Don’t Invite Bugs In
- Start with what you bring into the house. Inspect your groceries at the store. Look at wax and plastic wrap food items for indications of bugs. Check cardboard boxes, laundry, books and used furniture or appliances coming into the home for signs of infestation.
- Keep the kitchen clean.
- Keep dishes, stove top and counters washed after every use.
- Dump trash frequently.
- Rinse out food containers and bottles before putting in the trash.
- Clean up spills promptly.
- Don’t leave food out.
- Wash or replace sponges and dishrags often.
- Keep toaster and other appliances free from crumbs and spills.
- Clean appliances motor housing frequently as this is a favored area of pests.
- Move and clean under appliances.
- Keep food in containers and wipe up food spills in cupboards promptly.
- Keep pet bowls clean and don’t leave food out overnight.
- Use a trash liner in your garbage cans
- Periodically pour diluted bleach down the sink or use a microbial.
Store food properly
Move foods not in screw type jars or in cans into containers with screw tops, snap-on lid plastic containers or into food-grade plastic bags with zip lock seals. Cardboard, paper, plastic wrap or plastic bag food containers allow for invasion of pests.
Keep them thirsty
Fix dripping faucets. Empty your refrigerator drain pan frequently. Check windows and pipes for condensation problems and fix. Fix leaky pipes. Look outside the house for anything that is causing constant moisture near the foundation such as the air conditioning unit.
Look for any openings into the house
Install door sweeps and repair window screens. Check around pipes where they enter the walls. Fill any gaps with silicone or with steel wool. Check for gaps along baseboards and around the outside of window frames. Check door frames, furnace flues, electrical outlets and any vents, too.Seal any gaps. Repair any holes in walls and ceilings. Install screens over vents, floor drains and ducts. And keep seldom used drains plugged. Install foam strips or spring loaded strips around windows and doors.
Check Outside of House
Check around outside of the house and remove any wood piles and debris near the foundation. Ideally mulch should be kept 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation. Seal any openings around windows, door frames, and between the foundation and brick or siding.Check corners of the house and around pipes, flues and vents. Not only will you eliminate openings for pests, but seal routes for cold air to enter the house. You could also seal all crevices in your cupboards eliminating hiding places. Remeber to leave some room for the house to breath.
If you already have pest, see the next article “Cleaning Up after Pests; Beetles, Larva and Cockroaches.”