Pests and Pest Control
Pests can have a significant impact on physical and home health. Common pests that could invade your home include:
- Bed bugs
- Mice and other rodents
Proactive Measures to Prevent Pests in Your Home
- Keep it clean: Don't leave food or drinks sitting out, pick up pet food at night, clean up spills right away, remove clutter, empty garbage can frequently, store food in tightly-sealed containers, vacuum on a regular basis, dust using a damp cloth, and wash/dry bedding on a regular basis.
- Keep it dry: Fix any leaks or areas of seepage as soon as possible, use ventilation systems (like exhaust fans, vents, and windows) so steam doesn't build up, regularly check any plumbing structure for any leaks, and clean/check gutters regularly to ensure proper drainage.
- Keep it maintained: Block or seal any entrance points with solid or fine mesh materials, caulk around sinks and tubs, use insect netting/screens in seasons when windows and doors are left open, install weather stripping around doors and windows, and secure loose wallpaper and trim.
Monitoring For Pests
Monitoring for pests is an effective way to not only discover what types of pests may be in your home, but it can also give you a better understanding of the severity of the problem. To monitor for pests, you can use various tools, such as glue boards or traps. These devices will only work if they are properly placed, so it's important to place these traps in pest-vulnerable areas (PVAs). PVAs are locations where the conditions are right for a pest to establish and thrive and are normally areas where water, food, and shelter are available. Any area where garbage is handled is an automatic PVA because of food availability and the many pest hiding places it provides. In outdoor areas, monitors should be located where they provide the best information for the area in question.
One of the most common pest control tools is the use of pesticides. A pesticide is any chemical used to kill, prevent, or control pests. While sometimes effective, pesticides can also pose risks. Pesticides are often temporary fixes and/or ineffective over a longer period of time. Pesticides should be used sparingly and in combination with other pest management solutions, like eliminating the pest's habitat and thorough cleaning of your home.
If you are using pesticides to get rid of pests, please keep in mind you and your family's safety. It's important to carefully read any and all manufacturer labels and warnings when using pesticides. Additionally, pesticides may pose a threat of accidental poisoning. To learn more about poisoning prevention, visit this link.