Pest Control Tips for 2013
Going green is about more than saving energy or reusing grocery bags at the supermarket. Itâ€™s also about keeping your family, home and the environment healthy. When it comes to insects and rodents, many homeowners are quick to reach for the most potent poisons on the market. Natural pest control, however, is a safer method that uses common sense, prevention techniques and the least-toxic options available.
Pest-Attracting Habits to Avoid
Prevention is the easiest and most effective natural pest control tactic to implement. By putting a little extra effort into your home, you can create an environment thatâ€™s unattractive to pests. Discourage infestations by avoiding these behaviors:
Leaving out food. Free food attracts pests. Put away leftovers (including pet food); wipe away crumbs; and avoid leaving dirty dishes in the sink at the end of the day. Because rodents and insects can gnaw through cardboard and thin plastic packaging, store your pantry items in lidded glass or hard plastic containers.
Keeping a messy house. In the pest world, un-cleanliness is next to holiness. Pests love stacks of paper, piles of clothes, bags of trash, dirty floors and general disorganization. By keeping your home tidy, you eliminate possible hiding and nesting sites, as well as food and smells that lure pests.
Making your trash accessible. An open trash can is like an invitation to an all-you-can-eat buffet. Use liners in your waste baskets to keep them clean. Immediately empty waste baskets with food into the big trash can your garbage service empties regularly. Always replace the lid on the big trash can; elevate it off the floor or ground using bricks or cinderblocks; and donâ€™t keep it near a workbench, table, chair or your car when itâ€™s not â€śgarbage day.â€ť
Neglecting exterior home maintenance. Some pests can squeeze into your home through exterior cracks that are as small as 1/8 inch. A couple times a year, inspect the exterior of your home and seal any cracks or holes. Mend or replace broken window screens, and keep your gutters clear of debris.
Not fixing leaks or eliminating standing water. Next to food and shelter, water is the third essential that pests need to thrive in a home. Fix leaks as soon as you notice them, and get rid of any standing water around your home. If you have a birdbath, change out the water daily. Empty an outdoor water feature if the pump is broken, and keep your pool covered.
Failing to mind your homeâ€™s landscaping needs. Pests love weeds, tall grass, fallen leaves, rotten food in vegetable gardens, trees that overhang your home and plants that grow right next to it. If you perform basic yard maintenance and keep your landscape clean, pests will be less likely to pay a visit.
Green Pest Control Methods for Home Infestations
Pest infestations sometimes happen, despite your best efforts to keep them at bay. The healthiest way to tackle such a headache is to use an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach. Green pest control companies that specialize in IPM use the least toxic techniques possible to control your problem.
IPM begins with identifying the type of pest you have, as well as its nesting sites. Instead of spraying generalized chemicals, which are often ineffective in the long run and can harm your familyâ€™s health, the pros employ strategies such as blocking a pestâ€™s entrances into your home, getting rid of nesting sites, modifying your home so itâ€™s less pest-friendly and monitoring pest activity. If pesticides are needed, IPM experts will select the least toxic remedy available, favoring those that contain organic ingredients.
Natural pest control is about peace of mind. Contact your local pest control company for a home inspection and to learn personalized tips for preventing an infestation.
This post was brought to you by Eden Advanced Pest Control, a full-service integrated pest management (IPM) company serving both residential and commercial customers in Western Washington and Ore