How to Deal with Pests in Your Home

It can be one of your worst nightmares, getting home and finding out that you have an infestation of pests in your house. Some bugs are so small; you might not even know you have them until it’s too late. Many homes will suffer from some type of pest at least once, but the important thing to remember is how to spot them, and what to do about them.

Ants 

These insects are tenacious and will do almost anything to get to what they want. Most of the time, you won’t have any problems with them coming into your home. However, if a colony starts near to your house, then they may be attracted inside by your food. Ants particularly like fruits, seeds, and nuts, so it is important to put such things into airtight containers if they are open. If you see a trail of ants near your home, then there are things you can do to stop them coming inside. Sprinkle chili pepper, paprika, cloves, coffee grinds or cinnamon along the entrances where ants can get in. The spices will deter them and are not harmful to pets. If you do see any possible holes, fill them with a sealer or petroleum jelly.  

Bed Bugs 

Bed bugs are common all over the world and are so small that you may not even know they are there. Although they are most common in hotels and hostels where there are lots of people staying in the beds, they are more than happy at home in your bedding. They can hide in the seams of your mattress, bed frames, headboards and other bedroom furniture. Although they do not carry disease and are harmless, they can cause allergic reactions in some people from their bite. Removing them from your home is a long process, though it can be done. All bed clothes need to be washed on a hot cycle and dried for at least 30 minutes. Add a bed bug cover to your mattress after vacuuming and scrubbing it. Seal any cracks in the floor and walls to prevent future hiding spots and use essential oils such as peppermint, lavender or thyme to repel them.  

Fleas 

These are a common household pest that can travel in on your dog, cat and even on humans. They love to live in animal fur, though they can also live in human hair. Bites from fleas can cause an allergic reaction such as scratching; both animals and humans can become allergic, so it is essential to get rid of the fleas as soon as possible. The best way to stop that itch is by preventing them in the first place; there are products such as Advecta flea treatment that will stop them setting up home on your animals. If you already have them in your home, then you need to vacuum regularly and throw the dust away in an external bin. Wash all your pets and use a flea treatment to prevent further infestation. Using citronella, wormwood and rosemary can also deter fleas from setting up shop.  

Rats and Mice 

When it comes to rats and mice, there are many types found all over the world. Some of them like to take up residence in your home, especially if there is outside storage of garbage near your house. If you have a family of rats or mice nearby, they can be drawn inside by food. They will eat almost anything, although their favorites are grains and cereals, so it is important that you keep all your kitchen cupboards clean, as their urine remains invisible to the human eye. Although rodents carry diseases, it is more the eating of food and the destruction of wood and plaster that causes the most short-term annoyance. Dealing with these rodents is more a case of prevention, you should check that there are no holes in the walls outside where they can enter your home. Any holes you find should be sealed; they are good climbers, so you should also seal holes in window blinds and gaps in doors. You can place humane traps that won’t hurt them if you want to catch them inside the house. Outside the house, spraying a solution of horseradish, garlic or cayenne pepper will deter them from coming in.  

Flies 

Flies are a menace in the summer when garbage and old food can become an attraction to them. They can be annoying in your home as they will seek out food to land on and try to lay their eggs. Some flies such as the horsefly can carry nasty diseases such as dysentery, so you don’t want them in your home. Keeping them out is a matter of ensuring all doors and windows have screens that are secure and don’t have holes. It is also important to not leave garbage or spilled food around, it needs to be cleaned up and the trash taken outside as soon as possible. You can also get fly paper or make your own fly traps using sugar water or honey in a jar.  

Mosquitoes 

These little creatures are common all over the world, and depending on where you live, they can carry some dangerous diseases. Nearly everyone has experienced mosquitoes at one time or another, and they have also probably experienced their bite which can get red and itchy. As they like to lay their eggs in water, they typically love hanging around in ponds and swamps. If you have free-standing water near your home, then you should think about draining it to prevent them moving in. The easiest way to prevent them inside is with window and door screens. Outside, try using a natural repellent like citronella or lavender as a spray and use an oscillating fan outside to stop them getting near you.  

As with all bugs and insects, prevention is far better than cure, so by working to stop them entering your home, you can prevent a lot of hard work trying to get them out. It is also a good idea to try and use natural repellents so that animals are not harmed.

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