Pests can infiltrate our lives in all kinds of ways. They all leave tremendous destruction behind them in the form of droppings, holes in walls and floors, nasty marks and all kinds of structural damage. Once they get inside your home, it’s extremely difficult to get rid of them, because they leave eggs or young specimens that hide and just wait to restart the infestation again. Proper prevention is the only way to avoid the costly repairs most pest species can cause. Here’s what you can change in your lifestyle to prevent pests, and a few natural ways to keep the creepy crawlies at bay:
How to Prevent Pests from Entering Your Home
Making your home undesirable to pests is the first step towards getting rid of them for good. If you follow these steps, you will never have to worry about pests finding your home attractive. By cutting out their access to necessities, you will make them move out right away:
Don’t leave food unattended
This is basic knowledge, but it’s easy to forget it sometimes. Cockroaches, ants and rodents are attracted to the food you leave around the house, they find your crumbs and leftovers a delicacy. So, if you leave out any food, these pests will be naturally attracted by the odour. Make it a habit to vacuum your home regularly, and especially the kitchen area. It’s an effort that pays off in the long run.
Store food in air proof containers
Every food you store in your cupboard can attract pests if it’s not closed correctly. Everything that’s not in the fridge needs to be stored in either plastic, glass or metal containers that will keep the smell inside. Make sure your oatmeal and cereal are also properly covered, so ants and cockroaches won’t get them.
Empty the trash regularly
Everyone forgets to throw away the trash sometimes, but we shouldn’t make this a habit. Rodents and insects count on us, leaving it behind so that they can feast, and we cannot allow it. Don’t leave any organic trash in your home overnight, make sure to take it outside at the end of the day, no matter how tired you are.
Another very important step that many people overestimate. Flyscreens are a must if you want to keep your home free not only from flies but from all kinds of flying and crawling nasties. The lack of screens is an open invitation.
Declutter your garage, attic and basement
These areas are like pest kingdoms. They are a preferred hiding spot for most pests because we usually use them as storage and rarely visit them. If you’re a drifter and you find a cluttered cosy space that nobody lives in, wouldn’t you take advantage? Spring clean these areas of your home at least twice a year and try to get rid of any unneeded items that just stay there and take space. By keeping your home neat and clean, you will discourage any spiders, ants, cockroaches, rodents and even squirrels from nesting.
Keep firewood away from the house
Firewood is often a preferred home and source of food for termites. The longer you store it, the bigger the chance is that they will infest it. To store it properly, make sure it’s located away from the walls of the house and are placed above the ground. Maybe in a garden shed placed on wooden playhouse for kids pellets?
Seal any gaps and holes
Inspect the foundations of your home, the space around the doors and windows and any pipes or cables. If you notice any cracks or holes, fill them out immediately using either concrete or builder’s foam. Rats and mice can gnaw through most building materials, so make sure everything around your home is properly boarded up.
How to Keep Pests Away Without a Repellent
- When you’re outside with a drink or a glass of water – cover the glass so it doesn’t attract any flying insects. Bees, wasps and flies are attracted to water and sweet drinks.
- Wearing long sleeves and pants when hiking will give mosquitoes less skin to bite you.
- Avoid going to places where you know there’s a lot of animals. Where there are animals, there’s usually ticks during the summer. Avoid going to such places, or if you do, make sure to cover your legs and check yourself and friends afterwards for ticks, just in case.
- Use LED lamps because they are less likely to attract insects.
- Don’t wear strong perfumes, they too attract mosquitoes.
Natural Repellents for a Pest-Free Home
- Make a spray of water and mint mouthwash. Make a solution of 50-50 in a spray bottle, shake well and use to spray yourself or around yourself when you’re outside. It should keep pests away from you.
- Eat lots of vegetables to increase your vitamin B levels because it is said that mosquitoes tend to bite people with a deficiency in vitamin B.
- Have garlic nearby. I know most people don’t like the smell of garlic, but some chopped onion in a bowl of water might help keep mosquitoes at bay.
- Dish soap or liquid hand soap can help get rid of flies. They might be attracted to the soap but they will stick to it and eventually die.
- Make your own vanilla repellent. Buy a small bottle of pure vanilla extract, use one tablespoon, one tablespoon of water, you may add an essential oil such as peppermint or citronella because they are also known to be bug repellents. A few drops would suffice. Then, use cotton balls to apply the mixture to your skin. You can also put it in a spray bottle and spray it on yourself or your clothes, or items around you.
- Light beer mixed with essential oils such as rosemary, is also a known natural insect repellent.