead branches you notice.

If all else fails, don't ignore your pest infestation. Doing so may cause the problem to escalate. Contact a professional pest control company before these invaders destroy your property.