Pests are a frustrating nuisance that are best avoided. While it may seem impossible at first, there are plenty of things you can do to keep them at bay. All you need to remember is to physically block the pests out and keep your property free of food and clutter.
Here are 10 ways you can pest-proof your home and garden. Reach out to Pest Control Bowmanville or another professional if you need help.
1. Keep the house clean
Hygiene isn’t the only factor you need to consider, but it does help to avoid an infestation. It’s also important that you keep the house as clean as possible when getting rid of pests. This way, they will be forced to consume bait.
Stay on top of your daily chores and get rid of clutter. Do the dishes, take out the garbage, and wipe down your countertops every day. Vacuum every week and mop regularly to get rid of crumbs and grease.
2. Seal windows and doors
Many pests come crawling in through the windows and doors. Check for gaps underneath your doors to the outside. If you see light, you should add weatherstripping. This will prevent mice and insects from crawling into the house while eliminating drafts. Next, check your window screens for damage and replace them if they are torn. Fill cracks in the window frames and door frames with caulking.
3. Cover wall vents and openings
Rodents have very strong teeth that let them chew through wood, plastic, rubber, and more. In many cases of mice and rats, the pests got into the house by chewing their way through the vents on the sides of the home. Cover these vents with a 16-gauge, quarter inch, galvanized steel mesh. Screw the mesh directly into the wall to keep pests out.
Weep vents – the little holes between bricks – can be excluded with stainless steel covers from the hardware store. Don’t use plastic covers because they can be chewed. Look for other openings in your walls and use the most appropriate materials, like caulking, epoxy, steel wool, or more mesh.
4. Keep food out of reach
Food is a major attractant for pests. Outside, keep your garbage bins out of reach, like in a shed or garage. Clean them every few months to remove odours and secure them with bricks or bungee cords so animals can’t get inside. Pick up fallen fruit and cover the barbecue.
Indoors, you should store your pantry goods in sealed, airtight containers. Don’t leave any bags or boxes of food open and avoid leaving pet food out overnight.
5. Use row covers in the garden
You can find a variety of different row covers and pest-proofing solutions at garden centres. Covering your vegetable garden with a garden fabric or mesh will keep rodents and insects from eating your hard-earned produce. Garden boxes with mesh lids are excellent for keeping rodents, skunks, and raccoons out.
6. Clear the walls of the house
Move firewood, leaf piles, patio furniture, and other items away from the walls of the home. Sheltering these areas give mice cover, which then encourages them to crawl into the house. The same thing goes for the interior. Keep things off the floor and create space to deter pests.
7. Maintain the yard
Pests are attracted to overgrown yards where they can find food and shelter. As you would maintain the interior, get in the habit of mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and tidying up outside. The neater the yard, the less likely you are to get pests.
8. Plant natural deterrents
Try planting some herbs and flowers that are known to deter pests. Lavender, basil, lemongrass, geraniums, and marigolds, for example, help to keep mosquitoes at bay. Some evidence suggests that rodents don’t like the smell of mint and oregano.
9. Use natural and electronic repellents
Sprinkle some cayenne pepper into your garden beds to keep rodents out. The heat of the spice will deter them from eating your plants. Likewise, you can dilute some hot sauce and spray that around your plants. For protection against squirrels, spray some apple cider vinegar around the garden to simulate the smell of predators.
Check out the electronic deterrents available at your nearest hardware store and consider setting one up in the garden or near your doors to the house. Some spray water, flash lights, or emit a high-pitched sound that is irritating to pests.
10. Hire a Pest Control Professional
Lots of pest control companies offer pest-proofing services in addition to removal. Call up your nearest exterminator and ask for an inspection. A technician will identify the weak points on your property and provide you with lasting solutions.