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.