Tips on How to Make Your Home Less Friendly to Pests
A good home Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program will involve you and your pest management provider, working together as a partnership. While the people you hire to perform your pest management services can address your immediate and acute problems, correcting the underlying causes and conditions that allow pests to thrive requires your participation. Your friendly, well-trained Clark Pest Control technician will be able to inspect your property, ask you about any pests or evidence of pests that you’ve observed, monitor for pest activity, identify any pests found, and then come up with a plan and make recommendations that are specific to where you live. But to really make your home IPM plan effective, we’ll need your cooperation.
What is IPM?
It’s a way of thinking about pest management that can help you change your living space, indoors and outdoors, to make those spaces less friendly to pests. A good home pest management program starts with a couple of basic principles – exclusion, or blocking pests from entering your home, and sanitation, or keeping your spaces clean and free of accessible food and water for pests. Addressing these two principles – exclusion and sanitation – should eliminate many of the causes and conditions for chronic pest management problems where you live.
The first thing to remember about almost all insect or rodent pests is that they need three things – food, water and harborage, or a comfortable place to live and breed – to thrive. If your home is providing pests with those three things, then the likelihood of them setting up housekeeping in your living space is increased. On the other hand, if you deny them food, water and harborage, chances are those pests will choose someplace else to breed and infest.
Below, we’ve listed some pest management steps you can take now to make your home less friendly to pests.
Inside your home:
- Keep your place clean, especially areas where you prepare and eat food. Wipe down countertops, sweep floors, vacuum carpets regularly, and reduce clutter
- Clean up any crumbs or grease from meals when you’re done cooking or eating. Don’t leave food out in the open
- Store grains, cereals and other bulk items in airtight containers, like glass jars, where pests can’t get at your food. Pests will chew through plastic, paper and cardboard easily. This also applies to pet food
- Inspect incoming groceries and other goods to make sure you don’t have any hitchhiking pests
- Put garbage, trash and recyclables in closed containers, and empty those containers frequently
- Weather-strip doors and windows to eliminate spaces where pests can enter, and seal areas around those doors and windows
- Repair screens on windows and doors, or consider installing screens if you don’t have them
- Apply caulking to close any entry points for pests around doors, windows, utility inlets and places where wires or pipes enter from outside. You can use other pest impediments, too, like steel wool or screening. The point is to block access from the outside
- Repair any leaky faucets or drains
- Make sure your attic, basement and crawl spaces are clean, well ventilated and dry, and seal any cracks in basement walls or the foundation
- Keep your garage door closed, to deter pests from entering and hanging out, and keep your garage clean, so that pests won’t set up housekeeping there
Outside your home:
- Seal any entry points where pests can gain access inside. Remember that a rat only needs a ½-inch hole, a mouse needs a ¼-inch hole, and an insect or spider needs a lot less. Pay attention to the fit on doors, windows, and places where wires or pipes enter
- Make sure that any trash receptacles are sealed with lids
- Store firewood and lumber, which can provide harborage for rodents, spiders and centipedes, away from your home
- Trim back trees and bushes so that there are at least 12 inches of clearance between them and your home
- Clean gutters around roof edges, so that pests won’t breed in trapped water there, and make sure the gutter spouts are unclogged, and that they drain away from your home
- If possible, install a one foot-wide perimeter of pea gravel around your home to deter pests
- Don’t leave pet food out. Clean your pet’s dish after it has eaten. Pet food, left out, is pest food – inside your home or outside
Clark Pest Control is committed to Integrated Pest Management, because its methods get results. IPM combines common-sense pest management practices that everyone can understand with science that specifically targets individual pests. A well-designed and applied IPM program can solve your pest problems while dramatically reducing the need for pesticides.
You may be wondering about what all this “pest management” business is, and what the difference between an exterminator and a pest management provider like Clark might be. The old way to master a pest problem was to exterminate, or apply enough pesticides to kill not only the target pests, but a lot of other living things, too. Extermination fell out of favor over time, though, as laws protecting the environment grew more stringent, and as scientific research found more effective ways of targeting specific pests that didn’t involve taking out everything else with them. Also, the practice of inspecting first, then prescribing a remedy that includes doing everything possible to solve a problem with exclusion and sanitation before using pest control materials, became more practical than the old methods. So that’s how companies trained in pest management practices have come to replace the old-line exterminators.
If you’ve been looking for a forward-thinking pest management company with the best-trained technicians in the business, it’s time to relax: You’ve found Clark Pest Control.