Pest Prevention – 15 Tips for Keeping Your Home Pest-Free.

A little bit of effort can help to keep your home pest free.

When it comes to pest prevention, a bit of effort now can save you time and money later, not to mention the distress. By following these simple tips, you can help keep your home pest-free all year round.

Pests are looking for two things when they enter your home: food and shelter. If you can eliminate their access to both of these, you’ll go a long way in keeping them out.

1. Seal cracks and holes in your home’s exterior to keep pests from entering.

The best way to keep pests out of your home is to seal up any cracks or holes in the exterior. This will prevent them from getting in, and will also help keep your home warm and insulated during the winter. Make sure to check around your doors and windows, as well as along the foundation of your home. If you find any cracks or holes, seal them up with caulk or another type of appropriate sealant. Sometimes when windows are installed, a hole is drilled for cables. Check there are no gaps that small insects could come through.

Look for pipes, ducts and drains that may not be completely sealed. Small holes can be stuffed with wire wool.

Seal cracks and holes in your home's exterior to keep pests from entering.

2. Remove sources of water, like leaky pipes or standing water, to keep pests from finding a place to breed.

Leave any water standing for long enough outside and you will see an influx of all sorts of insects looking for a place to lay their eggs. If you want to keep these critters out of your home, you need to make sure there is no water for them to breed in. Make sure to empty and clean any outdoor pet bowls, birdbaths, or other sources of standing water.

Remove sources of water, like leaky pipes or standing water, to keep pests from finding a place to breed.

3. Make sure that there is no food left out for pests to find.

Pests are always looking for an easy meal and they are mostly not too fussy. You may want to feed wildlife and birds but the scraps you leave out can be a banquet for pests. Food on a bird table is sure to attract rats.

Clear up any food from alfresco dining or picnics as soon as you have finished.

4. Store firewood away from your home.

A pile of logs stacked up by the front door presents a warm welcoming scene for you and your visitors. Sadly, it is also home to thousands of unwanted guests. Mice, rats, and insects love to live in these woodpiles, and they will eventually make their way into your house if you don’t take action.

If you store your logs inside, you will certainly experience a few spiders or other creepy crawlies. Logs that are not fully dried can also cause condensation on the windows which in turn can cause mould. This then invites another pest into your home – mould mites. Mould mites are tiny creatures that thrive in humid environments, such as bathrooms and kitchens. They can cause a wide range of respiratory problems and can be dangerous for people with allergies or asthma.

Logs that are not fully dried can also cause condensation on the windows which in turn can cause mould.

5. Trim back trees and shrubs that are close to the house.

Trim back trees and shrubs that are close to the house. Rats, mice and squirrels can all find their way into your homes via overhanging branches. Ivy is also a culprit for harbouring pests so if you have any, make sure it’s well trimmed back too.

6. Keep the garden clean and free of debris, such as wood piles or leaf litter.

Keep the garden clean and free of debris, such as wood piles or leaf litter. Pests are looking for anywhere warm and dark to hide. Autumn is the worst time for piles of leaves. It’s better to leave them scattered rather than sweep them into piles. Bag them for the council to take away if you have a garden waste service, or compost them away from the house.

Welly boots and other outdoor kit that is left on the step can also become a comfy home for pests so look before you leap into them.

Keep the garden clean and free of debris, such as wood piles or leaf litter.

7. Look after your pets with regular flea treatments.

Dogs and cats can both carry fleas into the home—and once they’re inside, these pests can quickly multiply. To prevent an infestation, regularly treat your pets with flea medication prescribed by your veterinarian. You should also vacuum carpets and floors frequently, and wash pet bedding in hot water often.

If pets sleep on the bed with you, be sure to wash the bedding more often. Be alert for any signs of fleas such as itching. Regularly washing your sheets (in hot water) and vacuuming the mattress will help to get rid of any fleas that may have hitchhiked a ride from your pet.

8. Store food in sealed containers.

Store food in sealed containers to prevent pests from finding their way in. A mouth full of ants with your cereal is no fun. It’s a mystery how these insects know there is food in those cupboards but somehow they do.

Flour mites and weevils can come into your kitchen through your flour or wheat products. The eggs will already be laid in the flour when you purchase it. Left too long, the eggs hatch and then the mites or weevils will start eating their way through your flour, cereal, pasta, etc. You’ll sometimes see a clue that they are in residence in the form of a little dust coming from your packages.

Store food in the fridge where possible, especially food with a short shelf life.

Store food in sealed containers to prevent pests

9. Keep kitchen surfaces clean.

Keep kitchen surfaces clean. Wipe up spills immediately and don’t leave food out. Leave a lid loose on a pot of jam and you are sure to find that has become a feast for ants when you return to it.

Wipe up any spills immediately, especially sweet drinks as they are very attractive to pests.

The same applies to knives that you use in the preparation of food. It may not be time for you to clean your kitchen but wipe down the chopping board or the area you used and put the knives into a bowl of water or the dishwasher. once ants have found food, they will return to that spot time after time looking for food and will bring their friends!

We know your house is clean but sometimes you don’t have time to do everything straight away. Sometimes you don’t notice that a child (no matter how old!) has got biscuits out and dropped crumbs everywhere. Before you know it, you have an ant infestation and once in, they are hard to get rid of.

10. Keep Floors Spotless.

Keep floors spotless to avoid pests. It’s hard to keep floors clean when you’re traipsing in and out with outdoor shoes on. It’s not surprising that floors carry the most germs so they also attract pests. If you have a spotless floor, you’re less likely to have any unwanted critters running around.

As long as your floor won’t be harmed, put some white vinegar into the water to help deter ants.

Hoover carpets regularly and try to reach those areas that are usually hidden such as under the bed. Just because you can’t walk on them doesn’t mean they are not harbouring creatures. Carpet beetle larvae are like tiny caterpillars and are called ‘Woolly Bear’. Cute name but doesn’t make them any more pleasant. Carpet beetles will eat almost any organic material and they can fly, which means they can get onto curtains and clothes. The holes in your carpet could also be caused by moths. Both cause the same kind of damage and will need effective treatment. They feed on natural fibres plus skin and hair so cleaning can help to keep the creatures at bay.

It’s a bit of a chore but it really is worth getting into the habit of taking shoes off. Don’t be afraid to ask visitors to take their shoes off too.

Keep Floors Spotless to avoid pests

11. Take the rubbish out swiftly.

Take the rubbish out swiftly to avoid attracting pests, especially if it contains any food waste. You may think this is particularly important in the summer because food starts to smell quickly but it is just as important in the winter as food is less plentiful outside and pests will come inside to find the source of the smell.

Make sure that any rubbish storage bins have tight seals and close them properly.

12. Put pet food bowls away after your pets have eaten.

If your dog is anything like ours, there is never any waste! Pet food is a popular attraction for rodents and insects. Make sure that food is put down at the time your pet feeds and clear it away or put it in a sealed container.

Put pet food bowls away after your pets have eaten to prevent pests

13. Check unused areas regularly.

Pests love a dark undisturbed corner. Your attic is particularly comfortable and could be home to mice, rats, squirrels and other animals. Wasp nests are also common. If you check regularly, at least the wasp nest won’t have time to grow too big before you spot it. Be sure to inspect these areas of your home regularly to ensure nothing has snuck in.

Remove the kickboards in the kitchen and sweep under there regularly. It’s surprising how many rodents, insects and spiders love to hide out in these small spaces.

You can’t guarantee that pests will never invade your home but you can reduce the risk significantly. A homeowner who has pest proofed their home feels safer. They no longer have to worry so much about pests invading their home and causing damage or spreading disease. They can rest easy knowing that they have done everything possible to keep their family safe.

14. Fit prevention devices.

Some areas of your home are more vulnerable to pests. Air bricks have holes that are big enough to prevent dampness but are also ideal for wasps to find their way into your home. Fit a wasp proof air brick cover to keep them out.

Pest proofing your home starts at the front door. Make sure you have a good seal around your door and check that your door frame is in good condition so that insects can’t squeeze through any gaps.

Check the gaps around the roof in the loft. You need some airflow but if you have regular visitors from pests or birds, consider fitting some eaves covers. Make sure to use sturdy materials because if you use plastic, those little visitors will sharpen their teeth and come back.

If rats are a concern for you, consider fitting a stainless steel rat flap to prevent rats from entering your drains. We install these for you from £150. We also install airbrick covers from £20 each. Ask for more details.

Remember, when fitting anything to keep pests out, make sure the pests are on the outside. You don’t want to trap them inside.

Cats are not always helpful in preventing mice.

15. Get a cat or dog.

Mice and rats like to sneak into your home and live undisturbed which is why they look for dark warm corners. The presence of a cat or dog may reduce rats and mice but in truth, while cats and dogs may help to reduce the number of mice in an area, they do not completely prevent them.

Mice are capable of breeding quickly, so even if there is a cat or dog in the home, it is important to take other precautions to stop them from entering.

If all your pest prevention efforts have failed, call the experts.

We undertake all kinds of pest control including, wasp nest treatment, rodent control, ants nest removal, flea removal and squirrel control.

We cover Derbyshire including Sheffield, Dronfield and Chesterfield and specialise in a range of pest control services using a mixture of traditional and new methods to deal with pest issues in the most humane possible way.

No Additional Call Out Fee.

Normally, our pest control services work in a simple way that our customers find convenient. We pop out to see you as soon as we can, confirm the price and sort your pest problems there and then. The prices you are charged are as shown with no additional costs for call out. If you call us out for advice without using our services, we do charge a call-out fee of £34.

Rapid Service with Guaranteed Results.

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Protecta Pest Control Trusted Trader Derbyshire
Martin Gregory

Martin (Gregg) Gregory

Gregg has been working with land control and pests for over 40 years. He is passionate about animals and the protection of our wildlife.

You'll always find him to be friendly and helpful.

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