Infestation Prevention in the Home January 20, 2016
1 Keep it Clean
Make sure your home is clean and dry. There’s nothing more bugs like than a place that’s moist and dirty. They will breed anywhere they can that has water and/or organic matter from dirt or clutter.
2 Don’t Leave Food Trash in the House
If you can, keep all food trash outdoors. Make a habit of bagging and walking the morning and evening trash out to an outdoor trash can that has a tight fitting lid.
3 Clean all Trash Cans Every Day with Antiseptic Soap and Water or Antiseptic Spray
Make sure your trash cans indoors are clean—If you can smell it, it’s not clean, and most importantly, if you can smell it, insects can also and will be attracted to it and breed there. If you don’t have the time to do this then use an antiseptic household spray like Lysol to quickly disinfect each trash container, then clean them thoroughly twice a week.
4 All Trash Cans need to have Tight Fitting Lids
Make sure the lids on your trash fit very tightly; they need to be airtight or close to it. A fly or mosquito, for instance, can easily squeeze their bodies inside a crack in order to get into a can or any other space that has an appealing smell. If trash cans are damaged, replace them. The damaged cans can be used to store non-organ trash like old car parts, broken household items or hoses.
5 Get Rid of Clutter around the House
No newspapers, dirty clothes or rags. We sometimes don’t consider non-eatable items organic, but newspapers are and dirty clothes have organic material from our bodies and often dirt from outdoors. Dirt and mulch in your household planters can also attract insects. If you see bugs hovering around your indoor plants you might want to consider placing them in an outside patio or placing them all in one well lit room and using a bug zapper to control the insects.
6 Store all Food in Airtight Containers and refrigerate
Make sure that all food is sealed and refrigerated. Don’t leave food on counters overnight. Clean the inside of your refrigerator each month with a little antibacterial dish soap and a sponge. Try not to leave old food stuff lying around, bugs can sense these items and will be attracted to them.
7 Clear the Table Immediately after Meals
Make the habit of putting all food away after each meal. Insects are attracted to the delicious smells at breakfast, lunch and dinner time so do not give them any more incentive to hang around.
8 Wash Dishes Immediately
After you clear the table—keep that momentum going and clean the dishes. This is the best way to get it done immediately. If not, you give bugs the opportunity to have their own meal off your plates. The idea here, like all of the above suggestions, is to keep bugs from being attracted to any organic material.
9 Keep Pet Food in Air Tight Containers
Spot and Tiger may not like it, but it’s important to keep their food covered up so as to not entice bugs to dog and cat bowls. Also, make sure to clean your pet’s food and water bowls out every day and do not let left over bits of canned cat or dog food stay in bowls, especially overnight.
10 Make Sure Sink drains and Floor Drains are Cleared and Clean
This is one of the most important places in your home to check for infestation, but unfortunately most people never bother to check these out. Open up the drain—take the drain cover itself off and scrub it clean with an abrasive cleanser and brush. Then slowly pour a gallon of very hot water mixed with a cup of bleach down the drain slowly making sure to rinse the sides of the drain. You can do the same for all sink drains in your house making sure to pull out any debris such as hair. If drains are slow or stopped up, use a drain cleaner or call your plumber before you use this cleaning method.
11 Check Laundry Drains, Tub Drains and Sink Traps and Make Sure they’re Clean
As in number 10 above, use the water and bleach cleaning method but make sure debris is cleaned out first.
12 Repair or Replace any Damaged Screen Doors or Screens on Windows
Make sure screen doors are in place and screens are on all the windows (20 mesh or better is the best for keeping out bugs). If screens are damaged make sure to have them replaced, most hardware stores can do this for a nominal fee or you can do it yourself with a kit and simple tools. You can also patch them yourself with household cement or clear nail polish. You can also use a screwdriver or scissors to push the wires back in place.