I don’t know about you, but I hate bugs. I am a firm believer that nature belongs outside, not inside. Especially during these warm summer months! Ants, roaches, ticks, spiders and lizards of all kinds are fine as long as they don’t jump out at me when I’m trying to find the toilet cleaner under the sink.
It might be impossible to prevent all pests from entering your home, but here are some great tips to keep them from setting up camp in those dark corners of your house!
Did you know that ants are the number one nuisance pest? Over 50% of homeowners say they’ve dealt with ant problems at some point over the last year. Ants follow trails left by scout ants. Crumbs, sweets and opened containers left out overnight can quickly attract an army! If you find a trail of ants in your kitchen, clean the area with soapy water, household cleaner or a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar. Planting spearmint around your home or placing strips of cucumber, citrus peels or borax near any openings where you may have seen ants will help deter them from entering your home.
Unfortunately, no home is safe from termites. Not only are they crafty critters that only make their presence known by the damage they cause, they also thrive on moisture. Checking your foundation and looking for water leaks is always the first step to preventing an infestation. But, your best bet is to hire a professional and have them come take a closer look. Make sure to schedule an inspection every couple of years to catch problems early. This can help keep you from having to make costly repairs in the future.
The best way to keep your home free of roaches is to keep your kitchen spotless. Wipe down counters, take out the trash regularly, clean out your sink and sweep your floors regularly. But, if you’ve already found them inside your home, sprinkling catnip or bay leaves behind your refrigerator, under the oven, or under the sink where roaches can typically lurk will help eliminate the problem. If you see one, spray it with soapy water. The soap will suffocate it. You can also set traps with a mixture of borax and sugar. The borax will dehydrate them.
We all know that rodents can cause serious damage to your home. While traps may be effective, they don’t always solve the problems. Keeping your kitchen clean and putting away food is always a great first step. Rodents also detest mint, just like ants. Place steel wool in holes on the exterior of your home or put trays of used cat litter outside near the places you think they may be coming in. Rats especially will be deterred by the smell of your cat.
Families with pets may love the companionship and loyalty they receive from their pets, but definitely don’t like attracting fleas! Chemical pet treatments may get rid of fleas ON your pets, but they don’t always get rid of them completely. Sprinkle salt, borax, or baking soda on your carpet and upholstery and vacuum after letting it sit for a few hours. Fleas love humidity, so get a dehumidifier and try to keep the room under 50% humidity in order to get rid of adult fleas and their larvae. Clean your pet’s bedding AND your bedding regularly. Comb your pet’s coat with a special flea comp and make sure to clean it in a glass of hot, soapy water when you’re done.
Following these simple tips and tricks can help keep your home pest-free! But, as always, remember that it’s important to call a professional any time you have a job that may be too big to take on by yourself. While a “do it yourself” project might save you money, it can also lead to larger problems. Weigh your options carefully and always consult a professional when necessary! I know a lot of great companies that I’ll be happy to refer you to! Just let me know if you need some help!
And don’t forget, if you’re ready to buy OR sell, I’m here for you! *I am never too busy for you or your referrals, so if you know anyone looking for some help on their journey, please send them my way!
*Information obtained and used with permission from Brian Buffini & Company