Getting rid of pests is a hassle that is better left avoided. Thankfully, there are lots of little things you can do to keep them out of the house and under control.
The following lists 7 easy ways you can keep pests out of the home and garden. If you are currently dealing with pests, call a professional for pest control in Barrie or near you.
- Keep Food Away
Pests are drawn to homes and gardens where they can find food. This includes bird seed, pet food, garbage, dirty dishes, and the foods you grow in your garden. Keep your house clean and store food in sealed containers to reduce the odor of food. Vacuum and mop regularly so there are no crumbs on the floor and avoid leaving any food out.
Outside, cover your vegetable patch with an ultrafine mesh, and use fencing to keep the larger critters out. Never leave anything to rot on the ground and feed the birds sparingly. Change the water in your bird bath regularly to avoid having mosquitoes.
- Block Them Out of the House
Insects and rodents crawl into the house via the openings they find in the walls. They can also dig their way through cracks in the foundation or chew through plastic wall vents.
Put weather-stripping on the bottoms of your doors and seal cracks in your siding and window frames with caulking. Fix or replace window screens that have holes in them. You should also fix any gaps you find along the edges of your soffits or the roof.
Seal cracks in the foundation with epoxy and stuff holes with steel wool. Finally, get a quarter inch steel mesh from the hardware store and us it to protect your wall vents by covering them in mesh.
- Protect Your Deck
Decks and porches are popular denning sites for raccoons, skunks, and rats. Check beneath your deck for openings in your foundation and seal them shut. Then, clean out the space beneath your deck and close it off completely. Raccoons can squeeze themselves into gaps that are only 4 inches wide.
Use planks of wood or a quarter-inch mesh to seal off any openings you find, like the spaces between steps.
For bonus protection, dig a trench around your deck, about a foot deep, then screw in a mesh into the sides of your deck. This will prevent animals from digging under your deck. Bury the mesh completely and it will not show.
- Get Rid of Hiding Spots
Mice, rats, and most other pests like quiet, clutter areas where they can hide. If you want to avoid pests, tidy up your home and get organized. Move things off the floor and store them properly. Get rid of things you don’t need and vacuum the home from top to bottom. The cleaner, the better.
The same logic applies to the exterior of the home. Pests and wildlife love overgrown yards where they can hide. Mow the lawn on a regular basis and rake the leaves so there are no piles to hide inside. Trim vines and shrubs and move objects away from the walls of the home.
- Use Deterrents
Skunks, squirrels, and many other animals dislike the smell of apple cider vinegar because it smells like predator urine. Pour some into a spray bottle and spray it around your doors, windows, and deck to help keep pests away. You can also water it down and use it to spray your garden beds.
For a nicer smell, try spraying a solution of 5 drops of peppermint essential oil with a cup of water and a drop of dish soap.
In addition to these DIY repellents, there are hundreds of electronic deterrents available online. Lots of deterrents are motion-activated and spray water, make noise, or flash lights at things that come their way. Try installing one or two of these in the garden to scare away pests.
- Grow Pest-Repelling Plants
Some plants are known to deter certain insects and wildlife. Research the pest you are hoping to avoid and check out which plants they don’t like. Wasps, for example, dislike the smell of lemongrass, geraniums, and rosemary. Squirrels steer clear of mint, and some evidence suggest that mosquitoes don’t like lavender.
- Call an Exterminator for Help
Get rid of pests as soon as you see the signs of an infestation. If you are dealing with a difficult pest, like cockroaches or bed bugs, call a professional for help. You should also call a wildlife remover when dealing with anything like squirrels, skunks, or raccoons. Removing these by yourself can be dangerous and you risk harming the animals.
A professional pest control expert can not only get rid of pests but help pest-proof for you, too. Consider hiring a local technician to inspect your property and seal off every potential entry point. Many companies offer warranties with this service, so it’s worth considering.