Most people associate needing an exterminator with extremely messy homes and with negligent homeowners. However, infestation doesn’t always happen because of a visible mess. Even if you keep your house clean, there’s still a possibility that different pests will make their way into your home.
If you determine you need professional help with pest control, then it’s a good idea to ask a few different companies for their opinions on the situation at your home. Asking the right questions makes finding a quality exterminator an easy task. Stay away from companies that don’t insist on an inspection before quoting you a price. Here are a few of questions you can start with:
- How will you get rid of the pests?
- Does your company offer any guarantees?
- Does your service include any prevention plan, so the pests don’t return?
- How severe is the infestation?
- How many visits will it take for you to get rid of the pests completely?
- Will my family need to leave the house during treatment?
- What type of methods will you use to kill the pests? (steam, cryolite, flush, spray, dust & vacuum, thermal treatments, etc.)
- Are your treatment methods safe for pets?
Here are 3 ways you can preemptively prevent an infestation from happening.
1. Eliminate sources of attraction
The simplest way to prevent pests from infesting your home is to remove everything that can possibly attract them. You’ll need to do some cleaning up both inside and outside to eliminate the sources around your home that attract bugs.
Moisture is a big red flag that attracts different kinds of pests. It’s not enough to just keep a clean kitchen. You need to make sure that the areas behind your fridge, oven and laundry machine are clean and free of moisture build up.
It’s also a good idea to keep your gutters and downspouts clean at all times. As your gutters fill up with leaves, dirt and who knows what else, it turns into the perfect breeding ground for bugs to get some food and potentially build a new home.
Another tip to protect your home from infestation is to make sure your downspout is draining water a minimum of 3 to 6 feet away from your home’s foundation.
2. Regularly wash items that you use in public
This is an especially important tactic to prevent pests from entering your home if you have kids. Anytime you bring stuff like bags, clothes, and containers to public places like school, the gym or daycare, there’s a chance something can be brought back home.
To prevent this from happening to you, make sure you regularly wash any bags or clothes that you take out in public. Make sure to dry them on high heat to kill any bugs that may have been transferred to your home.
With young children, you have to take the time to inspect their bags and clothes, especially if they’ve been at a new friends house. Bed bugs are chiefly notorious for being transferred from house to house, usually in dark places like a bag.
3. Keep your backyard maintained
If you’re not careful, your backyard can turn into a breeding ground for all sorts of pests. Unkempt backyards attract pests because there are many sources of food and shelter.
Insects usually hide in damp areas. Leaving piles of mulch, dead leaves and old firewood around invites pests to start making a home. Slowly they’ll start to move from your backyard and into your house. Make sure you keep any sources of standing water (fountains, ornamental pools) well maintained and that you regularly get rid of yard waste.