Summer is almost here. The fun and relaxation we look forward to bring summertime pests with them. These visual reminders seem to come out of the woodwork when the temperatures rise, which is why arming yourself with these tips will help you get a grip in your home.
Pests aren’t a problem most of us want to face. But the reality is that they’re very common. If you’re living with unwanted visitors, these handy hints will help you to get rid of them and prevent future infestations. You definitely don’t want to come across these while you’re doing your cleaning on the weekend.
Which Household Pests are Common?
There are all kinds of different pests you may come across at home. The most common are mice, rats, bed bugs and fleas. You may also find termites, cockroaches, and scorpions.
Spotting the signs of a pest infestation
Sometimes, it’s possible to spot the signs of an infestation immediately. In other cases, it can take weeks or months for you to realize that your home is full of uninvited guests. Common signs to look and listen out for include:
- Scratching and scuttling noises
- Droppings and urine trails
- Bites and itchy skin
- Holes in the wall and baseboards
- Gnawed edges on boxes, wiring, or paper
- Holes in wooden furniture, beams or baseboards
- Insect wings (many insects shed their wings)
What to do If You Think You May Have an Infestation
There are various paths you can take. You could try some DIY methods or contact pest control experts. Here are some tips to help you deal with specific infestations:
If you have bed bugs, it’s incredibly important to wash your towels and bedding at a high temperature, vacuum nooks and crannies (discard the vacuum bag outside), and remove infested items.
Bed bugs reproduce quickly, so it’s critical to detect and treat an infestation early. Download the “5 Must-Know Facts” PDF for a few tips on how to spot a budding bed bug problem. More DIY tips here.
If you have fleas, it’s also incredibly important to wash your towels and bedding at a high temperature.
Vacuum at least once a day. Don’t forget to include window sills, bedframes, and baseboards when you’re doing the vacuuming.
If your pets have fleas, comb them frequently. Get a cup of soapy water ready and move any fleas you find from the comb to the cup immediately.
It can take some time to find living fleas on your pets. Often, the first sign you’ll notice is flea feces. These tiny black dots may be visible on your bed linens or in your pet’s fur.
So, before you pick up a flea spray for your home make sure that it is safe for your pets.
Most people associate scorpions with the desert, but they can appear in homes in certain parts of the country. Scorpions can be dangerous and it’s best to seek expert advice if you think you may have an infestation.
The most common places to find scorpions are in your shoes, on wooden planks, or in piles of garbage. You can read more about dealing with scorpions online.
Rats and mice
You’ll often hear mice and rats before you see them. They tend to be elusive creatures which are more active during the night. Look out for droppings and signs that they’ve been gnawing away at trash or cardboard boxes.
If you think you may have rats or mice, look for any obvious entry routes into your home. Is there a large gap under the back door or a hole leading into the kitchen?
You can set traps and plug holes, but the best thing to do is usually to get an expert to visit. This way, there’s a much higher chance of getting rid of the whole tribe.
Dealing with a termite infestation can be tricky. If you have termites, it’s likely that they have established a complex nest, usually underground.
The best way to eliminate them, and save any paper or wood in your home, is to call a pest control expert. In many cases, they will inject chemicals into the ground to repel the termites and destroy the subterranean mound.
Preventing Future Infestations
It’s impossible to prevent all pests from entering your home, but there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of recurrent infestations.
2. Make an effort to take your trash out. Don’t leave food lying around and make sure bins are closed and.
3. If you have pets, look out for early warning signs of fleas, such as feces. If you do notice possible signs, arrange to see the vet. Vets can provide more effective treatments than those you find in pet stores.
4. Vacuum frequently and change your bed linen once a week.
5. Try and make your home as inaccessible as possible. Fill any tiny holes or cracks and keep your doors locked.
Pests are not something most of us like to think about, but they are a reality we will have to face at one time or another.
Follow these simple tips to spot the signs of an infestation and eliminate future problems. Sometimes, it’s possible to try DIY solutions. But if they don’t work, you shouldn’t hesitate to call in the experts.
What do you do to get rid of pests?