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Surprise Guests: 5 Unintentional Invitations For Pests

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Pests are a common problem for many people, and once the problem is established, it can be difficult to control. There are several factors inside your home that can contribute to a pest problem, or exacerbate current problems.

Eliminate Leaks

Many types of pests, such as cockroaches, are often found in moist areas of the home. Small leaks throughout your home are the perfect environment for a pest to access water. Routinely check under all the sinks to ensure they are not leaking. If you notice a leak and cannot fix the problem immediately, keep the area dry by using paper towels or newspaper to absorb excess moisture. Leaky areas inside your home not only give pests access to water, but can create or expand cracks that quickly turn into easy access to your home.

Control Humidity

Excessive humidity can make the environment inside your home more comfortable for pests. Consider regulating the humidity inside your home with a dehumidifier. Automatic dehumidifiers are better for consistently regulating the humidity inside your home throughout the year. They self-adjust and you only need to dump out the water that accumulates. A lower cost solution is to use boxes of silica gel, which can be reused when they have fully absorbed water. You will need to periodically reactivate the gel by drying it out in the oven.

Minimize Bait Stations

Unless you already have a pest problem, bait stations can create a problem. Most bait stations are designed to lure in a pest with poisoned food, in hopes that the pest will share the bait with other members of its colony. If you do not have pests, you are only luring them inside your home for no reason.

Using protective barriers around the perimeter of your home, both inside and outside is a better strategy. Some types of barriers are made as a poisonous gel or powder that is used around the interior or exterior of your home, and will kill pests if they come into contact with the poison. You want to use products that will deter pests or kill them if they try and enter your home. If you have pets or small children, protective barriers are difficult to use because they can be poisonous.

Protect Your Pantry Items

Most people are cautious about leaving food out if they have pests, or out of fear that they will attract pests. Non-perishable food items do not seem like a threat, because they are boxed or canned, unlike fresh food. Food that is available in boxes or bags can unknowingly attract pests.

You may notice that there are some food items that you can smell through the box. Most pests have a stronger sense of smell than humans, so if you can smell the food, they can too. Take the extra precaution of keeping your boxed or bagged foods in plastic storage or grocery bags. You do not need to repackage the items, simply place them in a re-sealable bag. This can reduce the likelihood that the scent will attract pests.

Feed Pets, Not Pests

Leaving pet food on the floor can easily become an invitation for pests. One tactic you can use to minimize leaving food in your pet bowl is to use an automatic food dispenser. Once you have an idea of how much food your pet eats at each meal, you can allocate that amount to dispense at meal time. The dispenser will make it less likely that pests will smell and access pet food.

If you want to feed your pet in a traditional food bowl, make sure you remove the bowl after meal time. Leftover dry food can be kept inside the bowl and the entire bowl can be sealed in a large plastic storage bag or box, to minimize odor.

In many cases, minor pest problems can be controlled before they become permanent residents in your home. If you have tried several tactics to remedy the problem, you may need a professional service such as to eliminate the problem.