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The Pest-Free Life: Proactive Ways To Avoid Insect & Rodent Pest Infestations In The Home Without Relying On Chemicals

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Whether the infestation is caused by mice, fleas, roaches, or any other pest, homeowners who have had to deal with a serious pest infestation understand how difficult the process can be. When families need to limit their exposure to the chemicals used in most insecticides, ridding the home of unwanted pests can become even more of an uphill battle. To avoid having to deal with a serious pest infestation in your home, consider using these proactive methods that severely limit the number of pests that make their way into your home and help prevent a major infestation from occurring in the first place.  

Shut down all possible access routes

One of the best ways to prevent insects and other pests from living and breeding in your home is to keep them from invading it in the first place. To shut down all possible access routes, homeowners should: 

  • ensure that all window screens are in good repair and use caulking or sealant to seal any cracks or openings around window frames, both inside and outside the home
  • use good quality storm or screen doors at all entry and exit points to the home
  • make sure that doors fit their frames snugly, if they don't install a rubber or insulated gasket material to eliminate openings that might allow pests (and outside air!) to infiltrate your home
  • seal openings in exterior walls around any dryer exhaust vents, wiring, pipes, or other vents and openings that could allow a pest to make entry
  • check basement walls, foundations, and masonry walls for cracks and holes and repair any large enough to allow pests to make their way into the home
  • add a screen to the inside of louvered vents, ridge vents, or other openings in attics and crawl spaces to prevent pests from entering
  • if pet doors are used, choose one that closes snugly, using magnets to ensure an adequate seal against pests

Establish a firm no hitchhiking policy

A major cause of pest infestation occurs when infested items or packaging is brought into the home from other places. To eliminate this problem, create a staging area outside the home where items can be unwrapped and inspected before being taken into the home. Unnecessary packing materials, especially those with seams that might harbor roaches or silverfish, can be placed directly into your trash can or recycling container, keeping pests outside the home. In addition to packages, this policy should be used for:

  • dirty laundry brought home from vacations or college dorms
  • items purchased at yard sales or thrift shops
  • used books or magazines

Stop feeding the pests

Pests are more likely to infest a home where food and water is readily available. To remove this enticement, homeowners should: 

  • eliminate any sources of water in the home that a pest might use, such as leaky faucets 
  • cure humidity issues by using a dehumidifier in bathrooms, basements, or other moisture-prone areas of the home
  • put away pet food and water dishes during the night when mice, roaches, and other pests are most active
  • use good housekeeping practices, such as mopping and sweeping frequently, vacuuming often, keeping dishes washed and counters, tables, and food prep areas clean
  • limiting snacking to just the kitchen and dining room areas of the home to keep crumbs from becoming dinner for an unwanted pest

Make your home unwelcoming to pests

Certain odors and types of light are attractive to pests and others turn them off. Homeowners can use this knowledge to make their home less welcoming to pests. 

  • use pots of basil and lavender on windowsills, patios, and near entry points to ward off mosquitoes and house flies or plant these plants flowerbeds near the exterior walls of the house 
  • plant mint, rosemary, and marigolds around the home and yard or in pots on patios and porches to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects
  • display vases of fragrant chrysanthemums in the home and grow pots of them near the doorstep or on porches and patios to repel roaches, ticks, silverfish, and other insects
  • yellow, orange and pink light are less attractive to flying pests than traditional white light, so remove any white light bulbs from outdoor fixtures and replace them with yellow, orange or pink bulbs that pests won't like

If, despite your best efforts, you find yourself embroiled in a war against pests, contact a trusted local pest control service, like A-Alert Exterminating Service Inc, for assistance. Many now offer specially formulated insecticides or other methods of low- or no-chemical pest control measures to help you win the war against pests!