Social distancing this summer may be a barrier for having visitors at your home. There are some guests, however, that you should never allow into your home — pests such as ants, roaches, rats, and termites. Not only are pest infestations a nuisance, its critical to protect your family from disease due to food contamination and your property from damage causing pests.
The National Pest Management Association reported that pests are catching on to people spending more time at home this year. With people generating more amounts of food and waste, pest encounters at home are growing more common. Here are some steps you can take now to help keep your home pest-free.
Inside Your Home
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends a few things you can do inside your house to control future infestations:
- Keep Food Stored. Make sure any food is not left out in the kitchen without being covered or placed in a sealed plastic or glass container. If you have food waste in a garbage can outside your home, make sure it has a tightly covered lid.
- Fix Leaky Plumbing. Some pests, such as cockroaches, can survive a long time without food, but need water more often to survive. Check your home for leaky faucets, radiators, dishwashers and washing machines, and make repairs.
- Declutter and Caulk Cracks. Piles of newspapers, magazines or cardboard are havens for pests so it’s best to remove them. Identify and seal cracks and openings along baseboards, behind sinks and around pipes and windows. Critters like to hide in crevasses.
Outside Your Home
Pests enter your home from the outside, so you will also need to prepare the exterior of your house to keep pests out:
- Check delivery items. Inspect all packages for pests before bringing them into your home.
- Repair Exterior Damage. Look for cracks and holes on the outside of your home and seal them up. Be sure to include points where utility lines enter the house. Head up to the roof to look for any rotted or decaying shingles.
- Remove Debris. Sticks or firewood piles should be neatly stacked away from the house and off the ground to avoid attracting rodents.