How Do I Keep Pests Out Of The House?

killing bugs in the house

Are you having trouble keeping pests out of your home? This can become prominent when weather changes occur. You’ll start to notice more critters trying to find their way into your space. Instead of taking action after they’ve already breached your property, be proactive and try to keep them from entering your home in the first place.

There are a few options to make sure pests stay out, and that has to do with making the inside and outer perimeter of your house and yard less appealing. Using natural remedies and pesticides to repel certain critters can assist in these situations. But let’s start by looking at these helpful tips. They’ll be able to help reduce the likelihood of having pests get into your house. It will also help in making sure you can keep them out for good.

Be Proactive

For assistant with being proactive about pests entering your home, contact Martin’s Pest Control. We have a proactive program that will allow us to perform monthly inspections. We also implement preventative measures to guarantee your home is secure and pest-free.

How To Keep Pests Out

External Measures

It’s best to start by protecting the outside of your home. Making the area surrounding your home’s perimeter undesirable to bugs, rodents, and other pests from settling will thwart them from entering the house.

Garbage & Litter Disposal

garbage

It is well known that garbage and debris can attract pests. Critters such as rodents, ants, or roaches, and it is best to dispose of your household garbage properly. Ensure your garbage and recycling bins are well sealed with tight-fitting lids. Make sure you also keep them farther from the home if possible. Be sure to clean your bins out regularly, rinsing them so sticky residues that attract pests aren’t left behind for them to find.

Avoid Standing Water

Make sure there isn’t any standing water by your home as this can attract certain pests and is a perfect breeding ground, making them harder to get rid of. Empty any buckets or rain barrels when they get full, or ensure you seal them off thoroughly. It is essential to make sure you clean out your gutters and drains as well to avoid a breeding ground close to your house.

Clean Downspouts & Gutters

Keeping your downspouts and gutters free of debris also helps keep birds away from your home. If you don’t give them an appealing place to roost, they will likely search elsewhere.

Keep Plants & Mulch Away From The Homes Perimeter

Trimming back any shrubs, branches, or plant life away from your home can help. It will eliminate pests living in those plants from getting in your home. The further you can keep the pests away, the better. It will be more likely it will be for them not to enter your space. When plants are close to the home’s exterior, they act as a bridge pests use to get inside and stay.

You should also use mulch in gardens further from the home as it acts as an ideal shelter for pests to congregate. It’s better to use things like loose rocks or stepping-stones in places that touch your home’s foundation. These types of materials help keep pests at bay as they are less desirable living areas.

Check Your Doors & Windows

Ensuring you seal your doors and windows properly is imperative for keeping pests out of your home. Pests, especially bugs, can sneak into many small openings around the house, including those in window frames, screens, and doors. If you notice your doors and windows aren’t flush, you can always add weather stripping to them to fill in the gaps. Or caulking for smaller areas to close off the spaces pests like mice or bugs can get in.

Ensure that if you have an attached garage to check your overhead door for gaps. The garage is a great place for bugs and rodents to enter the home. If you have holes in a screen, be sure to replace them as well. Mesh screens with 200 holes per square inch are the most common and most effective at keeping smaller bugs out of the home.

Look For Cracks & Gaps

sealing off opening

Since pests can sneak into even the smallest cracks and gaps around the home, it is important to check your home’s foundation to ensure yours are sealed off properly. Over time the weather and settling of the ground can cause your house to shift slightly. This causes cracks in its foundation which can leave your house vulnerable to pests. It’s a good idea to routinely inspect your home. Start by looking for foundation cracks and loose siding. Next, check the roof for bent flashing or missing shingles. Look for gaps around pipes and wiring, or crevices under the deck as well.

The best way to block these off is to use steel wool, sheet metal or copper mesh so the critters can’t chew through it. Expanding caulk is an easy method but can be chewed through. So if you use it, add another layer of sturdier material on top, to ensure the seal is chew-proof. You can use cement or any mortar as an effective option as well.

However, if the problem resides on the roof or garage door, calling in a professional from these industries to properly fix the issue is the best course of action.

Internal Measures

Even if you looked for cracks, gaps, and loose panelling outside the home, sometimes checking inside can have a better outcome.

Look For Gaps And Crevices Inside The Home

Looking inside cupboards, around pipes, vents, the attic, and in corners of rooms can show how the pests are getting in. If you see any gaps and notice airflow coming from outside, seal them off as soon as possible. It’s also a smart idea to set up traps in these areas. Especially if you’ve noticed that pests have already begun sneaking inside.

Proper Food Storage

food storage keeping pests out

A lot of pests search for places to live and breed because they can sense food. Make sure you are sealing your food correctly so rodents and bugs can’t access it. This will help keep pests at bay and make your house seem like an undesirable spot to live. Cleaning out the fridge, pantry, and cupboards from spoiled or improperly sealed food regularly is smart. It can help you greatly when it comes to keeping pests out.

Routine Cleaning & Maintenance

Keeping a clean home that you routinely maintain is necessary. Make sure you vacuum and mop regularly. Especially the kitchen and dining room where food could get dropped is vital to keeping pests away. If there is no food for them to find, they won’t come around.

Cleaning also disrupts any spots that pests may have been hiding out. By discovering their exact location, you can now easily remove the pests from your home and seal off the opening. It will help in preventing pests from returning.

pest free

Are you are looking to keep pests out of your home and need assistance with the process? Martin’s Pest Control can offer help with our proactive program. We can provide monthly inspections and preventative treatments for your home or business to keep it pest-free. Martin’s Pest Control will also proactively treat seasonal pests. We do this so you can live without the invasion of pests. Some homeowners or business owners experience this when a proactive program isn’t in place.

For any pest control needs, Martin’s Pest Control is the team to get the job done right and keep those pests out. Contact us today to keep your home pest-free.

Preventing Pests Inside Your Home

fly at a window sill pests

Welcome In The New Year Knowing Your Home Is Pest Protected

Holiday entertaining can be enticing for pests as well as humans. Leftover food, garbage, crumbs, clutter, piles of wrappings and boxes are a draw for pests to enter your home. With the New Year on the horizon, it is a good time to go through a pest protection checklist. The list will also let you check for any maintenance issues to put on the to-do list.

Prep For Pest Hide & Seek

Do a little reading on the potential pests that could become a problem. Identify their habits to deter or eliminate them, then when you find a problem, you will be confident in how to deal with the pest infestation. You can also check out this handy guide for some pests you might encounter on your checklist rounds.

Gather a clipboard, pencil, pest prevention caulking, quick-dry putty, steel wool, screwdriver, flashlight, and insecticide dust to begin your hunt. Look for cracks and conditions that might encourage pests to flourish.

You will be looking for small holes or areas they can enter the house. Also, check for conditions like moist, dark areas or current evidence of pests already in the home. You can choose to immediately fix any problem areas or make notes to attend to the various areas promptly.

Areas To Inspect

Windows & Doors

Check for any holes in screens or gaps in weather stripping that would allow pests into your home. Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil diameter. If you can see the light or feel air coming through mouldings, seal these areas with a good latex sealant.

Fix small holes in screens by pushing metal fibres back together and sealing with a dab of clear nail polish. Sometimes the screen will pop from the frame. A screen roller can be used to push the screen back into the frame again. Repair cracks in the window with latex sealant or quick-dry putty.

Door sweeps can wear out and need replacing. Repairs here can also keep drafts out in winter. Weather stripping around the door jamb can become damaged, so look for areas where cracking or pieces are missing.

An area people often overlook is their garage doors. Make sure the bottom rubber has not come off, and the weather stripping around the door is still in good condition.

Under Sinks & Appliances

Insects like to set up shop in damp conditions. Check for any leaks that need repair and seal off any problem areas. If the basement is too moist, consider using a dehumidifier in damp areas. Pesticide dust can be applied to some of the areas to keep the insects away from them.

Vents & Holes To The Exterior Of The House

You may have installed some new fixtures or media conduits in preparation for the holidays, but forgot to pest-proof the holes surrounding wires and pipes. Pest preventive foam caulking is perfect to use in these instances. Again, larger holes can be covered with a small mesh screen for vents that need to be left open. They can also be stuffed with steel wool and sealed with caulking for those that don’t.

prevent pests with a clean home

Cluttered Areas

A good house clean after Christmas not only prepares you for a good start to the New Year, it also helps deter any pests taking root. Make sure children haven’t hidden dishes under beds or couches.

Give a good vacuum to eating areas. Make sure all your foodstuffs are back in the pest-proof containers. While baking those Christmas goodies, you might have overlooked putting them back in those containers.

If you find articles infested with insects, isolate the item in a sealed bag and remove it from the house. Some people think bugs are killed by putting materials outdoors in freezing weather.

A study showed that a minimum of 80 hours in -16 degree weather was needed to kill bed bugs in all stages; however, some larvae survived -20 degree weather. If the item can be treated or thrown out, it would be a better way of eliminating the pests.

Empty room garbage bins, seal the final garbage bag, and take it out to the disposal area. Move the containers away from the house’s foundation. If you keep bins in the garage until garbage day, make sure the garbage can seal is good, and the lid fits tight. Take paper and boxes to the recycling centre.

Outside Surfaces

Look for holes in the siding and along the bottom and top of the walls. These are areas where mice or even squirrels might enter. Give a quick check to the roof to make sure shingles are in place, and there is no substructure damage. 

Caulk any holes and schedule repair time for more significant problems. 

Use quick-drying parge cement or an outdoor sealant for sidewalk and foundation cracks. Remove any debris against the walls of the home to deter pest nests.

See this useful checklist and information about pests from the Smithsonian Museum Conservatory Education Department. 

 

 

If you are still in hectic holiday mode, give Martin’s Pest Control a call. We can do a comprehensive inspection of your home. 

How To Hire The Right Pest Control Company

Matrin's Pest Control owner Bill Martin

Start With Research

When hiring a Calgary pest control company, you want to make sure you get one that cares about you and your problem. The first step you should always take is doing research. Start by checking their online presence, reading reviews and even making a few phone calls.

Licencing, certifications, and safety insurance measures, along with warranties, are the types of business points to list and consider in your decision-making process.

Make An Action Plan

After you have your information analyzed, a good choice should stand out from the others. At this point, you should be feeling confident that your choice will bring a solution to your pest problem. Make the call to your chosen pest control company.

Ask for a written contract for services, fees, and guarantees. Discuss the services requested and set a date for service. Ask about preparation in the home before their visit. Also, find out what they do to get the home back to normal after treatment. Make sure you discuss what happens if the pest problems reoccur.

Some companies will come back and re-treat for free, and others will charge you again for multiple treatments. If the company is resistant to provide this, reconsider your choice, and go to the next quality pest control choice on your list.

Set Realistic Goals

Sometimes you expect the pests to magically disappear and never be seen again after a pest control treatment plan. Mother Nature has an odd sense of humour and often makes sure things don’t always go as we expect. You will probably have a few stragglers for a few weeks after treatment, but if pests are still active, call the company back and make sure they honour the extermination warranty outlined in your contract.

Or you may assume that the pest control operator will clean everything up when he leaves. In your question session, make sure you find out how effective each treatment is and what to expect at its conclusion. Some companies require you to arrange for pre and post-treatment preparation and cleanup. 

Review How Effective You Think The Company Was

Once the pests are gone, review the entire process and consider if it resolved your concerns, or whether you could have improved on any areas. Save the number of a great service provider in your phone for your household services index.

You may even want to post a compliment on their website. Conversely, don’t be afraid to post negative comments for terrible service on websites and register your problem with the Better Business Bureau. Reputable services will always put customers first and strive to problem solve disagreements.

Remember, you are in control and have the right to excellent service under your contract terms, for the money paid to any pest control service.

 

If you need help with a pest or insect problem, reach out to Martin’s Pest Control today. Also check out our other blogs for more useful tips, including pest control for homeowners.